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Tuesday 23 October 2012

Msgr. Foy or Fr. Rosica on Baum: Whom do you trust?

Let us take a moment to thank God for the genius of man who in creating the Internet has allowed the new media to correct the old and proclaim the truth.

LifeSiteNews has now featured the truth of the scandalous interview by Father Rosica with Gregory Baum which has been featured below. More importantly, is this by the great Toronto Canonist, Msgr. Vincent Foy who is as sharp as ever. 

Msgr. Foy writes, "It would take a large book to list and describe the errors and misconduct of Gregory Baum. Here I mention a few of them; there are many others."Michael Swan of Toronto's Catholic Register continues to weave the sycophantic fawning but fortunately some sanity is brought back by Father D'Souza in "toothless lions."

Go here to read the letter by Msgr. Foy.

Whose opinion would you trust?

Now, you and I owe a debt to the priest that follows. Unlike Father Rosica, Msgr, Foy is not fauning over Mr. Baum, but he is clarifying the truth. Here is the letter from 96 year old, sharp-as-a-tack, Canadian priest and hero, Msgr. Vincent Foy.

LifeSiteNews Editor’s Note: This article was received unsolicited from famous Canadian priest, canon lawyer, former head of the Toronto archdiocesan marriage tribunal and outspoken defender of the Church’s moral teachings, Msgr. Vincent Foy. Recent laudatory, uncritical quoting of Canada’s leading dissident former priest, Gregory Baum, in Canadian Catholic media, spurred the Msgr. to write this article and send it to LifeSiteNews. LSN gladly publishes articles from this great, now 96-year-old priest scholar, still writing in defense of the Catholic Church’s moral teachings.

Msgr. Vincent Foy

The intention of this article is to protect the faithful from being deceived.

Recently there has been a flurry of references to Gregory Baum, all of them laudatory. An article by Gregory Baum entitled “Vatican II - The Church in dialogue” appeared in the January-February issue if the Scarboro Missions magazine. This article is riddled with false doctrine.

None of these references make mention of the theological errors of Gregory Baum, yet he has done more than any person to harm the Church in Canada in my opinion. His Marxist background and activities are described in detail in a four-page bulletin “Herald of Freedom” April 6, 1974. It is entitled “Rev. Gregory Baum - Canada’s Marxist Pope.” In 1996, in a failed attempt to prevent his talk at the Newman Centre of the University of Toronto, I compiled a fourteen-page list of some of his errors entitled “Notes on Gregory Baum.”

It would take a large book to list and describe the errors and misconduct of Gregory Baum. Here I mention a few of them; there are many others.


A focal point of Baum’s efforts was in opposition to the teaching of the Church against contraception. In 1964, Herder and Herder published the book “Contraception and Holiness.” It was presented as a “balanced perceptive declaration of Christian dissent”. Among the contributors were three professors of St. Michael’s College in Toronto: Gregory Baum O.S.A., Stanley Kutz C.S.B. (an admitted homosexual who later left the priesthood) and Leslie Dewart, an atheist. An article reporting an interview with Gregory Baum was printed in the Toronto Globe and Mail of April 9, 1966. It was entitled “Catholics May Use Contraceptives Now.” A year later Baum said that even if the Pope came out against contraception his decision would be irrelevant (Globe and Mail, 1967).  After the Pope’s encyclical Humanae Vitae reiterated the Church’s condemnation of contraception in 1968, Baum was like a whirling dervish in his hyperactivity against the encyclical. He spoke in Canada and in the United States. On August 1, 1968, the Globe and Mail had a feature article by him “Catholics May Follow their Conscience”. In the August 23 issue of the US Catholic Weekly Commonweal magazine, there was his article “The Right to Dissent”. The September issue of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review carried his “The New Encyclical on Contraception” where he attacked the Pope for going against the experience of vast numbers of Catholics and the witness of other Christian churches.


Gregory Baum openly advocated same-sex “marriage”. In Commonweal for February 15, 1974, he wrote an article on homosexuality in which he declared that Catholic teaching on homosexuality would change and embrace homosexuality within a few years. Homosexual activists used this article as a handout for almost two decades throughout North America. In speaking to Dignity and other homosexual groups, he encouraged them to remain in the Church but to work for a change in the Church’s teaching.

Devotion to Mary

In the early sixties, I attended a dinner at Osgoode Hall under the auspices of the Catholic Lawyers Guild. Gregory Baum spoke on the exaggerated “Cultus” of Mary in the Catholic Church. He stated that there was no evidence of devotion to Mary before the fourth century. At the time, I had been reading a section of the book “Mariology” edited by Juniper Carol, O.F.M. on the “The Origins of Marian Cult”. It gave numerous examples of devotion to Mary in the first three centuries. Mary herself proclaims in the Magnificat (Luke 1: 46-55): “All generations will call me blessed.” Baum discouraged recitation of the Rosary.

Dissent and Rejection of Authority

Msgr. George Kelly wrote in “The Battle for the American Church” pp. 448-9: “Gregory Baum argued that Rome’s grip on the Church can be loosened by careful violation of law. In Baum’s view freedom from Rome’s law can be obtained by seizing it in the knowledge that violations will go unpunished.”

The Priesthood

I conducted about twenty of the first priest-laicization processes for the Archdiocese of Toronto. A number of priests said that they were encouraged to leave the priesthood by Gregory Baum. He promoted the concept of a temporary or “existential” priesthood. In an article printed in the Toronto Star of April 23, 1966, Baum stated that he was not alarmed at the large numbers of priests and religious departing from their vocations. He said “By assigning the laity a higher place in the Christian Church, the whole matter of the role of the clergy has to be re-thought.”

