Catholic World News

Canadian academic discusses rising anti-Catholicism

November 26, 2013

In an op-ed piece that appeared in Canada’s most popular newspaper, a Canadian academic wrote that her ideas are increasingly being dismissed simply because she is Catholic.

Margaret Somerville is founding director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law and the Samuel Gale Professor of Law at McGill University, one of Canada’s leading universities.

“I’ve been a participant in the public square for more than thirty years and have never argued from a religious base in presenting ethical and legal analyses of the issues with which I deal,” wrote Somerville. “So why was this seeming expansion of labelling me as Roman Catholic occurring now?”

“It’s a ‘label and dismiss’ strategy,” she added. “People, who cannot tolerate religion – indeed, they despise and are hostile to it – try to suppress the voices of people they perceive as religious, and their arguments and views with which they disagree, by using a ‘derogatorily label the person and dismiss them on the basis of that label’ approach. For them, calling a person religious is highly derogatory. This strategy allows them to eliminate their opponents’ arguments, without needing to deal with the substance of those arguments.”

“In light of such attacks, the decision of the editors of some of the world’s leading medical journals to require that authors reveal their religious affiliations in their conflict of interest disclosures, which are published with the authors’ articles, can be seen as surprising and probably not wise,” she continued.


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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Nov. 27, 2013 8:06 AM ET USA

    Canada is no longer a civilized nation, or a democratic one, and should be expelled from the British Commonwealth. It is a nation that does not tolerate its Christian minority, and in that respect it is no different from any Muslim country, or indeed Soviet Russia.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Nov. 26, 2013 7:35 PM ET USA

    As Canada goes, so goes the U.S. Prayer and constant political vigilance are our only options.

  • Posted by: Mike in Toronto - Nov. 26, 2013 7:09 PM ET USA

    I do believe that reader jg23753479 has overlooked the federal Conservative government in power in Canada since 2006 -- not exactly defenders of the faith, but hardly left, or far-left, or "declared enemies of everything the Catholic Church stands for." Quebec? Yes, unfortunately; but "across the land?" Nope.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Nov. 26, 2013 7:54 AM ET USA

    McGill is in Quebec Province, and there is perhaps no more anti-Catholic territory on earth than la (once) Belle Province; Canada itself has become in turn a bleak, post-Christian desert where the Church is constantly on the defensive. Across the land north of us there is really only one brand of viable politics, Left-wing; there is the Left and the Far-Left, and both are the declared enemies of everything the Catholic Church stands for.