Friday 28th October 2016

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Remembering Journalist Larry Henderson . . . He Taught About Living In A Post-Christian Age

December 3, 2013 Featured Today No Comments


November 27 was the seventh anniversary of the death of Canadian journalist Larry Henderson, who died at the age of 89. A pioneer broadcast journalist in both radio and television in the post-World War II years, Henderson came into the Church on December 8, 1967.
A self-described liberal and agnostic at the time, he was searching for answers on why Canadian society, and the churches in particular, had a death wish, why so many intellectuals were becoming Communists. In conversations with Czech exiles in Ottawa, notably journalist Lubor Zink and University of Ottawa law professor Isaac Rosenberg, he was led to see that what was happening in Canada could not be blamed on Communists, but rather was the symptom of an organic social and cultural disintegration produced by liberalism.
As editor of the Canadian Register, from December 1973 through 1986, Larry sat in what he called “the hot seat,” emphasizing Catholic orthodoxy, supporting the Holy Father, and explaining to his readers the true nature of the revolution in the Church — in a way that he hoped would not antagonize the Catholic bishops of Ontario, who sat on the board of the Register.
After retiring from the Register, he took the helm of a small western Canadian monthly, Challenge, then with a circulation around 600. It was a small mimeographed newsletter that printed excerpts from papal teachings. Larry built it into a respectable, glossy monthly magazine with a circulation around 10,000.
During his years at Challenge, from 1986 to 2003, when ill health forced him to step down, he wrote a monthly editorial, which often focused on the crisis in the Church, exacerbated by bishops in North America in open conflict with John Paul II, and the growing “culture war.”

Good Journalism

It is a mark of great journalism that it holds up over the years, and many of Larry’s observations remain not only timely, but also helpful in understanding where Catholics — and the Church — stand today.
In his memory, here are a few of his observations from Challenge.
In a September 1989 essay, “Abortion — The Law — The Police & The Nazification of America,” Larry reflected on the Canadian Supreme Court’s Tremblay v. Daigle ruling, which found that a fetus had no legal status in the country — a ruling that said a father could not prevent the mother of his child from aborting the baby.
The decision, he wrote, “snapped the blinders off me.”
“What this adds up to,” he added, “is the law of the jungle, a state in which the Canadian people seem willing to live, because there is no consensus on abortion. And yet, behind it all, a new kind of law is emerging, a law which actually does encourage, induce, and eventually sanction bestial things. Because, in all logic, ‘no law’ is in itself a ‘law’. . . .
“History has shown that the growth of Nazism in Germany in the 1930s was made possible by the laws of the Weimar Republic of the 1920s, when jurists brought into being a code of laws which was permissive not only to abortion but also to euthanasia, the killing of the old, the handicapped, the deformed. This state of affairs was developed later into the so-called Nuremburg laws which permitted the gassing of Catholics, Jews, and the so-called ‘sub-races’ (untermenschen).
“Let us not blind ourselves to the fact that this is happening in North America today.”
Larry went on to describe the tortures pro-lifers in Hartford and Los Angeles had inflicted upon them by police. “These are all scenes once witnessed in the streets of Berlin, Prague, and Vienna, and now they have come to North America. What’s more, they have come in a cause — pro-abortion — exactly similar to the first round-ups of pro-lifers, Catholics, and Jews in Nazi Germany, and accompanied by the same storm-trooper tactics.
“One has to ask what this means? After the fall of the Third Reich ten years later, thousands of Germans said they never saw it, they did not know it was happening, and anyway, what could one do to stop it?
“Ten years from now, will we be saying the same thing?” he asked.

