Fr. Roscia of Salt+Light on “the Lifesite crowd” and “EWTN viewers”

Do you remember what Hamlet told Polonius about the players when they come to Elsinore?

Good my lord, will you see the players well
bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used; for
they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the
time: after your death you were better have a bad
epitaph than their ill report while you live. (Hamlet II,ii.)

From the news site of a Canadian weekly The Catholic Register:



LifeSite accused of fuelling web war on Salt+Light
Thursday, 17 September 2009

Written by Michael Swan, The Catholic Register,

TORONTO – Salt+Light Television CEO Fr. Tom Rosica has reacted to daily threats against his life, reputation and ministry, blaming LifeSiteNews for stirring up “division, destruction, hatred, vitriol, judgment and violence.”

Since controversy erupted over Senator Ted Kennedy’s funeral in Boston, e-mails and blog postings directed at Rosica have included: “Your grave is dug”; “We will bring down your network”; “We will force you to resign”; and  “We will get the Vatican to rescind your appointment.” [You know… while those messages would be alarming for Fr. Roscia, they are not violent and they do not stir "hatred". People have a right to a "judgment" about the work Fr. Roscia does, and any other Catholic media outlet does.]

Rosica said his office phone messages have included threats and violent language. He called them “vile, vile phone calls.”  [Is that is true, that’s too bad.]

“My secretary is often with me when I download the (telephone) messages, and she says, ‘These are Catholics calling like this?’ ” Rosica told The Catholic Register.  [I can identify with that.]

The controversy started with posts on condemning Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley for allowing a large, televised funeral Mass for Sen. Kennedy, who supported abortion. LifeSiteNews readers began calling Salt+Light demanding it condemn the funeral. When Rosica refused to chime in on the condemnations, the threats began.  [People had the right to ask.  Didn’t they?  But there are the words and there is the music, too.]

“It’s a mixture of the LifeSite crowd, LifeSite subscribers combined with EWTN viewers who have now set themselves above the church,” said Rosica. ["the Lifesite crowd"?  And who are they?  "EWTN viewers"?  Hmmmm…..]

Rosica went public with his frustration over the threats and bullying in his own blog on and then in an interview on the Sirius Radio Catholic Channel newsmagazine show Across the Nation with Bob Dunning.

LifeSiteNews editor and co-founder John Henry Westen said it should not be blamed for overzealous, intemperate language of a few angry people.

“We’ve gone to great lengths at LifeSite to even develop a document on effective communications, because we know that when people — and sometimes good people, good pro-life people — see things that upset them they tend to go off,” Westen said.

The majority of the hundreds of postings to Rosica’s blog were respectful and charitable, said Weston.

Rosica’s condemnation of pro-life leaders and LifeSiteNews for the actions of a few rogue pro-life activists is uncalled for, he said.

“I’ve never heard this kind of language from a clergyman in public,” he said. “The language was so unbelievably cutting that it was something that I thought obviously wasn’t a reaction to what pro-life leaders of note put out.”

In an attempt to lower the temperature, LifeSiteNews has announced it will refrain from publishing further letters to the editor on the controversy.

Blogs and web sites such as LifeSiteNews have coarsened Catholic dialogue in recent years, said Catholic News Service director and editor-in-chief Tony Spence. [I believe that CNS is paid for by the USCCB.]

The blogosphere is full of venom and vitriol. [Not every corner.] Certainly there has been a notable loss of civility in the public square and public discourse,” Spence said from Washington.

While traditional Catholic newspaper publishers in North America belong to the Catholic Press Association and subscribe to the association’s fair publishing and practices code, including the standard practices of professional journalism, there are no such guidelines for web sites claiming to be Catholic.

Now everybody with a computer fancies himself a canon lawyer or a theologian,” said Spence. “Just because I have a blog, it does not make me a theologian, or a particularly good ecclesiologist — or even a good journalist.”  [I think he is nervous about blogs.]

Rosica, who sits on the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, questions whether LifeSiteNews has any notion of journalistic ethics[And we now arrive at the point…]

“When they run up against somebody they disagree with they condemn them and they do an ad hominem attack. It’s character assassination,” Rosica said.

“Our reports are accurate and to the point,” countered Westen.

Most LifeSiteNews reports end with e-mail addresses, phone numbers and other contact information, and a warning that communications should be respectful.

“Our mandate is to educate and to activate,” Westen said.

[Look at this… ] The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has scheduled a closed-door session on independent blogs and web sites claiming to be Catholic at its October plenary. Rosica said he also hopes the Pontifical Council on Social Communication takes up the issue.


They might start with the National Catholic Reporter… America… etc.


Do you remember what Hamlet told the players when they came to Elsinore?

Folks, we all know that some people – behind the screen of anonymity – click off that switch in their brains that allows them to self-edit, to exercise basic self-control, to consider their interlocutors with even a hint of charity. 

We know too that there are some really creepy people out there.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Gail F says:

    That is really terrible. But I just had two letters published to our city newspaper (NOT a Catholic site) and have had several really nasty comments in return — one saying that I am the sort of person who would have lit the wood under Joan of Arc’s pyre, one asking if my Church knew that I was writing letters to the editor and if so had they told me to go back to the kitchen and have a baby, and one saying that my stupid opinion was the result of brainwashing by 2000 years of institutionalized hatred of women. (Both letters were about why women cannot be ordained.) I didn’t get any threats but I would not be surprised if some came my way. It is unsettling to have such vitriol unleashed at me — at me personally, not my opinion, and sometimes not even at what my letters actually said!

    I agree that the internet in general seems to bring out a lot of crazies. I don’t know what can be done about that, if anything.

  2. Bill Haley says:

    “When they run up against somebody they disagree with they condemn them and they do an ad hominem attack. It’s character assassination,” Rosica said.