A Report to the Archbishop

I was pastor of St. John’s Church on Kingston Rd in Toronto in 1966. In the parish there was a convent of Notre Dame Sisters. I received a phone call from the Superior of the Notre Dame Sisters, who was in Ottawa. She told me that one of the younger Sisters, studying at St. Michael’s College, was obliged by Gregory Baum to attend a weekend retreat near Orangeville. This was before the mitigation of Friday abstinence. Meat was served on Friday evening. “The Sister said ‘Fr. Baum, this is Friday and you are serving meat’. He replied ‘Sister, here I am Pope. Eat your meat!’ In the course of the weekend, he encouraged immoral familiarities between male and female religious. You must report this to Archbishop Pocock”. I suggested that she report this to the Apostolic Delegate in Ottawa. “No,” she replied “Sister is in your parish and you should report it”. The next day I made a report on the matter to Archbishop Pocock. He threw up his hands and said “What can I do?” I said he could suspend Baum. He did nothing and allowed Baum to continue teaching at St. Michael’s College for another nine years.

Suspension and Excommunication

When the Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics was issued by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on December 29, 1975, Gregory Baum criticized it severely. He said “The concept of sex only within marriage was no longer adequate. Even if marriage is the ideal, this does not mean there is no responsible context of sexual relations for mature single people, the widowed and the divorced.” In response, Archbishop Pocock suspended Baum from hearing confessions. In the issue for January 14, 1978, the Catholic Register reported that “Gregory Baum, noted Canadian theologian and outspoken critic of the Church, married a former nun in a private ceremony recently in Montreal… the bride is Shirley Flynn, who left her religious order about fifteen years ago.” According to Canon 2388 of the Code of Canon Law in force at that time, Gregory Baum was automatically excommunicated.It is difficult to understand why articles by Baum should continue to appear in Catholic periodicals; why he should be praised in others; why he should be invited to speak in Catholic institutions such as St. Paul’s University in Ottawa and why this arch-heretic should be highly praised in an interview given him recently by a Catholic priest currently posted on a website.

Sunday 21 October 2012

Saint Kateri, Protectress of Canada

Earlier today in Rome, the Holy Father canonised our Lily of the Mohawks saying, "May her example help us to live where we are, loving Jesus without denying who we are,” he said. “Saint Kateri, Protectress of Canada and the first Native American saint, we entrust you to the renewal of the faith in the first nations and in all of North America!”

Sancta Kateri Tekakwitha, ora pro nobis

As reported as well, the Holy Father wore the Papal Fanon an amice like garment only worn by the Pope in a Pontifical Mass. And yet, another indication of liturgical restoration,the Old Testament Lesson (First Reading) the Responsory (Psalm) and the Epistle (Second Reading) were proclaimed from the Epistle side of the altar and the Gospel from the Gospel side of the altar. 

After all, the seven Canonised today would have known it that way.

Anglican Use Catholic Mass today at Kitchener

St.Mary's Catholic Church in Kitchener, Ontario will host on a monthly basis the Holy Mass According to the Anglican Catholic Use beginning today at 5:00PM. The Sodality of St. Edmund, King and Martyr is a Catholic Community for the Anglican Use in the Diocese of Hamilton.

St. Mary's is located at 56 Duke Street in Kitchener and is under the guidance of the Religious of the Congregation of the Resurrection. The bulletin last week had this to say: "In keeping with the Church’s desire for Christian Unity expressed at Vatican II, all Catholics are invited to participate in an Anglican Use Mass. This is a Catholic Mass and fulfills your Sunday obligation. St. Mary’s will host the AU Mass monthly at 5pm. Please consider attending and supporting Christians of Anglican patrimony who are in full communion with Rome. Let us celebrate together this significant step toward Christian Unity."

The liturgy can be found here.

Father George Nowak, CR, Pastor of St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows, in Kitchener has kindly invited the Sodality to celebrate the Anglican Use Mass. Father Nowak has been very supportive having invited the Sodality to Vespers and Benediction, about 18 months ago, with a Reception following, to discuss Anglicanorum coetibus with Catholics from various Parishes in the area.
Father William Foote, the Chaplain, (and Pastor of St. Patrick's in Cambridge) will be the celebrant.
Mr. Robert Tasse, the Music Director at St. Mary's will be the organist. The Cantor will be Mr. Andrew Malton, a parishioner of St. Louis' Waterloo.

May God bless Father Nowak, CR and the good people at St. Mary's Kitchener and the Sodality of St. Edmund, King and Martyr.

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Catholic Schools can teach pro-life as long they're pro-choice

On the heels of the resignation of the scandal plagued pro-abortion and so-called "same-sex marriage" Premier Dalton McGuinty, Education Minister Laurel Broten put her foot in her mouth, or into something at least, yet again.

First she said that Catholic Schools cannot teach that abortion is wrong, now it can be taught as long as we affirm a women's right to choose. Choose what, Minister?

I spoke to three teachers on Saturday, two were and remain prepared to go to jail, the third had not heard this outrage but was shocked when told. A good friend, a teacher in Catholic schools wrote today on his Facebook, "I teach that abortion is wrong in my class. On Nov. 6 there will be a guest speaking to our Gr. 12 from the Toronto Right to Life. Ms. Broten is welcome to come to my school and arrest me."

If Mrs. Broten, a Catholic whose children are in a Catholic school, thinks we're going to lie down on this one, she is very mistaken. Cardinal Collins delivered a firm rebuke to her and the Premier at the Cardinal's Dinner over this interference in the lives and rights of Catholics.

