Sunday, May 29, 2016

Faithful Catholic Teachers in Toronto Persecuted With Full Knowledge of Cardinal Collins

It's happening and it`s vicious. That's all I'm going to say.

Sharing details will only further jeopardize the futures of the teachers already humiliated and victimized.

Why is it happening? In order to silence the Truth of Catholic teaching on contraception, homosexuality, Islam, etc., in order to shut out He Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life, from an evil, counterfeit, make-believe copy of the One True Religion.

Pseudo-catholic administrators are now entirely in charge of the “catholic” school system.

Maybe some investigative journalist can expose the whole sordid mess of religious persecution in our own backyard.

Scandalous beyond measure.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I Demand That Canada's Catholic Bishops Protect Me From Justin Trudeau

I WILL NOT share the same cup with Justin Trudeau.
You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. I Corinthians 10:21
When he attends my parish for a funeral Mass or other occasion I want to know for certain that I will not be drinking from the same cup from which this pseudo-catholic devil drinks.

Yesterday our gallant PM attended a funeral Mass in Cape Breton. Nobody seems to know whether he stepped forward for the Body and Blood of Christ. We can almost say of a certainty this means he did present for Holy Communion, otherwise would it not have been noted in somebody's report? On Easter Sunday past the PM attended Mass on Fog Island, NL: same uncertainty with respect to Holy Eucharist.

Right now there are rumours and questions swirling about whether Trudeau currently partakes of Holy Communion. Some have said he does not since his conversation with Archbishop Prendergast of Ottawa. But we don't know and the establishment Catholic media (including LifeSiteNews) are too busy covering for this Archbishop to bother sending an investigative team to answer the question.

There should be no doubt. There ought to be certainty. The Church makes clear provision, as she always has, for dealing with public sinners. Canon 915 is the prescription for Justin Trudeau's behaviour, He has created great scandal and Bishops have refused to address his public sin and the sacrilege that accompanies it every time he partakes of Holy Communion, to say nothing of the great danger to his own soul.

A closed door meeting with Justin Trudeau is not a sufficient response. An entire nation of Catholics needs to know whether this awful scandal has been redressed and whether Justin Trudeau, who holds the highest political office in the nation, is above the law of Christ's Church. Otherwise souls will continue to be scandalized, some might even give up on the Church and lose their souls.

It is past time for Ottawa Archbishop Prendergast to #CanonizeJustinTrudeau: Implement Canon 915 such that all Canadians know he has been properly judged and proscribed by the Church.

If ever I shared the same Mass with this catholic imposter I would never step forward at that Mass to drink from the same cup. This is the stuff of which schisms are made.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Best of Canada's Catholic Bishops: Actively Betraying The Faithful For Decades

Back in early March of this year Catholic theologian (and blogger) Dr. Colin Kerr announced that my blog Contra|Diction had been banned from his Society of Canadian Catholic Bloggers. I promptly left a comment on his blog posting and then issued my own short posting in response. Colin’s posting generated a good number of interesting comments, as did mine, and these comments taken as a whole provide both a range of insight as well as a share of ad hominem attack. I initially planned to publish a more detailed critique of Colin’s decision to oust my blog as well as of the confused rationale which he had expressed in his posting but I soon realized it simply would have consumed more time and energy than it was worth. It would have been quite unrealistic to expect that yet more argumentation could override his strong emotional connections to Archbishop Prendergast particularly, but also to Cardinal Collins.

Fast forward to last week when Vox Cantoris blog posted Pervert Priest and the Canadian bishops that covered him up, so-to-speak. The Vox links to a shocking post at Sylvia’s Site detailing the cover up in the 1960`s and 1970`s of infamous sexual predator Father John Sullivan by a host of Canadian Bishops. Go ahead and read the revolting details in order to appreciate the depravity and duplicity of the (Best) Bishops involved.

For most of 29 years that man – this wolf in sheep’s clothing, a child molester – was permitted to hear confessions, offer up the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and continue to prey on innocent young boys.

Is it really possible that several Bishops participated in such a heinous cover-up? Yes indeed and not only several, but several very powerful Bishops, those who, at the time, were considered to be the best of Canada`s Bishops.

Bishop Alexander Carter was one of the influential Gang of Five, a group of Canadian bishops who, as I once said elsewhere,  were fast friends who wielded an inordinate influence  upon their fellow Canadian bishops and hence upon the face of Roman Catholicism in Canada and indeed upon the face of the nation period.

Would anyone dispute the claim that a great many good Catholics of that time period, much like Dr. Colin Kerr today, were delighted to count these men as exemplary stewards of God? Likely they would have defended them to the death, not being fully persuaded of the mystery of iniquity. Yet were these Bishops not deeply infected with an evil that led to immense suffering for many innocent persons? Imagine the scorn and abuse that might have been heaped upon the fellow Catholic who had the temerity in those days to suggest that these Bishops were complicit in protecting a priest who serial-raped young boys. Perhaps Sylvia’s site can provide us with just such an illustration?

Bishop Alexander Carter – and others – knew that Carter was a sexual predator, and, what did he/they do?  Nothing!  Well, no, not really nothing.  In truth, the bishop (s) enabled Sullivan.  It was, after all, thanks to Carter that Sullivan was permitted to continue to masquerade as a priest and continue his sacrilegious romp from one sanctuary to another, and, yes, it was thanks to the bishop(s) that parents throughout the diocese were wilfully deceived, children were wilfully placed at risk, – and Sullivan was free to rape the souls of countless other young boys. Sad to say, and I would suggest, not surprisingly, Sullivan did just that. Until 1979!

Read the full posting, see the list of Bishop`s names and do a little homework. Lo, many of these *best* Bishops were architects and supporters of the Winnipeg Statement! History has issued its verdict on that act of defiance, and now also on the cover-up surrounding Father Sullivan.

Could there be a more a cunning, scandalous, evil and depraved betrayal of the flock by the shepherds?  I am at a loss for words.

Incidentally, ask yourself, what is worse: the cover up of sexual abuse or the mass spiritual destruction of souls? (Be sure you answer that question before leaving this page.) Forty or fifty years ago, Bishops were covering up the perverse sins of priests; now they find it convenient to cover up the sins of Catholics who regularly practice intrinsically evil behaviours, believing and pretending there’s really nothing to see here. “Let’s move along now folks, nothing to see here.” The common thread though is a blatant disregard for the welfare of souls, a de facto denial of sin and evil as well as judgment for personal sin. The scandal extends to pseudo-catholics—like PM Justin Trudeau—who infect all strata of society and who, like a huge colony of ants, are busy incrementally dismantling every moral safeguard of society and the common good. As long as Bishops don’t expect or require Catholics to live like Catholics our nation will continue to disintegrate into chaos. Which then is the worse evil?

Bishops who are not actively promoting and defending the fullness of Catholic truth, along with correcting the grievous and pervasive errors of the day, are tolerating much greater evils that are not apparent to the eye. As part of a strategy to cover up for these evils such Bishops downplay or even ignore the concerns that the faithful bring repeatedly to the fore.

But didn’t these Bishops who enabled Fr. Sullivan appear to be sincere, dedicated and enthusiastic servants of the Lord? You betcha. Were they bad, devious, un-Christian people? I doubt anyone would characterize them as such, even their critics. Were they well loved and respected by many, many Catholics? Of course they were. Learn then a lesson here: Those who discreetly, or otherwise, disrespect and undermine the teaching and discipline of the Church do not come dressed in red costumes with horns and tails but appear rather as angels of light and servants of righteousness. Blinded by their pride and arrogance they are not always aware of their own treachery nor do they always recognize rebellion in their selective silence and omissions.

Would we—should we—pray for the downfall [scroll to the end of linked posting] of such men, the “best” pastors of the Church? I imagine the answer depends on whether we can admit to, or rather grasp, the depth of evil at work in our midst. Souls are being lost, the Faith is undermined, the nation is reeling, all due to sin and scandal while too many Bishops veritably preside over the meltdown. Certainly we ought to call first for the conversion [scroll to the end of linked posting] of such men so that the Church and our society might be saved from the devil’s worst plans. But how strongly can we condemn the wayward prelate while at the same time respecting his office?

St. Paul urged the Corinthians to judge those in the Church who were guilty of sin, indicating their responsibility to put away from among themselves the wicked person. He indicated they must “deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.” Surely if St. Paul could counsel the local parish to expel or excommunicate one of the brothers we may ask St. Joseph to intercede on our behalf, beseeching the Lord to convert the heart of a renegade or hireling Bishop, finally bringing to bear divine judgments of many kinds if necessary, or even the removal of said Bishop so that a worthy replacement might be had.

But shouldn’t we constrain ourselves in our struggle to see justice and order restored in the Church of Christ? Shouldn’t we come to grips with the fact that these Bishops—like all men—are not perfect, and that realistically any replacement is unlikely to be better and quite likely to be worse? GOD FORBID!! If we cannot envision and work with all our might towards a Church that is truly purged of known evil and made a holy instrument of God, then we may as well give up on our own personal call to holiness!

