An Interview with David Domet, the Vox Cantoris blogger who stood up to Fr. Rosica

Fr. Thomas Rosica meets Pope Francis, during the recent Extra-Ordinary Synod on the Family
Fr. Thomas Rosica meets Pope Francis, during the recent Extra-Ordinary Synod on the Family

French Translation | Italian Translation

Q. The Catholic world is gladdened to hear today that Fr. Rosica has decided not to take legal action against you, for your public criticism of his positions at your now famous blog, Vox Cantoris. As one of those who would like to know more about this sad episode, I am honored that you have consented to be interviewed by the From Rome blog.

Let us begin, therefore, with the facts of the case. When and how did you receive the threat of legal action, what Fr. Rosica now calls, the cease and desist letter?

Mr. Domet:  Well, it clearly did not seem to me as a “cease and desist letter” which could have been written by him without the aid of one of Toronto’s most expensive law firms (though he does state the work was “pro bono; the fees to my Solicitor are certainly not, I’ve already paid her a retainer, as is just). The letter was quite clear on its demands and what was more astounding was the continued threat of a lawsuit even had I complied with their demands which I was not prepared to do. I was at lunch on Tuesday, February 17, the day before Ash Wednesday with a colleague and it came across my smartphone. Suffice to say, after reading it, lunch was over. The letter is available on line at my blog, people can read it and draw their own conclusions.

Q. What was your and your wife’s reaction at receiving such a communication from a man of God? and this at the beginning of Lent?

Mr. Domet:  I was astounded and shocked, and my wife was extremely hurt and upset; and frankly, afraid as I was of what this meant for us and our home and my son; this has been very hard on her, especially coming from a priest. We know so many and work with so many priests organizing and assisting, consulting and training for the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite and chanting the Mass. She herself has a beautiful voice and assists me every week in the traditional rite. I also sing weekly in the Ordinary Form so my work with priests is well known and my love and respect for these good priests with whom I work is without doubt. The affects upon us have been physical, too, with more than a few chiropractic adjustments for neck and shoulder pain and stress. As for Lent, well; since we married nearly two years ago, life’s been pretty soft. Our Lent began with a very heavy cross much more so than the usual we might try to put upon ourselves. We have both been sustained by prayers from so many people around the world and we have many times offered up this trial to God our Father united with the Cross of Christ. We are happy that we can now regroup over the next few days and rest and then get on with a more structured Lenten focus.

Q. Who is Jesus Christ and what does the Catholic Faith mean to you? And how did this magnify your dismay at what had happened?

Mr. Domet:  He is my LORD and saviour and King of all; if I try to do anything without him I fail – I’ve proven that more than once and “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me” was what I remembered in this matter. Nothing is more important than the Catholic Faith as given to us by Our Blessed Lord; He and It are the rock on which life makes sense and truth is anchored.

As for my dismay, what else can we expect? Look around at the world and at the Church. The Church for many reasons is weak so faith is weak; when faith is weak, Catholics are weak and the world is inflamed with evil and terror. I am dismayed that there are so few Catholics, whether priest, prelate or laity, prepared to stand up for Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. In Canada, we have over 40% baptized as Catholics, in the United States of America maybe 30% ; if every one of us went to the Sacraments and Mass on Sunday and lived our faith we would change our nations overnight! If that is the situation here, how much more for Europe where the percentages are even higher? My dismay is your dismay—the failings of Catholics to be Catholic and stand up for Our Lord.

Q. What did you do first, seek advice or contact the Law Firm in question?

Mr. Domet:  I sought advice from a very small group of close advisors. I did not contact the law firm directly – I needed to secure the right Solicitor and found her, a Catholic with some other background knowledge which I cannot reveal but which aided our strategy. Our first contact back to the law firm apparently engaged “pro bono” by Father Rosica was by mail with the response to their first letter and contact was only made by my Solicitor.

Q. What was the advice given, or response from the Firm, as the case may be….?

Mr. Domet:  As I indicated this on my own blog, Vox Cantoris; we responded to the deadline in the first letter to prevent an injunction on their part, though not meeting their demands, of course. We stated our position and suggested other options for discussion within the Church which were rejected.

