Analysis Finds Canadian ‘Catholic New Times’ Newspaper Anything But ‘Catholic’
TORONTO, March 15, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In the upcoming April edition of Catholic Insight magazine, editor Fr. Alphonse de Valk closely examines, in a lengthy and comprehensive article, the moral and doctrinal position of the institutionally influential Catholic New Times newspaper (CNT), published in the Archiocese of Toronto.
Motivated by the current controversy surrounding the political attempt to redefine Canadian law to include same-sex ‘marriage’, and the CNT’s explicit support of this attempt, Fr. De Valk asks the question of whether this contradiction of Church teaching was an anomaly for the editorial board at CNT. The result is a comprehensive and systematic examination of the philosophical and political premises that have motivated CNT editors and contributors since its inception 27 years ago to its direct support of same-sex marriage beginning in the fall of 2003 when then Prime Minister Jean Chretien declined to challenge the Supreme Court’s June ruling.
Available in parishes and Catholic school libraries across the country, CNT’s reporting on social justice issues is well known. Fr. de Valk himself wrote “Some of these articles I read with much interest, others less so, but in general I thought the topics were worthwhile and interesting.” However, on the critical moral and doctrinal issues, especially those surrounding homosexuality, the priesthood and abortion, Fr. de Valk emphatically states “This is no longer a Catholic paper.” Actually, it never was.
CNT was founded on the premise of dissent. The two main founders, Sister Mary Jo Leddy, of the Sisters of Sion, and Fr. Gregory Baum, O.S.A., were very vocal in their opposition to official Church teaching especially in the area of sexual morality and priestly celibacy. Mary Jo Leddy later left the Sisters of Sion but continues to teach at Regis College while Fr. Baum left the priesthood and married (without seeking laicisation) a once divorced former Loretto nun. In detailing their personal theological dissent Fr. de Valk opines that “With this background of its two principal founders, together with the increasing immoral permissiveness in society and widespread dissent from theologians, priests and laity in the Church, CNT expressed a preference for dissenting views over those of the Church from the beginning.”
As one example, the February 2005 edition of CNT rejected Church teaching on homosexuality. Fr. de Valk shows how “CNT used as the basis for its allegations and accusations the 1977 “report” of the Catholic Theological Society of America. It was published as a book entitled Human Sexuality: New Directions in American Catholic Thought”. Fr. de Valk shows (with page references) how the report listed as being morally acceptable such things as: contraception, masturbation, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bestiality, co-habitation, spouse swapping, fetishism, pornography and transvestism.
In the January 2005 edition Gregory Baum concludes a lengthy article in support of same-sex marriage by encouraging active homosexuals to remain in the Catholic Church and actively dissent from the Church’s teaching.
CNT has especially been promoted and supported by the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA). Among its many acts of dissent over the years, OECTA supported Oshawa student Marc Hall in his successful legal action to force his school to allow him to bring a gay lover to the school prom. Catholic teachers and their students have been influenced by CNT’s anti-Catholic ideology for over two decades. It is no wonder that for this and other reasons, the Canadian Catholic school system has been a major source of opposition to church moral teachings.
Fr. de Valk concludes “Is it any wonder that Catholics across the country are wondering-or perhaps despairing-why, first, this newspaper continues to carry the title ‘Catholic,’ and second, why it continues to be promoted in Catholic churches and parishes?” That is, why, after all its years of aggressive spreading of dissent and rebellion, has the paper not been outright condemned and the ‘Catholic’ designation not been removed by Canada’s bishops?
With files from Catholic Insight.
See also previous LifeSiteNews.com report: