Top Posts & Pages
- Letter to Cardinal on Fully Alive, March 30, 2015
- Teilhard de Chardin: Arch Heretic by Monsignor Vincent Foy
- EWTN documentary: Champion for Life
- Notes on Gregory Baum; By Their Fruits you Shall Know Them. By Monsignor Vincent Foy
- Brief answers to interview questions on my 75th Ordination Anniversary
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
I continue to receive complaints and questions about the grave problems with the Ontario Liberal government’s Ministry of Education new revised Health & Physical Education (HPE) curriculum (which includes sex and same-sex education) that they plan to implement in September 2015 and the existing Ontario Bishops’ Fully Alive sex-education curriculum.
Some links to the new HPE sex-ed curriculum
For decades the Ministry has had guidelines for HPE courses that includes a sex-education component, but this revised curriculum is much worse.
You can see that there are things in these curriculum guidelines that are morally permissible including physical fitness, “Healthy Eating” etc. The sex-ed (“Human Development and Sexual Health”) content is problematic.
HPE courses are required in elementary school. In secondary school, one credit in this subject area is necessary in order to obtain a high school diploma. After one high school credit, which could be enough to seriously harm a teenager, this course is an optional subject.
Morally Offensive sex-ed Curriculum
Parts of the new HPE curriculum are more dangerous and morally offensive. For example, the teaching of the false ideology of gender fluidity is false and harmful. God made us to be and we are born and will remain in only one of two genders, either male or female.
Yoga (part of the Hindu religious practise) is taught as part of the curriculum. The Vatican and others, including exorcists, have warned against the practice of Yoga exercise as an entry-way into the occult and the New Age.
Campaign Life Coalition Exposes and Objects to sex-ed Curriculum
A pamphlet produced by Campaign Life Coalition entitled “Ontario’s Health and Physical Education HPE Curriculum 2015” lists problems with the ministry curriculum including it: usurps parental rights as primary educators of their children; attacks and undermines childhood as a time of growth and development; is age-inappropriate; terms are false, inadequate and biased; advocates a mechanical view of sex without any moral content; introduces concepts at too early an age; creates family conflict, alienates children from their families; scripts of teacher-student prompts are “gay” propaganda; calls or self-censorship of teachers etc.
Catholic Civil Rights League Objects to sex-ed Curriculum
The Catholic Civil Rights league objects to aspect of the Ontario curriculum:
Lifesitenews Reports on Protests to sex-ed Curriculum
Lifesitenews has been covering this problem in many articles. There have been parental and other petitions against it.
A massive protest took place with many groups and individuals from a wide variety of faiths and cultures including Parents as First Educators who are opposed to this abusive curriculum:
There was also a protest in Ottawa to have funding allocated towards the schooling of parental guardian’s choice, including homeschooling.
REAL Women of Canada Objects to sex-ed Curriculum
Real Women of Canada has made the following press releases:
I consulted Catholic civil lawyer, Gwen Landolt, who also prepared the following statement:
Constitutional Position of Catholic School Boards in Regard to the Ontario Sex-Education Curriculum
Gwendolyn Landolt June 29, 2015
REAL Women of Canada
I have now had the opportunity to review all the relevant material on this critical issue of the proposed Ontario sex-education curriculum. My conclusions are as follows:
1. I would be hesitant to accept any conclusion that only the Catholic School Boards have the sole decision-making authority on the sex education curriculum. Rather, it seems, there are other members of the Catholic establishment who would also be involved in such a decision. This would include the Institute for Catholic Education (ICE), Bishops, Directors of Education, Superintendents, as well as the Catholic School Trustees. Also, in 2014, a controversial Divisional Court case Erazo v. Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board provided relief to a family, who wished to withdraw their children from religious studies, Mass and religious retreats at a Catholic high school in Brampton. This decision relates to the exemption of non-Catholic students attending Catholic Schools as provided by the Education Act. The Education Act also, however, describes schools as “communities”. All children are part of this Catholic “community” and are expected to participate in the life of the community, including in the school’s curriculum, provided always that the school’s curriculum is based on a Catholic perspective. If the curriculum in the Catholic Schools fails to provide a Catholic perspective, then Catholic parents have the right to withdraw their children from the curriculum, and to challenge the curriculum’s acceptance in the Catholic school.
This right was apparent in Daly et al v. Attorney General of Ontario (1999) when individual separate school supporters, together with the trustees, brought an application before the Ontario Court of Appeal. In its Judgment, the Court refers to the aim of a Catholic school as being the creation of a community of believers with a distinct sense of the Catholic culture.
2. Both Premier Wynne and Education Minister Sandals have also indicated that parents can withdraw their children from aspects of the program they found problematic. It is significant, however, that the latter have stated that some aspects of the new curriculum cannot be opted out, since they deal with human rights issues and equality, such as homosexual rights, same-sex families, etc. In other words, they claim, children cannot be exempted from these so-called aspects of the curriculum, i.e. human rights provisions (National Post, February 23, 2015). In this context, Catholic boards have played a “wait and see” approach.
3. It would appear, however, that the statements by the provincial officials prohibiting the withdrawal of children on some human rights matters, are in conflict with the constitutional right of Catholic schools. This is because defining an issue as a “human right” does not mean that these issues must be accepted by the Catholic Boards, if they are in conflict with Catholic teachings and offend its “distinct sense of the Catholic culture”.
4. The Ontario Education Act was amended in 2006 (when Kathleen Wynne was the Minister of Education) to provide that the Minister may establish policies, guidelines and standards with respect to equivalent learning and require boards to develop and offer equivalent learning opportunities to their pupils.
This section also goes on to provide that the Minister may designate . . . programs, courses of study or other activities that are approved for the purpose of equivalent learning.
This provision appears to give extensive jurisdiction to the Minister as to whether a course is “equivalent” or not to that which was provided by the Ministry. In other words, any sex education course developed by the Catholic School Boards could be subject to the approval of the Minister.
5. This latter provision appears to conflict with Sections 1(4) and 1(4.1) of the Education Act which provides that the Education Act cannot adversely affect any right or privilege guaranteed by Section 93 of the Constitution Act (1867) which provides as follows:
93. In and for each Province the Legislature may exclusively make Laws in relation to Education, subject and according to the following Provisions:
(1) Nothing in any such Law shall prejudicially affect any Right or Privilege with respect to Denominational Schools which any Class of Persons have by Law in the Province at the Union;
(2) All the Powers, Privileges, and Duties at the Union by Law conferred and imposed in Upper Canada on the Separate Schools and School Trustees of the Queen’s Roman Catholic Subjects shall be and the same are hereby extended to the Dissentient Schools of the Queen’s Protestant and Roman Catholic Subjects in Quebec;
(3) Where in any Province a System of Separate or Dissentient Schools exists by Law at the Union or is thereafter established by the Legislature of the Province, an Appeal shall lie to the Governor General in Council from any Act or Decision of any Provincial Authority affecting any Right or Privilege of the Protestant or Roman Catholic Minority of the Queen’s Subjects in relation to Education;
(4) In case any such Provincial Law as from Time to Time seems to the Governor General in Council requisite for the due Execution of the Provisions of this Section is not made, or in case any Decision of the Governor General in Council on any Appeal under this Section is not duly executed by the proper Provincial Authority in that Behalf, then and in every such Case, and as far only as the Circumstances of each Case require, the Parliament of Canada may make remedial Laws for the due Execution of the Provisions of this Section and of any Decision of the Governor General in Council under this Section.