This intellectual lightweight, my own Member of the Provincial Parliament, was once Ontario's Minister of the Environment. This genius had my neighbourhood up in arms when she tried to build a double-stacked four-car garage with an elevator and attempted to cut down mature trees to do it! Wait, is that right; an Environment Minister with four cars? A eco-minister cutting down trees? The people had to gang up to take her to the Ontario Municipal Board to obtain justice.

Cleary, her arrogance has since grown unlike her intellect which is clearly darkened.

It seems she has not gone to school since becoming Minister of Edumacation.

His Excellency Michael Mulhall, Bishop of Pembroke stated in a letter to parishes on October 11th. that the Church will “defend her legitimate autonomy from outside organizations which attempt to define the content of Roman Catholic teaching."

LifeSiteNews has it all here.

Have you signed the Campaign Life Petition yet?

Tuesday 16 October 2012

SSPX to wait out Rome

Father Niklaus Pfluger of the Society of St. Pius X whom I had the pleasure to meet and who permitted me to sing Tenebrae over the Triduum in Toronto a few years back, has been interviewed and published on Rorate.

You can read it all there but I found his comment here to be most revealing. 

Kirchliche Umschau: Do you think that there could be a new development?
Father Niklaus Pfluger: Not just think–I know! The facts are what they are. The Church everywhere in the world, with some rare exceptions, is undergoing a process of self-destruction, and not just in Europe. In Latin America, for example, things don’t seem to be any better. Where the economy is relatively strong, as in Germany, Swizterland, and the United States, the external structures remain. But the loss of the Faith can be seen everywhere. Now, without the Faith, there is no Church. In Germany, the bishops recently sent a clear message: the right to collect taxes from Church members is more important than 120,000 Catholics leaving the Church every year. We are witnessing a march to destruction unseen in history, a rising tide which not even the bishops can stem, using, as they do, tactics devoid of the spirit of Faith. Joseph Ratzinger, as a Council father 50 years ago, spoke of a Church, “imbued with the spirit of paganism,” which the Council did its part to usher in. I am convinced that this turn of events, on the one hand, will bring the bishops to a more sober frame of mind, and, on the other hand, will leave only the conservatives holding fast, meaning those who quite simply wish to believe as the Church has always believed, and to persevere in their Catholic Faith. With those holding fast, we will no longer need to argue. Agreement in the Faith will soon follow.

Kirchliche Umschau: You are insinuating that the tide of self-destruction will engulf liberal Catholics. But the liberals see things differently. They want even more reforms to assure the survival of the living Church.
Father Niklaus Pfluger: I am inventing nothing. I see events and where they lead. Which religious order or diocese has younger members to ensure its future growth, and which ones are dying out? We can observe that decline and dissolution are most apparent in those places where the so-called conciliar reforms are most eagerly followed. I don’t deny that, in the arena of public opinion–and on the parish level–the liberal approach is more acceptable. But the Church does not live by social acceptance or by human applause. She derives her energy from men and women who believe and practice their Faith, who are prepared to renounce worldly pleasures to become priests, monks, or nuns. These latter are conspicuously absent among the liberals, and that is why they now want to receive priestly ordination, but of course without celibacy, without any self-denial. And they naively expect to increase their vocations by lowering the standards!

It was Martha

Originally posted, October 16, 2006 and edited for today.


+ Martha Joan Stephen Domet +

August 15, 1915 - October 16, 2006

Martha on her 90th birthday


Six years ago today, in her 92nd year, my mother was called home to the LORD. She was a woman of great faith in God and she taught many lessons to all of those who came into contact with her. This was especially true in her last few years. She suffered the loss of her first grandson and then her first son from cancer and bore much physical suffering with faith, trust and humility.

Today, October 16 according to the calendar for the usus antiquior or the Traditional Latin Mass calendar is the Feast of St. Hedwig a medieval Polish duchess who died on October 14, 1243. She was also maternal aunt of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, incidentally my maternal grandmother's name. So it was then for me a serendipitous moment when at the Mass the Epistle was read from the First Letter of Blessed Paul the Apostle to Timothy:

"Dearly beloved: Honour widows that are widows indeed. But if any widow have children, or grandchildren, let her learn first to govern her own house, and to make a return of duty to her parents: for this is acceptable before God. But she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, let her trust in God and continue in supplications and prayers night and day. For she that liveth in pleasures is dead while she is living. And this give in charge, that they may be blameless. But if any man have not care of his own, and especially of those of his house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel. Let a widow be chosen of no less than threescore years of age, who hath been the wife of one husband having testimony for her good works, if she have brought up children, if she have received to harbour, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have ministered to them that suffer tribulation, if she have diligently followed every good work."
The Gospel was the parable about the "pearl of great price." Martha spent her life auctioning all for that pearl. I believe she found it. A few days before she died we had a conversation and she told me that she whenever God was ready to call her, she was ready to go.
We often hear or read of those things that are “unexplained” except by coincidence, of course. To those who know and love God, “there are no coincidences.” Not even the fact that the Epistle at Mass is one of two from the "Common of Holy Women" or that she spoke only a few days before about being "ready" nor about what you are about to read below.
That day started like many others. I woke my son for school, (he now lives in Vancouver). I got ready for work and before dashing out the door I took Roxy, our terrier mutt to stay with her, kissed her good-bye and while bidding her adieu the first home care girl was arriving to help her get ready for the day and stay with her whilst I was at work.
At around 1:00 PM the second caregiver, Bridget, arrived for the shift-change. As Bridget arrived she came into the family room, the other caregiver had just sat her mum down on the sofa. My mother had only moments earlier complained of difficulty breathing and then she laid back, gasped and closed her eyes. Bridget yelled out her name, “Martha, Martha!” and gently slapped her. She stirred and let out a breath, she collapsed on the sofa.
At that moment, my mother died.
I got the call at work from Bridget and on the way home it was clear from speaking to the paramedics that she was gone. They were working on her with adrenalin and the heart paddles but were not having any success. I told them to stop but they would not, there was no DNR posted.
I spoke to Bridget and told her that a priest from the local parish was on his way (the Sacrament of the Sick, what we used to call Extreme Unction had already been administered by one of her faithful Oratorian Priests a few weeks earlier.) I asked Bridget to go to my mother’s bedroom and retrieve the sick visit Crucifix from the wall above her bed. (This is a Crucifix which slides off and is placed in a stand; on either side are then candle holders and some of the necessary items for the Sacrament).
A few minutes later, I arrived screeching in the driveway. When I arrived my mother’s eyes were open and she was semi-conscious, technology, it seemed had triumphed, at least for now. Father arrived a few moments later and anointed her. She was transported to “St. Joe’s” where my father also died, and we removed the medical intervention around 5:00 PM., it was clear that the technology that brought her back was keeping her here and that if we did not remove this invasion she would suffer worse indignities. An Oratorian priest came to bless her again and to counsel us on the rightness of our decision to remove the intervention. Just after 8:00 P.M., I went outside for some air and a smoke with my niece. A a few minutes later my sister came running to get me. She had just gone out of the room to the Nurses desk to make a phone call. My sister was not out of the room a half-minute and no more than 5 metres away and our mother died. It was like she could not let herself go whilst we were with her.
So, what does this have to do with another coincidence?
The next day I called Bridget and asked her to stay on for a few more days to be at the house to tidy and answer the phone and assist with guests. Bridget was quite upset to be sure. She had been with my mother daily for the last year and often spoke of how well she was always treated and “their little talks.”
She came to me with apprehension and said that she really needed to talk to me about something.
The paramedics, with all of their intervention, “brought her back.” It took 14 minutes from the time they began to get a pulse. Had she every regained full consciousness her life would have been horrible, we all new that. But what was disturbing Bridget was that there was no reaction to their work; nothing, until my car screeched to a halt in the driveway.
“I have a pulse!” exclaimed the paramedic. It was simultaneous and  it was simultaneous with the screeching of my tires. David was home and his mom wanted to see him.
But there is more, much more.
Bridget was shaking and in tears.
“David, I had a dream Sunday night," my mother having died on Monday.
She went on to say that she had typically forgotten the dream until she went to my mother’s bedroom to get the Crucifix. Upon seeing Jesus on the Cross the dream came back to her for just a moment.Again, it was gone. The house after all was a mass of confusion, police, fire-fighters, the paramedics, and eventually me, and the Priest; Bridget was now a bystander.
After we left for the hospital, Bridget was alone and tidying up and it was what happened then that she was so desperate to tell me.
It was then that Bridget told me what else happened. She will never forget it. Nor will I.
Bridget recalled for me her dream.

“I was standing on a street-corner in small town with other people. We were laughing at this man dressed in a robe and with long-hair. He said his name was Jesus and we were making fun of him. Just then a young beautiful woman stepped off of the curb and started to cross the street; she turned around and looked at us, she had tears in her eyes, tears of overwhelming joy, she was happy, really happy.It was then that Jesus took her hand and walked across the road with her.”
That was Bridget’s dream.
She went on to say that when she woke up from it she was aware that she needed to be more like the woman who walked across the street. That she needed to have “more faith in Jesus.”
I told her that it seemed like a pretty plausible conclusion.
“Wait” Bridget said, “There is more.”
I waited and listened as she started to cry.
“David, I remembered the dream only for a moment when carrying the Cross.”
“When I was tidying up I put the Cross on the end-table over there.”
“Yes, it looks nice there” I replied.
“No, David, you don’t understand, the picture, the picture beside the Cross.”
“Yes, Bridget, what is it?”
“That picture of your mother at graduation.” Bridget started to cry.
“It was her; she was the girl in my dream, it was Martha.”

and this...

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Ontario Catholic Schools Now at Serious Risk - Teaching against abortion "illegal" the Cardinal's response!

Ontario Minister of Education Laurel Broten is quoted in the Canadian Press as saying: "Taking away a woman's right to choose could arguably be considered one of the most misogynistic actions that one could take; I don't think there is a conflict between choosing Catholic education for your children and supporting a woman's right to choose." (to murder the child in her womb with the help of a doctor whose oath is to "do no harm").

This is the same Education Minister that only a few months ago forced Gay-Straight Alliances on Ontario's Catholic Schools. Many of us saw this coming, but none of us could have guessed it would be this soon.

As reported on LifeSiteNews.com, Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition said, “This is absolutely unbelievable and shocking; the rights of the Catholic schools are protected in Canada’s Constitution. Especially coming from somebody who’s a purported Catholic with her children in Catholic schools.”

The Premier of this Province, Dalton McGuinty is a Catholic. He knows full well what this means. So, in fact, is the Minister and her husband! Both the Premier and the Minister have other connections to Catholic education. They both are wrong, they both are setting themselves up against their own history and their Church.

On this issue, Premier, you must order her to retract her statement and you must clarify that this will never happen.

