Not so. The conversation was diverse, mostly covering topics of ordaining women as priests, priestly celibacy, lay ministry, women deacons, sexual abuse, with some mention of contraception, status of homosexuals, same sex marriage, “mythology” of Adam and Eve, inter-Christian marriage, etc.
Though the conversation was diverse it did enjoy, however, a common theme, i.e. the Church is behind the times and needs to change. No defense of the faith was provided, no rational arguments were made to justify current practice and policy, no statements by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI were offered that might enlighten minds. Although a number of callers voiced anti-Catholic bias and opposition, particularly aimed at the hierarchy and official doctrine, no correction or explanation was advanced to counter. What was offered certainly was more sympathy than anything for the tired old clichés and attacks on the faith.
And we wonder why such a high proportion of Canadian Catholics hold dissenting views and attitudes towards their Church. These average Catholics need affirmation and explanation of their Church’s teaching. Instead of doubts, skepticism, and criticism they need building up in their faith rather than to be further torn down and jilted.
So what happens when a Catholic priest stokes the fires of dissent by appearing on a talk show and invites criticism and dissent of his Catholic faith and joins with the caller in pressing for change in Church teaching? Here’s a recent story from Crisis magazine recounting the excommunication, dismissal, and laicization of Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest who had long and defiantly—and in spite of numerous warnings—engaged in what was officially described as a “campaign against the teachings of the Catholic Church.” He repeatedly and obstinately engaged in public agitation in favor of female ordination.
What exactly are we up against here in Newfoundland in regard to leadership in our Catholic community? Take a look at this recent article published in The Telegram, our local newspaper. Here you will find more of Father Lundrigan’s unorthodox views, as well as a surprise peek into the mind of Archbishop Martin Currie. Some Catholics were scandalized by this article and rightly so.
More to come.