Further, Section 29 of the Charter of Rights provides that there can be no abrogation or derogation from any rights or privileges guaranteed under the Constitution of Canada in respect of “denominational, separate or dissentient schools”.
The recent Loyola High School v. Quebec (Attorney General) 2015 decision of the Supreme Court of Canada dealt with a similar issue of ministerial approval of an “equivalent” program from a Catholic high school, in respect of the implementation of the Quebec Ethics and Religious Culture curriculum. That case stands for the proposition that a private Catholic school retains the right to teach its own faith from its own Catholic perspective, rather than some purported “neutral” perspective, in accordance with the freedom of religion provisions in the Charter of Rights. This decision relates to a private Catholic School, but the principle is the same in regard to public funded Catholic Schools, in regard to freedom of religion, and is consistent with and confirms denominational rights pursuant to S.93 of the Constitution Act (1867).
Consequently, I would be of the opinion that the Catholic Schools can not be compelled to implement the Ontario sex education curriculum.
It is noted that this conclusion is contrary to the opinion dated June 2, 2015, provided by the lawyer, Nadya Tymochenko, of the law firm of Miller Thomson directed to the Halton Catholic District School Board. In this latter opinion, Ms. Tymochenko stated that the Minister of Education, pursuant to Section 230(a) of the Education Act could issue a Directive to the Catholic Board to comply with the sex education program and, if failing to do so, this could result in a “an Order of Cabinet vesting control of the school board in the Ministry of Education”.
I would strongly disagree with this latter conclusion for the constitutional reasons stated above, as well as for the problem that would arise should the Ministry try to do so, as this would give rise to perceived intolerance and religious insensitivity.
The opinion of Ms. Tymochenko which was directed to the Halton Catholic District School Board, also concluded inter alia that parents need only be “consulted”, but cannot be a part of the decision on the sex-education curriculum.
In view of these questionable conclusions by Ms. Tymochenko, I would recommend that the Ontario Bishops obtain an opinion from independent legal counsel on these matters.
It would be my opinion that the Catholic School Boards are not required under the Constitution to implement those parts of the Physical Education & Health (which includes sex-education) curriculum that are contrary to Catholic teachings.
If the Ministry of Education should try to force the issue (which I very much doubt it would do), the Catholic authorities could protect themselves by way of seeking an injunction, or, interestingly enough, follow the two-step remedial procedure provided in Section 93 of the Constitution Act 1867 which is as follows:
(a) Appealing this decision to the Ontario Cabinet (Governor General in Council); and
(b) If the Cabinet does not duly execute the provisions of Section 93 of the Constitution Act 1867, then the matter be referred to the Parliament of Canada to make remedial laws for the execution of Section 93 of the Constitution Act 1867.
It is doubtful, however, that a federal cabinet would want to be drawn into such a controversial issue.
As stated above, however, I very much believe it would not come to this. The Catholic Boards hold a very strong position under Constitutional Law.
REAL Women of Canada
Opinions of Catholic Civil Lawyer, Geoff Cauchi
I also consulted a Catholic civil lawyer, Geoff Cauchi, who gave the following five comments from a secular and legal perspective:
- “The Denominational Rights belong to a ‘Class of persons’, being all of the Catholic Electors in each board, collectively. These rights may be asserted and/or defended by the Trustees, on behalf of the Class of Persons. The Catholic Bishop is only one of the Catholic Electors, presuming that he is registered as one. In my opinion, the Denominational Rights could also be asserted by any single Catholic Elector, or group of them, in legal proceedings in a court of law.”
- “A Bishop has no secular authority whatsoever in this process. All he can do is advise the Trustees on what they should do, if anything, to adapt the curriculum as written by the Ministry to make it consistent with Catholic teaching. ICE, similarly, has no authority at all in this process. It could provide advice to the individual Boards, but each Board has the sole decision-making authority and responsibility on this, and can accept or reject its advice.”
- “A single Catholic Elector, including a Catholic Bishop, has no legal status under the Education Act to implement curriculum in schools governed by the Education Act. Only School Boards have that authority. That said, a single Catholic Elector, including a Bishop, could commence a legal action for a declaration by a court that the Ministry of Education does not have the constitutional authority to prevent a Catholic School board from adapting a prescribed curriculum to make it consistent with Catholic teaching.”
- “All of the Bishops’ ‘rights’ and obligations are limited to those in the Code of Canon Law. The Bishop has the right and duty to oversee all Catholic schools to make sure they are authentically Catholic, but this has nothing to do with the civil law.”
- “When the curriculum was announced, I would have preferred to see the Bishops stand up in public and correctly state the civil law obligation of the Trustees to assert and defend the Denominational Rights of all Catholic Electors, and then tell the Trustees that they also had a moral duty, as Catholics, to do so.”
According to Canon Law
As a Catholic Canon lawyer, I will note below Church laws governing Catholic education and schools that are given in Canons 793-806.
Catholic schools were established to be Catholic and must be faithful to Catholic teachings. We need to provide and restore faithful Catholic Education and courses.
Catholic Bishops, Schools Boards, Trustees, teachers and parents all have serious moral obligations to be faithful to Catholic teachings.
In Catholic schools, Catholic teachers are required to teach the Catholic faith and are not to teach anything against the Catholic faith. This often depends on what they are advised to do by their bishop, board and trustees and how well a Catholic teacher knows and teaches only content that is in accordance with Catholic teachings.
Of signal importance is Canon 804.2 which states “The local ordinary is to be careful that those who are appointed as teachers of religion in schools, even non-Catholic ones, are outstanding in true doctrine, in the witness of their Christian life and in their teaching ability.”
In Canon 805, we are told that in his own diocese the local ordinary has the right to appoint or to approve teachers of religion and, if religion or moral considerations require it, to remove them or to demand that they be removed. Teachers who are not faithful in their religious practice should be removed. There should be no compromise in this matter.
Religion should certainly be the primary subject in Catholic schools.
All teaching should be in accord with the Catholic Catechism. Bishops can state and advise that the new curriculum is not in line with Catholic teachings and cannot be implemented, as it is, in Catholic schools. Bishops sometimes make mistakes.
