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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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
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Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

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