Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Exclusive: Father Rosica approval rating under 20%

Many of you are aware of the Father Rosica scandal that erupted over the past month.  You can read about it here.

Catholic Dialogue was interested in getting a broader sense of how Internet-literate Catholics were reacting to Fr. Rosica's unexplainable outburst.  To do this, we conducted extensive research on the Internet in order to see which way the wind was blowing.  Today, we are presenting these exclusive results.

Clearly, Fr. Rosica is facing serious headwinds in the court of public opinion.

The research revealed that 80.5% of all the articles that expressed an opinion on the controversy were opposed to Fr. Rosica's position, while only 19.5% supported him.  The methodology encompasses all online articles published on the Fr. Rosica controversy, but excludes "comments" posted on blogs, since these can easily be manipulated.

In case you're wondering, articles by LifeSiteNews represented a very small fraction of the articles published on this issue.  Excluding articles from LifeSiteNews, the disapproval rating for Fr. Rosica is still 79.8%.  

The disapproval of Fr. Rosica is widespread and broad-based.  It includes both men and women, laity and clergy.  They quote Church documents and Doctors of the Church.  They refer to authoritative statements by Vatican officials.  By all accounts, these are educated Catholics, well-versed in Scripture and the Catechism.  They do not seek personal glory or satisfaction.  They do not have any axe to grind.  They are merely seeking to denounce errors and injustices so that the Church in Canada may once again submit to Rome's authority.    

In theological terms, we'd say that the sensus fidelium is enabling the faithful to participate in Christ's prophetic office by denouncing error.  In layman's terms, we'd say that Fr. Rosica's behaviour doesn't pass the sniff test.

This doesn't bode well for Salt and Light's ratings.  But it is certainly good news in the battle for the soul of the Church, since the Internet reaches such a broader audience than a satellite cable network.  

The winds of change are blowing.  There is a growing sense that too many clergymen are lukewarm or outright dissenters.  The discontent among the faithful will be a powerful instrument to help the Church return to authentic Magisterial teaching in union with the Vatican.

Please pray for Fr. Rosica and all clergy.