It was hoped by some of our Rochester laity that its diocesan paper the "Catholic Courier" would reform its ways and begin defending with vigor the clear teachings of the Church on contraception, homosexuality, and women's ordination as well as calling for the strict observance of the Church's liturgical rules and regulations. Such hopes were dashed as recent issues of the "Catholic Courier" continued to do what it had been doing for years since Fr. Charles E. Curran, Fr. Richard McBrien, Fr. William Shannon, and the theological "Braintrust" at St. Bernard Institute have set the tone for Catholic teaching (or, rather, the lack of Catholic teaching) throughout the Diocese.

Moral laxity and permissiveness pervade the Diocese, and the state of the Liturgy is depressing. Expressions of orthodoxy and dissent are both given a place in the diocesan paper, as if they were democratic equals, and Christ's Teaching is up for grabs in accordance with one's individual conscience. Catholic Doctrine can be apparently dispensed with, since it is not doctrine that is important but rather an attitude of false sentimentality and false compassion, wherein God's greatest commandment is to be 'nice'.

A great servant of God in our time, Frank Duff, founder of the Legion of Mary, wrote that:

"What counts, we are told, is a just life. But what this consists of is another matter. Those exponents of easy and universal salvation would permit things which normal Catholicism would regard as evil, that is, free love, contraception, abortion, homosexuality, and all the other abnormalities which individuals reconcile with their consciences." This "thinking" he went on to say, "is as wrong as it could be. it is tantamount to saying that Catholic doctrine is irrelevant to salvation, and furthermore that there is no such thing as sin, actual or original. This would be a complete sabotaging of the Christian system."

He observed that the reduction of Catholic doctrine to mere opinion is to impose a worldly humanism upon Catholics:

"But there is no likeness between that mere humanism and Catholicism. The two are in fact opposites. Humanism is no more than a refined paganism."

That "refined paganism", of course, now assaults the Catholic Church on all sides and is manifested in a rotten TV culture which mocks Divine Revelation, the Catholic Church, and fundamental decency. The pagan spread of homosexuality in our society, and its promotion by all our secular Media is, incredibly, reinforced by Rochester's diocesan paper, or didn't you know? Take the August 12th issue of "The Catholic Courier" and read one article deploring the Vatican document censuring the leading spokesmen for New Ways Ministry (Nugent and Grammick), a Letter to the Editor commiserating with Nugent and Grammick and expressing sheer delight that "others like them will carry on this important work", and yet another letter to the Editor declaring that "Virtuous homosexuals should be able to enter into legal, blessed, monogamous, devoted and loving unions with each other on the same basis as heterosexuals".

Previous issues of the "Catholic Courier" have had similar articles and letters, despite clear knowledge that such expressions of dissent from Catholic teaching on homosexuality play into the hands of those who would destroy Christian marriage and family life and society itself.

Printing such articles and letters without correction in a diocesan newspaper is totally irresponsible and cannot but be perceived by both Catholics and non-Catholics as yet another sorry failure to uphold belief in the teaching of the Catholic Church.

That teaching is the Teaching of Jesus Christ. [And] Sabotaging that Teaching has eternal consequences.

About James Likoudis
James Likoudis is an expert in Catholic apologetics. He is the author of several books dealing with Catholic-Eastern Orthodox relations, including his most recent "The Divine Primacy of the Bishop of Rome and Modern Eastern Orthodoxy: Letters to a Greek Orthodox on the Unity of the Church." He has written many articles published by various religious papers and magazines.
He can be reached at:, or visit  Mr. James Likoudis' Homepage

Dissent from the Magisterium.... is not compatible with being a "good Catholic".
- Pope John Paul II -