Thursday, 5 March 2015

Some Update on the Vox and Rosica Saga: Some questions answered, Others Not, and More to be Asked

Original post covering the topic, here.

There is now some more information about the fiasco, courtesy of David Domet himself.At least one of the two sides is opening up more on the issue. A blog called "From Rome" somehow got an exclusive interview with David. He gave much about the situation from his perspective. This blog REEEKS of an RMT perspective to me. Should one glance at it's articles, it takes an aggressive attack on the Church as being vilified, is disparaging about Vatican II, and all the other general behaviours exhibited by these RMT blogs, like it`s prime example, Rorate Caeli. Regardless, the interview is there so it must be cited and sourced.

The interview actually answers a few of my questions from my original coverage to flesh out Domet`s side of things somewhat. However, it also leaves other questions unanswered, and new ones to be asked.

THE QUESTIONS 

Question 1: Why did Domet decide to go directly to someone in Rome about the issue when it came to taking it to the Church?

  • Answer from Domet: ``... Frankly, it was easier to go to my contact in Rome than my own Chancery in Toronto.`
However, there are still partially, or fully, unanswered questions in this matter:

1a: Was there any part of negotiation, e-mails, letters, personal chats one-on-one, that took place before it was UTTERLY necessary to contact Rome to intervene in this matter?  
  • If we are referring to pre-legal letter, there answer possibly is YES, though what is so far, is not revealed in this recent matter.  
  • If we are referring to post delivery of the letter, it is clear that Domet BYPASSED what SHOULD have been sufficient means to deal with this problem. To bypass the local chancery does not give a good first impression of necessity in dealing with Rome, and could be conveyed as a lack of trust in the Church and the competency of the office of the Archdiocese of Toronto. David does not elaborate as to whether these are his personal feelings, or an objective fact of the chancery. However, if Domet`s legal council (yes, he has confirmed he has hired an attorney) told him to bypass the chancery due to information, then at least it was at the advice of his council. 
1b: Could it have been dealt with the Superior of the Basilian order at the time of the initial conflict, OR His Eminence, Thomas Collins, or perhaps Bishop Boissonneau, who appears to be Domet's local ordinary based on the information in his postings on Vox AND other involvement in past that is on other Internet websites?
  • Domet`s answer does not say much about WHY he decided it was clearer to bypass these people. Did he not expect a fair hearing and trial from these men? Or is it possible that the Chancery and the Basilians are WELL AWARE of his blog and his actions, and therefore WOULD NOT under any circumstance address his "concerns?" 
  • It is hard to tell which side is being not straightforward in all this and there clearly is more to the story for this decision.
I also asked questions about his contact. In my original post, all questions fell under the number, 2. These questions, obviously, will remain unanswered. However I should ask new questions:

2d: Just HOW did Domet get this contact so high up in the Vatican? Personal contact information in Rome is NOT given out freely, or often publicly available on the internet, obviously to protect the Church from harassment. 
2e: Does Domet KNOW the contact personally from past affairs and/or his blogging?

About my original line of questioning under the number, 3, Domet has discussed what he was spoken about from this contact of the Secretary of State's office:

Domet: ".... I can only assume that the information coming back to me was his personal advice and nobody else’s and I have no reason to believe otherwise. However, I was asked to state my “intention” and I did not respond to it and was then asked the next morning again and that maybe it would be better to “seek humility” and “apologise.” I did not and was advised not to respond to either. The fact is, intervention could have happened on the first or second day...."

Are any answers to my questions being provided? Yes, and no, or even ... not quite:

3a. What was the request word for word that was given to the contact who is in the Secretariat of State's office? Not Answered.
3b. What was the reply given to Domet? Not Answered. Just summations are given from David. Again without the actual communication, even with the sender X`d out, we will not know the TRUE nature of the reply. 
3c. What level was this contact? Not answered.
3d. Did this office know of the Domet affair due to Fr. Rosica's position in the Vatican, and/or the office being close to Pope Francis? Based on David`s answer, it is possible they knew OF the issue, and/or that Fr. Rosica was intending to do some legal action or contact with David. Still, why would this sender ask for an "intention" then? 

My next line of questioning about the affair/statement was surrounding new demands that were placed on David. Much more clearer answers were given in regards to that, under the number #4:

Question 4a: Who is issuing these new demands on Domet? The Vatican, or Fr. Rosica's firm?
4b: Was the Vatican aware of the demands of Fr. Rosica's firm on Domet? If it was the Vatican via the SoS's office, did they decide on additional penalties? OR, Did Fr. Rosica's firm up the ante, so to speak and issue additional demands NOT present in the initial cease and desist letter?

  • Answer from Domet: "Q. What was the advice given, or response from the Firm, as the case may be….? Mr. Domet: As I indicated this on my own blog, Vox Cantoris; we responded to the deadline in the first letter to prevent an injunction on their part, though not meeting their demands, of course. We stated our position and suggested other options for discussion within the Church which were rejected. Other items were then put on the table, making demands on me that were impossible to accept. It became apparent to me that we needed to communicate with clarity what we were not prepared to do,  and what were prepared to do, which was to defend ourselves and engage a crowd-funding campaign to sustain it.
So the answer to the line of questioning in 4a and b is that: Fr Rosica's firm upped the ante on Domet, and it sounded like it was going to become a full cease and desist of the blog as a condition. I am NOT surprised as the initial letter from the Fogler firm did say that if Domet didn't listen, there would be higher penalty and action would be pursued. So yes, David was warned about this in the initial letter. There should be no surprise this happened. 

Now, we can only assume this was proposed due to Domet's highly defensive stance of getting outside funding for a legal defense. However, this leads to new questions:

Question 4c: What exactly was communicated by Rosica's firm that was "put on the table" as Domet claims whereby he had to suggest a legal firefight and Internet crowd-funding?
Question 4d: Was one of the conditions the total shutdown of Vox Cantoris, with possibly a ban from all internet blogging activity, and/or criticism?

I do have other new questions though surrounding the Rosica and Domet affair though:

Domet: "Mr. Domet:  I sought advice from a very small group of close advisors. I did not contact the law firm directly – I needed to secure the right Solicitor and found her, a Catholic with some other background knowledge which I cannot reveal but which aided our strategy."
  • Question 5a: Who is this female solicitor who Domet retained as legal council? Since we know who Fr. Rosica's lawyers are publicly, it would be only fair if it were revealed who his attorney was. 
  • Question 5b: Domet mentions "... A Catholic with some other background knowledge which I cannot reveal but which aided our strategy." What is this lawyer's background knowledge? Is it civil litigation? Is it corporate law (as S&L is a corporation as a business?) Is it dealings with the Catholic Church, either civilly or criminally (which could be anything from property, finances, or dare I say it, priest sexual abuse cases???) Does this lawyer have specific, secret knowledge of the Archdiocese of Toronto, OR Fr. Rosica, that would give Domet the legal advantage to represent him?
  • Question 5c: Where did Mr. Domet get this counsel, who possibly has an 'ace up her sleeve' to use the phrase for a significant advantage? Was this from Domet's friends online who are local? His friends from the Toronto Traditional Mass Society and/or the priests he works with in the Latin Mass? Was it from one of his prior engagements that involves partially or fully, the Catholic faith, such as the non-canonical Society of St. Pius X (which he did admit was an interim position in a Vox Cantoris blog post, and they DO have a Toronto chapel as I've mentioned before on S.U.D.) The counsel's advantage and where she was obtained would reveal an interesting element to this case. 
Well that is the update to this case. Not everything is clear about both sides, and even now, there are even more questions that must be answered, before one can truly assess where the Lord's work was done, if He was anywhere to be present. While many things were, are, and continue to be written as more time passes, it is clear that only the Lord can know what was in the hearts of all involved in this matter, both directly, and the outside commentators and witnesses in this whole affair. Regardless, this is still a dark stain for the Catholic Blogosphere, especially the traditional side,and bad public relations for Fr. Rosica. Whether he has earned this or this is unjust, we do not TRULY know, as the Internet coverage is unfairly biased in favour of Domet.  

My new fear in all this now, is that the RMTs and their adherents will be given wanton excuses to harass, insult, and degrade anyone who gets in the way of their Pharisaical goal/mission of Purification of the Catholic Church from anyone perceived by them to be an actor of Satan. Why readers, I might even get harassed once again by this cabal and am awaiting the online cannon fire from these RMTs. It's a shame that the words of our Father, Papa, Pope Francis, are being continually ignored, though they are gaining even more credence. 

You know, this whole debacle has made me personally realize, that Francis' papacy is likely, TRUTHFULLY what the Church deserves right now, in correspondence to the egregious sinners on both sides. I truly think that this papacy of his is part of the Church's purification process, not only of the Spirit of Vatican II, but the newest forms of Protestantism, Gnosticism, and Jansenism, disguised as Radical Catholic Traditionalism hiding in the shadow of the Latin Mass (though again, remember, ``A few rotten apples spoil the bunch.``). This papacy is bringing all that crud on both sides to the surface, so as to return the Church to its happy medium. Let's also not forget this gem from Scripture with my emphasis in boldface: 

" But immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is fitting among saints. 4 Let there be no filthiness nor silly talk, nor levity, which are not fitting; but instead let there be thanksgiving. 5 Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure man, or one who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for it is because of these things that the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore, do not associate with them, 8 for once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of light isfound in all that is good and right and true), 10 and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord, 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret; 13 but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light ...." Ephesians 5:3-13, NRSV CE 2nd Ed. 