    It seems to me that Fr. Rosica is doing exactly what he condemns.

  3. Bruce says:

    Fr. Rosica said on his blog:

    “Leading up to the Kennedy funeral last weekend, and in its aftermath, 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, have revealed themselves to be not agents of life, but of division, destruction, hatred, vitriol, judgment and violence.”

    My question is, does this sound like he is criticizing the creepy people or pro-lifers in general?

  4. JayneK says:

    I think that the general atmosphere of incivility on the web is a much greater factor in the unpleasant comments to Fr. Rosica than any encouragement to such from Life Site News.

  5. NLucas says:

    “Folks, we all know that some people – behind the screen of anonymity – click off that switch in their brains that allows them to self-edit, to exercise basic self-control, to consider their interlocutors with even a hint of charity.”

    I’m very ambivalent about this whole issue. Yes, the ad hominem attacks and hiding behind anonymity have really coarsened the tone of discussion among Catholics of all persuasions. Yes, this is wrong.

    At the same time, though, I also remember the days when the only sources of information in America about what was really going on in the Church were from word of mouth, The Wanderer, and The Remnant. To question anything about liturgical change or Cardinal Bernardin’s “seamless garment” argument, or to suggest that Congressman Fr. Drinan’s pro-abortion politics might be counterproductive would, outside of those small circles, result in being classified as one of those “crazy aunts/uncles in the attic.” That was wrong, too.

    I’ve seen some blog commentary (from one who knows know him) to the effect that Fr. Rosica is more likely viscerally responding to the tactics of some of us pro-lifers than acting out of an ideological or political position, or support for what happened at the Kennedy funeral, for what its worth. (

    In Christ,

  6. BakerStreetRider says:

    I was kind of boggled by what Fr. Rosica said. I haven’t read anything vitriolic in lifesitenews. They criticized some people’s actions, but that hardly counts as vitriol, hatred, and destruction. Even Fr. Rosica himself criticizes the actions of others–case in point, what he said about lifesitenews. As far as I can tell, the only difference between lifesitenews and Fr. Rosica is that lifesitenews documents facts before reporting, whereas Fr. Rosica does not.

    Crazy comments are not exclusive to Catholic blogs. They are the norm anywhere, on any news site, even the most mainstream. It is naive to think that they are unique to orthodox Catholic blogs and sites.

    I know that Lifesitenews has a fairly large following. I don’t know if perhaps Fr. Rosica feels some professional jealousy over this? Or, perhaps he is being pressured by the Canadian Bishop’s Conference. Lifesitenews has blown the whistle on them in the past, for such things such as giving money to pro-abortion organizations. It wouldn’t surprise me if the conference wanted Lifesitenews gone. These are both only theories; I have no idea if they are true. But the whole thing is rather strange.

  7. Henry Edwards says:

    I don’t watch Salt and Light TV, but my understanding is that the network is solidly pro-life. In his much-viewed interview of Bishop Bernard Fellay, Fr. Rosica seemed faithful, open, polite, and sensible. I was therefore surprised to see him say

    I found the funeral, not to be as language says, “triumph or canonization or beatification” – it was the Church at her best, commending a sinful soul to God, and I would hope that the Church would do that for all of us.

    In the wide range of opinions expressed, I don’t recall anyone else suggesting that this funeral was “the Church at her best”.

  8. ljc says:

    Lets be clear about whats going on here. The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has called a closed door meeting on independant blogs and websites… You know who the president of the CCCB is, right? Archishop Weisgerber. Heard that name before? Thats because he was the individual at the center of the “Development and Peace” scandal, where a branch of the CCCB was giving money to pro-abortion groups. Know who was the whistle-blower on that scandal?
    Bishop Weisgerber is livid that LifeSiteNews uncovered the Development and Peace scandal, and he wants nothing more than to silence any online sites which might hold him accountable in the future.
    Archbishop Weisgerber took a swipe at Catholic websites earlier this year too. that article can be found here:

  9. PatrickV says:

    Creepy people are one of the reasons Father had to institute the sign on procedure.

    It is one thing to be righteous, and properly and lovingly correct a brother or sister, or just be a pinhead and send ad hominems, threats and anonymous drivel.

    Saint Paul gave us a clear instruction on how to act, and how to be a good Christian brother or sister and raise our concerns. Being a vituperative cretin is not in the mix.

    Whatever the Cardinal Bishop of Boston did or did not do with regard to Brother Edward Kennedy’s funeral rights is the business of the Cardinal Bishop. If we do not agree we need to respectfully offer our opinions. God’s Will will triumph, we should exercise prudence and humility and be good Christians. Christ will out, shed the hubris you want to don and trust in the Lord.

    Did I read something about the speck in mine own eye before commenting on the beam in my brother’s, or am I just missing something?

  10. JohnE says:

    Zenit publishes Fr. Rosica’s reflections on the upcoming Sunday readings, which had been done previously by Fr. Cantalamessa. I think they’re good for the most part, although there was a tone in a few of them that didn’t quite seem right — either in what he chose to emphasize or not emphasize or in how some things were stated. Anyway, whatever it was, when I heard the news of his criticism of Raymond Arroyo and LifeSiteNews, I was disappointed, but only mildly shocked.

  11. mibethda says:

    There is no doubt that some people who post on the internet are lacking in moderation. However, without seeing the specific items that raised Fr. Rosica’s hackles, it can only be speculation as to whether this is a case of immoderate posters or an excessively thin skinned recipient. Some comments that are characterized as vile are indeed vile, others are simply characterized as such as a useful strategem to discredit adverse positions. Both situations are unfortunately becoming increasingly common in our present day.