Other items were then put on the table, making demands on me that were impossible to accept. It became apparent to me that we needed to communicate with clarity what we were not prepared to do,  and what we were prepared to do, which was to defend ourselves and engage a crowd-funding campaign to sustain it.

Q. Out of respect for your contact in the Secretariat of State, I won’t ask you to divulge his name. And, assuming the advice he gave you was not his own, but that which he was counseled to give, can you tell us what advice did he give you? And did you ask him to explain why he gave such unexpected advice?

Mr. Domet:  As I stated on my blog, I first “took it to the Church” as we are commanded to do in Holy Scripture. Frankly, it was easier to go to my contact in Rome than my own Chancery in Toronto. I can only assume that the information coming back to me was his personal advice and nobody else’s and I have no reason to believe otherwise. However, I was asked to state my “intention” and I did not respond to it and was then asked the next morning again and that maybe it would be better to “seek humility” and “apologise.” I did not and was advised not to respond to either. The fact is, intervention could have happened on the first or second day.

Q.  Personally, I have seen time and time again, members of the clergy use spiritual counsels to convince the laity to assume a posture of excessive respect toward the clergy which seems to be would only enable further abusive behavior by members of the clergy, the same or otherwise. Was this any part of your own reaction to the advice given you through your contact in the Secretariate of State? And how does that reflect on the state of affairs in the Vatican, under Pope Francis, in your opinion?

Mr. Domet:  I don’t think that I am qualified to give an opinion on the Secretariat of State and its operation under Pope Francis. However, let me state this; I’ve heard a lot of clergy do exactly as you stated and I myself have seen it directly, I have experienced it directly. It is the height of clericalism and it is detestable.

It is particularly detestable to attempt to do it to informed laity, which is in direct contravention of our rights and duties under Canon 212 §3 and the precepts of Vatican II, which they preach when it suits them.

Look, our parents and grandparents were victims of a clericalism that destroyed the liturgy and the faith for millions of souls. The same clericalism abused and sodomised and destroyed lives. This same clericalist attitude demanded that we “pay, pray and obey” while they “preyed!” Some of them say that we who wish to live by the Law and desire proper liturgy are Pharisaical and pelagian and desire clericalism. Nonsense! It is they that are the Pharisees, they are the clericalists –I’ve seen it; I’ve lived it and I’ve had direct experience with all of it and in some ways that I would rather not discuss at this time.

Q. What should catholics, and especially catholic bloggers who are faithful to the teaching of Christ, do, when confronted with such a letter?

Mr. Domet:  Pray. Ask for spiritual warriors to pray especially Carmelite Nuns (thank you to them!!!). Assemble a small team of advisors and a practicing Catholic lawyer including a Canon Lawyer; but something tells me this won’t be happening again anytime soon.

Q.  And how do you think your case gives good example of what should be done in the future, regarding attempts by an ever increasing number of clergy and religious to urge and push the Church to abandon Christ’s teaching about faith and penance, marriage, chastity, and the traditional Eucharistic Discipline?

Mr. Domet:  The example is quite clear; the Catholic blogosphere lit up with what happened; we need to see the power in that and take up the cause for the faith the family and the Holy Eucharist which seems to me to be at the heart of the matter.

How can those of us now unite to form an army of devoted and believing Catholics that blog to prevent an attempt to overturn doctrine at the Synod?

What vehicle can we use to coordinate our work, not control it, but to coordinate and disseminate and educate and catechise beyond just our few hundred readers?

Well, that’s what it was, I dare say now it is in the thousands! This situation since Ash Wednesday also shows the Church the power of blogs and how we will not be silent anymore in the face of heterodoxy. I can still remember as a child how my late mother particularly lamented what was done in the 1960’s. They had no way to stop it, no tools to fight back, we do and there is no excuse anymore not to use it to the advantage of the Church with “clarity and charity” as my own Archbishop will often state.

Q. Do you believe the proposals of Cardinal Kasper are, as Cardinals Muller and Sarah describe them, heretical, inasmuch as they propose to divorce Catholic Faith from Traditional discipline regarding the Sacraments?

