Editorials English Opinion

Hamilton Bishop, Douglas Crosby, leads Schism in Catholic Church

It is frankly of little concern to me personally how, if or on what Bishop Crosby’s views differ from the Vatican’s official views on Catholicism. He does not return phone calls or respond to email questions from press like ours. We are a secular newspaper.

That being said, Bishop Crosby expelled one of his priests from his diocese, the day he, Fr. Roginski delegated on Catholic symbolism to the Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB) last August 20. It appears Fr Roginski, with whom (like Bishop Crosby) the Corriere and its staff have never spoken, did not consult with his Bishop on Catholic values he has been trained to explain and promote.

That may have irked the Bishop whose views on some of those values may be incongruent with those of the Pope as the magisterium. We probably will not know because the position of the magisterium’s delegate, the Apostolic Nuncio, has not yet been filled. Conveniently for Bishop Crosby.

Then, “out of the blue” the HCDSB convened an emergency meeting to consider “several items” including the naming of a school. We do not yet know if the Bishop or Fr. Roginski will defend their positions before the Board or who presented the request for the urgent meeting. No one is answering requests for comment, and as at going to print, we were unable to locate Fr. Roginski.

Somehow, though 93 people found out about the meeting by Sunday morning and submitted letters taking a position on the topic most dear to the Bishop. We were unable to verify whether all were eligible Catholic School supporter for the purposes of the Education Act, or if in fact, they were residents in the jurisdiction.

We do know that one prominent letter originated from an organization in Thunder Bay. Furthermore, 37 of the 93 letters commenting were duplicates of those submitted for the August 20 meeting. A quick scan of them all reveals an absence of issues related to the Constitutionally entrenched rights of those Catholic citizens, their reaffirmation in the Charter of Rights, the Education Act, Case Law and the Human Rights Code.

Yet, Catholic School supporters may see those rights eroded without due process simply because the local Bishop, in defiance of the Magisterium’s authority recognized in both Canon Law and Canadian Statute, is weighing in on a matter in which trustees of any local Board have no competence or jurisdiction to determine.

Bishop Crosby knows better. To paraphrase Pope Francis who provided guidance: you can choose to do [this] and be Catholic or do something else but then you are not Catholic.

It is true that Catholics enjoy historical and active rights in the Constitution and the Education Act. There are time tested reasons for it – reasons also tested in the Courts of Law (due process). Were anyone else to behave as Bishop Crosby appears to be doing, he/she would be accused of operating as some despotic feudal lord.

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