And so, it had to come. The spinelessness of the Canadian episcopacy is now come into full bloom with Fr. Raymond Gravel’s slap suit against LifeSite News. Here is LSN’s commentary on this farce. Steve’s original blog post on this is here.
“Gravel said he had informed his bishop about the lawsuit but that he was acting on his own. Joliette Bishop Gilles Lussier was away and a spokesman said the diocese had no comment.” (Source)
Like that is a big surprise, huh? “No comment.” Well, I have a comment, and it’s this. The Canadian hierarchy can no longer remain silent and neutral in the fight for human life, or seek to shield those who play fast and loose with the Church’s teaching, camaflauging themselves and playing word games, and providing a scandalous witness to the Church’s faithful.
I’m not sure what’s going to happen among the hierarchy, but if Gravel is permitted to continue this lawsuit against LSN as an unsanctioned Catholic priest in this country, this will further erode the bishops’ credibility in the eyes of the Faithful. We’ve already had Development & Peace. Now we have this.
If Gravel goes undisciplined, the Canadian Church will have signalled that it is quite permissible that one of its ordained ministers, under obedience to Her bishops, is permitted to make such a baseless and gratuitous attack against Christ’s Faithful who are defending human life. Fr. Gravel is not simply attacking LSN. He is attacking all Faithful Catholics who are loyal to the Church’s magisterium, not to mention the unborn.
His pathetic attempts at separating himself and his scandalous actions from his bishop or from the Church don’t cut it, either. He is a minister of the Church – in his private life as well as in his public life.
We have to therefore ask his bishop, “Is the Catholic Church now in the business of suing its people, your Grace?”
It’s time for the bishops of this country to figure out which side of Life they are on, to start to act like real men and real fathers, and start to bring down some discipline…providing, of course, they still know what it means, if they ever did.
If they had been doing their jobs on the Life Issues, Fr. Gravel would have never have dreamed of saying the things he has said or taking the action he has taken.
As for the rest of us, we can pray and donate money to LSN. Because being Catholic today and meaning it comes at a hefty financial cost.
Folks, we need to re-orient our giving too. Give less to the institutional church, less to the bishops, and more to the Faithful and their efforts.