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SIRIUS Radio Transcript of Fr. Rosica’s Interview on Across the Nation

  

trosica1We are grateful to the Catholic Channel of SIRIUS Radio for releasing to us the transcript of Fr. Rosica’s interview on Across the Nation with Veteran broadcaster Bob Dunning. The interview aired on the Catholic Channel on September 9, 2009. Several articles have been based on this transcript.

Bob Dunning: Father, you didn’t mince any words, and you didn’t name names, some of those who were criticizing Cardinal O’Malley and Cardinal McCarrick and the fracturing, really, in the pro-life movement. What prompted this?

Rosica: Thank you for asking. Prior to the funeral, we received numerous calls from a pocket of people who claim to be pro-life, some of them acting in good faith, but uninformed faith, and they asked us to invite or incite a protest at the Chancery of Boston so that the Cardinal would not proceed with the funeral. These same voices are the ones who are contacting us, in Canada, asking us to incite people to stir up the pot in the United States – which doesn’t need any stirring up, it is already stirred up.

BD: Indeed

Rosica: I made it very clear to them that our role is clearly pro-life, at Salt & Light television, from day one. The patron saint of our network is St. Gianna Beretta Molla – do I need to say any more what that stands for? And our wonderful documentaries that are in-depth on issues of euthanasia, on the handicapped and especially about abortion. So, it has been very consistent.

I refuse to capitulate to some of the nonsense – to be very honest. We have an agency in Canada functioning called LifeSite. It purports itself to be a news service for the areas and issues of life. I will say very publicly to those listening – it is not credible, it does not speak for the Church, it is not ethical, it is not honest. Some of the people involved are some very fine souls – meaning well – but they are wreaking division and havoc, not only in the Church in Canada but throughout North America. …

BD: Now, this is LifeSite News dot com…

Rosica: I encourage people to know that this is not an authentic instrument at the service of unity and at the service of the Church. It is causing division. For the 1/10 of kernel of truth that they purport to uncover (and there is truth in what they do) 9/10 is exaggeration. It is bombastic, it is derisive and it is divisive. So what they did, is took my blog off of our text, and off of our story – and I thought it was written in response to some of the real threats that we have received to stir people up – and the headline given to the blog, they pitted our television network against Raymond Arroyo on EWTN. Now, I never mentioned Raymond Arroyo in my text and nor did I mention EWTN.

BD: I will read the headline: “Battle of the Catholic Stations: Salt & Light’s Fr. Rosica rips EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo over Kennedy funeral” and then I read your blog and nowhere do you mention Raymond Arroyo.

Rosica: I think we have to be very clear and say that part of the work of Satan is to divide –

BD: Oh, boy

Rosica: …to pit people against each other, and they are succeeding quite well. I have immense respect for EWTN, we work together – we share our documentaries. I don’t agree with Raymond Arroyo’s blog that he wrote criticizing Cardinals McCarrick and O’Malley.

BD: Neither do I.

Rosica: We have to be about the work of unity. The Church is divided in many ways and it is not up to us to cast aspersions on pastoral leaders who, not only walk their walk and their talk, but carry immense burdens that none of us are really aware of. I am aware of a little bit – I work closely with the bishops of both countries – but to simply stir people up… If I allowed myself to be in the hands of a political party or particular faction or group I would not be honest to my mission, and so I took umbrage with anybody in media or public television who stirs up things. For them to say that I aimed everything at Raymond Arroyo – there were about 20 different people. Raymond Arroyo was the most public that they cited, which I didn’t mention in my article, but we all saw Raymond Arroyo’s blog. But we saw many other people stirring up – and priests especially who claim to be pro-life, causing more division in the Church. I think we have to be very, very careful of that. Bishop Morlino spoke very eloquently the past few days and other bishops have spoken but it isn’t enough.

