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Msgr. Foy is a retired priest and canon lawyer of the Archdiocese of Toronto. He was born in Toronto, Ontario on August 14, 1915, second of a family of eight children. He attended Holy Name Catholic Elementary School and De La Salle High School in Toronto. In 1933 he entered St. Augustine’s Seminary and was ordained on June 3, 1939 by Archbishop, later Cardinal McGuigan. He was sent for post-graduate studies to Laval University in Quebec City where he took a doctoral course in Canon Law. In 1942 he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the Archdicoese of Toronto and Secretary of the Toronto Archdiocesan Matrimonial Tribunal. In 1947, he was named the Secretary of the new Toronto Regional Tribunal, which he served later as Defender of the Bond and Judge. In 1957 he was named Presiding Judge of the Regional and Archdiocesan Tribunals. In the same year he was named a Domestic Prelate by Pope Pius XII. In a part time capacity for many years he was Director of Catechetics of the Archdiocese of Toronto.
He is a founder and honorary member of the Canadian Canon Law Society.
He was named pastor of his natal parish of St. John’s in Toronto in 1966 and was there until 1973. He then served as pastor of Holy Martyrs Church in Bradford and St. Patrick’s Church in Phelpston. In 1977 and 1978 he lived in Rome in an advocacy capacity. He served as chaplain for 25 years of the Pro Aliis Club and was chaplain also of the Legion of Mary, has helped religious orders and convents and been active in other groups including the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.
Msgr. is the oldest priest in his Archdiocese and the only surviving priest of the class of 1939 of St. Augustine’s Seminary. For decades he has fearlessly articulated and defended the teachings of the Church – in a time of moral and doctrinal chaos in the Church in Canada. He is best known for his untiring defense of Catholic teachings on marriage and family life, Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae vitae. His efforts have earned him a papal commendation and the Pro-life Man of the Year Award. On June 3, 2014, he celebrates his 75th year of his ordination to the holy priesthood.
Getting ready for my 75th Ordination Anniversary, age 98
Copies of my writings on this website and some that have not been previously published will be made and are available upon request for ordering in soft cover (or hard cover) book form. Contact us or details to follow on this website with specific ordering links and information. Even upon my death, this will continue to be a non-profit endeavour and 100% of any proceeds or donations will go towards charitable works including the pro-life movement, the fostering of prayer and perpetual Eucharistic adoration, orthodox catechesis, Marian devotion, proper liturgy and the sanctification and salvation of souls.
In 2000, I was asked to do this video interview. As I noted at the beginning, someone once told me that priests are ordained and bishops are consecrated, but monsignor’s are created, which means something is made out of nothing.
In any case, a copy of the interview is posted here on my Youtube account:
I was pleased to see the following letter to the Editor in the March issue of Catholic Insight magazine:
Teilhard in “Hostage to the Devil”
I am writing to clarify a few points related to Fr. Tony Van Hee’s sad defence of the banned writings of Teilhard de Chardin.
Msgr. Foy is correct. On record (that is, based on what has been reported), Teilhard de Chardin made no public retraction for his errors before he died. Promoting heretical writings promotes heresy. Dabbling is dangerous.
Malachi Martin’s book “Hostage to the Devil – The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans” is described on the back cover as “a controversial non-fiction best seller” and is purported to be “a chilling and true account of possession and exorcism in North America….” One of those five reported cases, was that of a priest, who apparently became possessed after reading Teilhard de Chardin’s forbidden writings.
M.T.M., Toronto, ON
Recently, concerned clergy, parents and educators have approached me regarding present and proposed radical sex-education programs. I have written this statement in response.
Comments on Sex Education, Updated March 12, 2015
First, I would like to state that, regarding educational guidance in human love, group instruction in biological details is contrary to Church teaching. Modesty, chastity, respect for parents, sin, the means of grace and the formation of conscience are proper content to be considered in the classroom.
I wrote a booklet “From Winnipeg to Fully Alive” in protest against the Fully Alive program when it was first introduced in Catholic schools in Ontario (see article under Catholic Education section at http://www.msgrfoy.com). This was a critique/condemnation of the published edition of this sex-education program at that time, in 1992. Apparently, there is an updated 2012 version of the Fully Alive program used in Ontario Catholic schools now, but I have been too ill to critique that current edition. There are teachers who simply would not and still do not teach the Fully Alive program and I have received complaints from parents about it just this week.
Do I have anything to say about Ontario’s radical sex education program?
