Friday, June 21, 2019



1964, in terms of the length of world history, was a mere 19 years after the end of WWII. Anyone born at the start of the war in 1939 was now a young 25 year old adult, those born in 1944, the year of D Day, now some 75 years on, were only 20 years old, so part of understanding the growing upheavals in society as the sixties continued, with the unraveling of so-called traditional values regarding faith-family-country, is to be mindful that these young men and women in the rice-paddies of Vietnam, on the streets of the cities, deeply impacted by family and societal history, were experiencing, to a large extent more than just the normal youthful/young adult growing up struggles: they were pressured and confused by the rapid changes in attitude and actions regarding basic life choices: career, family, identity, culture, race, religion, and the ever present question for human beings: who am I, why am I?

It should be noted, given the growing movement towards legitimizing the ‘love that dare not speak its name’ [1] was no longer willing to stay silent or hidden, there is a particular action of Pope Paul VI in 1964, not just for those struggling with remaining chaste when tempted to the disorder of same-sex activity, but for those also tempted by any of the surrounding culture’s view of the human body as a mere gratification tool: Pope Paul canonized a group of Uganda men and boys, St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, martyred under the pretense of religious persecution, when it point of fact it was because they refused the sexual advances and pressure from the King.

The continued upheaval in family life, the impact of birth control, the growing move to legalize abortion, the ‘free love’ mindset of the sixties, evil seeds have sprouted in our utter confused chaos about the truth and person of the human body, including the gift given to offer ourselves, bodily, to our spouse, open to, with the Holy Trinity, bring new life into His Kingdom. The relativist, materialist, gratification centered modern misunderstanding/ refusal to accept the objective truth about the human person, male and female has trapped and confused so many souls that recently the Vatican Congregation For Catholic Education has had to release a document on the whole issue of gender theory: The transformation of social and interpersonal relationships “has often waved ‘the flag of freedom’, but it has, in reality, brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. It is ever more evident that the decline of the culture of marriage is associated with increased poverty and a host of other social ills that disproportionately affect women, children and the elderly. It is always they who suffer the most in this crisis”. [2]

The war in Vietnam was spinning out of American control. Starting in the US and throughout the decade spreading globally, anti-war protests, in the US including draft card burning as the children of the WWII warriors were drafted, began tearing at societal cohesiveness along with race riots in the US, religious riots in some countries, revolutions and civil wars in others, and over it all loomed still the danger of nuclear war.

The United Nations would hold a conference and establish a permanent office regarding the
world economy which office and subsequent ‘official’ global outfits, like the World Bank, would become increasingly powerful and leave the people of the world under the thumb of the so-called one percenters.

From the post-war conference at Bretton Woods to the beginnings in 1958 of the European Common Market, morphing over the decades into the behemoth European Union of today with the open borders, the euro, the European parliament issuing both petty and draconian polices and laws impacting all member countries, to the secretive Club of Rome, [3] another child of the sixties founded in 1968, the year of major global upheavals, is it any wonder the world’s population is angry, angst filled, wanting to throw off the shackles of the elites whose policies and philosophies crush the weak, increase the numbers of homeless and poor, disdain and marginalize descent, envelop the human family in the darkness of the culture of death.

The philosopher Herbert Marcuse in his book ONE-DIMESNIONAL MAN: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society, published in 1964, suggested that consumerism exists as a means of controlling people and as a result an elite few in society, currently referred to in our day as the 1% - or political/business/media elites – have succeeded in convincing people to buy ‘stuff’ wanted, rather than prioritize the goods needed to sustain family life. The result of these elitist obsessions: stakeholder profits, off-shore bank accounts, government policies that enshrine their views into law, because these same elites, using dark money, choose which parties to favour with massive amounts of campaign funding. As a result ordinary people are governed not through the democratic processes of the famous Lincoln dictum of government by and for the people, but by political ideologs who, under the guise of caring for the environment or civil rights, impose ill-conceived, mind, soul, tax burdens on people which do nothing for their daily family life, make them feel disdained as enemies of progress, cause anger and divisions. Since this is done mostly by left leaning, but sometimes by right leaning governments, these days the people of every country on earth are restless, angry, near the explosion point – all traceable to axial shifts of the 1960’s.

