Thursday 30th October 2014

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

By PAUL LIKOUDIS

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

Comment on this Article:

Angola: Catholic Priest Refutes Criticism of Church Practices

Lubango — The Southern Huila province?s Lubango city emeritus archbishop, Zacarias Kamwenho, rejected as false the claim that Catholic Christians worship images. Speaking on Sunday in the Muxima Diocese, in Lubango, the archbishop explained that Catholic Christians worship God instead,…Continue Reading

Ave Maria School of Law Wins Its HHS Mandate Case in Federal Court

The Obama Administration has suffered another defeat in its quest to force Catholics and people of faith to pay for abortion-causing drugs, as required by the HHS Mandate. Today the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida came down…Continue Reading

Catholic Educators Appeal to Obama Administration for Relief from HHS Mandate

Today a coalition including The Cardinal Newman Society, leaders of Catholic schools and colleges, and the expert attorneys of the Alliance Defending Freedom told the Obama administration that its latest rule mandating insurance coverage for sterilization and contraception, including abortion-causing…Continue Reading

Toronto schools hosting ‘LGBTQ’ conference for students as young as 11

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is hosting three student conferences within the span of eight days for the purpose of LGBTQ activism.  The conferences, which have been organized in collaboration with Jer’s Vision, will take place on October 28,…Continue Reading

The Synod and the Media: Culpable Naïveté or Shrewd Calculation?

Upon becoming director of media relations for the American bishops in late 1969, I quickly made a crucial discovery about my new employers. With just a handful of exceptions, the bishops were painfully naïve about the news business, yet convinced…Continue Reading

Chaldean Catholic patriarch suspends 10 priests, including 1 from El Cajon

SAN DIEGO – The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church has suspended 10 priests, including one from El Cajon. Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako issued a decree a month ago, demanding the priests return to Iraq or be suspended. Wednesday…Continue Reading

Retired Pope Says Interreligious Dialogue No Substitute For Mission

VATICAN CITY – Retired Pope Benedict XVI said dialogue with other religions is no substitute for spreading the Gospel to non-Christian cultures, and warned against relativistic ideas of religious truth as “lethal to faith.” He also said the true motivation…Continue Reading

California Forces Churches to Directly Fund Abortions, Churches Refuse to Comply

To the dismay of California’s people of faith, the California Department of Managed Health Care has reclassified abortion as a “basic health service” under the Affordable Care Act and ordered all insurance plans in the state to begin covering surgical…Continue Reading

Relax. God’s Still In Charge.

It’s an enormous challenge to maintain pristine doctrinal purity while at the same time respond to the experiential, personal, and difficult needs of married couples and families. Behind every arcane discussion of gradualism and natural law there are parents and…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke: The “Relatio Synodi” Is “A Significant Improvement Over The Text Of The ‘Relatio Post Disceptationem'”

In a third short interview with CWR, conducted by e-mail late yesterday, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, the Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, offers his impression of the Relatio Synodi, comments on reports that the Synod has…Continue Reading

Synod Final Document Reaffirms Church Teaching

The final document of the Extraordinary Synod was released Saturday as the Synod Fathers voted to approve all 62 paragraphs, but with three paragraphs not receiving the normally required two-thirds majority vote. The three paragraphs, which in the past would…Continue Reading

Catholic Synod: Gay Rights Groups ‘Disappointed’

Catholic gay rights groups say they are disappointed after bishops rejected proposals for wider acceptance of gay people, which had the Pope’s backing. The call to “accept and value” homosexuals was in a draft report, but failed to win the…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 subscribe 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

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Writes Personal Ordinariate Of Our Lady Of Walsingham

ben1

(Vatican Radio) Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has sent a message to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, which was established for former Anglicans in England in 2011.  The message was on the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict’s apostolic constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, which was released on November 4th 2009. The Pope Emeritus was responding to a letter he received…Continue Reading

Pope At Audience: The Church Visible And Spiritual

pope650

(Vatican Radio)  “Often, we hear people say: the Church doesn’t do this …the Church doesn’t do that!’ ‘Tell me who is the Church? – ‘Well the Church is the priests, the bishops, the Pope …’ We are all the Church! All of us all of us Baptized! We are the Church, the Church of Jesus’”. This was the message at…Continue Reading