My concern is – stepping back from the funeral, let’s look at the bigger picture. We have very serious pro-life issues over which we should be concerned as peoples of North America, not just of the United States, but of North America and around the world. Leading those issues is the very crucial issue of abortion: but abortion is symptomatic of a deeper flaw in the culture – a culture that doesn’t believe in life. The more that we are divided among ourselves, what kind of witness are we giving? And I think that is what this whole thing – my blog, my text – it surfaced deep-seated anger and hostility of people, mistrust of the Church, mistrust of the Church leaders – people wanting to set up a parallel Church, if you will.

The teachers of the Church are the bishops whether we like it or not and many of them do a pretty darn good job in the midst of very difficult things – many of them, like myself and others, fail. We fail miserably in our efforts and we get up and we try again but to simply set up this court of judgment is sinful and I think that is what we need to address, because our message for pro-life will only be credible if we stand together and if we wish life upon others. I had many people wishing my death, my demise, destruction and everything else. And I said to myself “And you are talking about life.” It has been a real lesson for all of us. We were floored at the hundreds of messages that breathed hate and wished death and also people delighting that Senator Kennedy would be in hell. I think that says something about we have more education to do.

BD: Which is what Bishop Morlino was talking about.

Rosica: I saw that yesterday and I have that on my telephone – people said that I should have been rejoicing and encouraging the damnation of people and this is very disturbing. It means that we haven’t done our work properly as teachers and pastors. That we really have to educate people. Otherwise, the pro-life ticket or label simply becomes a guise to do whatever you wish or say whatever you wish. Instead we have to really love people to life and to really convert hearts and minds of those in politics and those in any position of leadership.

BD: You wrote, “through vicious attacks launched on blogs, a new form of self-righteousness, Gnosticism and condemnation, reveals authors who behave as little children, bullying one another around in school yards, casting stones, calling names and wreaking havoc in the Church today. No one but their own loud crowd is really listening. We will never change laws and bring about conversion of minds and hearts with such behavior. We make the Church and our efforts for life look ridiculous and terribly anti-Christian. Sowing seeds of hatred and division are not the work of those who wish to build a Culture of Life.” Very well said.

Here, in the United States, we can argue about the numbers, but we would be lucky if there are half of us who are truly pro-life and now we have, as you say, the devil who is sewing the seeds of division, and you have the pro-lifers fighting with each other instead of taking on who we really should be taking on.

Rosica: That is exactly right. Let’s call a spade, a spade. The opposition, who doesn’t want to budge because of their political positions or whatever, look at reactions like this and it confirms them. The best way to convert minds and hearts is to sit down and to talk cold turkey with people and say look, these are the facts. This is what we have to do. We will be dismissed and not even politely dismissed as a bunch of radicals and fringe people unless we speak the truth with charity and firmness.

BD: I know, as we start the 40 Day for Life Campaign – asking if people are going to go out, are you going to participate – and they say they don’t want to be associated with people who are going to attack Cardinal McCarrick, or attack our bishops, I don’t want to be associated with those people.

Rosica: I think civility, charity, kindness and humanity – when they fail from the picture, when they are not present, we have a big problem on our hands.

BD: Where do we go from here? How do we solve this problem?

Rosica: What this has surfaced – this has been something seething and brewing for a long time. We have had a number of things over the last year which have brought out both the best and the worst in people who are on the side of life. I think we have a deep, serious reflection to undertake. First of all, what are our motives? Why are we doing this? We have to banish all tendencies from reviling and destroying other people and we also have to speak the truth. Bishops of Canada and the United States, they are deeply concerned about these issues – they have heroic efforts and wonderful people working with them and for us, for anyone who claims to be pro-life, to cast aspersions or to dismiss or discredit what the bishops are trying to do. I question whether or not they belong to the Catholic Church. Are such people Catholic? Part of our Catholic structure is the structure of the Church being united with the bishops and when we have people drawing up lists of good bishops or bad bishops, good priests or bad priests – this is sinful. Let’s admit and this is how the devil triumphs and this is how the opposition will win their cause.