Needless to say, it seems that Pope Francis` papacy is true to the words of St. Paul`s letter, and quite a lot of sins within our sinful family, both Liberal and Radical Traditionalist, are being exposed to the light. Keep it coming Pope Francis! It`s clear that you ARE the Pope we need at the moment. 

Pax, Julian. 

P.S.: Comments are off for this one, and this post is RED FLAG status. Have fun on your own blog and don`t try anything stupid with the e-mail. Legal threats? I can get access to legal council too you know, and I will defend myself and my true, Catholic friends if it comes down to it. 

Rosica and the Vox: The End for Now? Or Just the Beginning. What Does This Mean? MY ANALYSIS AND OPINION

Hello Everyone,

Something has been going on quite a bit the last two weeks in the Catholic blogosphere, and across Radical Misrepresenting Traditionalist (RMT) Internet media networks. It's made a lot of headlines, because it involves a high profile priest within the Vatican, who is also a local, well known figure in Canadian Catholic media as well as the Archdiocese. Likewise the second party involved is also a local blogger from this Archdiocese. Where this intersects with my blog is that the second party does have involvement in the Latin Mass.

Who am I talking about? You should know by know that Fr. Thomas Rosica, CEO of Salt and Light, issued a legal document to a Toronto area blogger, David Anthony Domet, via a law firm who has Fr. Rosica as a client. This letter was publicly posted on Domet's personal blog, Vox Cantoris. To make matters worse, the RMT Internet media network known as ChurchMilitantTV, picked up on this story and gave Mr. Domet an interview via Skype webcam program.

With that broadcast, it thrust the whole affair into the limelight of the dark corners of the Catholic blogosphere. Many of the usual culprits picked up on the matter and sided unanimously with Domet without doing any sort of investigation or analysis of their own. There was also a bit of pickup by some other minor, or more center-right conservative bloggers not of the RMT bent, including a conservative media pundit, Briebart. Here in Canada, an ex-professional journalist David Warren, Catholic professional journalist Deborah Gyapong, and Terry McDermott, RN, of Catholic Insight, blogged about the matter on their own media platforms. Of the best analysis, I think was Deborah Gyapong`s, which DID actually look at what was available, and didn't use judgmental and condemning language, or wielding Scripture as a weapon of condemnation and punishment.

Now it seems, as of yesterday, Wednesday, March 4, 2015, this issue has been "put to rest," or is it? Both parties, Fr. Rosica and Domet, have spoken for their sides on the issue, and some more information has been revealed from both parties. I will look at each person's statement and give my opinion and analysis. This, is in no way representative of the Catholic Church, nor either party. However, because I am a blogger, and a Latin Mass kind of blogger similar to Domet, I will be giving my thoughts on this, and my concerns.

1) FR ROSICA'S STATEMENT
In any legal matter, prosecution goes first, so I'm doing Fr. Rosica's statement first, then Domet's. Here is Fr. Rosica's statement in full, with the cited webpage, and then my analysis.

source: http://saltandlighttv.org/blog/fr-thomas-rosica/a-message-from-fr-thomas-rosica-csb


As the CEO of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation and Television Network, I am not a high-ranking Vatican official nor a member of the hierarchy of the Church as erroneously claimed in several recent blogs.  In addition to my work at Salt and Light, I have had the privilege of serving since 2013 in a volunteer capacity as English language assistant to the Holy See Press Office.  I relate on a daily basis to hundreds of English language journalists around the world.  I know that this daily service has been encouraged and appreciated by the Vatican and by hundreds of journalists all over the world.

I fully support the teaching of the Church and welcome Pope Francis’ invitation to the whole Church to reflect seriously on the foundations of our faith. The recent Extraordinary Synod of Bishops has invited us to mature, honest dialogue and conversation and to find new ways and a new language to communicate the ancient story of the Church and our beautiful, unchanging doctrine to future generations.

Mature expressions of differences are welcome.  It is one thing to have differing opinions on church matters. However, there is fine line between difference of opinion and blatant destruction of person’s lives and reputations. Having been strongly advised to respond, as an individual and in no institutional capacity to the Vatican or to my place of work, to the continuous false, slanderous statements of a blogger over a long period of time that resulted in gross distortion, misinformation, many phone calls, letters and clear threats from callers based on the repeated false information contained in the blog, it was never my intention to sue, but rather to issue a letter to “cease and desist” the frivolous calumny. A legal firm, offering its service pro bono to us, issued a letter to cease and desist. No lawsuit was ever launched against the blogger! The matter is now closed.

Popes Benedict XVI and Francis have taught clearly that the Internet and blogs can be of tremendous service to the up-building of the Church and of humanity. They have never taught that blogs and social media should be used, in the name of fidelity, to engender slander, hatred, reviling and destroying.

In a world torn apart by hatred, terror and violence, often through the gross distortion of religion, we must be much more attentive to our use of social media and how it is used to unite rather than destroy humanity. Many in the Catholic blogosphere have contributed enormously to the spread of the faith, the defense of all that is good and beautiful about our faith and our Church, and the opening of dialogue among strangers. They are to be congratulated and encouraged. Others have chosen to turn the blogosphere into a black hole of vitriol, anger and profound sadness. As Catholics, the great privilege and freedom of expression and access to social media also have certain obligations of decency, integrity, honesty and charity that reveal who we really are as a faith community.

Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB
CEO, Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation

My Analysis
I am mixed with regard to the reply that Fr. Rosica has given. I`ll state where I have doubts or disagree:

  • "As the CEO of the Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation and Television Network, I am not a high-ranking Vatican official nor a member of the hierarchy of the Church as erroneously claimed in several recent blogs...." To the world, Fr. Rosica IS perceived as a high ranking official. Even in a volunteer capacity, he is still highly close to the top hierarchy of the Church, being under Fr. Federico Lombardi, who is under Pope Francis himself. The world views him as a No. 3 man in essence. Plus he is responsible for the English communications/translations in his area. One cannot say that it is NOT a higher ranking position in the Church with better access to Pope Francis, vs. the metaphorical example of the priest who serves as personal servant to the secretary of Cardinal Pell of the Vatican finances department. 
  • " .... I relate on a daily basis to hundreds of English language journalists around the world.  I know that this daily service has been encouraged and appreciated by the Vatican and by hundreds of journalists all over the world...." To the average layman, this means to them or is interpreted to mean, that Fr. Rosica speaks for the Vatican, and hence the Church, when he speaks to media people. The secular media doesn't care about Jesus, all they want is their by-line and to attack the Church, not spread the Gospel, and any other means to make it one of the world ...." 
  • ".... The recent Extraordinary Synod of Bishops has invited us to mature, honest dialogue and conversation and to find new ways and a new language to communicate the ancient story of the Church and our beautiful, unchanging doctrine to future generations ...." I must respectfully disagree with this statement, due to the following events: a) recent allegations that one of the lead cardinals for the Synod purposely prevented the "Five Cardinals" book from being distributed to participants with confirmation from Ignatius Publishing's head, Fr. Joseph Fessio, who is CONSTANTLY CONSULTED BY CATHOLIC ANSWERS, North America's #1 Catholic apostolate for apologetics and Catholic Media, that most were NOT delivered to their targets (one can logically assume he'd know due to registered postal mail) b) The fact that there was clear conflict of interest between two sides in the whole matter, c) that the primary host handpicked by Pope Francis, Cardinal Walter Kasper, was caught lying by a secular reporter about things with the Synod, and d) that despite the vote of the participants, 3 controversial paragraphs were STILL released for the final Synod document despite NO majority ... I would concur that Synod 2014 was a political mess. I do lament and wish Pope Francis would have taken greater reign during that time so that what Fr. Rosica mentions would have happened more perfectly. Hopefully our Holy Father will correct the mistakes made in the 2014 Synod and the 2015 synod will be conducted as per the wishes expressed here by Fr. Rosica. Being a bigger event, I do think 2015 will be MUCH better. 