As it is, if the revised Ministry of Education curriculum is not stopped or rejected, for Catholic schools/boards/teachers, it must be “adapted” or only parts could be implemented in adherence to Catholic teaching. Basically, all of the parts that are immoral and that don’t comply with Church guidelines would have to be omitted or strictly adapted to reflect and in line with only Catholic teaching.
The minutes from the Archdiocesan clergy meeting recorded that only a small percentage of the new curriculum would be implemented since most of it is morally offensive to religious persons.
Catholic school boards and trustees must not follow advice and implement subject matter if it goes against Catholic teachings. For Catholic elementary schools, adding anything to the existing Fully Alive program will not correct this flawed approach and program.
The group appointed by the bishops to prepare their recommendations to school boards regarding adapting the new sex ed curriculum, ICE, has a sad track record of providing the inappropriate and harmful Fully Alive program.
I continue to recommend that the “Fully Alive” family life (sex) education program currently used in Ontario Catholic elementary schools be removed since it is harmful and not faithful to Church guidelines, by teaching explicit sexual information to children before puberty. As another Canadian bishop once stated: All that is necessary can be taught in the context of the Sixth and Ninth Commandments with formation and teaching in the virtues of chastity and modesty and the means of grace through the solid Faith and Life religion series and are treated magnificently in the second and third parts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The proper authority in the area of family life education should be with the parents.
Please see my previous postings in 2015 and earlier for detailed letters and information on what is wrong with Fully Alive and how it is not in accordance with the Church’s guidelines on family life education.
The moral and legal rights of the Catholic Church, schools, parents, teachers and students to uphold the Catholic faith must be defended and protected by the Church, Bishops, Catholic school boards, trustees, government, parents and students. The government’s Ministry of Education cannot force Catholic school boards and teachers to teach any immoral course content related to a false concept of human rights.
Rev. Msgr. Vincent Foy, PH, JCD
Warning: content from the Fully Alive program contained in the second link below is offensive and contains sexual content that is not suitable for children. It is only being provided as evidence of what is wrong with this sex education series that is still currently being used in Catholic elementary schools in Ontario, Canada in 2015.
For adults only – please do NOT click on and open the following link with information and diagrams from the Fully Alive program, unless you are an adult. It contains sexual content that is harmful:
For Catholic elementary schools, adding anything to the existing Fully Alive program will not correct a flawed approach and program.
I was also informed recently that “the Institute for Catholic Education (ICE) who have been appointed to update Fully Alive already wrongfully worsened this harmful curriculum years ago to classify homosexuality as a ‘normal teenage emotion’.”
Here are some recent articles on the problems of classroom sex-education:
Note: Since I wrote the above letter, I found out that, in most of English Canada, the “Born of the Spirit” religion series will be replaced by the “Growing in Faith Growing in Christ” series, for grades 1 through 8 in Catholic schools. The whole series will be available by December of 2018. I have not seen this new series yet.
Today I was asked if, on June 3, 2015, will 76 years as a diocesan priest qualify me in any way for the Guinness World Book of Records?
Although permission was properly obtained by EWTN to record and televise the attached, I was told that due to time constraints in the 1/2 hour TV documentary they are premiering on my 76th Ordination Anniversary, the producers were only able to include the beginning of this homily, so it is posted here:
At this time, I am reminding myself of the introduction to “A Spiritual Autobiography” by Servant of God, Fr. John Hardon SJ (1914-2000). He wrote: “If there is one autobiography that has deeply shaped my life, it has been the story of St. Augustine. He credits himself only with the commission of his sins. He credits God with whatever good he has done.”
In agreement with that statement, I give all glory and honour and credit to God and thank him for 76 years of priestly ordination coming up on June 3, 2015.
Fr. Hardon helped found the:
Marian Catechist Apostolate (an excellent catechetical program for any diocese to use) http://www.mariancatechist.com
Real Presence Eucharistic Education and Adoration Association http://www.therealpresence.org
Eternal Life http://www.lifeeternal.org
He often warned: “Unless we recover the zeal and the spirit of the first century Christians – unless we are willing to do what they did and to pay the price they paid, the future of our country, the days of America are numbered.”
At the present time, in many countries the Church is in grave danger because of the contraceptive mentality and many other evils. To save the Church, many reforms are necessary. I am listing some suggestions for this purpose.
Build a Culture of Life
Father John Hardon SJ (died Dec. 30, 2000) was surely one of the greatest theologians of the last century. Near the end of his life he gave a lecture entitled “The Greatest Moral Responsibility: to convert the Contraceptive Mentality.” The Contraceptive mentality has led to the suicidal birthrate in many parts of the Church. The Church cannot survive where the suicidal mentality prevails. A number of factors are involved in countries where there is a suicidal birthrate. Chief of these is the use of contraception.
- We need to overcome the contraceptive mentality.
- Be strongly pro-life, pro-family, pro-chastity, pro-modesty in every diocese, family and parish.
- Have faithful and regular pro-life preaching in all parishes: the doctrine of the Church on Humanae vitae should be taught two or three times a year.
- Catholic hospitals (and medical professionals) should not permit and must be ordered to stop doing direct sterilizations, allowing the prescription of contraception, abortion referrals etc. in accordance with Canon Law. Otherwise, the hospitals should not be called Catholic.
- The encyclical Humanae vitae must be known and taught by every seminary professor.
- Priests must only be given faculties to hear Confession when they show in their Jurisdiction Examination that they adhere to the teaching of Humanae vitae.
- In pre-nuptial instruction, the couple must be taught and assent to practice the Church’s teaching on Humanae vitae.
- In marriage counseling the doctrine of Humanae vitae must be taught.
- Catholic physicians, medical professionals, nurses and societies of these professions must be taught and must teach and adhere to Catholic teachings.
- Catholic sexual ethics and morality must be preached and taught, in accordance with Catholic teachings on marriage, homosexuality, fornication etc.
- It helps to have a place where faithful Catholic books and pamphlets are available for sale.
- Of help also is a lending library where good books are on loan.
- Have societies/groups e.g. altar society, children, youth, adults, a group to visit the sick and those in hospitals.
- A social affairs committee could help to arrange such matters as parish picnics, welcome to new parishioners and special events.
- A committee could help with inter-parish affairs.
- A parish history group could be formed to make regular reports.
- Male members could be encouraged to join the Knight of Columbus or other men’s groups.
- A considerable help would be annual retreats with a visiting speaker, perhaps one week given for male and one for female parishioners.
- Use all the means of social communications in a digital age.
- Have parish websites with Mass times and other orthodox information.
Provide Authentic Liturgy and Sacred Architecture
- Every Church should have a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and other statues and the Stations of the Cross.
