"Closed Door Session" on Catholic Blogs in Canada

The ongoing and increasingly uncharitable public exchange between Fr. Thomas Rosica and LifeSiteNews.com may be on the verge of taking a disturbing new turn for the worse. Citing an article in “The Catholic Register”, LifeSiteNews informs us that

“The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has scheduled a closed-door session on independent blogs and web sites claiming to be Catholic at its October plenary.”

This follows, of course, the same Fr. Rosica’s public denunciation of LifeSiteNews, EWTN, and the Catholic blogosphere in general. Fr. Rosica also said that he “hopes the Pontifical Council on Social Communication takes up the issue”.

What does this all mean? I don’t care to engage in wild speculation here, but I hope will be forgiven for my apprehension at this latest development. Is an official condemnation of pro-life Catholic blogs now being discussed in Canada? What sort of precedent will this set for other countries if this is the case? What role will the embittered Fr. Rosica play in these talks?

Certainly some pro-life blogs and websites are not above and beyond criticism (though LifeSiteNews has never encouraged or endorsed uncharitable communication). And violent threats against a priest – such as those Fr. Rosica has claimed to received from angry pro-lifers – are never acceptable. But as I have recently argued, we must have our priorities straight.  Moreover we are well within reason to question whether or not the words and behaviors of a public figure in the Catholic Church are promoting clarity, or sowing confusion, on this most important issue.

To elevate the problem of civility, important as it may be, to the point where it overshadows the problem of legal abortion is absurd and immoral, and I freely admit to having succumb to this in the past. We may as well ask – just why is abortion a sin anyway, and just why does the Church oppose it? Is it some petty venial sin that one would have to be an irrational fool to get angry over? Or is it a serious crime against human dignity, the murder of an innocent child, an issue over which some people may occasionally and understandably lose their composure?

I sincerely hope and pray that the Canadian bishops, and all other bishops should they take up this matter, demonstrate an appreciation for the life-saving work that many of these bloggers engage in, and do not issue a general condemnation of the pro-life blogosphere.

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119 Responses to "Closed Door Session" on Catholic Blogs in Canada

  • M.Z. says:

    Certainly some pro-life blogs and websites are not above and beyond criticism

    Understatement of the year. Their unwillingness to police their own is likely the greatest issue. As I’ve said many times before, “When you place yourself in opposition to someone, don’t be surprised when people act like you are in opposition to them.” Lifesite and other organizations have placed themselves in direct opposition to many prelates. In the case of Lifesite, they have done so with loosely and often poorly sourced material. They should not be shocked when consequences manifest themselves.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    I love this! Clergy who have played footsie with pro-abort pols for years are alarmed because they are being called upon it by pro-life blogs. Their rage against the blogs is futile and useless. Here is a suggested alternative. Act in a fashion that conveys that they actually give two hoots in Hades about the teaching of the Church against abortion.

  • Brett says:

    As a Canadian Catholic, I have been following these issues for a while. The first thing to note is that the bishops have been concerned about Lifesitenews long before the Rosica issue. This meeting has been scheduled for a while. Also, Lifesitenews is going to be allowed a brief presentation to the bishops about an issue that was a big explosion between them and the bishops earlier this year.

    I don’t think we need to worry about a broader condemnation of the pro-life blogosphere. The major concern of the bishops is two-fold. First of all, they are worried about the lack of journalistic integrity in the Lifesitenews articles and would like them to be held to the same standards as traditional print media. Secondly, the are concerned that Lifesitenews claims too much authority for itself in areas where it has no recognized competence. They often make claims on matters ecclesiological, ethical and liturgical that miss important nuance in Catholic teaching but portray themselves as experts in these areas. The bishops are concerned about the confusion amongst the faithful that results.

    They are also concerned at the way Lifesitenews responds to those who voice disagreement with them. Bishops who oppose a particular LSN piece are portrayed as either ‘liberal’ (the worst insult LSN can level) or well-intentioned but under the influence of liberals in their chancery offices. In the view of many, there is often inflammatory language and character assassination in their back-and-forths.

    Finally, the bishops, from the ones I’ve talked to, reject the suggestion that concerns about civility are to be opposed in a zero-sum game with concerns about abortion. The real concern is that lack of civility (including, in some cases, death threats), actually undermines the Church’s credibility on the abortion issue.

    I cannot engage in a piece by piece analysis of LSN articles. I know some people defend their brand of journalism from any and all concerns. I don’t think such arguments would be productive here. I am just trying to get across the views of the bishops in Canada to the best of my knowledge. My knowledge extends to three bishops directly and several more by implication, but I do not sit in on their meetings. If I did, I certainly couldn’t post about it.

  • Brett says:

    Donald,
    Father Rosica’s pro-life creds are impeccable. He used to run an unofficial program at the University of Toronto to provide for expecting mothers considering abortion.
    He even chose St. Gianna Molla as the patron saint of his TV station and has produced a beautiful documentary on her, “Love is a Choice.”
    His station was the only place most Canadians could get news on the March for Life in Ottawa this past year as the mainstream media here ignores such things.
    He disagrees with the way LSN conducts themselves. He is in full agreement with their position that abortion is a grave evil and a scourge on our society. He even agrees that we must do whatever we can to stop it. His concern (and you don’t have to agree with him to appreciate it) is that the way LSN does their work actually hurts the pro-life cause.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Brett,

    “Also, Lifesitenews is going to be allowed a brief presentation to the bishops about an issue that was a big explosion between them and the bishops earlier this year.”

    That is encouraging, I’m glad to hear it.

    “His concern (and you don’t have to agree with him to appreciate it) is that the way LSN does their work actually hurts the pro-life cause.”

    I don’t see how, exactly. It seems LSN’s biggest crime was to criticize Fr. Rosica over Ted Kennedy’s funeral.

  • Harold says:

    “To elevate the problem of civility, important as it may be, to the point where it overshadows the problem of legal abortion is absurd and immoral, and I freely admit to having succumb to this in the past.”

    Are you suggesting that the end justifies the means?

  • John Henry says:

    …would like them to be held to the same standards as traditional print media.

    I would hope they would be held to a much higher standard than that. Thank you for the additional context. I’m not familiar enough with Life Site news to have an opinion one way or the other on this, but it sounds strange for bishops to be meeting about a news organization (even one focused on pro-life activities). Is this an area where the bishops have particular expertise or authority?