  12. William says:

    Incivility and bad manners are everywhere and always unacceptable. All of a sudden, however, they have become capital offenses. Enie, meanie, minie, moe catch a liberal by the toe; if he hollers, let him go! I don’t recall anybody invoking Emily Post during the eight years G.W. Bush was being savaged. For liberals (both political and church) a criticism or rebuke is a mortal wound.

  13. JosephMary says:

    It seems ironic that pro-life people are suddenly making death threats! Is that really so?

    And so there is an uncovered scandal tht has contributed to the attack on Life Site news; that is interesting? Retaliation?

    I do not know who this Fr. Rosica is and really I do not think I wish to; it seems he is the one making all the fuss here.

    If I had to stand in one camp or the other, I will go with the EWTN viewers (the millions and millions of them) and also the LifeSite news folks as well.

  14. JosephMary says:

    ps–also it seems that ‘incivility’ is the big new no-no. How dare anyone be uncivil! Yes, babies are being killed, but some would have you believe that the ‘incivility’ of the pro-lifers is the greater sin. Sorry, the taking of a life is a mortal sin and a perceived rudeness is not. Kind of like the sin of Sodom was just inhospitality.

  15. Seraphic Spouse says:

    I think Father Rosica made a pastoral blunder. I’m sorry he demonized LifeSite news by saying it was doing “the work of Satan.” It is also sad that Father Rosica made claims about the pro-life movement just when they were feeling at their most terrible, feeling betrayed by the Church hierarchy’s promotion of Ted Kennedy’s sanctity at his funeral.

    Quite obviously, pro-lifers are reviled by many, many people, and they turn to their priests for support. If bishops and priests no longer do their best to help and comfort pro-lifers in their work for the unborn, what are we to do?

    Meanwhile, having lived in the USA, I am horrified to see the progressive vs traditionalist culture war come to Canada. I wish this story had passed under everyone’s radar, including Father Z’s.

  16. Jordanes says:

    ljc said: The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has called a closed door meeting on independant blogs and websites… You know who the president of the CCCB is, right? Archishop Weisgerber. Heard that name before? Thats because he was the individual at the center of the “Development and Peace” scandal, where a branch of the CCCB was giving money to pro-abortion groups.

    I think you put your finger right on it. Frankly the CCCB needs to have a closed door meeting on whether or “Development and Peace” is really Catholic.

    Seraphic Spouse said: Meanwhile, having lived in the USA, I am horrified to see the progressive vs traditionalist culture war come to Canada.

    It’s better that culture war come to Canada than that the Canadian Church remain ensnared in stifling progressivism.

  17. Agnes says:

    The Kennedy funeral angered a lot of people, but venting and making threats *at a priest* is uncalled for. Take the high road, people. They need a level-headed explanation and a whole lot of prayer. Getting so out of sorts with this argument will only cause the powers-that-be to take a stab at controlling the Catholic blogosphere. I’m worried about what may come out of Canada.

    What can we do as the culture of death seems to take the upper hand? Proclaim the truth in all charity and give reason for our hope. DO NOT lose hope.

  18. Seraphic Spouse says:

    By the way, could someone explain for me the fascinations of the Kennedy family for American Catholics? American priests who now live in Canada seem to have it, too, and it seems so strange to me. I cannot for the life of me understand why, after all the revelations about Marilyn Monroe, that poor drowned woman, the Kennedy rapist, et al, American Catholics still look up to the Kennedy family and feel proud that they’re “Catholic.” The Borgias were Catholic, too, but nobody gives them unconditional admiration.

  19. Seraphic Spouse says:

    Oh, and to give Father Rosica some credit, Salt+Light is sponsoring 40 Days for Life, so check out their website, if you’re interested. I’ve met Father Rosica, and he’s the hot-tempered kind of guy that says exactly what’s on his mind, not necessarily in the most democratic way. There’s no question that he’s pro-life, and I’ve never heard that he’s progressive. He wears clericals everywhere, and he belongs to a Vatican commission on communications and media.

    His attacks on LifeSite news really surprised me. I don’t know what this is all about, but it seems to have begun with the Development and Peace scandal.

    I am sure that this can all be settled kindly, as long as all the Canadian players in the drama act and speak charitably to one another. Moderation is one of our old-fashioned Canadian traits and why we have never had a civil war (i.e. between English and French Canada.) The editor of LifeSite News wrote what I thought was a good and temperate defense of his site. And no-one can doubt that Father Rosica supports pro-life activities in Canada through his TV station.

  20. Seraphic Spouse says:

    Sorry, that should be “diplomatic”, not “democratic.”

  21. Seraphic Spouse says:

    Oh, and in case it’s read the wrong way (or I wrote it that wrong way), of course Father Rosica is pro-life. Nobody could doubt it.

  22. JayneK says:

    Seraphic Spouse,
    I don’t get a sense of this as part of the progressive vs traditionalist culture war. I first encountered Fr. Rosica years ago when he worked with the Newman Centre at University of Toronto. Later, he was prominent in the news here when he coordinated Toronto’s hosting of World Youth Day. Most recently, I know him as a friend of our pastor’s who occasionally comes to our parish as a guest homilist. In none of these contexts have I ever thought of him as a progressive or a traditionalist.

    I do not think I have ever read or heard him say anything that is doctrinally unsound. I did see him engage in some mild liturgical experimentation in his Newman Centre days, but this was a very long time ago. I have not seen anything problematic recently.

    My sense is that this is more personal and emotional than anything to do with larger movements in the Church. He was attacked and went on the defensive. It is understandable that a person might make intemperate or imprudent comments under such circumstances that are not tied to larger agendas.