Now, where I do agree with Fr. Rosica is the following:

  • ".... Mature expressions of differences are welcome.  It is one thing to have differing opinions on church matters. However, there is fine line between difference of opinion and blatant destruction of person’s lives and reputations...." Absolutely true. It is one thing to analyze, and give opinion, so long as the intent isn't with malice, and the purposeful destruction of the person's character, livelihood, etc. Take my post for example. I just disagreed with some Fr. Rosica's points in his post. Am I trying to make him suffer? NO! I am merely stating that I disagree, why, and any evidence that supports my choice to disagree with the statements made.
  • "....Having been strongly advised to respond, as an individual and in no institutional capacity to the Vatican or to my place of work, to the continuous false, slanderous statements of a blogger over a long period of time that resulted in gross distortion, misinformation, many phone calls, letters and clear threats from callers based on the repeated false information contained in the blog, it was never my intention to sue, but rather to issue a letter to “cease and desist” the frivolous calumny. A legal firm, offering its service pro bono to us, issued a letter to cease and desist. No lawsuit was ever launched against the blogger! The matter is now closed. 
    • The underlined parts are my focus here. Yes, what is clear is that the letter is from the law firm on behalf of Fr. Thomas Rosica. While Salt and Light is mentioned as declines in business is a fact of the result of Domet`s actions, the firm is not said in the letter to be acting on behalf of the corporation, nor the Archdiocese of Toronto, nor the Basilian order, nor the Catholic Church/Vatican. I believe that then, yes, this is Fr. Rosica the individual being represented. 
    • As per phone calls and letters and e-mails, no doubts this was happening. Many of the Dometian supporters PURPOSELY released the contact information for numerous contacts, including Fr.'s order, S&L etc. of which the worst offence was likely, what could be His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins' personal email! These bloggers and their allies will stoop so low to get to anyone and everyone to get what they want, and clearly, that is what they did. 
    • I can also speak with personal experience that I have experienced this harassment by any means of communication in past, and can relate to what Fr. Rosica was going through. IT DOES HAPPEN! Finally on no lawsuit, he is correct, based on the initial letter. The language was cease and desist, with the removal of the original content requested by the firm on his behalf. 


  •  ".... Popes Benedict XVI and Francis have taught clearly that the Internet and blogs can be of tremendous service to the up-building of the Church and of humanity. They have never taught that blogs and social media should be used, in the name of fidelity, to engender slander, hatred, reviling and destroying ...." TRUE! They encouraged Social Media to be used for spreading the Gospel, not hatred. HERE is just one example of that from Trad Hero, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI on the day of Social Communications. 
  • "....Many in the Catholic blogosphere have contributed enormously to the spread of the faith, the defense of all that is good and beautiful about our faith and our Church, and the opening of dialogue among strangers. They are to be congratulated and encouraged. Others have chosen to turn the blogosphere into a black hole of vitriol, anger and profound sadness...." TRUE TO A FAULT!!!! I need not say more. 
2) DAVID DOMET'S STATEMENT (with his wife, Francoise included)
Time for the defense to get the floor. Like with Fr. Rosica's, the statement comes first, then my my analysis and questions.


Source: http://voxcantor.blogspot.ca/2015/03/father-thomas-j-rosica-csb-on-threat-of.html

Dear Friends,
1. The first action on the part of this blogger after receiving the letter from Fogler, Rubinoff LLP was to "take it to the Church." This means that your writer went directly to Rome to the Vatican on Tuesday, February 17, via email, to a direct contact in the Secretariat of State. The request was to intervene "quickly" and this request was not fulfilled and instead became an interrogation of my "intentions" which could have been used against me. Later the suggestion was made to humbly accept it as a Lenten sacrifice on Ash Wednesday morning and "apologise" which would have been an admission of guilt for something that did not occur and would have resulted in the silencing and censoring of the blog and a refutation of my rights and duties under Canon 212 §3.
2. Our response to the original letter of Fogler Rubinoff LLP, suggested that Canon Law was the appropriate vehicle and should have been chosen for any perceived grievance.  
3. Our suggestion was not only rebuffed but resulted in a new demands including what would have been complete censorship of me in certain areas meaning by extension, no commentary on the Synod this October.
4. Our response to that continued threat of litigation was to advise that we would no longer engage in a campaign of letters and lawfare resulting in a slow and painful bankruptcy. We advised that as of the close of business on March 3, 2015, we would begin to prepare a robust defense should it become necessary and a crowd-funding campaign to finance a rigorous defense.
My wife Francoise and I extend to all of you our gracious thanks for your prayers, your letters, emails and Tweets and messages, phone calls and your offers of financial support should it have become necessary.
Friends, we have much work to do for Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. It will not be long until the Synod is upon us. We must be vigilant to proclaim the eternal truths of the Church and the upholding of doctrine on matters of marriage and the family and most especially, the Holy Eucharist.
All of us have a responsibility and a duty under our God to stand for truth and proclaim it from the housetops. We have a duty to stand for Our Lord Jesus Christ, His Church and His Blessed Mother and all that the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church has taught magisterially from the beginning. We have our keyboards and we have our rights and duties under Canon Law. We have God-given abilities and talent and we must use them. Our parents and our grandparents did not have the tools and knowledge that we do today. I am reminded of how they would think if we fail them with the words of John McCrae a Canadian military hero, physician and poet ; "To you from failing hands we throw the torch ; be yours to hold it high." 
May the Holy Family that model of perfection and love guide us and may St. Michael the Archangel protect us.
God bless you.
Francoise and David Domet

My Analysis
The relevant points that need discussion and lead to further questions are as follows:
  • ``The first action on the part of this blogger after receiving the letter from Fogler, Rubinoff LLP was to "take it to the Church." This means that your writer went directly to Rome to the Vatican on Tuesday, February 17, via email, to a direct contact in the Secretariat of State.... ``
    • Question 1: Why did Domet decide to go directly to someone in Rome about the issue when it came to taking it to the Church? Even in secular workplaces, people know that you gotta start with the individual and your immediate boss/supervisor before you go over people's heads, including the institution you are part of. Which begs a second question:
      • 1a: Was there any part of negotiation, e-mails, letters, personal chats one-on-one, that took place before it was UTTERLY necessary to contact Rome to intervene in this matter? Personally, the revelation of the content of such e-mails or communications would allow us, the jury and viewing public, to see that such action was warranted by Domet, outside of blog conjecture. Further
      • 1b: Should Domet have found it unreliable to speak to Rosica directly, for whatever reason, could he have not then dealt with the superior of the Basilian order at the time of the initial conflict, OR His Eminence, Thomas Collins, or perhaps Bishop Boissonneau, who appears to be Domet's local ordinary based on the information in his postings on Vox AND other involvement in past that is on other Internet websites?
    • Question 2: Whom was contacted at the Vatican?
      • 2a: Since Domet quotes a "direct contact," Just WHOM is this, and how did Domet manage to get their e-mail? 
      • 2b: Is the contact's e-mail address public on the Internet, so that anyone can contact him or her?
      • 2c: At what level of superiority is this contact? Are they a secretary, or a cleric of high authority in the State department? These questions are relevant because they do pertain to the next statement under ananlysis ...


  • ".... The request was to intervene "quickly" and this request was not fulfilled and instead became an interrogation of my "intentions" which could have been used against me. Later the suggestion was made to humbly accept it as a Lenten sacrifice on Ash Wednesday morning and "apologise" which would have been an admission of guilt for something that did not occur and would have resulted in the silencing and censoring of the blog and a refutation of my rights and duties under Canon 212 §3." 
    • Well quick intervention, if that's all that was asked, seems fair enough. 
    • Yes, I could see the kind of reaction Domet would have to what he says is an interrogation. However that begs more questions:
      • 3a. What was the request word for word that was given to the contact who is in the Secretariat of State's office?
      • 3b. What was the reply given to Domet? Without seeing the exact reply, one cannot directly assume that this was a witch hunt. What if this was asking Domet, "we would please like you to describe briefly, what he is saying about you, what you are saying about him, and why this is coming about." In other words, the contact would need more information to determine if this is worth the time and resources of the office (hence the Vatican) to investigate. Further, 
      • 3c. What level was this contact? If this was a secretary, it is possible that they were a bit put-off. Secretaries working for people often get complaints, concerns, etc. They are often the first point of contact, and hence the "punching-bags" for people who just want to rip the face off someone, so to speak. Further, their boss' time and energy is limited. If they bugged them about everything, that secretary would likely be fired for incompetence and infringing on the ability of their boss to perform their job. It is also possible this secretary was doing fact finding to see if the concern deserved to be passed on. However, should this be a head of the office or a high-ranking prelate, then this could go both ways. Without the name of the person and level of office, OR the full communication, we cannot ascertain whether this was an interrogation or requests for information to assess the request of Domet. 
      • 3d. Did this office know of the Domet affair due to Fr. Rosica's position in the Vatican, and/or the office being close to Pope Francis? It is possible there might have been knowledge before hand, and so the Vatican was ready to respond to Domet. Personally, if I knew someone was possibly going to make a formal complaint and I knew their personality, I might have at least some preliminary means to deal with the situation. That is not to say that this means was appropriate at the contact for the Secretariat of State. Again without revelation of the communications, we cannot know. 
    • Without revelation of the full communications, the comment about Lenten Sacrifice on Ash Wednesday, could just be colour commentary. 
    • I can see Domet`s line of thinking. He is clearly already thinking of being the defendant in a suit and will do everything he can to prevent the plantiff from acquiring further evidence to support their case. This does not really get your case heard though or lead to negotiation.
  • ".... Our suggestion was not only rebuffed but resulted in a new demands including what would have been complete censorship of me in certain areas meaning by extension, no commentary on the Synod this October...." 
    • Unless, again, there is a revelation of the communications about this, I will take the stance that these additional demands are not possible. 
    • If Domet means the Vatican, then perhaps this is a bit too far, as clearly the demands of Fr. Rosica's lawyers are plenty. 
    • If, however, Domet means that Fr. Rosica's firm made additional demands, then it cannot be believed, unless evidence is provided of the additional demands from the firm representing Fr. Rosica. 
      • Question 4a: Who is issuing these new demands on Domet? The Vatican, or Fr. Rosica's firm?
      • 4b: Was the Vatican aware of the demands of Fr. Rosica's firm on Domet? If it was the Vatican via the SoS's office, did they decide on additional penalties? OR, Did Fr. Rosica's firm up the ante, so to speak and issue additional demands NOT present in the initial cease and desist letter?



  • ".... Our response to that continued threat of litigation was to advise that we would no longer engage in a campaign of letters and lawfare resulting in a slow and painful bankruptcy. We advised that as of the close of business on March 3, 2015, we would begin to prepare a robust defense should it become necessary and a crowd-funding campaign to finance a rigorous defense." 
      • What I am about to share is my opinion on this move. This to me, is unfortunate that Domet has decided to NOT comply with Fr. Rosica, and to go ahead with open legal defense. Further it is clear that he has NOT complied with the initial cease and desist letter and it's requests to delete or alter the number of posts requested. Therefore, Fr. Rosica's firm definitely will go ahead and pursue further legal action. 
      • This was NOT a wise move. Should litigation proceed, any potential judge, jury OR justice of the peace, could start the process off with a bad impression. I`ve been recently watching an old fictionalized television series that sadly, did NOT get renewed past the 1st season. It`s called ``Justice`` and starred Victor Garber, Eammon Walker, and other actors as attorneys in a high-profile criminal defense firm for trials. In watching the only season that exists of the show, most clients are told by the TNT&G team, to live in specific conditions, change their clothing either for the trial and/or being seen in public, and even certain actions are taken if the accused knowingly must be present in public surrounded by a media circus of reporters. Anything that is physical, or done by a client before the trial, paints a caricature of the person, one that will be used for the plantiff/prosecution or the defense for their case to be stronger. Despite it being fictionalized, there is a common point to be learnt applicable to real life legal matters: When being part of a public legal case, be it civil or criminal, your actions up to and during the point of the trial WILL influence the judge and/or jury's opinion of you going in, and CAN influence the verdict you will get, especially if the media has broadcasted a certain version of "you" ahead of time. I thus ask the question: By openly expressing a "fight" and "no mercy" attitude in action, and going over Fr. Rosica's head to Rome, will this kind of impression allow the future judge/jury/justice of the Peace to come into the litigation or trial unbiased? 

My Concerns and Thoughts for Future

Now that I have looked at both sides and their statements, this is what I am seeing in terms of patterns:

- Generally, it seems that Fr. Rosica's statement is more positive to begin with, is less factual, and more commentary, until the second half. When he speaks after that, he speaks bluntly, and is even 
using the same language and terms Domet has used in numerous postings of his on Vox Cantoris. 

- With Domet's statement, it is more of a facts based one, with a rally cry for his online and in person friends to fight 'For the church.' However, it is clearly defensive in nature, as if one is already in the courtroom. The facts given are generalized and are not specific, and are subject to interpretation without revelation/discovery. 

- However, both statements seem to not leave one person totally innocent, nor without a doubt totally guilty. In full honestly, ALL evidence would need to be out for display, to see who's side has the greatest culpability, and if any defamation and/or slander, as well as partial or full lies, were committed.  

Now, what does this possibly mean for me? Well, I am sorry to say, that this seems to have broken a damn open in terms of Catholic blogging, and not a good one that favours the work of the Lord. What this has shown is:
  • W/regard to evaluation and proper analysis/Fraternal Correction: That Canon 212:3 likely cannot be truly upheld by the Church, as clearly any layperson, even me, might be the target of a lawsuit by an entity of the Church, even an individual. All it takes is for people of opposite positions to clash, be it lay vs. priest, deacon vs. bishop, or even Cardinal vs. Cardinal, and boom! Well, a friend of mine did say, "anyone can sue anyone for anything." This situation, whether the right action was taken or not, HAS created, an environment of fear and might falsely contribute to clericalism, which Vatican II was supposed to eliminate, as well as one that now has empowered the RMTs to continue harassing, bullying and sinning, with the perceived "victory" by them of Fr. Rosica backing off. It is bad enough that secular society, particularly in Canada with TWO levels of courts (Civil+Criminal, and the Human Rights Tribunals), make proper fraternal correction of one's fellow human nearly illegal to do, to the point anything remotely Christian in action is vilified. Now, it's not safe for anyone to speak up in the Church. Even if I make the most cleverest argument against something to someone, and it is logical or well reasoned, I now fear that I will be sued or charged criminally by my own Catholic brother. If I am liberal and I complain to my pastor because he wasted money on an expensive liturgical item, or because I am conservative and he funneled $5000K into another social justice project when he should have put it towards the struggling parish youth ministry, will my pastor take after the example in this crisis and sue me as a parishioner? As a Catholic blogger that can be blunt, I am worried and concerned, despite the obvious side that I take with regard to things on my blog. 

  • W/regard to the Catholic Blogosphere: That it is a spiritually sick, evil place, with very few people who are truly practicing what they preach when they write and blog, when their stance is obvious to the viewership of being properly "Traditional"and/ or "Pro-Latin Mass" Catholic. The reaction that many of the people in the comment boxes expressed, and the bloggers presented, even the few 'moderate Traditionalists' if I can assign a word to them, was biased and worry some. I witnessed everything from Scripture being used as a weapon to silence Fr. Rosica, to the encouragement of communications designed to get Fr. Rosica punished by anyone from his order all the way up to the Vatican, to a general spirit of rebellion against the Church and this particular priest. Very little blogging was actually devoted to evaluating both sides of the argument and what need to be done properly according to the mind of the Church. In summary, it was the worst public showing of Traditional Catholicism to date! What this has done is do THE WORST DAMAGE to the credibility of the Traditional Catholic movement, to date. This was group think and the "mob mentality" in public, the very same kind that these Traditional Catholics accuse Lie-berals in the Church of. Wow. I have never been more revolted at my fellow Traditionalists online. To all of you generally, congratulations, you have now given your (arch)dioceses and the Church in general, 10 million more reasons NOT to have the Traditional Latin Mass or be open to traditional Catholicism, as this breeds such a vitriolic environment and people with vile words. And DURING THE SEASON OF LENT TOO!!!! WHERE IS THE REPENTANCE IN YOUR OWN SOULS????? What do you think Pope Benedict XVI would say on this matter if he were still Pope?  

  • That Pope Francis is the Way to Go/There's more to come against Traditional Catholicism: Look, Pope Francis is no heretic, nor floosy, unlike the sentiments of the hardcore RMTs. However, if you want people to critically evaluate the current papacy, and to push for more traditional things, needless to say you just gave the floor to whatever you people perceive as "Francis-isms." I can tell you that online, it is now likely that people will be flocking to content and blogs that are similar to what he is proclaiming, and now, people will even think that in his "confusing" speeches, IT ACTUALLY MAKES SENSE. Don't believe me, here's an example from his fervorino of Monday, March 2 from Vatican Radio
We are all masters, professors of self-justification: ‘No it wasn’t me, it’s not my fault, maybe yes, but not so much…that’s not the way it is…’. We all have an alibi to explain away our shortcomings, our sins, and we are often to put on a face that says "I do not know," a face that says ‘I didn’t do it, maybe someone else did’ an innocent face. This is no way to lead a Christian life”. "It’s easier to blame others .... "