- Restore central Tabernacle placement and Communion rails, including cathedral.
- Have a chapel or Altar for Exposition and Eucharistic Adoration.
- Implement Ecclesia Dei with more parishes to also provide traditional sacraments.
- Therefore, train seminarians also to provide the Sacraments in the traditional Latin Rite.
- Priests can celebrate Mass ad Orientum, facing the Tabernacle/Altar to worship God with the congregation.
- Renew Holy Communion on the tongue and rescind Communion in hand.
- For Novus Ordo Masses, in accordance with liturgical regulations, only allow extraordinary ministers for extraordinary circumstances.
- Restore Sacred Music and Gregorian Chant to have “pride of place”.
- Provide a Parish Book of Chant i.e. http://media.musicasacra.com/books/pbc_2nd.pdf
- Have choirs in the choir loft whenever possible. In every church there should be a place for an organized choir.
- Use the organ when possible.
- Recite the St. Michael the Archangel prayer after Masses to protect from and combat evil.
- As one of the ways to encourage vocations to the priesthood, only allow/have Altar Boys.
- Have the Rosary and prayers of the Divine Office in parishes.
Be faithful and orthodox
- Faith and morals do not change. A Catholic hierarchy must be doctrinally faithful.
- Put the salvation and sanctification of souls as a priority.
- Request an Oath of Fidelity and Profession of Faith be made by all clergy, religious, seminarians (and teachers of the Catholic Faith) in accordance with Canon Law.
- If I were a member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, I would invite all members to unite and make a statement specifically revoking the former erroneous CCCB Winnipeg Statement. If no supporters, I would issue my own statement stating that it is invalid and must not be used anywhere.
- Instruct pastors to give homilies on moral and doctrinal teachings of the Church.
- Defend marriage: only true annulments should be granted (not “catholic divorces”).
- A condition for receiving Holy Communion is being in the state of grace. Therefore, Catholics living in a state of sin (e.g. who were validly married in the Catholic Church, then divorced and then remarried outside the Church without an Annulment) cannot be permitted to receive Holy Communion until they right their condition and repent.
- The Church is the guardian of Divine Law. The Church cannot change Divine Law or Church Doctrine/Dogma (i.e. the Church cannot marry a man to a horse). Pastoral practise must be in accordance with the Truths of Divine Law (Dogma/Doctrine). For example, Catholics should be in a state of grace to receive Holy Communion. This cannot be changed. The Church can only change Ecclesiastical Law (e.g. increasing the number of witnesses at a Catholic marriage) and Liturgical Law (e.g. insisting that a wedding take place at a Mass).
- Promote true ecumenism/evangelization (try to convert non-Catholics to the Catholic Faith).
- Bishops should reject any government mandate that contradicts Catholic moral teaching.
- Invite only authentic religious congregations to establish foundations. (The average age of declining religious left in Canada is 80 years old).
Renew Consecration and Devotion to Mary
- Consecrate myself, the diocese, country, Russia and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and try to live it.
- Promote the praying of the Rosary in parishes, families, schools etc.
- Promote total consecration to Jesus through Mary in parishes, families, schools etc..
The laws governing Catholic education and schools are given in Canons 793-806.
Provide and Restore faithful Catholic Education and curriculums:
- Of signal importance is Canon 804.2 which states “The local ordinary is to be careful that those who are appointed as teachers of religion in schools, even non-Catholic ones, are outstanding in true doctrine, in the witness of their Christian life and in their teaching ability.”
- In Canon 805 we are told that in his own diocese the local ordinary has the right to appoint or to approve teachers of religion and, if religion or moral considerations require it, to remove them or to demand that they be removed. Teachers who are not faithful in their religious practice should be removed. There should be no compromise in this matter.
- Religion should certainly be the primary subject in Catholic schools.
- Prayer should be said at the beginning of teaching. Along with the manner for going to Confession, prayers should be taught and known e.g. the Rosary, the Angelus etc.
- All teaching should be in accord with the Catholic Catechism.
- Remove the “Fully Alive” family life (sex) education program currently used in Ontario Catholic schools. It is harmful and not faithful to Church guidelines, by teaching explicit sexual information to children before puberty. As another Canadian bishop once stated: All that is necessary can be taught in the context of the Sixth and Ninth Commandments with formation and teaching in the virtues of chastity and modesty and the means of grace through the solid Faith and Life religion series and are treated magnificently in the second and third parts of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The proper authority in the area of family life education should be with the parents.
- Remove the “Born of the Spirit” religion series (also currently used in Canadian Catholic schools).
- Replace the above two programs with a faithful catechism in all Catholic schools and parish RCIA etc. For example the “Faith and Life” religion series available at http://www.ignatius.com, the “Catechism of the Catholic Church”, and the Marian Catechist program (http://www.mariancatechist.com).
- The rights of the Catholic Church, schools, parents and teachers to uphold and teach the Catholic Faith should be protected by bishops and governments.
Restore and revive the use of the Sacraments
A thriving Church makes full use of the Sacrament of Penance. At one time four confessionals at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto were kept busy on Saturday afternoons from 4:30-6:30pm. After a break for supper they were again kept busy from 7:30-9pm. They were intermittently busy until 10pm. Children in primary schools went to confession monthly. Now confessionals are often without penitents and sometimes children go a year without confession.
- It is important to speak and teach on the benefits of this great sacrament.
- Times for Confession should be greatly lengthened. Encourage increased Confession times.
- Frequent Confession should be promoted even if there is not mortal sin. The benefits of frequent Confession of devotion should be encouraged when there is no serious sin.
- Taught at all levels should be the manner of Examination of Conscience. Very often the examination of conscience is taught with no mention of the difference between mortal and venial sins and the necessity of confessing the number of times when mortal sins are committed. All school children should be taught how to make a good confession and encouraged to confess frequently.
- A detailed, thorough and proper Examination of Conscience, should be published, provided and promoted for children, youth and adults. It helps to have an examination in the past tense, noting what is mortally sinful, and stating that the number of times when mortal sins are committed should be confessed. If the person is not sure how many times or if it is really not possible for them to remember, then they should give an approximate estimate of that number (e.g. about once a week for a month, “multiple” times).
- All deliberate sexual arousal outside of marriage is objectively mortally sinful.
- Stop sacrileges, Holy Communion is not for those in mortal sin.
Obligatory Attendance at Mass:
The Church cannot thrive where there is not general attendance at Sunday Mass.
- It is necessary that the importance, beauty and meaning of the Mass be taught in the parishes and at Catholic schools.
- Parents should be taught the obligation of seeing that their children attend Sunday Mass.
