October 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The four young people from Canada now at the Vatican synod on youth are all from Salt and Light Media.
The Toronto-based media outlet is run by Basilian Fr. Thomas Rosica, who is also on the synod’s Information Commission, and part of the team handling daily press briefings during the three-week event that began Wednesday.
Pope Francis named 34 young people to the synod as “collaborators” and “observers.” As such, they take part in discussions, but don’t vote on final documents.
Rosica emailed a letter to Vatican media last month announcing the Pope chose only Salt and Light team members to represent Canada’s Catholic youth.
“It is a great sign of affirmation from Pope Francis and the Church’s recognition of Salt and Light’s mission of bringing the flavour of the Gospel and the light of Christ to the world,” wrote Rosica.
The Canadian youth observers are Salt and Light producer Emilie Callan, and former television intern and current Salt and Light blogger Julian Paparella. Collaborators are Salt and Light operations manager Prevain Devendran, and Salt and Light assistant producer Allyson Kenny.
“For many people around the world, he is the most authentic and credible moral leader,” notes a blurb for The Francis Impact.
“As impressive as Francis is, his impact cannot be restricted to his celebrity status,” it adds. “Francis himself does not like to be in the spotlight, but seeks to encourage and empower people of all walks of life to work together in a tangible way to build a better world.”
In like vein, Salt and Light CEO Rosica appears to believe the current Holy Father is above tradition and Scripture.
“Pope Francis breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants because he is ‘free from disordered attachments,’” Rosica declared on a Salt and Light blog in August.
“Our Church has indeed entered a new phase,” he wrote. “With the advent of this first Jesuit pope, it is openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture.”
Rosica also is known for his pro-homosexual views.
He defends LGBT activist Fr. James Martin, rejects the Catechism’s description of the homosexual inclination as “objectively disordered,” and says the phrase “intrinsically disordered” is “harsh.” Rosica was a longtime admirer of the late Gregory Baum, a homosexual dissident former priest whom he interviewed on Salt and Light in 2012.
More recently, Rosica was scheduled to say Mass for the pro-LGBT All Inclusive Ministries in Toronto but cancelled after news of the event was widely published. Rosica has preached a “mission” at the LGBT-friendly parish Most Holy Redeemer in San Francisco.
Such proclivities are particularly significant at a synod that many observers fear will be used to push for a change in Catholic teaching on homosexuality.
Those fears appeared justified when the synod working document released in June included the term “LGBT,” which had never before appeared in a Vatican text.
Top synod organizer Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri said youth used the term in pre-synodal documents, but when LifeSiteNews debunked that claim, he said the acronym would remain.
The controversy hit the synod floor Thursday when Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput argued the acronym should not be used in Vatican documents.
“There is no such thing as an ‘LGBTQ Catholic’ or a ‘transgender Catholic’ or a ‘heterosexual Catholic,’ as if our sexual appetites defined who we are,” Chaput said.
Using the acronym “suggests that these are real, autonomous groups, and the Church simply doesn’t categorize people that way,” he said. “This has never been true in the life of the Church, and is not true now.”
But Chaput’s objection would not have been reported if not for LifeSiteNews. It was not included in the press briefing, and Rosica did not mention it to reporters.
Asked if “homosexuality” and “gay relationships” were part of the interventions, Rosica replied: “Not those exact words, the issue was present, but there wasn’t any dominant issue.”
Rosica has argued doctrine will change when “pastoral contexts shift.”
“Will this Pope re-write controversial Church doctrines?” he asked a 2014 lecture in Windsor, which is posted to Youtube.
“No. But that isn't how doctrine changes. Doctrine changes when pastoral contexts shift and new insights emerge, such that particularly doctrinal formulations no longer mediate the saving message of God's transforming love.”
The youth synod assembly elected Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Vatican’s liturgy chief, as a member of the Information Committee on Wednesday night, but he declined for “personal reasons.”