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Steve Weatherbe

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No, we didn’t fire priest as spokesman over obscene tweet to Cardinal Burke: Basilian order

Steve Weatherbe
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Father Timothy Scott

TORONTO, February 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Toronto-based Basilian Fathers have denied reports they fired Father Timothy Scott as their spokesman over an obscene tweet he addressed to Raymond Cardinal Burke on February 7.

Father Scott, past president of St. Joseph’s College in Edmonton, Alberta, and a member of the Basilian order’s general council, tweeted this: “Just a little advice to #CardinalBurke STFU.”  The “advice” here is an acronym for "Shut the F- up." 

On February 22, after criticism over the tweet, Scott apologized and said he would take a break from Twitter. He since deleted his account.

The Basilians were sorry too. According to their official statement, issued by Scott’s successor, Father David Katulski, “The Congregation of St. Basil regrets the uncharacteristic Twitter message issued on February 7 by Father Timothy Scott in reference to Cardinal Burke…We support the apology issued by Fr. Scott on February 22. Contrary to many reports, Fr. Scott concluded his service as Media Spokesperson for the Basilian Fathers in July 2014.”

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Fr. Katulski had himself started the report echoing through the Catholic blogosphere with a cryptic, much-quoted earlier statement: “Thank you for your concern about the misconduct of Fr. Scott. I assure you that he is no longer spokesperson for the Basilian Fathers.”

Various Catholic writers took Fr. Katulski to mean Fr. Scott had been let go over the tweet. However, he hadn't been. In January, Scott had moved to Montreal to become executive director of the Canadian Religious Conference, whose 200 orders comprise 16,000 members overall, 94 percent over age 60 and 50 percent over age 80.

The Basilians, who once proudly staffed a vast network of high schools and colleges, will not apparently be disciplining Scott in any way. As for the Canadian Religious Conference, its president, Sr. Rita Larivee, joined Scott in not returning LifeSiteNews’ calls on the matter yesterday.

What had upset Scott so much about one of the Church’s leading voices of orthodoxy? Judging from a retweet by Fr. Scott earlier on February 7, it was the cardinal’s comments to French media that he would have to “resist” the pope should he pursue the path of allowing Communion for divorced and “remarried” Catholics.

Read: Cardinal Burke: ‘I will resist’ the Pope should he contravene doctrine

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