But again, does our condemnation constitute lack of reverence for these pastors of the Church?  Are we being presumptuous? Would we be guilty of an offense against charity? Would we be presenting a one-sided negative account of the matter? Would we be rushing to conclusions? Look at the example set by Jesus Christ Himself. These were exceedingly strong criticisms of the religious leaders of his day! Do any of the woes pronounced therein apply to the Bishops who shielded Father Sullivan? Do any of the woes apply to Bishops who consign millions of souls to hell because they fail to warn rank and file Catholics of their sinful behaviours and sacrilegious Communions? Do any of the woes apply to Bishops who neglect their duty to discipline public sinners who scandalize the faithful and corrupt the morals of a nation?

In fostering these great evils, i.e. confirming the faithful in their sin, obstinacy, heresy and sacrilege, the “best” Bishops are at one with the worst, and will suffer similar judgment with the worst if they do not return to the Lord.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Catholic Resistance Movement Counters PseudoCatholic Lies In Oshawa



Outside St. Gertrude's Catholic Church in Oshawa before the vigil Mass on Sunday past there was a great deal of traffic. Many hundreds of people were impacted by the signs. For more info on this campaign see this posting and this one too.

It seems more and more Catholics are calling for some kind of Catholic resistance movement. God bless them all, it's about time! But if these programs don't get to the heart of the problem on the local level of EVERY parish in a diocese, I suspect they'll amount to all heat and no light. Anyone who wishes to undertake such an ambitious project had better be prepared for huge backlash including personal attacks, character assassination and loss of income stream. Really, at the stage we find ourselves, only those who have worked hard to make their personal situations relatively invulnerable will be in a position to offer effective resistance. Nevertheless, even that person must be prepared for the likelihood of a serious hit.

By the way, I'm looking for someone who might be willing to carry signs (ground level signs can also be used) and conduct other resistance efforts in the diocese of Ottawa. I can provide full details if you'd like to email me or direct message me on Twitter. Email me at the following address:







Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Ambiguity And Artful Disingenuousness

What role does ambiguity play in the current crisis of faith experienced in the Roman Catholic Church? A very significant one, particularly since Vatican II, in my opinion.

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AMBIGUITY

D.Q. McInerny, Professor of Philosophy
Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary
February 2016

The wizened and wily tyrant, King Ambidexterius III, was on his deathbed.  He called for his son, the heir to the throne, to give him some last minute advice as to how he should conduct his reign. Among the things he said to the young man, soon to become Ambidexterius IV, was the following: "My son, always speak with a forked tongue when addressing the people. Let all your proclamations be fairly awash in ambiguity. It is through ambiguity—ah, glorious ambiguity!—that you will be able to keep the people in a state of debilitating doubt and uncertainty, and thus safely out of reach of the truth.  Remember, my son, in ambiguity is our strength, for truth is our enemy, and ambiguity suffocates truth.” History does not provide us with the particulars as to how Ambidexterius IV followed his father's advice, but followed it he must have, for we do know that he was every bit the tyrant as was his father.

Ambiguity is a linguistic disease of a peculiarly virulent kind. It does indeed, as Ambidexterius III knew well, have a suffocating effect on truth. Just what are we dealing with here? Let us begin with some etymology, which is always illuminating.  Our word ambiguity has its roots in the Latin noun ambiguus, which means "uncertain,” which in turn is rooted in the verb ambigere, meaning "to wander about." That nicely describes just the way ambiguous language works: it wanders about aimlessly, never managing to arrive at a definite, clearly identifiable and comprehensible destination.

The typical effect of ambiguous language on those who are exposed to it is a general blurring of the mind.  Doubt and uncertainty reign. You know, or at least you strongly suspect, that the language is intended to convey some potentially detectable ideas, but, if so, those ideas are so thickly fog-bound that no amount of determined squinting on your part will allow you to make them out. After a while, out of fatigue or frustration, you may choose simply to give up the effort, which could prove to have unfortunate consequences, if it was your initial understanding that the message addressed to you had to do with some really serious matters.

The doubt  and uncertainty which is engendered  by ambiguous language, because of its equivocal, double-dealing nature, is of course clearly disadvantageous to the individual, for each of us, as rational creatures, is made to know the truth,  and doubt and uncertainty stand as formidable obstacles to the truth. But the negative effects of ambiguity assume a larger, communal dimension as well. Language is the highest form of communication, for it is the discourse of rational creatures. The root of the word communication (Latin communis = "common") is the same for the word community. When communication among a people breaks down, as the result of a surfeit of ambiguous language, and the suffocation of truth it brings with it, then the community to which those people belong begins to disintegrate. Common adherence to fundamental truths, which is the bond which ensures the integrity and coherence of any community, begins to weaken as doubt and uncertainty pervades the entire atmosphere.

There are two causes of ambiguity—carelessness and calculation. We are all liable at time to traffic in ambiguous language, in our speech and in our writing, simply because we are not giving to language the constant monitoring attention it demands. But if we are in general properly conscientious about our language, once we are made aware of the fact that we are not being clear and unambiguous in what we say and write, we usually will promptly take measures to correct the situation. We should always be prepared to take ambiguity seriously, as did the author E. B. White.  In a bright little book called The Elements of Style he wrote that ambiguous language "is not merely a disturber of prose, it is a destroyer of life, of hope."

The second cause of ambiguity is calculation. Here ambiguous language is not accidental, not the result of inattention; it is quite deliberate. People who use ambiguous language in a calculating manner know exactly what they are doing. Their modus operandi is one of artful disingenuousness. They want to inculcate doubt and uncertainty in the minds of those who hear what they say and read what they write. They are not friends of truth; in fact, it is precisely the truth they wish to undermine, but they know that were they to attempt to do so in a clear, straightforward manner they could not gain their objective, for people would immediately see what they were up to and the alarm bells would go off. So, in order to accomplish their plan of substituting falsity for truth, they advert to ambiguity.

In doing this they take a two-pronged approach. First, they never explicitly state, much less emphasize, what they know to be the truth, but leave it unspoken so that it is not in the forefront of the minds of their auditors or readers. Thus they set the stage for confusion. Secondly, they focus on the falsity which they want to promote, but they do so in a subtle, indirect manner. Let us say that X is what they know to be the truth—which, if they were responsible, they should be defending—while Y is the falsity which they are promoting. They will not come right out and say, "X is clearly the truth and we must adhere to it tenaciously." Nor will they say, "Y is the new truth which we must now all assent to." That would be too blunt an approach, and would only backfire on them. Rather, they invite their auditors or readers to be open and flexible in their thinking, receptive to new possibilities, so that they might see in Y something worth serious consideration. "Yes, of course," they would say, "we have always in the past considered Y to  be false, and, mind you, we are not exactly saying that it is true now, but, after all, times are changing, and we must be prepared to make accommodations  in order to keep up with the progressive advance of human  history." And they might, quite irrelevantly, throw in the idea that we all have to strive to be caring and compassionate.

Those on the receiving end of this calculated use of ambiguity are left in a state of perplexity. Having not heard the truth which is X explicitly stated, while having been presented with the falsity which is Y as something which, so they are left to suppose, is a negotiable matter, and even as something they are perhaps under moral obligation to regard as an acceptable alternative to what they previously believed to be true, they do not quite know where they stand. "What is the truth?" they ask themselves. And now, given their confused frame of mind, there is the danger that eventually they may wonder if there is any objectively determinable truth at all to be recognized in the matter. Perhaps, they think, it is simply up to each individual to decide, "following his conscience." Enter moral relativism.

Our Lord admonished us to be clear and direct in our language, saying Yes, Yes, or No, No. The raspy voice of ambiguity, for its part, says, Maybe Yes, Yes; Maybe No, No. 


Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Cardinal Robert Sarah: An Eclipse Of God

An Eclipse Of God

by Cardinal Robert Sarah


Inasmuch as God has lost his primacy among man’s preoccupations, inasmuch as man himself gets in the way of God, we are experiencing an eclipse of God. Consequently, there is increasing obscurity and incomprehension as to the true nature of man, for he is defined only in relation to God. We no longer know who man is once he detaches himself from his Creator. Man intends to recreate himself; he rejects the laws of his nature, which become contingent. Man’s rupture with God obscures his way of looking at creation. Blinded by his technological successes, his world view disfigures the world: things no longer possess ontological truth or goodness but, rather, are neutral, and man is the one who must give them meaning. This is why it is urgent to emphasize that the abandonment of God by contemporary societies, especially in the West, affects not only the teaching of the Church but also the foundations of anthropology. [Source]

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Bewildered Faith Leaders Pleading To Caesar For Protection From Euthanasia

The horse has bolted the barn (the latch has been off the door for years) and now "faith leaders" have given up on getting the animal back in the barn. They are instead asking for "conscience protection" so they don't have to feel they are a part of the evil coming down the tracks.

Guess what? Their faith communities acquiesced a long time ago to the evil and today's result was inevitable. Of course these leaders don't really understand what's happening round about them anyway. They are at an extreme disadvantage. (BTW, doesn't this scene look similar to many we saw just before same sex "marriage" was legalized in Canada?)