  23. Mrs. O says:

    “You are welcome, masters; welcome, all. I am glad
    to see thee well. Welcome, good friends. O, my old
    friend! thy face is valenced since I saw thee last:
    comest thou to beard me in Denmark? What, my young
    lady and mistress! By’r lady, your ladyship is
    nearer to heaven than when I saw you last, by the
    altitude of a chopine. Pray God, your voice, like
    apiece of uncurrent gold, be not cracked within the
    ring. Masters, you are all welcome. We’ll e’en
    to’t like French falconers, fly at any thing we see:
    we’ll have a speech straight: come, give us a taste
    of your quality; come, a passionate speech.”

  24. Seraphic Spouse says:

    JayneK, I agree with you that the Catholic culture war is not really Father Rosica’s thing.

    What I meant is that the progressive vs traditionalist Catholic Culture War of the USA washed up on our doorstep once people began to demand that Salt + Light, a CANADIAN Catholic TV station attack the Kennedy funeral. That was wrong: why a Canadian Catholic station should give the Kennedys (an American, not Canadian, obsession) a second of airtime, good or bad, is a mystery to me. I’m sorry Fr. Rosica blogged on the funeral at all, but he is from upstate New York, so I supposed we must make allowances that an American Catholic might get sentimental about the Kennedys, even after years in Canada.

    In general, I would say that Fr. Rosica is a good and very useful priest. I remember him at the Newman, too.

    And that is all I am going to say, because this Lifesite vs Father Rosica vs Lifesite vs Catholic Register stuff could get worse, and really, I hope the whole thing blows over. The sooner the better!

  25. Mrs. O says:

    “I heard thee speak me a speech once, but it was
    never acted; or, if it was, not above once; for the
    play, I remember, pleased not the million; ’twas
    caviare to the general: but it was–as I received
    it, and others, whose judgments in such matters
    cried in the top of mine–an excellent play, well
    digested in the scenes, set down with as much
    modesty as cunning. I remember, one said there
    were no sallets in the lines to make the matter
    savoury, nor no matter in the phrase that might
    indict the author of affectation; but called it an
    honest method, as wholesome as sweet, and by very
    much more handsome than fine. One speech in it I
    chiefly loved: ’twas Aeneas’ tale to Dido; and
    thereabout of it especially, where he speaks of
    Priam’s slaughter: if it live in your memory, begin
    at this line: let me see, let me see–
    ‘The rugged Pyrrhus, like the Hyrcanian beast,’–
    it is not so:–it begins with Pyrrhus:–
    ‘The rugged Pyrrhus, he whose sable arms,
    Black as his purpose, did the night resemble
    When he lay couched in the ominous horse,
    Hath now this dread and black complexion smear’d
    With heraldry more dismal; head to foot
    Now is he total gules; horridly trick’d
    With blood of fathers, mothers, daughters, sons,
    Baked and impasted with the parching streets,
    That lend a tyrannous and damned light
    To their lord’s murder: roasted in wrath and fire,
    And thus o’er-sized with coagulate gore,
    With eyes like carbuncles, the hellish Pyrrhus
    Old grandsire Priam seeks.’
    So, proceed you.”

  26. amont says:

    Father Z,

    This report is quite fairly reflective of the very sad & sorry state of the Church in Canada. Naturally one does pray for better pastors ; but ohhhh how long and wearily we have waited for an answer to our prayers ! (perhaps we should petition the Holy See for a Visitation of the Canadian Church with Father Z as Grand Inquisitor ! -GRAND idea that )

  27. ejcmartin says:

    I wonder how the CCCB would feel about these events advertised on a local website claiming to be “Catholic”:

    “Autumn Equinox: Celebrating the Gifts of Nature and Life”

    “A Conference on Creation Spirituality”

    whose guest speaker wrote the following:

    “From the Stars to the Street: Engaged Wisdom for a Brokenhearted World; At the Edge of Our Longing: Unspoken Hunger for Sacredness and Depth; Lyrics for Re-Creation: Language for the Music of the Universe; Geo-Justice: A Preferential Option for the Earth; Earth Story, Sacred Story; Sacred Impulse: a Planetary Spirituality of Heart and Fire; Beauty, Wonder & Belonging A Book of Hours for the Monastery of the Cosmos”

  28. JayneK says:

    Seraphic Spouse,
    Thanks for clarifying. I share your indifference to the Kennedy funeral and your hopes that this all blows over.

    As you have said, there is no doubt that Fr. Rosica is pro-life, as any faithful Catholic is. It must have been very hurtful for him to have people questioning his commitment to protecting the unborn and to the Magisterium of the Church. I can imagine how I would feel if someone did that to me and can understand him lashing out at LifeSite in the heat of emotion. I am glad that they are trying to cool things down. It is so easy for this sort of thing to escalate.

  29. Mrs. O says:

    {on Shakespeare}
    I got it wrong.
    On that quote, he is charging the actor (players) to be well treated (as their treatment during that time left a lot to be desired). No?
    So, considering how many prolifers take the heat of the day…one prolifer just killed…Fr might be telling someone to be kind to the prolifers….but I could be wrong.

    It is ironic that this coming reading…

    35 And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, “If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”
    36 And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them,
    37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

  30. Buuuuut if Catholic bloggers are ignorant, whooooo was responsible for not teaching them?

    Hmm. Bishops… wasn’t there something about bishops….?

  31. JayneK says:

    John L Allen wrote on this situation too. See:

    This is his take:
    “With Rosica, the drumbeat stems from a pro-life website called “LifeSiteNews,” which prior to the Kennedy funeral invited readers to send protests to Cardinal Sean O’Malley in Boston. Some pro-life activists wanted Salt and Light to make a similar appeal to its viewers, which Rosica declined to do. He argued that it’s not the role of his network to put pressure on the bishops, and in any event, Salt and Light isn’t even an American operation.