What Breaks The Heart

In a January 1996 essay, “Understanding the Holy Father,” Larry commented on the puzzlement and even anger many conservative Catholics were expressing at Pope John Paul II’s repeated affirmations of the value of Vatican II, and why the Holy Father was not taking vigorous action against his dissenting bishops, priests, theologians, and laity.
Larry responded that faithful Catholics cannot let the liberals and dissidents hijack Vatican II for their own political and ideological reasons, and then explained:
“The Church today is engaged in what can only be described as adversarial politics — to say otherwise is merely a pretense. I have no doubt this how the Pope sees it. He sees his job to put unity first, and then by means of persuasion, by logic, by spiritual example, to try to move the hearts of a stubborn generation into more noble ways.
“His accomplishment, therefore, has been to take the high ground away from the radicals. This he has done with a series of encyclicals, the greatest philosophical justification of traditional Christianity ever written, and to take it directly to the people in his journeyings.
“Conservatives say: ‘What about the ruin of souls meanwhile?’ But more souls still would be lost by formal, multiple schisms. . . . I deplore the tendency among conservatives to question the one man who could have held the Church together in these difficult times. This seems to me the unkindest cut of all. That dissidents should condemn him is only to be expected. But that, after all he has done, his own followers should condemn him — that is what breaks the heart.”

They Have No Heirs

In a December 1996 essay, “The Future of the Church — How the Tide Will Turn,” Larry expressed his hopefulness that the tide of dissent in the Church was going out, because Pope John Paul II has “so clearly reasserted [the teaching of the Church] that it will not be possible for a long time to undo his influence. And by that time, the progressives will all be gone. They have no heirs.
“That has been the work of this pontificate — to lock the Church in, so to speak, until, in the fullness of time, Catholicism comes of its own again. . . .
“Catholics should realize that this is one of the great cliffhanger moments in the history of the Church. The present Pontiff, by sheer force of personality, intellect, and spirituality, has held the powers of anarchy at bay, without allowing the Church to degenerate into open chaos.”
In a February 1997 essay, “Catholics and the Culture Wars,” Larry insisted that Catholics must face up to the fact “that we are approaching a time of serious social upheaval. . . .
“Now we have a very real Culture War, which can only describe as a war between the pigs and the people of principle. In many ways, this is likely to be by far the most bitter war, because our personal instincts are involved, for better or worse. As it goes on, people of principle will be more and more victimized, as the unprincipled resort to more fascist tactics.
“But there is no doubt in my mind how it will turn out in the end. . . .  The strongest voice in the modern world for culture versus carnality is that of the Holy Father. In his writings, teachings, and travels, he has fully made the case for Christian morality, and provided the underpinnings for a cultural recovery, such as Christianity has done again and again before.”
In “Living in a Non-Christian Age,” Larry examined the question of Catholics can live in a non-Christian society, one that has rejected all Christian values and morality, one that doesn’t talk about God anymore.
The answer, he insisted, is that Catholics must live our Christian principles. “If we have Christian principles, we must act on these. This does not mean we force others to subscribe to them. Nor does it mean that we must yield to numbers, to a consensus, or to what ‘most people think.’ We simply have the right to be what we are, to think as we do, and to serve the Lord as the Lord expects us to. . . .
“Either you believe or you don’t believe. We do not believe enough in this sense today. But we can change. The world is turning back to God. I think it would take very little to bring our liberal Catholics to their knees.”

The Role Of
The Catholic Journalist

In an interview after he left the Register, published in the book Portraits of Canadian Catholicism by Michael Higgins and Douglas Letson, Larry explained how he saw his role as a Catholic editor:
“The Catholic editor’s responsibility is to the ordinary faithful at large. His task is to present the Church in a truthful way, warts and all, but in such a manner as to avoid causing panic, dismay, or loss of faith.”
Larry was always faithful to that task.

+    +    +

(Full disclosure, I worked for Larry, when he was editor of The Catholic Register in Toronto in 1981 and 1982, and continued freelancing for him at the Register, and later when he was editor of the national Canadian monthly Challenge from 1986-2003, and he commissioned me to write his biography, alas unpublished — by his own wishes.)

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vatican: Cremated bodies may not be scattered

Vatican City, Oct 25, 2016 / 09:44 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released an instruction Tuesday regarding burial and cremation, reiterating the Church’s teaching that cremation, while strongly discouraged, can be permissible under certain…Continue Reading

Pope’s climate message failed to sway Catholic conservatives: study

Pope Francis’s landmark statement on climate change and his call for more work on the issue failed to sway conservative American Catholics, according to a new study. The report, from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, concluded that…Continue Reading

Live From New York Should a Catholic Vote for Hillary or Trump?