Ordinary people labour, serve in the military, police, fire and ambulance services, work the land, the forests, the mines, clean the offices, keep clean water flowing, etc., etc., but they have become, in the eyes of the elites, left leaning media included, as the less than properly progressive and are a drag on the efforts of the leftist elites to impose an all-inclusive-politically correct language-protect the planet-Christianity bad – all other religions or none good – etc. etc., ideology, leaving ordinary people crushed under the dark weight of the culture of death, relativism, frustration which has turned human life, family life from the joyous experience of being human into an existence where the very straw to build the bricks of a truly human society has been taken away and the bricks themselves are taken not to build a home for humanity but more towers for the babblers who consider themselves not only smarter than the rest of us, but smarter than God Himself.

THROUGH WORK man must earn his daily bread and contribute to the continual advance of science and technology and, above all, to elevating unceasingly the cultural and moral level of the society within which he lives in community with those who belong to the same family…..[4] Another important aspect, which has many applications to our own day, is the concept of the relationship between the State and its citizens. Rerum Novarum criticizes two social and economic systems: socialism and liberalism. The opening section, in which the right to private property is reaffirmed, is devoted to socialism. Liberalism is not the subject of a special section, but it is worth noting that criticisms of it are raised in the treatment of the duties of the State. The State cannot limit itself to "favouring one portion of the citizens", namely the rich and prosperous, nor can it "neglect the other", which clearly represents the majority of society….[5]

Even Albert Camus, no Christian apologist, asserted that: Democracy is not the law of the majority but the protection of the minority.

In Mao’s China of 1964 everything was controlled by the State, so labour camps were filled with anyone who dissented while in the Soviet Union 1964 was the beginning of what historians refer to as the ‘era of stagnation.’ Yet the Gulag remained full, and, as with China, secret state police oppressed the people with terror. The so-called multi-year economic plans rolled out in both communist economies were consistent failures, the people suffered immensely, yet in both countries if you were in the upper ranks of the regime you were also a one percenter. Both regimes hated and persecuted the Roman Catholic Church, though the Soviets had a modus vivendi with the Russian Orthodox Church, so well tuned it enabled the KGB to place their own men in seminaries, who, once ordained priests, reached the highest ranks including, it has long been believed, at least one of the Patriarchs of Moscow.

On the 11th of June a horrific event occurred in Cologne Germany which at the time was an evil virtually unheard of.  Yet since then, particularly in the latter half of the 20th century and into our own day, has become dishearteningly familiar: the massacre of school children and their teachers. A man, who will not be named here, entered a Catholic elementary school and murdered 8 children and 2 teachers.

Globally the first recorded such massacre occurred in the United States in 1764, some two hundred years before the massacre in Cologne. Records show since 1900, but mostly since the latter half of the 20th century to date:  48 such mass killings in the US, 39 in various other countries, of which 6 occurred in Canada.

The motivations which enable the killers to such heinous acts are varied, even complex. The foundational source is neither complex nor varied: hatred. Hatred of self to the point of the inability to see other, such as the vulnerable child, as one like myself. This was Cain’s original thought, hatred born of jealousy born of self-disdain, exploding with murderous rage. We do ourselves and each other no favour if our understanding of war is reduced to some inter-nation conflict. Warfare, spiritual warfare, the struggle against hatred, discrimination, untruth, this is the daily life of the Christian and why it is imperative we defend life from the womb to the tomb.

The culture of death, sprouting especially in the contraceptive, abortion and relativist mentality
of the sixties, enables massacres of all kinds. We would do well to heed the words of Jean Vanier, who found l’Arche [6], in 1964: “The response to war is to live like brothers and sisters. The response to injustice is to share. The response to despair is a limitless trust and hope. The response to prejudice and hatred is forgiveness. To work for community is to work for humanity. To work for peace is to work for a true political solution; it is to work for the Kingdom of God. It is to work to enable everyone to live and taste the secret joys of the human person united to the eternal.” ― Jean Vanier, Community and Growth

The first ‘super computer’, the CDC 6600 and the original BASIC high level programing language, both from 1964, were portals to modern personal, laptop and other computers, to things like the internet and while telegrams were still common, likewise so-called ‘snail mail’, and the option to speak with someone outside of an in-house or office ‘landline’, was to find a pay-phone: those mentioned portals have given us cell phones, various forms of chat-sites and texting – like the development of photography and film, radio and television, other portals and technological advances, predominantly intended for good purposes. However, aided and abetted by satan, the suggestor of disorder, and because criminals smell opportunities for profits, those same portals have led to sexting, the development of the dark and deep dark web, and sites that spew fake news, bullying, pornography, hatred, terrorism.