  • Makes me wonder if Pope Franics (likely) knows of this scenario. He DOES read at least some media and he has many advisers who would surely alert him to this, if not at the least to prepare a statement in reply to media. Now, read the statement above .... read the bulk of the coverage on the issue .... who looks like they have the right analysis on things .... hopefully you understand my point. It makes it even look WORSE that the stereotype of Traditional Catholics are Francis haters. (ugh we are not ALL like that!) On top of that, based on the comments and the attitudes of the bloggers/commentators, I would not be surprised if the Church starts to take more measures against these outbursts. Sadly, I fear the good traditionalists will be penalized due to the actions of this sad, but sizable, vocal minority. 
  • Even the Good Guys are getting wrapped up in this (in the wrong ways?): Already, a few decent bloggers and reporters have covered this scenario, and needless to say, most were biased and went one way. Further, even good princes of the Church got dragged into this, the two most famous being Cardinal Raymond Burke, and Archbishop Athanasius Schneider of Kazakhstan. Schneider according to one blog, clearly supported Domet with words of encouragement (and presumably, NOT Fr. Rosica,) while His Eminence ++Burke, gave an exclusive interview to an RMT blog known for its Radical Traditionalism, Rorate Caeli. Even though ++Burke's comment on the situation was general and non-partisan, still giving the interview to Rorate Caeli cannot help with Burke's public reputation, and will only further criticism of him being an "Anti-Francis" type. With actions like these, traditionalist Cardinals and Bishops will end up getting a bad rap in the Church, and more division and politics will foment. These are the guys who deserve to be Pope, or Cardinals, etc. We don't need liberal bishops and such in the Church hierarchy. Such example is only going to damage conservative priests, bishops etc. from being nominated to be moved up to those ranks, and give the effective and NECESSARY leadership for the Church that they do so well at their lower positions. I worry that by choosing one side or another, or going about this the wrong way, this will have a very bad blow back to Traditional Catholic clergy and/or bloggers who aren't radical, and make them reviled even further in the Church. We all just might as well build tunnels like those guys at York University at this rate. 
  • Not everything seems clear cut, nor are both sides 100% innocent: Despite what the commentary and blog posts lead you to believe, it cannot be accepted that there is a side which is clearly innocent in this manner. All I will say about this is to scour the blogs and web posts about this issue and look at the commentary. Turns out not everyone is a die-hard fan of either man, and some one released certain communications about one of the parties involved in the legal matter. Not to mention, some people actually ARE siding with Rosica and agree with what he has said in the S&L statement (the moderate Catholic bloggers have stated such things too, indirectly or directly,) though not specifically about his content from the print and/or media articles and things Fr. Rosica has said. I would prefer not to elaborate on what is being revealed and/or mutually agreed, other than to say do your own searching with Google or Yahoo and read the blog commentary, if the bloggers have not applied their censorship.  
  • This likely is NOT over yet: Remember, Domet has chosen NOT to delete the aforementioned postings in the cease and desist letter. It did state that damages would be higher and action would be sought to commence action against Domet. Domet has even personally stated that he'll be doing something if necessary to raise funds for his defense, via crowd-funding (e.g. GoFundMe, Kickstarter). This, could happen. The power those campaigns have are incredible for the average joe with a valid cause! Church-wise, there is evidence this has worked. For Star of the Sea parish under Fr. Illo in San Francisco, when he chose all-boys for altar serving and got the ire of the media and some parishioners, people worldwide gave a crowd-funding site over $50K in funds for the parish to support Fr. I hate to say it, but angry Traditionalists, might band together and can do incredible things when the bitterness and anger is put aside, or is behind one's wallet. Not to mention, how will Domet and Vox Cantoris continue on in future? Will history repeat itself, just not with Fr. Rosica being the one pursing legal action, or will Domet take his own action???? I really don't think this is over yet. 
My one big fear in all this, is that sadly, Latin Masses, not just in the Archdiocese of Toronto, but worldwide, will be affected due to the actions in this legal brou-ha-ha online. Unfortunately, and it IS public knowledge, Domet is the President of the Toronto Traditional Mass Society. In past, I have featured the TTMS's Mass listings for their offerings. This connection was not only revealed by some weird blog that thinks the Devil has infiltrated the Church (he or she cannot be taken seriously,) but eventually, some commentary with communiations attached to them, in the blog postings, DID reveal this fact on blogs that covered Domet vs. Rosica. 

Still, overall, I do dread in Toronto, that this will be BAD news for the Latin Mass, at least for the lay-run initiatives. I honestly worry what will happen to the other initiatives, including the ones NOT connected to Domet and/or the TTMS. Further, I can see this possibly affecting the parishes too, although thankfully, the clergy have NOT gotten involved in anything publicly, to my knowledge. 

The only thing I can say and implore, to any clerics reading this, is that: We are NOT all like the commentators and the people portrayed in this fiasco. The decent majority of Latin Mass goers, are considerate, devoted to their Church and their Lord, believe the teachings of the Catholic Church, go to Mass every Sunday, and are not weird, home-schooled, robot Radical Traditionalists (though the Latin Mass and homeschooling co-incide often, as being that the families know their faith well, know that the school system won't necessarily protect their interests.).  

While we need to improve in radiating the joy of Pope Francis, doing active works of charity and social justice (to a point that does NOT superseded the FAITH part of being Catholic or co-incides with interests against the Church,) and putting a few more dollars in that collection bin, we can be great people to know. People, who will stand by Christ's side in the thick of it all. And a good deal of us younger Trads, deplore the actions of those who do what you have witnessed online! Some of us .... even fight it. 

PAX TIBI CHRISTI, Julian Barkin. 

NB: COMMENTS ARE CLOSED, for obvious reason. This post is red flag status. Abuse my email, harass my friends, violate any of my blog rules, you get a public ban on Servimus. Oh and to both parties, do realize this is my blog, and I am doing the same commentary that is allowed worldwide and on your blogs, and you both practice with your respective media platforms. Seeing as free speech AND the ability to comment on Church matters with civility and proper charity IS important to you both, I would hope that hypocrisy is not practiced in this regard and you will be respectful of the posting. Should it come to more than that, however, I will be prepared to defend myself for the sake of my future livelihood. Of course, you do have the option to use your own blogs to comment ``in your own backyard.``

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

REMINDER: Latin Novus Ordo at St. James Catholic Church This Saturday, March 7, 2015

Hello Everyone,

When something organic and good in the life of the Church, that is being done to rejuvenate the living Tradition of the Church is happening, be it liturgical, spiritual, etc. I am more than happy to promote it and support it here at Servimus Unum Deum.

The pastor of St James Catholic Church, Rev. Ignacio Pinedo, has decided to contribute to such work via hosting Novus Ordo Latin Masses. Considering that this ended a couple years ago at the Oratory of St. Phillip Neri to fit in one more Latin Low Mass, it would be worth attending and supporting. Should this be successful, it could become a regular occurrence, and maybe spread to other parts of the archdiocese.

The details for this month`s Latin Novus Ordo is as follows:

Saturday March 7, 2015 (NOVUS ORDO) Saturday Vigil, Liturgy for 3rd Sunday of Lent

St. James Roman Catholic Church - LATIN NOVUS ORDO, 



" Latin Mass Revisited - Rediscover the beauty of the solemn Latin Mass in this modern Eucharistic celebration. We will be celebrating the Mass using the original Latin text of the Third Typical Edition of the Roman Missal (note: this is not the Tridentine form of the Mass). Side-by-side Latin and English Missals will be provided for those attending. A truly uplifting experience that is both ancient and new, bridging past and present. For more information, contact St. James Church at st.james@sympatico.ca or call 416-767-6451."

TTC-wize, it is closest to Jane Station, and one can take a bus down Jane St. to get to the Church or close to it.

As an added bonus, I WILL be finally able to make one of these Masses and attend it in support of this Archdiocesan initiative. I hope you will attend to, in replacement (or in addition to,) your regular weekend Mass be it Latin Mass or Novus Ordo.

Hope to see you there. Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Brief Update for Acolyte Post .... It's in Progress

Hello Everyone,

Someone did a search on the internet and found my blog, by typing "role of first acolyte at latin mass."

So since someone inquired, I just want to say that the post is in progress and I got most or all of the background on the position, and I have to do the portion of the post about serving the Mass. It's coming, I just have to get around to it.

Pax, Julian.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Off the Beaten Path: A Few Rotten Apples Spoil the Bunch as Always OR Defending the Basilian Order Generally, NOT Specific priests

Hello Everyone,

There has been a lot going on on the Blogosphere, regarding the bad behaviour of certain Basilians, either caught red-handed, or being part of some nefarious plot to destroy Traditionalist Catholics. Just today, I happened to catch a post that smears Basilians as behaving badly on the Society of Canadian Catholic Bloggers feed. I won't link to that site though. I try to refrain as much as possible here on SUD from exposing readers to Radical Misrepresenting Traditionalist (RMT) websites, ones that could send them spiraling down a path of spiritual evil and possible, gradual separation from Holy Mother Church.

Now, the examples displayed, unfortunately, are ones of poor un-Catholic behaviour. I cannot condone the behaviours of these two priests, but they have been exposed to some degree, or fully. As to the Basilians in question, they are Fr. Thomas Rosica of Salt and Light, and Fr. Timothy Scott of the Basilian Fathers.

Fr Rosica right now is the primary target of RMTs and associated allies' blogs and websites, because he is engrossed in a potential lawsuit with a local Toronto blogger. Should you want to find out more, go do a google search on your own. The crux of the matter is that the blogger has been doing commentary on Tweets, print, and social media statements made by Fr Rosica over the years, of what is looking more like Heterodox views and encouragement of them, contrary to Catholic Church teaching. Go read the blogger if you find them and be the judge of the content yourself. Personally, I do not side with Fr. Rosica as being totally innocent, and it seems as early as his deaconship (pre-priesthood), according to a Windsor Star article, he was expressing such views. However the vitriol and hatred being thrown towards the priest is in my view, highly hypocritical and even sadistic, of the RMT bloggers, who cry fowl at what they claim of the "corrupt clergy" and the "False/Novus Ordo Catholic Church."

As for the other priest, Fr. Timothy Scott, he was caught red handed on his Twitter feed telling Cardinal Raymond Burke to Shut the F*#^ up. Vulgar, Rude, and unacceptable of a man, a Catholic man, especially a Catholic Priest in an order whose motto is to "teach me Goodness, Discipline, and Knowledge." The image of his Twitter comment was caught, so this is undefensable, even after an apology was issued.

