This week, two news items attracted my attention. It is hard not to see a connection between the two. The first details the persecution of a pro-life, pro-family priest in Canada. The second was further coverage of the recent Pew Forum study. (Pat Buchanan mentioned the poll in an article, but Catholic World News provided more commentary on it.)
Holy Scripture says, of the corrupt children of this world, “their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood… there is no fear of God before their eyes. … They have not called upon the Lord: there have they trembled for fear, where there was no fear” (Psalm 13:3-5). Those who “shed the blood” of unborn children, who “curse” the Church for what she represents by way of moral restraint, natural law, and preservation of God’s revelations — such have no fear of God, but they fear the “hatred” of those would would defend the innocent, preserve sexual normalcy and family life, and uphold God’s law. They fear what they should love, and they love what they should fear.
Pro-Life? Pro-Family? You HATE Criminal!
Pete Vere, a canon lawyer, pro-life, and pro-family advocate in Canada, has just published an article in The Remnant, “Free Speech in Canada, RIP.” Mr. Vere summarizes the plight of Fr. Alphonse de Valk, a Basilian priest in Canada who is being persecuted on anti-Christian “hate crime” charges.
As you read this, be mindful that the radically anti-Catholic and anti-natural-law judicial activism going on in Canada is a prelude of things to come here in the U.S. Until Christ reigns as King here, we can look forward to this:
Fr. de Valk is the editor of Catholic Insight. This monthly journal promotes the Church’s traditional teaching on marriage and the family, speaking out strongly against contraception, divorce, abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality and other acts of immorality that have gained widespread acceptance in our day. During the political debate over so-called “same-sex marriage,” Father published several articles upholding marriage as God created it — both under the Natural Law, and as a sacrament. These articles quoted extensively from the Bible, papal encyclicals, and other sources of Catholic Tradition. The articles also quoted studies from reputable medical doctors and psychologists.
This is the “hate crime” for which Father is being investigated by Canada’s human rights commissions. Once the complaint is investigated, the commission will likely haul Father before one of Canada’s human rights tribunals. Technically, the tribunals operate at an arm’s length distance from the commissions, which take on a new role as legal prosecution for the complainant. In practicality, no accused has ever beaten the rap when brought before the tribunal by the commission.
The state pays the legal costs of the complainant, whereas the accused is responsible for his own legal fees. Not that a good legal defense really makes a difference anyway — the commissions have a 100 percent conviction rate when bringing a Christian before Canada’s human rights tribunals. In fact, they have a 100 percent conviction rate with every case they bring before the tribunal. Thus Father, who has already spent $20,000 on his legal defense, will be forced to appear before a tribunal of politically-correct government appointees who make up the rules as they go along. He is not even entitled to a public defender because the tribunals are not real courts, but quasi-judicial tribunals.
Yet if Father refuses to go along with this marsupial madness, he can be charged with contempt of court and face real jail time. All because he upheld Church teaching on something that nobody even questioned a generation ago, namely, that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.
So what can Fr. de Valk anticipate when he goes before Canada’s human rights tribunals? The answer is fourfold: 1) Thousands of dollars in fines; 2) An order to apologize to the homosexual activist who initiated the complaint against him; 3) An order to never again communicate the Church’s traditional teaching on moral issues — not only from the pulpit, but in the confessional as well; and 4) A prohibition from speaking out against the injustice of Canada’s “human rights” racket to which he was subjected.
The Pew Forum Documents the Crisis of Faith
Catholic World News (CWN) reports: “US Catholics tilt left, Pew survey finds.” The recent Pew Forum study under discussion “shows that many self-described American Catholics ignore Church teachings on both theological and social issues.”
In its follow-up report, comparing the beliefs and practices of America’s major religious groups, the Pew Forum found that 48% of Catholic respondents favor legal abortion (16% in all cases, 32% in most cases), while only 18% agree that abortion should always be illegal. A substantial majority of the Catholics polled — 58% — said that society should accept homosexuality.
On theological issues, only 16% of American Catholics believe that the Church is the one true means of salvation, the Pew Forum found. (By comparison, 36% of the Evangelical respondents chose that answer.) An overwhelming 79% of the Catholics said that many different faiths could lead to eternal life.
Reading that should alarm us. No matter how one slices and dices Church teaching, even the most tendentious reading of “no salvation outside the Church” cannot make it mean that “many different faiths could lead to eternal life” or that “the Church is [not] the one true means of salvation.” In other words, honesty, logic, and Faith forbid anyone to take the “no” out of “no salvation outside the Church.” Yet that is what 84% of “American Catholics” do.
Which leaves 16% who have not bowed their knees to the Baal of indifferentism. I am well familiar with the old quip about statistics — “There are lies, [darned] lies, and statistics” — and many polls seem carefully crafted to tell people what to think rather than to discover what they actually think. However, does the common experience of anybody really allow us to question these statistics, unless it be to challenge their optimism?
As a friend commented, “It’s just another bit of evidence showing why the Saint Benedict [Center] Crusade is more important than ever.” It certainly makes us feel that we have our work cut out for us. Ultimately though, it will be the Holy See, specifically the Holy Father, who champions the cause. His work is cut out for him, and now he needs our prayers and support perhaps more than ever.
“I don’t know how it happened, but I saw the Holy Father in a very big house, kneeling by a table, with his head buried in his hands, and he was weeping. Outside the house, there were many people. Some of them were throwing stones, others were cursing him and using bad language. Poor Holy Father, we must pray very much for him.” — Blessed Jacinta of Fatima