Mr. Domet:  Yes, 100% without reservation. Let me say this too. I married my lovely Frankie nearly two years ago; we courted for nearly two before that. I was married previously in the Church but was granted a “Decree of Nullity” many years ago. Let these prelates stop with the distortion of the facts. The annulment process, at least I can speak of here in Toronto, is rigorous and thorough as it must be, but it was not “painful.” It took time because I was lazy with my documents. My recollection is the cost was a suggested donation of $900 Canadian for which I received a tax receipt — so we can get off that carousel that it is not possible to obtain one.

One cannot divorce the Catholic Faith from Traditional discipline regarding the Sacraments and still remain Catholic.

Q. What do you think Catholic Cardinals and Bishops should be doing now to avert a disaster in October at the Synod for the Family?

Mr. Domet:  Our own Cardinal Archbishop Thomas Collins has addressed the matter publicly and upholds the doctrine. He has asked for input from the faithful and I have certainly provided my own. What the Catholic faithful need to see are more examples of prelates such as Cardinal Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Cardinal Sarah, Archbishop Cordileone, the Polish bishops and many of those in Africa. Why are they not all speaking out? What are they afraid of? I’ve had enough of bishops in Belgium and the United States and here in Canada musing about blessing and accepting of alternative lifestyles. Yes, they have said this; I don’t need to name them here. I’ve heard enough of this “mercy” it is a false mercy – there is nothing merciful about someone being left in a place that will jeopardise their eternal salvation.

Q. If the Pope and those who prefer loyalty to him to loyalty to Christ Jesus, should push or declare any deviation from the Faith or traditional discipline of the Sacraments in the October Synod, will you stand with the Pope or with Jesus Christ?

Mr. Domet:  I stand with Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour. Let us not, as Catholics, give an exaggerated status to any pope along the lines of what our protestant friends think – an infallibility without respect for the Gospel, which he does not possess. The First Vatican Council defined it very clearly.

Q. How high do you think the stakes are in this battle?

Mr. Domet:  As high as they can be; schism, heresy and the loss of souls and as our beloved Benedict XVI said, “the very future of the world is at stake”; God will not be mocked.

In My hour of darkness, will you stand by Me?

When He is reviled by High Priests & theologians, His Disciples remain silent?

Featured Image -- 1451Rome, March 5, 2015:  In a telling editorial, Edward Pentin, a noted journalist who covers the Vatican, describes the woeful situation in the Catholic Church under Pope Francis:

One of the most frustrating aspects of covering the Church today is the unwillingness of trusted and reliable sources to go on the record. Strangely, this seems most common when it comes to defending doctrine, and the Church generally, in the face of attack.

Whether it’s Church teaching coming under fire at the Synod on the Family, Vatican officials with vitally important and helpful information to share, or German bishops outnumbered by their dissenting brother bishops, few appear willing to go public and speak up for Christ and the truth…

Read the rest of his piece, entitled, “Why the Reticence in the Face of Attacks on the Church?”, at the National Catholic Register.

Pentin goes on to speculate as to the causes, but omits the most probable one of all.  Jorge Mario Bergoglio was notorious, in his tenure as Archbishop of Buenos Aries, for violently castigating those with whom he disagreed, going so far as to use crude and vulgar insults as he shouted at them, in person, or on the phone.

But, let us not pretend otherwise, it is not the Church alone which is being attacked by the vile proposals of “Team Bergoglio” theologians like Cardinal Kasper or Cardinal Marx, it is Jesus Christ Himself who is being denied in His teachings regarding the necessity of both faith and penance for salvation, as a prerequisite for receiving His love in the Eucharist.

Indeed, it is quite logical, that those who would crucify the Lord anew by a sacrilegious communion, and who in fact are currently crucifying Him by such unworthy communions — for all who oppose Christ’s teachings are in mortal sin and receive sacrilegiously — be refused from receiving Him, Who died the bloody death on the Cross to deliver them from the Prince of Darkness and Lies, and transfer them into the Kingdom of Light, Truth and Purity.

