28 October 2010


What do you think ?


24 October 2010


I. It appears that a crack is opening up in the space-time continuum. Let's check it out and see what's going on:
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will hold its annual Plenary Assembly October 25-29, 2010, at the Nav Canada Centre, Cornwall, Ontario. About 90 Bishops from across the country will gather to review pastoral activities of the past year and share their experiences and insights on the life of the Church and the major events that shape our society.[1]
The Star Chamber is about to hold sessions.

Now a lot of stuff has been happening since the bishops convened last year, like, for example, that whole "long form census" thing[2] and other irrelevant goodies that only a bureaucrat would love. Yet much of the energy expended has involved keeping that monster in the closest, otherwise going by the name Development + Peace. Thing is, this monster wants to stay in the closet. Looking at the timetable for Plenary Observers, however, one would think the D+P scandal to be a mere triviality[3] The first day is a "public session", open to "appointed observers, invited guests of various faiths and accredited media professionals". Unfortunately, these folks are to get a mere 15-minute talk on D+P. Lunch follows.

III. Rules and regulations are set in place for journalists. Behave or else this stipulation comes into effect: "The CCCB reserves the right to refuse entry to any media professional and to refuse or revoke accreditation at any time".[4] Surely, this gorgeous disqualifier will be on the mind of (if in attendance) Abp. James Weisgerber, well cognizant that a LifeSite News reporter will be scoping him out. Remember, this is the man who, in response to the scandal, said: "These bloggers who claim to be more Catholic than anyone - I think first of all they're not part of the church".[5] Though the Holy Father would take issue with that statement, recently speaking of "the extraordinary potential of the new media to bring the message of Christ and the teaching of his Church to the attention of a wider public."[6] Anyhow, I'm sure some stoolie from Salt+Light TV will be there to play back-up for the good archbishop. Redundancies are requisite. I suggest that Fr. Rosica dispatch Mr. Dmytrenko to Cornwall. He seems pretty good at it.[7]

IV. Other topics to be covered in The Star Chamber include: "relations with Muslims", "principles of evangelization in contemporary culture", "reviewing the work carried out over the past year by CCCB councils, commission and committees", "the CCCB restructuring process" and "the role of Bishops in life issues." Certainly, a cornucopia of paper-shuffling delights. Much work, obviously, needs to be done on the latter. Just recently pro-life student protesters were arrested by police at Carleton University in Ottawa and all that the CCCB would muster (surely after much prodding) was a fuzzy statement in a letter to Prime Minister Harper: "increasing levels of incarceration of marginalized people is counterproductive".[8] Astounding. This aversion to making bold proclamations or enunciating Catholic specificities just betrays the Politically Correct cowardice involved.

V. The report on D+P during the public session is to be presented by Bps. Claude Champagne, OMI and Richard Grecco. Don't know much about Champagne, who was appointed by B16 to be bishop of Edmundston, New Brunswick in January 2009. [9] Previously he was provincial superior of the oblate province of Saint-Joseph, Montreal. [10] Available data makes me pause. He is an Oblate of Mary Immaculate, studied and taught at St. Paul University,[11] for a long time now a hotbed of heretical craziness, and a pontifical university no less. OMI have done much good work throughout Canada in the distant past, yet its association with St. Paul University over recent decades, including the heterodox liberalism regularly issued by Novalis Publishers (which OMI controlled until recently) has to figure in here somehow. If living, studying and teaching in an atmosphere of dissent, in an aura of "social justice", antinomianism and radical theologies, where will Champagne's sympathies skew with respect to D+P, an organization of people whose lifeblood consists of these very horizontalisms? It is an open question.

VI. Grecco is not as hard to gauge. At last year's Plenary Session in October, just months after LSN exposed D+P to be funding pro-abortion groups in Latin America, Grecco (on the D+P governing board) released the following in an initial written report: "[D+P] came under a concerted Internet-based media attack by certain militant advocacy groups and individuals, alleging that DEVELOPMENT AND PEACE was financing and promoting abortion programs and advocacy through our partner network".[12] Not a good sign. Later in a verbal report he specifically mentioned LSN as being one of the "militant advocacy groups". Not a good sign at all. Grecco's background is interesting. Since 1997 he was an auxiliary in London and Toronto, then appointed bishop of Charlottetown, PEI in July 2009.[13] He is from St. Catharines, a tough industrial town in southwestern Ontario. He studied theology at St. Augustine's Seminary in Toronto, ordained in 1973,[14] right at the time when the V2 "spirit" was shifting into overdrive. Also notable is that he taught Moral Theology at Toronto's St. Michael's College, another institution that has succumbed to anti-Catholic forces for some time now.[15]

VII. Not much can be gleaned from the abovementioned with respect to what exactly will be reported on the D+P scandal. However, we can capture a glimpse of the whitewash to come by statements recently made by Msgr. Patrick Powers, the newly appointed CCCB General Secretary. Here it should be interjected that The Star Chamber did excellently in getting Msgr. Powers to tow the party line. Prior to entering the seminary he worked for "a major Canadian company where he served as employment and personnel services manager."[16] An administrator! Anyhow, read some remarks by Powers quoted in a report earlier this week on CCCB committee dealings with D+P and "life and family issues" (n.b. both involve abortion and morality, effectively making them the same subject):
...Both committees have worked extremely well and they have excellent results to report... Members of the ad hoc committee were genuinely astonished at the level of complete cooperation that became evident early in their work on the part of CCODP... over the years the two organizations had not talked as much as they should have... They will have a report for the plenary where absolutely all the issues have been looked at... something quite wonderful... [will result]... I would say the results of the reports of these two ad hoc committees will go a very long way to establishing a climate of confidence... The CCODP people have given more than ample evidence of how all sorts of approaches are being changed...
The two keys: results and cooperation. What does "excellent results" mean? Seems like they will claim no evidence of pro-abortion group funding by D+P. What else would "excellent" mean? They have looked at "all the issues", yes? What exactly does "complete cooperation" mean? Well, of course, two groups of like minded thinking are going to cooperate, even if strayed from one other over the years. Obviously there will be a "climate of confidence". The only difference now is that cooperation has been forced. The performance of an internal review, whatever it has entailed, was due to challenges from extraneous agencies (i.e. LifeSite News, bloggers) who have presented disturbing evidences of anti-life facilitation. Even though D+P "made full disclosure" to the CCCB, it certainly did not cooperate with LSN, despite D+P's mantra of transparency. Just recently, D+P lawyered up to disallow a Freedom of Information Request submitted by LSN[18]. Having a CCCB committee investigate the D+P is like asking an inebriated doctor to excise his own ruptured appendix.

VIII. But the story does not end here. Not at all, ladies and gentlemen. An out is necessitated to account for or nullify any and all accusations of malfeasance. The Star Chamber is well cognizant that, despite its reports extolling hope and change and other nebulous phraseologies, "militant advocacy groups and individuals" (as Bp. Grecco would say) would continue with their campaign of disbelief. Enter the bureaucratic magic of Msgr. Powers and, presto!, an escape hatch materializes:
There will always be questions that arise, not only at CCODP but at any Catholic organization... They have to be looked at and they usually turn out to be not quite what they appear to be.
Indeed, something quite wonderful.

Resolution to the D+P scandal, based on my analysis, will not come from within this icy domain called Canada. The CCCB is a magisterium unto itself and evidently that old heresy of conciliarism is operative.[19] No options or solutions exist therein. There is a smattering of hope, however. Accordingly, let's go transatlantic...