- Children and young people should be taught to encourage their parents to attend Sunday Mass. It is obvious that many parents neglect the duty of seeing that their children attend Mass. Likewise, it is evident that many parents do not consider Sunday Mass a grave obligation. What is said about Sunday Mass attendance likewise refers to when Saturday evening Mass attendance is permitted to fulfill the Sunday obligation.
- It is helpful if Missals are possessed by parents and children.
Frequent Communion/daily Mass:
- Encourage frequent Holy Communion.
- By making daily Mass available at times convenient to the laity, perhaps ensuring that there is an early morning or evening Mass in each parish or family of parishes, more people will be able to attend daily Mass.
Provide extended Eucharistic Adoration
- Establish Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, extended exposition up to 24 hours a day, “in every parish and Christian community” as requested by Pope John Paul II. Chapels can be set up in a room in the church basement, vestibule, main floor, rectory or have the exposition in the main body of the Church. Help is available to start or organize this program in parishes (e.g. schedule a missionary).
- Revive Forty Hours devotions in parishes.
Be faithful to and implement Canon Law
- In accordance with Canon Law, excommunicate public obstinate heretics after warning.
- In accordance with Canon Law, refuse Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians.
- In accordance with Canon Law, bishops and clergy who are public unrepentant dissenters must be disciplined and suspended when required.
- In accordance with Canon/Moral Law, where it becomes evident that there are practicing unrepentant homosexuals (or lesbians) in clerical or religious states, they must be removed from active ministry. Every case is different and to be judged individually.
Reach out to and save the Youth
- There should be parish youth groups and activities.
- This includes Holy Hours of Eucharistic Adoration, confession, catechesis, prayer and the Rosary, praise/worship, formation in all virtues especially chastity and modesty, vocational discernment, exposure to authentic religious congregations, pro-life, social and other events.
- A one word homily is “Repent”.
- Love God, yourself and others.
- Live according to the Ten Commandments and Catholic teachings.
- God is merciful. Be merciful, yet don’t fall into the sin of presumption.
- Have peace with God, within yourself and with others, in your family and in the world.
- Know God and the Catholic Faith. Believe in and trust God. Live your Faith. Study the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
- Be faithful to the Church teachings including Humanae vitae – never use artificial contraception and be pro-life.
- Frequent the Sacrament of Confession (weekly, monthly).
- Frequent Holy Communion (daily Mass when possible).
- Pray with your heart: daily Rosary, the Divine Office, Scripture reading, Grace before and after meals, basic prayers.
- Live out and be totally consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus: “To Jesus through Mary”.
- Wear the Brown Scapular. Our Lady promised to St. Simon Stock that whoever dies wearing it shall not suffer eternal hell.
- Do orthodox spiritual reading, Scripture, lives of the Saints, Papal Encyclicals etc.
- Practice penance, mortification, fasting and other forms of self-denial/discipline.
- Have a blessed Crucifix, sacramentals, holy water and holy pictures in your home.
- Have devotion to the Saints, Holy Angels and your Guardian Angel.
- Discern vocations to the priesthood, deaconate, religious, consecrated or eremitical life, consecrated virginity, the single state, or married life.
- Belonging to faithful groups and movements for the laity are helpful to fulfill the universal call to holiness.
- Be prepared for death and your final judgment at all times.
Msgr. Vincent Foy, May 27, 2015
The television premiere of the 1/2 hour documentary “Msgr. Vincent Foy, Champion for Life” will air on Eternal Word Television Network on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 (my 76th Ordination Anniversary) at 3am and 6:30pm ET and in a repeat broadcast on August 14, 2015 (my 100th birthday) at 3am and 6:30pm. Thanks to EWTN, Dunn Media & Entertainment and all who helped with this production. It can be viewed live on EWTN’s channel or online via the EWTN website.
Professional copies may be ordered from EWTN through the link below for $10 (from which I make no profit):
MSGR. VINCENT FOY: CHAMPION FOR LIFE
I was recently contacted with concerns that some clergy and laity need to be reminded that they should genuflect when they pass by the Tabernacle. In response, I am posting the following sources in support of the reception of Holy Communion on the tongue, kneeling, genuflecting, the restoration of Communion rails, centrally-placed Tabernacles and having the priest celebrant face the Tabernacle and worship God with the people at Mass. These have been longtime traditions of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.
Kneeling “officially signifies adoration” (Ceremonial of Bishops, Nos. 68-72 p.36-37).
“One waits for symbols and promises standing, but the Reality, one receives with love and on one’s knees” (Pope Saint Pius X).
“The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers the worship of latria [adoration] to the Sacrament of Eucharist” (Pope Paul VI, Mysterium Fidei, 1965, n.56).
“No one eats of this flesh without having first adored it and not only do we not sin by adoring but we would sin by not adoring” (Ibid., n.55, St. Augustine, In Ts, Ch.98, 9:PL 37, 126).
To Adore God in keeping with longstanding tradition of the Church:
1. Restore and bring about increased, more humble and fervent love, adoration, reverence and thanksgiving for Jesus in the Holy Eucharist through receiving Holy Communion worthily and in the best way possible, while kneeling and on the tongue. (The communicant must of course, always be in a state of grace, having received absolution in the Sacrament of Penance for any and all mortal/serious sins).
2. Promote and defend kneeling at the appropriate times during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, especially during the Consecration, and to renew the venerable practise of genuflecting and kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament.
3. Restore and encourage central Tabernacles and the celebration of Mass facing the Lord with the congregation where still needed.
“The theme of the project was that Communion-in-the-hand and standing for Communion were not consonant with the two-millennia-long Catholic tradition and that both practices need to be re-evaluated for the good of the Church… When Communion-in the-hand was being proposed and practiced illicitly in the mid-1960s, the argument was proffered that this was merely a return to the ‘ancient’ usage of the Church, one that would enhance the faith-life of the Church… With the publication of Memoriale Domini in 1967, it was abundantly clear that Pope Paul VI did not accept such a view, nor did the world-wide episcopate, who resoundingly opposed any change in the method of Communion distribution…” (Dominus Est – It is the Lord!, Most Reverend Athanasius Schneider, Preface)
The Church throughout centuries: To preserve and defend reverence, dignity and holiness due to the greatest treasure in the Church, only kneeling, not standing, to receive Holy Communion, always on the tongue, was allowed. “This method, ‘on the tongue’ must be retained” (Pope Paul VI, Memoriale Domini, 1969).
Communion in the hand comes from the Dutch Calvinists of the 17th Century. Calvinism denies the real presence of Christ in the Host. Communion in the hand wasn’t even practiced by the Lutherans: Even “The Lutherans have until quite recently, and till today in Scandinavian lands, preserved communion kneeling and on the tongue” (August 12, Bishop Athanasius Schneider: 2011, http://eponymousflower.blogspot.ca/2011/08/auxiliary-bishop-says-communion-in-hand.html).