BD: Boy, Amen to that, it is so true. I hear that all the time – the lists of bishops that we should be listening to and the ones that we can dismiss. Wow, these are people that have devoted their lives, 24/7 to the betterment of mankind.

Rosica: There are many wonderful human beings. Cardinal McCarrick and Cardinal O’Malley of Boston have been particularly so eloquent in their teaching and also so compassionate. I am no fan of the Kennedys – Ted Kennedy missed every turn of the way in his votes for life or what he could have done to prevent abortion, but he chose not to; but he also did some other things on behalf of the poor that cannot be negated or denied. What a tragic family. People talk about that being the royal family – but it is a tragic family. My heart goes out to them for the number of tragedies that they have experienced consistently. I found the funeral, not to be as language says, “triumph or canonization or beatification” – it was the Church at her best, commending a sinful soul to God, and I would hope that the Church would do that for all of us.

BD: Imagine the message to the world, if Cardinal O’Malley or McCarrick said, “I will not read this letter at the gravesite” or “We will not have a Catholic funeral for this man. We are not a compassionate Church.”

Rosica: This is a deep call or a warning if you will to the pro-life movement that we must get our act together. And I say “we” because I am part of it. We have to speak firmly and speak convincingly and speak with charity and if that is gone, let’s put up a shingle and say we are out of business.

Comments

  1. Sean P. Hogan says:

    On this topic however, I note that Archbishop Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Vatican’s Apostolic Signatura, said that funeral rites should not be given to pro-abortion Catholic politicians. As well he said, “The Church’s unity is founded on speaking the truth in love,” he said. “This does not destroy unity but helps to repair a breach in the life of the Church.”

    I am personally thankful that this Archbishop has spoken out. This clearly runs opposite to what Fr. Rosica and Archbishop Weisgerber have previously stated.

  2. As a direct consequence of Fr. Rosica’s unfair exaggerations about Lifesitenews.com, I increased my monthly donation to them. I have been reading their site for about 8 years now and have always be extremely impressed with their thorough reporting and with their willingness to make corrections when mistakes are discovered (very infrequently I might add).

    Please do the right thing Fr. Rosica, and apologize for your divisive and uncivil comments.

  3. Well, well, well! Apparently the famous Archbishop Raymond Burke (of the Vatican Apostolic Signatura) does not share Fr. Rosica’s perspective on the Kennedy funeral! Quel dommage! It appears that the archbishop has outdone LifeSiteNews in doing the very “work of Satan” which Fr. Rosica has alleged of the pro-life journal!

    LifeSiteNews has the story here, plain, simple, and to the point: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/sep/09092111.html

  4. @Art

    Well, Art, one example is not enough for logical induction. If you want to prove through induction that LifeSiteNews is XYZ, then you need to provide several examples, not just one, that amounts to XYZ. You are failing to provide even one, or several, and to defend your statement, you revert to the argument ad hominem, by saying your adversary would not believe your proof anyway. That is a poor argument to offer indeed.

    And Art, most of us accept on natural faith that God exists, but that said, one can prove or demonstrate that God exists. It is possible, b/c it is possible to argue from effects back to the cause. Philosophy proves that it is reasonable to believe that God exists. Sacred theology is the science that studies the nature of God as revealed by God himself. But the proof of the existence of God by reason is necessary to show that religious belief in the Deity is rational.

  5. @Sean P. Hogan

    Hey, Sean … If I give you one example you’ll say it’s not proof enough. If I give you a hundred you still wouldn’t believe me. It’s something like proving that God exists or doesn’t exist! You can choose to believe whatever you want but I suspect your mind is already made up. Right?

  6. Sean P. Hogan says:

    Hey Art, any proof would be welcome.

  7. @Laura Piatkowski
    The only axe I have to grind is against those who distort and misrepresent the truth, and mislead people like you into believing that the end justifies the means. And from your comments, I can only conclude that you’re indeed a devout believer.