  • Elise B. says:

    Lifesite and SoCon may have placed themselves in opposition to the bishops, but not without reason. And I have not noticed any incivility – like insulting words – in their articles. I have been appalled by Cardinal Archbishop Jean-Claude Turcotte, of Montreal, who said that in some cases abortion might be compared to self-defence! That was in an interview with Le Devoir at Easter. I sent an e-mail to the diocese and tried to remain civil, but could not resist calling his Easter gift an “ineptie” (rubbish).

  • Brett says:

    Joe,
    Father Rosica’s concerns about Lifesitenews began long before the Kennedy issue. His concern is quite similar to that of the bishop’s. Things like misrepresentation of Church teaching, inflammatory rhetoric (yes, I know people are accusing Father Tom of the same thing), and attacks on pro-life bishops seem to him to undermine the work to end abortion.

    I’d like to add, that it is also worth remembering that Father Tom is currently receiving death threats from Lifesitenews readers. No, this is not the same thing as LSN itself making death threats, but many who read LSN (I get their daily email) are not surprised by this. The suggestion that anyone who disagrees with their brand of journalism somehow doesn’t care about millions of dead babies does get people worked up. Furthermore, receiving death threats from people who followed the link at the bottom of the LSN article is bound to color one’s views of such things regardless of who exactly bears what culpability for such threats.

    Father Rosica’s comments about the blogosphere, and by impication LSN, came before they criticized him on the Kennedy funeral. In fact, they were in the same article where he defended the choices of the Boston hierarchs. His concerns about them were manifest before they ever critiqued him personally, so it isn’t quite accurate to suggest that their biggest crime was to critique him. Though it does seem that his biggest crime was to critique them, if, at first, indirectly.

  • Brett says Life Site News should be held to the same journalistic standards as the regular print media. If that’s done, then Life Site News will be held to no standards because all of what passes for news in the popular media is nothing but liberal horse trash (except for Fox News). I can’t speak anything about the integrity or lack of integrity on the part of Life Site News, but I would never hold up the popular news media in either Canada or the US as an example of journalistic integrity. CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, NPR and all the rest may as well be our version of Al Jezeera. The thought is absolutely laughable that the news media has any journalistic integrity. And yes, liberal IS a dirty four letter word. Liberals can move to Cuba or North Korea if social justice and the common good are so darn exaltable. Makes me want to puke.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    “Are you suggesting that the end justifies the means?”

    Again with this.

    That question is only relevant when the means are inherently, intrinsically evil.

    If the means actually do not require any justification, and come down simply to a matter of tactics and prudence, then why ask the question?

    The problem here is that some people’s idea of civility is never offending anyone, even if it means not speaking the truth. We must admit and deal with the reality that some people will always be offended by the truth and consider its declaration to be uncivil. We absolutely cannot allow that to dictate our presentation.

    Truth cannot be spared for civility, especially on a matter as grave as abortion. When it is, then it is the civility police that become the ones who justify means by the ends.

    Foul language, threats, personal attacks, speculation about the state of a person’s soul – these must be rejected and condemned. Slander, calumny, libel – all likewise rejected and condemned.

  • Brett says:

    John Henry,
    The big reason for this closed door meeting is exactly the issue highlighted in Donald’s link. The bishop’s concern became quite serious during the D & P scandal.
    Interestingly Thomas Collin, the excellent Archbishop of Toronto, proposed an ingenious and charitable solution to the problem. He then refused to talk to LSN. He is, however, a regular guest with Father Rosica on Salt & Light.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    Secrecy in the face of critics Brett is rarely a good strategy. Additionally of course all of this is beside the point. Blogs will continue to publish what they wish and people will read them as they wish. Father Rosica might as well be fulminating against the sun rising in the east. It will have just about as much effect.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    “Liberals can move to Cuba or North Korea if social justice and the common good are so darn exaltable. Makes me want to puke.”

    Paul,

    I share your disgust with the news media but this comment is really out of line. Social justice and the common good are pillars of Catholic social teaching, and when not abused by left-wing hijackers, are wonderful and beautiful goals.

    Please don’t reject the social teaching of the Church because some people who use its terminology have rejected its moral teachings.

  • Elise B. says:

    “Things like misrepresentation of Church teaching”…
    The problem is that, at least in the Province of Quebec, the bishops do not even present the teachings of the Church. There is one exception – Cardinal Marc Ouellet – and he is not supported by his fellow bishops. In my diocese, part of the education of the faith is entrusted to Dr. Denise Couture, a university professor who has written heretical books where she speaks of God as “Dieu-e” (Godde) and the Trinity as “Dieue, Christa et Sophia”. Blogs cannot do much worse to misrepresent Church teaching.

  • Brett says:

    Donald,
    I’m not sure exactly what you’re getting at with the secrecy comments. Can you elaborate?

    Also, I share your skepticism about what might be possible in terms of making blogs and internet news sources accountable. Or, to second Paul’s concerns, keeping any news sources accountable, though the on-line issue is an even thornier one.

    Personally I am hoping LSN and the bishops come to a gentleman’s type agreement. LSN values fidelity to authority and the bishop’s value pro-life leadership. Maybe this is a bit to wishful.

  • John Henry says:

    Please don’t reject the social teaching of the Church because some people who use its terminology have rejected its moral teachings.

    Also, I don’t think it’s helpful to suggest there is a sharp dichotomy between the social and moral teaching. The social teaching is just a working out of the moral teaching in the broader societal context.

  • I don’t normally read LifeSiteNews, so I can’t speak to their day-in, day-out quality, but I will say that they at least occasionally go off the deep end and stretch things a bit to make their point. They certainly shaded the facts of the matter a good bit when they launched (repeatedly) the “pope says Catholics should not read Harry Potter” controversy — a fake controversy if there ever was one, and one that made the Church look silly while doing nothing to help the pro-life cause. They also tend to push the Intelligent Design movement, sometimes at the expense of Vatican science experts.

    That said, the idea of stepping in to police this one organization and their ability to call themselves Catholic seems excessive and ideological — given all the other zany organizations and publications which are allowed to call themselves Catholic. (And it’s not like saying they should hold to the standards of “mainstream journalism” means anything, given that mainstream journalism is insanely clueless about religious topics.)

    Unfortunately, this seems like the kind of fight that could easily hurt both the Canadian bishops and the faithful quite a bit if people dash into it precipitously. Given that the LifeSiteNews has a heavily US readership, who don’t deal with the CCCB regularly, but well remember when they saw fit to publicly reject Humanae Vitae, this is the sort of thing that could drive a wedge between many well-meaning and fervent Catholics and the Canadian hierarchy — and in that sense the bishops in general. I would hope that they will move carefully and pastorally rather than getting pulled into one well-known priest’s online sand-kicking match.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Elise,

    An excellent point. Compared to the heretical and obscene doctrines being promulgated or tolerated by some of our “shepherds”, the blogosphere is a font of saintly wisdom.

