05 March 2011

Two solitudes

I stopped reading the National Post when they misreported the pope's comments about condom use; however, someone told me I should read the article Two solitudes. This article gets somethings right and somethings wrong. Actually, the things it gets right contradict what it gets wrong.

Near the beginning of the article is this quote:
It [the lawsuit between Fr. Raymond Gravel and LifeSiteNews.com] pits two extremes of Canadian Catholicism against each other, a rebel priest claiming he has been defamed by a take-no-prisoners pro-life news service. And as Father Gravel sees it, his reputation has suffered because he has been falsely portrayed as an abortion advocate. "The plaintiff is against abortion and considers human life to be sacred," he states in a court document, adding later: "The plaintiff sincerely believes that human life begins with conception."

Later in the article is this quote:
His entry into politics -representing a party that favours gay marriage and is resolutely pro-choice -came less than a year after he and 18 other Quebec priests had published an open letter criticizing the Vatican's opposition to gay marriage and the ordination of homosexuals.

A year earlier, he had given an interview to the Montreal gay newspaper Fugues, describing how he left home at 16 and fell into prostitution and drug use. He eventually pulled his life together and entered the seminary in 1982. In the interview he was frank about his disagreements with the Church. "It should be more open, more welcoming, more tolerant and more revolutionary," he said, adding that he was disappointed with the election of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI. He said it was Cardinal Ratzinger who had written to the bishop of Joliette warning that Fr. Gravel would face punishment if he persisted in publicly questioning Church doctrine on abortion and gay marriage.

At the very least, Fr. Gravel's views on abortion are too nuanced for the pro-life movement's liking. He was attacked during his time as an MP for opposing a private member's bill introduced by Conservative MP Ken Epp, which would have created a separate offence for killing an unborn child during the commission of a crime. Some saw the bill as a first step toward criminalizing abortion. He also wrote an article defending the 2008 awarding of the Order of Canada to abortion rights crusader Henry Morgentaler.

The first quote says that the lawsuit "pits two extremes of Canadian Catholicism against each other." I guess it could be said that LifeSiteNews is a Catholic extreme; however, the second quote clearly shows that Fr. Gravel is not a Catholic extreme, but a dissenter from the Catholic Church. His view on homosexuality and abortion are not compatible with Catholic teaching.

Fr. Gravel chooses to accept some Catholic teachings, and chooses to reject other Catholic teachings. This is the definition of heresy or the very least heterodoxy. This is not going too far to say this because it could also be said of a married couple using contraception.

The only reason LifeSiteNews could be called a Catholic "extreme" is because only 20% of Catholics actually follow all of the Church's teachings. Sadly, to be truly Catholic means being an extreme because most "Catholics" are not truly Catholic.

The National Post will continue to contradict itself, dissenting Catholic will continue to reject Church teachings, and true Catholic will continue to be an extreme.

"The world awoke with a groan to find itself Arian."
-St. Jerome