Raymond Gravel is in the news again.
He is a colorful figure.
Back in 2006 the Globe and Mail (article no longer available on line) reported
Rev. Raymond Gravel had to get permission from the Vatican to run in a federal by-election. Now, the former prostitute who used to work in gay leather bars has to convince the voters of Repentigny riding that he is the right man to represent them.
He followed a childhood dream and entered the priesthood in 1982 after a rough-and-tumble life that included work as a prostitute and in gay leather bars between 1976 and 1982.
Mr. Gravel gave up prostitution after being so severely beaten by a client that he ended up in hospital.
His tenure as a priest has not been low key, either. An outspoken advocate, Mr. Gravel has publicly decried the Roman Catholic Church’s position on same-sex marriage. He also received a disciplinary letter from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict XVI.
Mr. Gravel was also one of 19 priests who created a tempest in February when they signed an open letter criticizing the church’s position on same-sex marriage and its opposition to ordaining gays.
“I would say that 50 per cent of the priests in Quebec are gay, but if I became a priest, it’s because I’m a believer and I believe in the message of Christ,” he said in an interview last year with Fugues, a gay magazine.
Life Site News criticized him, and he is suing them for $500,000. They report
Regular readers of LSN will need no introduction to Fr. Raymond Gravel – he’s the Quebec priest and former Member of Canada’s Parliament who stated on a radio interview in 2004: “I am pro-choice and there is not a bishop on earth that will prevent me from receiving Communion, not even the Pope.”
Then, in 2008, he defended the awarding of Canada’s highest civilian award to the country’s ‘father of abortion’ – arch-abortionist Henry Morgentaler! During his political career he was rated as ‘pro-abortion’ by the political arm of the pro-life movement. He has also repeatedly and publicly criticized his church’s teachings on homosexuality and abortion.
Even though LifeSiteNews reports have overwhelmingly reported on what Fr. Gravel himself has publicly said, he is suing us for libel. Among other things, he argues that he isn’t pro-abortion, but he has said in the past that he is “pro-choice.”
He’s demanding $500,000 in damages – which, coincidentally, is a full year’s budget for us. That would put LifeSiteNews out of business!
One does wonder how Gravel got himself ordained and has gotten away way with his public stances. As a former sex-worker he may well have some useful information about members of the hierarchy. Comment dit-on “blackmail” en français?