Hilary is a woman with integrity (was: Can I have some light with that heat, please?)

Yesterday I wrote a long post in reply to a long post of Hilary of Fiat Mihi. Hilary, who writes news articles for LifeSite news, had posted the full text of a not-very-flattering conversation she had with Fr. Toupin, the secretary to the Cardinal Archbishop of Montreal. Since this is my backyard, and I know Fr. Toupin personally, I felt I needed to reply.

As I wrote, “I first met Hilary on-line when I was working on interviews with the various political candidates in the last federal election. I have respect for her enthusiasm, and sympathy for many of her views. She is on fire for the truth.” I did not say any of these things in order to be condescending in any way. I really mean them.

Still, I had to disagree with her analysis. Hilary had even asked herself the question as to whether or not she should have posted the transcript, and wondered “out loud” if it risked being the sin of detraction. After looking at things closely I wondered the same thing, and in fact I was pretty sure it was. I said so in the comments boxes on her site, and in a post of my own on this blog.

Hilary has since taken down the long post she wrote, in what I consider to be a display of true integrity. Thank you, Hilary. I am not saying this as any sort of a “declaration of victory”. It is quite possible that you were not convinced one bit by my arguments. But the desire to avoid even the risk of such a sin of detraction is itself a sign of a desire to lead a professional life integrated with a moral life. Once again, thank you.

Since this particular issue is laid to rest now, I’m taking down my rebuttal post as well. Like I said in that post, “we Catholics need each other in this struggle for the soul of our culture.” No sense in keeping sterile arguments going on and on, especially when that struggle still continues! For example, on my own comments box below you will see a post in which a reader asks a number of pertinent questions, questions which I hear over and over again. He deserves good answers to them, and if this exchange has helped bring the issues into clearer focus for people, so much the better.

Lastly, because Bill Cork at Ut Unum Sint also mentioned that my original post gives some background to the scale of the challenge we face here in Quebec, I have preserved the final bit on my blog post here:

…..People in the blogosphere need to know that here in Quebec there is a VERY STRONG anti-clerical tendency, not just in the media, but in all of society. Take the situation of St. Stanislaus Kostka parish in the diocese of St. Louis, which is being so well covered by Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam. The issue there is having a parish where the assets are held by a lay-run corporation, rather than it being part of a corporation sole. I have news for you people in blogland — EVERY SINGLE PARISH here is Quebec operates under that model, by reason of Quebec law itself. We have absolutely NO CHOICE in the matter, as every time a bishop issues a canonical decree erecting a parish, the government, by law, erects a parallel civil corporation called a fabrique. Most of the time the members of these boards are faithful catholics who are only trying to do their part, but sometimes real control freaks get in there: stories of battles between pastors and their board of “churchwardens” are legion. One day I’ll be sure to tell you the story of what happened, just 2 years ago, in the parish of St. Adolphe up north. Or of the bishop of Gaspé who, facing similar sorts of confrontations, had a dramatic nervous breakdown and sank into a deep depression from which he has not yet recovered.


Here is Quebec we are essentially living the French Revolution in slow motion, and one day I’ll take the time to write about this in more detail. Yes, some of us are weak, and we fail under the pressure, or simply surrender to the other side. Leadership is needed. In the meantime we need your prayers…..