Tuesday May 18, 2010

Pro-Gay Priest Condemns Canadian Cardinal for Remarks on Abortion/Rape

Pro-Life Leader: “Enough is enough. It’s time for this dissenting priest to be turfed.”

By John-Henry Westen and Patrick B. Craine

MONTREAL, May 12, 2010 ( – A controversial Canadian Catholic priest has denounced the highest-ranking prelate in the nation, Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec City, the primate of Canada, after the cardinal reiterated the Church’s teaching against direct abortion in all cases, including such “hard cases” as rape.

“I cannot subscribe to these suggestions,” said Fr. Raymond Gravel, a priest and former federal politician well known for publicly criticizing the Vatican over the Church’s teachings against homosexuality. “I find it deplorable that a man who is a cardinal, archbishop of Quebec, would hold views like these. It’s as if women were nothing and what is important is to save their fetus, however it was conceived. We are dealing with rape here.”

Fr. Gravel made the comments in French to Radio-Canada. A video of the priest’s comments is available on Youtube.

This is not the first time that Fr. Gravel has publicly denounced Canada’s primate. In a September 2006 letter to the editor for the Quebec newsweekly Actualité, he wrote that “Cardinal Ouellet is not a true Catholic, that he is not representative of Quebec Catholics, and that, indeed, he is against the Gospel.”

“Enough is enough,” said Jim Hughes, National President of Campaign Life Coalition, in response to Fr. Gravel’s latest affront against the Church. “It’s time for this dissenting priest to be turfed.”

Fr. Gravel was responding to remarks made by Cardinal Ouellet at a pro-life conference in Montreal on Saturday. Regarding abortion in cases of rape, the Cardinal told a reporter: “The child is not responsible for how he was conceived, it is the aggressor who is responsible. We can see him (the child) as another victim.”

In contrast, Fr. Gravel told Radio-Canada that, while he is against abortion, “when it is a case of rape, it is already a heavy burden for a woman to carry, without criminalizing her action when she aborts.

“I have a bit of difficulty with that. It’s as if one is condemning a person twice over,” he added.

Fr. Gravel has continued to serve as an active priest in the Diocese of Joliette despite repeated and public statements opposing Church teaching on fundamental moral issues.

For instance, in 2003, Gravel criticized the Vatican’s stand on the issue of homosexuality. In a piece for La Presse, he said that the Church “is discriminatory, hurtful and offensive, not only for homosexuals.”

Then in 2004, Fr. Gravel declared his support for abortion on Quebec radio. “I am pro-choice and there is not a bishop on earth that will prevent me from receiving Communion, not even the pope,” he told Radio-Canada.

In 2006, he was leader and spokesman for a group of 19 priests who signed a letter against the Church’s teaching on the immorality of homosexuality, saying that men with homosexual tendencies should not be barred from the priesthood. Six of the priests were from the Jolliette diocese, while none were from the Archdiocese of Quebec City under Cardinal Ouellet.

Later in 2006 Fr. Gravel was elected as a Member of Parliament for the Bloc Quebecois in Repentigny, Quebec, in defiance of the Vatican’s order against priests running for public office.

In 2007, while serving as an MP, Fr. Gravel opposed the Unborn Victims of Crime Act on the basis that he feared it would “open the door to a re-criminalization of women who have abortions, and that’s not to be desired.”

“When the fetus is still in the mother they’re just one being,” he said. “Its only when the fetus is born is when it becomes another being, when it becomes a human being.”

In 2008, he defended the awarding of the Order of Canada to infamous Canadian abortionist Henry Morgentaler, and criticized the Canadian bishops for their opposition to the award. “It does not belong to us to judge Dr. Henry Morgentaler by refusing him the distinction of the Order of Canada because of his fight for women who are living through the trauma of an unwanted pregnancy,” he said.

In comments provided to LifeSiteNews, Hughes emphasized that abortion merely exacerbates the enormous harm done to a woman through rape. “Abortion hurts women. Hasn’t the woman who has been raped been hurt enough, let alone to subject her to the grave harms that abortions cause, which will last her whole lifetime?” he said. About Gravel he said, “Hasn’t this fellow done enough damage to the Church?”

To sign a petition in support of Cardinal Ouellet, click here.

Find full coverage of Fr. Raymond Gravel here.

Contact Information:

Most Rev. Gilles Lussier

Bishop of Joliette

2, rue Saint-Charles-Borromée Nord

C.P. 470

Joliette, Québec J6E 6H6

Tel: (450) 753-7596

Fax: (450) 759-0929

E-mail: [email protected]

Archbishop Pedro López Quintana, Apostolic Nuncio to Canada

724 Manor Avenue

Ottawa, ON


Phone: (613) 746-4914

Fax: (613) 746-4786

William Cardinal Levada

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Piazza del S. Uffizio, 11, 00193 Roma, Italy


E-mail: [email protected]

(Mail or fax is most effective.)


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