That so many Cardinals, Bishops, priests, deacons and religious, men and women, are silent in the face of these attacks on the Person of Our Lord, recalls the treachery and cowardice of the 11 Apostles who abandoned Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane in 33 A. D..

Ten of them had this excuse, that Our Lord had not yet risen from the dead, and they had not yet received the Holy Spirit.

But none of those who are silent today, have this excuse.

Clergy and religious who are silent because they fear a phone call from a mad-superior who wants to punish all who will not go along with open apostasy from Christ their Lord, are not worthy of Jesus Christ.  Such without a doubt shall burn for all eternity in the pit of Hell with Judas Iscariot at their side.

But for those who claim some devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and have some likeness to the virgins St. John, St. Mary Magdalene and St. Martha, IT IS YOUR DUTY TO STAND BY THE CROSS AND SPEAK OUT, for Our Lord has no voice to reach the ears of sinners, but through YOU!


Ave Generosa!

In this vale of tears, after God, there is no greater consolation but to contemplate and praise His Most Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary!  Here is Hildegard von Bingen’s hymn to Our Lady:  Ave Generosa!  Hail, O Generous Woman!


Let us beseech this Virgin of Virgins, to save the Church from the impiety of Cardinal Kasper’s proposals and the malign conspiracy behind them which is spreading over the Church as a mortiferous cancer.

Without humility, there is no Catholic faith

Today is the 76th Anniversary of the Election of Pope Pius XII

Pope Pius XII venerates the Cross
Pope Pius XII venerates the Cross

Editorial — Rome, March 2, 2015:  In the English language, we are blessed with the capacity of using the honorific capitalization to vary the signification of words.  Thus we can say that the church of which we are members is at the corner of Maple and Main street. Or we can say, that the Church of which we are members was founded by Christ Jesus.  The first signifies a mere building, the second the Mystical Body of Christ.  The same goes with the word, “faith”, though many Catholics in the English language are beginning to forget this.  When we speak of the “Catholic faith” we say something different than when we speak of the “Catholic Faith”.  The latter refers properly to the teachings of our holy religion, and as a metonymy — that is, the poetic usage by which a whole thing is named by a part, as in the prayer:  “Lord, I am not worthy that Thou should come under my roof”,  the word “roof” refers to the whole house: the body being the house of the soul, metaphorically — so when we say, “the Catholic Faith”, the expression can can also indicate the Catholic Religion itself, not just its doctrines.

But when we say, “the Catholic faith”, we ought to refer properly to the supernatural virtue of faith, as a Catholic should have it — there is no other way to have it — namely, to believe all which God has publicly revealed, and this in the same sense and understanding as it has always been understood by the Catholic Faith.

Thus, when we say, “Without humility, there is no Catholic faith”, we are speaking about the interior disposition of individuals, not of a distinction of Churches.

God gives grace to the humble, but to the proud He hardens His Heart

Though God can do all things, and though God can convert even the most hardened of sinners, as His Mercy can alone accomplish in such exceptional circumstances, everyone easily recognizes that it is very foolish to put one’s hope in such, as if such could be presumed.

Take for example the case of driving in a snow storm with a gas tank near empty.  As one goes down the highway, one sees a sign for a gas station in the little town one is passing, and there is an exit to get off the road.  The station is open, other cars are filling up.  Yet, one knows that there is a gas station at home, and that though the needle on the gas gauge is getting near empty, there is a theoretical possibility of arriving home without stopping to fill up, since in all previous times one has nearly arrived home, by a few miles.

Now a reasonable person would consider the danger of being stranded even a few miles from home in a snow storm, and conclude that the prudent thing to do was to stop for gas at this little town now.  Such prudence would be humble and an expression of humility, because one would recognize that one’s personal inclination to be optimistic about outcomes CANNOT and DOES NOT change the objective realities of the distance to reach home or the rate of consumption of gasoline by one’s car.

For this reason, it is unrealistic to presume that God will give grace to a proud man.  For a proud man will not draw close to God, will not recognize his need for God’s mercy and providence and protection.  Hence, he will not pray with sincerity to ask for help.  A proud man does this because he is not attentive to the reality that HIS SOUL cannot arrive at the destination of Heaven without God’s grace and that HIS HEART needs sufficient grace right now to make it to the next stop on his path in life.  Nor does he recognize that HE CANNOT produce grace of himself and must seek it from God.

