When a Catholic priest is fired as editor of a church-sponsored magazine, the first reaction is that it is a matter of interest only to Catholics and not a case of censorship. Perhaps that is why the situation of Father Albert Lalonde in Saskatchewan has not received major publicity and why the editorialists of our national newspapers have not cried “Censorship, censorship!”
But the Lalonde case is of importance to the editorialists at The Interim because we see this as an alarming precedent. Like Our Family, we are an independent newspaper, with no publishers nervously peeking over our shoulders and over-reacting to critical letters and telephone calls. Being an independent has its price, yet we do have editorial freedom and as long as our readers believe in us we will be here.
Father Lalonde published articles on the true nature of the homosexual network and on the activity of certain feminists within his Church, and for that he is paying a heavy price. He is living proof that the adage of shooting the messenger when the news is bad is alive and well. He is living proof that those who search out the truth ore often silenced by those who refuse to acknowledge it.
Another current RC writer, Anne Roche Muggeridge, has a similar message in her book, The Desolate City (reviewed in this issue). Though writing on a different subject with a generally different view from that of Father Lalonde, she reveals the more unpleasant effects of changes within the RC Church in Canada which many prefer to ignore.
In the end it is the truth that counts. Those who attempt to manipulate the truth don’t realize that every messenger shot down will be replaced by another, and another, and yet another.
It is another adage that those who consistently seek to distort society – cannot, themselves, bear opposition from those who value tradition or long-held principles. The “new thinkers” seek freedom for their views but cannot tolerate those who vigorously oppose them.
It’s hard to stand up for what one believes in, as both Muggeridge and Lalonde know. It is, nevertheless, the high road to take. What we need are more Muggeridges and Lalondes, more people at every level of influence – especially those who feel they have no influence to wield – to stand up and speak clearly for what they believe.
That is why firing Father Albert Lalonde is of great significance to all pro-life, pro-family Canadians. But don’t hold your breath waiting for the national media to catch up to this major abuse of freedom of speech.