Their communities don't possess the fullness of truth but rather a shadow of, or an imperfect, truth. On the other hand, the Cardinal Archbishop of Toronto, a Successor of the Apostles of Jesus Christ, has all the resources of heaven behind him, along with all requisite authority. He has been anointed to not only save souls and defend his flock from evil but to identify demons and defeat them altogether in the name of Jesus Christ,
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matt.28:18-20
Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven. Matt. 18:18
Did any of these leaders strike a note of Christ and His supreme victory in their interventions?  Of course many criticize my outlook on the Catholic Church and her mission, accusing me of promoting a narrow minded triumphalism (BTW, guilty as charged).

But did any of these leaders mention today the salvation offered to the world by and through Jesus Christ? Did any warn the Prime Minister or Parliament or individual politicians of the grave consequences to their souls should they enshrine in man's law that which is forbidden by God's law? Or were they simply pleading with and begging the powers of this world to please be considerate of the "values" and concerns of religious people?

Cardinal Collins, won't you please step up to the podium?

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Lou Iacobelli Ponders The Failure Of Hireling Bishops

I've made the case (in a multitude of posts over time) that possibly ALL of Canada's current crop of Catholic Bishops have disqualified themselves as good shepherds of Christ's flock, and may aptly be described as “hireling” Bishops. I realize this claim will be seen by many respected Catholics as a fantastic one and yet I expect still more disdain to come my way from too many overly sensitive and deluded souls.

Recently I made the following statement in a blog posting pertaining to two of those Bishops who are said to be “the best of us.”

Well let’s just call a spade a spade. The Cardinal—and the Archbishop—simply don’t believe these realities. That is why I call them both hireling Bishops. It’s not that they are in it for the money; it’s just that they are not in it for Christ and His kingdom. They simply do not believe in the kingdom of God and the salvation of souls; at least not in the traditional age old sense held by the Church.  I don't see how any other argument can line up with the abundance of facts facing us.

It appears to me that slowly but surely—and perhaps too late—more Catholics will have to face the exceedingly painful truth about our “shepherds”. Lou Iacobelli notes,

In my parish, these issues are never mentioned and so the passive acceptance of abortion and other mortal sins is becoming the new normal.

Indeed. But this is a decades old phenomenon. Could any Catholic in his wildest imaginations dream that a parish with Christ as the Pastor would allow for such indifference and disintegration, both of which lead souls into Hell? Would not such an outcome be more expected if the Father of Lies were in charge?
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There's a reflection for this Sunday's Gospel reading about the Good Shepherd from St. John (10:27-30) by Sr. Aemiliana that is worth reading, praying, studying and putting into action. Let's read it first and then make some observations that apply to us today. Here it is:

The notion of shepherd calls forth strong and manly qualities. He must have courage in the pastures of the Orient. Wild beasts often attacked his herds. When Saul doubts his strength, David says to him: 'Thy servant kept his father’s herds at pasture, and often a lion or a bear came and snatched a lamb from the midst of it; and I went out after him and struck him, and took the animal from his mouth.'

This image of the brave young shepherd well suits Christ, the victor of Eastertide who stands amongst us today and says, 'I give my life for my sheep.' In it all the images of the good shepherd from the Old Testament are fulfilled. He tells us that he is the fulfillment of the promise 'I am the good shepherd.' And now it is clear as well why this image of the shepherd belongs above all to Eastertime. It has often shown full of promise on the long road of the Pasch, from the beginning of the fasting season to the great week of suffering. But it was first the Passion which revealed the Lord properly as the good shepherd of his sheep. A hired shepherd whose sheep are not his own has not love’s courage to risk death for them. The Lord says, 'He has no con­cern for the sheep.' When he sees the wolf come he leaves the sheep alone and runs off. His only concern is for his pay, not for the beasts themselves. Evil shep­herds such as these were the leaders of Israel whom the prophet Ezechiel accuses, and whom Christ found in places of authority when he came to visit his flock.

Christ is the good shepherd, the real shepherd. The sheep belong to him; he has created them. He is God’s Logos through whom all things are made. All things are his; they have fallen from him, and yet he loves them. He comes as a shepherd and wounds himself for this miserable flock. He fights with the wild beasts, with hell and sin, and death, to snatch these sheep, led astray, from Satan’s mouth. He does more than any human shepherd does. He throws himself to the attackers, so to speak, in place of the sheep.

(Sister Aemiliana Lohr, O.S. B. († 1972) was a German Benedictine nun who wrote about the liturgy. Magnificat, April 2016, pages 264-265)

Sr. Aemiliana has no romantic notion of shepherds. They were strong, brave and ready to defend the sheep with their lives. Shepherds must lead by example even when there is suffering and death. The Good Shepherd fights with his life. "He fights with the wild beasts, with hell and sin, and death, to snatch these sheep, led astray, from Satan’s mouth. He does more than any human shepherd does. He throws himself to the attackers, so to speak, in place of the sheep."

However, the sad reality in Canada is that we have over the decades pretty much gradually accepted many evils. The wolves have taken over much of the country. We can begin with abortion, "same-sex marriage," a radical sex curriculum for children and now the culture of death is expanding with the legalization of euthanasia. When you can kill an innocent child in the womb, all paid for by the state health care system, does anybody then believe that we can protect the old, the disabled, the depressed and the "unwanted” from being killed? Statements and press releases from our shepherds against killing other Canadians are good, but they are hardly good enough to keep away the wolves.

Statements alone no matter how well intentioned will not stop the daily deaths in our abortuaries. The faith communities, including Catholics, have failed to develop a plan to fight the anti-life evils. We have not put faith into example and action. In my parish, these issues are never mentioned and so the passive acceptance of abortion and other mortal sins is becoming the new normal. When faith no longer protects life, the ultimate gift given to us by God, faith too will soon die with each unborn child killed in the womb and every person euthanasized in the false name of "mercy." When faith is gone, what good will it do us that we kept our charitable status and got the "blessing" from secular governments instead of the Good Shepherd who willingly "throws himself to the attackers, so to speak, in place of the sheep." May God help us!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Note to Catholic Bishops: The Relevance of Abortion In Euthanasia Debate

I have noticed that the Catholic Bishops of Canada seem quite worked up about the euthanasia mandate. Yet I can't recall one recent statement from them on euthanasia lamenting also the regime of the insufferable killing of preborn children. (Or even asserting the eternal consequences for a soul that kills a fellow human being). Perhaps they choose purposely not to state the obvious because euthanasia is the matter at hand. Why complicate the issue, eh? But what has been their excuse for silence for the past four decades?
In the euthanasia debate one can hardly overlook the relevance of abortion, and not only as regards the question of referral. (Which isn’t really a question: it is obviously illogical to refer for abortion and not for euthanasia.)  Insofar as our society thinks it morally acceptable to kill babies in the womb, it is certain to think that it is acceptable to kill the terminally ill, for it has already decided (i) that human life is disposable and (ii) that eliminating suffering or even inconvenience is a legitimate reason for its disposal. Such a society, note well, is equally certain to go beyond the notion that any suffering person may be killed if they wish to be killed, a form of violence that does not even rise to the level of abortion. It will come eventually to think that it is fine to kill those whom it determines are lacking any real justification for living, perhaps even those whose lives it deems inconvenient, whether or not they are willing. For that is the logic of abortion, a logic already well entrenched in high places. – Dr. Douglas Farrow [Source]
Why then are the Bishops huffing and puffing about euthanasia? We've all seen it coming for years and years. The best way to have stemmed euthanasia would have been to fight abortion tooth and nail, maybe even for a Bishop and Priest here and there to spend a night in the slammer along with little ladies and grandmothers.

Dr. Farrow has offered some advice to the Bishops recently:
Farrow also urged the bishops to clearly state that “formal cooperation with suicide or euthanasia, by analogy with abortion, entails excommunication latae sententiae” and to “inform Catholic officials that anyone who votes to create a euthanasia regime or to liberalize one” should “not present himself for communion and is subject to a just penalty,” even, “if need be” excommunication.
Of course the Bishops haven't done this on even one occasion in the last fifty years for pro-choice Catholic Prime Ministers, let alone rank and file Catholic politicians, who blatantly call for the destruction of unborn children in the name of a "woman's right to choose." Why would they do it now in the case of euthanasia, "a form of violence that does not even rise to the level of abortion"?

Much too little, much too late. God help your weak and cowering souls!


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

FLASHBACK: Canada's Catholic Bishops Place Low Priority on Amnesty’s Threat to Unborn Children

In light of the controversy erupting in Ireland over Amnesty International's sad abortion campaign, I remind readers that our own Catholic Bishops here in Canada did little if anything to push back on Amnesty International when it announced its new evil agenda several years ago. View the short video dealing with Ireland's challenge and then read the press release below.



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Vote Life, Canada! Reviews Annual Plenary Report of Canada’s Catholic Bishops—Threat to Unborn Children by Amnesty International Still Rates Low on Priority List

Toronto, ON November 7, 2007/Christian Newswire—“Tragically, news reports confirm Amnesty International (AI) has commenced abortion advocacy internationally,” laments Eric Alcock, President of Vote Life, Canada!“ but Canada’s Bishops maintain their laissez-faire attitude.”

In an August press releaseVote Life, Canada! complained that ominous indicators of AI’s plans, like threatening letters from terrorists, surfaced early in 2006. Yet this new global threat elicited simply a ho-hum “We’ll be disappointed” comment posted on the CCCB website in July 2006.

