Monsignor Vincent Foy

On Gregory Baum - Msgr Foy responds to recent Catholic media fawning over dissident Gregory Baum

Monsignor Vincent Foy
By Monsignor Vincent Foy
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Editor’s Note: This article was received unsolicited from famous Canadian priest, canon lawyer, former head of the Toronto archdiosecan marriage tribunal and outspoken defender of the Church’s moral teachings, Msgr. Vincent Foy. Recent laudatory, uncritical quoting of Canada’s leading dissident former priest, Gregory Baum, in Canadian Catholic media, spurred the Msgr. to write this article and send it to LifeSiteNews. LSN gladly publishes articles from this great, now 96-year-old priest scholar, still writing in defense of the Catholic Church’s moral teachings.

The intention of this article is to protect the faithful from being deceived.

Recently there has been a flurry of references to Gregory Baum, all of them laudatory. An article by Gregory Baum entitled “Vatican II - The Church in dialogue” appeared in the January-February issue if the Scarboro Missions magazine. This article is riddled with false doctrine.

None of these references make mention of the theological errors of Gregory Baum, yet he has done more than any person to harm the Church in Canada in my opinion. His Marxist background and activities are described in detail in a four-page bulletin “Herald of Freedom” April 6, 1974. It is entitled “Rev. Gregory Baum - Canada’s Marxist Pope.” In 1996, in a failed attempt to prevent his talk at the Newman Centre of the University of Toronto, I compiled a fourteen-page list of some of his errors entitled “Notes on Gregory Baum.”

It would take a large book to list and describe the errors and misconduct of Gregory Baum. Here I mention a few of them; there are many others.

Contraception

A focal point of Baum’s efforts was in opposition to the teaching of the Church against contraception. In 1964, Herder and Herder published the book “Contraception and Holiness.” It was presented as a “balanced perceptive declaration of Christian dissent”. Among the contributors were three professors of St. Michael’s College in Toronto: Gregory Baum O.S.A., Stanley Kutz C.S.B. (an admitted homosexual who later left the priesthood) and Leslie Dewart, an atheist. An article reporting an interview with Gregory Baum was printed in the Toronto Globe and Mail of April 9, 1966. It was entitled “Catholics May Use Contraceptives Now.” A year later Baum said that even if the Pope came out against contraception his decision would be irrelevant (Globe and Mail, 1967). 

After the Pope’s encyclical Humanae Vitae reiterated the Church’s condemnation of contraception in 1968, Baum was like a whirling dervish in his hyperactivity against the encyclical. He spoke in Canada and in the United States. On August 1, 1968, the Globe and Mail had a feature article by him “Catholics May Follow their Conscience”. In the August 23 issue of the US Catholic Weekly Commonweal magazine, there was his article “The Right to Dissent”. The September issue of the Homiletic and Pastoral Review carried his “The New Encyclical on Contraception” where he attacked the Pope for going against the experience of vast numbers of Catholics and the witness of other Christian churches.

Homosexuality

Gregory Baum openly advocated same-sex “marriage”. In Commonweal for February 15, 1974, he wrote an article on homosexuality in which he declared that Catholic teaching on homosexuality would change and embrace homosexuality within a few years. Homosexual activists used this article as a handout for almost two decades throughout North America. In speaking to Dignity and other homosexual groups, he encouraged them to remain in the Church but to work for a change in the Church’s teaching.

Devotion to Mary

In the early sixties, I attended a dinner at Osgoode Hall under the auspices of the Catholic Lawyers Guild. Gregory Baum spoke on the exaggerated “Cultus” of Mary in the Catholic Church. He stated that there was no evidence of devotion to Mary before the fourth century. At the time, I had been reading a section of the book “Mariology” edited by Juniper Carol, O.F.M. on the “The Origins of Marian Cult”. It gave numerous examples of devotion to Mary in the first three centuries. Mary herself proclaims in the Magnificat (Luke 1: 46-55): “All generations will call me blessed.” Baum discouraged recitation of the Rosary.