Pope At Angelus: Love Of God And Neighbour Are Inseparable

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with pilgrims and tourists gathered in St Peter’s Square beneath the window of the Papal apartments in the Apostolic Palace at the Vatican on Sunday. In remarks ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father offered some reflections on the Gospel reading of the day, which was taken from Gospel…Continue Reading

Pope At Santa Marta: Called To Be Children Of Light

(Vatican Radio) At morning Mass on Monday Pope Francis said that a conscientious examination of our words will help us understand whether we are Christians of light, Christians of darkness or Christians of grey areas. Reflecting on the First Reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, the Pope said men are recognizable by their words. By inviting Christians to…Continue Reading

Pass-Fail Grading: For The Professors’ Benefit?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK S.M. writes to offer some observations about the proposal to introduce a “pass-fail” grading system for freshmen at Princeton University. The possibility of doing that was discussed in the October 9 edition of First Teachers. He sees the idea as a “form of grade inflation that is solely intended to accomplish…Continue Reading

Contemporary Culture Encapsulated In A Single Sentence

By DONALD DeMARCO It is remarkable how much a single sentence can reveal about the temper of a culture, even when its author is trying to be withholding. Jacalyn Duffin, a historian and practicing hematologist, is the author of History of Medicine (University of Toronto Press, 2000). It is a 243-page tome that was produced…Continue Reading

Synod Document Of October 13, 2014

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach and cofounder of NFP International. This commentary appeared on his blog [johnkippley.com] of…Continue Reading

Elite Judges Think The Highest Judge Never Will End Their Misrule

By DEXTER DUGGAN Today people worry about globe-trotting terrorists, the transmission of the deadly Ebola virus, and the way contagions can cross borders when the government insists borders must be open for everyone’s alleged benefit. Meanwhile, unaccountable U.S. judges continue their contagion of immorality, as if God’s judgment never will come, maybe in little germs,…Continue Reading

Chilling Free Speech

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO Earlier this week, the federal government’s National Science Foundation, an entity created to encourage the study of science — encouragement that it achieves by awarding grants to scholars and universities — announced that it had awarded a grant to study what people say about themselves and others in social media. The…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Temples Of The Holy Spirit

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Feast Of The Dedication Of St. John Lateran In Rome Readings: Ezek. 47:1-2, 8-9, 12 1 Cor. 3:9c-11, 16-17 John 2:13-22 Today we celebrate the feast of the dedication of a church building that many people have never heard of and also have no idea of its significance. In Rome, there are four major basilicas; the…Continue Reading

Message Of The Extraordinary Synod Of Bishops . . . We Ask You To Walk With Us Toward The Next Synod

(Editor’s Note: Below is the text of the concluding message of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, held October 5-19. This message was released on October 18. (See Fr. Kevin M. Cusick’s column in this issue, p. 2B, and the front page for reporting and commentary on the separate final document of the Extraordinary Synod.) + + +…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Redefining Marriage: Not About The Kids And The Picket Fence

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Following the Extraordinary Synod and the rollback on confusing language about same-sex attraction and the divorced and remarried in the final version of the Relatio Synodi document, the predictable reactions are coming in. Those who continue to hold Church teaching that marriage is only between a man and a woman are labeled as “bigots,” while…Continue Reading

Debunking The Sola Scriptura Myth… True Tradition And False “Tradition”

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 4 A classical objection: What Catholics call the “Apostolic Tradition” is just a human tradition, which Jesus clearly condemned in the Gospel, when He said to the Pharisees, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?…So, for the sake of your tradition you have made void the…Continue Reading

Public Revelation Vs. Private Revelation

By DON FIER Our previous installment ended by citing a pair of remarkable verses from the Letter to the Hebrews, verses that concisely summarize God’s divine pedagogy, His master plan of divine Revelation: “In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by a…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Wolfgang

By CAROLE BRESLIN October 31 has come to be yet another Christian holy day corrupted by our secular society. All Hallows Eve, Halloween, is now celebrated with emphasis on evil and horror. Corn mazes with frightening objects around the corner, haunted houses to terrify even the bravest of persons, glorification of vampires, and decorations of death and witches — these…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Anthony Mary Claret

By CAROLE BRESLIN St. Anthony Mary Claret has something in common with at least three other saints. Like St. Peter Claver, he was born in northeastern Spain — over 200 years later. Like St. Pio of Pietrelcina, when he heard Confessions, he frequently could read the souls of the penitents, asking them about a sin that they had not confessed.…Continue Reading

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading