Worcester Telegram: Catholics and Muslims “have no reason to fear what Mr. Spencer has to say. His is an important voice in the ongoing debate over the nature of Islam.”

I am very surprised and grateful to see a mainstream media editorial coming to my defense. Kudos and thanks to the Worcester Telegram for their clear-sightedness and commitment to the truth.

Here, meanwhile, is the petition that is circulating asking Bishop Robert McManus of Worcester to allow me to speak after all.

“Catholic speakers: Conference disinvites Islam expert,” from the Worcester Telegram, February 3 (thanks to A.):

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester’s decision to disinvite Robert Spencer as a speaker at the annual Catholic Men’s Conference on March 16 calls to mind the controversy a year ago over Anna Maria College’s decision to withdraw an invitation to Victoria Reggie Kennedy to speak at its commencement.

In the earlier case, the decision to withdraw the invitation was left to Anna Maria officials after the diocese informed them that Bishop Robert J. McManus could not and would not attend an event if Ms. Kennedy was the speaker. In this latest case, Bishop McManus himself pulled the invitation that had been issued to Mr. Spencer.

Monsignor Thomas Sullivan, lead organizer of the men’s conference, told the Telegram & Gazette that some groups, including members of the Islamic Society of Greater Worcester, perceive Mr. Spencer as anti-Islamic. While the diocese does not share that view, he said, the invitation was withdrawn to avoid “a media outcry.”

While the details differ, both cases are very much about the diocese exercising its right to shape the form and message of distinctively Catholic events.

Anna Maria is, after all, a Catholic school, and while Catholic institutions of higher education are as devoted to open inquiry as any other school, they have an additional obligation: To bear Catholic values and teachings in mind when considering speakers and the composition of curriculum and events.

On balance, we believe Anna Maria did exactly the right thing in yielding to the diocese last spring and then inviting Ms. Kennedy to be the keynote speaker at its symposium “Faith and the Public Square” last fall.

As for Mr. Spencer, we suspect the popular men’s conference might see even higher attendance if he were a participant, but the diocese is obviously and entirely within its rights to determine the lineup of speakers at its own conference.

But whether the diocese avoids an outcry “” in the media or among the public “” remains to be seen.

Mr. Spencer is widely known and read. He has authored a dozen books, conducted seminars on Islam and jihad for the U.S. military and intelligence communities, and been a frequent guest and debate participant in a broad variety of U.S. media. Some will disagree with his conclusions, but it is difficult to argue that his is an uninformed or inconsequential voice in the public square.

Late last week, Mr. Spencer told readers of his blog that he still intends to come to Worcester, and will set up outside the conference if necessary in order to give attendees the opportunity to hear what he has to say.

Whether that happens or not, Catholics and Muslims “” in the Worcester area or elsewhere “” have no reason to fear what Mr. Spencer has to say. His is an important voice in the ongoing debate over the nature of Islam and its relations to other faith traditions, and one that will continue to be heard.

Coptic human rights organization requests Vatican investigation of diocese of Worcester's cancellation of Robert Spencer talk
The Victimology Subterfuge (Part 1)
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Comments

  1. says

    I signed the petition with these remarks:

    One of the worst things to come out of Vatican II Council is ecumenism, the attempt to engage in dialogue with other faiths with the purpose of bridging the gap between each other. The Catholic Church has been engaging in ecumenism with Islam for centuries, but it has proven fruitless and suicidal since millions of Christians have either been driven away or systematically persecuted and slaughtered by Muslims in Muslim-dominated countries. Robert Spencer’s voice represents the voice of many of us Christians who do not believe in ecumenism specially if the followers of a religion that you’re trying to be friends with have actually the intention to dominate their beliefs on you and eventually kill you if you don’t submit to them! Let Robert Spencer speak!!!

  2. says

    “..Catholics and Muslims ” in the Worcester area or elsewhere ” have no reason to fear what Mr. Spencer has to say.”

    That’s just not true.

    Muslims fear that what he has to say will factually refute the carefully crafted lie that Islam is a “religion of peace”.

    Catholics fear that what he has to say will factually refute the carefully crafted lie that Islam is a “religion of peace”.

  3. says

    “Kudos and thanks to the Worcester Telegram for their clear-sightedness and commitment to the truth.”

    Indeed; especially since the Boston Globe will now forever be known as an enemy to the Truth, along with that whiner, Wangsness. And I know that the Truth about islam and company can be an ugly, evil sight, but be brave and look anyway. Take heart, too, and the Truth will set you free.

  4. says

    Notice what the report also says, about Bishop McManus — that he also disinvited the widow of Sen. Ted Kennedy. The report doesn’t say why, so I had to dig a little, and found this explanat:

    Anna Maria College in Paxton uninvited Victoria Reggie Kennedy, the widow of Sen. Ted Kennedy, after Bishop Robert J. McManus said her positions on abortion, homosexuality, and the Obama administration’s mandate on insurance coverage for abortifacient contraception and sterilization were incompatible with Catholic teaching.

    So you see, one cannot accuse the Bishop of being a “Leftist” or even a “liberal”. This shows, once again for the umpteenth time, how deeply and broadly PC MC has affected our sociopolitical culture, when even a Catholic Bishop — who is conservative and politically INcorrect on issues like abortion, homosexuality, and Obamacare — suddenly becomes PC MC when it comes to one particular issue: Islam.