In 1962, with Pope John XXIII calling for dialogue with artists who were not Catholic, part of his outreach to other faiths and those of no faith, an Italian filmmaker, Pier Pasolini, accepted an invitation to discussions on the arts that was to take place at a monastery in Assisi. With the Pope himself in Assisi, Pier was waiting in his hotel room for the seminar to begin and finding a copy of the Gospels read through them and as a result conceived the idea of a film based on St. Matthew’s Gospel. He filmed it in black and white, using only Matthew’s words for dialogue, filming in a poor region of Italy releasing it in 1964. Some forty years later, another filmmaker would focus on Jesus’ Passion and film in the same area. [7]

In August Pope Paul VI released his encyclical on the Church, in which he noted: One part of this world, as everyone knows, has in recent years detached itself and broken away from the Christian foundations of its culture, although formerly it had been so imbued with Christianity and had drawn from it such strength and vigor that the people of these nations in many cases owe to Christianity all that is best in their own tradition-a fact that is not always fully appreciated. Another and larger part of the world covers the vast territories of the so-called emerging nations. Taken as a whole, it is a world which offers to the Church not one but a hundred forms of possible contacts, some of which are open and easy, others difficult and problematic, and many, unfortunately, wholly unfavorable to friendly dialogue. [8]

That detachment from Christianity, rejection even, intensifying throughout the sixties, continuing in our own day, can only be countered not by argument but by the Christian witness of the Gospel lived with our lives without compromise.

With the close of the third session of Vatican II, at the end of 1964, Pope Paul promulgated the Council’s document on the Church, Lumen Gentium: Christ is the Light of nations. Because this is so, this Sacred Synod gathered together in the Holy Spirit eagerly desires, by proclaiming the Gospel to every creature, to bring the light of Christ to all men, a light brightly visible on the countenance of the Church. [9]

1] from the last line of:  "Two Loves" by Lord Alfred Douglas, written in September 1892

[2] para. 43:





[7] and

[8] para. 13,


© 2019 Fr. Arthur Joseph

Tuesday, June 04, 2019



On June 3, 1963 the Cardinal-electors from around the world gathered in Rome and elected Giovanni Cardinal Battista Montini, Archbishop of Milan who choose the name Paul VI. Crowned on June 30th he was the last pope to be crowned and shortly after assuming the papacy stopped wearing it, preferring the mitre instead. None of his four successors has had a coronation choosing rather a Holy Mass within which their formal installation takes place.

Like his namesake, the great missionary St. Paul the Apostle and Martyr, Pope Paul the VI would suffer much and while not martyred by blood certainly was made to suffer much by the actions and spurious words of clergy, religious, laity within the Church and truly demeaning press reporting in the emerging leftist ersatz Catholic media and in the secular media as well. He would call the Council into its 2nd session on September 29th, which session closed on December 4th, 1963 and he would reconvene the council for two sessions more in 1964 and 1965, formally closing it on December 8th of that year. Pope throughout the most turbulent post Vatican II years, a council he guided to success and whose documents he promulgated.

For the Church, ultimately for the world, the combination of Vatican II and St. Pope Paul’s teaching, whose task it was to oversee the implementation of the documents, therefore having to issue many post-Conciliar documents on the proper implementation, where necessary ordering corrections when bishops, priests, went off track. This would consume the bulk of his papacy. He also became the first modern pope to travel outside Italy, making pastoral visits to India, Columbia, Portugal, Uganda, the Philippines [where he was slightly wounded in an attempt on his life], and to New York where he gave a powerful speech at the United Nations headquarters.

Certainly, the secular world points to other events and personalities of 1963 as being pivotal when it comes to the impact of the sixties on contemporary life in this third millennium, however the pontificate of St. Paul VI truly is of more global, ecclesial and secular importance.