As for the Church, the Bishops of Ontario rolled over on the Gay Straight Alliance issue. They opened the door to this one by their inaction. However, burned by that experience it is clear that the Archbishop of Toronto, His Eminence Cardinal Collins learnt quickly that McGuinty and his ilk, no matter that they are Catholic, cannot be trusted. Only a day after the comment, His Eminence delivered the address at the annual Cardinal's Dinner saying, "Both the constitution and the Education Act make it clear that the Catholic identity of the school must be respected." He further corrected these two Catholics stating quite clearly referring to our mission as Catholics that "It is also true when it comes to protecting the freedom of all in the school community to engage in pro-life activities in order to foster a culture of life in which the most vulnerable and voiceless among us are protected and honoured throughout their whole life on earth from the moment of conception to natural death."

His Eminence has made provided with clarity the facts. The question is now, what will McGuinty do; will he reprhimand Broten or is this part of some deeper, darker plan at the Mowat Block.

The Cardinal has made it clear; now you must act be making it clear in no uncertain terms to these two that any move against our faith will result in their political abortion.

Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario
Tim Hudak, Leader of the Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition

Hon. Laurel Broten, M.P.P. Minister of Education

Sunday 7 October 2012

Rosica interviews Gregory Baum; who's next Hans Kung?

Thomas Rosica, Basilian Priest, head of Salt + Light Television, President of Assumption University and Consultor to the Pontifical Council on Social Communications who on your money from the collection taken up last week through grants from the CCCB for Needs to the Church in Canada, has the temerity to interview "pope-squat" supporter Gregory Baum.

Rosica previously hosted this heretic and excommunicate at the Newman Centre in Toronto. When faithful Catholics showed up to peacefully protest, he called the police and demanded that they be arrested. I know this first hand from a close friend of mine who was there peacefully watching, praying and handing out leaflets to protest the appearance of this man, he and others were witness to Fr. Rosica's actions outside St. Thomas Aquinas Chapel while Baum lectured inside.

Mr. Baum was a priest and peritus to the Canadian bishops at the Second Vatican Council. He made all the right friends during the day, Kung, Schillebeeckx, Rahner amongst them and at night he had our bishops all to himself. Then, they came back to Canada and created havoc in liturgy, theology and morals culminating in the Winnipeg Statement of which he--Baum and Bishop Emmeritus of Victoria and Enneagram Master Remi de Roo were its main instigators along with Pocock, the Carter Brothers and the rest of the "gang of five" which they preferred to be called.

Nobody did more to undermine the Catholic Church in Canada than Gregory Baum and Remi de Roo.

Salt + Light is as dead as a dodo. It does not deserve your support or your subscription.

Previously, when I've criticised the content of Father Roscia's speeches or other public pronouncements, I've been the recipient of a generous quantity of emails from him. Emails that are unbecoming of a Catholic priest, University President or Papal Consultor.

I expect this will be no different.


Toronto-- On May 6, 1996, at Toronto University's Catholic Newman Centre, Gregory Baum, 74, Catholic dissenter of nineteen sixties and seventies fame, delivered a lecture on his experience during the Second Vatican Council before a small audience of older people. Well before the event people wrote or telphoned the Centre questioning why this man had been invited. 

Much to the astonishment and annoyance of Newman's director, Father Tom Rosica, on the day of the lecture a group of two dozen protesters appeared, handing out flyers which documented how Professor Baum, an excommunicated priest, had done the Church much harm in the past. Their point: he should never have been invited to speak at a Catholic institution. 

"That's pure madness in those flyers," Toronto's Catholic Register (May 27) reported Fr. Rosica as saying. The director called the police, ostensibly to "restrain" the picketers, but when the former showed up in strength in response to the alarm call they found the protesters perfectly peaceful and left them to their business. 

Fr. Rosica also claimed that the Archdiocese had expressed no objection. And indeed, the Toronto archdiocesan Chancellor of spiritual affairs, Fr. John Murphy, was reported by the Catholic Register as saying that "banning" Baum would be inappropriate on a university campus "where this type of exchange is normal." Earlier in the year, on January 17, Baum also spoke at Regis College, the Jesuits' Toronto theologate. That, too, had been protested in vain. 


To "ban" a speaker is one thing but to invite a false prophet is another. What is at issue here is not the banning but the invitation. Professor Baum also gave a lecture at the University's Department of Philosophy and no picketers appeared there. Why then at the Newman Centre? Because Newman, as a Catholic Centre, ought not to invite people who habitually contradict Church teaching. When it does do so, Catholics may reasonably assume that those who extend the invitation share the speaker's contested views or do not consider them harmful. The picketers on the other hand follow St. Paul's advice: "We proclaim the truth openly and command ourselves to every man's conscience before God" (2 Cor 4:2). 

Who is Gregory Baum? 

Baum recently retired as Religious Studies professor at Montreal's McGill University. He attended the Council (1962-1965) as a "peritus" (expert) on ecumenism, then a new approach to relations among different faiths. 

Refusing to restrict himself to this area, the recent Jewish convert from agnosticism soon began to contradict Catholic teachings, chiefly in moral theology. He played an international role in preempting the Pope's and the Church's study of the moral status of artificial contraception by encouraging people not to wait in using it; and when its use was condemned, by contradicting Pope Paul V (On Human Life, 1968). (This and other matters were described in detail by Msgr. Vincent Foy in the above- mentioned flyers.) 

By the end of the sixties Baum switched to the study of sociology and from then on measured Church practice and doctrine by human standards. The St. Michael's College professor became an idol of the Toronto media, who treated him as the Catholic oracle in Canada. He appealed to them mostly because of his dissent from Catholic moral teaching, first on contraception, then on homosexuality. 

Baum's 1974 article on homosexuality in the U.S. Catholic weekly Commonweal (February 15)was used as a handout by homosexual activists throughout North America for almost two decades. In it he argued, first, the theme developed earlier by others that the biblical references condemning sodomy were really references to lack of hospitality; and, secondly, that Catholic teaching would change and endorse homosexuality within a few years. 