    It is sad and appalling that some of these bishops are more concerned about sincere pro-lifers whose efforts save lives than they are with revolutionaries and radicals such as this Dr. Couture, who want to overthrow the Church and rewrite her core doctrines.

    What a complete lack of perspective and priorities.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    John Henry,

    “The social teaching is just a working out of the moral teaching in the broader societal context.”

    You’re right, that was a poor choice of words. Teaching on sexual matters, perhaps? That’s what it all seems to come down to in the end.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    MM never fails to live up to my expectations. 12:00 will stop following 11:59 before he changes anything about the way he posts or interacts with us.

    In response to this specific comment, I repost from Don’s post quoting Bishop Rene Gracida:

    You ask “why is it the laity’s duty to formally criticize the Cardinal of Boston?”?In response I would refer you to the Historical Tracts written by the Servant of God, John Henry Cardinal Newman, in which he describes the situation in the Fourth Century when, he says, practically all of the Church’s bishops were tainted either with Arianism or Semi-Arianism, all except for the Pope and Saint Athanasius. The “sensus fidelium” of the laity saved the Church because they would not follow the lead of their bishops. The Pope and Saint Athanasius, relying on that “sensus fidelium” were able to carry the day at the Council of Nicea. Sometimes, history does repeat itself.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    MI,

    First of all, Rosica DOES have something against EWTN.

    “”It’s a mixture of the LifeSite crowd, LifeSite subscribers combined with EWTN viewers who have now set themselves above the church,” Rosica told the Catholic Register.”

    Granted he said “viewers”, but where on earth would the “viewers” get their ideas from?

    Secondly,

    No, I don’t think these comments apply to me (or anyone here).

    But why are you telling me to “get over it”? I’m not hung up on it. This is a thing taking place close to home, so, I am offering my perspective on it. It doesn’t keep me up at night, and if you don’t like it, may I suggest that you “get over it” and not read or comment here?

  • Brett says:

    Coffee – Father Rosica has had good working relationships with EWTN since he started his work with Salt & Light. They even share programming. He disagreed with Raymond Arroyo’s editorial on the Kennedy funeral and Lifesitenews pitched it as a “Battle of the Catholic Networks.” I think that disagreement on something like this does not warrant any such characterization. Father Tom, certainly never took an open swipe at EWTN in general, just at one editorial he disagreed with, in the company of many similar comments on the blogosphere. I, for one, hope that Father Tom and Raymond Arroyo talk this one out and their good relations continue to the benefit of both networks and their viewers.

    The comment Joe mentions about EWTN viewers needs a little context. Many of Salt & Light’s viewer’s also read LSN and watch EWTN. Those people were contacting S & L hoping to get it on board with a public denunciation of the Kennedy funeral. The perceived vitriol in those requests (or demands) were the flint that lit Rosica’s flame, so to speak. His initial foray into this topic was a defense of his decision to not join in a public denunciation.

    He is far more concerned that LSN is spurring on their readership to vitriol than that EWTN is doing the same. He has worked with EWTN in the past because he considers them reputable and faithful. He would never work with Lifesitenews. In sum, though LSNers and EWTNers are listed in the same sentence above, I don’t think it is fair to suggest that Father Tom’s views of EWTN are even close to his views about LSN (the fact of their overlapping followings notwithstanding; in fact that overlap includes his own network). Indeed, since the LSN piece came out, he has made specific criticisms of LSN, but not of EWTN. He disagrees with LSN’s whole modus operandi. He disagreed with one editorial by one member of EWTN’s staff on a topic where faithful Catholics can disagree.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    “I’m not sure exactly what you’re getting at with the secrecy comments. Can you elaborate?”

    Sure, a closed door session to deal with blogs. Frankly that is stupid. One reason that a fair number of Catholics read Catholic blogs is because they shed light, along with a fair amount of heat, on goings on within the Church that are simply unacceptable to many Catholics. The Kennedy funeral which turned into the Kennedy canonization is a typical example. Blogs highlight problems within the Church. The Bishops should be openly and honestly dealing with the problems noted on the blogs, and not attempting to silence the messengers, a futile effort in any case as we both agree.

  • Brett says:

    Donald,
    OK, I see. I wasn’t sure if I was being secretive or what.

    In any case, I’m not sure exactly what their goals are for this session. It is tough for me to imagine exactly what they expect to accomplish, though I am hopeful.

    I have pondered, though, the possibility of a pastoral letter reminding those of us who inhabit the blogosphere that we are all in communion with one another and that the way we conduct our disagreements should reflect that. Not that such a thing is really enforceable, but then again neither is Humanae Vitae. In other words, truth is the primary consideration, enforceability is secondary.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    “His concern (and you don’t have to agree with him to appreciate it) is that the way LSN does their work actually hurts the pro-life cause.”

    I don’t see how, exactly. It seems LSN’s biggest crime was to criticize Fr. Rosica over Ted Kennedy’s funeral.

    I do read LifeSiteNews.com each day and they are not vitriolic at the least. They are pretty even-handed, with the exception of the whole Harry Potter affair, but to paint them as “out there” is wrong.

    I also like Fr. Rosica, I even have that “Love is a Choice” DVD about Saint Gianna Beretta Molla!

    I have been following this especially close since Fr. Rosica wrote that screed against Raymond Arroyo and I do have an opinion.

    And that is Father Rosica may have been rubbed the wrong way for something I am unfamiliar with, but he certainly responded rather poorly by attacking everyone he could. His comments were uncharitable and unconstructive.

    Whether he was right or wrong, Fr. Rosica went about it the wrong way.

    Finally, if the Canadian bishops are getting their drawers up in a knot over LSN, then they should investigate the other alleged “Catholic” publications and organizations that pander to left-wing pet projects and amorality.

    I’m with Donald, the Canadian bishops lost their moral high ground when they ceded it to be “with the world” rather than “with Christ” by hoping the abortion issue would go away so they could fiddle with their pet-projects of recycling water bottles and making Canadians pay more taxes for disgruntled jihadists.

  • As we know, there is historical precedent for the laity keeping the bishops in check. This is not “rebellion”, but loyal opposition.

    Unless the matter is something you disagree with. When “liberals” have a quarrel with “the” bishops, it’s “dissent” or “heresy.”

  • JohnH says:

    I’d side with Fr. Rosica any day if the question was “Who has done more to effectively promote orthodox Catholicism, LifeSiteNews or Salt + Light?” LifeSite only seems to crop up now and again when it’s pointed out that, yet again, they have fabricated or spun a story outside the orbit of truth.