X. Now whatever one may think of the late Fr. Malachi Martin's writings, he was nevertheless correct when he penned that the Chair of Peter is world's greatest "listening post".[20] Peter hears, and he hears globally. VIS is reporting that Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S. had four "separate audiences" this month with His Holiness, on October 4th, 11th, 18th and, most interestingly, on the 22nd, just a few days prior to when The Star Chamber convenes.[21] Notice the weekly (7-day) cycle, October 4th-11th-18th, but the 22nd is out of sync. Routine audiences, yes, though undoubtedly Ouellet, in at least one of these meetings, was apprising B16 on the CCCB/D+P ongoings. Why is this Cardinal important? Two interrelated reasons: Ouellet is a Canadian, from the formerly Catholic province of Quebec (to which he was archbishop and Primate of Canada), and (more influentially) he is the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, appointed as such last July[22]. This is a powerful position as it involves the selection of diocesan bishops on an international scale. Admittedly, I was initially dismayed when Ouellet was appointed as Prefect, even though a fellow Canadian. Beforehand, the blunt and thoroughly orthodox Cardinal George Pell came up for the position, which pleased me enormously. I would venture to say that, upon hearing the name Pell, late night cartwheels were being performed by liberals across the Piazza. It would have been an absolute joy to see George hop on his bulldozer and clear the track. It would have been something quite wonderful. Don't mess with the Aussies. Yet the pacemaker matter and false allegations came up against Pell. The Holy Spirit has deemed otherwise and Ouellet was appointed as Prefect. After further review, I now understand that this is an exciting development.

XI. Cardinal Ouellet is a theologian, not an administrator (very important); he is on the editorial board of the influential theological journal Communio, founded in 1972 by a certain Joseph Ratzinger; he is definitely on board the ship called "Hermeneutic of Continuity"; he is a long time ally of Pope Benedict. Within a Canadian context, it should be remarked that Ouellet is a hold-out in a province whose bishops and priests have fallen far astray for decades. To understand deeper let us provide a historical backdrop of the Cardinals' home province: In the early seventeenth century, Catholic Frenchman settled in Quebec (New France), the Maritimes (Arcadia) and the St. Lawrence Valley, under the leadership of the explorer Samuel de Champlain. The Church provided religious orders, such as the Sulpicians, Recollects and Jesuits, to establish missionary stations and to attend to the spiritual requirements of the colonists. Aided by the Quebec Act of 1774, which worked to reconcile the French population with the British government, Catholics in Quebec were thereafter free to practice their religion, amongst an Anglo-Protestant population in neighboring regions. Catholicism flourished in Quebec until the about the 1950s.

XII. But the so-called Quiet Revolution of the 1960s (concurrent with Vatican II) inducted the new age of Quebecois nationalism. The role of religion was swiftly cast aside to make way for future liberation (the sentiment is in some places akin to the revolutionary spirit of France in 1789). Former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (a Gallican) wrote that "the politically powerful Catholic clergy in Quebec was theocratic and obscurantist". True, some Quebec clergy were too far embroiled in political affairs by the 1960s. Yet with such remarks an entire tradition was almost immediately relegated into nothingness, as if Catholicism played no ameliorating role whatsoever in Quebec. From such attitudes arose the myth of "the great darkness", everywhere maintained by Quebec separatists and secular intellectuals, meaning that before the 1960s priests ruled like tyrants, freedom was nonexistent, and so on with the bromides.[23] Historian Preston Jones wrote:
So the story goes that in the 1960s myriad puny Davids slew the retrograde Catholic Goliath. And lo, the revolution was good. For intolerance, tolerance; for taboos, the pursuit of fun; for conformity, self-expression. But that story is a myth. For the truth goes more like this: for old fashioned intolerance, newfangled intolerance; for granny’s taboos, the 60’s generation’s taboos; for conformity to the old creed, conformity to a new creed.[24]
It was this inability to see anything exemplary in Quebec’s Catholic past that had helped spark the separatist’s disdain of their forefathers - in what they believed, in their way of life, in their contributions to Canadian culture.

XIII. The spiritual vacuity that attended the rejection of Catholicism in Quebec has simply been replenished with the new religion of messianic nationalism, spearheaded by an elite of venomous free thinkers. One organ of the nationalist cause is the newspaper Le Devoir. Started in the early part of the twentieth century, it was once a Catholic-inclined periodical directed to the intellectual class. Since the 1960s, it has devolved into a platform of radical individualism and piggybacking leftisms (let alone the Marxist FLQ). The nationalists and their supporters feign that they have a collective sense of purpose. In actuality, the emergence of Quebecois nationalism has mostly been the consequence of a loss of values. Quebec has no present moral or cultural value system to give it a sturdy foundation. An antinomian haze chokes a once Catholic Quebec. It has pervaded its way into nearly every aspect of life. Quebec has one of the world's lowest birth rates, until a few years ago it had the world’s highest rate of sterilized women of childbearing age, the suicide rate is very high amongst its young people, and anti-clericalism is a provincial sport. Certainly, Quebec is worse off now after its disenfranchisement of Roman Catholicism, and the relativist comportment of its intelligentsia and politicians, separatist or federalist, counteracts any type of restraint and right reason which Catholicism would encourage. Further compounding this circumstance is that most of Quebec’s bishops, like terrified children, never speak out against eventualities, now more prominent than ever, which compromise, let alone vilify, Catholic peoples and their beliefs.

XIV. So that is the atmosphere from which Cardinal Marc Ouellet has emerged, a loyal son of the Church under incessant attack. Anti-Catholicism is rife from without and, more disturbingly, from within. One recent example would be the ravings of the pro-abortion homosexualist priest Fr. Raymond Gravel, a former federal politician and celebrant of a "gay pride mass". At least twice this year he slammed Ouellet for his emphatic pro-life pronouncements.[25] Gravel even wrote a letter to Le Devoir, charging LSN with conducting a witch hunt against him.[26] Reading the rants of Gravel (a real trial) just goes to prove St. Peter Damian's observation made a millennium ago: "For God's sake, why do you damnable sodomites pursue the heights of ecclesiastical dignity with such fiery ambition".[27] But the Bavarian brilliance of Benedict XVI, in choosing Ouellet as Prefect, really came across when Bishop Martin Veilette (Trois-Rivières diocese) said in response to the appointment that the Cardinal is "emotional" and out of touch with Quebec.[28] Tough luck, bishop. The party is over. Deal with it.

XV. The logical deduction from the abovementioned analysis is this: The D+P scandal will not be resolved with the CCCB Plenary commencing tomorrow. Fortunately, however, there is a powerful Canadian Prefect on the side of truth advising Peter of the situation. Rome is monitoring the ongoings within The Star Chamber. God willing, something quite wonderful will arise in due course.