I recently signed a petition at http://www.lifesitenews.com to protest the introduction of Kathleen Wynne’s sex education program. I am opposed to this explicit sex-education curriculum that Liberal and lesbian Kathleen Wynne would like to implement in September of this year. Parents across Ontario are still petitioning that it not be introduced in schools. Taxpayers’ dollars should not go into corrupting children and stealing the innocence of our students. Wynne’s program violates Judeo-Christian morality and the religious beliefs of Ontario parents. Studies have shown that classroom sex-education is concomitant with an increase in teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, promiscuity and fornication, abortion, and spiritual devastation.
The curriculum victimizes children by desensitizing them in the sacred and private area of sexuality. I see it as a form of sexual abuse. On March 3, 2015, Lifesitenews reported “The new elementary school sex education curriculum just unveiled by Ontario’s Liberal and lesbian premier, Kathleen Wynne, is a ‘disaster,’ and amounts to ‘sexual abuse,’ according to psychotherapists interviewed by LifeSiteNews. ‘Any action which sexualizes a child before he or she is ready is sexual abuse,’ said Dr. Robert McDonald, a retired psychotherapist and medical doctor. ‘Therefore so-called sex-ed for children before puberty is an act of sexual abuse.’”
I would not endorse the current 2012 Fully Alive family resource, for theme three, grade 3 (7/8 year olds) describing the marital act in detail, including male and female genitalia.
I am edified to hear that Archbishop Prendergast has spoken out against it. Many are petitioning members of parliament to stop this program from being implemented. I hope this will happen. I am not certain if Kathleen Wynne threatened to withhold funding from Catholic schools if they do not go along with some inclusion of her program.
I was told Cardinal Collins recently stated that updates for the implementation of Wynne’s program will only be made to the existing family life education program, in line with Catholic teachings. (As noted above however, in 1992 I wrote my critique of the Fully Alive program used in Catholic Schools at that time. Just yesterday, I received complaints from concerned Catholic parents who believe the program is still inappropriate and are therefore withdrawing their children from the Catholic school system. Even a program with a local bishop’s Imprimatur is not guaranteed to be suitable for children and youth).
Besides Catholic schools that are obligated to uphold Catholic teachings, children who attend public and private schools need to be protected against such an evil indoctrination into sinful behaviours. Wynne’s radical sex-education program does not respect the latency period and is harmful to children. It will lead to corruption in society and further demolition of the family.
In light of the current threat of Kathleen Wynne to introduce more radical sex education, I would like to state some of the principal teachings of the Church on sex education:
- “Sex education, which is a basic right and duty of parents, must always be carried out under their attentive guidance, whether at home or in educational centers chosen and controlled by them. In this regard the Church re-affirms the law of subsidiarity, which the school is bound to observe when it cooperates in sex education.” (Familiaris Consortio, 37)
- “Education for chastity is absolutely essential.” (ibid.)
- “Christian parents, discerning the signs of God’s Will, will devote special attention and care to educate in virginity or celibacy as the supreme form of that self-giving that constitutes the very meaning of human sexuality.” (ibid.)
- “The Church is firmly opposed to an often widespread form of imparting sex information dissociated from moral principles.” (ibid.)
- “The fact remains ever valid that in regard to the more intimate aspects, whether biological or affective, an individual education should be bestowed, preferably within the sphere of the family.” (Educational Guideline, n. 58)
- “Speaking generally, during the period of childhood, it suffices to employ those remedies which produce the double effect of opening the door to the virtue of purity and closing the door upon vice.” (From the encyclical of Pope Pius XI)
These teachings and guidelines of the Church are not followed in radical sex-education.
On March 5, 2015, lawyer Gwen Landolt, released a press release from Real Women of Canada, exposing that Kathleen Wynne and Lis Sandals, Minister of Education, lied to the public and covered up that Benjamin Levin, who was recently convicted of being a child predator, was in charge of the new sex-ed curriculum. Gwen Landolt stated: “This curriculum is not acceptable and should be withdrawn so that it can be properly reviewed and allow parents opportunity to be consulted on its contents.”
What else can be done about the present and potential future problems?
More families who are able to do so could decide to home-school.
Cardinal Ambrozic stated that parents or guardians are free to have their children withdrawn from the existing family life education (Fullly Alive) program.
“It’s actually in the Education Act that a parent has the right to withdraw their child from content they don’t want their child to receive,” Education Minister Liz Sandals said in an interview with the National Post. However, the fallout and spreading of the teachings of this program across the curriculum, makes it virtually impossible to enforce a total exemption.
For Catholics who cannot homeschool, an exemption form could be completed at the school and/or parish level, perhaps inserted in school or parish bulletins. As noted earlier, I have not read or critiqued the current family life education (Fully Alive) program used in Ontario Catholic schools, or any proposed updates or editions, so I don’t have a right to and cannot consent to give my own endorsement of it.