    An eye-opener for those who don’t read LifeSiteNews much might be a visit to the Orwell’s Picnic blog, written by one of their primary contributors. Angry, angry trad stuff.

  • Brett says:

    Tito,
    You are right that there is some background to this. LSN had been invited to the bishops’ fall meeting because of a scandal earlier this year where LSN reported that the bishop’s social justice arm, Development and Peace, was supporting partners in the global south who advocate for abortion rights. The bishop’s launched an investigation and LSN was not at all satisfied with the investigation’s findings, calling it a ‘whitewash’. Since that time there has been a lot of tension between the bishops and LSN. Father Tom is close with many bishops (he’ll probably be one before too long) and it is safe to say that the bishop’s concerns were his concerns. This long-simmering issue helps explain why one blog post was so explosive (to both sides).

    I will risk adding that your last paragraph does not accurately describe any of the Canadian episcopate that I am familiar with and I find it unproductive to invoke such hyperbole. Have you seen their document on the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae? You might be pleasantly surprised.

  • Tito Edwards says:

    Brett,

    You’re right about the last paragraph. It’s the Anglican Church in Canada that does the water bottle campaign (did a lot of work in Canada 2 yrs ago), so I got confused to which church it was.

    Other than the last paragraph, I hope the Canadian bishops don’t overreact and try to marginalize LSN.

  • Dee says:

    LifeSiteNews has been a Godsend for Catholics in Canada.

    When we go to our Canadian bishops about dissident “Catholic” newspapers that are pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, anti-Pope, etc. and yet are being sold in Catholic parishes, or speakers invited to parishes who promote the same dissent, we’re told the Church has “room for all points of view.”

    When Catholic women, advised to have an abortion by a priest, go to a bishop to tell him that the local Catholic hospital is performing abortions because the diocesan “expert” moral theologian said it is fine, they say “I totally trust my priest’s judgment” and do nothing.

    When parents go to their bishop complaining that a pedophile priest had been shuffled around while he was a known molester, they are told “we have no idea what you’re talking about” and only admit it when a lawyer is contacted, or when a priest’s inappropriate sexual behaviour is reported, they are told “stop gossiping.”

    The list is endless….

    LifeSite was there to speak up on behalf on the laity, and then finally the bishops listened, they hated lifesite, but they listened and were forced to face what was going on. Many priests and bishops in Canada hate EWTN, how many times I’ve heard Catholics say they were told not to watch it.

    The Canadian Bishops Conference owns Salt and Light, and Rosica who runs it works for them, he is a known progressivist, ladder climber. He wants to be a bishop. He’s trying to be the hero to snuff out LSN for exposing the fraud bishops in Canada. God help us! God bless Lifesite!

  • Brett says:

    Dee,
    I was under the distinct impression that Salt & Light was owned by St. Joseph Communications. I have never heard that the bishop’s have any ownership at all in S & L. Can you substantiate? If this claim is untrue, I will find it difficult to take all your other claims at face value.

    I may, however, be radically uninformed on this count. Stranger things have happened.

  • Jay Anderson says:

    So, Brett, what about Tito’s other points?

    Was Fr. Rosica justified in using language FAR more divisive and incendiary than anything he might have been decrying? Was he justified in using such no uncertain terms in referring to Mr. Arroyo (even if he never mentioned him by name)?

    You are, curiously, avoiding THAT issue, although you seem to imply that Fr. Rosica was justified based on some long-standing running battle with LifeSite. What about his words in reference to Mr. Arroyo? How is THAT justified?

    Here are Tito’s comments to which I am referring, so that there is no mistake:

    … I have been following this especially close since Fr. Rosica wrote that screed against Raymond Arroyo and I do have an opinion.

    And that is Father Rosica may have been rubbed the wrong way for something I am unfamiliar with, but he certainly responded rather poorly by attacking everyone he could. His comments were uncharitable and unconstructive.

    Whether he was right or wrong, Fr. Rosica went about it the wrong way…

    What say you to that?

  • Dee says:

    Brett,

    Sorry, they don’t own it, however, it is privately known that it receives funding from the CCCB.

    As far as believing the scandalous events that Lifesite has reported on after Canadian Catholics called them in desperation, you can look them up on Lifesite, there are too many too list.

    Here are two on the abortions being performed at a Catholic Hospital and the bishop does nothing except trash lifesite when he is told. (btw, this bishop is a brother Basilian priest of Fr. Rosica’s)

    “Twenty Years of Eugenic Abortion at Ontario Catholic Hospital”
    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2008/dec/08121111.html

    “Mother Pressured to Terminate Pregnancy”
    http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/feb/09022507.html

  • e. says:

    “Was Fr. Rosica justified in using language FAR more divisive and incendiary than anything he might have been decrying? Was he justified in using such no uncertain terms in referring to Mr. Arroyo (even if he never mentioned him by name)?”

    Perhaps your argument here would be far more compelling if you actually provided the evidence itself (i.e., what Rosica purportedly said) and not some critique put forward by somebody who simply described it as such.

    So there is no question to what it is I’m referring to here, these are the subject comments being referenced:

    “[H]e certainly responded rather poorly by attacking everyone he could. His comments were uncharitable and unconstructive.”

  • Dee says:

    Also, worthy of noting, Lifesite news has received harrassing and threatening emails and calls,too. Rosica is just the only one whining about it loudly.
    For lifesite, I’ve read that threats, hate mail, etc, is a regular thing for them,from the pro-aborts (I’m sure some Catholic ones even).

    There are lots of scary, nutty people out there, but Rosica is dishonest in writing off a whole group of Catholics. That’s no different than those who say the whole Church is full of pedophiles.

    Also, why does he blame lifesite for people calling him to comment on the Kennedy funeral, they didn’t tell anyone to do that.

    He wants to bring down LSN, bottom line. Well, it won’t work. The Catholics in Canada won’t put up with bullies like Rosica and his ilk anymore. Someone has to protect the Faith and the little babies in Canada, our sherpherds sure aren’t.

  • Brett says:

    Jay,
    I am sorry if I gave the impression of being here to justify any actions. I have been trying my best to explain the concerns of those involved and the surrounding circumstances, but I have no intention of justifying any actions. In my experience there is very little point in such things. Some readers will find them justified and some will not and my two-cents will make no difference in their assessment.

    My guess is that those in this thread who feel LSN is never vitriolic, or is a godsend, will not find Father Tom’s comments justified. Those who think that LSN is out to lunch, might be more inclined to sympathize with Father Tom.