1. Media Advisory, "Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops' Plenary Assembly", October 13, 2010.

2. Letter from Most Reverend Pierre Morissette, CCCB President to the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry concerning his position on the census, July 28, 2010. LINK

3. Timetable, CCCB Plenary Assembly, Public Session, October 25, 2010. LINK

4. Regulations for Journalists to Attend Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), October 13, 2010. LINK

5. J.-H. Westen, "CCCB President on Websites Confronting D&P: 'they're not part of the church, they're not Catholic'", LifeSite News, June 25, 2009. LINK

6. "Pontiff sends greetings to Catholic media convention", ZENIT, June 2, 2010. LINK

7. K. Dmytrenko, "Development and Peace investigation results: 'No evidence', Salt + Light TV (blog), June 19. 2009. Especially read Dmytrenko's remarks in the com boxes. LINK

8. G.M. Gordon, Letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper from Bishop Gary Gordon concerning plans by the Government of Canada to build new prisons, October 1, 2010. LINK

9. Vatican Information Service, Other Pontifical Acts, January 5, 2009. LINK

10. Vatican Information Service, Other Pontifical Acts, March 25, 2003. LINK

11. See Diocese of Edmundston website here.

12. Quoted in J-H. Westen, "Ottawa Archbishop Objects to "Business as Usual" with Development and Peace", LifeSite News, October 20, 2009. LINK

13. Vatican Information Service, Other Pontifical Acts, July 13, 2009. LINK See also W. Thibodeau, "Torontos Richard Grecco named Bishop of Charlottetown", The Guardian (PEI), July 11, 2009. LINK

14. See Diocese of Charlottetown website here.

15. C.I. Staff, "A Catholic College Betrays the Church", Catholic Insight, May 2003, vol XI, no. 3. LINK

16. "Msgr. Patrick Powers, New CCCB General Secretary", Catholic Ezine, July 9, 2009. LINK

17. D. Gyapong, "Life and family issues and CCODP on bishops' plenary agenda", The BC Catholic, October 21, 2010. LINK

18. M. Swan, "Court quashes access to information on D&P", Catholic Register, September 29, 2010. LINK

19. The Conciliar Movement arose during the "Great Western Schism", around the time of the "Avignon Popes" (ca. 1378-1417). Essentially, it was an attempt hijack the plenitudo potestatis of the pope. It's origins can be found in the writings of two persons: First, the heretic William of Ockham (ca. 1288-1348). For example: "the papal principate does not regularly include the power to abolish or disturb the rights and liberties of others, especially those of emperors, kings, princes and other laymen". From Ockham's De imperatorum et pontificum potestate. In Medieval Political Ideas, trans. E. Lewis (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1954) vol. 2, pp. 608-609. The second was John of Paris (d. 1306). In his De potestate regia et papali he wrote of "two powers not only distinct in themselves but also by the subject in which they are found, that they should not be held by one and the same person as the primary authority". See On Royal and Papal Power, trans. J.A. Watt (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, 1971), ch. x, p. 118. Other notables include the Defensor pacis (1324) by the Averroist Marsilius of Padua (ca. 1275-1342), conferring authority to the "human legislator" (a precursor to Rousseau's "General Will"). Konrad of Gelnhausen (ca. 1320-1390) wrote Epistola concordiae (1381), copying almost verbatim sentences from Ockham’s political work Dialogus. Heinrich von Langenstein (d. 1397) composed his Concilium pacis (1381), a barely concealed reference to Marsilio's Defensor pacis. Generally, the Conciliar Movement was an effort to shift authority away from the papacy through the ecclesiastics and then (ultimately) to "the people". It was a call to democratize the Church. The movement perpetuated the following ideas, later to effloresce at the Reformation: [i] the equalization of papal and clerical power, [ii] a universal church of the people, [iii] an allowance to depose and militate against the pope in times of necessity, and [iv] the prioritization of Scripture and the writings of the early church Fathers over the pontiff. Similarities between the abovementioned and the "spirit" of Vatican II are manifest.

20. See M. Martin, The Keys of This Blood (New York: Touchstone Books, 1990).

21. Vatican Information Service, Audiences, October 4, 11, 18 and 22, 2010. LINKa LINKb LINKc LINKd

22. Vatican Information Service, "Cardinal Ouellet, Envoy To Centenary Membertou Baptism", July 26, 2010. LINK

23. A good book covering parts of Roman Catholicism and Quebec politics before and around the Quiet Revolution is C. Black, Render Unto Caesar: The Life and Legacy of Maurice Duplessis (Toronto: Key Porter Books Limited, 1998). Originally published in 1976.

24. P. Jones, "Quebec's Shining Bright Lie", Gravitas, Summer 1997, vol. 4, issue 2, pp. 34-38. A now defunct Canadian periodical.

25. J.-H. Westen and P.B. Craine, "Pro-Gay Priest Condemns Canadian Cardinal for Remarks on Abortion/Rape", LifeSite News, May 18, 2010. LINK P.B. Craine, "Renegade Priest: Gravel Celebrates Gay Pride Mass, Bashes Cardinal Ouellet again", LifeSite News, August 19, 2010. LINK

26. R. Gravel, "LifeSiteNews.com - Une chasse aux sorcières organisée", Le Devoir, July 12, 2010. LINK

27. This line comes from his Book of Gomorrah, addressed to Pope Leo IX in 1049 when, at the time, clerical homosexuality was rampant.

28. P.B. Craine, "Quebec Bishop on Cardinal Ouellet: 'Emotional' and Out of Touch with Quebec", LifeSite News, August 17, 2010. LINK


16 October 2010


The petty exactitude of these men about syllables and words is not, as might be supposed, simple and straightforward; nor is the mischief to which it tends a small one. There is involved a deep and covert design against true religion.

- St. Basil, De Spiritu Sancto, ch. 2 para. 4

Toronto is a vibrant city... Pardon, I should have said dazzling city, or luminous city or... Anyhow, interesting and bizarre social phenomena are regularly occurrent therein and thereabouts. Case in point: Presently, a mayoral race is going on and there's a big hullabaloo about the leader in the polls, a man by the name of Rob Ford. He leads because he wants to drastically cut spending and taxes. Middle class suburbanites like. Avant guard urbanites no like. The crazy people at NOW Magazine despise this guy and, consequently, are unhappy more than usual. Even Bentley is getting in on the action. Yet there is a another man about the town generating more excitement. There is a buzz in the city streets. Hark, Torontonians, do you hear it? He is promoting a book. Its title reads: The Future Church: How Ten Trends are Revolutionizing the Catholic Church. For "Toronto the Good" has recently been blessed by the presence of John Allen, Jr., correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, Vatican Analyst for CNN and National Public Radio. His writings have also appeared in The Nation and the New York Times.[1]

II. Now I have always been interested by these "Vaticanista" types, though not in a condescending manner that may be presupposed. Why they are not more properly/traditionally called gossip columnists is to me a conundrum. Yes, I understand there is legitimate Vatican journalism, and I would place Dr. Moynihan and the folks at Inside the Vatican in this category. But apparently I'm just too old fashioned. Intrigue and machination at the Vatican there has invariably been, so perhaps I should dispense the self-righteous rigidity and let the romanticization of things Roman run its course freely. There is, after all, that Whispers in the Loggia guy who has in recent years been quite successful at tattling for a living. Like Mr. Allen, he, too, writes/reports (or at last did) for left-leaning outlets like NPR, NBC, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, including that heterordox Tablet. So it would seem that, for some, being liberal-inclined (though, of course, always denying the stance) is what qualifies one to be a Vatican gossiper these days.

III. Speaking of qualifiers, do you ever notice that whenever Catholics on the interweb comment on an article by Allen they habitually preface with a qualifier? I do. You know, it goes something like: "Even though Allen writes for the National Catholic Reporter, he is nevertheless balanced, fair, a good guy" and so forth (for those Canadian Catholics who do not know, NCR is a heretically vulgar periodical proximate to abomination). Perhaps others are more knowledgeable about Mr. Allen's views than yours truly, who only observes and analyzes from afar. Still, I have never bought into that "balanced" Catholic reporter thing. What he writes and has written on (specifically) the current "culture wars" in the Church is too vague for my taste. He is a moving target and I do not trust moving targets.