Dissent and Rejection of Authority

Msgr. George Kelly wrote in “The Battle for the American Church” pp. 448-9: “Gregory Baum argued that Rome’s grip on the Church can be loosened by careful violation of law. In Baum’s view freedom from Rome’s law can be obtained by seizing it in the knowledge that violations will go unpunished.”

The Priesthood

I conducted about twenty of the first priest-laicization processes for the Archdiocese of Toronto. A number of priests said that they were encouraged to leave the priesthood by Gregory Baum. He promoted the concept of a temporary or “existential” priesthood. In an article printed in the Toronto Star of April 23, 1966, Baum stated that he was not alarmed at the large numbers of priests and religious departing from their vocations. He said “By assigning the laity a higher place in the Christian Church, the whole matter of the role of the clergy has to be re-thought.”

A Report to the Archbishop

I was pastor of St. John’s Church on Kingston Rd in Toronto in 1966. In the parish there was a convent of Notre Dame Sisters. I received a phone call from the Superior of the Notre Dame Sisters, who was in Ottawa. She told me that one of the younger Sisters, studying at St. Michael’s College, was obliged by Gregory Baum to attend a weekend retreat near Orangeville. This was before the mitigation of Friday abstinence. Meat was served on Friday evening. “The Sister said ‘Fr. Baum, this is Friday and you are serving meat’. He replied ‘Sister, here I am Pope. Eat your meat!’ In the course of the weekend, he encouraged immoral familiarities between male and female religious. You must report this to Archbishop Pocock”. I suggested that she report this to the Apostolic Delegate in Ottawa. “No,” she replied “Sister is in your parish and you should report it”.

The next day I made a report on the matter to Archbishop Pocock. He threw up his hands and said “What can I do?” I said he could suspend Baum. He did nothing and allowed Baum to continue teaching at St. Michael’s College for another nine years.

Suspension and Excommunication

When the Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics was issued by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on December 29, 1975, Gregory Baum criticized it severely. He said “The concept of sex only within marriage was no longer adequate. Even if marriage is the ideal, this does not mean there is no responsible context of sexual relations for mature single people, the widowed and the divorced.” In response, Archbishop Pocock suspended Baum from hearing confessions.

In the issue for January 14, 1978, the Catholic Register reported that “Gregory Baum, noted Canadian theologian and outspoken critic of the Church, married a former nun in a private ceremony recently in Montreal… the bride is Shirley Flynn, who left her religious order about fifteen years ago.” According to Canon 2388 of the Code of Canon Law in force at that time, Gregory Baum was automatically excommunicated.

It is difficult to understand why articles by Baum should continue to appear in Catholic periodicals; why he should be praised in others; why he should be invited to speak in Catholic institutions such as St. Paul’s University in Ottawa and why this arch-heretic should be highly praised in an interview given him recently by a Catholic priest currently posted on a website.

More articles by Msgr. Foy:

The betrayal of homosexuals

Canada’s Greatest Defender of Humanae Vitae Calls on Bishops to Reject Dissenting Document

Tragedy at Winnipeg


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African denounces Western elites pushing population control in his country

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By Ben Johnson

An op-ed in one of the leading publications in Uganda has denounced the promotion of IUD use and other long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) in the nation as a colonialist form of population control.

An article published in New Vision, which bills itself as “Uganda's leading daily,” and which was posted online after being translated into broken English, contradicts the frequent claim that there is a desperate cry from Africans and brown people generally to provide the “unmet need” for contraception in the Third World.

Programs to convince African women to use the IUD or other forms of contraception “are projects of multibillion international agencies distributing them under the guise of helping the poor countries to control birth rates,” Stephen Wabomba wrote.