[UPDATE 26/02/2015 ... It has been confirmed by a RMT media organization that the Vicar General of the Basilians has confirmed, Fr. Scott is now FIRED from his position.] 

Needless to say, the Basilians are looking, unfortunately, dire as of late.

Still, I must chime in. I am not defending, nor condoning the actions of these two Basilians. Neither I am coming out in support of the RMTs and what they are doing. I also, did NOT experience the Basilians at the university/college level, which is a different kettle of fish. However, I must, as an educated man in the Basilian Tradition via his private, all-boys Catholic high school defend the Basilian tradition and the order, despite their small numbers compared to other older orders left in the Church today.

I was thankfully educated at St. Michael's College School, at ye old Bathurst and St. Clair West near the downtown core of Toronto. St. Mikes is a grade 7-12 private college school, that seeks to educate young men in the Basilian Tradition. Although the school has few Basilian priests still actively involved due to declining vocations in the Church and an overall shift in things over the years, there is still some involvement by the order in my school, and some younger priests do take a portion of time as teachers in the school. My school boasts a number of excellent programs, from the visual arts and the musical/dramatic arts programs (drama is not a full program with courses, but the involvement in the plays alongside other schools is as intense as coursework), an excellent athletics program spanning its popular hockey as well as other sports, and a rigorous academic tradition that has not ceased to this day.

While I loathe some of the damage that has been done to the religious education program in the Gr. 11 world religious course (no more 1/2 year theology anymore ...) and the OAC non-credit course was stripped due to the pulling of grade 13 for political/financial reasons, I must say that you will not receive a better religious education in high school for the Catholic faith outside of St. Michael's. Other programs will emphasize social justice too much or watered down theology, and the Gr. 11 world religion courses in other schools can be extremely secular or anti-Catholic (see the catholic intelligence blog for Ottawa on SCCB), but not St. Michael's courses. Also, in Gr. 10 we study Church history and sacraments, NOT what the other schools teach which is definitely, NOT Church history.

I will admit, that the more I progress in the world, the more I detest it, despite many blessings that have happened in my life. While I am thankful, I now look back fondly on my time at that Basilian tradition school, and wish I could return to that time.

Now, here is where I must defend the Basilian tradition further, as I will provide examples of a couple of Basilians who still show that tradition is lively and vibrant. Although the impact might be less as I will not use their real names, just falsified last initials, these examples show that not ALL the Basilians have abandoned their values, and some still maintain that tradition of the great St. Basil.

Fr. S is probably in his 70's to 80's. He was one of the last generation of his time to be ordained a priest in the minor orders and the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. Fr. S lives modestly in an apartment, and must ask permission for further expenses depending on the situation (e.g. cab fare, trips, pilgrimages, etc.). Personal mass supplies are either basic as provided by the order, and anything extra is via donations. Fr. S is also the chaplain of a Knights of Columbus chapter and believe it or not, has the awesome ability to say the Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite. This priest relies on the charity of his brother Knights to assist him in his transportation, and does not live the lavish lifestyle that some other Basilian Priests do, forsaking their vow of poverty. I thankfully have known this priest since my time at St. Michael's from 1997-2002, as he took over the archery club after the death of the previous moderator, another great priest by the name of Fr. Matthew Mulcahy (R.I.P., and I will work harder to "keep my anchor straight" Father!).

Fr. R is also likely around the same age as Fr. S. Fr. R has been a Basilian priest for countless years since his youth, and has been a firm contributor to St. Michael's College School. Over the years, Fr. R has taught numerous religious courses, and is choirmaster for the School's choir. This choir is not a professional, road-tripping one currently (maybe in past?), but it still provides beautiful English Chant and hymns for the school's Masses. At one point, the choir was even disbanded by administration at some point in the last couple decades, but because the students valued Fr. R's contribution to the life of the school and love him as a true example of Christ's priesthood (as he is frequently spoken of as a "legend,") they petitioned to have the choir reinstated. During my time, I had the pleasure to receive one of the best religion courses in that school, the non-credit Theology/Philosophy (beginner)/Catechesis course for Grade 13. No credit course philosophy for me, that's too over my head and my science-minded brain! The course covered many topics such as the Fall of Man and Original Sin, the characteristics of God (a,k.a. the 12 I's), Sanctifying vs. Actual Grace; the Mind, Intellect and the will ..... It was a bit of rehash, new material, and insight all into one, and YET despite receiving no credit, we still had to do essays, letters and assignments! And our tests always included parts of the Universal Prayer for All Things Necessary for Salvation!!!!

Further, Fr. R is always a pleasure to see at every Turkey Roll at St. Mike's that occurs every November and will give students a tour of the school, ending in his famous room 9. Although all the photos are now in the school archives, it would be a highlight to go back and see those photos he takes of many students over the last several decades since handheld photography became widespread for the general public (we are talking 1960's and 70's here!!!). Also, I have had the blessing on an occasion to be able to see him, catch up, and seek spiritual counselling on issues pressing me at the time. I still have a long way to go, but regardless, it was great to hear his wisdom, but also to know that even he knows, that there were significant changes to the liturgy in the Novus Ordo that really impacted the faithful, as well as priests in the spiritual realm. He did NOT advocate its removal, but rather expressed a sadness of such changes and the effects they have had on the laity and clergy alike.

My main point, then, is that looking at the examples of Frs. R and S, despite how some modern Basilians may not be keeping to their vows of chastity, obedience, poverty, and the mission to teach people goodness, knowledge, and discipline (as poorly exhibited by their actions,) those ones whom RMT bloggers are smearing, are only 2 or so people of the whole order. There are still good Basilians out there, whose mission and legacy is still surviving and persisting in one way or the other. Further, as the Church is gradually seeing a more conservative uptick in its seminarians and ordained priests, perhaps this might in turn spill over to the Basilians. While I do not foresee their order booming rapidly again in the near future, maybe some new recruits might just start sticking back to the foundations of the Order of St. Basil, and prove that there is still good being done Basilians worldwide.

While one's sins are one's errors, public or not, a few rotten apples spoil the bunch, always. Don't let a couple of bad apples ruin one's impression of the whole batch, being touted by a bunch of "pickle-faced pepper" people whose greatest joys in their spiritual life is hurting others and crying afoul of a Church they struggle to be faithful to, or secretly hate in not meeting their unrealistic standards of religion. It doesn't mean you partake in their struggles, and their sins.

Pax, Julian.

Monday, 23 February 2015

HIGHLIGHT: Whoa!!! Pope Francis Asks us to Wage War on Satan??? NO WAY!!!!

Taken from http://www.news.va/en/news/pope-at-angelus-lent-is-a-time-of-battle-against-e. My emphases in bold.


Pope at Angelus: Lent is a time of battle against evil


2015-02-22 Vatican Radio
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said Lent is a time where we struggle against the temptations of Satan and worldliness.  His words came at his Sunday Angelus address at the end of which he announced the distribution of 50,000 free copies of a pocket-sized booklet called “Safeguard your Heart” containing reflections on Jesus’ teachings.  Many of those distributing the booklets to the pilgrims present in St Peter’s Square were homeless people.
Listen to this report by Susy Hodges: 
In his Angelus address the Pope recalled how Jesus went into the solitude of the wilderness for 40 days where he successfully overcame temptations in “a hand-to-hand combat” with Satan. And through his victory over Satan, he said, “we have all triumphed but we need to protect this victory in our daily lives.”  

He went on to explain how in the wilderness we can listen to God’s voice and that of the tempter. And we listen to God’s voice through his words and that why it’s important to read the Holy Scriptures because otherwise we’re unable to resist the lure of the evil one.  The Pope said it was for this reason that he wanted to renew his advice to the faithful to read the Gospel every day and reflect on its meaning, even for just 10 minutes and carry around a copy in one’s pocket or bag every day. The Lenten wilderness, he continued, “helps us to say ‘no’ to worldliness, to “idols”, it helps us to make courageous choices in line with the Gospel and to strengthen our solidarity with our brothers and sisters.”

He concluded by reminding those present that he and other members of the Roman Curia would be beginning their spiritual retreat later on Sunday.  Pray for us, he urged, so that in this “wilderness” of the spiritual exercises "we can hear Jesus’ voice and also correct the many defects that we all have and thereby overcome the temptations that attack us every day.”

In his address following the recitation of the Angelus, Pope Francis announced a personal initiative of his which was the distribution of 50,000 free copies of a small booklet to those present in St Peter’s Square.  Holding up the pocket-sized booklet which is entitled “Safeguard your Heart,” the Pope explained that it contains several key “teachings of Jesus and the essential tenets of our faith.” These included, he said, "the seven sacraments, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the 10 commandments, the virtues and works of charity."

Pope Francis said a group of  volunteers, including many homeless people, were distributing it to the pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square.  He urged everybody to take a copy of the booklet and carry it around with them to help in their conversion and spiritual growth which always comes from the heart. It’s there, he stressed, that we play out the daily choice “between good and evil, between worldliness and the Gospel, between indifference and sharing.” “Humanity needs justice, peace and love and we can have this only by returning with our hearts towards God who is the source of all this.” 
(from Vatican Radio)

NO way ..... Considering all the anger and hatred directed towards the Vatican right now in the "Traditional Catholic" blogosphere, it is great to see that Pope Francis truly knows what's important right now in the liturgical season of Lent. Why are we NOT concentrating on the season and what he is saying? Wait maybe the Pope answered my own question, as the Pope has spoken. Where do I get one of those booklets???