IV. So, then, let the story unfold: On Tuesday September 28, 2010 Allen was invited as a "distinguished presenter" of the 2010 Kelly Lecture at the University of St. Michael's College in Toronto. The title of the talk: "Covering the Vatican and the Church - A Vaticanista Reflects on Challenges Facing the Church Today". Is "distinguished presenter" the politically correct form of saying "distinguished speaker"? Or is this distinction mongering? (note to self: restudy Duns Scotus' notion of haecceitas). Well, as it happened, the CEO of Salt + Light Television, Fr. Thomas "rock star" Rosica gave the introduction to the talk. No surprise, and what a gush fest! Let's take a look:
Good evening, [good evening to you, too, Father Rosica]
A communicator can attempt to inform, educate, entertain, convince, and comfort; but the final worth of any communication lies in its truthfulness.[very good, I am impressed] In one of the earliest reflections on the nature of communication, Plato highlighted the dangers of any type of communication that seeks to promote the aims and purposes of the communicator or those by whom he or she [did Plato also say "she"?] is employed without consideration for the truth of what is communicated.[this Platonic principle as it supposedly applies to Mr. Allen is questionable, I submit] The art of communication is by its nature linked to an ethical value, to the virtues that are the foundation of morality [I would have said "skill" rather than "art". The former infers objectivity and precision whereas the latter suggests drama and subjectivity. But perhaps I am hair splitting]... No less worth recalling is Cato the Elder's sober definition of the orator [was Cato otherwise inebriated?]; vir bonus dicendi peritus – "a good or honest man skilled in communicating." These words made me think immediately of today's distinguished speaker [aye, there it is, "distinguished speaker"]: John Allen: "vir bonus dicendi peritus", a good and honest man skilled in communicating [there ya go]. In fact that is exactly what he has been doing for over thirty years in the business of Catholic journalism and communications... His Internet column, "All Things Catholic",[of the National Catholic Reporter] is considered by knowledgeable observers [who would those observers be?] to be the best single source of insights on Vatican affairs in the English language [pause]. In Roman circles, he has been called "the best English-language Vatican reporter in history."[would those "circles" be the ones to which you indwell, Father?] His objectivity [i.e. leftism disguised as "balanced centrism", I contend] has even been described as "maddening". I think that he is the best Vatican reporter in history, period! [goodness gracious, Father, restrain yourself] Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you John L. Allen, Jr., one of the world's leading "Vaticanistas" who will reflect on "Challenges facing the Church today". [cue Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries][2]
V. Now, of course, there is reason for Fr. Rosica's puppy-like swooning. Leaving aside his ladder climbing ambitions and visions of status quo splendour (oh, come on people, is it not obvious?), let us first provide some context. Recall the conniption of Thursday September 3, 2009, a day that will live in blog-infamy:
Leading up to the Kennedy funeral last weekend, and in its aftermath, many so–called lovers of life and activists in the pro–life movement [i.e. LifeSite News], as well as well–known colleagues in Catholic television broadcasting and media in North America [i.e. Raymond Arroyo at EWTN], have revealed themselves to be not agents of life, but of division, destruction, hatred, vitriol, judgment and violence… Civility, charity, mercy and politeness seem to have dropped out of the pro–life lexicon… Through vicious attacks launched on blogs [Rosica is contemptuous of Catholic bloggers outside his influence, a threat to be eliminated], a new form of self–righteousness, condemnation and gnosticism reveals authors who behave as little children bullying one another around in schoolyards casting stones, calling names, and wreaking havoc in the Church today![3]
It was the Kennedy Funeral Fiasco and, lo, lines were drawn in the sand. Battle stations. True colours were spawned for Canada and the rest of the world to witness. Rosica even vociferated that Toronto-based LifeSite News (hereafter LSN), in its protest against the public funeral/canonization of a radically pro-abortion Catholic, was doing the "work of Satan".[4] Seriously? Astonishingly, by March 2010 Rosica and his complicitous thugs at the CCCB got the internationally important ZENIT News Agency to disallow advertisements by LSN on its website. Yet this was not singularly done in reaction to the Kennedy affair. Much more is bubbling below surface appearances, and the odour is as unpleasant as a parish hall after a liturgical dance troupe workout. There is a history. In 2009 LSN exposed (and continues to expose, along with others) with irrefutable evidence that Development and Peace (D+P), an arm of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), is financially supporting pro-abortion groups in Latin America and elsewhere. It should be emphasized that, being a man on the ascent, Fr. Rosica is necessarily conjoined with the CCCB, which explains plenty. ZENIT does, however, accept reports on the D+P scandal from Salt + Light TV.[5] As Mr. Spock would say: fascinating.

VI. The ferocity of the Salt+Light/CCCB blitzkrieg against LSN and Catholic bloggers goes to show how far some will go in the quest for a petty fiefdom, irrespective of the paramount issue to defend life. The ubiquitous silence of Toronto's Archbishop Thomas Collins on this very public controversy (as incited by Fr. Rosica) was also a big time disappointment. Alas, the approach of Abp. Collins appears uber sensitive, quiescent, averse to warranted confrontation (I sure do miss that Eastern European toughness of Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic, and what a great name too).[6] One should, however, not be flabbergasted. After all, evidence shows the Canadian bishops have been in de facto schism from Rome since they issued Winnipeg Statement in 1968.[7] But I'm allowed to dream for a better future. Yes?

VII. Fr. Thomas Rosica's tirade was not lost to Fr. Thomas "the real deal" Euteneuer, then President of Human Life International (confusing, all these Thomas'). Some 2+ weeks later on September 19, 2009, he launched a broadside. This pro-life hero and exorcist said:
[Fr. Rosica] wrote a shameless condemnation of pro-life people ... [such] criticism simply feeds the flames of anti-life sentiment against pro-lifers and ultimately against the sanctity of human life [zing!]... [he is] attempting to convince his readers not to condemn anyone [bingo!]... To the ethic of hypocritical diatribes [hello] that defame pro-lifers, I can only say, "No deal, Father Rosica."[8]
No response from Rosica, obviously. Although there was no need to counter. Why? Because (drum roll...) John Allen had already (prior to Euteneuer's article) come out in defence of Rosica's September 3 blog posting, eight days after the latter went ballistic. Hurrah! John Allen to the rescue! Hmmmm... I wonder how that phone conversation went between Tom and John prior to the article's issuance at the NCR blog "All Things Catholic"? Or was it an e-mail exchange? Or were they texting like the kidz do? What strategy was to be effectuated? What specific phraseology should be employed? Moreover, is it not revelatory that Allen was given the honour of presenting the Kelly Lecture so soon after his defence of Fr. Rosica? No wonder Father gave such a glowing introduction to his talk. Quid pro quo? Boys will be boys.

