Culture War: June 2008 Archives

This morning's Catholic Exchange carries a story about the recent Alberta Human Rights Commission (AHRC) decision against Stephen Boissoin, an evangelical youth minister who during Canada's debate over same-sex marriage wrote a strongly-worded letter to the editor denouncing homosexuality.

For this he was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine to the complainant, never again speak about the subject, and apologize. This last requirement is chilling when one considers that not even Canada's most notorious serial murderer-rapists, Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, were ordered to apologize to the families of their teenage victims. You can read the whole story here.

I would not be surprised if this case will be used as a precedent in the Fr. de Valk case, which is still being investigated. You can read more about Father's case here and here.

Additionally, today's Washington Times reports on last week's provincial human rights tribunal hearing against Maclean's magazine for having published an excerpt from Mark Steyn's America Alone. You can read that story here and here.


Only in Canada would a internationally-renown political writer like Mark Steyn be investigated for alleged hate speech because of a third-party posting on what appears to be the Catholic Answers web forum:

Click here for details.

From today's Washington Times:

The debate over denial of Communion to pro-choice Roman Catholic politicians was rekindled last month when Bishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kan., told Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to refrain from partaking in the sacrament.

Similar actions by Catholic bishops in the past have led to strong debate among canon lawyers - those who function within the church's internal legal system.

As Bishop Naumann joins the chorus of American bishops refusing Communion to wayward politicians, a new consensus is emerging among canon lawyers on the topic, which reached a boiling point four years ago surrounding Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. Mrs. Sebelius, a Democrat, has been the subject of much speculation as a potential vice-presidential pick for Sen. Barack Obama.

"Eight or 10 years ago, when people first started advocating on this, they were voices crying in the wilderness," says the Rev. Francis G. Morrisey, a retired professor of canon law at St. Paul University and one of the most respected canon lawyers in North America. "What we're seeing is a consensus emerge; it's more of a discussion now than a debate."

Father Morrisey, who long had been among the most vocal opponents of denying Communion to politicians, admits that his thinking on the subject has shifted substantially, although he still does not think Communion should be denied in every case.

"It is very rare that truth is in the extremes," he says. "We have to look at the individual conscience of each politician, and just when a person has overstepped the line."

Read the whole article here.

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

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This page is an archive of entries in the Culture War category from June 2008.

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