Morris L. West would publish a novel in 1963, made into a film in 1968, which has one of the characters state: “Who cares about theology except the theologians? We are necessary, but less important than we think. The Church is Christ—Christ and the people. And all the people want to know is whether or not there is a God, and what is His relation with them, and how they can get back to Him when they stray.”  [1] It would be rogue theologians, among other dissidents in the Church, who would, with utter misuse of the first document from the Council, THE CONSTITUTION ON THE SACRED LITURGY, promulgated by the Holy Father on December 4th that the dissidents would use, “in the spirit of Vatican II”, a distortion of the actual text, to inflict profound wounds within the Church which are still in need of healing.

In a homily on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in 1972, the full text of which the Vatican has yet to publish, St. Paul VI made his famous reference to the smoke of satan entering the Church:  “… We would say that, through some mysterious crack—no, it’s not mysterious; through some crack, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church of God. There is doubt, uncertainty, problems, unrest, dissatisfaction, confrontation…..The Church is no longer trusted. We trust the first pagan prophet we see who speaks to us in some newspaper, and we run behind him and ask him if he has the formula for true life..… It was thought that, after the Council, sunny days would come for the history of the Church. Nevertheless, what came were days of clouds, of storms, of darkness, of searching, of uncertainty … We tried to dig abysses instead of covering them …” [2]

As Cassius lamented:  "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves……”[from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar] The fault lay not in the documents of the council, the ‘stars’ if you will, but in the choices those tasked with implementing the documents made. One way or another either clergy or laity went too far trying to create a Church in our own modern image and likeness, or rebelled against the authentic documents and tried to regress to a time in Church and world history, well passed, or worse, chose to passively go along with whatever of the other two was unfolding in our local parish, diocese, religious order.

Had this one simple directive from the document on the liturgy been faithfully observed: Therefore no other person, even if he be a priest, may add, remove, or change anything in the liturgy on his own authority. [3], how many sins and wounds in the following decades would have been avoided! There is no surer way to allow satan entrance into the Church, into the lives of bishops, priests, religious, laity than to mess around with, demean, the Sacred Liturgy.

What a nation believes about its past is at least as important as what that past actually was. [4]

Read: Church for ‘nation’ and we touch upon a key source of both the dissident damage-wounds and the sense among countless Catholics, both those who matured in the faith before Vatican II and those since, for whom the radical changes, particularly in liturgy but also by bishops and priests abandoning clerical dress, nuns, their religious habits, thus making themselves invisible, abandoning also the original charism of their founders, and many other factors means that still, more than half a century after the Council, in spite of the efforts of Pope Paul’s successors to set the bark of Peter aright, much, much, still needs to be done.

In the face of those who, like West’s character, dismiss theologians, teachers of the faith in general, a great teacher-witness, reminds us that: Modern man listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if he does listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses. ~St. Paul VI [5] The writings/teachings/witness of the life of St. Paul VI are an important part of the Church’s treasury of wisdom to guide us on the path of holiness.

From St. Peter to Pope Francis all papal teachings are both immediate as regards the matters of the current day within the Church and society, and prophetic as regards what lies ahead for both. Also from the Acts of the Apostles to the current day and into the future the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ on earth: the popes, bishops, priests, deacons, men and women religious, monks, nuns, every member of the laity, are members of the Mystical Body of Christ, our ranks filled with saints and sinners. To expect that within the life of the Church, in all Her members, there will never be outrageous sins, scandals that are visible in the public domain, while extremely painful to accept, is nonetheless, along with the inspirational examples of saints and martyrs, the stark reality of humanity being disciples of Christ, a reality recorded from the Acts of the Apostles to this very day. Rather than obsess over the scandals, which we must constantly pray to be ended, for the conversion of those who cause scandal, the healing of those within and without the Church wounded thereby, our primary focus and effort, humbly begging daily the help of the Holy Spirit that it might be so, is for us to tirelessly within our baptismal and adjunct vocation, to become saints.