VIII. Thus we proceed...

IX. Allen commenced his whitewash with an old ruse:
One bit of gallows humor in Catholic circles is that sometimes the worst enemies of the pro-life movement are pro-lifers themselves. The point is that a handful of activists occasionally come off as so shrill, so angry and judgmental, that fair-minded people simply tune out the pro-life message. That's horribly unfair, of course, to the vast majority of people involved in pro-life efforts, who in my experience are respectful, idealistic, and eminently rational. [9]
At the outset pro-lifers are cast as villains in the affair. The "handful of activists" disapprobation contra the "vast majority of people" mollifier is an escape hatch, a device used mitigate any counterclaim of generalization. In actuality, "handful" equals an insignificantly few out of thousands. Substitute the negative ascriptions of "shrill", "angry" and "judgmental" with that which is rightfully condemnatory. Shall pro-lifers remain silent, then? What sin is there in righteous anger? The pro-abortion movement, aided by the secular media, have already (and successfully) disseminated into the mainstream that any and all pro-life activists are irrational nut jobs. To this Allen is attuned. Or is this poor fellow really that oblivious? Now read the next sentence, a beauty:
There's just enough truth to the perception, however, to make it worth a brief examination of conscience.
So the "vast majority" of "respectful, idealistic, and eminently rational" people should examine their consciences? If they are as such (on this particular issue), why should they? They have effected a wrong? How is it possible for them to account for every anomaly? The "perception" is not due to them. Rather, it is resultant of the fictitious portrayal by Moloch worshippers and the MSM. Sneaky. Subtle. Shine on.

X. So the mould was immediately set and then the machine actuated. Now for some interspersing analysis:
Cases in point are offered by the health care reform debate and the Kennedy funeral, both of which have occasioned some truly nasty commentary [Examples? Facts? Sources? Are these not necessitated to demonstrate a proposition] - much of it, naturally, in the blogosphere [...to which he soars far above and beyond; such pesky, unlearned internet peasants and the evidences they proffer are not worth his valuable time to address. He's a real journalist. Harrumphhh. And if not the blogosphere, where are they to go in the modern age when many, desiring to legitimately communicate on important subjects, utilize high technology? There is nowhere else to go. Should they, instead, notify the Town Crier?] Two Catholic personalities in particular have found themselves in the line of fire [to which they themselves instigated, no one else]: Daughters of Charity Sr. Carol Keehan, president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association [we shall return to this traitor of the pre-born in a few moments]; and Basilian Fr. Tom Rosica, head of Salt and Light TV, a national Catholic network in Canada.

Both, I should acknowledge, are friends, [why am I not surprised?] and it pains me to see both facing unwarranted personal attacks.[Welcome to the jungle. Like raising Lazarus from the dead, the Lord of History commands: "Rise, My little ones... you that are deemed weak and ignorant and unworthy. My Bride has been corrupted from within. Wipe from your faces the dust of fifty years and defend My Church"... and lo!, the emergence of the Catholic blogging superforce. "Now it is time for My adversaries to sweat for a little while", sayeth the Lord. And there was silence in Heaven for about half an hour...] For that reason, I’m permitting myself to set aside my normal journalistic detachment in order to make a point. [I'll remember that next time I comes across the so-called "journalistic detachment" regularly seen/heard/read from your pals at CNN, NPR and the New York Times.]

...My friendship with Rosica dates to 2002, when he was the chief organizer of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Canada for World Youth Day. Since then, we've bumped into one another in a variety of settings. He's perhaps the most truly "catholic" guy I’ve ever met [well, he is a priest], not only in the sense of speaking multiple languages and being a man of the world [Rosica is a Basilian. The Basilian Fathers have a long history in Toronto. Accordingly, he is well trained, very intelligent, a prodigious writer and probably a polymath], but someone obviously in love with the whole depth and breadth of the Catholic tradition [as it specifically appertains, it is here argued, to the status quo bureaucratic inertia existent since Vatican II]. He's also a talented entrepreneur [You got that right. Signore Gaetano Gagliano et allia at St. Joseph Communications would attest], as his performance with World Youth Day and his success in building a TV network from the ground up illustrate.
At this juncture it should be emphasized that Salt + Light TV is underwritten and closely monitored by the Canadian bishops. This is not Mother Angelica's EWTN, of which the US bishops conference attempted to hijack in the late 1980s.[10] They failed, thank God. But the Lord of History, in His eternal wisdom, withheld this particular grace from Salt + Light TV, instead permitting bishop influence and all the lackluster, political correctness entailed.

XI. Continuing...
...Salt and Light under Rosica, have positioned themselves firmly in the Catholic middle [notice the glee]... faithful to the doctrine and discipline of the church [no waves are permitted, just watch a few hours of prime time programming for verification], but also "non-partisan" in the sense of being open to a variety of temperaments, outlooks, and experiences.[!]
What does this mean? Does it not intimate that the globally-known EWTN, which endeavours to be orthodox Catholic par excellence, is a kind of extremist rival because it is not situated in "the Catholic middle"? The "middle", "non-partisian"? When did Catholic dogma and teaching take a middle ground? Let's ask Padre Pio to appear and see what he thinks? What was it about the lukewarm thing that Our Lord said? Rats. I forgot. Oh, wait, here it is: "Since you are neither hot nor cold, but only lukewarm, I will vomit you out of my mouth." [11] Golly gee wilikers, that does not sound "Catholic middle" to me. Additionally: "open to variety of temperaments"? Like the openness to the frustrated temperaments of those who justly contested the Kennedy canonization? Indeed, Fr. Rosica was certainly "open", characterizing them as "agents of... division, destruction, hatred, vitriol, judgment and violence." Indeed, how conciliatory.
For... [his] trouble, [Fr. Rosica is] now... under siege.[Turn the tables upside down, transmogrify the vilifier into the victim. Another old trick. Notice: "under siege", i.e. the headstrong, unfeeling, unreasonable militants in opposition]... With Rosica, the drumbeat [again: attribution of unsympathetic, mindless, lockstep militancy to those who opposed Fr. Rosica. Nice.] stems from a pro-life website called "LifeSiteNews" [as if no Catholic news follower in North America knows about LSN, gimme a break] which prior to the Kennedy funeral invited readers to send protests to Cardinal Sean O’Malley in Boston. Some pro-life activists wanted Salt and Light to make a similar appeal to its viewers, which Rosica declined to do.[Let's be more specific here and say "refused", "rejected" or "denied". A power play was operative] He argued that it's not the role of his network to put pressure on the bishops [As above, the CCCB lurks below the surface at Salt+Light TV, to which Rosica is a confederate. Thus it is redundant for Allen to even bring up this point, though it is a fastidious diversion that works to his advantage, a method to which he is astute], and in any event, Salt and Light isn't even an American operation.[!]
Not an "American operation"? Funny, I thought the Catholic Church (whose teachings Salt + Light TV claim to represent) was, so to speak, an international operation. Does not the word Catholic mean "universal"? And since when are Catholic media/press agencies prohibited from criticizing and commenting upon issues only within the national domain to which they are based? That bitchin' rag in which Mr. Allen scribbles his tracts fires transatlantic missiles across the Missouri border into the Piazza and points throughout Europa on a regular basis. Say hello to the Blueberry Muffin for me, will ya? What nonsense. Shine on.
When Rosica wrote a commentary appealing for calm [are you kidding me?], LifeSite posted an article setting him in opposition to Raymond Arroyo, a news commentator for EWTN who was openly critical of the funeral. [blotted out is the fact that Rosica attacked first on September 3. See Note 1. LSN responded afterward with the "opposition" piece on September 4. See LSN article/link in Note 12. More importantly, he also omits the Salt+Light/CCCB antecedent enmity against LSN ever since it exposed D+P earlier in 2009.] (For the record, Rosica says that Salt and Light actually has good relations with EWTN.)[Once saw on TV a conversation between Fr. Rosica and Doug Keck, EWTN executive producer. It was cordial, though that occurred prior to the firestorm] That piece, according to Rosica, generated more than 500 hostile messages from people whipped up [notice again: "whipped up", imagery of emotional instability due to some kind of ideological abuse] by the "LifeSite" coverage - some so ugly and threatening that they couldn't be published for fear of triggering legal repercussions.
If so, then let's get some transparency. Release the "500 hostile messages" for public examination (names withheld). Or, perhaps, do some IP address tracking. The loonies will be acknowledged and reprimanded. If legally actionable, then proceed. But let us not overlook the likelihood of malevolent ingenuity by the pro-aborts, playing the role of "pro-life whack job", taking advantage of the controversy with a 1-2-3-anybody-can-easily-send-out an e-mail or leave a voicemail. My guess is that the number 500 is an overestimate and that only a small percentage were as malicious to the degree alleged. Still, I'm fair and will admit otherwise if the facts demonstrate. Just let us see the evidence. But, of course, disclosure will not eventuate.