Almighty God has been very good  in giving us as the day’s Gospel passage that of Our Lord’s famous admonition to “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s but to God what is God’s.” I say that in view of the…Continue Reading

Catholic university blasts ‘Unborn Lives Matter’ posters as ‘bigotry,’ bans them on campus

CHICAGO, Illinois, October 18, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – College Republicans at DePaul University were prohibited by the university president from displaying posters on campus advertising their group with the pro-life message, “Unborn Lives Matter.” Vincentian Father Dennis Holtschneider indicated to the…Continue Reading

For Archbishop Chaput, ‘Catholic Spring’ group did untold damage

Philadelphia, Pa., Oct 14, 2016 / 05:53 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Charles J. Chaput did not enjoy his first and only encounter with two leaders of Catholics United. “It was an interesting experience,” Archbishop Chaput recounted in his Oct. 13 column…Continue Reading

The anti-Catholic Catholics (and the bishops who support them)

Yesterday Ross Douthat of the New York Times embarked on a lengthy Tweetstorm —21 tweets in all—questioning whether it’s accurate to refer to the leaked emails from the Clinton campaign as evidence of “anti-Catholic” bigotry. Douthat—who is no friend of…Continue Reading

The next ‘deplorables’? Clinton campaign rips ‘backwards’ Catholic beliefs in leaked e-mails

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – “Conservative Catholics” are the latest Americans to be smeared by members of Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign, leaked emails revealed on Tuesday show. Catholic beliefs are bashed as “backwards” and conservative Catholics…Continue Reading

German Bishop’s New Proposal: “There Exists More Than Man and Woman”

The Catholic Church in Germany seems to be becoming more and more unbounded in its proposals. In the recent past, for examples, the official website of the German Bishops’ Conference,, has reported about the idea to have women cardinals; about…Continue Reading

Cardinal Sarah presents counter-vision to Francis as he launches new book

After being reprimanded by Pope Francis over the summer for calling on priests to face east while saying Mass, Cardinal Robert Sarah is refusing to back down and is becoming a rallying point of opposition to this papacy.  The Vatican’s…Continue Reading

Massachusetts’ highest court grants full parental rights to unmarried gay woman

BOSTON – The Mass. court that paved the way for same-sex marriage in the United States ruled Tuesday that an unmarried gay woman whose former girlfriend gave birth to two children through artificial insemination has the same parental rights as…Continue Reading

Shunned for supporting natural marriage, former Mozilla CEO is back with new browser

SAN FRANCISCO, September 28, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The former CEO of Mozilla has released a new Internet browser called Brave. Brendan Eich, the creator of JavaScript, continues to lead the technological revolution with Brave, an innovative concept in Internet browsers.…Continue Reading

Lay Catholic Group: Tim Kaine’s Radical Views Stem From Embrace of Liberation Theology

An organization of committed lay Catholics is challenging Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, who’s invoking his Catholic faith and the words of Pope Francis as a basis for his radical positions on abortion and marriage, as well as his…Continue Reading


Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

">Mother Angelica On Voting

Pope Francis addresses JPII Institute

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis addressed the administration, faculty, students, and staff of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family in Rome on Thursday, at the opening of the Institute’s academic year. The Holy Father’s address was also in view of the Institute’s upcoming 35th anniversary, to be marked in November. In remarks prepared for the occasion and delivered on Thursday morning in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace,…Continue Reading

Father Gerald Murray, Blasts Clinton for Not Apologizing for Staff Emails, Suggesting Pope Francis Supports Her

A Catholic priest said Friday on Fox News that he is very disappointed Hillary Clinton didn’t apologize for her campaign staff’s anti-Catholic remarks during her appearance at the Al Smith dinner. The annual Al Smith roast-style fundraiser for Catholic charities was held Thursday night in Manhattan, and featured both candidates for president. Father Gerald Murray, the pastor of Holy Family Church in New York City, was also incensed that Clinton suggested that Pope Francis was endorsing her…Continue Reading

Cardinal Kasper: Can the ‘remarried’ now receive communion? ‘Yes. Period.’