A short three months after posting this comment the Bishops held their 2006 Plenary Assembly which, insists Alcock, “should have been a beehive of strategic thinking for the Bishops to spearhead a powerful and effective mobilization of Catholics against the Amnesty move.

Yet official documents released after the 2006 Plenary Assembly indicate no discussion whatever of the Amnesty threat. Alcock is at a loss to explain “the tragic blindness and indifference of the Bishops to this worldwide threat to unborn children.” He notes this astounding failure was further compounded by the prolonged silence of the Bishops throughout 2007.

Incredibly, reports Alcock, “even since AI announced its official new policy in Mexico City in August past—while Bishops elsewhere in the world have been severing connections with AI—the Bishops of Canada have been silent on the matter.”

“Their silence still prevails, as it did in Canada nearly forty years ago when the abortion door cracked open in Canada.” Alcock claims the persistent call from Vote Life, Canada! has been the only voice on record in Canada holding Bishops accountable for their negligence in the AI affair.

Finally, last month’s 2007 Plenary Assembly announced the AI issue as an agenda item. Yet, exclaims Alcock, “The Bishops seem to be allergic to action when it comes to defending the Unborn. The item did not garner sufficient concern and consensus from the totality of Bishops at the Plenary and was referred to the Permanent Council for later decision!”

Referring to Amnesty International, the CCCB President was quoted as saying, “What a paradox that the smallest of human beings – unborn children – are now being put at risk by those who should be their defenders.”

“Paradox indeed but the irony of this statement obviously escaped the Bishop,” exclaims Alcock. “Who more than the Bishops of Christ’s Church are called to defend human life with all their might and influence? And what of those who take no action—or ineffective action—to stop the killers?”

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Winnipeg Statement: Canadian Bishops, September 1968

Here's the text of the infamous "Winnipeg Statement" published two months after the release of Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae. Paragraphs #17, 25, 26 and 34 are considered problematic, with paragraph #26 taking center stage.

26. Counsellors may meet others who, accepting the teaching of the Holy Father, find that because of particular circumstances they are involved in what seems to them a clear conflict of duties, e.g., the reconciling of conjugal love and responsible parenthood with the education of children already born or with the health of the mother. In accord with the accepted principles of moral theology, if these persons have tried sincerely but without success to pursue a line of conduct in keeping with the given directives, they may be safely assure that, whoever honestly chooses that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience.

RELATED POSTING Amoris Laetitia Will Bolster Canadian Bishops’ False And Deadly Appeal To Conscience

Here's a sample of the thinking behind the Winnipeg Statement which was said to be "an honest pastoral attempt" to "maintain unity in the Canadian Church."
Supporters contend that the Canadian Bishops were merely trying to defend those who had not matured sufficiently in their faith, and that they were simply upholding the established doctrine expressed in Dignitatis humanae, the Vatican II Declaration on Religious Freedom. They argue that it was this document which compelled the bishops "to support the need for personal freedom when dealing with the Church's rejection of artificial contraception... [and to insist] that married couples could only form their consciences in an atmosphere free of coercion." [Source]
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CANADIAN BISHOPS' STATEMENT ON THE ENCYCLICAL "HUMANAE VITAE''
Plenary Assembly, St. Boniface-Winnipeg
Roman Catholic Bishops of Canada
September 27, 1968


1. Pope Paul VI in his recent encyclical "On Human Life" has spoken on a profound human problem as is clearly evidenced by the immediate and universal reaction to his message. It is evident that he has written out of concern and love, and in a spirit of service to all mankind. Conscious of the current controversy and deep differences of opinion as to how to harmonize married love and the responsible transmission of life, we, the Canadian bishops, offer our help to the priests and Catholic people believing it to be their pastoral duty.

I - Solidarity with the Pope

2. We are in accord with the teaching of the Holy Father concerning the dignity of married life, and the necessity of a truly Christian relationship between conjugal love and responsible parenthood. We share the pastoral concern which has led him to offer counsel and direction in an area which, while controverted, could hardly be more important to human happiness.
3. By divine commission clarification of these difficult problems of morality is required from the teaching authority of the Church (1). The Canadian Bishops will endeavor to discharge their obligation to the best of their ability. In this pursuit we are acting consistently with our recent submissions to the federal government on contraception, divorce and abortion, nor is there anything in those submissions which does not harmonize with the encyclical.

II - Solidarity with the Faithful

4. In the same spirit of solidarity we declare ourselves one with the People of God in the difficulties they experience in understanding, making their own, and living this teaching.
5. In accord with the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, the recent encyclical(2) recognizes the nobility of conjugal love which is "uniquely expressed and perfected through the marital act" (3). Many married people experience a truly agonizing difficulty in reconciling the need to express conjugal love with the responsible transmission of human life. (4)
6. This difficulty is recognized in deep sympathy and is shared by bishops and priests as counselors and confessors in their service of the faithful. We know that we are unable to provide easy answers to this difficult problem made more acute by the great variety of solutions proposed in an open society.
7. A clearer understanding of these problems and progress toward their solution will result from a common effort in dialogue, research and study on the part of all, laity, priests and bishops, guided by faith and sustained by grace. To this undertaking the Canadian bishops pledge themselves.

III - Christian Conscience and Divine Law

8. Of recent years many have entertained doubts about the validity of arguments proposed to forbid any positive intervention which would prevent the transmission of human life. As a result there have arisen opinions and practices contrary to traditional moral theology. Because of this many had been expecting official confirmation of their views. This helps to explain the negative reaction the encyclical received in many quarters. Many Catholics face a grave problem of conscience.
9. Christian theology regarding conscience has its roots in the teaching of St. Paul (5). This has been echoed in our day by Vatican II: "Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of man. There he is alone with God, whose voice echoes in his depths." (6) "On his part man acknowledges the imperatives of the divine law through the mediation of conscience. In all his activity a man is bound to follow his conscience faithfully, in order that he may come to God for whom he was created" (7). The dignity of man consists precisely in his ability to achieve his fulfillment in God through the exercise of a knowing and free choice.
10. However this does not exempt a man from the responsibility of forming his conscience according to truly Christian values and principles. This implies a spirit of openness to the teaching of the church which is an essential aspect of the Christian's baptismal vocation. It likewise implies sound personal motivation free from selfishness and undue external pressure which are incompatible with the spirit of Christ. Nor will he succeed in this difficult task without the help of God. Man is prone to sin and evil and unless he humbly asks and gratefully receives the grace of God this basic freedom will inevitably lead to abuse.

IV - Teaching Office of the Church

11. Belief in the Church which is the prolongation of Christ in the world, belief in the Incarnation, demands a cheerful readiness to hear that Church to whose first apostles Christ said: "He who hears you hears me" (8). True freedom of conscience does not consist, then, in the freedom to do as one likes, but rather to do as a responsible conscience directs.
12. Vatican Council II applies this concept forcefully. Christians "Therefore must always be governed according to a conscience dutifully conformed to the divine law itself and should be submissive towards the Church's teaching office which authentically interprets that law in the light of the gospel. That divine law reveals and protects the integral meaning of conjugal love and impels it towards truly human fulfillment." (9).
13. Today, the Holy Father has spoken on the question of morally acceptable means to harmonize conjugal love and responsible parenthood. Christians must examine in all honesty their reaction to what he has said.
14. The Church is competent to hand on the truth contained in the revealed word of God and to interpret its meaning. But its role is not limited to this function. In his pilgrimage to salvation, man achieves final happiness by all his human conduct and his whole moral life. Since the Church is man's guide in this pilgrimage, she is called upon to exercise her role as teacher, even in those matters which do not demand the absolute assent of faith.
15. Of this sort of teaching Vatican II wrote: "This religious submission of will and of mind must be shown in a special way to the authentic teaching authority of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra. That is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme teaching service is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will" (10).
16. It follows that those who have been commissioned by the Church to teach in her name will recognize their responsibility to refrain from public opposition to the encyclical; to do otherwise would compound confusion and be a source of scandal to God's people. However, this must not be interpreted as a restriction on the legitimate and recognized freedom of theologians to pursue loyally and conscientiously their research with a view to greater depth and clarity in the teaching of the Church.
17. It is a fact that a certain number of Catholics, although admittedly subject to the teaching of the encyclical, find it either extremely difficult or even impossible to make their own all elements of this doctrine. In particular, the argumentation and rational foundation of the encyclical, which are only briefly indicated, have failed in some cases to win the assent of men of science, or indeed of some men of culture and education who share in the contemporary empirical and scientific mode of thought. We must appreciate the difficulty experienced by contemporary man in understanding and appropriating some of the points of this encyclical, and we must make every effort to learn from the insights of Catholic scientists and intellectuals, who are of undoubted loyalty to Christian truth, to the Church and to the authority of the Holy See. Since they are not denying any point of divine and Catholic faith nor rejecting the teaching authority of the Church, these Catholics should not be considered or consider themselves, shut off from the body of the faithful. But they should remember that their good faith will be dependent on a sincere self-examination to determine the true motives and grounds for such suspension of assent and on continued effort to understand and deepen their knowledge of the teaching of the Church.
18. The difficulties of this situation have been felt by the priests of the Church, and by many others. We have been requested to provide guidelines to assist them. This we will endeavor to accomplish in a subsequent document. We are conscious that continuing dialogue, study and reflection will be required by all members of the Church in order to meet as best we can the complexities and exigencies of the problem.
19. We point out that the particular norms which we may offer will prove of little value unless they are placed in the context of man's human and Christian vocation and all of the values of Christian marriage. This formation of conscience and this education in true love will be achieved only by a well balanced pastoral insistence upon the primary importance of love which is human, total, faithful and exclusive as well as generously faithful (11).

V - Preliminary Pastoral Guidance

20. For the moment, in conformity with traditional Christian morality, we request priests and all who may be called to guide or counsel the consciences of others to give their attention to the following considerations.
21. The pastoral directives given by Pope Paul VI in the encyclical are inspired by a positive sacramental approach. The Eucharist is always the great expression of Christian love and union. Married couples will always find in this celebration a meeting place with the Lord which will never fail to strengthen their own mutual love. With regard to the sacrament of penance the spirit is one of encouragement both for penitents and confessor and avoids both extremes of laxity and rigorism.
22. The encyclical suggests an attitude towards the sacrament of penance which is at once less juridical, more pastoral and more respectful of persons. There is real concern for their growth, however slow at times, and for the hope of the future.
23. Confession should never be envisaged under the cloud of agonizing fear or severity. It should be an exercise in confidence and respect of consciences. Paul VI invited married couples to "....have recourse with humble perseverance to the mere; of God, which is poured forth in the Sacrament of Penance' (12). Confession is a meeting between a sincere conscience and Christ Our Lord who was "indeed intransigent with evil, but merciful towards individuals" (13)
24. Such is the general atmosphere in which the confessor and counsellor must work. We complete the concept with a few more particular applications.
25. In the situation we described earlier in this statement (par. 17) the confessor or counsellor must show sympathetic understanding and reverence for the sincere good faith of those who fall in their effort to accept some point of the encyclical.
26. Counsellors may meet others who, accepting the teaching of the Holy Father, find that because of particular circumstances they are involved in what seems to them a clear conflict of duties, e.g., the reconciling of conjugal love and responsible parenthood with the education of children already born or with the health of the mother. In accord with the accepted principles of moral theology, if these persons have tried sincerely but without success to pursue a line of conduct in keeping with the given directives, they may be safely assure that, whoever honestly chooses that course which seems right to him does so in good conscience.
27. Good pastoral practice for other and perhaps more difficult cases will be developed in continuing communication among bishops, priests and laity, and in particular in the document we have promised to prepare. In the meantime we earnestly solicit the help of medical scientists and biologists in their research into human fertility. While it would be an illusion to hope for the solution of all human problems through scientific technology, such research can bring effective help to the alleviation and solution of problems of conscience in this area.

VI - Invitation to Social Pastoral Action

28. The whole world is conscious of the growing preoccupation with the social impact of all men's thoughts, words and actions. Sexuality in all its aspects is obviously an area of the greatest human and social impact. The norms and values which govern this so vital human concern merit the attention and cooperation of all. Our world evolves at a frightening rate, creating at once a vivid sense of unity and a set of conflicting forces which could destroy us.
29. This concern will be fruitful only if it leads all of us to recognize our true human worth in the possession of our inner powers by which we are distinctively ourselves with the full recognition of our complementary sexual differences on the physical, the psychological and the spiritual plane. Only in this manner will we achieve marriages that are truly unions of love in the service of life.
30. To this end there must be brought into play all the positive forces of the family, the school, the state, the Church. No one may stand aloof, nor are there really national boundaries in a matter of such universal application. With this in mind we call on all members of the Church to realize on every level from the very youngest to the various possibilities of adult education.
31. Without wishing to specify in detail we single out for special mention a few aspects which may have richer possibilities. We place first the dialogue and cooperation, which have been so encouraging, among all members of the Church and, through the ecumenical movement with other Churches.
32. We note with deep satisfaction the spread and strength of so many activities calculated to prepare for marriage or to deepen the appreciation of married persons of this sublime state. For example, marriage preparation courses, family apostolates, discussion groups, etc.
33. Educators, too, are to be commended for their growing attention to the question. Everywhere the problem of sex education and family life is being studied. And this education is happily being deepened by scientific research and diffused through the creative use of mass media. Nothing less than this mobilization of all human forces will suffice to meet the challenge of divisive and destructive forces which begin deep in the willful selfishness of man and inhibit the true expression of his love. We pledge ourselves to the pastoral priority of encouraging and promoting these programs whenever and wherever possible.
34. We conclude by asking all to pray fervently that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide his Church through all darkness and suffering. We, the People of God, cannot escape this hour of crisis but there is no reason to believe that it will create division and despair. The unity of the Church does not consist in a bland conformity in all ideas, but rather in a union of faith and heart, in submission to God's will and a humble but honest and ongoing search for the truth. That unity of love and faith is founded in Christ and as long as we are true to Him nothing can separate us. We stand in union with the Bishop of Rome the successor of Peter, the sign and contributing cause of our unity with Christ and with one another. But this very union postulates such a love of the Church that we can do no less than to place all of our love and all of our intelligence at its service. If this sometimes means that in our desire to make the Church more intelligible and more beautiful we must, as pilgrims do, falter in the way or differ as to the way, no one should conclude that our common faith is lost or our loving purpose blunted. The great Cardinal Newman once wrote: "Lead kindly light amidst the encircling gloom." We believe that the Kindly Light will lead us to a greater understanding of the ways of God and the love of man.

FOOTNOTES

(1) On Human Life, n. 4 & 18
(2) On Human Life, n. 8
(3) The Church Today, n. 49
(4) The Church Today, n. 51
(5) Rom. 14:23 and I Cor. 10
(6) The Church Today, n. 16
(7) On Religious Freedom, n. 3; the Church Today, nn. 16, 17
(8) Luke 10:16 (9) Const. on the Church, n. 50
(10) Constitution on the Church, n. 25
(11) On Human Life, n. 9
(12) On Human Life, n. 25
(13) On Human Life, n. 29

Monday, April 11, 2016

Amoris Laetitia Will Bolster Canadian Bishops’ False And Deadly Appeal To Conscience

From OnePeterFive blog
Just a few days ago Pope Francis issued his Apostolic Exhortation entitled Amoris Laetitia. It has received much publicity and commentary in a short space of time. At the end of this posting I have included a list of recommended links for further reading and analysis.

I will restrict my comments about the papal document to those of a general nature. This blog has repeatedly made the case that Canada’s slide into immorality, barbarism and apostasy has been fueled by the actions of her Catholic Bishops, who have betrayed not only their calling and commission but also the authentic teachings of the Catholic faith. To a large degree these failings have centred on the prevailing dissent over contraception and the tragic collapse of catechesis.

The Winnipeg Statement (WS) by the Catholic Bishops—never abrogated—still infects and compromises the character of Catholicism in Canada and may very well explain the willful dereliction of duty in respect to catechesis. Overall the Bishops’ dissent (some have characterized it as de facto schism), expressed in the Winnipeg Statement, has given rise to a dangerous and cultish pseudo-catholic culture in Canada. WS really lowered the bar for Catholic practice, intimating that Catholics could not be expected to live out the demands of Christ’s teachings in regard to chastity, specifically the use of artificial contraception, as outlined in the perennial teachings of His Church. Apparently Catholics in some way were less capable than previous generations to resist the allure and temptation of sexual disorder. Was the grace of God no longer sufficient to counter the difficult and “complex” circumstances of their modern lives? Through an appeal to conscience the Bishops gave their flock the open door necessary to ignore Humanae Vitae and to regularly practice intrinsically evil behaviour yet still present themselves for Holy Communion, a grave betrayal to the souls of Catholics but also a horrible crime of sacrilege against Christ. Ironically, from an historical point of view the compromise of the Bishops in Canada seems to have made them quite incapable of properly forming the consciences of Catholics.

I see Amoris Laetitia from a similar perspective, except it is all the more lamentable that a Pope, rather than a Conference of Bishops, should be cracking open a door to Holy Communion for those living in a different kind of mortal sin, i.e. adultery. I do not claim that the Pope’s document explicitly teaches heresy but there are a number of very problematic passages that will surely be used by Christ’s enemies to liberalize further the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and remarried Catholics, ultimately justified by “good conscience" or some such mantra. What Catholics worldwide needed from the Pope was a document which reinforced the timeless truth of Christ’s teachings, albeit with fresh insights and nuances aptly matched to defeat the evils assailing the family today. Instead what was delivered was a document, admittedly very comprehensive and orthodox in many respects, equipped inherently with the kind of ambiguities that fueled the “Spirit of Vatican II” which weakened the Church tremendously since the Council.

The scandal generated over time by such documents is pervasive and devastating to faithful Catholics, as has been the Winnipeg Statement in Canada. What makes it worse is when Catholic Bishops show no restraint in praise for subtle attacks upon the faith and offer no sober commentary on the ambiguous points, even when media plead for clarification. How much buffeting must faithful Catholics be expected to tolerate? In my opinion, there can be little doubt that a schism will eventually take place in the years ahead if the current crisis of the Church is not adequately addressed by our current Pope or his successors.