XII. Okay, now the plot thickens...
Of course, there's plenty of room for legitimate discussion about [the] judgments calls... Rosica...[has] made.... maybe [why just "maybe"?] Salt and Light should have given more space to critics of the Kennedy funeral [do ya think?]. [Now watch closely...] In principle, there's also nothing wrong with asking where a group that takes positions on public policy gets its money, and how that funding might influence its judgments.
According to its website, LSN (of the Campaign Life Coalition, that to which Allen refers) gets its donations "primarily on the donations of generous readers to maintain its free service. It also has a paid advertising program". Those "generous readers" are regular faithful people, not chancery careerists, parish gatekeepers, "social justice" busybodies or Vaticanistas. Its advertisers, if you happen to look at the LSN site, are orthodox Catholic and/or commensurate therewith. So Allen's statement here is another diversion because money is not the crux. LSN, the underdog, is not a huge operation like Salt + Light TV. LSN is dedicated, and has always been dedicated, "to issues of culture, life, and family". There is no question that its reports on life issues are consistent with Catholic teaching. But notice Mr. Allen's linguistic tactic: he substitutes "public policy", which is a non-specific generalized phrase, where any "for" or "against" position cannot (within a moral context) be absolutely deemed right or wrong, true or false, good or evil (i.e. his beloved "centrist" position). But - and here comes the kicker - the Catholic Church's stance is absolute and unwavering on, for example, abortion, a subject that LSN relentlessly and rightfully rails against with proven journalistic integrity. Absolutes are implicit to the life issue. It is not a "public policy". It is an absolute declaration of the Catholic Church, to which LSN adheres.

Now if Mr. Allen believes that there is "nothing wrong with asking where a group that takes positions on public policy gets its money", then why does he not also direct this arrow to his "friend", the CEO of Salt + Light TV? Where is its money coming from? Well, the Intrepid One will obviously not investigate. So, then, let this lowly compiler give it a try. I am now looking at the Spring 2010 issue of Lampstand, a quarterly magazine published by the "Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation". There is a very nice photograph of the Holy Father on its front cover. There is a "message" from Fr. Rosica on pages 2 and 3. Oh, lookee here... there is an "exclusive" by John L. Allen, Jr. on pages 4 and 5. Quid pro quo? Boys will be boys. Turning the pages, I notice the name St. Joseph Communications, Chair of the Salt and Light Board Members (p. 10)... So let's take a look: According to its website, St. Joseph Communications also publishes the following print magazines: Toronto Life, Fashion Magazine, Canadian Family, Weddingbells, Marriage Québec, Quille & Quire, Ottawa Magazine and Where Magazine(s). A couple of these magazines are noteworthy. Two current features at Toronto Life: "Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald gets in on vampire trend" LINK; "Leonard Cohen Tribute: Coming just weeks after Cohen's 76th birthday, this all-star gathering celebrates the inexhaustible poet, novelist and songwriter with a hallelujah all its own." LINK Then there is the Quill & Quire, home of overrated and mostly unread left wing Canadian writers, including Margaret Atwood, who is certainly no friend to the Christian worldview. Q&Q included her latest work in "Books of the Year 2009". LINK The place is not, shall we say, Catholic friendly.

XIV. Now if you're into vampires, that's swell. Unfortunately, my very young niece and nephew are ceaselessly inundated with this undead crap, of which their parents think harmless. Most of my friends are a tad hedonistic with a propensity to nihilism, unknowingly echoing the life philosophy of Mr. Cohen. No problem. I've always dealt with it. My poor mother lately subjected herself to reading one of Atwood's snorefests. That was her call. But is all of this consistent with Catholic teaching? With these magazines disseminating ideas and cultural trends at variance with the Catholic Church, would St. Joseph approve of having his name bastardized in such a manner? Whose making a judgement call? Not me. Look it up yourself. Just presenting the facts to which anyone with an internet connection can access. But if Allen is, as Fr. Rosica states, "one of the world's leading Vaticanistas", why does he not do a little probing into where and how Salt + Light's TV is funded? But perhaps I am overreacting. Perhaps I should not worry that St. Josephs Communications is Canada's largest privately owned communications company. Perhaps I'm getting all stuffy when I see the founder St. Joseph Communications and Fr. Rosica regularly shoot the breeze on their own program on Salt and Light TV. Perhaps I should just relax and not be too concerned that a real estate company, a grocery store chain, capital management firms, a condominium development corporation, a high tech plastic card manufacturer and a consortium of lumber importers/exporters are on the Salt and Light TV board of directors. Hey, I'm just saying. Let us again quote Allen's own words: There is "nothing wrong with asking where a group that takes positions on public policy gets its money, and how that funding might influence its judgments?" We're waiting... Shine on.

XV. Now let us bring Mr. Allen's other "friend" in to the mix, namely Sr. Carol "Yipee, I got a pen" Keehan:
I came to know Keehan when she began leading annual trips to Rome for board members of the various Catholic hospital networks in America, the purpose of which is to foster great understanding and a deeper sense of common cause between the Vatican and leaders of Catholic health care in the United States. [verbosity: in short, a glorified habitless health care bureaucrat] (In the interests of full disclosure, I’m usually part of the program for these visits.)[surprise, ho hum] Sr. Carol enjoys obvious trust in official circles [apparently so, especially in Obama White House circles]; when Benedict XVI came to America, she was part of the medical team travelling with the pope [this means nothing, a certain Annibale Bugnini was part of the Pope's liturgical team during Vatican II. Take a good look at the damage he did]. Over the years she’s emerged as an important spokesperson for Catholic health care [indeed], including the church’s unambiguously pro-life position.[the passage of time has definitively proven that Keehan is not "unambiguously pro-life"]
Next he speaks of the controversy surrounding Keehan's gigantic salary, but that is of no concern here. Money is not the issue. LIFE is the issue. Now Mr. Allen wrote his piece prior to the passage of Obama's health care bill, which opened the gate wide for taxpayer-funded abortion by the American people. In a nutshell, the Catholic Health Association (CHA, to which Keehan is queen bee) and the rest of the habitless hordes (i.e. LCWR, The Blueberry Muffin, etc.), including that Kansas City crap sheet Allen writes for... all supported the health care bill of the current US president. Even though the US bishops opposed the bill and scolded the nuns, be not fooled. Their laggardly, half-hearted, last minute responses did not help the pro-life cause to the requisite degree. Regardless, as if a bunch of paganized nuns, demonstratively defiant for decades, baby booming and bucolic, obsessed with de Chardin's cosmic pantheism, "social justice", Reiki, "saving the climate" and whatever New Age viscous sludge is now flowing in the sewers... as if they would have listened to the bishops at all. "I may be an idiot, but indeed I am no fool", goes the song.

