Click here to advertise on

the usual suspects

By Diogenes (articles ) | Mar 02, 2006

Questioned about the 19 priests from Quebec who published a letter attacking the Church's teaching on homosexuality, John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter wonders why it's a big deal:

These 19 signatories are the usual suspects. There is no name on that list that would just shock you. There is nobody of any rank on that list that would surprise you that they would sign such a letter. It is the usual crowd writing about the usual things.
All too true. The priests involved in this caper have been consistently dissenting from Church teachings for years now; it's no longer the least bit surprising to anyone who has been paying attention.

But what about people who haven't paid attention? What about the naive Catholics who presume that, when they visit their local parish, the homily will faithfully reflect what the Church teaches, and what they need to hear as they work toward their own salvation? John Allen gets that point, too:

But there is an expectation that if someone is teaching, preaching or publishing in the name of the Church, they should not add to the confusion of what Church teaching actually is.

There's one time-tested method of ensuring that parish preaching matches Catholic orthodoxy. It's called a bishop-- that is, one who accepts his responsibility.

John Allen is right; it's really not news when priests reject Church teaching. You can probably find it happening any given Sunday in a parish near you. It's commonplace. But when a bishop does his duty, that should be a headline story.

Oh, wait; I spoke too soon. A Canadian bishop has responded to the dissidents' statement. "It's not an earthquake," said Bishop Louis Dicaire.

"They're exercising their right to public expression," he added, "although one could question whether it's the best way to advance the debate."

Ah. Yes. One could question that. Indeed. Everybody clear now?

Now we know that we can attend Mass at any parish in Quebec, knowing that if the local pastor encourages worship of Baal, we can confidently expect the bishop to intervene promptly-- well, more or less promptly-- and question whether that priest has chosen the best way to advance the debate.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our September expenses ($33,805 to go):
$35,000.00 $1,194.54
97% 3%
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 6 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Mar. 06, 2006 1:56 PM ET USA

    To Have you talked to the priest at La Salette in downtown Montreal? I believe that's a missionary parish and my impression was the priest there is Orthodox - in fact I witnessed an "attack" on the parish one morning where some poor misguided soul had committed a sacrilege with holy cards. I'm hoping, hoping and praying for Quebec - which was once the cradle of Catholicism. Visit there now and its a haven of everything and all things secular. Bl Br Andre pray for us and Quebec!

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Mar. 03, 2006 9:19 PM ET USA

    Get out the bulldozer.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 03, 2006 7:42 AM ET USA

    Now priests have the right to publically dissent from Church teaching!! They swore to obedience. Doesn't obedience take a higher priority?

  • Posted by: Opa - Mar. 02, 2006 1:15 PM ET USA

    Lord have mercy on us! It does get confusing....and amusing, does'nt it? Diogenes is truly amazing!

  • Posted by: - Mar. 02, 2006 10:34 AM ET USA

    I’m reading a letter from a former bishop: “am doing my best to follow out the 1986 instruction of the CDF “On the Pastoral care of Homosexual Persons”” But not one comment on THE logical reason for not having such priests in diocesan priesthood: CDF #15 -“A truly pastoral approach will appreciate the need for homosexual persons to AVOID the near occasions of sin.” Now ask yourself: what will likely happen when two such end up in the occasion of the same, private parish house? Who’s at fault?

  • Posted by: - Mar. 02, 2006 10:07 AM ET USA

    Dear Uncle Diogenes, Québec needs a good and joyful (You're supposed to know that by now!) But more importantly, I have been looking for over 2 years, and still have not found, ONE SIGNLE PRIEST in Québec who was willing to put in writing, on the Internet, that he **agrees** with the teachings of the Church! Right now, its "19 to 0" for the bad guys. Even Opus Dei Priests are in hiding...

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on

Recent Catholic Commentary

Famous actors bring the New Testament to dramatic life in this audio Bible 14 hours ago
Preparing for the Jubilee of Mercy 16 hours ago
Final Liturgical Year volume for 2014-2015 now available August 31
Church Fathers: The Third Century and the School of Alexandria August 29
Every Aspect of the Catholic Thing August 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: welcome with compassion those who have remarried outside the Church CWN - August 5
Pope Francis: SSPX priests will licitly and validly absolve sins during Jubilee of Mercy CWN - September 1