The use of the IUD leads to an increase in “the spread of STIs/HIV/AIDS, infections or increased rates of Pelvic Infection Diseases (PID),” and other maladies, he said. The IUD, which is inserted into the uterus and may work for years at a time, offers no protection against sexually transmitted diseases and often does not prevent fertilization.

Western governments and NGOs are very much “aware of the side effect[s] but still force them on us through sensational marketing strategies by claiming that there is unmet need” for contraception “in Uganda,” he wrote.

He instead suggested the use of Natural Family Planning methods as the “best alternative” for married couples, as well as increased “funding of chastity and abstinence education in Uganda.”

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He called on every citizen of Uganda “to stand up and be counted as a lover of life” and become a “protector of the voiceless and defenseless unborn children being aborted every day.”

Wabomba is heeding his own advice by acting as director of the Pregnancy Help Center in Jinja, the second largest city in Uganda. The town of 87,000 is perched on the shores of Lake Victoria.


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UN tells Chile and Peru to legalize abortion

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By Guilherme Ferreira Araújo

On July 7 and 8, the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHCR) discussed Chile’s abortion laws and issued a report asking for liberalization of those laws.

According to the report, Chile “should establish exceptions to the general prohibition of abortion, contemplating therapeutic abortion and in those cases in which the pregnancy is a consequence of a rape or incest.”

Chile is one of the few countries that prohibits abortion in all cases.  So far, the country has managed to stand against internal and external pressure to legalize abortion.

But during her campaign, President Michele Bachelet promised to make the legalization of abortion a priority.  Indeed, last May she stated that her intention was to reopen the debate so that the government could approve therapeutic abortion before the end of this year.  The U.N. report also said that Chile “should make sure that reproductive health services are accessible to all women and adolescents."

One of the reasons the UN is using to pressure Chile’s government to change their abortion laws is the high number of clandestine abortions allegedly taking place in Chile. The UNHRC points to “official data” showing 150,000 annual clandestine abortions. However, not only is it impossible to corroborate that figure, but other sources show that this number could be exaggerated by a factor of 10.  According to an article published in the Chilean news publication, Chile B, the annual number of clandestine abortions in Chile may vary between 8,270 and 20,675.

Inflating the number of illegal abortions and maternal mortality is a common tactic of the pro-abortion movement’s effort to legalize the deadly practice. Dr. Bernard Nathanson, founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), famously admitted the tactic after becoming pro-life.

“We claimed that between five and ten thousand women a year died of botched abortions,” he said. "The actual figure was closer to 200 to 300 and we also claimed that there were a million illegal abortions a year in the United States and the actual figure was close to 200,000. So, we were guilty of massive deception."

Chile has also been used as a prime example that legalized abortion does not reduce maternal mortality.

A study published in 2012 by Plos One Institute found that since 1989 when Chile banned abortion, there has been an annual decrease in maternal death. That study, and others compiled and published by the Chilean MELISA Institute strongly challenge the myth that abortion is safe or even necessary to increase maternal health.

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Notwithstanding the empirical data, the United Nations is also hard at work to pressure Chile’s neighbor to the North, Peru, to liberalize its own abortion laws.  In the case of Peru it is the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) that has issued the report, not the UNHRC.  CEDAW representatives examined Peru’s case on July 1 and suggested that Peru should legalize abortion in case of rape and severe abnormalities of the unborn child.

The organism suggested that the government eliminate all laws that punish women who abort and asked that Peru “urgently” adopt a law to fight violence against women, a notion often used as a euphemism for legalizing abortion.  

The CEDAW commission presented the conclusions of the report on July 22 and put special emphasis on the abortion issue. This happens despite the strong opposition to abortion in Peru. A recent survey showed that 79 percent of Peruvians support the Catholic Church’s position on abortion.

The CEDAW pressure on Peru is not new. In 2011, after the UN sanctioned Peru for denying an abortion to a teenager, Carlos Polo, Director of the Population Research Institute’s Latin American office, stated that the UN organism doesn’t have the right to force Peru to approve abortion.