XVI. It was also remarked: "Maybe CHA should indeed push harder about abortion in the health care debate". Again with the indefinite "maybe". Now that the real intents of Keehan and her clan have become salient for all to see, it is clear that challenging pro-life groups were right on the money when they questioned and protested. For goodness sake, the woman blatantly lied on live television, telling the following to Raymond Arroyo on EWTN's World Over: "I promise you... there will be no way that we will allow ourselves to compromise our principles".[13] Is it therefore proper for a Catholic journalist take the non-definitive "maybe" approach? Especially with respect to the overarching importance of the life issue? The Fair Publishing Practices Code of the Catholic Press Association (CPA) states that the "mission of an authentically Catholic press is to inform and form public opinion in conformity with the Truth and the pursuit of truth. Good faith with the reader is the foundation of good journalism. This is especially true for Catholic journalists since readers oftentimes trust what they see in a Catholic publication to a greater degree than they trust in other media".[14] Does the truth matter? Is it not the job of a journalist, particularly a Catholic journalist, to pursue and push for the truth? Should they not (especially in today's climate of nonchalant dissent) investigate further, be skeptical and suspicious, not taking words at face value? Alas, Allen cannot. Keehan is a "friend" and that line of distinction between the reporter and reported becomes blurred. The reporter is himself part of the story reported upon. But, of course, this commonly happens in the media. Relationships must be formed, sources must be acquired, otherwise leads and information are scanty or inutile. However, there are consequences when bad choices are made. Look at the catastrophe the habitless hordes have wrought. Harsh reality makes plain that they could not give a rat's ass what EWTN or HLI or LSN or Fr. Pavone or the pro-life blogger thinks, i.e. faithful orthodox Catholics. They are reactive and unfailingly counter with vilification and diversion when presented with hard facts. Yes, the biological solution will eventually rid them. Nuntheless (no, that is not a spelling error), they have in the meantime made their decision. Accordingly, it would be legitimate to pose this question: To what degree did liberal or "centrist" or "middle ground" Catholic journalism (they are interchangeable terms in the Catholic context) play in smoothing the way for the passage of Obama's pro-abortion health bill? But, as Rick Springfield insightfully said in that 80s classic Jessie's Girl, "the point is probably moot".

XVII. And so the saga continues...
I'm certain both Keehan and Rosica would be the first to acknowledge that raising such questions is entirely fair.[Have not seen or read any evidence of this claim to date. Please refer to a source.] There’s a world of difference, however, between respectful disagreement and character assassination,[to which some readers, no doubt, will accuse this writer of doing] and some of what we've seen in recent days doesn't just cross that line but obliterates it.[Hey, that's me! How do you do? A pleasure to meet you.] If Sr. Carol Keehan or Fr. Tom Rosica are your idea of enemies of the faith, it’s time for a reality check.
I would not go that far with respect to Fr. Rosica, though his recent conduct is certainly not helping matters. As for this writer's criticism of a priest, recourse is taken with the Angelic Doctor.[15] Thank you St. Thomas (again with the Thomas'!). But it's ZERO HOUR at this blog and it is manifest that Sr. Carol Keehan is an enemy of the Roman Catholic Church who must be publicly excommunicated, not just latae sententiae. Will there be a bishop with the stones to effectuate? (cue chirping crickets). And one wonders, after the debacle, whether or not Mr. Allen now (in 2010) thinks that Sr. Keehan is an enemy of the Faith? Shine on.
Moving forward [i.e. move along, nothing to see here], it's important that influential Catholic leaders, particularly those with the greatest credibility in pro-life circles, find ways to call off the rhetorical fireworks.[It would be interesting to see Mr. Allen say this directly to Fr. Euteneuer's face. Be careful. Did you see what Euteneuer did to Hannity?] They don't help the pro-life cause, and good people end up as collateral damage.[To be sure. Look at the "collateral damage" done to children in the womb, courtesy of CHA and friends.]
Thus the bleaching comes to a conclusion.

XVIII. Present Time: The 2010 Kelly Lecture can be read at the Salt + Light blog (see Note 2). But let's focus in on Mr. Allen's television interview on Perspectives, Salt + Light's "current affairs" show (broadcasted October 8th). The program is an apparatchiks delight. It has that homely CBC Fabianist feel to it with just a dash of the Keiser Report. Anyhow, you can view the whole interview here, though a segment for analysis is transcribed below.

XIX. Tonight's host is Mr. Pedro Guevara Mann. Here is his intro/lead-in:
What will the Church look like in 50 years? Will there be a pope? Will we have married priests? Well, I don't think anyone knows. But a lot of people have their own ideas and their own opinion, and so does our guest for today...
Well, there's "the Catholic middle" for ya and I'm guessing that, after firing up a batch of popcorn in the micro, Ron Rolhesier was tuning in from San Antonio.

XX. The program is approximately 30 minutes in length, but it was Mr. Allen's response to a viewer question in the second half that really got my spidey senses tingling. The viewer opined and hoped that there will be a reduction in "tension" between "liberal" and "conservative" Catholics in the future. Here is the core of the response (my emphasis and [comments]):
Well, look: In principle the diversity of the Faith is a very positive thing [the viewer was referring to a dualism, not multiplicity]. I mean, let's look at the contemporary Catholic landscape. It's really populated by a variety of different tribes. Right? I mean, you got your neo-con Catholics and you got your pro-life Catholics and you got your peace and justice Catholics and you got your church reform Catholics and you got your liturgical traditionalist Catholics... and in principle that diversity is a source of incredible strength. Now when it becomes dysfunctional is when these tribes stop communicating with one another and start seeing one another as the enemy [so there has never been an enemy to the Faith in 2000 years?]... We're not engaged for a patient search for understanding. We're taking rhetorical cheap shots against one another [emotion comes after the rational apprehension, dust up on Aquinas]... If we choose to reject this sterile kind of ideological warfare, then we can get to a better more centrist place. If we don't, then I think we're fated to continue living in this polarized, tribalized, ideologized, kind of climate of war of all against all, that too often does characterize the Catholic situation.
Firstly, notice the use of the words "tribes" and "diversity" to characterize the situational framework. Has a kind of multiculturalist twang to it, does it not? Here there is the working assumption of a disparate set of groups, a mosaic, where none are preponderant as they all dwell on a kind of flat ideological plane. Secondly, notice how the groups are categorized: (1) "neo-con", (2) "pro-life", (3) "peace & justice", (4) "church reform" and (5) "liturgical traditionalist". True, the neo-cons and the trads have their antagonism, yet both are pro-life and pro-lifers will be either trad or neo-con, and all three tend to what in this context may be called orthodoxy, the vertical transcendent. Thus there is an exacerbation of differences or distinctions between the three (I am entering Scotus territory here so I better close things up). Can this be said about the "church reform" and "peace & justice" groups? With their variegated antinomianisms or otherwise haziness on moral issues and general dissent on matters theological there is an overemphasis on the horizontal immanent. Thus they drool in ecstasy when Marty Haugen strums a C-Major-7th. This is liberalism, a movement away from. Thirdly, notice the emphasis on "ideological" without any reference to the theological or morality or truth. Is this not the Catholic Church? Is Church teaching being reduced to an ideology? Yet Mr. Allen proposes the "centrist" position as being the ideal solution. Well, then, what is "Catholic centrism"? What is "the Catholic middle"? Define. It cannot be characterized save the use of ambiguous and mercurial terminologies. Welcome to the realm of relativist non-specificity. Last I checked, the Catechism was a very specific document.

Shine on.


