Sunday, November 8, 2009

Where are you, Msgr Gilles Lussier?

As recently reported by LifeSite, outspoken liberal priest Fr. Raymond Gravel has once again stirred up some controversy. This time, he appeared on a TV show claiming that people with homosexual attractions could never overcome those tendencies. This is an absurd claim, of course, made all the more ridiculous in light of the fact that he was sharing the stage with a man named Laurent Leclerc who was explaining his personal experience in successfully overcoming his own homosexual tendencies.

The most disturbing part of this incident was that Fr. Gravel dismissed the notion of homosexuality as being disordered. This is in direct contradiction of Church teaching, which is very clear on this matter:

Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must
be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. 

(Source:  Catechism of the Catholic Church #2357-2358)

Fr. Gravel has been misleading the faithful for years, and yet his Bishop, Gilles Lussier, is so invisible that you'd think he was under the witness protection program. First of all, Canon Law forbids priests from occupying public office unless there is a grave necessity for the "protection of the rights of the Church or the promotion of the common good."  Nevertheless, Bishop Lussier allowed Fr. Gravel to enter political life in 2006 and serve as a Member of Parliament for the Bloc Québécois.  At the time, Bishop Lussier suspended his right administer the Sacraments as a priest or wear clerical garb. He also instructed Fr. Gravel not contradict Church teaching in his political life. 

Well, that warning fell on deaf earns.  For example, in 2007, Fr. Gravel appeared on TV and expressed support for abortion. In 2008, he opposed the Unborn Victim of Crime Act, which would have allowed two murder charges to be pressed on someone who killed a pregnant woman. He also publicly endorsed the awarding of the Order of Canada to Henry Morgentaler, the man who helped legalize abortion in Canada.  Even prior to becoming an MP, Fr. Gravel was outspoken against Church teaching, for example, by opposing Church teaching on same-sex unions.

So this begs the question:  Why is this priest allowed to mock Church teaching in public and not be reprimanded?  Can you think of any other organization that would operate like this?  Why is the Bishop asleep at the switch?  Pro-life leaders repeatedly tried to obtain an explanation from the bishop on this matter but they were ignored.  

When Fr. Gravel wrote an open letter in the Montreal Gazette condemning Church teaching on homsexual unions, reporters from The Gazette contacted the bishop and spoke briefly to him (notice how the bishop pays more attention to the secular media that to his own faithful?)  When asked to comment, the bishop said:  "Like all institutions, there is a professional code (...) I will meet with him and if I have reflections to communicate, I will express them to him." The next week, Fr. Gravel spoke gleefully about his discussion with the bishop: "He (Bishop Gilles Lussier) didn't judge me or muzzle me. He said my (writing) style was a bit harsh," but "he said he wouldn't stop me from writing."

What a farce. A complete abdication of episcopal responsibility. Or a sign that the bishop endorses Fr. Gravel's views.

It got so bad that the Vatican intervened and ordered Fr. Gravel to leave politics or be defrocked.  Fr. Gravel chose to leave politics, but he continues to publicly defy Church teaching and his bishop does nothing. 

This is just another example of the gross negligence of Canadian bishops that has contributed to the gradual erosion of the Catholic Church in this country. The case of Fr. Gravel is extremely disturbing because, being a priest, he holds a greater degree of credibility among the faithful. I have no doubt that thousands of Québec Catholics are being misled by this man. And yet the Bishop does nothing.

Lord save us!