St. Basil (330-379 AD): considered Communion in the hand a “great fault”.
Council of Rouen (650 AD): Do not put the Eucharist in the hands of any layperson, but only in their mouths.
Council of Constantinople (695 AD): prohibited the faithful from giving Communion to themselves.
St. Thomas Aquinas (1224-740): “Out of reverence towards this Sacrament, nothing touches It but what is consecrated” (Summa, Pt. III, Q.82, Art.3).
“All that has been elaborated on until now permits us to realize that the history of the reintroduction of communion in the hand is nothing other than the triumph of an act of disobedience” (Communion in the Hand: Documents and History, Most Rev. Juan Rodolfo Lais, Bishop Emeritus of San Luis, Argentina, 2011).
Sacred Scripture: “Every Knee shall be bowed to Me” (Is 45:23). “As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bend before Me” (Rom 14:11). “Every knee must bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Phil 2:10).
Authoritative Statements and References:
Pope Benedict XVI and the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments:
“It is the mission of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Sacraments to work to promote Pope Benedict’s emphasis on the traditional practices of liturgy, such as reception of Communion on the tongue while kneeling (Cardinal Llovera, Prefect for the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship, July 22, 2009).
“We Christians kneel only before God or before the Most Blessed Sacrament because we know and believe that the one true God is present in It, the God Who created the world and so loved it that He gave His Only Begotten Son (cf. Jn 3:16)” (Pope Benedict XVI, Corpus Christi Homily, Rome, June 13, Zenit.org).
“By bringing back traditional postures in the reception of Holy Communion when the Pope celebrates Mass, (among other things) he is hoping to bring back to the faithful this sense of sacredness in divine worship.” The custom of worshippers receiving “Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue, from Pope Benedict” in Rome has extended to outside the Vatican (Inside the Vatican, Return to Traditions at World Youth Day, August/September 2008).
“In continuity with the teaching of his Predecessor, starting with the Solemnity of Corpus Christi in the year 2008, the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, began to distribute to the faithful the Body of the Lord, [only] by placing it directly on the tongue of the faithful as they remain kneeling” (Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, http://www.vatican.va).
“If a child were to see somebody kneeling devoutly at a communion rail, receiving Communion from a priest on his tongue, with an Altar boy holding a paten under his chin, the child would know something special is happening. The child would know that the man has faith in something: he is a believer in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist” (Referring to Theology of Kneeling, Ignatius Press, 2000, pp 88-90, Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect, CDF, Fr. Edgardo Arellano, Kneeling – The Most Appropriate Posture in Receiving the Eucharist according to the Popes, the Bible, the Fathers of the Church, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship).
“It is the sign of adoration that needs to be recovered. I think the entire Church needs to receive Communion while kneeling” (Cardinal Llovera, Prefect for the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, July 2011).
“Genuflections and Bows
- A genuflection, made by bending the right knee to the ground, signifies adoration, and therefore it is reserved for the Most Blessed Sacrament, as well as for the Holy Cross from the solemn adoration during the liturgical celebration on Good Friday until the beginning of the Easter Vigil.
During Mass, three genuflections are made by the priest celebrant: namely, after the showing of the host, after the showing of the chalice, and before Communion. Certain specific features to be observed in a concelebrated Mass are noted in their proper place (cf. nos. 210-251).
If, however, the tabernacle with the Most Blessed Sacrament is present in the sanctuary, the priest, the deacon, and the other ministers genuflect when they approach the altar and when they depart from it, but not during the celebration of Mass itself.
Otherwise all who pass before the Most Blessed Sacrament genuflect, unless they are moving in procession.”
“If a priest celebrant goes to the tabernacle to remove the Blessed Sacrament (e.g. due to the number of communicants) and that tabernacle is not directly behind the altar, I would have expected him to genuflect; I don’t think the GIRM in saying ‘three genuflections are made by the priest’ is saying in that instance he should not make another genuflection, just that he must (infirmity aside) make those three genuflections. He is not just passing in front of it, he is approaching and removing the Blessed Sacrament.” http://wdtprs.com/blog/2012/01/quaeritur-genuflecting-before-a-tabernacle/
The traditional Latin Mass requires more numerous genuflections to the Blessed Sacrament during Mass.
“No one who enters a Church should fail to adore the Blessed Sacrament either by visiting the Blessed Sacrament chapel or at least by Genuflecting. Similarly those who pass before the Blessed Sacrament genuflect, except when they are walking in procession” (The Ceremonial of Bishops, No. 71, 1984).
“Starting from his [Pope Benedict XVI’s} experience, which aroused in him a great faith, wonder, and devotion for the Lord present in the Eucharist, he presents us with an historical-theological excursus that clarifies how the practise of receiving Holy communion on the tongue, while kneeling, became the normative practise in the Church… I think it is now time to evaluate carefully the practise of communion-in-the-hand… to abandon what was actually never called for by the Vatican II document Sacrosanctum Concilium nor by the council Fathers but was, in fact, ‘accepted’ after it was introduced as an abuse in some countries” (Most Reverend Malcolm Ranjith, Secretary for the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, as quoted in Dominus Est – It is the Lord!, Most Reverend Athanasius Schneider, 2008. This book was recommended by Cardinal Arinze as Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship who declared: “I have read the whole book with delight. It is excellent”).
Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura: “The Holy Father reminds bishops of their duty to reaffirm the relationship of the Holy Eucharist to the moral life, especially for those who have responsibility for the common good. For Bishops to do less constitutes a failure to shepherd the flock entrusted into their care” (Divine Love Made Flesh: The Eucharist as the Sacrament of Charity, by Raymond Cardinal Burke, released June 7, 2012, published by Thomas McKenna, longtime friend of Cardinal Burke, available from Catholic Action).
Cardinal Raymond Burke: “The Holy Father is giving a very clear lesson by his own insistence that the faithful receive [Holy Communion] kneeling and on the tongue… This is a decision which he obviously made with much thought and for good reasons; and so to me it is the case for us to teach the faithful once again about the reverence, due reverence for receiving Holy Communion and to encourage them to consider a return to that traditional form of Communion – kneeling and receiving Holy Communion on the tongue” (Uploaded Jan 10, 2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXzsyuytMlQ&feature=relmfu).
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo, Sri Lanka insists on kneeling and receiving on tongue: “When he became Archbishop of Sri Lanka’s capital city in 2009, Cardinal Ranjith made Eucharistic adoration his top priority. ‘As soon as I went to the diocese I felt that we needed to work for a true spiritual renewal of my people and, as a result, I declared a special year of the Eucharist… Now in every parish, Eucharistic chapels have sprung up and more adoration has become a common practice. I have also insisted that people must receive Holy Communion in a reverential manner, especially by kneeling and receiving on the tongue’” (Vatican City, Jun 23, 2011 / 01:18 pm, CNA/EWTN News).
