Rev. Father David Muscat
I’m not surprised that last week Prof. Nadia Delicata and the vicious anti-Catholic newspaper Malta Today saw fit to condemn the parish priest of Paola. All Father Marc Andre’ did was to recall the memory of the Canadian Catholic martyr saints who were killed for obeying the Divine Commandment of Christ to evangelize all the peoples of the world. Professor Nadia Delicata, for her part, was grievously offended by this commemoration, and used the Pope’s apology in Canada to attack Fr. Marc Andre’ when, neither Professor Nadia Delicata nor the Malta Today actually noticed that a day later in Canada, the same Pope gave a papal dressing down to prime minister Justin Trudeau because of the anti-Christian policies the latter embraces.
I will briefly comment on what the Rev. Marc Andre’ reminded us of, so that no one thinks that the Catholic missionaries in Canada were all wicked. The first missions in Canada were led by the Jesuits among the Iroquois Indians, under the direction of Father Charles Lallemant (1587-1674) who landed in Quebec in 1625. A new mission arrived in 1632, led by Father Paul Le Jeune (1591-1664). They were joined for a short period of time by another Jesuit, Father, Giovanni de Brébeuf (1593-1649). Subsequently he returned in 1633 with two priests. From one hut to another, they started teaching the catechism to children and adults. But witch doctors from some tribes convinced the Indians that the presence of the priests caused drought, epidemics and all other misfortunes.
The Iroquois Indians, however, remained irrevocably hostile to the missionaries. They horribly mutilated the priest Isaac Jogues (1607-1646) and his coadjutor René Goupil (1608-1642) by throwing hot coals on them. In March 1649, the same Iroquois killed the priests de Brébeuf and Gabriele Lallemant (1610-1649). Fr. Brébeuf was pierced with red hot rods and the Iroquois tore off pieces of his skin, and ate them before his eyes. As this martyr continued to praise God, the indigenous Indians cut off his lips and tongue and poured hot ashes down his throat.
The priest Lallemant was also tortured shortly afterwards with even greater ferocity. Finally, an Indian split his head open with a blow of an axe, cut his heart out, and drank his blood, thinking he would take possession of the strength and courage of this martyred priest.
Another wave of hatred made two new martyrs in December, the priests Charles Garnier (1605-1649) and Noël Chabanel (1613-1649).
The eight Jesuit missionaries, known as the “Canadian martyrs” were beatified by Pope Benedict XV in 1925 and canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930.
These episodes form part of the religious historical memory of Canada that Pope Francis defended in front of Justin Trudeau, with the latter’s dismayed look was plain for all to see. In front of this secularist prime minister, the Pope said that that the modern state was making a mistake with its cancel culture (which is music to the ears of the Malta Today and Nadia Delicata). According to the Pope, this cancel culture promoted by the contemporary world leaders is a neo-colonialist continuation of previous policies done by the colonialists in a different garb.
Pope Bergoglio hinted that the Canadian secularist state with its calls for gay marriage, irresponsible IVF, abortion and anti-religious propaganda was trying to destroy all vestiges of religious influence, including that of indigenous people in Canadian society. Bergoglio clearly has not accepted this trend and told Justin Trudeau to his face that basically there is no difference between his megalomanic policies and the colonial ethnic cleansing.
Nadia Delicata doesn’t seem to understand the crux of the apology made by the Pope. Bergoglio went to Canada and condemned the cooperation between Church and state due to the policies of ethnic cleansing that the Canadian government was conducting. The so-called Indian residential schools of Canada, a collection of colleges for native Canadians were founded by the government and entrusted mainly to the Catholic Church, but also to the Anglican Church of Canada (with the idea of integrating the Indian youth into the country’s culture, according to the Gradual Civilization Act, passed by the Canadian Parliament in 1857).
In other words, the Pope affirmed that there shouldn’t be an alliance between altar and throne. Indeed, any cultural assimilation was done largely by the WASPs (White Anglo Saxon Protestants) in the American continent, and unfortunately, some in the Catholic church in exceptional cases cooperated with this process.
The Pope asked for forgiveness from his heart because at no moment should the Church have cooperated with the state to make the natives English the way the Church of England and other denominations did.
Indeed, by the 17th century, the Popes had realized that the evangelization of non-European populations, in Africa, America and Asia could no longer go hand in hand with colonialism. They realized that the baptizing of the natives in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, whoever they are, from the cannibals of Papua New Guinea to the Pygmies in the forests of the Congo, should not be equated with making those same natives English or Belgian people. That is why Gregory XV set up the Propaganda Fide so that missionaries would be given direct orders from Rome and NOT from the Colonial Offices of the emerging European colonial superpowers.
Obviously, the European colonial states liked the missionary activity if this meant assisting with the European colonization process. Of this, there are many examples and one of the unfortunate ones is the cooperation that some of the Catholic colleges did with the colonial government in Canada to assimilate the indigenous populations into the English-speaking cultural milieu. Prof Delicata shouldn’t be surprised for we had schools run by nuns in Malta where girls speaking a word in Maltese were smacked and humiliated. Maltese was the language of the sefturi and even a simple prayer like the act of contrition was taught in English. These colleges indeed managed to create a kind of Maltese pidgin English.
Delicata can go to the meetings of Repubblika and Civil Society and meet these lots of plump ladies who were educated in these schools and who cannot utter one single sentence in proper Maltese, and I’m not surprised seeing their arrogance and sense of cultural superiority.
The alliance between altar and throne was rejected emphatically by the Second Vatican Council in its documents on human freedom, namely Dignitatis Umanae and Gaudium et Spes. Vatican II proposed the separation of Church and state in certain circumstances. Consider these words from :
“The Church herself makes use of temporal things insofar as her own mission requires it. She, for her part, does not place her trust in the privileges offered by civil authority. She will even give up the exercise of certain rights which have been legitimately acquired, if it becomes clear that their use will cast doubt on the sincerity of her witness or that new ways of life demand new methods.” (§76)
As the Pope hinted in Canada, this unholy alliance is ever present. Like many moral theology professors after the sexual revolution, it has become socially acceptable to denounce the gospel truths about anything from divorce to contraception to gay marriage to accommodate the prevailing culture promoted by the state. That is why Prof. Delicata, Malta Today and the liberal literati became so hostile to those who say otherwise, and it became ‘’cruel’’, ‘’hateful’’, and ‘’bigoted’’ to call something wrong that the bourgeois consensus now deems right.
In this way, Prof. Delicata, with the good and responsible people, did not just accommodate herself to the sexual revolution but took ownership of it. She, perhaps unknowingly, is promoting a church-state alliance not least because she is a well-paid professor from a Theology Faculty which, in the final analysis, forms part of a state-owned university. I suppose reaping the financial benefits takes precedence over all else. So, we now imbibe the current forma mentis, which explains why she allied herself with a brigade of leftists and liberals to attack a priest, Fr Marc-Andre, whose fidelity to the magisterium is beyond reproach.
She may have wished to look “progressive” and amiable with the local liberal “intellectuals” and the Maltese authorities who themselves thrive on the cancel culture embodied by Canada’s pathetic prime minister. The last speech made by the Pope in Quebec before he left Canada, in front of the bishops and clergy gathered for this occasion should console the kappillan of Paola parish. He reminded them of the first bishop, Saint François de Laval. He was one of the founders of the Church in Québec, who worked tirelessly for the holiness of the clergy and for the love he had for Canada’s priests and natives. Stay strong, Fr Marc-Andre and keep the faith.