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People ask me all the time, “How do you live with your past?” My answer is silly, but it is a true story. Youtube screenshot
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I helped so many women abort their babies. Now how do I live with that?

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By Abby Johnson
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I have many memories of my time with Planned Parenthood. I spent eight years of my life there. Some memories are good, some are not. But they are contained in my mind. It’s easy to forget them. I have forgotten so much about my time there in just four and a half short years. 

I found my old business card the other day. That is a tangible memory for me. It made me think of the day that I heard I had been promoted to direct the clinic. I was so happy…hugging and jumping up and down with my supervisor. She was so proud of me.

I thought about the day I moved everything into my new, big office. I put pro-choice stickers all over my file cabinet. I called my parents to share the news. They were, of course, proud of me, but hated my work. I can’t imagine how conflicted they were in their minds and hearts. Human resources sent me my new paperwork. There was my new title, my new and amazing salary. 

A few days later, my new business cards came. I remember putting them in my new business card holder on my desk. I filled up the business card holder that I kept in my purse. I had already become used to hearing myself say my new title.

I was proud of myself. I was proud of the hard work I had put in to earn that new title. I worked so many hours, sacrificed so much time from my family. But I knew it would be worth it. And now I had the job title to prove it.

I remember proudly passing out my new business cards to anyone that would take one. Being pro-choice was not just a movement to me; it was a lifestyle. I wholeheartedly embraced that lifestyle and loved being a part of it. 

These tangible reminders that I occasionally find are sometimes hard to work through. I remember receiving the records from my medication abortion. That tangible reminder of my past was difficult to manage. I look at my “Employee of the Year” award that I received from Planned Parenthood and think back to the night I received it. I ended up putting that old award on my desk as a reminder of where I came from and how much my life has changed. Seeing that plaque no longer brings back those tangible memories. 

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One of the reasons I was so taken aback when finding my old business card was not just because it was a reminder of how proud I had been to run an abortion clinic…something I find deplorable now. It was because of the things I took part in while I had that big title.

The memories of handing women small monetary checks in order to pay for their silence after we had left them with a serious infection after their abortion. The memories of watching women bleed out on our abortion table and being instructed not to call the ambulance because we didn’t want to let the pro-lifers know that we had a medical emergency. The memories I have of “joking” about the babies that died in our facility by abortion. The memories I have of training our abortion facility employees on the “normalcy” of abortion and how to convince women that abortion is the best choice for them.

Part of being a former abortion clinic worker is learning how to deal with your past sin. It may be the lady who came to your clinic for an abortion that you bump into at the store. It could be standing in front of your former abortion facility and remembering all of the damage your words and actions did to so many women. It could be finding that old business card that reminds you of the pride you felt when you became the director of an abortion facility. 

People ask me all the time, “How do you live with your past?” My answer is silly, but it is a true story. 

One day I was watching the kid’s movie “Kung Fu Panda” with my daughter. In the film there is a wise, old tortoise named Oogway. He is talking to one of his students who is frustrated with his current situation. Oogway asks his student, “Do you know why today is called the present? Because it is a gift.”

That little line by an animated tortoise hit me like a ton of bricks. Today is a gift. There is absolutely nothing we can do with our past. And there is very little we can do to control our future. We live NOW. We serve NOW. We choose to move on from our past NOW. 

I don’t know what your past sins are. And I don’t know how frequently you are reminded of them. But as someone who has to face their past sins on pretty much a daily basis, I can tell you that you can be free from their burden. Being reminded of your past doesn’t mean that you have to live with constant grief. It simply means that you have been given the opportunity to transform your past into something positive…maybe you can help others make different choices than you did, maybe you can help others heal from the same struggles that you lived through. I don’t know what you are being called to do, but as the saying goes, “God can turn our mess into a message.” 

Carrying around past burdens doesn’t help us in any way. Know that you can be forgiven. Accept that forgiveness. Use your life to help others. The present is indeed a gift.

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