TORONTO, October 24, 2005 ( – Vision TV, a television network heavily supported by Canada’s National Catholic Broadcasting Corporation, has been targeting Catholicism, especially the Church’s teachings on homosexuality, with a harshness surprising even for liberal Canada. Vision, which bills itself as “Canada’s multi-faith and multicultural broadcaster,” gained a large audience for its leading 360 Vision show last Thursday night by promoting that it would feature a Catholic priest who would become the first in the country to “come out” as homosexual on television.

Sure enough the producers of the program trotted out one Fr. Karl Clemens, a 63-year-old priest who retired early from the archdiocese of Kingston, Ontario and now lives in the heart of Toronto’s ‘gay-village’ on its famed Church St. The program began with Clemens telling his unabashedly enthusiastic 360 Vision hosts, “I’m a Roman Catholic priest and I’m gay”.

However, far more offensive was the Vision producers’ use of Clemens to make the Catholic Church’s teachings on homosexual activity seem as “diabolical” as possible. The bluntly anti-Catholic diatribe by regular program host Marianne Meed Ward charged that the Vatican is “hunting people who have publicly admitted being gay.” She added, “This would be comical if it weren’t so diabolical.” Meed Ward, also a faith commentatorÂin the Toronto Sun and on CBC continued, “If (Jesus) were here now he and his whip would be in the Catholic Church, in any church where gays and lesbians aren’t welcome.”

However, many knowledgeable Catholics hotly dispute Meed Ward’s claims as being ridiculous, incendiary and reflecting poor understanding about what the Church teaches and how it functions. The Church has become very aware of its serious problem with homosexual priests and the acceptance by many clergy of the gay lifestyle since the sexual revolution of the 60’s and the subsequent devastating abuse scandals. Overwhelmingly, the scandals involved homosexual abuse of teen boys, non-homosexual seminarians, ordained priests and other men rather than pedophilia. It appears the upcoming document on homosexuality and the priesthood will be the strongest attempt yet to reign in the damaging liberalism and out of control dissent from many traditional Christian moral beliefs. However, “hunting” gay priests is hardly expected to be the approach to end the problem which ultimately involves fidelity, accountability and honouring ordination vows.

This is not the first time, the controversial Vision TV network has raised the ire of faithful Catholics. Previous shows on “gay priests” and “gay Catholics” also hit at the Church as did a show last year called Amazing Facts which claimed the Catholic Church is the “Whore of Babylon” spoken of in the Book of Revelations, and that the Pope is the anti-Christ. The network gives a platform to a wide and sometimesÂstrange range of belief and non-belief including a recent very self flattering monologue by notorious abortionist and humanist atheist Henry Morgentaler on the network’s visually sensual Credo program.

Following the airing of 360 vision’s “coming out” episode Catholics are questioning whether there should be any Catholic participation on the hostile network. Especially questioned is the more than $700,000 the National Catholic Broadcasting Council (NCBC) pays Vision Television annually to air its daily Mass.Â spoke with NCBC’s Barbara Miles who noted that the daily Mass program on Vision TV costs NCBC “$2400 each day”. She was unwilling however to comment on the controversy surrounding the anti-Catholic programming on the Network.Â

The NCBC website notes that the organization was “created by the English-speaking Catholic Bishops of Canada” and airs a daily Mass on Vision TV “every morning, six days a week, 52 weeks a year .” The grand total at $2400 per day thus amounts to $748,800.

Given that the Daily Mass is one of the most popular shows on Vision TV and attracts many Catholics to the network’s programming, there is a concern that Catholics will be offended or worse yet misled by what is at times far from objective or balanced programming. With other channels broadcasting in Canada which are devoted to the Catholic faith or allow its teachings to be consistently presented in an honest and positive light, many Catholics are left wondering why three quarters of a million dollars per year is being fed to Vision TV despite its growing tendency to bash Catholicism.

Other Catholic programs on the network are Food for Life which airs on Sundays, Our Mother of Perpetual Help TV Devotions every Wednesday and Sunday and Ralph Martin’s The Choices We Face every Sunday.

See also Meeds Oct. 23, 2005 Toronto Sun slam against the Church
  Vatican on a gay hunt
  Defrock first, ask questions later, as Catholic Church tagets homosexual priests

To express concerns:
  National Catholic Broadcasting Council
  21 Dunlop Street
  Richmond Hill, Ontario
  Canada, L4C 2M6
  Toll Free: 1-888-383-6277
  Local: 905-884-6899
  Fax: 905-884-5164
  E-mail: [email protected]

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
[email protected]

  Vision TV
[email protected]