    I personally do not know the best way for Father Tom to go about his criticisms. I have no beef with Tito’s suggestions that there could have been better ways to proceed, which is why I did not respond to that aspect of his comment.

    I did mention above that I am inclined to be a little lenient with a man who is receiving death threats, but I don’t expect that everyone agree with me on that count and have no desire to argue about it.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    “When “liberals” have a quarrel with “the” bishops, it’s “dissent” or “heresy.””

    When liberals want to openly defy the clearly established teaching of the Church, it is.

    I would say the same about the right as well.

  • Tito – Your “correction” regarding the “water bottle” campaign is incorrect as well. Development and Peace in Canada DID have a campaign against bottled water. It was not a campaign for recycling water bottles. The D&P campaign against bottled water was inspired by a Vatican statement about the right to clean water, which, interestingly, was described as a basic right to life issue. Hardly a “distraction” from life issues at all.

    Other than the last paragraph, I hope the Canadian bishops don’t overreact and try to marginalize LSN.

    They have marginalized themselves, I’m afraid. Kudos to Fr. Tom for standing up to LSN. The Catholic blogosphere as a whole should heed his words.

    To the person who called Fr. Rosica a well-known “progressivist,” that is not my perception having heard some of his homilies and knowing some of the circles in which he runs. I would actually say he’s more on the conservative side. He certainly has his head on straight and calls it like he sees it: the Catholic blogosphere and the Catholic online independent media are largely problematic.

  • Mark says:

    Are we talking about the CCCB, the bishop’s conference whose members show such outstanding defence of the faith:
    “We know it requires a very serious reason to justify an exemption from a school program,” he wrote. “The most serious reason would be without doubt the violation of the freedom of conscience, which is a fundamental right. The program in itself does not seem to us to be vulnerable to such a dispute a priori [before the fact]. It is rather a posteriori [after the fact], based on experience, that a demand for exemption could in our view become admissible in cases where an injury might be serious enough.” (Bishop Martin Veillette speaking about the new mandatory curriculum that treats homosexuality as normal and defends atheism.)
    LSN do indeed tend to sometimes stretch the truth but “language of division and hate” ? Give me a break!
    The only thing that LSN did was to call a spade a spade: Edward Kennedy was a consumate pro-abort and the Catholic hierarchy of Boston tried to gloss over it and got caught like the King in the King’s New Clothes. Instead I strongly suspect that CCCB’s gripes with LSN dates back from LSN accustaions, which were true, that the CCCB’s charity arm was funding pro-abort militants in Mexico and South America. And yes Cardinal Turcotte did mention abortion as self-defence in the case of rape. We shall judge the tree by its fruits!

  • John Pacheco says:

    By the way, everyone, we are only at the tip of the iceberg.

    Steady yourselves. And get ready.

    What happened over 1600 years ago is repeating itself today, but with two or three differences: Alexandria is the whole Universal Church, the stability of which is being shaken, and what was undertaken at that time by means of physical force and cruelty is now being transferred to a different level. Exile is replaced by banishment into the silence of being ignored; killing, by assassination of character.

    Mgr. Rudolf Graber, Bishop of Regensburg,
    Athanasius and the Church of Our Times, p. 23.

    I will have more very disturbing news to report later on.

    Keep the Faith. God help us all.

  • Dee says:

    Fr. Rosica, not a progressivist? Hmmm…let’s look at where he runs to…
    1) The Catholic Register – known for in Canada for its dissident positions
    2) The National Catholic Reporter – known for its dissident positions
    3) There are also Liberal sites (pro-abortion) of Catholics and non-Catholics running to his defence.

    Meanwhile..why doesn’t he run to any faithful Catholic sites or media? First, the orthodox ones disagree with his attacks. Second, no doubt, his friends are all progressivists just like him, those are “his people” so to speak.

    There are orthodox Catholic sites and blogs who are defending Catholic pro-lifers in general against Rosica’s vicious and uncalled for attacks,

    1) Catholic Culture
    2) Inside Catholic
    3) Cathcon
    (Notice Rosica doesn’t go after them, perhaps because his personal revenge is aimed at Lifesitenews.)

    Fr. Rosica and CCCB are after, I believe, these three goals:

    1) Shut down LifeSite.
    2) Shut up Catholic bloggers, especially those who reveal scandal and teach others about the Church’s teaching on abortion and homosexuality.
    3) Get rid of EWTN from being made available in Canada. (

    I’m sure the secular media would do it,they’ve already banned any programming from EWTN about homosexuality to be aired in Canada. EWTN has to provide an alternative program for Canadians.)

    Many of our priests and bishops in Canada in favour of “some” abortion. I wonder if Fr. Rosica is 100% pro-life which means against aborting babies conceived in rape, incest, or for the life/health of the mother. Has anyone ever asked him or has he ever written anything against exceptions? It’s easy to call yourself “pro-life” and plan and show up for pro-life events, it doesn’t always mean the persona, even a priest or bishop, is against all killing of babies.

    Fr. Rosica’s type of behaviour often shows that a person doesn’t think abortion is so bad afterall, and they think in some cases killing babies is acceptable. (Which is NEVER is!) Actions often speak louder than words.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    MI,

    “They have marginalized themselves, I’m afraid. Kudos to Fr. Tom for standing up to LSN. The Catholic blogosphere as a whole should heed his words.”

    How about you? Should you heed his words?

    There is something in the Gospels about removing the beam from one’s own eye. You’ve got a Redwood jammed in yours.

  • Matt McDonald says:

    Brett,

    how long have you been a shill for the CCCB, and their at best lukewarm embrace of Catholic moral teachings, and at worst open opposition to it? I give you the still taught Winnipeg Statement, and deeply immoral actions of the current prelate of the diocese of the same name in responding to D&P’s sponsorship of pro-abortion activists. I can cite numerous examples to support my claim that the CCCB is rotten to the core along with MOST of the Canadian bishops.

    LSN may go off the rails from time to time (as we all do) but they are absolutely correct most of the time, and on the REAL issue which the CCCB is concerned about (D&P) the bishops have acted horribly, and LSN have been on the side of the angels.

    Furthermore, I read LSN and have not seen any of the sort of vitriol that their attackers have used. They are quite matter of fact, and perhaps not so deferential, but they are not vitriolic.

  • Matt McDonald says:

    ps. Brett since you have a direct line to at least 3 Canadian bishops will you beg them to publicly repudiate the Winnipeg Statement for the good of the souls of their sheep, if not for their own?