Pax, Julian. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Sigh, that old Canard .... Altar Serving and Girls. My Thoughts on the Issue due to a Recent Article on Deacon's Bench

Hello Everyone,

It seems that an old canard, one that fires the salvos of insults between Traditional Catholics and "CINOs," priests and laity on both sides alike, in the name of ..... being liturgical sticklers or dissenting liberals, has resurfaced. What am I talking about? Altar girls. (cough, pardon me, female "altar servers", lest the politically correct "church police of the Church of Nice" come after me)

Initially, I came across such news because of this article below:
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/deaconsbench/2015/01/in-praise-of-altar-girls/

Turns out the new Trad Hero since Benedict Emeritus XVI to come along, Cardinal Burke, idolized as being an anti-Francis who will restore tradition by the Radicals Misrepresenting Traditionalists, lamented in an interview about how the feminization of the Church has happened and weakened its importance in joe laity`s life, and altar girls had been implied (not directly a cause) as part of that. Don`t go around putting blame on things that are not directly quoted in +Burke`s interview. The mentioned part is here, though I've cut down the answer to the interviewer's question on the New Emangelization blog:

" Matthew:   Your Eminence, what has been the impact of this Catholic “man-crisis” on the Church?

Cardinal Burke:  The Church becomes very feminized. Women are wonderful, of course. They respond very naturally to the invitation to be active in the Church. Apart from the priest, the sanctuary has become full of women. The activities in the parish and even the liturgy have been influenced by women and have become so feminine in many places that men do not want to get involved ....

The rampant liturgical experimentation after Vatican II, much of which was not sanctioned by Vatican II, stripped the Rite of the Mass of much of its careful articulation of the Sacred Mysteries that had been developed over centuries .... 

The introduction of girl servers also led many boys to abandon altar service. Young boys don’t want to do things with girls. It’s just natural. The girls were also very good at altar service. So many boys drifted away over time. I want to emphasize that the practice of having exclusively boys as altar servers has nothing to do with inequality of women in the Church.

I think that this has contributed to a loss of priestly vocations. It requires a certain manly discipline to serve as an altar boy in service at the side of priest, and most priests have their first deep experiences of the liturgy as altar boys. If we are not training young men as altar boys, giving them an experience of serving God in the liturgy, we should not be surprised that vocations have fallen dramatically...."

- See more at: http://www.newemangelization.com/uncategorized/cardinal-raymond-leo-burke-on-the-catholic-man-crisis-and-what-to-do-about-it/#sthash.cQz2QKm9.dpuf

Ever since then, bloggers on both sides of the pond have been firing off evaluations of the matter. It was just merely another online blogging exercise, until a ``Star`` shot across the sky over ``the Sea.`` In the United States of America, A pastor named Fr. Illo of a parish in San Francisco, California called ``Star of the Sea`` (referring to a title given to Mary), decided to restrict the (now) ``Ministry`` (I disagree on calling it such) of altar serving to boys only, harkening back to a time pre-Vatican II/of the Latin Mass. I implore you to read the parish's official policy as to why the clergy decided on this decision, with the full knowledge and support of the diocesan bishop

Once this story got covered, needless to say bad press attacked from all angles, the priest and his decision, and (in truth a few) liberal/dissenting people and some (read: one) disappointed female server(s) complained. Basically Fr. Illo was a bad, bad, evil, misogynist priest who is not with the (FALSE) "Spirit of Vatican II." He's the meanest, strictest priest evuh!!! However, on a positive note, good faithful Catholics have decided to come to the aid of the parish by creating a "kickstarter" type of internet/electronic donation campaign. The site is here: http://www.gofundme.com/kvc80g. Guess
what, they've reached their $50K goal within 2.5 weeks. Guess people really do NOT feel offended to support something so traditional as this noble practice in the Church's liturgical tradition.

In my neck of the pond here in Toronto, via correspondence from Scotland, journalist and author of Seraphic Singles, Dorothy Cummings McLean, commented on this matter in this week's Catholic Register. You may see the editorial article here.

Now, this is about altar serving, and as a young male who is friendly to Traditional Catholicism, including the Latin Mass, and whose blog made this from day 1 his primary focus, you may be wondering (or expecting) my opinion in this, including siding with one side or another.

Personal Background
Before I give my take, it would help to reflect on my personal experiences in altar serving. Contrary to dreamers, I did NOT start as a Latin Mass trad doing Latin Masses in my crib. I was born in the 80's in Toronto, and during my youth, generally, the Latin Mass had been phased out in the Archdiocese of Toronto for the Novus Ordo. Also, the pivotal "Agatha Christie" indult to offer the Latin Mass, did NOT happen to exist until 1988, when Ecclesia Dei was formed in Rome in response to the SSPX violating the will of the Church by illegal consecration of bishops, and beginning their likely eternal separation from the busom of Rome, though not fully complete to this day.

Once the indult did exist, however. only the Oratorians of St. Phillip Neri offered it as one Mass at St. Vincent de Paul Church. I do not know how well attended it was, but I can say that until Summorum Pontificum happened in 2007, there wasn't a real uptick in the Archdiocese of Toronto until that, or knowledge it existed. One can also credit the Traditional Catholics using the Internet for its wider awareness. I personally did NOT attend my first Latin Mass till May 2011. So bottom line: The all-male serving environment was not even on my radar, nor generally anywhere in the Archdiocese of Toronto in my youth.

Thus, I altar served in the Novus Ordo at various points of my life, in co-ed programs. I started Novus Ordo serving in grade 6 until I went to university in September 2002, and have resumed it on and off to this day (e.g. adult funeral serving at one parish, fill in with another community of my fiancee's on a request basis ...). My EF serving started in October 2011 with my first Mass being as a torchbearer, assisting a Solemn Mass that was organized by St. Patrick's Gregorian choir, at the downtown parish of St. Patrick's Toronto (Redemptorist. St. Alphonsus Liguori is AWESOME!!!).

In terms of my program experience, I can say that they were, at most, functionally based. Basically, all servers of all sexes were trained what to do, and how to do it. Sadly, we were never taught about the significance of serving, what the Mass was about, and what each item's symbolic and theological significance was. Most of my serving has us wear those ugly white albs, however at my parish that I moved to mid-way in high school, we DID have the red cassock and surplice, worn by both sexes (which the current pastor or the one before sought to give to another parish or throw away, replacing it with unisex white albs. If anyone there reads this, I detest that decision!). Now, whenever I serve, I try to wear my personal black surplice and cassock, though sometimes I must wear the alb, more to not disturb things by being one person in alb, one in cassock.

In terms of sexual tension caused by females present, NONE of that existed in any of my programs. We served cause we wanted to, or our friends did, and we wore whatever was provided. I was not in any way, intimidated by female servers. Many a time, families of siblings served together, boys and girls. However, I will say that these programs DESERVED, and SHOULD have some element of mentioning why one serves, what the items stand for symbolically, and that it traditionally was a way for young men to first discern the call of priesthood (and still is!). This would include altar serving's history, such as the traditional Minor Orders.

In fact, before my fiancee came into the picture, I did ponder the priesthood, at least as a possibility, should my life continue the way it would have been (single,) and I wasn't advancing in my career, not to mention personal circumstances in my life leading me to think this was "God's Plan". Well praying to the Holy Family might have changed that. You gotta be ready for whatever they throw at you when it comes to Christ's intended vocation for you!


My Take on the Matter
So, after going through all this, and revealing my personal experience, these are my final thoughts on the matter, ones you ALL should consider:

1) ALTAR SERVING, SINGLE-SEX PROGRAMS, & VOCATIONS - Altar serving, still, is one of the primary means whereby young men can become closely involved with the daily life of the Catholic priesthood and cause a young man to be "up close" to his priests, and our Lord in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, considering it as a lifelong vocation. That is not to say that young women do not ponder service to the Lord via the Mass if they choose to altar serve. When there are all male programs, the programs grow and retain many more numbers of young boys/men, and the likelihood of vocations DOES increase significantly, and seems to be a trend, especially among those of the EF parishes and dioceses. Here's examples I obtained from Fr. Z's blog, as before recent discussion, he touched the subject with a couple of posts, one proving with a USCCB poll that most of the ordinandi has considered priesthood thanks to altar serving, and another post with a small sampling, of actual before-after programming in certain USA parishes. The chart from the 2nd posting, is posted here to illustrate the boys-only point.

Think about it at its basest level. If altar serving is the biggest factor to increase the number of young men considering vocations to the priesthood, the more boys you have in altar serving, the bigger the pot to draw vocations from. MORE ALTAR BOYS, MORE VOCATIONS. Get it?