“When the faithful communicate kneeling, no other sign of reverence towards the Blessed Sacrament is required, since kneeling is itself a sign of adoration” (S.C.S.D.W., Inaestimabile Donum, 1980, No. 11).
Conference of Catholic Bishops: According to the Novus Ordo, the people kneel not only during the Consecration, but also “beginning after the singing or recitation of the Sanctus until after the Amen of the Eucharistic prayer, that is before the Our Father” (Appendix to the General Instructions on the Roman Missal, No.21). “In the implementation of the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, therefore, posture should not be regulated so rigidly as to forbid individual communicants from kneeling or sitting when returning from having received Holy Communion” (U.S. Bishops Committee on the Liturgy Newsletter, July 2003).
Paragraph 43 of the new General Instruction on the Roman Missal in Canada and elsewhere does not force you to stand in your pew after receiving Holy Communion. Bishops cannot forbid kneeling before, during and after Holy Communion (See Catholic Insight, May 2012, Letters to the Editor).
Bishops call for increased respect for sacredness of Eucharist: reception in the mouth, focus on preparing with confession: Archbishop Jan Pawel Lenga M.I.C., from Karaganda, Kazakhstan, said that, “Among the liturgical innovations produced in the Western world, two in particular tend to cloud the visible aspect of the Eucharist, especially as regards its centrality and sacredness: the removal of the tabernacle from the center and the distribution of communion in the hand.” “Communion in the hand”, he said, “is spreading and even prevailing as being easier, as a kind of fashion. … Therefore, I humbly propose the following practical propositions: that the Holy See issue a universal regulation establishing the official way of receiving communion as being in the mouth and kneeling; with communion in the hand to be reserved for the clergy alone” (Vatican City, Oct 5, 2005, CNA).
Pope John Paul II, on Communion in the hand: “There is an apostolic letter that the existence of this special permission is valid. But I tell you, that I am not in favour of it… neither will I recommend it!” (Responding to a reporter from Stimme des Glaubens magazine, during his visit to Fulda, Germany in November 1980, 101 Times, Vol.4, No.2, 1992, Tel: 908-689-8792, USA).
Pope John Paul II: “I did not revoke what one of my predecessors has said about this… here, my dear priests and my dear brothers and sisters, only Communion on the tongue and kneeling is allowed… I say this to you as your bishop!” (Sermon, March 1, 1989, Ss Nome Di Maria Church, Rome, http://salbert.tripod.com/SALexNk.htm, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/905248/posts).
Albert Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, November 2007: “I mention, for example, a change not proposed by the Council Fathers or by the Sacrosanctum Concilium, Holy Communion received in the hand. This has contributed to some extent to a weakening of faith in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. This, and the removal of altar rails and kneelers in church and the introduction of practices which oblige the faithful to sit or stand at the elevation of the Sacred Host, weakens the genuine significance of the Eucharist and the Church’s profound sense of adoration for the Lord, the Only Son of God” (http://communion-in-the-hand.org/quotations.html).
“As reported last year on Rorate the Archbishop of Colombo in Sri Lanka, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, has restored in his archdiocese the practice of communion on the tongue only and while kneeling” and Altar rails were rebuilt (April 3, 2012, Rorate Caeli, http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2012/04/cardinal-ranjith-to-his-clergy.html, Adoratio Conference, Rome http://www.adoratio2011.com).
Cardinal Cipriani says Communion received kneeling and on the tongue is most reverent: “The most respectful manner of receiving the Eucharist is kneeling and on the tongue. We must recover the respect and reverence that the Eucharist deserves, because the love of Jesus is the center of our Christian life. The soul is at stake” (Lima, Peru, Sep 22, 2009 / 01:31 pm CNA).
Cardinal Arinze, Prefect, Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=fvwrel&v=3Nmk9ty1clc (uploaded October 26, 2009, also see interviews with http://www.familyland.org).
“The faithful should receive Holy Communion kneeling. That is the traditional and preferred form in the Latin Rite, for Roman Catholics”. “If you believe that Christ is our God and is present, why don’t you kneel? Why don’t you crawl? Why not show, show respect!!!”
In favour of having/restoring Altar Rails: “It is easier for the priest and the people.” “It is very convenient – it works out.” The communion plate must be retained: “You just have to use them (Communion Plate/Paten).”
Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera recommends that Catholics receive Communion on the tongue, while kneeling: “It is to simply know that we are before God himself and that He came to us and that we are undeserving,” the prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments said in an interview. The cardinal’s remarks came in response to a question on whether Catholics should receive Communion in the hand or on the tongue. He recommended that Catholics “receive Communion on the tongue and while kneeling.” Receiving Communion in this way, the cardinal continued, “Is the sign of adoration that needs to be recovered. I think the entire Church needs to receive Communion while kneeling” (Lima, Peru, July 28, 2011 / 01:56 pm CNA).
Bishop Juan Rodolfo Laise: “With Communion in the hand, a miracle would be required during each distribution of Communion to avoid some Particles from falling to the ground or remaining in the hand of the faithful…. Let us speak clearly: whoever receives Communion in the mouth not only follows exactly the tradition handed down but also the wish expressed by the last Popes and thus avoids placing himself in the occasion of committing a sin by negligently dropping a fragment of the Body of Christ” (San Luis, Argentina, 1997).
Father John Hardon, S.J., Founder of Eternal Life and the Marian Catechists: “Whatever you can do to stop Communion in the hand will be blessed by God.” “Behind Communion-in-the-hand – I wish to repeat and make as plain as I can – is a weakening, a conscious, a deliberate weakening of faith in the Real Presence” (November 1997).
Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Eucharist are to be used at Mass for extraordinary circumstances only; for example, when the Mass would be “unduly prolonged”. It is a liturgical abuse to use them unnecessarily.
“The Manner of Receiving Holy Communion: 11. As with the issue of service at the altar by men and boys, the question of the manner of receiving Communion at celebrations of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite [1962 Roman Missal for the Traditional Mass] is settled by the Instruction Universae Ecclesiae (2011), which upholds the bindingness, in celebrations of the Extraordinary Form, of the liturgical law in force in 1962. This specifies that Holy Communion is to be received by the Faithful kneeling and on the tongue” (www.fiuv.org/docs, Leo Darroch, President, Foederatio Internationalis Una Voce, January 30, 2012).
“People don’t touch their tongues to germ-ridden surfaces such as shopping carts, door handles, noses, toilet handles, soiled tissues, etc. Hands are often laden with bacteria. Those who distribute Holy Communion should carefully place the Host on the tongue without touching anyone. More germs can be circulated through Communion given on hands. The tongue can also be a steadier surface. Local bishops do not have the authority to ban Holy Communion on the tongue” (Rev. Msgr. Vincent Foy, April 28, 2015).