    When Rosica wrote a commentary appealing for calm, LifeSite posted an article setting him in opposition to Raymond Arroyo, a news commentator for EWTN who was openly critical of the funeral. (For the record, Rosica says that Salt and Light actually has good relations with EWTN.) That piece, according to Rosica, generated more than 500 hostile messages from people whipped up by the “LifeSite” coverage – some so ugly and threatening that they couldn’t be published for fear of triggering legal repercussions.”

    Fr. Rosica’s complaints about this article seem pretty justified to me. I found its tone somewhat inflammatory. Most seriously, they gave it the headline: “Battle of the Catholic Stations: Salt and Light’s Fr. Rosica Rips EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo over Kennedy Funeral” However, well down into the article they reveal that:

    “The reference to “well-known colleagues in Catholic television broadcasting” was a thinly-veiled reference to EWTN News Director Raymond Arroyo.” In other words, Fr. Rosica did not even mention him by name and they are speculating that the comments referred to him at all. The LifeSite article is available at:

    This is Fr. Rosica’s blogpost which they are discussing:

  32. DMT says:

    LifeSiteNews has been a Godsend for Catholics in Canada.

    When we go to our Canadian bishops about dissident “Catholic” newspapers that are pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, anti-Pope, etc. and yet are being sold in Catholic parishes, or speakers invited to parishes who promote the same dissent, we’re told the Church has “room for all points of view.”

    When Catholic women, advised to have an abortion by a priest, go to a bishop to tell him that the local Catholic hospital is performing abortions because the diocesan “expert” moral theologian said it is fine, they say “I totally trust my priest’s judgment” and do nothing.

    When parents go to their bishop complaining that a pedophile priest had been shuffled around while he was a known molester, they are told “we have no idea what you’re talking about” and only admit it when a lawyer is contacted, or when a priest’s inappropriate sexual behaviour is reported, they are told “stop gossiping.”

    The list is endless….

    LifeSite was there to speak up on behalf on the laity, and then finally the bishops listened, they hated lifesite, but they listened and were forced to face what was going on. Many priests and bishops in Canada hate EWTN, how many times I’ve heard Catholics say they were told not to watch it.

    As far as threats, Lifesite has stated they are getting them, too. Fr. Rosica is just whining more about publicaly. There are lots of crazy nuts out there, but that’s life, that’s public life. Fr. Rosica should never have lashed out at pro-lifers who read lifesite or watch ewtn in general over it. That’s no different than those who write off the Church as being full of pedophiles.

    Fr. Rosica is a known as a progressivist, ladder climber. He wants to be a bishop and he’s trying to be the hero to snuff out LSN for exposing the dissident and weak bishops in Canada, bottom line. God help us! God bless Lifesite!

  33. JayneK says:

    Even a person as uninterested and uninvolved in hierarchical politics as I am has heard rumours pegging Fr. Rosica as a future bishop. I do not consider that sufficient reason to attribute bad motives to him. He is a very gifted man.

    I subscribe to LifeSiteNews and appreciate having a source of news from a pro-life perspective. But if their mission is to oppose bishops then I don’t want anything to do with them. Bishop are the teachers of the Church. They might not always do as good a job as we would like, but the solution is not setting up an alternative magisterium in EWTN or LSN.

  34. Seraphic Spouse says:

    DMT, out of curiosity, what are the names of these Canadian dissident papers? The Catholic New Times folded ages ago, and I was wondering who or what took its place.

  35. THREEHEARTS says:

    I would go as far as to say their is a lot of animosity still present, between LSN and the Canadian bishops. Lifesitenews did expose the problem of the Canadian bishops officially supporting pro abortion groups in Mexico and Columbia. They did print a letter from the Cardinal Archbishop of Peru or Chile asking them to stop. They did print photos of the pro aborts posters at a lobbying rally in Mexico. The catholic bishops did appoint some of their own to investigate. It was a whitewash as usual. The canadian bishops have never withdrawn the Manitoba Manifesto where they openly denied Humanae Vitae. As Fr John Hardon said at the time if their are not in heresy they are certainly schismatic. Fr Roica is hired and paid by the Canadian bishops so do not be surprised at a very vocal support on his part for his superiors.

  36. DMT says:


    If calling out bishops who are allowing abortion in Catholic hospitals, allowing pro-homosexual and pro-abortion speakers and literature in our parishes, pushing around pedophile priests, is wrong, then what on earth is right?

    If you are against opposing a bishop who allows abortions to continue in Catholic hospitals, who allows pro-abortion and pro-homosexual newspapers and speakers in the parishes, who allows pedophile priests to be let loose on innocent children, who allows parish money to groups who fund abortions and contraception, then you are a very dangerous person. I pray you don’t work for a diocese.

    EWTN and LSN are not magisteriums, that is ridiculous! The CCCB and Fr. Rosica are not the magisterium, either. Funny how the president of the CCCB often says, “it is the Bishops of Canada who decide what is Catholic.” This is very telling and what we have seen in Canada for years. The faith preached by most of our bishops is often not the same one we hear from the Pope, or read in the Catechism. As Catholics, we have a right and an obligation to defend and teach our Faith. This is what Fr. Rosica and the CCCB don’t like. Catholics in Canada are waking up and learning what the Church teaches, and seeing the fraudulent garbage they have been fed for years.

  37. DMT says:


    It was thanks to Lifesite news that the Catholic New Times went bankrupt after exposing how many bishops were knowingly letting be sold in parishes. The faithful reading LSN started demanding the garbage paper not be allowed in their parishes.

  38. THREEHEARTS says:

    By the way I send all my blogs to the Canadian Conference of Bishops with a copy to Archbishop Weisberger. I doubt that they are welcomed. I fully expect to hear from him. If you want to see the all the dreadful attributes of the Novus Ordo, try the Archbishop of Winnipeg’s High Mass on Sundays.
    Mike Hurcum

  39. DMT says:

    I wonder what kind of ridiculous guidelines the CCCB will try to put out for Canadian bloggers and websites. If they employ their typical tricks, they will overstep their authority. They’re only liberal when it’s something they agree with, of course.