  • Lifesite news is not a credible news source, which is one of the reasons why bishops question communicating with them. They are known to misrepresent what bishops say — they did so for the Pope on Harry Potter! — and have a record of listening to incredible statements which turn out false. Sorry, it’s not credible, just because they call themselves “lifesite.”

    Joe — I saw you yesterday, did you see me (or at least someone looked like you at Archbishop Burke’s speech– and left before I could say hi, whatever else we debate about, was going to do so).

  • Joe,

    It wasn’t you? Well, it was someone I was sitting behind who looked like you from a distance. This was the InsideCatholic day at the Renaissance Hotel in DC. I was there early on (a nice invite), and stayed til 10:20 after Rick and Eduardo were done speaking.

    Anyway I swore it was you; looked like the picture you have had online before, from the side.

  • Gabriel Austin says:

    “Truth cannot be spared for civility, especially on a matter as grave as abortion. When it is, then it is the civility police that become the ones who justify means by the ends.
    Foul language, threats, personal attacks, speculation about the state of a person’s soul – these must be rejected and condemned. Slander, calumny, libel – all likewise rejected and condemned”.

    You guys shuld read a bit of Luther and Thomas More. Satan is a gentleman, Newman’s State Pattern Man.

  • Gabriel Austin says:

    Henry Karlson writes Saturday, September 19, 2009 A.D.

    “http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2005/jul/05071301.html”

    “An example of LifesiteNew’s problematic news approach”.

    Could you please explain to my simple mind what is problematic about quoting two letters from the Holy Father?

  • Brett says:

    Matt,
    I may be wrong, but I get the feeling there were no real questions for me in your comments. If you have genuine questions you would like to ask of a fellow Catholic in charity I will do my best to respond. Otherwise I will simply let things go as they are. It does not seem to me that responding to you in kind would help anyone.

  • John Henry says:

    Since Joe seems to be away from the computer, I am deleting any ‘impolite exchanges’ until he returns. Personal attacks (no matter how justified someone feels they are) are a direct violation of the comments policy.

    http://the-american-catholic.com/comments-policy/

    I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for everyone, especially toward those with whom I disagree—even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

    I will express my disagreements with others’ ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

  • Matt McDonald says:

    Brett,

    nothing from you on the Winnipeg Statement? I would take that as tacit support.

    I’m with Donald, the Canadian bishops lost their moral high ground when they ceded it to be “with the world” rather than “with Christ” by hoping the abortion issue would go away so they could fiddle with their pet-projects of recycling water bottles and making Canadians pay more taxes for disgruntled jihadists.

    sounds like the prelate of Winnipeg to me, don’t you know him Brett? He’s the one who did the whitewashing on the D&P scandal.

  • John Pacheco says:

    Brett,

    Let me give you some advice as someone who knows what he is talking about:

    1) Lifesite has been refused a meeting at the Bishops’ Plenary Session in Corwnall, Ontario this Oct.19-23.

    2) Do you not find it strange that the same people that Fr. Rosica has been trashing, he is now supporting their initiatives?

    http://www.socon.ca/or_bust/?p=2440

    http://www.socon.ca/or_bust/?p=2604

    Please, let us educate ourselves on the facts. Thanks.

  • Real quick:

    It says in the article, right at the beginning, that Father Rosica has publically denounced EWTN.

    So he obviously has a problem with EWTN.

    So, if anyone knows, can you tell me what is Father Rosica’s problem with EWTN?

  • Brett says:

    Matt,
    As far as I can tell I was never asked for my opinion on the Winnipeg statement. Assuming I support something about which I have never been asked, and of which I have given no opinion is both uncharitable and unwise. I daresay that my position on the Church’s teaching’s about artificial contraception and conscience are better documented than virtually anyone commenting on this blog.
    If you’re interested you can pick up my book. You’ll be particularly interested in chapters 10, 11 & 12.

    http://www.novalis.ca/Default.aspx?ShowProduct=157556&lang=eng

    Or, instead of casting aspersions, you could just ask me nicely.

  • Brett says:

    John,
    I am not at all surprised that Father Tom is NOW supporting such initiatives, since he has supported them for years, as even a cursory reading of his latest post will indicate. One thing that was missed in the whole furor over his comments was that he criticized the way SOME pro-lifers conduct themselves. He never attacked any of these initiatives. He does not see these initiatives as bullying or uncharitable. To assume that he thinks every pro-life initiative is a problem because he criticizes the way SOME pro-lifers act SOME of the time is quite a stretch.

  • Matt says:

    Brett,
    Matt,
    As far as I can tell I was never asked for my opinion on the Winnipeg statement. Assuming I support something about which I have never been asked, and of which I have given no opinion is both uncharitable and unwise.

    Or, instead of casting aspersions, you could just ask me nicely.

    Matt McDonald Says:
    Saturday, September 19, 2009 A.D. at 12:14 pm

    ps. Brett since you have a direct line to at least 3 Canadian bishops will you beg them to publicly repudiate the Winnipeg Statement for the good of the souls of their sheep, if not for their own?

    Since I did ask, and you ignored my request (as the bishops have done to numerous requests), I can ONLY assume that you do not believe they should repudiate it, the only conclusion is that you, like them endorse it. Please disavow me of that notion DIRECTLY if you wish, but don’t try to sell your little book to me.

    This really is a simple black or white situation, you either support Humanae Vitae and oppose the Winnipeg Statement, or you don’t.

  • Brett says:

    You have not asked my opinion. You asked me to beg the bishops to revoke the Statement, and in a rather sarcastic way. Those are quite different things. Though you have still not asked either directly or charitably, I will throw you a bone.

    I support Humanae Vitae. I think the Winnipeg Statement has caused immense confusion and that we would be better off without it.

    Furthermore, you might be interested to know that my wife and I practice NFP despite physiological circumstances that make discerning her fertility virtually impossible for months at a time even in constant consultation with an experienced NFP teacher. So, my support of HV extends beyond empty platitudes and has been incarnated in my life in a rather cruciform way. To me it is less a badge of orthodoxy than a cross of discipleship. Would that more people would treat it this way.

    Finally, feel free to get my book at the library. I’m not going to get rich on $0.60 CDN in any case. (Though if several thousand of you want to buy it, maybe Flannery and I could let up on the abstinence ;)

  • Matt says:

    Brett,

    I support Humanae Vitae. I think the Winnipeg Statement has caused immense confusion and that we would be better off without it.

    I understand your position now. For myself, I reject it because it’s contrary to Catholic teaching, not just in causing confusion but teaching error.

  • Brett says:

    For me it is not so much the error that it taught, but the truth that it declined to teach. In highlighting the primacy of conscience, it was fully in line with the Catholic moral tradition. (That’s probably why it was approved by Rome.)