Father Baum was excommunicated automatically under the existing (1917) Code of Canon Law for sinning grievously by abandoning his vocation and "attempting" to get married while still a functioning priest. 

A few months ago, in April 1996, Professor Baum confirmed that his views have changed little when he publicly encouraged Federal Justice Minister Allan Rock to go ahead with Bill C-33, adding "sexual orientation" to the Canadian Human Rights Act, despite the Church's opposition and rejection of the measure. 


Canadian Priest Accuses Pro-Lifers of Hatred and Bullying

One of Canada’s best-known priests, Rev. Thomas Rosica, CSB, has described the pro-life critics of the Kennedy funeral as "not agents of life, but of division, destruction, hatred, vitriol, judgment, and violence." Father Rosica is CEO of a Catholic Canadian television network — Salt + Light, endorsed by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.
In his September 3 blogpost, Father Rosica also made a veiled criticism of Raymond Arroyo, News Director of EWTN, for his August 31 comment, "Ted Kennedy: Catholic Legacy and the Letters." Father Rosica aimed his criticism at the "many so-called lovers of life and activists in the pro-life movement, as well as well known colleagues in Catholic television broadcasting and media in North America." There is no one he could have meant but Arroyo, because no other colleagues in Catholic television have made negative comments about the funeral.

As a result, LifeSiteNews, based in Toronto, covered the story on September 4 with an article titled Battle of the Catholic Stations: Salt and Light’s Fr. Rosica Rips EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo over Kennedy Funeral." John-Henry Westen, writing for LifeSiteNews, opined, "The root of Fr. Rosica’s concerns seems to be the fact that lay persons are daring to publicly question the actions of clergy."
Faher Rosica, however, later slammed Westen’s article and denied his reference was aimed directly at Arroyo. In a September 9 interview with Bob Dunning on "Across the Nation" (Sirius Catholic Radio), the priest said:
I don’t agree with Raymond Arroyo’s blog that he wrote criticizing Cardinals McCarrick and O’Malley…. For them to say that I aimed everything at Raymond Arroyo; there were about 20 different people. Raymond Arroyo was the most public that they cited, which I didn’t mention in my article, but we all saw Raymond Arroyo’s blog, but we saw many other people stirring up — and priests especially, who claim to be pro-life, causing more division in the Church. (Taken from a transcript of the program.)
Father Rosica went on to explain to Dunning, "I think civility, charity, kindness, and humanity — when they fall from the picture, when they are not present, we have a big problem on our hands." Yet, in his September 3 blogpost this is how he described the critics of the Kennedy funeral:
Through vicious attacks launched on blogs, 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! What such people fail to realize is that their messages are ultimately screamed into a vacuum. No one but their own loud crowd is really listening…. Sowing seeds of hatred and division are not the work of those who wish to build a culture of life (emphasis added).
I have read through Arroyo’s comment several times and have found nothing like what Father Rosica describes above. Interestingly enough, the priest also took a swing at the internationally respected LifeSite News:
For the 1/10th of kernel of truth that they purport to uncover, and there is truth in what they do, 9/10ths is exaggeration. It is bombastic, it is derisive and it is divisive (emphasis added).
Once again I find nothing in Westen’s story that sounds as "bombastic" as Father Rosica’s own comments.

Father Rosica is an influential priest
 as well as an accomplished scholar. He has been known to defend Catholic dissenters in the past, as he did in 1996 as director of the Newman Center at the University of Toronto. A group of faithful Catholics were peacefully protesting a lecture by noted dissenter and defrocked theologian Gregory Baum at Toronto University’s Catholic Newman Centre.
Father Rosica called the police to remove a group of protesters handing out flyers documenting the damage Professor Baum, an excommunicated priest, had done the Church. "That’s pure madness in those flyers," Toronto’s Catholic Register (May 27, 1996) reported Father Rosica as saying. (Baum was one of the leading dissenters from Humanae Vitae.)
Not surprisingly, Father Rosica now criticizes those who questioned the wisdom of a funeral for a famously pro-abortion politician which, as Arroyo wrote, "was truly about cementing the impression, indeed catechizing the faithful, that one can be a Catholic politician, and so long as you claim to care about the poor, you may licitly ignore the cause of life."
Yes, there were scattered blog comments attacking the funeral and the participation of Cardinals O’Malley and McCarrick. But I am not aware of a single recognized Catholic commentator who is guilty of the invective which Father Rosica describes. Just as I wrote last week that none of the major critics of the Kennedy funeral was guilty of what Bishop Morlino warned against — delight in a soul’s damnation — none is guilty of "the division, destruction, hatred, vitriol, judgment, and violence" bemoaned by Father Rosica.
He told Dunning, "Let’s call a spade, a spade." Indeed, let’s! We should begin by hearing the names of the "20 different people" who are sowing this division by disagreeing with Father Rosica. That would be a good place to start.