  40. JayneK says:

    I thoroughly I agree with you that sins to which you object are great evils. I disagree that these sins have as much support among bishops as you seem to think.

    I am in Toronto diocese where we are blessed to be led by Archbishop Collins. Perhaps this colours my attitude. But also I have reason to doubt some of what I have seen in LSN.

    One bishop whom they have criticized lately is Bishop Fabbro of London (Ontario). I know him. He was one of my favourite professors back before he became a bishop. There was never the slightest shadow on his faithfulness or orthodoxy. So I do not find the accusations against him very credible.

    And don’t worry about me working for a diocese. I stay home and look after my children so my corrupting influence is limited to them. :)

  41. Seraphic Spouse says:

    Manitoba Manifesto? Er, I think you mean the Winnipeg Statement, Threehearts, which was more of a watering down of Humanae Vitae than an outright rejection.

    DMT, I didn’t realize that LifeSite had been around that long! I will have to find their stuff on the Catholic New Times. That’s very interesting indeed.

  42. ljc says:

    I think the key word to keep in mind regarding the Church in Canada is accountability… or lack thereof. With very few exceptions, there is absolutely no accountability for Priests or Bishops. Priests are free to do whatever they want, however they want, however heretical it may be, without ever having to worry about being reprimanded by a Bishop. Likewise Bishops can enact the most ridiculous liberal policies, permit countless liturgical abuses and heresies being taught in their Dioceses, and they will never have to answer for a single thing. I realize that there a small number of good Bishops here, (and by small I mean they can be counted on one hand,) but they are a drop in the bucket and are by far the exception rather than the rule. LifeSiteNews has brought accountability to this country, though on a small scale, and the Bishops simply cannot handle this. They will do everything in their power to make sure that they are never held accountable for the horrible state of the Church in Canada.

  43. Agnes says:

    “If calling out bishops who are allowing abortion in Catholic hospitals, allowing pro-homosexual and pro-abortion speakers and literature in our parishes, pushing around pedophile priests, is wrong, then what on earth is right?”

    It’s just about presenting the argument charitably. GK Chesterton had the ability to call a man an idiot in the nicest way imaginable and still get the point across!

    Kennedy is dead, the funeral is over, God help him, time to move on.

  44. JayneK says:

    Bishops are accountable to the Pope and ultimately to God, not to LifeSiteNews.

  45. FrancisJoseph says:

    I was shocked and disappointed to hear him characterize LifeSiteNews as doing the “work of satan”. LifeSiteNews covers a lot of important news you simply don’t see elsewhere.

  46. Norah says:

    What a pity that Faithful Catholics are fighting Faithful Catholics and airing their disagreements publicly in the media. Those who claim to be Catholic and dissent from the magisterium never take their disagreements with one another, if they have any, to the public arena; they present a united front.

    Here is Australia as well as the Fr Kennedy scandal we have a 75 year old priest complaining to the media that his archbishop expects him to retire. The archbishop has unfortunately responded by revealing some details about parish administration which should be handled in house.

  47. Leonius says:

    When you act in a scandalous way do not be surprised that people act scandalised and outRAGED is the lesson here.

    None of this would have happened if he wasn’t trying to play the fame and politics game and had not allowed idolatry of Kennedy to take place in a Catholic place of worship.

    Idolatry angers even the angels.

    “Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious, it is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops, like bishops, and your religious act like religious.” Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen

  48. Leonius says:

    “Kennedy is dead, the funeral is over”

    But Agnes the men who caused this scandal remain.

  49. Leonius says:

    “GK Chesterton had the ability to call a man an idiot in the nicest way imaginable and still get the point across!”

    Not everyone has the gift of wit Chesterton did, but all can feel pain and simpler men express this pain in simpler ways.

  50. DMT says:

    Anyone has the right to confront evil, and those who are turning a blind eye to it or helping in it, in print, online, or by word of mouth.

    Many Canadian Catholics have had to go to the secular press even to stop child molesters from being passes around parish to parish. It works, and if a bishop refuses to uphold Catholic teaching and allows evil to continue, sometimes we are desperate to find a way to stop it. And when it comes to the evil of abortion, the promoting of it in Catholic churches or allowing it to continue at a Catholic hospital, surely God would wish for us to use any moral means possible when a bishop does nothing.

    The bishops are accountable to uphold the Catholic faith. If they don’t do it, and most of our bishops in Canada so NOT, the faithful have a right to confront them on it. Many Catholics in Canada have sent letters to the CCCB, Papal Nuncio, even to Rome, often only to either receive no reply, or like one I’ve received from the Papal Nuncio “keep up the discussion with your bishop”, how ridiculous, especially since I informed him that my bishop refused to discuss it any further and it was a matter of abortion, homosexuality, being promoted at parishes, and the bishop said “there are different views of things”.

    For crying out loud, our Catholic schools in Canada are promoting abortion and homosexuality and our bishops do nothing, they have been contacted countless times.

    If a bishop supports abortion, contraception, homosexual lifestyles, etc, these are against the natural law which is applicable to all men, anyone has the right to call them on these things.

  51. DMT says:

    Here’s what I think perhaps Fr. Rosica and the CCCB are after:

    1) Shut down Lifesitenews.
    2) Try to shut up Catholic bloggers from speaking out on scandals, and try to limit their ability to share and teach others the truths of the Catholic faith, especially Catholic teaching on the topics of abortion and homosexuality.
    3) Get EWTN banned from being available in Canada.