October 24, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — In a recent publication of the German journal Stimmen der Zeit (Journal for Christian Culture), Cardinal Walter Kasper published an article calling Amoris Laetitia a “paradigm shift” in the Church’s teaching. “Amoris Laetitia: Break or Beginning” is the title of a recent scientific article by Kasper in which he analyzes the post-synodal exhortation and provides his opinion on the right hermeneutic in reading it. In the first part called “Discussion…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood rips proposal to require father’s consent for abortion

SOUTH CAROLINA, October 21, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) is walking back suggestions it made last month that fathers of pre-born children consent for their mothers to abort them. The proposed regulations would possibly update abortion accident reporting requirements, requirements for abortion licensure, “complaint reporting, patient rights, infection control,” “record maintenance,” and “fire and life safety requirements,” according to the SCDHEC, which is accepting public comment on…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . The Definitive Biography Of Hitler To Date

By JUDE P. DOUGHERTY Ullrich, Volker. Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939. Translated from the German by Jefferson Chase. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016. x + 998 pp. Confronted with a 998-page volume, one can only hint at its content. The book is not a pleasant read, although it contains a lot of material relevant to the…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Advance Medical Directives” (Conclusion)

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, “Euthanasia,” e-mail him at + + + We have seen that there are many problems associated with the standard Living Will, although…Continue Reading

Restoring The Rightful Place Of The Supreme Court In American Government

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bi-monthly] in Crisis. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of…Continue Reading

Time To Pray Unceasingly . . . The Catholic Church Is Under Attack

By FR. MICHAEL P. ORSI The Gospel reading for Sunday, October 16 was Jesus’ parable about the persistent widow demanding of a corrupt judge that he render a fair verdict on her claim. The judge gives in “lest she finally come and strike me.” It’s a humorous anecdote which Jesus turns into an illustration of…Continue Reading

A Movie Review . . . Coming To God In An Unconventional Way

By REY FLORES “I see you dressed in white. Every wrong made right. I see a rose in bloom. At the sight of you (oh so priceless). Irreplaceable, unmistakable, incomparable. I see it all in you (oh so priceless).” The above are the closing lyrics for the song Priceless by country duo For King &…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. I personally don’t believe too many women’s lives are endangered when choosing an abortion. It also seems to me that our Church says if such a circumstance happens during an abortion or a regular delivery, doesn’t the Church rule the baby should be saved first? That seems to conflict with what Mrs. Clinton believes. — D.L.H., Iowa. A. No, the…Continue Reading

Let Your Hearts Be Strengthened

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Thirty-Second Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: 2 Macc. 7:1-2, 9-14 2 Thess. 2:16-3:5 Luke 20:27-38 In the first reading today we hear about the heroic family who all suffered death at the hands of a tyrant who was trying to force the Jewish people to give up their faith because it made them different…Continue Reading

Cardinal Ratzinger’s 2004 Letter… Forbids Catholics To Vote For Hillary Clinton Under Pain Of Mortal Sin

(Editor’s Note: Below is a commentary The Wanderer is reprinting with permission from Catholics 4 Trump [catholics4trump], originally posted on October 11. All rights reserved. Catholics 4 Trump makes the case that a vote for the pro-abortion Hillary Clinton is objectively grave matter. Note the contrast between Trump’s and Clinton’s abortion stands in the third and final presidential debate on…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Pray Always And Never Grow Weary

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK A moment of dawning experience when I was young gave birth to a nearly perfect prayer. This farewell to innocence of which I speak was a blessing. In the light of it I came to know the presence of God through His goodness which is the heart of prayer in the life of faith. I…Continue Reading

What Is Faith?… Other Attributes Of God

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 8 “I love thee, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:1-2). The enthusiasm with which the psalmist praises God our Lord comes from his knowledge of God’s…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Colman Of Kilmacduagh

By CAROLE BRESLIN Ireland, the Emerald Isle, a green country of lush fauna, friendly people, and beautiful views — if you can find a clear day — has a rich and troubled heritage. It is a land full of the lore of elves, fairies, and, most important, Catholic saints. Numerous books have been written about the many Irish saints and…Continue Reading

Blessed Giuseppe Puglisi

By CAROLE BRESLIN When a society is riddled with evil and corruption, the worst thing we can do is to remain quiet. If we truly believe in God, then it is our obligation to do all we can to save the souls in danger of being lost in such a society. The threats and dangers of this world are not…Continue Reading