Monday, August 7, 2006

A Papal scolding in store for Canadian Bishops?

LifeSiteNews out of Canada is carrying an article about the upcoming ad limina visit the Canadian Bishops will have with Pope Benedict - something which occurs every 5 years.

Here it is in part....

Ontario Catholic Bishops to be Scolded by Pope? Some hope so.
LifeSiteNews documents reasons why scolding would be hoped for by faithful Catholics

In Depth Report
By Steve Jalsevac and Hilary White

All is Not Ok With Canadian Church

TORONTO, August 2, 2006 ( – The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest circulation daily newspaper, published an Aug. 3 story, “Bishops expect papal scolding”, that has been receiving international attention. The article implies that Canada’s Catholic bishops are seen by the Vatican under Pope Benedict XVI as having been negligent in their duty to evangelize in an increasingly secular Canada.

The Ontario Catholic bishops are expected in Rome for their “ad limina” visit, the meetings with the pope made every five years by bishops from around the world. The Star’s Stuart Laidlaw says the bishops are expecting to be pushed for greater evangelization by Benedict and scolded for the growing secularism within the Church and the nation.

The star quotes Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops (OCCB) president Bishop Richard Smith who states he “wouldn’t be surprised,” if the Pope were to touch upon the secularism theme. Smith, however, takes the usual tack of Canada’s Catholic bishops in brushing over any suggestion of serious problems within the Church itself.

“It is something that is part of our reality in Ontario as well," Smith told the Star. “In the church there are many people of faith who love the church and are deeply committed. But it is a society as a whole that is tending toward a secularist outlook.”

The Star cited Pope Benedict’s admonition to the Atlantic bishops in the spring during their ad limina, about the need to evangelize and the dangers of rampant Canadian secularism, a statement which was taken in the press as a public dressing down.

Despite Bishop Smith’s bland assertion that all is well within Canadian Catholicism, however, recent events indicate a very different conclusion. In statements, actions and inactions, the Canadian Catholic institution has shown itself to be among the most secularized in the world. The indifference or even hostility of Catholic officials to Catholic teaching, particularly on life and family issues, is axiomatic among faithful Catholics in Canada.

Dissident Priests, Religious Openly Support Homosexuality

In January 2006, a letter issued by the Canadian Religious Conference, the organization representing Canada’s consecrated nuns and monks, sisters, brothers and priests in 230 religious orders, revealed a deep rejection by the orders of the Church’s moral teachings and the male only priesthood. The letter called on the bishops, in preparing for their ad limina visits to Rome, to consider a greater openness to homosexuality, divorce, contraception and even assisted suicide. (see

Although the letter implied that Canadian Catholics should separate themselves from the Church’s central magisterial authority, no members of the Canadian Catholic episcopate publicly reprimanded the organization or strongly refuted the document. "We regret”, said the letter, “the unconditional alignment of our Church with directives issued from Rome.”

Three months after the letter was issued and three days after it was first made public by, two Quebec Cardinals, Jean-Claude Turcotte of Montreal and Marc Ouellet of Quebec City, expressed some disagreement with the letter. They did not strongly rebuke the letter writers or condemn the contents of the openly dissident document. Cardinal Turcotte in fact even assured the CRC, “We will bring to Rome the concerns that our people have”. The strongest statement that Cardinal Ouellet could make was that “The majority of the 4000 members of religious orders in my diocese would not approve what is written in the document of the CRC”.

Earlier this year, 19 priests in the Archdiocese of Montreal, in an open letter in LaPresse newspaper, defied their promises of celibacy, extolled the homosexual lifestyle and called upon the Catholic Church to abandon its teaching on sexual purity. Cardinal Turcotte, who has repeatedly refused to take serious disciplinary action against publicly rebellious clergy merely shrugged off the letter saying, “We are used to a certain amount of disagreement (in the Church).” (

Continue reading Papal Scolding...

It wouldn't be the first time. One only needs to look at how the Austrian Bishops were taken out to the woodshed last year. A few highlights are below, brought forward from the blog of Sandro Magister last year.

Here is Pope Benedict....

....It is true that we bishops must act with discretion. Nevertheless, this prudence must not prevent us from presenting the Word of God in all its clarity, including those things that are heard less willingly or that consistently provoke reactions of protest and derision. [And Papa is leading by example here]...

...You, dear brothers in the episcopacy, know this well: there are some topics relating to the truth of the faith, and above all to moral doctrine, which are not present in the catechesis and preaching of your dioceses to a sufficient extent, and which sometimes, for example in pastoral outreach to youth in the parishes or groups, are either not confronted at all or are not addressed in the clear sense understood by the Church. Thanks be to God, it is not like this everywhere...

...Perhaps those who are responsible for the proclamation [of the Gospel] are afraid that people may draw back if they speak too clearly. However, experience in general demonstrates that it is precisely the opposite that happens. Don’t deceive yourselves! Catholic teaching offered in an incomplete manner is a contradiction of itself and cannot be fruitful in the long term....

Nothin' but net from the 3 point line!