Vatican spokesman Father Tom Rosica had his lawyers send a letter threatening to sue a Catholic blogger in Canada for the man’s ongoing criticism of Rosica and his influence on the Extraordinary Synod of Catholic Bishops last fall in Rome. But now, after considerable media attention, Father Rosica has backed off and says he never really meant it.
The Synod last October raised the hopes of many on the left that Catholic teaching on divorce, remarriage, and homosexuality were about to change.
The Vox Canaris blog and others targeted Rosica in his role as Vatican press assistant for the English language media as a liberal influence on the meeting and the document produced by the bishops.
Make no mistake friends, Tom Rosica and the rest of them are not going to go quietly in the night. They are going to work insidiously over the next year so that there (sic) heterodox view of Catholicism is enacted, not in doctrine, but in praxis. For Father Rosica, it is but a continuing journey.
The blog continued:
In a stunning rebuke of President of the Internet Father Thomas Rosica’s pronouncement that the Holy Family was “irregular” in order to justify the homoheresy of the Synod on the Family; Pope Francis today at his audience contradicted the earlier reports by the Vatican English-language spokesman and Executive Director of Canada’s Pepper and Darkness Catholic Channel of No Hope and has pronounced the Holy Family was indeed, “regular.”
Rosica’s Canada-based law firm charged the Catholic family man who runs the Vox Canaris blog with causing “damages to Father Rosica’s reputation, work and service to the Church.” The letter demanded the blogger “immediately and publicly retract all statements on the blog regarding Fr. Rosica and apologize to him on the blog.” Rosica’s lawyers threatened the blogger with a lawsuit even if he followed their orders.
In a statement issued March 4, Rosica doubles down on the hyperbole but backs off on the lawsuit.
He continues to call the comments of the blogger “false, slanderous,” and a “blatant destruction” of his life and reputation.
However, in the statement, Rosica said, “It was never my intention to sue, but rather to issue a letter to ‘cease and desist’ the frivolous calumny.” Nonetheless, the lawyers’ letter explicitly threatens a lawsuit if their “demands” are not met, and says they “reserve the right” to commence litigation even if Domet does everything they demand.
Such a lawsuit would have been crippling to an individual with no financial means to respond. In his letter, Rosica made it clear the high-powered law firm was working for him at no cost.
In a statement on his Vox Cantoris blog, issued on the same day as Rosica’s statement, David Domet and his wife Francoise said that they had approached the Vatican for mediation with Father Rosica, but they were rebuffed. He also said he and his wife were ready to “to prepare a robust defense should it become necessary and a crowd-funding campaign to finance a rigorous defense.”
One thing Rosica wanted to make clear is that he is not a “high-ranking Vatican official” or a member of the hierarchy of the Church.
Rosica said, “In a world torn apart by hatred, terror and violence, often through the gross distortion of religion, we must be much more attentive to our use of social media and how it is used to unite rather than destroy humanity.”
He goes on to suggest that Vox Cantoris and others have turned “the blogosphere into a black hole of vitriol, anger and profound sadness.” Even so, he considers “the matter is now closed.”