2) Ability to serve between the sexes and co-ed programs - I will not deny that altar girls/women do their job well. I've seen the ladies more capable of looking reverent and focused on the altar when they serve, even better than the males. Maybe it's just a maturity thing, but they can do it as well, and even exceed males at times (unless those men are disciplined and trained equally as the ladies!). I can personally say this, having observed my fiancee do this, and the servers she trains in terms of their carrying out of actions on the altar. She trains them all well! Regardless, it seems that when there are the co-ed programs, the ability of young men to want to focus and succeed drops, whether due to serving being a girly thing NOT to inspire to, or they feel inadequate and unable to compete with the more "superior" sex in the co-ed environment. A co-ed serving program CAN pose additional challenges to our shortened attention-span young men with their ``fandangled Iphony thingees``, along with younger age preference for male peer groups, and older males in puberty with their attraction to the opposite sex.

3) Content of Programs - Further, the programs may not give sufficient training, and/or explanation of what the role entails, as well as theology and historical meaning behind what the servers do or use, while on the altar. I have been through two parish serving programs in my youth and both failed to teach what the Mass was truly about and what we do as servers and what it means to be an altar server. I am sure many of you can agree that most of your parish programs currently, or in your life, also fail in this regard, and are more of a functional based program that teaches you hows and whats, not why`s and significance. Were this to change for even co-ed, Novus Ordo programs, this could affect markedly how men and women view altar serving.

3.1. Caveat - HOWEVER, Just because a parish has a co-ed program in the Novus Ordo, DOES NOT mean that 0% vocations are possible. Further, it also does not mean a modern day, Novus Ordo serving program cannot teach the proper meaning of what altar serving is about, what is behind what servers say or do, install discipline and reverence for Christ, and/or inspire vocations to the priesthood. If done right, it CAN do all that. Check out this example by a guest poster at The Deacon`s Bench blog. It takes a lot of work, but it IS possible to overcome the hurdles NOT faced by all-boys, Latin Mass altar serving.

4) WHAT MUST BE SAID, ABOUT INSISTENCE ON NO GIRLS ALLOWED ON THE ALTAR FOR YOU RADICALS MISREPRESENTING TRADITIONALISTS (RMTs), YOUR LEADERS, & YOUR ADHERENTS, AND TO DEFEND THE WHOLE OF THE LATIN MASS, AND GOOD CATHOLIC TRADITIONALISTS ... For all you EF preferring Traditionalists, especially you Trads Behaving Badly, it is a pitiful and spiritually sick act of sin to say girls should be banned from serving the altar, or to denigrate those females who serve the altar in the Novus Ordo by calling them names such as cross-dressers. I am not making that last statement up! A local blogger did that two seasons of Advent ago. In fact, that post is still in his blog's archives as of the making of this post. I will NOT reveal that bloggers site, unless they want to detract my character on their own blog. If done, I will not be afraid to reveal that blog to demonstrate to readers I am not lying. Should the post be taken down to cover one's "donkey", I will post screen caps should an insult still be used against me. Don`t hide your sins from the public. Cover-up is worse, on top of the original crime. Act civil, and I will keep a modicum of respect by not stating the blog name.

Further, when you RMTs rant and rave against female altar servers in the Novus Ordo, and even participation in the life of the Church and obtaining higher Catholic education, all you do is uphold the evil stereotypes of Traditionalists that liberals and mis-educated laity call us, and give those haters of the Latin Mass and Catholic Tradition more power. It will only embolden them to attack Catholic Tradition further. That means the Latin Mass, by the way, which also means an excuse to BAN IT! There are ways that are not covered by the Church's legislation, though I won't speculate here at S.U.D. These examples were told to be by a fellow U of T Newmanite when I assisted at a Latin Mass at Newman Center in October 2013. That misguided, but angry RMT, did that, and it sickens me I found out much after the fact. I would have dealt with that curmudgeon swiftly and with just anger.

Now, If you like to see the Latin Mass disappear again, save schismatic and/or societies NOT in communion wit the Church, keep committing calumnies against altar girls verbally and on the Internet. By the way, if I ever catch you doing that in person when I assist in the Latin Mass, I will call you out on your sin, and I don't care what your age or position is, whether you are old, young, your parents are present, a female, a male, a priest of the Lord, Jesus Christ, or one not in communion with the Church. I will do it while in civic clothes, or in my surplice and cassock. This is one thing I will not hold back from doing, because I am tired of you RMTs screwing this up in our Archdiocese and giving good Trads a bad reputation with your sinful works. It doesn't attract people to the Latin Mass! It's NOT your personal Mass, it's everyone's, a necessity for the New Evangelization, and ALL Catholics (and non-Catholics) are welcome too. Act with proper decorum and respect that is expected of Traditional and/or Latin Mass Catholics! If you still can't hold it back, go whine with your friends over cigars and alcoholic beverages in your homes/pubs, or your gatherings wherever with your lady friends, but do NOT DO IT IN PUBLIC IN THE CHURCH!

5) Reversing the Novus Ordo Co-Ed Serving Option? Not Likely, and Too Disruptive to do at the Moment - The 90's altar girl indult got passed and abused. It is not able to be shoved back into "Pandora's Box," and there are enough Latin Masses and some dioceses/parishes doing male-only serving to satisfy the "liturical" OCD people (No offense intended to those with diagnosed mental disorders of compulsion. I mean it expressively for those unhappy, pickle-faced people.) Even without the Latin Mass, some parishes and dioceses are reverting back to all-male serving. No Pope would be stupid to enforce it to return again, and lose most of the Catholic populace in developed countries, unless major evidence and reason presented itself and it was the Lord's ABSOLUTE will at the time. In other words, we are talking an extreme hypothetical scenario, and the answer, Virginia is, NO, there will not be a reversal of that indult.

Angry at me? Want to make calumnies on your blog or yell at me in person? Well I can't stop you from digging yourself a bigger spiritual grave for your soul, but you go do that and watch onlookers and/or readers glance at you in disgust for your outburst. As for your liturgical needs, you have 2 choices: 1) Offer it up to Christ and be happy you even can partake in the Mass while our Christian brethen worldwide are being denied their rights and martyred in bloodshed for being Christian, particularly in the Middle East, OR 2) Keep your opinions to yourself and stay in the EF or other rites in the Church where they only have male altar servers (e.g. Byzantine, Anglican Ordinate ...).

6) My final point of encouragement for female altar servers - Finally, in the Novus Ordo, females are more than welcome to altar serve for Christ! The indult got abused, but that doesn't mean it's a wasted opportunity! GO! Serve! Do it if you prayerfully feel called to do it! And consider a vocation to the Church as a habited religious.

Conclusion
Now, that's my two dollars on this issue. It's a lot, but that's my take on it as an EF altar server, who's not trying to be an exclusively EF person, but also has served in Novus Ordo programs, and since has understood serving more as well as the Mass.

I might serve the EF and like the order and visuals and what I hear and see and do, and desire you explore this with me too. Still, I am not a oaf or a pickle-faced pepper, trad behaving badly to want a prohibition on girls altar serving. I cannot say the same for the hearts and minds of some of my Trad brethen out there in the world and in my Archdiocese.

I know that most of the Catholic populace is OF and why girl altar servers were allowed. I also know, the Church has a human element to it that cannot be ignored, and here, the Church, through John Paul II, acted in a humane manner. You gotta consider everything, weaknesses, strengths, and what is best overall right NOW, this day, in the Church on a topic like this. While we cannot control the individual decisions of bishops in (Arch)dioceses, and the Church's laws allow them to decide on parishes or diocese-wide serving policies, banning altar girls on a mass scale, at this point in time with history in the books for the Latin Rite, is unacceptable. Furthermore, has it been a major damage point to render liturgies invalid and illicit, where by the sacrament of the Eucharist is NOT conferred with the bread and wine? NO! Not following the General instruction of the Roman Missal and the Ordo for the Mass does that. In the grand scheme of things, fighting over all-boys or co-ed will NOT help with the Church and the Proclamation of the Good News.

To all Latin Mass servers, from ages 8 to 108: Novus Ordo, Extraordinary Form/Latin Mass, or other rite in the Church, Servimus Unum Deum .... We Serve the One Lord.   

Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin.

P.S. Combox moderation is on & this post is RED FLAG status. One wrong move or violation of my blog rules, even those that are "warnings," equals public banning and no publishing of your comments. Same goes for harassing emails in my inbox of any level. It's a free country still to lambaste me on your blog, so I cannot stop you from that, though be prepared for a reply on here should your post warrant it.

P.P.S. BTW .... While I made serving guides for the Latin Mass here on Servimus, girls and ladies, serving program trainers and priests, you can happily learn from my tools guides and apply that to your programs. If you want to use my material specifically in a formal/written document, you must: a) make an initial request in writing to my e-mail. b) We will communicate further to discuss details as to what and how you want to use my material. If this is to my satisfaction then, c) Once you receive formal written confirmation from me, and possibly agree to certain conditions, you will then have full permission to use my material from S.U.D. d) In addition, if you want more material developed than what is here, I would be interested in paid, compensatory, commissioned work to help you out. that would have to be done on my own time, aside from my part-time job.