    One more thing, Fr. Rosica’s initial attack was written as a result of Catholics speaking out about the scandal of the Kennedy funeral. In his first screech, he attacked pro-lifers pretty viciously. Before that, no one had even mentioned Fr. Rosica, he came out of nowhere with both fists flying. This caused LifeSite, and many other major Catholic blogs and websites by the way, which he fails to go after, wonder why?, like Catholic Culture and Inside Catholic, plus many smaller ones, to come to the defense of Catholic pro-lifers.

    Does anyone know if Fr. Rosica is 100% against abortion, even for rape, incest, or the life/health fo the mother? Just wondering because many of our Canadian priests and bishops think some babies are not worthy of being born. (Don’t bother jumping on me “oh, how offensive to ask that about a priest who says he pro-life and goes to the 40days for life, blah, blah!” I know for a fact there are priests who go to these things and even call themselves “pro-life” who think some abortion is okay.)

  52. Seraphic Spouse says:

    DMT, from reading comments over at Salt + Light, I found the testimony Jewish couple who helped fund Fr. Rosica’s own initiatives in helping young women with unplanned pregnancies. This happened at the Newman Centre in Toronto, and Fr. Rosica talked to the young ladies themselves in the nice coffee shop that used to be in the cellar.

    I’m not a friend of Father Rosica’s, and I think he made a serious diplomatic (and pastoral) error in coming out against American pro-lifers “with fists flying”. He has offended all kinds of people in the past with his blunt ways. He once annoyed me very much, but on the other hand, he once slashed a Newman Centre price tag for an event I organized there. He’s not perfect, but he can be very kind and, as the Jewish couple testified, he was partly responsible for saving real, specific babies to real, specific women.

    Annoying? Occasionally. But I have never heard a single word against his orthodoxy and commitment to the Gospel of Life.

  53. Seraphic Spouse says:

    Incidentally, I can’t accept that the Canadian bishops are as black as you have painted them. I’m reminded of something Dorothy Day–who was completely orthodox, unlike many of her followers–said about the Archbishop of New York, with whom she was butting heads. She forbade her friends at Catholic Worker to say bad things about him, for he was “the Vicar of Christ in New York.”

    It might be helpful to think of every bishop as a St. Peter. Sometimes St. Peter is brave, sometimes St. Peter isinspired, and sometimes St. Peter is a weak man who doesn’t know what to do, or has bad advisors, and needs a good, strong letter from St. Paul. But he’s still St. Peter, if you see what I mean.

    Pax tecum!

  54. rwprof says:

    There is a prayer vigil coming up outside the local abortion mill. I will be there with the priests and deacons of my parish (and others), praying alongside local Catholics, and even some Protestants.

  55. JayneK says:

    Fr. Rosica did not attack pro-lifers in general. He is a pro-lifer. He attacked pro-lifers whose methods and actions (in his opinion) weaken the pro-life cause. He makes a good case that attacking bishops should not be part of the pro-life movement.

    The office of bishop is always deserving of respect, whatever the failings of any specific bishop. Fr. Rosica is right to come down strong on Catholics who lose sight of this.

    Rash judgment is the sin of assuming the moral fault of others *without sufficient foundation*. The blogosphere is full of this sin and it is often directed at bishops.

    The office of bishop includes the functions of overseer and teacher. When a blog styles itself as a Catholic one, it is appropriate that it come under episcopal oversight, much in the way that Catholic educational institutions do. They should be accountable for their orthodoxy and loyalty to the Magisterium.

  56. Clinton says:

    I’m a bit confused. We have Catholic hospitals that provide the full gamut of “reproductive services” under their roofs — there’s one
    such in my home town. That, evidently, is not a problem. We have several Catholic papers and journals that are notoriously tendentious
    and sloppy in their reporting. To my knowledge, the hierarchy has let these organs operate with impunity. We have colleges and
    universities “in the Catholic tradition” that openly mock and ignore Ex Corde Ecclesiae — yet our bishop’s conference seems content
    with the situation. We have politicians who describe themselves as “ardent, practicing Catholics” yet bear a 100% NARAL approval
    rating. Close to 40 years after Roe v. Wade our bishops still can come up with neither a coherent response nor the will to back it up.

    So, I cannot understand the sudden fit of hand-wringing over blogs that describe themselves as Catholic. If hospitals, papers, schools
    and politicians may describe themselves as Catholic regardless of their very public actions to the contrary, then it seems only fair that
    blogs should enjoy the same license. If, however, our bishops are concerned about persons and organizations creating scandal by
    acting in a way that gives the lie to their Catholic self-description then I would respectfully submit that Their Excellencies have a great
    deal of work to do to make themselves believable.

  57. JayneK says:

    The Bishops of the Church do indeed have a great deal of work to do. They need our prayers, not our condemnation.

  58. Bruce says:

    “Rash judgment is the sin of assuming the moral fault of others without sufficient foundation.”

    JayneK, in my opinion this is exactly what Fr. Rosica did.

    “Fr. Rosica did not attack pro-lifers in general. He is a pro-lifer. He attacked pro-lifers whose methods and actions (in his opinion) weaken the pro-life cause.”

    Who are these pro-lifers whose methods and actions (in his opinion) weaken the pro-life cause? Why did Fr. Rosica not name them?

  59. JayneK says:

    I would guess that Fr. Rosica did not name them because he wished to avoid personal attacks. He was trying to discuss general principles of how we should behave. I think that he would have been more effective if he had modelled the charitable and civil language that he was exhorting others to use.

    But while he “loses points for style” as it were, he made a good point. When we pro-lifers attack bishops and each other it reduces our ability to communicate our vital message.

  60. Clinton says:

    JayneK, believe me when I say our bishops have my prayers. I’m not the sort who reveres a bishop only if he’s smiting people I
    don’t like. Nor am I one of those “armchair bishops” who presumes to know from my seat on the sidelines how every episcopal play
    should have been made. I’m sure I’m ignorant of many of the considerations that affect their actions and inactions. I have some small
    grasp of the enormity and complexity of their job. I have a complete grasp of the fact that I am not a bishop.