For public or private schools, parents or parental guardians can and should exercise their right to protect and remove their children from Wynne’s program by signing a waiver to have them exempted from attending sex-education classes. A letter could simply be provided by or submitted to the school principal and a copy given to the child’s sex-ed/family-life/phys-ed and health/teachers, to note the names of students to be exempted.
Exempting students from sex-education programs:
For example, a form letter could be used:
Dear Principal ________________,
I _______________ (name of parent or guardian) hereby request that the following students __________________ (names of students) be exempted from the sex-education curriculum and classes.
Signature of Parent or Parental Guardian
Msgr. Vincent Foy, Canon Lawyer, Former Director of Catechetics, Archdiocese of Toronto
A hymn was written “in honour of Msgr. Vincent Foy” by Fr. Louis Di Rocco. When I hear it, I usually have a good laugh.
Here is a link to it on my Youtube page:
I have spent many hours doing pastoral work and in the confessional. I had some recreation time to get physical exercise and to maintain a balanced life with healthy interests like family, friends, studying, reading, writing, being a pen-pal, religious and family-friendly entertainment like watching EWTN and natural healthcare.
One of my other hobbies has been doing some magic tricks and flourishes using a deck of playing cards. I was interested in sanctifying and saving souls and this was just one of the ways I enjoyed reaching out to them. I used to do some magic shows for school children, parish groups, nephews, nieces, and small gatherings of my fellow priests. Hopefully, the faith I taught is more remembered than the magic shows I gave.
St. John Bosco can be seen as a patron saint of Catholic magicians since he used magic and juggling as a tool. His autobiography lists dozens of magic tricks used for the purpose of offering religious instruction to children and youth.
Fr. Ted Colleton, a very prayerful friend and pro-life warrior, used to enjoy doing card tricks. It was amazing how he could find the cards you picked in a deck and got you laughing, even into his old age. It is a way to be able to meet people and share some good cheer.
I have not read it yet, but there is a book that received an Imprimatur from the Catholic Church that shows how catechists can teach the faith using “magic” tricks.
Sleight of hand magic, or illusions, should not be confused with sorcery. This kind of innocent magic is not “new age” or occult practice.
Someone who does sleight of hand tricks to manipulate objects, including playing card shuffling games or flourishes, to catechize or entertain with a pure intention is not attempting to invoke evil forces.
What the Church condemns is summoning or attempting to manipulate supernatural power to further the magician’s ends. “All practices or magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one’s service and have a supernatural power over others – even if this were for the sake of restoring their health – are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion.” (CCC 2117)
In 2011, my book “A Cut Above” was published. It is currently the most complete collection of one-hand card cuts ever published. Many of them are original. It is for those who are interested in learning some challenging card flourishes. Flourishes are basically fancy ways of shuffling or “cutting” playing cards in an entertaining way that requires skill with the hands and takes practice.
Even if you are an amateur and make a mistake trying to do a trick that is designed to entertain or catechize, you can laugh at yourself and get others laughing about it. You can still intend to make friends and evangelize or catechize, directly or indirectly, at the same time.
True ecumenism is to bring all souls to God, Who is Love, through the fullness of the Christian Faith in the Catholic Church. Everything we do, including our recreation, such as exercise or hobbies, can be offered up for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
I once wrote a booklet including card tricks I invented using table salt as a card locator. You could even use blessed salt. I was recently asked to bless and exorcise some salt according to the 1962 missal, for use on food etc.
I am posting a photo of me teaching a one-hand card flourish to “Dr. Casaubon.” As you can see, we were having a good laugh.
Msgr. Vincent Foy, February 27, 2015
Letter to the Editor
Concerning the teaching of Teilhard de Chardin
In response to the letter to the editor in February issue of Catholic Insight, I would like to make the following observations.
Cardinal Journet is thought by some to be the greatest theologian of the nineteenth century. His verdict is: “de Chardin’s works are disastrous… If one accepts de Chardin’s explanation one must reject the Christian notion of Creation, Spirit, God, Evil, Original Sin, the Cross, the Resurrection, Divine Love, etc.” (Nova et Vetera, Oct-Dec 1962).
“If we reject it [Teilhard’s doctrine] we are being faithful to all of traditional Christianity, we are accepting Christianity as it has been preserved and developed in the course of centuries by the divinely assured magisterium.” (A Periscope on Teilhard de Chardin, Rev. Fr. John Flanagan, Vol 1, 1971).
Msgr. Vincent Foy
February 5, 2015