The fact that Allen only writes/reports for explicitly leftist periodicals/TV/radio is a red flag and sufficiently strong evidence demonstrating the falsity of his so-called balanced "centrism". Why not occasionally work for conservative outlets like the Washington Times, National Review or (God forbid!) FOX News?

Administrator, "Covering the Vatican and the Church: John Allen’s lecture in Toronto", Salt + Light Television (blog), October 1, 2010. LINK

T. Rosica, "Senator Edward Kennedy’s funeral: On mercy and misery", Salt + Light Television (blog), September 3, 2009. LINK As for Fr. Rosica's antagonism against Catholic bloggers, take a gander at the "guidelines" in: T. Rosica, "The duty and obligation of being pro-life", Catholic Register, January 8, 2010. LINK This subject will be addressed in a future post.

J.-H. Westen, "Salt and Light's Fr. Rosica says LifeSiteNews is Doing the 'work of Satan'", LifeSite News, September 14, 2009. LINK

J.-H. Westen, "LifeSiteNews is Under Attack, Zenit declines LSN ad", LifeSite News, March 22, 2010. LINK The LifeSite News page for the D+P scandal can be found here. Excellent investigative work is also being done by John and Steve at the SoCon or Bust blog. LINK For the Salt+Light TV report (at ZENIT) that whitewashed the Development and Peace scandal see D. Naglieri, "Probe Clears Canadian Agency of Funding Abortion", ZENIT, June 22, 2009. LINK

Two examples: In reaction to the so-called H1N1 "pandemic", Archbishop Collins issued a letter to "temporarily suspend communion of the tongue", despite Redemptionis Sacramentum, wherein it states: "each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue". From "Ongoing Communication regarding the H1N1 Flu Virus", November 2, 2009. LINK In 2010 notorious heretic Sr. Joan Chittister was a speaker for the Lenten Mission, broadcasted on a "multi-faith" television channel. Posters for her appearance were plastered everywhere in parishes. It was sponsored by the National Catholic Broadcasting Council, a "media partner" of the Toronto Archdiocese. Bishops in other dioceses/regions (New Zealand; Pittsburg and Peoria in the US) have in the past disavowed Chittister's presence. See P.B. Craine, "Dissident Nun Set to Address Canada's Televised Catholic Lenten Mission", LifeSite News, February 12, 2010. LINK Not a peep from Abp. Collins.

Cf. V. Foy, "Recovering Humanae vitae in Canada", Catholic Insight, October 2010, vol. xviii, no. 9, pp. 8-14.

T.J Euteneuer, "No deal, Fr. Rosica", Spero News, September 18, 2009. LINK Also noteworthy on this same date: Vatican Archbishop Raymond Burke responded to Fr. Rosica's outburst at an event without mentioning his name, in Romanita fashion. Burke spoke: "One sees the hand of the Father of Lies at work in the disregard for the situation of scandal or in the ridicule and even censure of those who experience scandal." An article adapted from this talk can be found at Abp. R.L. Burke, "Reflections on the Struggle to Advance the Culture of Life", Catholic Culture, September 2009.

J.L. Allen, Jr., "Incivility hurts the pro–life cause",
National Catholic Reporter, September 11, 2009. LINK

See R. Arroyo, Mother Angelica: The Remarkable Story of a Nun, Her Nerve, and a Network of Miracles (New York: Doubleday, 2005), pp. 166-179, 208-216.

Revelation 3:16.

J.-H. Westen, "Battle of the Catholic Stations: Salt and Light's Fr. Rosica Rips EWTN's Raymond Arroyo over Kennedy Funeral", LifeSite News, September 4, 2009. LINK

See the video The Health Care Betrayal produced by the American Life League. LINK

Catholic Press Association, Fair Publishing Practices Code, Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada, 2004 Code, pp. 1-2. LINK

Sum. theol., ii–ii, q. 33, art. 4: "Fraternal correction is a work of mercy. Therefore even prelates ought to be corrected… if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly… he offers his help to one who, being in the higher position among you, is therefore in greater danger".


06 October 2010


-------------------All things betrayeth thee
-------------------Who betrayest Me.

Francis Thompson, The Hound of Heaven

Catholic Insight
, edited by my hero Fr. Alphonse de Valk, has just published a detailed article by Msgr. Vincent Foy chronicling the times leading up to, and the aftereffects of, the Winnipeg Statement - a 1968 issuance by the Canadian Bishops. It is entitled: "Recovering Humanae vitae in Canada" (Catholic Insight, October 2010, vol. xviii, no. 9, pp. 8-14; this piece follows a similar analysis by Msgr. Foy, pubilished twenty-two years ago, "Tragedy at Winnipeg", Challenge, vol. 14, 1988 LINK).

Some extracts:
Few Canadian bishops have prioritized the restoration of Humane vitae. Yet it surely is the most important need of the Church in Canada... It would take a lengthy article to detail the evils fruits of rejecting the charter of life and love called Humane vitae... The contraceptive mentality did not spring up overnight like a mushroom. It was the bad result of several years in which many Canadian bishops listened to dissident theologians rather than the magisterium of the Church.
Here we go...
In 1964 a book was published by Herder and Herder called Contraception and Holiness. It was presented as a "balanced and perceptive declaration of Christian dissent". Among the contributors were three professors of St. Michael's College in Toronto: Gregory Baum, OSA [whose books are published by Novalis and is a bosom buddy of Fr. Thomas Rosica], Stanley Kurtz, CBS, and Leslie Dewart. There was no condemnation by the bishops.

The Toronto Globe and Mail printed an interview with Gregory Baum [whose books are published by Novalis] on April 9, 1966. It was entitled "Catholics may use contraceptives now". He asserted that the traditional norm had become doubtful and therefore could not be imposed. His views got widespread coverage (e.g. Time Magazine, April 22, 1966). I [that is, Msgr. Foy] spoke [about the situation] to Archbishop Pocock [of Toronto] but he saw no need to respond. Unchecked, a year later, Gregory Baum [whose books are published by Novalis] was saying that even if the Pope came out against artificial contraception, his decision would be irrelevant (Globe and Mail, April 12, 1967).

After the encyclical was published on July 29, 1968, dissent in Canada began on July 30th. Like termites, dissent in Canada began destroying Church teaching from within... Gregory Baum [whose books are published by Novalis] said Catholics had the right to dissent... Even the Christian Family Movement, formerly so devoted to implementing Church teaching on marriage, signed a protest against Humanae vitae addressed to Archbishop Pocock of Toronto. It had come under the influence of Gregory Baum [whose books are published by Novalis].

Many bishops, priests and people had been seduced by Gregory Baum's [whose books are published by Novalis] claim that the period before Humane vitae was one of doubt and that a doubtful law did not oblige...

Already many Canadian bishops had given in to the cries of dissenters rather than the voice of the Pope invoking the authority of Christ...
Msgr. Foy even mentions the Blueberry Muffin:
In Canada dissent remains widespread and rarely checked. Note that Sister Joan Chittister, OSB [whose books are published by Novalis], who had rejected magisterial teachings on many issues, was a speaker at the National Catholic Mission for 2010...
Now watch as Monsignor Vincent Foy, 95-year-old master canonist, goes in for the kill:
Cardinal Edouard Gagnon, PSS (1918-2007), one-time head of the Committee of the Family and later President of the Council for the Family, expressed more than once the opinion that those Canadian bishops who supported the Winnipeg Statement were in schism. In truth, by the Winnipeg Statement, Canadian bishops became promoters of mass murder and complicit in turning thousands of sewers into tombs.

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