  8. Allan Wafkowski says:

    If I understand Fr. Rosica correctly, if one is displeased by the fact that Ted Kennedy, during his long years in American political life, was never disciplined by his bishop for his pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marriage stance; and if one is critical of having a public sinner given a highly public funeral mass, replete with liturgically prohibited eulogies, one is ignorant and divisive.

    Having read Fr. Rosica’s account of the events surrounding Kennedy’s funeral, I wondered if his logic was of the same planet as mine. But then I reread from the ending to his piece:

    “Ted Kennedy missed every turn of the way in his votes for life or what he could have done to prevent abortion, but he chose not to; but he also did some other things on behalf of the poor that cannot be negated or denied.”

    Here we see the faulty thinking of the “seamless garment” theory. We ought to ignore a public sinner’s sins if he did anything else of value. The truth is that Kennedy was a vote chaser, and he voted his party’s line and rejected the teachings of his church. Much of his “things on behalf of the poor” were dubious at best. He did as much as anyone to enslave a generation of poor Americans to their lot. While others attempted to pass legislation that would have cut to the base cause of poverty, crime and societal insecurity, and were called bigots for their work.

  9. To Art: You sound like a person who has an axe to grind against Lifesitenews. Your contention that they are asking for money to incite prolifers is to do what? To tell the truth about abortion and its destructive effect on the women who abort their children is always news. Can you prove your contention that it is misleading and using “shock” headlines? The only thing I would take with a grain of salt is your attitude toward those who value life and are willing to speak out.

  10. Dear Father Rosica: I have just read the article on your comments about Edward Kennedy’s funeral, Mr. Arroyo and your condemnation of lifesitenews.com. I guess I don’t get it. You seem to have an attitude problem.
    The funeral was used by the Democrats and the media to push for a health care bill that does include abortion and euthanasia. The prayers for the faithful were in poor taste and do not reflect what I thought were the intentions of praying for the dead.
    In regards to your not naming Mr. Arroyo by name, you did seem to indicate that he was one of the people you feel was divisive,destructive and wreaking havoc. He was just pointing out that it was inconsistent with church teaching to give praise to one who was such an advocate for abortion. This is definitely not church doctrine on life issues.
    As to LifesiteNews.com, they never said they spoke for the church. Since when is it divisive, destructive and wreaking havoc to point out stories and events that show the attitude of governments both national and international and agencies such as The United Nations on life issues. Their stories are always given identifying the source where they come from and verification of their legitimacy.
    I hope and pray that you rethink your own attitude toward the people who are doing what they believe is the work of God in this world. God bless and keep you and give you strength to carry on your work with Salt & Light TV.

  11. Hello Father Rosica…I suspect that many of the particularly offensive voicemails, emails, postings, etc. that you received actually came from enemies of the Church, DELIBERATELY trying to distress you and sow discord among the natural advocates of God’s precious unborn.

    Certainly the enemies of God and of the unborn are clever, clever strategists. It was them, after all, who masterfully succeeded in pitting mothers against their own children – so much so that they could be duped into killing said children….so should anything be put past them? Have they picked a fight between you and LifeSiteNews.com, Raymond Arroyo, others (?) by pretending to be a horde of unkind, even mean-spirited pro-life Catholics [almost an oxmoron]?

    Please don’t fall for their divide-and-conquer approach Father. You’re too smart for that, and we need you all working together above the fray for the unborn and the lost of our world.

    May God enlighten, encourage, and embolden us all!

  12. Matt in Calgary says:

    The problem was never that Ted Kennedy was given a Catholic funeral but that it was public, complete eulogies. For Raymond Arroyo to point that out is divise, but after all, the truth divides. Some people are simply opposed to the truth. That being said, after reading Mr.Arroyo’s blog, I found nothing in it that was uncharitable.

    Fr.Rosica, please have the courage to name those in the Catholic Media who are behaving in a divisive, destructive manner (i.e. like Arroyo, Fr.Etenauer,Fr.Corapi,….etc.). What do you have against the Truth??

