In keeping with Oscar season, for those who follow that sorta thing, I’ll begin with a quote from famed actor Max Von Sydow who once proclaimed, “In Hollywood, they usually cast me as villains or priests.”
As we’ve come to know, sometimes they are one and the same.
This is a story – more or less – about three priests, two of whom are suffering immensely from saintly conduct. Another, who continues – to this day – to be downright villainous in his behaviour against a group of stalwarts for the faith, a band of brothers, and sisters, who have made it their prime objective to champion religious liberty and freedom, as only God gives it.
Priest #1. A man by the name of Josef Ratzinger. I could have used his proper title “Pope Benedict the Sixteenth” but all that MIGHT do is conjure up images of infallibility and Kingdom Keys. But there is purpose to my mentioning the “the priest”… Ratzinger. The priesthood marks, in a sense, the re-birth of man. We must be mindful of “the man”. This servant of servants, so deeply wounded and seemingly unable to carry the mantle through these turbulent times, is an aged man whose love for Holy Mother Church I can’t even fathom. There will be no “cruising into the retirement home” for this battle-worn, decrepit, 85-year old GIANT. Even as he prepares to step down officially within days, news of homosexual scandal continue to leak out of the Vatican, and rip at the hearts of the faithful. But as Our Holy Father stated in his final Sunday homily, he is not abandoning the flock… he must continue to climb the mountain. His journey, one can argue, is just beginning. A spiritual journey in which, one cannot imagine, war will be waged with the diabolical… with the contemplative prayer life serving as the battleground. Entering the chamber… shutting the door… with the Father, in secret.
Priest #2. Fr. Marcel Guarnizo. February 25th, 2013 marked the one year anniversary when this brave priest – to borrow his own words – did the only thing a faithful Catholic priest could do. At a funeral Mass at St. John Neumann parish in Gaithersburg, MD, Fr. Guarnizo not only proved his faithfullness to the priesthood, but his deep love for all of God’s children; he discreetly denied Holy Communion to a woman who admitted to engaging in intrinsically sinful acts. How did Barbara Johnson, the daughter of the deceased, respond? By spinning lies and fabrications to the mainstream media who happily took up the Catholic-bashing mantle. Where is Fr. Guarnizo now? I have not been able to pinpoint his exact whereabouts in the Archdiocese of Moscow. As in, Russia. It’s a long way from Gaithersburg. But a lot closer to Siberia. Truth be told, the culprit behind this good priest’s removal made it clear in the sacristy before Mass that she was fully engaged in a lesbian relationship.
But the story of our third priest is something truly sinister. I mean, how else can one describe it when it involves a so-called “man of the cloth” actively working against the God-given liberties of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion?
His name is Fr. Raymond Gravel. And while he is a troubled soul who deserves our prayers, his egregious behaviour which shows a disdain not only for LifeSiteNews but for the Magisterial teachings of the Roman Catholic Church must be brought to light.
For the sake of the Church. For the sake of Fr. Gravel’s soul.
It was just over two years ago when the news splashed across headline – “LifeSiteNews is being sued for $500,000 – this could shut us down!”
LifeSiteNews, dedicated to unearthing the rot in the culture and the church, has long followed the Gravel story only because Gravel himself has chosen to lead anyone who will listen down his twisted path of head-spinning semantics and destructive dogma.
In 2005, Fr. Gravel recieved a letter of chastisement after publicly airing his opposition to the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality. To take from the article,
“My positions on abortion and gay marriage have not been well received at the Vatican. My bishop even received a letter from the Holy See saying that if I persisted in not being conformed to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, I would have to suffer the consequences.” Raymond stares at me with his piercing glance and adds: “And guess who signed the letter in question?… Cardinal Ratzinger himself who, before becoming pope, was the prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.”
Let it also be known that he gave the interview to a French-language homosexual magazine. But then, there would be an affinity towards offering an interview to a homosexual mag when one delves a little deeper into who Raymond Gravel was, before his ordination. And this is where the anger is put aside, the heart is allowed to well up with sorrow for this poor soul. As a young man, Gravel “worked as a male prostitute and in a gay leather bar” in Montreal. Months before running for Parliament, as a priest (if that doesn’t sit well with you, congratulations… your instincts are at full capacity), Gravel was one of 19 Catholic priests who signed an open letter criticizing the church’s stance on so-called \”gay marriage\” and the ordination of active homosexuals. But it doesn’t stop there.
Two years previous to his jaunt in politics, Gravel was quoted as telling CBC radio “I am pro-choice and there is not a bishop on earth that will prevent me from receiving Communion, not even the Pope.”
Is the blood back up to a rolling-boil, yet?
Later in 2006, Gravel told the Quebec newsweekly Actualité “Cardinal Ouellet is not a true Catholic, that he is not representative of Quebec Catholics, and that, indeed, he is against the Gospel.”
Blown fuse? Still not yet? Almost three years ago, Fr. Raymond Gravel, once again, went on the attack of Cardinal Marc Ouellet who not only happens to now be Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops in Rome, not only is he one of the most orthodox and devout prelates that has ever come out of Canada, but he is considered a legitimate papabile. This time, Gravel was quick and to the point on condemning the then Archbishop of Quebec for upholding Church teaching on defending unborn life even in the case of rape: “I find it deplorable that a man who is a cardinal, archbishop of Quebec, would hold views like these.”
What is deplorable is that as a priest-cum-political hack, Gravel not only stood for abortion, but defended the awarding of Canada’s highest civilian award to the country’s ‘father of abortion’, Dr. Henry Morgentaler. But while the evidence is out there for all to see, Gravel has targeted LifeSiteNews with a lawsuit for, get this – libel.
Libel, as in “defamation by printed words.” No such libel exists, for this is all out there in the public arena.
Fr. Gravel is upset because he feels he’s been trampled upon. He’s not “pro-abortion”, he’s “pro-choice”. (Yes, we’ve been down that road before.) He’s miffed that the Vatican pulled the political carpet from underneath his feet, and Gravel wants to lay the blame at the feet of LifeSiteNews.
And so, the case continues. As it stands right now, $170,000 in the hole, ($170,000 LifeSiteNews does not have) the case rolls on. And this case is really quite simple. Simply put, it’s a smear campaign being conducted by Gravel and helped along by the Canadian judicial system. And every Canadian, if not faithful to the Catholic church, at least faithful to restoring our lost culture, should take ample notice.
The latest developments are that a judge at a pre-trial hearing ruled against the possibility of throwing out the suit. They won’t even move it to an English-language jurisdiction or remove some persons from the case to lessen costs. A trial may not see the light of day for another two years. One can only imagine the exorbitant fees accrued by that time.
John-Henry is one of persons named on the suit. He and co-founder Steve Jalsevac each are married with 8 children. Evil, I tell you. Evil.
Why John-Henry? Why Steve? Why LifeSiteNews? Why this incessant attack on people of faith… looking to live their faith freely? Why?
Well, in one of my all-time favourite movies The Exorcist, Max Von Sydow’s character is asked the question “Why”?
Fr. Damien Karras asks “Why this girl?… It makes no sense.”
Fr. Merrin responds, “I think the point is to make us despair… To see ourselves as animal and ugly… To reject the possibility that God could love us.”
Holy Father, pray for the church and Her children.
Our Father, help us to love you more during these days. These dark and troubled days.
© Damian Goddard. All Rights Reserved.