Fr. Raymond Gravel of Joliette seems to have a kindred spirit in the neighbouring diocese of Trois-Rivières: a Deacon named Robert Hotte. Deacon Hotte is also making a name for himself in the Quebec media by denouncing Catholic teaching.
Less than two weeks ago, the Quebec daily Le Nouvelliste, which is affiliated with the giant newspaper La Presse, published an article entitled A decree “worthy of the Middle-Ages”. The quote in the title is directly from the mouth of Deacon Hotte, referring to the Vatican’s recent decision to apply automatic excommunication to anyone attempting to ordain a woman to the priesthood. Deacon Hotte actually signed an online petition in favour of women’s ordination and called on his fellow deacons in the diocese to do the same.
Here’s a quote of Deacon Hotte in the newspaper article: (my translation from French)
«It’s a position that doesn’t respect the equality that was given to us in Creation. In the Catholic ideology, I consider this to be a large deficiency that flows from an ultra-conservative hierarchy. In Québec, we have bishops that are more open, but that don’t dare to talk about it much at this time.»
There’s a lot of information to be gathered from that quote.
First of all, it shows Deacon Hotte’s complete misunderstanding of Catholic teaching on the priesthood, which has been replaced by the simplistic world view that women can and should do everything that men do. Where the heck were these clergymen formed?
Second, his use of the expression “Catholic ideology” (idéologie catholique) is disturbing. Let me ask our Catholic readers: when is the last time you referred to your Faith as an “ideology”? Wouldn’t that expression be more often used by skeptics on the outside? The definition of the word idéologie in the Robert Dictionary (the benchmark of French dictionaries) is “a collection of ideas, beliefs and doctrines proper to an era, society or class“ (my translation). The word therefore embeds a notion of non-universality and relativism, which is the exact opposite of what the Catholic Faith really is. Is this a legitimate position for a Catholic Deacon?
Third, he attributes the Church’s stance against women priests to some arbitrary decision from the hierarchy, rather than to Divine Revelation, which was the source upon which John Paul II relied to make his infallible teaching in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. This stance isn’t surprising given his view of Catholicism as a simple ideology.
Fourth, faithful clergy are called ultra-conservative, another sign of Deacon Hotte’s liberalism.
Fifth, he reveals that several bishops in Québec support the ordination of women priests. We already suspected this, but it’s useful to have confirmation from someone on the inside.
I can’t say I’m surprised that Fr. Gravel isn’t alone. In fact, I personally know other priests like him. The surprise is to see these clergymen being increasingly quoted in the mainstream media while their bishops sit on their hands.
And who is the bishop of Trois-Rivières anyways? None other than the President of the Québec Assembly of Bishops, Martin Veillette, who recently made some not-too-subtle attacks against Cardinal Ouellet. I can’t say that I’m shocked here either, because there’s a pattern emerging, folks. When you find a liberal cleryman becoming a media star through his anti-Catholic positions, you can almost be guaranteed that he has the stamp of approval of his bishop.
God help us.
Please pray for the clergy.