Thursday 5 March 2015


Correction: The two men's personal correspondence was limited to 2011. It ended after David appealed to his interlocutor's religious order.


I was delighted to discover this morning that Toronto's most famous Rochester-born priest is not going to sue David of Vox Cantoris after all. He now says, via his own blog and his friend John Allen Jr's journal Crux, that he never was planning to sue David. This certainly came as news to David, who responds here.

For two weeks I have had a ringside seat to the scandal, brain teeming with inside knowledge going back twenty years, and not being able to write much about it, for fear of making matters worse. Thus I was not able to say before that Michael Voris' suggestion that this might herald a Vatican crackdown on Catholic bloggers was pretty far-fetched.

There was never any suspicion in my mind that Pope Francis or any cardinal or bishop had anything to do with the lawyers' letter threatening blogger David Domet. The two men have been exchanging exchanged colourful messages for years in 2011, and both men are hot-tempered.

It probably seemed incredible to Catholic bloggers throughout the world that someone as high profile as Father Lombardi's English translator would risk making the Vatican look bad by threatening to sue a family man with an obscure blog. Some thought he must have got permission or encouragement from Father Lombardi or some other High Up. However, anyone who follows Catholic media in Toronto can count up the times this priest has gone imprudently nuclear on his critics. Heck, he even once called the cops on critics of his buddy the ex-priest Gregory Baum as they peacefully leafleted outside the Newman Centre.

Thinking the Vatican is going to go after small-time Catholic laymen bloggers is like thinking the CDF has the time or manpower to go after small-time theology professors in America. I should have found the paranoia of various professors about the CDF funny, but it was actually soul-crushing. So let us not be paranoid about Vatican wolves crushing blogging sheep between their teeth.

Getting on the wrong side of Father Jeremiah is another matter entirely, however, especially if you are a Canadian Catholic journalist whose livelihood depends on keeping the various doorkeepers sweet. Where there is fear, there cannot be love. And, although I would not characterize him as a wolf, I know firsthand that the man can be jaw-droppingly rude.  On the other hand, his lack of charm is a point in his favour. Charming priests too often have something to hide. Father Jeremiah's faults are reassuringly obvious.

This whole saga has really been tragic in the dramatic sense of the word, our down-home Oedipus Rex, Julius Caesar or Death of a Salesman. Would our hero scale the dizzying heights of a Church Career only to fall off  Mons Vaticanus because of his tragic flaw? I waited for Act 3 with bated breath and sighed with relief this morning. Everyone in Toronto Catholic media knows that this priest is a hot head. But nobody wanted to see him lose it completely.

Update: And hello, readers of Pewsitter. I see that a leading American Catholic blog has characterized David as "hounding" this priest. This is incorrect. David first wrote to him in March 2011, via Salt + Light, to complain about the priest's nasty remarks about "Taliban Catholics,"  and when he last wrote to the priest in August 2011, it was to tell him (the priest) to stop writing to him (David). What David has done to annoy in recent years is occasionally to mention this priest, who is a prominent and influential member of the Catholic media, in less than glowing terms (shall we say) on his blog and occasionally to leave comments on the Salt + Light blog. But I would not use the word "hounding" for that.


  1. There are certain unknown posters in various combox's that are accusing David Domet of horrific slander against Fr. Rosica, and also others. Who these people are is anyone's guess, but they are making him (Domet) out to be a monster. My thoughts are that it may be someone who is involved with 'Salt and Light'? 'May' is the key word here, but it seems logical that this COULD be the case.

    That said, your description of the situation fits my inklings of what actually went on. For Fr. Rosica to deal with any kind of 'complaint' he had with Domet in the manner that he did, to me is inexcusable. Plain and simple, it was a bully tactic,and to say the very least, unbecoming of a 'Catholic' Priest. I'm glad that 'Fr.' decided to close the matter.

  2. An excellent and articulate summation.

  3. I wonder if this means he lost his chance at the pretty hat.

  4. TLM, that is too bad. I know David, and I know who at least two (possibly three) of his accusers are, too. They aren't at Salt + Light. They are also in Toronto and have their own personal Toronto squabbles with David. As they are laypeople, and as the issues are so petty, I think this is nothing for bloggers to worry about or to touch with a ten foot pole.

    David is certainly not a monster. He just has never learned the art of catching flies with honey, and when he is shocked by sacrilege or heresy, he writes exactly what he thinks, no matter whether the offender is a 50-something priest or a teenage girl. I have wailed at him about "audience" and "tone" on more than one occasion.

    There is no reason to doubt that Father R is neither a Catholic nor a priest. Since the Second Vatican Council began, and especially since the Winnipeg Statement, many Canadian Catholics, clergy and laypeople, have become confused as we all struggle to make sense of the Council, the New Mass, and our relationship with what is indeed a very sinful world. Pope Benedict strengthened the frayed string between the Church of 1962 and the Church of 2005, and now it is up to those of us who loved and continue to love him to keep the string from snapping.

    Barona, thank you.

    Teresa, I bet he doesn't want the pretty hat. Heavy the head that wears the pretty hat. If I were he, I would be perfectly happy dividing my time between Toronto, running a media network, and in Rome, enjoying the weather, the museums, the friends in the know and lunch. (I am sure he must do more than that in Rome, but when I am in Rome, I am ALL ABOUT the friends in the know and LUNCH!)


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