Saturday 10th October 2015

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

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Cardinal Schonborn says Synod’s contentious parts are yet to come

ROME, October 9, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) –Thursday, October 8, saw a surprise for the Synod of Bishops on the Family, when the Synod Secretariat announced that the only German-speaking discussion group among the 13 discussion groups (circuli minores) is not, as…Continue Reading

Leading African cardinal critiques Vatican spokesman Fr. Rosica

ROME, October 9, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – South African Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, a leading cardinal on the organizing committee for the Synod on the Family, issued a pointed critique on Twitter of a controversial report on the Synod by the Vatican’s…Continue Reading

Archbishop Chaput: Synod’s working text risks ‘compromise’ with sin

ROME, October 8, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) — Fresh off of the World Meeting of Families, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput gave a strong intervention at the Vatican’s family synod this week, warning that the meeting’s working text risks “compromise” with sin. The…Continue Reading

Canadian Catholic Schools Defy Archbishop on Transgender Policy

DMONTON, Alberta, Canada, October 8, 2015 ( – A Catholic school district in Canada is planning to approve a transgender policy contrary to its archbishop’s guidelines. The Edmonton Catholic school district in Alberta wants to push through a radical transgender…Continue Reading

Synod Showdown Report—October 5, 2015

We’re just out of the first press briefing of the Synod 2015, and things have pretty much picked up where they ended last year. The lead story, if you want to say there’s a lead to this, was a question…Continue Reading

Gov. Brown signs controversial assisted-suicide bill

Caught between conflicting moral arguments, Gov. Jerry Brown, a former Jesuit seminary student, signed a measure Monday allowing physicians to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients who want to hasten their deaths. Brown appeared to struggle in…Continue Reading

Someone is Lying About the Pope’s Meeting with Kim Davis

Papal spokesman Father Thomas Rosica flatly denies Kim Davis met privately with Pope Francis when he visited Washington, D.C. which stands in flat contradiction to Davis’s claims. In Roscia’s telling Davis was part of a large number of people as…Continue Reading

Top Universities Defend Research Using Body Parts From Aborted Babies

Some of America’s top universities have signed a letter urging states not to support legislation that would ban the sale of aborted babies for research. The letter comes after ten videos surfaced exposing Planned Parenthood’s organ harvesting business, along with…Continue Reading

Catholic Hospitals Sued For Refusing Emergency Care To Pregnant Women

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday announced that it is suing Trinity Health Corporation, which operates 80 hospitals nationwide, for refusing to provide pregnant women suffering from life-threatening emergency complications with abortions. Trinity Health hospitals have “repeatedly and systematically…Continue Reading

Too Scared to Pray? ISIL Cancels Prayers for Fear of Russian Airstrikes

The Islamic State terror group cancelled Friday prayers in the Syrian city of Raqqa and emptied mosques there out of fear of further Russian airstrikes, according to activists and city residents. According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights,…Continue Reading

Putin defends Russia’s ban on youth-focused gay propaganda: ‘I believe we should leave kids in peace’

MOSCOW, September 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – In 2013, Russia passed an amendment to the country’s Child Protection Law against “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations to minors,” which also safeguards children from being adopted by homosexuals. Western governments, led by the…Continue Reading

EXPOSED: The billionaire Planned Parenthood donor who wants his donations kept very, very secret

Sept. 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Three weeks after I left my job at the clinic, Planned Parenthood took me to court. I am always asked, “Why would they take you to court? Did they have something to hide?” Well, yes.…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

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

Today . . .

Prelates Note Satisfaction With Synod’s Work So Far . . . Say Instrumentum Laboris a ‘Martyr Document’ Meant to Be Changed

Rome, October 09, 2015 ( Staff Reporter Though reports from the 13 working groups read today at the synod of bishops showed generalized dissatisfaction with the Instrumentum Laboris, Cardinal Antonio Tagle of Manila says that is to be expected, as the working document is meant to be a “martyr document,” revised and corrected during the process of the synod. That was one of several points made at today’s briefing in the Vatican press office, to…Continue Reading

Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 6

(Vatican Radio) 10 Oct.At the end of the first week of the Synod on the Family in Vatican City, Fr. Thomas Rosica CSB, English Media Attache for the Holy See, joined Fr. Federico Lombardi SJ to summarise the discussions at the end of the week on Saturday. A number of issues were spoken about and addressed in interventions from Synod Fathers at the Synod on the Family on Friday evening and Saturday morning. The Fathers…Continue Reading

Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 5

(Vatican Radio) Fr. Federico Lombardi, SJ, director of the Holy See Press Office, brought three prelates as guests on Friday to the daily media briefing on the progress of the Synod on the Family taking place at Vatican City. Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manilla, Philippines and Archbishops Joseph E. of Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, and Carlos Osoro Sierra of Madrid, Spain, were present.   Cardinal Tagle told the Friday press briefing that he was…Continue Reading

Synod bishops looking for more autonomy, new insight, fresh language

(Vatican Radio) At the Synod of Bishops on the Family on Friday morning, participants presented the results of their small language group work that has been going on behind closed doors for the past couple of days. Each group has been discussing the first section of the Synod’s working document, or Instrumentum Laboris, focused on the challenges facing family life today. Who exactly are those rows of men with their red and purple hats, sitting…Continue Reading

“What Is Transgenderism?”

By BRIAN CLOWES Conclusion (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For all of the previous Culture of Life 101 articles on homosexuality, e-mail him at + + + “We psychiatrists should work to discourage those adults who seek surgical sex reassignment” — “sex-change”…Continue Reading

War Party Targets Putin And Assad

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Having established a base on the Syrian coast, Vladimir Putin began air strikes on ISIS and other rebel forces seeking to overthrow Bashar Assad. A longtime ally of Syria, Russia wants to preserve its toehold on the Mediterranean, help Assad repel the threat, and keep the Islamic terrorists out of Damascus.…Continue Reading

Biblical Types Of Our Lady

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY A previous article looked at the role of Mary as the New Eve, and now we will look at some biblical types of our Lady, and see how the early Church fathers saw different types and prophecies concerning Mary in the Old Testament, that is, that particular incidents or artifacts pointed…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “What is Transgenderism?”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For all of the previous Culture of Life 101 articles on homosexuality, e-mail him at + + + While those fortunate few who still possess a lingering sense of reality cringed at the bizarre…Continue Reading

Liberty Counsel Says . . . Pope’s Words And Meetings Support Conscientious Objection

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Liberty Counsel issued the following statement on October 2: Mat Staver, county clerk Kim Davis’ attorney, is the chairman of Liberty Counsel: + + + Despite a statement this morning by a Vatican official, the Pope’s own words about conscientious objection being a human right and his private meeting with Kim Davis…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Mission Of The Catholic Laity: Priest, Prophet, And King

By DON FIER Part 2 As baptized Christians, as we saw last week, each member of the lay faithful participates in the life and work of Jesus Christ and thus in His threefold office of priest, prophet, and king. As expressed by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC): “The whole People of God participates in these three offices of…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. We recently celebrated the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. But aren’t there other groupings of angels and what are they? — A.C., Florida. A. Based on the writings of Saints Dionysius, Gregory the Great, and Thomas Aquinas, the Church has taught that there are nine choirs of angels. Beginning at the highest level, they are Seraphim,…Continue Reading

Choose To Serve Rather Than To Be Served

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Ninth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Isaiah 53:10-11 Heb. 4:14-16 Mark 10:35-45 In the Gospel reading today our Lord tells us that He came, not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many. This is our hope for eternal salvation and, obviously, it is our hope…Continue Reading

Pope Francis In Philadelphia . . . Religious Liberty Transcends Places Of Worship

PHILADELPHIA (ZENIT) — Here is a Vatican translation of the address Pope Francis gave September 26 in Philadelphia, at a meeting with immigrants on the theme of religious freedom. ZENIT’s transcription and translation of his few off-the-cuff remarks are found in brackets. The Holy Father was in Philadelphia to attend the World Meeting of Families. ZENIT provided the text. All…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Pope Francis’ Visit Leaves Us Blessed And Strengthened

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The chair under me is rolling from starboard to port and back as I write to you this week because I do so aboard the USS San Antonio at sea. In my ministry here I am following through on something Pope Francis has asked of all of us: I am seeking souls at the periphery.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. John XXIII

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 Although rare, it is not unknown for a poor man, who had no connections and did not seek to develop them, to rise above all other men in stature and in influence over mankind. Such was the case of the sharecroppers’ son, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli. Throughout his ecclesiastical career, he was obedient and kind, but…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Thomas of Hereford

By CAROLE BRESLIN During the High Middle Ages the power of kings began to disintegrate, as shown by the Magna Charta, which was established in 1215. Although neither party of the agreement held up to its commitments, the beginning of more democratic rule had arrived. Three years later a noble family gave birth to a man who played a significant…Continue Reading