The following links will present viewpoints and assessments of Amoris Laetitia which seem to me to be aligned well with Holy Scripture and the Church’s Sacred Tradition. Other articles have appeared which are similarly useful, many of which appear on my Twitter timeline. Sorry, the view through rose-coloured glasses won't be found on this list.

UPDATED LINKS:








Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Bishop Gracida: Lay Uprising Essential To Save Church

Continuing with Bishop Gracida's interview by ChurchMilitant.com

GoToBishop Discusses State of the Church in America

Bishop Rene Gracida was recently interviewed by ChurchMilitant.com. Bishop Gracida is retired but is hardly out of the loop. He's what I call a #GoToBishop and he even publishes his own blog which is worth visiting regularly. I once highlighted Bishop Gracida's approach to Canon 915 and public sinners while he was active in his former Diocese of Corpus Christi.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Sunday, March 27, 2016

I Am The Resurrection And The Life

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?"
St. John's Gospel 11:25-26


Resurrection Pietro Perugino 1499

Alleluia, He is risen!

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Reality Of The Holy Eucharist And Sanctifying Grace

 Michael Voris:
"He who eats my flesh abides in Me, and I will raise Him up on the Last day" (John 6:54). Holy Thursday is the means to Easter Sunday. We just have to spend this life going through Good Friday first. 
This is why Catholics must always advance the truth of the Holy Catholic Faith and resist all attempts to weaken it.
A Holy and Happy Easter to each of you and your friends and family and loved ones.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

FLASHBACK: From Christian Virtues To Judicial Values

It is time to remember.

I said in a recent posting that euthanasia in Canada has been roaring down the tracks for a long time, despite what some Catholic Bishops would have us believe.

In November 1998 Ian Hunter delivered an extraordinary and prophetic address dealing with the subject of God and Caesar in the Canadian context.

I only wish that Catholic Bishops in Canada had held to the distinctly Christian view that Protestant Ian Hunter espouses in regard to the political landscape. After all, his views are more Catholic than not. There is no suggestion that Bishops get directly involved in politics, only that they take seriously and teach faithfully the entire Deposit of Faith, e.g. Humanae Vitae, Confession, Mortal Sin, Discipline of Public Sinners, Scandal, Sacrilege, Common Good, including their responsibilities under Canon Law. Fidelity to the entire Deposit of Faith is required to properly form consciences of Catholics and help them to live holy lives (in private and in the public realm) so they "get their souls into heaven," an expression you will rarely hear these days from the lips of Priests or Bishops.

It is precisely because most, if not all, Catholic Bishops in Canada are neglectful of many articles of the Deposit of Faith that we have experienced the rise of a pseudo-catholic culture in our nation and the leavening effects of evil, one of which is euthanasia. Such evils will continue unabated without the countervailing effect of authentic Catholic thought and witness.

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Supreme Court Usurps Parliament
by Ian Hunter

Catholic Insight March 1999

FROM CHRISTIAN VIRTUES TO JUDICIAL VALUES

Intro: Canada's Charter of Rights has forever altered the system of government in Canada: it has led to judicial activism and an emasculated Parliament, and has set Canada on the road to totalitarianism. An overly bleak picture, you say? No, a realistic assessment, according to Dr. Ian Hunter, professor emeritus of law from the University of Western Ontario, and author of The Three Faces of Law: A Christian Perspective (reviewed in CI, Oct. '96). In a superb address delivered November for the 1998 George Goth Memorial Lecture in London, Prof. Hunter examines the effect of the Charter on Canada's democracy (a subject touched upon in a stinging critique of Supreme Court Justice Antonio Lamer by Edward McBride, CI, Sept. '98). The George Goth Memorial Lectures, begun in 1991, are named in honour of a well-known London intellectual and pastor at London's Metropolitan United Church for nearly 40 years. Dr. Hunter's address, dedicated to "the glory of God", to George Goth, and to a recently deceased personal friend John Hoover, is printed below.

You have conferred an honour upon me by your invitation to deliver the 1998 George Goth Memorial lecture; I want you to know that I am very grateful. My topic is: From Christian Virtues to Judicial Values.

Now, the topic I have chosen is a sobering one with far-reaching consequences, because underlying everything I shall say tonight is a fundamental question: "Is Canada any longer a democracy?" By "democracy" I mean no more and no less than the Oxford English Dictionary definition: "A State practising government by the people, direct or representative". If Canada cannot accurately be so described, and since 1982 I shall contend that it is doubtful that it can be, what are the duties and responsibilities of Christians in Canada? That is the final question I shall reach.

But first one must ask: How can such a question even arise? Prior to April 17, 1982, such a question could not legitimately be raised. From Confederation until 1982 Canada had a system of representative government, with a sovereign parliament freely and democratically elected. That is not to say that Canada was always governed well; sometimes she was governed well, sometimes ill, but always she was governed by the elected representatives of the people. Issues of public policy were determined by legislators who, at least quadrennially, were required to account for their policies to the electorate who had voted them into office.

Our parliamentary system, our Constitution, which the B.N.A. Act unashamedly described as "similar in principle to that of the United Kingdom", and our common law, all derived from the "mother of parliaments" at Westminster. In that parliamentary system were three branches of government--legislative, executive and judicial--and each branch had separate and defined duties and responsibilities. One branch was not to usurp the prerogatives of another branch.

Charter of Rights

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a by-product of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau's 1982 patriation package, fundamentally changed 115 years of Canadian constitutional history. Essentially, the Charter meant a shift from a system of parliamentary supremacy to one of constitutional supremacy. Since April 17, 1982, it is the Charter of Rights, not parliament, which is sovereign, "the supreme law of the land", to use the language of section 52 of the Constitution Act. The Canadian electorate still goes to the polls quadrennially, but it is now judges, not legislators, who decide such important issues of public policy as abortion, euthanasia, and even the legitimacy of Quebec secession.

To put my point bluntly: in 1982 Canada ceased to be governed by parliamentary supremacy and instead became a country of constitutional supremacy. Well, constitutional supremacy sounds fine; what's wrong with that? What's wrong is that constitutions are not self-interpreting. They require to be interpreted. The interpretation function falls to an unelected judiciary, finally to the nine judges of the Supreme Court of Canada. These judges have now had a decade and a half to interpret the Charter. What has happened?

What has happened is that the judiciary has moved from being the least powerful branch of government to, arguably, the most powerful. Decision-making by the courts is the antithesis of democracy. The court is unelected, nine appointed men and women, all drawn from the same profession, milieu, and background, accountable to no one, and enjoying security of tenure until age seventy-five.

Human Rights Commission

The ideology which spawned the Charter of Rights also gave us provincial and federal human rights commissions. These Commissions, and their puppet tribunals, pose a graver threat to the rule of law than Chief Justice Lord Hewart imagined when, back in the 1930s, he wrote his famous treatise, The New Despotism.

Under the aegis of such tribunals, Canada has become a country where citizens are jailed for their beliefs (cf. Canada Human Rights Commission v. John Ross Taylor, where Professor Phillippe Rushton was threatened with dismissal and subjected to the modern equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition because his research ran counter to politically correct orthodoxy; and where the duly elected Mayor of London was ordered to issue a civic proclamation which ran counter to her own religious beliefs).

The latest decision of the Canadian Human Rights Commission in July 1998 may prove to be a watershed; it has been estimated that to implement the pay equity ruling will cost taxpayers approximately 5 billion dollars--$1,500 on average per family. Will Canada bankrupt itself to satiate a worn-out ideological imperative? We must wait and see. My guess is that it will.

When we turn to the pronouncements of our highest court, the Supreme Court of Canada, we discover that since the Charter their judgements have, in many cases, ceased to be law, and have become instead a random collection of the judges' personal and ideological predilections. The feminist wing of the court, when led by Madame Justice Bertha Wilson, developed an explicit ideology: judges who did not defer to it were simply told to butt out.

In her judgement in Regina v. Morgentaler, Judge Wilson wondered if men were capable of understanding abortion, or even qualified to express any opinion on the issue.

In Regina v. Lavallee, she changed the law on self-defence to allow a woman to kill an abusive spouse because otherwise jurors might ask the awkward question, which she called "a myth", namely if the battered woman is dissatisfied at home why doesn't she leave home?

And while on the topic of myths, Madam Justice L'HeureuxDube in Regina v. Seaboyer and Gayme denounced what she called "the stereotypical myth" that men who rape women are not normal men. The corollary, which we are asked to accept as judicial truth, is one of the favourite lies of feminism, namely that all men are actual or potential rapists.

Now judicial hubris is not a uniquely Canadian phenomenon. Robert H. Bork, former Appeal Court Justice and Supreme Court nominee in the United States, raised similar issues in his book Slouching Toward Gomorrah. After discussing several similar U.S. cases, Justice Bork wrote: "Our country is being radically altered, step by step, by Justices who are not following any law." And Mr. Justice Scalia, a sitting member of the U.S. Supreme Court, recently wrote: "What secret knowledge, one must wonder, is breathed into lawyers when they become justices of this Court. Day by day, case by case, [the Court] is busy designing a constitution for a country I do not recognise."

I have called this lecture: From Christian Virtues to Judicial Values. Now let me define my terms.