    God Bless

  13. Lifesite’s agenda seems to be to incite pro-lifers to give it more money so it can carry on its “uncompromising reporting” of pro-life issues. It does so in part through misleading and inaccurate “shock” headlines, and biased articles and quotes from unattributed sources. Lifesite is not a credible news agency. My advice: Take whatever it says with a grain of salt.

  14. Honestly, Lifesitenews has done more to advance the pro-life cause than any other Canadian Catholic media outlet for years. Exhortations from clergy in favour of life are important but they are simply not enough by themselves. Abortion must be a non-negotiable. Fr Rosica, please clarify for everyone that denying Mr. Kennedy a PUBLIC funeral was a perfectly reasonable option in this case. By giving him the public funeral the world now thinks that the Church isn’t really serious when it argues for a Culture of Life. No one suggested he should not have a Catholic funeral, just not a public one. How can we move politicians to the side of life when the Church cannot even use the sanctions that would be perfectly reasonable to use? I’m sorry, I want to support S+L but I cannot make any donation until you recognise the folks at LSN and that they are doing a great and courageous service for the Church, with tact, intellect and GUTS. Until then, they get all my donations.

  15. Lifesitenews is a blessing to the Pro-life movement, whether or not you agree.

  16. I am saddened to see that a priest in your position has so unfairly attacked those who disagreed with the manner in which the Ted Kennedy funeral was celebrated. To accuse all those who spoke out against the type of funeral that was held of being agents of “division, destruction, hatred, vitriol, judgment and violence” is extremely unfair and harmful. In fact, by doing this, you have really just given good example to the old saying that “when you point your finger at someone there are three more fingers pointing back at you.”

    Father Tom, I hope you can see clearly to pull yourself out of this by apologizing to all those whom you have so rashly insulted and calumniated.
    Blessed are the peacemakers.

  17. Father,

    Respectfully, You spoke of Lifesitenews as causing division,

    “but they(Lifesitenews.com) are wreaking division and havoc, not only in the Church in Canada but throughout North America.
    I encourage people to know that this is not an authentic instrument at the service of unity and at the service of the Church. It is causing division. For the 1/10 of kernel of truth that they purport to uncover (and there is truth in what they do) 9/10 is exaggeration. …

    I have 2 thoughts on this statement; 1, Ironically the statement itself is a divisive one aiming at persuading people to take a side AGAINST lifesitenews. Saying that only 1/10 of their work is true is an incredibly divisive statement(and by the way makes you guilty of the same exaggeration that you accused them of in the first place)

    and 2
    Division is actually apart of the Christian calling- If we are to be “set apart” we must also be divided, for logically we can not be set apart if we are unified to the world.
    according to the Bible division is something that comes along with the Christian Calling.

    “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father… (Matthew 10:34-39)

    It seems to me that what lifesitenews.com is doing is showing two opposing sides of an issue so that the reader can decide which one is truth. If that is divisive than so is every reasonable, rational, discerning thought anyone ever has.

    I don’t have a problem with lifesite being divisive, but if you feel it is wrong to be divisive, than why make statements against lifesite that are in and of themselves divisive?

  18. Fr.;

    I have been watching very closely the discussion of viewpoints on various Catholic websites and respectfully submit that the discussion has devolved into divisive language on ALL sides…

    From my perspective, it seems that most people are NOT saying that Ted Kennedy should not have had a Catholic funeral. My sense is that most people are questioning the publicity, speakers, and statements coming out of the funeral at a Catholic Basilica. It must create a great deal of confusion within the Church when something like this happens where we are not speaking the truth with one voice.

    I must also point out that I disagree with your statements regarding Lifesitenews.com. Should they have pitted you against Raymond Arroyo? No, not directly. But I think your statements confirm that he is one of the websites you are publically taking issue with, and to paint them with such a broad paintbrush (only 1/10 of what they do is truth?) is unfair and inaccurate.

    God Bless.

    Tim