Humility is the essential disposition of Catholic faith

Pope Pius XII greets a little girl.
Pope Pius XII greets a little girl.

The entire Catholic Faith, that is Catholic Religion, is founded upon humility, because IT ALONE accepts all which God has revealed.  IT ALONE puts into practice all which God has commanded and requested and prefers.  IT ALONE has never swerved from the right path of truth in doctrine and practice in regard to all matters of religion.  IT ALONE rejects entirely the pride of the world, the pride of the flesh and the pride of the devil.  The pride of the world which believes it can live without God; the pride of the flesh which believes man can achieve everything by himself, the pride of the Devil who believes he has every right to comport himself as God and dictate to the earth.

It is for the sake of humility, and preserving this spirit, that the Catholic Faith has ever taught, in all Her rites, that the priest is to face God during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, that man is to kneel or prostrate himself at communion, that the Eucharist is to be received on the tongue; that the Priest alone is the minister of the Sacraments.

The proud man denies this; the ally of the proud seeks to turn the Catholic away from this, by whatever art or strategem.

Cardinal Pacelli kneeling before God
Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli kneeling before God, with the cappa magna.

Vatican II’s “magisterium”?

If we speak, not in metaphors, not with words used improperly or in a broad sense, then we speak properly and in a strict sense.  When we do this, we use words as they should and speak in a scientific manner.

In this sense, therefore, “magisterium” means the office of teaching; and “teaching” means the exposition of authoritative truth with the obligation of its acceptance.

Thus, speaking properly, no one says that a poet, when reciting poetry, teaches.  Nor that a friend at the bar, reciting local gossip teaches.  Likewise, when speaking of  different ways in which one might encourage, instruct, do, write, etc., without any judgement of which is better or obligatory, such as in all pastoral discussions, no one should say that there is any teaching being handed down.

Thus, if a mechanic should say that an engine could be repaired in any of a number of ways, listing each way and placing no judgement upon them as to their utility, he has not taught anything in the strict sense of “teaching”.  He has merely listed possibilities.  In this sense a phone directory does not teach, because it only lists phone numbers.

For this reason, “teaching” in the strict sense DOES NOT APPLY to the Second Vatican Council.  For unlike all previous councils it promulgated no Creed, decreed no Canons, and Anathematized no errors or heresies.  Thus, willing to not impose anything with the obligation of holding it for all times and places, its documents did not rise to the level of “magisterial teaching” in the proper sense.

The Sophistic Use of Vatican II

A sophistry is a form of argumentation which tricks the listener or reader into accepting a conclusion which is not logically validated by the terms or propositions of the argument.

For example:  A dog has a bark; this tree has a bark: this tree is a dog.

Aristotle wrote an entire treatise on all the possible forms of erroneous argumentation in his work entitled The Elenchae.

Let’s consider, therefore, the most common sophistic argument used in regard to Vatican II:

Proposition 1: Vatican II is an ecumenical council.  Proposition 2: Ecumenical councils are extraordinary expressions of the authentic magisterium of the Church.  Conclusion 1:  Therefore, Vatican II’s teaching is infallible.  Conclusion 2:  Therefore, all Catholics who reject any part of its teaching are heretics.

In this illation, there are 2 propositions, both of which are true.  But there are 2 conclusions which are false.

It is true that Vatican II is an ecumenical council. That is a historical fact, which the documents and historical record confirm.

It is true that Ecumenical councils are extraordinary expressions of the authentic magisterium of the Church.  No one denies that.

But for the first conclusion to be true, there would be required something more.  Since to illate or conclude that Vatican II’s teaching is infallible, one needs to demonstrate 2 things, (1) that every act of the authentic magisterium of the Church is infallible and (2) that Vatican II exercised the authentic magisterium.