A few examples of St. Pope Paul’s teachings which illuminate his awareness of the state of the world and the Church in the immediate and how he was well aware of the damage being done by dissidents through their ideas and actions: The Church does, however, realize that it is the seed, as it were, the leaven, the salt and the light of the world. Fully conscious of all that is new and remarkable in this modern age, it nevertheless holds its place in a changing world with sincere confidence, and says to men: "Here in my possession is what you are looking for, what you need." [6] [It]…… not permissible to extol the so-called "community" Mass in such a way as to detract from Masses that are celebrated privately; or to concentrate on the notion of sacramental sign as if the symbolism—which no one will deny is certainly present in the Most Blessed Eucharist—fully expressed and exhausted the manner of Christ's presence in this Sacrament; or to discuss the mystery of transubstantiation without mentioning what the Council of Trent had to say about the marvelous conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the Body and the whole substance of the wine into the Blood of Christ, as if they involve nothing more than "transignification," or "transfinalization" as they call it; or, finally, to propose and act upon the opinion that Christ Our Lord is no longer present in the consecrated Hosts that remain after the celebration of the sacrifice of the Mass has been completed. [7] Those who mess around with the Sacred Liturgy, the truth about the Holy Eucharist, inflict profound wounds within the Church and deep disturbances in the heart of the faithful.

The progressive development of peoples is an object of deep interest and concern to the Church. This is particularly true in the case of those peoples who are trying to escape the ravages of hunger, poverty, endemic disease and ignorance; of those who are seeking a larger share in the benefits of civilization and a more active improvement of their human qualities; of those who are consciously striving for fuller growth. [8] A critical addition to the social teachings of the Church.

Our reflection on the beauty, importance and intimate fittingness of holy virginity for the ministers of Christ and His Church makes it incumbent on those who hold the office of teacher and pastor of that Church to take steps to assure and promote its positive observance, from the first moment of preparation to receive such a precious gift. In fact, the difficulties and problems which make the observance of chastity very painful or quite impossible for some, spring, not infrequently, from a type of priestly formation which, given the great changes of these last years, is no longer completely adequate for the formation of a personality worthy of a "man of God."  [9] Had these serious issues in priestly formation been addressed at the time perhaps the subsequent spike in sins of abuse by priests would have been greatly reduced if not eliminated. It would fall to St. John Paul II to strive to reform the seminaries; for him and his successors to work tirelessly to put an end to such sin, to care for the victims. Pope Emeritus Benedict would rightly point to the sixties, with all its moral disorder, as a prime point of the evil expanding.

The remaining years of the Saint’s pontificate would be extremely painful, indeed a type of bloodless martyrdom, as he was battered from all sides by hostile media, by the seemingly endless flood of priests demanding release from their vows and the clerical state, nuns abandoning their vocation or becoming ersatz religious in constant rebellion against Rome, laity abandoning the faith, radical theologians challenging him at every turn.

In the centre of ‘martyria’ [witness] – as one of the primary dimensions of Christian existence – one finds these words: ‘and He [i.e. the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth] will bear witness to Me – and you are witnesses, because you have been with Me since the beginning’. Our witness has its origin in His witness and it owes its divine nature to Him only. Witness can be borne by words [these words are not only information, but also annunciation and prophecy]; by actions that come from the words [actions bear witness by themselves – they in turn provide support and confirmation for the witness of words.] Through words and actions our witness embraces the entire existence of the human witness; therefore, it is the witness to life; if the witness to death is added to this, the death is – in the very context – the fulfilment of life, its seal of credibility. [10]

For several years a story, perhaps apocryphal, was told that as hundreds of letters arrived from priests asking for laicization, the Holy Father would take them into his private chapel at night, pray for a long time, weeping, with a broken father’s heart, and sign them.

On the feast of the Transfiguration, August 6, 1978 death, ‘the fulfilment of life…seal of credibility’, came to the Holy Father, in what became known as the Year of the Three Popes. It has been only since his death that the importance of his writings has become clear. On October 14, 2018, Pope Francis would canonize him as St. Paul VI.

[1] Shoes of the Fisherman, Morris L. West, 1963, Morrow Publishing.

[2] This is a link to the source of the Pope’s expression:


[4] The Death of Democracy, pp 232/33; Benjamin Carter Hett; Penguin Canada 2018


[6] Ecclesiam Suam, para. 96;

 [7] Mysterium Fidei, para. 11;

[8] Populorem Progressio, para. 1;

[9] Sacerdotalis Caelibatus, para. 60;

[10] IN GOD’S HANDS, The Spiritual Diaries of Pope Saint John Paul II; p. 128; 2017 by Centrum Jana Pawla II; English Edition: William Collins, 2017

© 2019 Fr. Arthur Joseph