Ted Kennedy, Salt + Light, Fr. Rosica, Politics and the Pro-Life Movement

I’ve been hesitant to post about this issue because I don’t want to encourage further infighting within the pro-life movement, but John Bentley Mays has a provocative article in the Catholic Register that I think warrants discussion.
First, the background (which is largely Catholic inside baseball): there was controversy over Ted Kennedy’s Catholic funeral, despite defenses from canon lawyers, and many tried to pressure the Catholic Salt + Light Television station into speaking out against the bishops and priests involved. Not only did Fr. Thomas Rosica (CEO of Salt + Light) refuse, but he issued a strong statementcritical of “viscious attacks” from within the pro-life movement. Then, LifeSiteNews.com jumped into the mix and… well, let’s just say it got messy. I don’t want to dwell on the in-fighting… I’d rather get onto Mays’ points.
Mays describes the series of events and blames it on pro-life “extremists,” and — more particularly — on the “hard right,” arguing that they’ve been ineffective in winning over hearts and minds, and suggesting that the discussion should be moved left of center. (emphases mine)
The current war by bloggers and voicemailers against Salt + Light Television and its CEO Fr. Thomas Rosica is a symptom that something has gone seriously wrong in the heart of the pro-life movement in Canada and the United States.
The ultra-militants among the right-to-lifers, of course, have many reasons to feel frustrated… their raving and ranting throughout this affair have almost certainly failed to cause a single person to join the struggle for the protection of the unborn.
They, and the right-to-life movement as a whole, are losing the battle for hearts and minds in the public forum… Clearly, nobody’s opinion is going to be changed for the better by the kind of vitriol spewed out at Fr. Rosica in the last few days. Replying to his critics on the Boston archdiocesan web site, Cardinal O’Malley writes (in words I fully support): If any cause is motivated by judgment, anger or vindictiveness, it will be doomed to marginalization and failure. Jesus’ words to us were that we must love one another as He loves us… Our ability to change people’s hearts and help them to grasp the dignity of each and every life, from the first moment of conception to the last moment of natural death, is directly related to our ability to increase love and unity in the church, for our proclamation of the Truth is hindered when we are divided and fighting with each other.”
But altering the tone of the discourse about abortion is not the only thing that needs to be done. The whole discussion should be moved out of the hard right political environment into the place it more naturally belongs: the debate over values and goals on the social-democratic left.
As a Catholic on this latter point in the political spectrum, I have long been dismayed by the hijacking of right-to-life issues by the right. The push for human and civil rights has always been a matter of urgency for the modern left, and whatever progress Canadian society has made in other matters important to Catholics — the protection of individual rights, the active agency of the state in caring for the weak, sick and disadvantaged, the levelling of the playing field — has been due to pressure from the left. The extension to the unborn of the human right to life, and opposition to the culture of death, should be central issues on the left. The fact that they’re not, so far, is a failure of imagination in the ongoing life and culture of social-democratic dialogue.
Meanwhile, we can hope the bloggers and blabbers attacking Fr. Rosica, Cardinal O’Malley and Salt+ Light will just shut up.
Wow. Fighting words.
Now, I don’t agree with Mays broad generalizations of politically conservative pro-lifers. Casting everyone you disagree with as an “extremist” or “ultra-militant” is just a little bit unfair.
However, if you can get beyond the disdain, I do think he makes an excellent point that these life issues need to be championed by people on the “left” as well. The more that life issues are cornered in a any political spectrum, the harder it will be to change hearts and minds.
Though, Mays’ approach to bash and blame the “hard right” isn’t exactly setting up a big tenteither. I wish he’d better follow the advice he so aptly highlights (“If any cause is motivated by judgment, anger or vindictiveness, it will be doomed to marginalization and failure”).
How can we appeal to Liberals and (hey, we can dream) NDPers without alienating conservatives? And, how much of this in-fighting is actually a result of politic differences anyways (i.e. are these two separate issues)?
And… is the absence of life issues as central to the social-democratic dialogue really just a failure of imagination? Or is it that many pro-lifers don’t feel terribly welcome left of center? Does it have anything to do with the fact the the NDP doesn’t tolerate pro-lifers, and that the Liberals tend to demonize them when politically convenient? How might we change that?
(And one other quibble: what’s with all the old folks complaining about “bloggers?”)