However, according to Cardinal Journet, in his book, The Church of the Incarnate Word, the authentic magisterium of the Church is not always infallible.  Because, in theological terms, used properly, “authentic” does not mean infallible, it means that a thing originates from the author which it should have.  And thus the phrase, “authentic magisterium of the Church” means nothing, properly, but that the teaching comes from those whom Our Lord Jesus Christ gave the authority to teach.  Thus, one cannot say that the teaching of the United Nations is an act of the authentic magisterium of the Church, since Our Lord did not give the United Nations the authority to teach.

However, just because the Holy Father and Bishops in communion with him have the sole capacity to authentically exercise the magisterium of the Church does not mean that they must or do in fact exercise it.  Just as a man with the capacity to speak or write or think, does not in every act speak or write or think.  Nor is he obliged to.

Now since teaching requires that one hand down a truth with the obligation to accept it as true, inasmuch as Vatican II did this it did formally teach, and its teaching is authentic. But if it did not oblige catholic to accept it in such wise that non-acceptance was branded by the Council with the note of heresy, that is, in such wise that the counter teaching was condemned as erroneous or heretical, then a Catholic cannot sin by the sin of heresy or schism in rejecting it.

Yet this is manner in which Vatican II taught.  And thus the above illation is false in its 1st conclusion, and thus false in its second conclusion.

But to understand this, let us, in fine, examine the historical record.

With what obligation did Pope Paul VI promulgate Vatican II

The act of promulgation of all of the Documents of the Second Vatican Council was taken by Pope Paul VI, on December 8, 1965, in the Apostolic Brief, In Spiritu Sancto, the English, Italian, Spanish & Portuguese translations of which can be found at the Vatican website.  The only canonically valid text, however, is the Latin, which is missing from the Vatican Website.

However, it is found at Documenta Catholica Omnia, in PDF format.

Here is the key phrase, which indicates the level of obligation by which all Catholics must accept Vatican II’s teaching:

Mandamus autem ac praecipimus, ut, quae synodaliter in Concilio statuta sunt, sancte et religiose ab omnibus Christi fidelibus serventur ad Dei gloriam, ad Sanctae Matris Ecclesiae decus et ad hominum universorum tranquillitatem et pacem.

Here is our unofficial English translation:

Moreover, we command and precept, that, what have been laid down synodally in Council, are to be kept by all of Christ’s faithful in a holy and religious manner for the glory of God, for the ornament of Holy Mother Church and for the peace and tranquility of each and every man.

Significant, here, is that NOTHING is said regarding the obligation of accepting under any threat of punishment.  Therefore, Paul VI established no punishment for not accepting it.  Therefore, the only deviation that could be committed would be a moral one or a spiritual one.  But all this, as Cardinal Journet observes in his book, The Church of the Incarnate Word, is the same as regards a fallible curial document, which, if one were to find any error in it, one would be obliged in conscience to reject it on that point and to inform the Holy Father of the error.

Thus, so long as one does recognize that Vatican II is an ecumenical council, that its fathers had the authority to teach, that they did not impose anything by establishing a disciplinary canon or anathematizing an error or heresy, and that Pope Paul VI in his promulgation of it wished it to be accepted with the same religious respect as as Curial document, as much as regards its non-definite character, one accepts it in a catholic manner, religiously and holily.  But that does not mean, that upon discovering some error, one must accept it as a whole as something worthy of religious or holy respect, since “to accept something as a whole” means to consider the thing as a moral whole, in which everything is affirmed as true, even if false.

Humility recognizes Vatican II for what it was, Pride as something else

Humility, the virtue which inclines us to regard things as they are and NOT as we want them to be, requires, thus, that we recognize Vatican II for what it was, not something more or less.

In the sophism or false argument presented above, we see a common argument used to convince that Vatican II was something more than it intended itself to be.  If we were to accept that, we would be proud.  We would by our own private judgement be raising Vatican II to a level which it did not claim for itself.

Contrariwise, if we were to reject Vatican II as not being of the Church or being wholly in error, we would be proud.  For we would by our own private judgement be lowering Vatican II to a level which it does not deserve.

Humility thus preserves the Catholic faith of the individual regarding questions which concern Vatican II. And it is only through such humility that the Catholic Faith can purdure in the soul of a believer.