Virtues

For two thousand years philosophers have measured societies and individuals by the yardstick of virtue. Plato and Aristotle talked of four cardinal, or foundational, virtues: justice (or rectitude), wisdom, courage (or fortitude) and moderation (or self-control). But what are the Christian virtues? Well, I count ten separate places in the New Testament where we are given a list of Christian virtues. Best known, perhaps, is Galatians 5: 22 where St. Paul enumerates: "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fidelity, gentleness, self-control". To this list could be added "truth and innocence" (2 Corinthians 6:6); "humility and charity" (Ephesians 4:2); "compassion" (Colossians 3:12); "purity, justice, piety" (1 Timothy 4:12); "integrity" (2 Timothy 2:22); and "fortitude under persecution" (2 Timothy 3:11).

Let me, then, repeat these Christian virtues in a comprehensive list-- by my count nineteen Christian virtues specifically cited in the New Testament: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fidelity, gentleness, self-control, truth, innocence, humility, charity, compassion, purity, justice, piety, integrity, and fortitude under persecution.

Now when I examine the decisions of Canadian Courts, particularly Charter decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada, here is what strikes me: I would not expect the list of what the Court calls "judicial values" to be identical to the list of "Christian virtues" which I have just enumerated; but I would anticipate substantial overlap. If I gave any two people in this audience a slip of paper and a pencil and told each to go off and write down a list of virtues, I would not expect the two lists produced to be identical. But I would expect substantial overlap; perhaps 5 or 7 of the virtues to be the same. Now here is the interesting thing: except for "justice", a word used by the courts in a sense very different from the biblical usage, where it really means "righteousness", there is no overlap between Christian virtues and what the Canadian Courts have identified as Charter values. This is the more remarkable when we remember that Canadian common law was shaped by Judeo-Christian precepts.

What then are the "judicial values" which Canadian Courts have articulated? Again I have made a summary list, mostly drawn from Supreme Court decisions: "human flourishing; individual self-fulfilment, privacy, respect for human dignity, diversity, multiculturalism; self-expression, freedom, autonomy, enhancing participation in society, tolerance". But trumping all else, according to our Courts, is "Equality".

Ronald Dworkin has called our stage of liberal democracy "law's empire", and judges are its emperors. If this be so, these emperors know nothing of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is to the great god Equality that all Canadians must bend the knee. Unlike the Christian virtues which point to an objective reality, one attribute of God, the judicial values envisage man as the ultimate measure of all things; the common element of the judicial values is narcissism. Put simply, the Christian virtues exemplify a spiritual view of life; the judicial values exemplify a secular view of life.

The transition from the language of virtues to the language of "values" has infected even the churches. Although it makes my flesh crawl to hear it, one often hears ministers talk of Christian "values". But "values" is a weasel word, a corrupting word for a corrupt society. Values exist only if there is someone to value them; they are self-dependent, self-referential. Virtues exist because they are attributes of God; they are not dependent upon our existence. We did not create them. Virtues are inherently meritorious whether the speaker acknowledges them or not, whether fifty percent plus one vote for them or not. Virtues are what we are, what we do; your virtue is your character. It does not depend upon what you say you value, but what you are and do.

The challenge is greater if we speak of virtues rather than values. Virtues are not boy-scout pledges or spiritual bromides. They are simple, they are uncompromising, they demand the highest of us. When Allan Rock talks about Canadian "values," he means being nice to minorities, embracing multiculturalism, not telling jokes which women may find offensive. When the Bible talks about virtues, it talks about the soul of a man, what he is when all pretence and all humbug is stripped away.

I am currently reviewing for Christian Week a new book by David Aikman, former senior foreign correspondent for Time magazine. The book is called Great Souls: Six Who Changed the Twentieth Century. Aikman explains that when he set out to discover which men and women had had the most profound impact in the last half of the twentieth century, he was astonished to conclude that the overriding quality which marked each of his subjects as exceptional was a particular virtue. He identified each of his subjects with that one overriding virtue which had been for him or her a lifelong preoccupation. Here are Aikman's subjects and the virtue he identifies with each:

Billy Graham--Salvation; Nelson Mandela--Forgiveness; Alexander Solzhenitsyn--Truth: Mother Teresa--Compassion; Pope John Paul II--Human dignity; Elie Wiesel-Remembrance.

Aikman writes that each of his subjects has exemplified that virtue so faithfully that "its importance [for the entire human race] is likely to resonate not just into the next millennium, but for as long as the human race continues to survive and keep records of its history."

Let me turn now to one or two illustrative Charter cases. The Charter of Rights to date has had its most profound impact in criminal law.

Perverse rulings: case one

A man named Wesley Evans confessed to two particularly sadistic murders of women in Vancouver; he had cut their throats. He told the police that he was frustrated by women, that he had enjoyed doing it, and would like to do it again.

Now Wesley Evans has a low I.Q., about 60.

The Vancouver police, when they arrested Wesley Evans, had advised him of his right to counsel prior to questioning him. But the Supreme Court was concerned that because of his limited I.Q. he may not have understood.

The Court found this a violation of Evans' Charter Rights (section 10(b)); now what to do? Section 24(2) says to exclude the evidence if its admission would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.

In the B.C. Court of Appeal, Madam Justice Southin wrote: "If there be anything more likely by every rational community standard to bring the administration of justice into disrepute than letting this accused, a self-confessed killer, go free to kill again on the basis of an infringement of the Charter Right to counsel, I do not know what it is."

But the Supreme Court of Canada did not agree. By a unanimous (5-0) vote, they acquitted Wesley Evans and returned him to the streets of Vancouver.

Case two

A man named John Randall Borden brutally raped a sixty-nine-year-old woman in a senior citizens' home in Nova Scotia. I can say that without fear of contradiction, beyond not just the "reasonable doubt" required for criminal conviction, but beyond any scientific doubt, because of DNA testing of semen samples which proved (to a probability factor of many millions to one) that Borden was the rapist. Borden, however, was not arrested for this brutal rape, but for another sexual assault, this time on an exotic dancer in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. When the police asked Borden for hair samples for DNA testing, they were investigating the assault on the exotic dancer, and Borden consented. Later, when police began to suspect Borden in the rape of the elderly woman, and they compared the DNA results; sure enough, Borden was the rapist.

The Nova Scotia Court of Appeal held that the DNA evidence, gathered for the purpose of one investigation, could not be looked at by the police for the purposes of another investigation. The dissenting Judge, J.A. Freeman, wrote:

"The [justice] system is [here] made to appear to be incapable of convicting a person shown to be guilty of a serious violent crime by highly reliable evidence."

The Crown appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada. In October, 1994 the Supreme Court unanimously (7 - 0) held that the D.N.A. evidence was inadmissible. Borden's consent was not "valid" because he did not realize the police might use the evidence in another investigation. Borden was acquitted.

What's wrong with the Charter?

Why has judicial interpretation of the Charter proved so perverse? Let me suggest three answers to this question.

1. First, a Charter of Rights wrongly conceives the problem. Since John Stuart Mill's essay On Liberty we have come to conceive of liberty in individualistic terms, a view the Canadian Charter embodies. The individual needs protection against the tyranny of the majority, and so we enact a Charter of Rights to achieve that.

But the claim to individual liberty very often masks harm to the collectivity; we are not just atomised individuals, we are also members of a community, citizens of a society. The individual's claim to liberty, albeit expressed in the high-minded rhetoric of rights, often conceals selfish, sometimes perverse, interests. The lone, brave individual standing his ground against the menacing, omnipotent State was John Stuart Mill's archetype and it is powerful mythology; the sadistic criminal going free, and making citizens ever more fearful in their own homes, is the common reality.

2. A second reason why the Charter is pernicious is that it forestalls true political debate. The appropriate level of restraint on individual liberties is, or should be, a fundamental political question. But in Canada such debate does not occur: it is reduced to one person claiming, "I have a right to-- abortion on demand, assisted suicide, same sex benefits..." (you fill in the blanks), to which the only response is either acquiescence, or "No, you don't". Ultimately all such issues are now resolved by Courts. Such a puerile approach to deep philosophic questions is consistent with what I often think to be the governing dynamic of life in Canada--the principle of infantile regression--but it does immeasurable harm to the possibility of mature political discourse. It also inflates judicial hubris.

3. Finally, I suggest to you that the Charter fundamentally misconceives the problem. I do not believe that our liberties are threatened by devils in Ottawa, or by pigs in police uniforms, not very often by tyrannous majorities. The problem is within ourselves, whether each of us can discern and live by an appropriate balance between freedom and restraint, between liberty and licence, between indulgence and self-discipline.

