The Diocese of Trois-Rivières has joined the battle to block pro-life reforms at Development and Peace.
First, a bit of background. A couple of weeks ago, the Québec newspaper Le Devoir published a lop-sided article on the D&P scandal in which they portrayed the organization as being the innocent victim of slanderous attacks on the part of the “religious right”. They also featured vocal critics of Archbishop Terrence Prendergast (Ottawa) and Bishop Paul-André Durocher (Alexandria-Cornwall) who were panned for their decision to cancel the visit of a Mexican priest whose organization supports pro-abortion advocates. We reported extensively on that article here and here.
Of note, the article in Le Devoir cited the infamous whitewash report which has now been proven to be a complete fraud. It also mentioned that Québec bishops were secretly seeking ways to undermine the pro-life reforms being timidly implemented by the Canadian Bishops.
Well, it would appear that at least one Québec bishop isn’t satisfied with the secretive approach any longer. The Diocese of Trois-Rivières has posted the propagandist article from Le Devoir on its diocesan website. They didn’t just link to the article. No, they copied the whole thing onto their own server at this link.
Moreover, they took the liberty of changing the title of the article to make D&P look more pitiful. The original title was Development and Peace in question — new attack from religious integrism. The version on the website of the Diocese of Trois-Rivières is more blunt: Development and Peace under siege.
In fact, at the time of this writing, they had a link to the article on the homepage of the diocese (see picture below, click to enlarge) so that anybody browsing the diocesan website would be presented with this inflammatory and biased spin on the scandal.
In fairness to the Bishop of Trois-Rivières, Msgr Martin Veillette, we don’t know if he is aware of the posting of the article. It may have been posted without his knowledge. I contacted the diocese last week to inquire about the article and they told me that it was posted by a priest who serves as webmaster for the diocesan website. So we don’t know if the bishop is aware or not, but he’s still accountable for his diocese.
If I had to venture a guess, I would say that Msgr Veillette at least supports the content of the article. After all, this is the same Msgr Veillette that publicly criticized Cardinal Ouellet last year in the secular media for taking a strong pro-life stance. This is the same Msgr Veillette whose website also features radical feminist and pro-abort groups. This is the same Msgr Veillette that publicly supports the ordination of women.
The Diocese of Trois-Rivières thus joins the war launched by Fr. Claude Lacaille, which we discussed at length here. The diocese’s position doesn’t come as a complete surprise. Just three weeks ago, Socon or Bust was predicting a more public manifestation of the rift in the episcopacy over D&P:
Do you really think D&P could continue these shenanigans if all the bishops were opposed? Too many of them are clearly blocking the pro-life bishops from resolving the scandal, and thus the blood money continues to flow. I think that a split among the episcopacy will become more evident if this scandal isn’t resolved soon. (Source)
Indeed, the split is becoming more evident and bishops are being forced to show their cards. Bishops are rowing in different directions and the oars are starting to collide.
This could get ugly. But it was inevitable. It was a fallacy to pretend that the bishops could maintain the mirage of public unity while being so deeply divided on a fundamental issue of Church teaching.
Despite the bitterness surrounding the actions of the Diocese of Trois-Rivières, I see two silver linings.
First, as the debate becomes more public, awareness of the scandal will increase, which will raise the chances that pro-life reforms will be successful. We have the truth on our side, with stacks of evidence to back it up. I sincerely believe that the truth will eventually prevail in this matter. We just need to get the word out.
Second, Msgr Veillette turns 75 in November. That’s the mandatory retirement age for a bishop. Another one bites the dust. 🙂 I’m sure Cardinal Ouellet will find a solid pro-life clergyman to replace him, thus furthering the cleansing of the episcopacy in Québec. Our God is a patient God. He can outlast any adversary. Sooner or later, they all disappear, but the steadfast love of the Lord remains forever.