    The problem was that it contained no articulation of what the primacy of conscience actually means in the practice of Catholic moral life. Given this lack, most people interpreted the primacy of conscience according to the relativistic way this phrase is used in secular culture. I believe that interpretation is something like, “If it feels good, do it.”

    I have no problem with the primacy of conscience. I have a huge problem when this is invoked by people who have forgotten what a conscience is. Aiding and abetting this dynamic is, for me, the failure of the Winnipeg Statement.

  • Matt says:

    Brett,

    to teach a half-truth is to teach error. You are also incorrect when you say that Rome “approved” the Winnipeg Statement, that did not happen.

    There are many Catholics in Canada, taught by their priests and bishops that they can use artificial birth control because of this document, until it is repudiated it will continue to lead souls astray.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    To Michael I, whose comment I will not allow here:

    I am not going to discuss this in public with you. I haven’t deleted any of your comments on THIS discussion, with the exception of this latest one in which you are making accusations and raising issues that have nothing at all to do with the topic.

    Please, keep it documented, as any reasonable person will see that your post is completely off-topic and completely inappropriate for this discussion.

  • Joe Hargrave says:

    Back to the topic, I completely agree with Raymond Arroyo’s criticism of the Kennedy funeral which seems to have touched all this off to begin with:

    “The prayer intercessions at the funeral mass, the endless eulogies, the image of the Cardinal Archbishop of Boston reading prayers, and finally Cardinal McCarrick interring the remains sent an uncontested message: One may defy Church teaching, publicly lead others astray, deprive innocent lives of their rights, and still be seen a good Catholic, even an exemplary one.”

  • Gabriel Austin says:

    Henry Karlson wrote Saturday, September 19, 2009 A.D.
    “Gabriel
    http://www.hogwartsprofessor.com/rita-skeeter-covers-the-vatican/
    Is a great refutation of what LifeSiteNews said and did. And many, like Jimmy Aiken, criticized them because of this”.

    I tried the reference and got:
    “Warning: require_once(/home6/swordofg/public_html/hogwartsprofessor/wp-content/themes/tarski2.5/library/classes/options.php) [function.require-once]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home6/swordofg/public_html/hogwartsprofessor/wp-content/themes/tarski2.5/functions.php on line 39″.

    [P.S. What's a hogwart?]

  • Brett says:

    ‘Approved’ is probably a strong term, which I’ll happily rescind. My understanding from talking to those involved is that each bishop’s conference’s response had to be submitted to Rome before it was released. This procedure may have been rather perfunctory. I genuinely don’t know what dynamics were at play here. Maybe another reader is more informed about exactly what happened?

    I fully agree that many couples have been led astray by the document and its implementation in the Canadian Church. That’s part of the reason I had to write a book.

    An aside: Does anyone know if the rate of contraception use among Canadian Catholics is significantly higher than Catholics in other, similar, countries? I have seen stats saying Catholics in general use contraception at a rate of at least 90%, but I have not seen stats of specific nations.

  • Gabriel Austin says:

    Brett writes Sunday, September 20, 2009 A.D.
    “Matt,
    As far as I can tell I was never asked for my opinion on the Winnipeg statement. Assuming I support something about which I have never been asked, and of which I have given no opinion is both uncharitable and unwise. I daresay that my position on the Church’s teaching’s about artificial contraception and conscience are better documented than virtually anyone commenting on this blog.
    If you’re interested you can pick up my book. You’ll be particularly interested in chapters 10, 11 & 12″.

    http://www.novalis.ca/Default.aspx?ShowProduct=157556&lang=eng“.

    I permit myself to point out gently that one seems to have a high opinion of oneself and one’s presentation of the subject.

  • Brett says:

    And, given that the disaster that is Quebec skews any and all assessments of the total Canadian Church, does anyone know the rates of contraception among Catholics in English-speaking Canada?

    (Not that the Winnipeg Statement had no adverse effect in Quebec. Rather, so many other things had an adverse effect there that weeding out what caused what becomes a logistical nightmare.)

  • Brett says:

    Gabriel,
    The point was not so much that I like the book, but that it is presumptuous to assume I am dissenting with no evidence whatsoever. The fact that I wrote a book in support of Church teaching in this area makes it a little hard for me to take baseless accusations that I am being unfaithful.
    The awfully personal information I divulged about my family life was meant in the same vein. The basic message is: “Don’t assume that everyone whose comments you find unsatisfactory is a heretic. It’s uncharitable and quite possibly incorrect.”

  • Matt says:

    Brett,

    ‘Approved’ is probably a strong term, which I’ll happily rescind. My understanding from talking to those involved is that each bishop’s conference’s response had to be submitted to Rome before it was released. This procedure may have been rather perfunctory. I genuinely don’t know what dynamics were at play here. Maybe another reader is more informed about exactly what happened?

    the Holy See acknowledged receipt of the document without comment on it. A similar error was taught in many places, but no other episcopal conference actually adopted. Action by the Vatican over the years has sent most dissent under the surface.

    In Canada, the bishops refuse to reject the error in any way, and it is still used in the seminaries and as a source in generating diocesan marital instruction (though not attributed openly).

    I suspect that the use of contraception is somewhat higher in Canada, I don’t know if that is attributable to the Winnipeg Statement anyway. Dissent is promulgated in other ways here in the US. In any event, that doesn’t excuse the bishops for continuing it, and it certainly will be a matter for them when they meet their maker.

    My point in all of this is that their is very little in the way of courageous, orthodox teaching from the Canadian Bishops.

    Abp. Weisgerber, who was the main offender in regards to D&P is particularly weak.

  • Brett says:

    My opinion of the book is high enough that I willingly put my name to it in the public square and low enough that I hope I get a chance for a second edition to fix the imperfections. It is also high and low enough that I pray that God will use it to help people despite those imperfections.

  • Elaine Krewer says:

    In one of The Screwtape Letters the title character discusses with his nephew Wormwood the question of whether it would be “better,” from a demonic point of view, to nudge their “patient” toward pacifism or extreme patriotism (the book was written at the beginning of World War II). The demons themselves had no preference (Lewis himself believed that Christians could choose either pacifism or military service in good conscience), they were only interested in the potential effect either point of view might have on getting their “patient” to develop sinful habits and attitudes.

    Screwtape finally leans in favor of pacifism, on the grounds that since pacifists in wartime England were a vocal but small and highly unpopular minority, they would be more strongly tempted to develop an attitude of “defensive self-righteousness”, cliquishness, and contempt toward those who did not agree with them. “The effects of this on one so new to Christianity cannot help but be favorable”, he concludes.