You remember Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the noblest man of our century. The lesson Solzhenitsyn learned in the freezing darkness of the labour camps of the Gulag Archipelago was that the line between good and evil ran not between nations, not between States, not even between ideologies, but right down the centre of each and every human heart. So, too, does the line between rights and responsibilities. The Charter is just the most recent Utopian attempt, in a long, futile and mostly sordid history of such attempts, to legislate what cannot be legislated. Hugh Kingsmill expressed my point admirably in the introduction to his neglected masterpiece, The Poisoned Crown:
What is divine in man is elusive and impalpable, and he is easily tempted to embody it in a collective form - a church, a country, a social system, a leader, [a Charter], so that he may realize it with less effort and serve it with more profit. Yet ... the attempt to externalize the Kingdom of Heaven in a temporal form must end in disaster. It cannot be created by charters or constitutions, nor established by arms. Those who set out for it alone will reach it together and those who seek it in company will perish by themselves.
Impact on Christians

I expect that many of you will agree with me that the Supreme Court decisions I have mentioned are pernicious, and that each had a deleterious effect on Canadian society. But none was especially pernicious, or had any differential impact, on Christians. Alas, the same cannot be said of the Supreme Court's decisions in Morgentaler (1988), Borowski (1989), Daigle (1989), Rodriguez (1994) and Vriend (1998). These decisions all treat directly of issues -- abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality - upon which Christians, by their profession of faith, cannot be neutral.

Christians owe allegiance to Caesar, but we have it on the authority of our Lord himself, that we owe dual allegiance: to Caesar, yes, but more important, to God. Christians have dual citizenship; we belong to the city of man but also to St. Augustine's City of God. So John begins the first chapter of the book of Revelation by describing himself as "in the island that is called Patmos and in the kingdom of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 1:9). When it comes to issues like abortion and euthanasia, Christians cannot escape their dual citizenship: we are of the country that is called Canada, but of the kingdom that is called Christ.

In the Rodriguez case in 1994 the Supreme Court of Canada came within one vote of creating an unregulated right to physician-assisted suicide. The secular wasteland in which the Supreme Court of Canada struggles to articulate "judicial values" is perfectly captured by these words of our Chief Justice, Antonio Lamer:
Can the right to choose at issue here, that is the right to choose suicide, be described as an advantage of which the appellant is being deprived? In my opinion, the Court should answer this question without reference to the philosophical and theological considerations fuelling the debate on the morality of suicide or euthanasia. It should consider the question before it from a legal perspective ... while keeping in mind that the Charter has established the essentially secular nature of Canadian society.
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is difficult not to shudder when one contemplates what a trivial conception of human life our judges have. No God, no soul, no good and evil, no right or wrong, just consumers making choices, including the choice to take one's own life. "No man is an island entire of himself", wrote the poet John Donne, "Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind". Our judges are not involved in mankind, they are involved in vapid rights rhetoric.

New conflicts

There are several specific areas where Christian virtues come into increasing conflict with current judicial values. Let me enumerate some of them.

Judicial equation of homosexuality and heterosexuality.
Speaking in a United Church I need not point out the sensitivities on both sides of this issue, nor its potential for divisiveness.

If the Vriend decision has not already done so, it is safe to predict that Canadian law will soon equate homosexuality and heterosexuality. Christians will then have to come to terms with the issue. What do the scriptures say? What does Canadian law say? If these are in conflict, what will be the response of a church, a religious school, or a day-care centre, for example, to the homosexual who challenges a decision not to employ him?

Parental religious instruction of children.
There are recent cases where, following a divorce, the Courts have prohibited one parent from exposing the child to his or her religious beliefs -- or even taking the child to church with him -- ostensibly because it might "confuse" the child.

The Courts' view of religion appears increasingly to be this: you may hold whatever beliefs you wish, so long as you do not proclaim them.

Indeed given the depth of the court's commitment to the proposition that Canada is now a secular society, and that religion is a personal, often idiosyncratic, aberration; and given that many opinion-makers today would go further and say that religious belief is itself a sign of neurosis or underlying personality disorder, the day may be close at hand when parents will be precluded, ostensibly for the best interests of the child, from exposing their children to any religious belief.

Our time left is short, so let me just itemise other areas of conflict:

Religious observance and instruction in public schools

The rights of denominational schools

Christian home-schooling, which is under simultaneous attack from provincial governments and from the courts;
Whatever vestige of Sunday observance legislation survives in a society where Wal-Mart is now God
Tax exemptions for church property
Charitable status for Christian organisations. Already Revenue Canada has refused Human Life International charitable status because of that organisation's pro-life advocacy;

Legislation prohibiting picketing at or near abortion clinics. In Canada we already have a prisoner of conscience, a grandmother named Linda Gibbons, because of this invidious legislation brought in by former Attorney-General Marion Boyd;
Class action lawsuits against denominations; for example, a class action suit was brought within the last month which seeks 1.2 billion dollars in damages against the Anglican Church of Canada on behalf of alleged victims of sexual abuse at a residential school near Brantford. Such lawsuits are often a combination of revisionist history combined with recovered, or false, memory syndrome. Denominations which are eager to issue apologies in advance of proof may find themselves facing bankruptcy -- yet this caution does not seem to have inhibited the flood of anticipatory apologies from church headquarters.

It is important that we consider all of these issues free from the wrong notions that many Canadian Christians still hold about law and government; such as the myth that Canada is a Christian country; or the notion that churches enjoy some special immunity or protection in law; or that churches can set their own ecclesiastical rules free from state or judicial interference. Such dangerous myths have often embroiled churches in divisive, costly, and ultimately unsuccessful litigation.

What lessons can we learn?

Having considered the Charter's deleterious effect on Canadian law, and having enumerated some flashpoint issues which should be of special concern to Christians, what lessons should we learn?

Advisedly, I use the word "lessons", not conclusions. What I am now about to say is so far-reaching in its consequences, raises such profound moral and political issues, that I do not want to be misunderstood. I am asking genuine questions; I am not advocating positions. I raise four questions. It is right that Canadian Christians should ask these questions. It would be wrong for us to be cavalier or dogmatic about the right answers. Here are my four questions:
  1. My opening question: Is Canada, circa 1998, in any meaningful sense of the word, a democracy?
  2. Have we reached, or are we in danger of reaching, a point where conscientious Christians will no longer find themselves able to give tacit consent to the existing governance?
  3. If the Courts continue to insist upon a secular interpretation of Canadian law, one divorced from our Judeo-Christian heritage, what is an appropriate Christian response?
  4. If the state demands, either directly or indirectly (e.g. through taxation to finance abortions), what the law of God forbids, can the faithful Christian comply?
Well, I have posed my four questions. I do not have answers. But, in closing, I have some thoughts we might reflect on as we try to think about answers.

First, I wish to express my agreement with Charles Colson who recently wrote: "Given the demonstrated animus of the current judicial regime against believers--a showdown between Church and State may be inevitable. This is not something for which Christians should hope. But it is something for which Christians need to prepare."

I submit that any approach which offers some remediatory promise, short of individual acts of Christian civil disobedience, should be considered and tested. Having said that, I believe that Christian civil disobedience is countenanced in some cases; Pope John Paul II, writing in the encyclical Evangelium vitae, said:
Abortion and euthanasia are crimes which no human law can claim to legitimatise. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection" (Section 133).
When that holy and righteous man, John Paul 11, speaks from St. Peter's chair in Rome, and mandates Christian disobedience to law in certain areas, it behooves all Christians -- of whatever denomination -- to listen attentively.

In Canada we have one advantage over the United States in that our Charter includes section 33, the so-called "notwithstanding" clause. This section says that the Parliament of Canada, or any provincial legislature, may override specified sections of the Charter, if that government is prepared to take the political heat involved in doing so. To date the only government which has consistently demonstrated the political courage to invoke section 33 has been the government of Quebec. The Klein government in Alberta promised to invoke s. 33 prior to the Vriend decision, but backed down almost the moment the Supreme Court decision was released. But in theory, if not in practise, section 33 provides a mechanism for re-asserting the popular will in the face of judicial oligarchy.

Another step, again one suggested by Charles Colson, is that the Christian church "separate herself and declare her independence, disavowing any moral legitimacy indirectly or unofficially provided for the state in the past. Through its teaching and preaching office the church would need to expose the nature of the state's rebellion against God--in effect, bringing the state under the transcendent judgement of God."

I am not sure just how this might be accomplished. Will the desiccated Protestant mainline churches be willing to risk the most feared accusation of our time--that of being "intolerant", or "conservative", or "judgmental"--in order to state clearly and without equivocation the precepts of orthodox, scriptural Christianity? And will individual churches, their ministers and their congregations, be willing to risk their tax-exempt status by taking a public stand against what is happening in Canada? I doubt it, but I live in hope that with God all things are possible.

At the end of his influential book After Virtue, Oxford philosopher Alasdair Maclntyre points out that there came a day in the history of the Roman Empire when it lost the allegiance of its ordinary citizens; Maclntyre writes:
Men and women of good will turned aside from the task of shoring up the Roman imperium and ceased to identify the continuation of civility and moral community with that imperium. 
At minimum, I am suggesting that we are at that point among conscientious Christians today. If that is correct then we need to take to heart what the apostle Paul told the church at Philippi: to be "in no way intimidated by your opponents". We need to take that counsel to heart.

Last on my list--but first in importance--we must pray. Pray that we will have the wisdom to discern what is happening to our country and the courage to know how to respond to it. Pray as if our lives, and our children's lives, depended on it. For the truth is, that they do.

Ladies and Gentlemen, that is where I had planned to end. But, just the other day, I was again leafing through one of the formative books in my life--C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity--when I came across this short passage; this is the centenary of Lewis' birth, and next week is the 35th anniversary of his death, so I should like to conclude with these words of C. S. Lewis:
Enemy-occupied territory--that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.