Blaise Alleyne completed a B. Sc. at the University of Toronto in 2009 with a major in Computer Science, and minors in English and Philosophy. He is currently a part-time student in the Master of Theological Studies program at Regis College, U of T. Blaise has been involved with UTSFL since becoming a member in 2005, and is now focused on education and activism with the club.
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7 comments on “Ted Kennedy, Salt + Light, Fr. Rosica, Politics and the Pro-Life Movement
  1. Steve G says:
    Hello Blaise,
    Thanks for this insightful post. I admire students that do pro-life work on university campuses. That’s a tough crowd to work with!
    I would encourage you to not shy away from controversy, even if that means respectfully denouncing the clergy for their lack of effort on pro-life issues. If you haven’t already, you should read the excellent article by Archbishop Burke on the Kennedy funeral and the manner in which pro-lifers should deal with these issues. Here’s the link:http://insidecatholic.com/Joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6937&Itemid=121&ed=1
    Also, I would advise you against putting any trust in Fr. Rosica. He talks the talk, but he isn’t willing to put his butt on the line for the pro-life movement.
    Keep up the good work!
    • Hi Steve,
      Thanks for the comment!
      I’m not afraid of controversy myself, though there are a couple reasons I’ve hesitated to wade too far into this fight here. Firstly, though many of our members are Catholic, UTSFL is a secular club — this is a particularly Catholic battle within the pro-life movement, somewhat inside baseball ish. And I think the in-fighting does a lot more harm than good to Catholic pro-life efforts — it’s become vicious (even Fr. Rosica, who’s ironically vicious and judgmental in his call for pro-lifers to not be vicious and judgmental…).
      I disagree with Rosica’s tone, and it’s unfortunate that he uses such harsh language with well-meaning pro-lifers (though, I’m not exactly a fan of LifeSiteNews.com), but I’m not sure it’s fair to say either that he isn’t willing to put his butt on the line for the pro-life movement. Salt+Light recently republished an article he wrote for the Sun in July 2008, for example: Gutless leaders strike again: Henry Morgentaler’s Order of Canada exposes spineless G-G, questionable commissions.
      I think both Rosica and LifeSiteNews.com could have handled the issue better, but I hesitate to dwell on specific criticisms (especially speaking on behalf of the club) that serve to build up walls within the pro-life movement. Disagreement is healthy, but this has become pretty nasty… I’d rather not fuel the fire.
  2. Steve G says:
    You’ve raised some good points. The Fr. Rosica article is good, but once again, it’s just talk. Have you ever seen him on the sidewalk with a pro-life sign during the 40 days for life? Or did he dare challenge “Catholic” Dalton McGuinty on his same-sex marriage views when Fr. Rosica interviewed him on S&L a couple of years ago? There is a reluctance to self-sacrifice, which is essential to our cause. On the contrary, remember that he called the police to have some faithful Catholics arrested outside his Newman Centre several years ago because they didn’t want a dissenter and excommunicated priest giving a lecture to impressionable Catholic students (http://www.thefreelibrary.com/False+profits+%28Svend+Robinson%3B+Gregory+Baum%3B+Anthony+Padovano%3B+Hedy…-a030006658)
    Archbishop Burke has a great quote in his article:
    “One of the ironies of the present situation is that the person who experiences scandal at the gravely sinful public actions of a fellow Catholic is accused of a lack of charity and of causing division within the unity of the Church.”
    “A unity which is not founded on the truth of the moral law is not the unity of the Church. The Church’s unity is founded on speaking the truth with love. The person who experiences scandal at public actions of Catholics, which are gravely contrary to the moral law, not only does not destroy unity but invites the Church to repair what is clearly a serious breach in Her life. Were he not to experience scandal at the public support of attacks on human life and the family, his conscience would be uninformed or dulled about the most sacred realities.”
    Unity in the pro-life movement is great, but never at the expense of the truth. Unity only works if we are truly on the same page. If we aren’t, if we have profound divisions but are simply trying to pretend that they don’t exist, the effectiveness of the pro-life movement is undermined. I’ll never forget the experience of some pro-lifers witnessing in front of an abortion mill in the U.S. The security guard came up to them and said: “If abortion is such an evil, why is your Cardinal honouring that Kennedy guy?” The pro-lifers were speechless. What could they reply? The Cardinal had indeed undermined their witness. An army divided will never win.
    Sorry for the long post… :-(
  3. Steve G says:
    Correction: the talk at the Newman Centre was in front of older folks, not young students. My bad.
  4. Wow, I’d never heard about him calling the police over a Newman Centre protest. Eep…
    I think that’s an outstanding quote from Archbishop Burke, but I think there’s a bit more to it when it comes to the pro-life movement. Unity in the Church founded on speaking the truth with love? Absolutely. But insofar as the pro-life movement is political, politics is the art of the possible. We can, and must, find support and agreement without that kind of unity.
    For example, the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians likely won’t agree with the Church on a couple things, but if PLAGAL and Catholics within the pro-life movement can agree that elective abortion is unacceptable because it intentionally kills a human person, then we have a basis of moving forward together on that one issue.
    Now, when someone is pro-life, except in the case of rape, that’s an central disagreement — it’s an inconsistency that calls into question the core pro-life argument. That disagreement is a barrier to any progress fighting abortion. But if the disagreement is over whether or not a pro-abortion politician should have a Catholic funeral? Well, that’s something that even some Canon lawyers — who despised his politics — argued strongly for. (Whether he had a right to a Catholic funeral is also a distinct question from whether he should have been honoured at the funeral, versus humbly praying for the repose of his soul, etc.)
    I don’t usually shy away from controversy, but in this case, I think the issue is a bit too complex (and complex in a Catholic political and canon law sense) to tackle head on in my shoes as a UTSFL exec member. I feel like denouncing one side of the debate would do more harm than good, because it’s reached such silly proportions on both sides, and the disagreements are over tactics and canon law, etc, as opposed to fundamental disagreements at the heart of the pro-life argument.
    In response to the “why is your Cardinal honouring that Kennedy guy?” question, I’d have responded that a Catholic Mass of the Resurrection isn’t an “honour,” but a prayer for the mercy and the repose of one’s soul.
    I don’t know, it is a tough question and I agree with a lot of what you’ve said. I guess I’m a little conflicted about it, and I feel it’s largely a Church controversy (outside the formal scope of our club).
    Thanks for your comments though, very important conversation to have.
  5. Steve G says:
    You’ve made some great points. Obviously there’s a difference between an ecumenical pro-life club and a Catholic group. I definitely hear you.
    Thanks for the link from the Canon lawyer. Certainly, Kennedy could have been given a private funeral, but not a public one. That’s the position of even the most outspoken critics of the Kennedy affair, like John Pacheco at Socon Or Bust. You’re absolutely right that a funeral is not meant to honour anybody, but that’s how the Kennedy affair turned out: Placido Domingo, Yo-Yo Ma, three eulogies (which are forbidden at Catholic funerals precisely because we’re there to pray for the soul’s salvation, not canonize the deceased person), etc. A private funeral would have avoided lots of trouble.
    I sure hope Kennedy repented of his sins. But remember that public sins require a public repentance, otherwise scandal occurs (as we have witnessed). Since no public repentance occurred, I stand by my position.
    Keep up the good work. Your confreres at McGill could probably use some moral support after what happened down there!
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  1. […] 9, 2009 Blaise Alleyne Leave a comment Go to comments In reaction to John Bentley May’s article in the Catholic register about the Salt and Light Television / LifeSiteNews.com controversy within […]