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June/July 2000

CLERICAL CATHOLIC- BAITERS

THE EDITOR

"Catholic-baiting," stated Yale Professor Peter Viereck, "is the anti-semitism of the liberals." Never a truer word said. Of course, he only had in mind the secular variety of Catholic-baiters; Nietzsche's "God is dead" progeny, full of Evolutionary pseudo-science and oozing self-contradiction from every mental pore. Christopher Hitchens is a classic of the type, as Anthony McCarthy elucidates in this edition.

Yet as damaging to the Church and Her salvific mission as these are, worse by far are the ecclesiastical Catholic-baiters; those Modernist clerics who St. Pius X declared "the most pernicious adversaries of the Church" [see CO, May 2000]. Within this priestly genus there are two broad species: 'vulgarians' and 'smoothies.'

In these Isles, the vulgarians are epitomised by the likes of Fathers John Fitzsimmons and Steve Gilhooley. Loud, coarse and shameless, these priests have lost the holy fear of God and with it, as Pius X stated, "all sense of modesty." We reprint the following report of Fr. Fitzsimmons' latest rantings as a belated wake-up call to those who still accuse the likes of Christian Order of "extreme" and "fanatical" overreaction to the present state of the Church. However crude, the vulgarian purview is now institutionalised and mainstream following several decades of episcopal complicity and neglect.

While leaving the vulgarians to their full-frontal Catholic-baiting, the Modernist smoothies shore up the attack by proceeding to skilfully play "the double part of rationalist and Catholic, and this so craftily that they lead the unwary into error" [Pius X]. Feted and admired for their efforts, the smoothies are personified by the popular newspaper columnist Fr. Ronald Rolheiser. The renowned New Zealand theologian Fr. George Duggan, S.M., provides a glimpse of the sort of Modernist dissembling and deception employed by this insidious species.

Thus bombarded by "liberal anti-semitism" from without and within, the faithful Catholic remnant must stay awake: informed and watchful; prayerful and combative.

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