Canadian Bishops Plenary Speaker Addressed Dissident Group Condemned by Vatican

OTTAWA, Ontario, October 6, 2009 ( – Dr. Richard R. Gaillardetz, scheduled to speak at the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops’ annual plenary in Cornwall from October 19-23, last year addressed a dissident ‘Catholic’ group condemned by the Vatican for its opposition to Church teaching.

In addition to previous evidence documenting Dr. Gaillardetz’s public dissent from Church teaching and strong support for radically pro-abortion President Barack Obama, he was also a featured speaker at an event run by the group Call to Action, which the Vatican has denounced as “causing damage to the Church of Christ.”

In April 2008, Dr. Gaillardetz delivered the main address at a conference hosted by Call to Action-Minnesota, speaking on the topic ‘Rethinking Hierarchy:  Becoming a Community of Conversation.’

Call to Action calls itself “a Catholic movement working for equality and justice in the Church and society,” which “believes that the Spirit of God is at work in the whole church, not just in its appointed leaders.”  The group, boasting over 25,000 members, works against Church teaching, promoting a variety of causes such as women’s ordination and an end to mandatory priestly celibacy.

Membership of CTA draws heavily from former clergy, feminist nuns, and homosexuals. CTA has aligned itself with other dissident groups, such as the pro-abortion Catholics for a Free Choice and the pro-homosexuality New Ways Ministry.

In March 1996, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska announced the automatic excommunication of Call to Action members in his diocese should they not withdraw their membership.  He included several other groups as well, all of which, he said, were “totally incompatible with the Catholic faith.”

Nebraska Call to Action appealed to the Vatican, and, in 2006, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, upheld Bishop Bruskewitz’s decision.  According to Cardinal Re, “the judgment of the Holy See is that the activities of Call to Action in the course of these years are in contrast with the Catholic faith due to views and positions held which are unacceptable from a doctrinal and disciplinary standpoint.”

“Thus to be a member of this association or to support it is irreconcilable with a coherent living of the Catholic faith,” he said.

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