    That being said, surely you can appreciate the need for our bishops to articulate why it is that persons and organizations that persist
    in public actions that give the lie to their self-description as Catholic are handled as they are. As you noted earlier, one of a bishop’s
    roles is that of teacher. I do not ask that the bishop’s conference do as I wish, but I wish they would explain why they act as they do.

    I still stand by my initial observation that if a bishop’s conference is concerned about blogs creating scandal by acting in ways that
    contravene their identity as Catholic, then to be believable the conference must also be seen to address the larger issue of Catholic
    identity among public persons and organizations.

  61. JayneK says:

    I like your expression “armchair bishop”. :)
    You are right that bishops need to address those issues which are a cause of scandal to the faithful. In my archdiocese (Toronto) this is happening and I do not know enough about any others to be entitled to an opinion.

  62. DMT says:

    A great article written by Fr.Euteneuer, President of Human Life International

    No Deal, Fr. Rosica

    Fr. Thomas Rosica, director of the Salt and Light Catholic Television Network in Canada, recently wrote a shameless condemnation of pro-life people who objected to the August 28th Canonization in Boston, more commonly known as the funeral of Senator Edward Kennedy. Fr. Rosica had a problem with good Catholics being scandalized by the public funeral of a man who lived his life utterly rejecting the Church’s core principles. There was absolutely no recognition of the heroism of the thousands of faithful Catholics who have stood on the front lines of this battle for many decades or of the marvelous contribution that we have made to saving babies and witnessing to the Truth of Christ. Unfortunately, Father’s criticism simply feeds the flames of anti-life sentiment against pro-lifers and ultimately against the sanctity of human life.

    Now, the first of his many ironies was that, in condemning pro-lifers, Father was attempting to convince his readers not to condemn anyone. He reads the Scripture passage, “judge not lest ye be judged” with a bit of jaundice. He called pro-lifers all kinds of names that could have come right out of Planned Parenthood’s verbiage for us, and he even insinuated in a subsequent interview that, of all people, EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo was somehow part of this “uncharitable” problem in the Church because Raymond spoke out forcefully against the Kennedy scandal. Then he attacked the best pro-life news organization in the business, LifeSiteNews, saying that they were doing “the work of the devil” in shining the spotlight on this travesty. If this is the Gospel model of non-judgmentalism, I am reading the Good Book wrong.

    Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Luther pastor who was killed in the Nazi Holocaust, called this kind of sell-out “cheap grace” because it costs the pious churchman absolutely nothing to say it. In fact it must apparently feel real good because so many of them indulge in it. Let these churchmen try disciplining “Catholic” dissenters who scandalize Christ’s faithful, and they would see the value of their grace increase in proportion to their suffering at the hands of these renegades.

    Worst of all is that people with this strange ethic of non-judgmentalism apply a standard of mercy to public Catholic reprobates that is never applied to the aborted children who will not get a funeral or graveside service offered by prelates reading pious sentiments from a very strange gospel book. What Fr. Rosica’s denunciations have thus highlighted for us is the extent to which the “judge not lest ye be judged” ethic reigns in ecclesiastical circles, and for that reason our Church is in trouble. Those who come out of a non-judgmentalism Gospel ethic, lay and cleric alike, will have nothing to offer our suffering souls in the darkness that is even now hovering over our Church like a black shroud. The pagan world is already coming after all that we hold dear and sacred, and if the murder of pro-lifer James Pouillon last week is any indication, they will soon be doing so with a vehemence that we have not experienced in our land since the days of the North American Martyrs.

    To the ethic of hypocritical diatribes that defame pro-lifers, I can only say, “No deal, Father Rosica.” Anyone who will use “non-judgmentalism” against faithful Catholics needs to wake up and smell the gunpowder on Jim Pouillon’s pro-life t-shirt. The Church stands with all men and women of good will against the increasingly pagan and violent culture that militates against us and our values. Those who use this ethic to keep the Church totally unprepared for battle need more than a re-reading of Scripture. They need a good kick in the back end and a refresher course on Catholic bravery which St. Paul tells us makes us “strong, loving and wise.” (2 Tim 1:7-8)

  63. mpm says:


    Thanks for posting Fr. Euteneuer’s words. I think he got it just about right.

    For me, one of the great failings of the Church in my lifetime has been its abandoning our intellectual tradition, where one is taught to make distinctions. Fr. Euteneuer makes the proper distinctions.

  64. This whole matter has been an absolute embarassment for the Church here in Toronto; I am sure Father Rosica wishes that he took a different road, that of the mother of all virtues–prudence!

  65. DMT says:

    Fr. Rosica’s resignation from Salt and Light should be called for if there is to be any sense of justice in all of this. He has hurt a lot of good people. A public apology and resignation would be a good start to healing.

    Hopefully, Archbishop Collins makes a statement of apology on behalf of his priest, I think he should. It seems, his Bishop should have been on top of Fr. Rosica’s attacks, puting an end to them after the first time.

  66. Bear says:

    This has become a power struggle and I am sure that this will divide the bishops who discuss this behind closed doors. I’m also aware that Rome has taken an interest in this issue. A mitre for Fr. Rosica may become a bit more difficult to achieve.

  67. JayneK says:

    “In an attempt to lower the temperature, LifeSiteNews has announced it will refrain from publishing further letters to the editor on the controversy.”

    However LSN is publishing a “special Newsbytes section for several more significant comments on the Kennedy funeral/Fr. Rosica issue.” These comments all just happen to be in support of LSN’s position. I suppose that the one’s that disagree are not significant.

    This casts doubt both on how serious they are about “lowering the temperature” and about presenting news fairly.

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