Monday, August 09, 2010

Fr. Raymond Gravel dumps on pro-lifers, again

In the wake of the publication of my column on July 10th on, where I wrote of my distress and disgust towards the harassment of which I have been a victim for almost six years, I received hundreds of supportive emails, in this difficult struggle that I wage against the religious right, which seeks by all means to discredit me in the eyes of Church authorities and believers, the majority of whom are English-speaking, and who are duped by the deceptive and reductionist statements made by the authors of that site.

Bishops, priests, religious and lay people wrote to me to express their dismay with regards to the unscrupulous people who, in the name of the Gospel, show contempt towards me and do not fear using lies and calumny to destroy my reputation. A bishop wrote to me " These zealots of Human Life Internation are the worst enemies of the cause that defends life. They are more harmful than angry pro-choicers. They discredit a beautiful cause. The hatred, the contempt, the lies that characterize their involvement [are like the ways] of death." Simply recall the false accusations they launched against Development and Peace in order to destroy its credibility. And yet this organization comes to the aid of the most destitute on this planet.

The Devoir newspaper and the Societe Radio-Canada generated so much interest in my cause that, throughout Quebec, people reacted to the report broadcast on television and to the article that appear in the Devoir. There was even a law professor at the Universite de Montreal who concluded that the statements made by LifesiteNews were so defamatory, deceitful and had such a potential to incite hate that they could be subject to litigation. In his reply to my column published in The Devoir, John Henry Westen, the editor of, in a paternalistic tone, using imprecise French, writes any old thing: "After being designated catechist at the Cathedral, is it really a surprise to ascertain that Fr. Gravel remains a confused man?" I was never named as a catechist for the cathedral and I am not a confused man. Rather, I have the impression that he is speaking of himself, because if there's any confusion here, it's in his text when he writes: "However, in the apparent absence of parental authority, sometimes it is necessary that a child must raise the alarm and announce that trouble has been sown in the house." Again, I must ask myself what he could mean by that.

The Catholic Church to which I belong and in which I have worked as a priest for the last twenty-five years, is the Church of Christ, made up of men and women who, by their baptism, are invested with the Holy Spirit and collaborate actively to her life and her mission in the world. This is not the Church of Raymond Gravel, nor of Marc Ouellet, it is the Church of Christ. "What I mean is this: One of you says, 'I follow Paul'; another, 'I follow Apollos'; another, 'I follow Cephas'[a]"; still another, 'I follow Christ.' (1 Cor. 1:12 NIV). And, in this Church of Christ, unity is created, not by uniformity and submission to authority, but in plurality and by taking responsibility for one's baptism.