Mother Teresa of Calcutta: “It is the custom in our Society, and my known wish, that the Sisters receive Holy Communion on the tongue, which to my knowledge they are doing everywhere” (India, 1995).
“Our late great Holy Father John Paul II exemplified this reverence, often pushing himself to heroic sacrifices in kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament. Toward the end, when even this was impossible, he adored with his eyes and his heart.” (Zenit News ZE05082321, http://www.ewtn.com/library/liturgy/zlitur92.htm)
- All clergy and laity are invited to ask and encourage the faithful to receive Holy Communion on the tongue and while kneeling; to come and kneel in a line or semi-circle in front of, along, and around the altar is the best proven and most efficient way, the common practice for centuries throughout the world.
- The use and restoration of an elevated step, mat or floor padding, pews or kneelers, communion rails, central Tabernacles, and the celebration of Mass facing the Lord with the congregation are suggested and encouraged where still needed.
Since I have received compliments for fidelity to the Church, a Catholic lawyer friend suggested that I publish something on this topic, which he researched and helped to prepare.
In the introduction to the book published in 2012, “A Spiritual Autobiography” by Servant of God Fr. John Hardon (1914-2000), internationally renowned theologian and adviser to His Holiness Pope John Paul II, wrote: “If there is one autobiography that has deeply shaped my life, it has been the story of St. Augustine. He credits himself only with the commission of his sins. He credits God with whatever good he has done.”
There is merit in cooperating with God’s grace and we do earn that. Just look at the saints. God rewards the good and punishes the wicked.
Who am I and why am I here?
“God made us. God is the Supreme Being Who made all things. God made us to show forth His Goodness, and to share with us His everlasting happiness in Heaven. To gain the happiness of Heaven we must know, love, and serve God in this world. We learn to know, love, and serve God from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who teaches us through the Catholic Church” (New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism).
All honour and glory belong to Almighty God: “I am nothing”.
Father John Hardon refers to the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and states: “God keeps us in existence by the same Almighty Love that brought us out of nothing into being in the first place. And this is something we cannot too often reflect on – our nothingness. And the great Doctor of the Church, ‘the great theologian of nothingness,’ as he has been called, is Saint John of the Cross. Oh, how deeply he realized that except for the loving omnipotence of God, we would be what we were before we became what we are, and that is nothing.”
Dom Lorenzo Scupoli wrote: “The Evil One even uses virtue to tempt us to sin, inflating our egos with exaggerated self-esteem and complacency to the point where we succumb to vainglory. Thus, we must be ceaselessly vigilant, cognizant of our own nothingness, our sinfulness, our appalling inadequacy, and ever mindful that we deserve nothing but eternal perdition. Let this remembrance be to us as a sword with which we defend ourselves from the insidious attacks of presumption and vanity; and let us fight with the vigour of a man struggling for his very life. Unquestionably, therefore, those things which we truly merit of our own power are scarcely worthy of self-esteem, let alone the esteem of others. For our glories can be traced to Heaven, but our sinfulness can be traced to ourselves”.
I am a sinner, trying to avoid sinning.
“For if any man think himself to be something, whereas he is nothing, he deceiveth himself” (Gal 6:3).
“Unless the Lord build a house, they labour in vain that build it” (Ps 126).
“For it is God Who worketh in you both to will and to accomplish, according to the good-will” (Phil 2:13).
“Not that we are sufficient to think anything of ourselves, as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God” (2Cor 3:5).
“It is God alone Who gives us strength, light and Grace. I am far from giving a part only to God, and a part to myself. It all exclusively belongs to Him” (Saint John Chrysostom).
“Saint Paul lays down the general principle that of our natural strength and ability we are not able even to think, much less to wish or to do, anything supernaturally good and meritorious of life eternal. The beginning, as well as the completion, of each and every salutary act requires the Grace of God” (A Commentary On The New Testament, Washington, D.C.: 1942, pp. 488-489).
“For it is incontestable that the respect men pay you, and the good for which they honour you, are due to God. You rob Him, therefore, of all the merit, which you appropriate to yourself. Can any servant be more unfaithful than one who steals his Master’s glory?” (Venerable Louis of Granada)
Give all honour and glory to Almighty God.
“And upon a day appointed, Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on the judgment-seat and made an oration to them. And the people with acclamations cried out: It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And forthwith an Angel of the Lord struck him, because he had not given honour to God: and eaten up by worms he expired” (Acts of Apostles 12: 21-23).
The humility of Our Lord Jesus:
Let us imitate the good example of Jesus Christ, our leader Who said “I can do nothing of myself.” (John 5:30); “I do nothing of myself.” (John 8:28); and “If I glory Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father that glorifieth Me” (John 8:54).
“Attribute nothing of good to ourselves”.
The Little Flower, doctor of the Church, counsels us: “‘A soul is not holy, the Saint explained, just because Our Lord uses it as an instrument.’ …We should try to grasp this truth,’ she added, ‘and attribute nothing of good to ourselves. No one actually possesses the virtues he practices, so let everything redound to the glory of God.’ …She never tired of repeating, ‘God has need of no one, so let us not take foolish pride in the thought that He decides to make use of us at times.’” – Sister Genevieve of the Holy Face (My Sister Saint Therese (Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1997, pp. 204-205).
We obtain everything through the Blessed Virgin Mary.
How fortunate are we to have the Blessed Virgin Mary as our Spiritual Mother.
His Holiness Pope Pius IX proclaimed on February 2, 1849, in Ubi primum, On The Immaculate Conception, what a significant and necessary role Our Blessed Mother Mary plays in our salvation.
“Our confidence, as you know well, Venerable Brethren, is found in the Blessed Virgin Mary. For, God has committed to Mary the Treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through Her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is His Will, that we obtain everything through Mary.”
Regarding compliments that I have received, I sincerely thank those persons who made them and redirect them all to Almighty God. It is good to thank people and to be grateful.
I thank the Blessed Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit, for creating me, for calling me to be a priest, and for all the innumerable graces, and benefits that I received from them, through Our Blessed Mother Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, and Queen of Heaven and Earth.
I also thank Almighty God that I was born into a practising Catholic Family, for my dear father, my dear mother and all my dear brothers and sisters – for all the love, affection, support and encouragement they showered upon me, the prayers they recited for me, the good example they gave me in their faithful saying of our daily prayers, attendance at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, recitation of the daily family Rosary and the practice of other devotions of our Catholic Faith.
I also wish to thank everyone during my life that is due thanks.
In making this statement my intent is to give all honour and glory to Almighty God before I die and meet Him face to face for the final judgment.
Msgr. Vincent Foy, April 23, 2015, Copies to be made available at my Visitation/Funeral.