In an interview with Professor Gregory Baum for "Salt and Light TV," Father Thomas Rosica told the notorious dissident, “I’ve certainly admired very much your theology, your writings but also your love of the Church, your love of Christ, and you helped to keep alive not only the spirit of the Second Vatican council, but also the authentic teaching of the Council … you remain a faithful, deeply devoted Catholic, love Jesus, the Church, the Eucharist.”
Lifesite News has reported, "Liberal Catholic press-people have recently touted a man some call Canada’s leading dissenter since the 1960s - former Catholic priest Gregory Baum - because of his role as an expert, or peritus, to the Canadian bishops at Vatican II. Baum, an advocate of homosexual ‘marriage’ and sex outside of marriage and contraception, was lauded by Fr. Thomas Rosica of Salt and Light TV, Michael Swan of the Catholic Register and also given free reign in the pages of the Scarboro Foreign Missions magazine.
Had he merely publicly rejected Catholicism, Baum would not have been as grave a danger to the Church and especially its moral teachings.
Despite the automatic excommunication he incurred for marrying an ex-nun while still a priest, Baum continued to speak lovingly of Jesus and the Gospels as he repudiated many of the principles of faith and morals revealed by Christ and in Sacred Scripture. One of the tools of repudiation was the dissenting Catholic New Times newspaper co-founded by Baum and other dissenters in 1976 and eventually prohibited from one diocese after another.
Such two-facedness led one of Baum’s contemporaries, canon lawyer Monsignor Vincent Foy, to consider Baum as having “done more than any person to harm the Church in Canada…"
This is the disturbed soul which Father Thomas Rosica has publically lauded. What would that suggest about Dr. Rosica?
Vatican II, in its' Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests (Presbyterorum Ordinis) No. 4, tells us that: "The People of God are joined together primarily by the word of the living God. And rightfully they expect this from their priests. Since no one can be saved who does not first believe, priests, as co-workers with their bishops, have the primary duty of proclaiming the Gospel of God to all. In this way they fulfill the command of the Lord: "Going therefore into the whole world preach the Gospel to every creature" (Mk 16:15), and they establish and build up the People of God. Through the saving word the spark of faith is lit in the hearts of unbelievers, and fed in the hearts of the faithful. This is the way that the congregation of faithful is started and grows, just as the Apostle describes: "Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ" (Rom 10:17).
To all men, therefore, priests are debtors that the truth of the Gospel which they have may be given to others. And so, whether by entering into profitable dialogue they bring people to the worship of God, whether by openly preaching they proclaim the mystery of Christ, or whether in the light of Christ they treat contemporary problems, they are relying not on their own wisdom for it is the word of Christ they teach, and it is to conversion and holiness that they exhort all men."
According to the Council, the task of priests is "not to teach their own wisdom but God's Word." And this task is of no less importance for the priest than his offering of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. Both of these are inseperably linked to each other: "The ministerial priesthood has the task not only of representing Christ - Head of the Church - before the assembly of the faithful, but also of acting in the name of the whole Church when presenting to God the prayer of the Church, and above all when offering the Eucharistic sacrifice." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1552).
For this reason, priests have the very serious obligation to teach the faithful under their care that it is never licit to have sexual relations outside of marriage; that a Catholic cannot (having been validly married in the Church) after divorce, marry another or otherwise pretend that sexual relations with another individual are somehow "marital"; that "formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense" and that '"the Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life" (CCC, 2272); and that "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible, is intrinsically evil.." (CCC, No. 2370, citing Humanae Vitae, No. 14).
The Church proposes these (and other teachings) as true and it does so in the name of Christ. The priest is not to question them. He is not to ignore them or neglect them out of a false sense of "compassion" or "charity." It was Pope Paul VI who said that, "To diminish in no way the saving teaching of Christ constitutes an eminent form of charity for souls." (Humanae Vitae, No. 29).
Pope John Paul II reiterated these words in Familiaris Consortio, No. 33. We are reminded in Lumen Gentium 14 of the Second Vatican Council that: "He is not saved, however, who, though part of the body of the Church, does not persevere in charity. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but, as it were, only in a "bodily" manner and not "in his heart." All the Church's children should remember that their exalted status is to be attributed not to their own merits but to the special grace of Christ. If they fail moreover to respond to that grace in thought, word and deed, not only shall they not be saved but they will be the more severely judged."
When a priest ignores or neglects his duty, his task, of serving the Word of God with fidelity, he fails to persevere in that charity described by Popes Paul VI and John Paul II as a charity which diminishes in no way the saving teaching of Christ. And he will be the more severely judged (Luke 12:48).
But so many priests have neglected their duty to proclaim the Gospel to all. And the Church is now reaping the fruit of this infidelity. Even though Canon Law states quite clearly that, "The Christian faithful have the right to receive assistance from the sacred pastors out of the spiritual goods of the Church, especially the word of God and the sacraments" (Canon 213), there has been a dearth of sound catechesis. The People of God have not been formed by sound instruction based on Church doctrine and Church Tradition. When was the last time (if ever) you heard a homily in your local parish citing the Catechism of the Catholic Church or papal documents? Were it not for EWTN, you might never hear such authentic preaching.
And this is nothing short of shameful. For such a foundation is vital. Where it is absent, people will assume that they have the right to form their conscience according to their own opinions, their own whims. The Catechism teaches us that, "Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened. A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful. It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator. The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings." (1783).
Those priests who remain silent while their people crave truth and direction are betraying their vocation. And they will be (as Lumen Gentium 14 reminds us), the more severely judged. As will every Catholic who knowingly rejects the authoritative teachings of Christ's Church. Truly the words of Hosea apply to our own time:
"Sons of Israel, listen to the word of Yahweh, for Yahweh indicts the inhabitants of the country; there is no fidelity, no tenderness, no knowledge of God in the country, only perjury and lies, slaughter, theft, adultery and violence, murder after murder. This is why the country is in mourning, and all who live in it pineaway, even the wild animals and the birds of heaven; the fish of the sea themselves are perishing."
And to the priests:
"But let no man denounce, no man rebuke; it is you, priest that I denounce. Day and night you stumble along, the prophet stumbling with you, and you are the ruin of your people. My people perish for want of knowledge. As you have rejected knowledge so do I reject you from my priesthood; you have forgotten the teaching of your God, I in my turn will forget your children. Many as they are, all of them have sinned against me, they have bartered their glory for shame. They feed on the sin of my people, they are all greedy for their iniquity. But as with the people, so let it be with the priest: I will make them for their conduct, I will pay them out for their deeds. They will eat but never be satisfied, they will play the whore but still be sterile, because they have deserted Yahweh to give themselves up to whoring." (Hosea 4: 1-11).
The Church is in crisis because priests like Father Thomas Rosica continue to genuflect before the world in their zeal to serve the Prince of this world.
Pray for these confused clerics.