    Granted, the analogy between pacifism and pro-life is not entirely accurate — Catholics are NOT obligated to embrace pacifism, but ARE obligated to embrace the pro-life point of view.

    However, I do think the temptation to the kind of “defensive self-righteousness” that Lewis refers to CAN exist in pro-life circles (NOT among all pro-lifers, by any means, or among all groups). It’s an occupational hazard, so to speak, of being part of a movement that adheres to a very unpopular point of view that is generally ignored or criticized by outsiders. It may be that some people (not all) at LifeSite News, or Fr. Rosica himself, have succumbed to this temptation at times.

    I’m NOT saying that people should avoid pro-life activism altogether, just that they should be aware of this temptation or hazard and try to control or avoid it if they can.

  • Gabriel Austin says:

    Brett writes Sunday, September 20, 2009 A.D. at 2:25 pm
    “Gabriel,
    The point was not so much that I like the book, but that it is presumptuous to assume I am dissenting with no evidence whatsoever. The fact that I wrote a book in support of Church teaching in this area makes it a little hard for me to take baseless accusations that I am being unfaithful”.

    My point was your 20 Sept statement about your greater than other bloggers’ knowledge of the matter.
    “I daresay that my position on the Church’s teaching’s about artificial contraception and conscience are better documented than virtually anyone commenting on this blog”.

    There are ad hominem statements which are attacks and there are ad hominem statements which are self-praise.

    Is it truly impossible to stick to the subject?

  • Brett says:

    Gabriel,
    I am sorry for veering from the subject. I felt the totally unsubstantiated suggestion that I dissent from Church teaching in this area was also veering from the subject and I was trying to defend myself from this charge.

    I tried to choose language that indicated that my positions are well-known, not that my knowledge was greater. If ‘better documented’ carries the connotation of ‘more knowledgeable’, I am sorry. That was not my intention. My whole point was that it is baseless to suggest I dissent. I thought having written a book in support of Church teaching was good evidence for such a point. As far as I can tell, the book could really be quite poorly done and the point would still stand.

    If it seemed smug, I am sorry. My patience with Matt’s accusations had worn out and I am a sinful man. Peace.

  • John Henry says:

    I have no problem with the primacy of conscience. I have a huge problem when this is invoked by people who have forgotten what a conscience is. Aiding and abetting this dynamic is, for me, the failure of the Winnipeg Statement.

    Sorry to contribute to the off-topic conversation, but I think this is a very important point to make. I remember when my wife and I were going through marriage preparation, a priest gave us a book to read in which the chapter on contraception could basically be summarized as different ways of asking analogically “Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?” This was primarily done under the guise of ‘conscience,’ but it never articulated the Catholic understanding of conscience.

    On another note, you’ve been very patient in this thread Brett; thank you for participating.

  • Matt McDonald says:

    Brett,

    I only raised the question because you didn’t jump to the defense of Catholic orthodoxy when I raised the question of the Canadian bishops scandalous policies with regard to the Winnipeg Statement. Furthermore, claiming orthodoxy based on a book, which none of us have read, instead of simply articulating your position, is a poor defense indeed.

  • Brett says:

    John Henry,
    Thank you. That means a lot, especially to someone who is attached enough to his reputation to feel slandered and have it wreck his day. Would that we could all be detached from our egos in cyberspace. Paradoxically, it seems that the separation of our identities from our bodies and our relationships only heightens the ego’s sensitivity. Like I said, I think a pastoral letter on the subject could be quite helpful. Of course, there are some demons that only prayer and fasting can drive out . . .

  • Brett says:

    Matt,
    There was no reason for me to jump to the defense of orthodoxy. Everyone here is against the Winnipeg Statement. The discussion was about the complicated dynamic that had given rise to the CCCB – Rosica – LSN issue, not about which bishop’s statements I personally agreed with. I did suggest to you that I wasn’t here as the defender of the CCCB, but you weren’t interested in that. Once you had construed me as such, you insisted I play the part.

    As I noted in my first response to you, I didn’t think it wise to respond to your sarcasm and personal attacks. Looking back, I should have taken my own advice. I now resolve to do so again, even should you accuse me of stercoranism (which I have very famously rejected in other forums unknown to readers here).

  • Matt McDonald says:

    Brett,

    I acknowledge that, for the first time on this blog you acknowledge with any degree of clarity that you are opposed to the Winnipeg Statement, and I encourage you to urge your bishop pals to do the same.

    You really aren’t all that “famous” on here Brett, so you’ll just have to not rest on your laurels as you seem so fond of doing.

    My reference to the Winnipeg Statement is principally that it’s unjust that the bishops keep it in force and if you can do anything about it, then it would be for the good of souls. I also am pointing out something about the Canadian bishops in this debate. They are largely ambivalent about certain matters of morality which the Church has made crystal clear, if they hold such a position on contraception, then it’s not a stretch to suggest that their ambivalence would extend to abortion, and thus explain their less than full throated efforts in the area, and their consequent defensiveness towards LSN’s exposure of that ambivalence.

  • brettsalkeld says:

    Matt,
    I’m not sure what I said that gave you the impression that I am the envoy for the CCCB to be contacted whenever you have concerns. If you want to write them a letter, be my guest.
    And, by the way, everyone reading this knows that my failure to engage you does not equate with my dissension on any given topic, so don’t waste your time time going down the, “If Brett has no comment, I have no choice but to presume he is an advocate for women’s ordination” road.
    I have simply learned that there is no point engaging you since you try to argue even when we agree. If I disagree with women’s ordination, you are sure to say that, while that is fine and good, my reasons for it are not orthodox enough, and that, in order to be a good Catholic, my reasons need to be the same as your reasons.
    Please find a better use for your time than baiting strangers on the internet. If you’re bored you could try joining the 40 days for Life crowd or spend some time with the Blessed Sacrament. Both would be much more productive than what you’re attempting here.

  • Matt says:

    brettsalkeld,

    i really don’t know why you wander into such strange territory. I made a specific point. You defended the orthodoxy of the Canadian Bishops, bragged about meeting several in person even. I’m simply refuting your position on it. The Canadian Bishops are not orthodox, period.

    As to the Winnipeg Statement, if you’re opposed to it as error, then you ought to put that to your friends in the CCCB, it’s not me that you need to defend the faith to. My proposed conclusion was based on your refusal to join in condemnation of that document, instead trying to sell your book as evidence of orthodoxy.

    There’s no need to get personal here, I did not try and get into a “more Catholic than thou” argument, as you are trying to make it out to be.

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