  5. says

    Dear Jihad Watch:

    I signed the petition so good luck Mr. Spencer.

    Also, as for the letter writing to the young family man (Tommy Robinson) in the UK prison who fights against Jihad via the EDL…

    I saw a post that ANY letter that mentioned the EDL are other aspects of politics are not being given to him (ie his letters are heavily censored).

    So as he continues to rot in prison for speaking out against muslim rape gangs… please continue to write but keep in mind if you want him to get the letters don’t mention EDL.

    Or… you can mention the hell out of the EDL just to stick it to the prison officials who will read the letters (Tommy just won’t get the letter).

  6. says

    As I expected I got a friendly e-mail return from Monsignor Thomas Sullivan…But it was short with him saying he believes Spencer is a good man…I noted no change of opinion about Robert speaking…

  7. says

    This is no different from the revelations about the Los Angeles Diocese. Rather than face evil, the leaders of the Catholic church want to pretend it does not exist. If no one finds out about sexually abused children, it never happened. If no one speaks about the suffering of Christians persecuted by Muslims, then we can all enjoy kofta with the local imam and congratulate ourselves on our cosmopolitan worldliness. I am sure the same Bishop would have prevented William F. Buckley from speaking about the plight of Christians in the USSR.
    After all, it wouldn’t do to look too parochial, would it? A thing like that could really torpedo a fellow’s chances for advancement.

  8. says

    “Why do conservative Muslims fight against freedom of speech? They know that freedom of speech is dangerous to Islam. Freedom of speech allows people to spread information that might bring shame to the image of Islam. In the minds of conservative Muslims, fighting against freedom of speech is a way of fighting on behalf Islam.”

    -Dr. Mark Gabriel, Ph.D., former professor of Islamic History at Al Azhar University, Egypt

    Boston Globe and Bishop McManus, did you read this?

  9. says

    Mr. Spencer is widely known and read. He has authored a dozen books, conducted seminars on Islam and jihad for the U.S. military and intelligence communities, and been a frequent guest and debate participant in a broad variety of U.S. media. Some will disagree with his conclusions, but it is difficult to argue that his is an uninformed or inconsequential voice in the public square.
    ………………………..

    Bravo, Worchester Telegram! It is wonderful to see an objective and respectful estimation of Robert Spencer and his work”rather than hearing him referred to as “extremist” or “anti-Muslim”, or the usual sort of rot.

    More:

    …Catholics and Muslims ” in the Worcester area or elsewhere ” have no reason to fear what Mr. Spencer has to say. His is an important voice in the ongoing debate over the nature of Islam and its relations to other faith traditions, and one that will continue to be heard.
    ………………………..

    This is *certainly* true in that Robert Spencer is a completely peaceful critic of barbarism.

    But”as some posters have noted, he *is* a “threat” in one way”his work exposes the false pieties that hold Islam to be a “religion of peace””and that upsets both Muslim supremacists and the credulous Christians who want to uncritically swallow such meretricious homilies.

  10. says

    All the followers of this blog know that there is no dialogue with muslims. Any dialogue with muslims would be for the benefit of non-muslims. I hope that these Worcester Christians will benefit from Robert explaining the basics of Islam. Good for Worcester Telegram. It is surprising in a good way but i am not holding my breath on liberal media. Small victory for us and good luck Robert. Yes I petitioned.

  11. says

    Perhaps the good Bishop doesn’t want to be reminded of horrors like this perpetrated by muslims on Catholics; as done here in Algeria:

    http://brennerbrief.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/catholics-burned.jpg?w=610

    Bishop Robert McManus, it’s time you and others face the ugly, evil Truth about islam and company. Stop covering your eyes and the Truth and *look* at what’s happening to your own Catholic brother’s and sister’s in Christ. You can help raise awareness and make a difference. Just do it!

  12. says

    The Catholic Church uses the word ecumenical as a euphemism for outreach and shared values. That’s fine when when the outreach is between Catholics and Protestant’s, Catholics and Jews, Catholics and Hindu’s, Catholics and just about every other mainstream religion on the planet execpt for Islam. Islam does not respond to outreach except to deceive as in the allegory “Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly.”

  13. says

    Now that editorial was refreshing to read.

    Just the right tone, done in advancement of the pursuit of open inquiry.

    People should hear all sides. Let them see the evidence of behavior, of Spencer, of Muslims, Then they can decide.

  14. says

    Oh dear, and the Bishop was hoping to avoid any problems
    Good on the Worcester Telegraph. An editor with balls and morality. Bravo

  15. says

    Monsignor Thomas Sullivan needs to be reminded of these two Bible verses:

    Jeremiah 5:21 Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; that have eyes, and see not; that have ears, and hear not.

    John 8:32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

  16. says

    This controversy gives Robert Spencer the opportunity to invite his critics to debate on every point of his address and their criticism EVEN BEFORE THEY READ OR HEAR IT!!!

  17. says

    THE EDITORIAL IS REFRESHING. I PERSONALLY HOPE THIS FLAP STIRS UP SUCH A HORNET’S NEST OF OUTRAGE AMONG THE PEOPLE OF WORCESTER, MASS. OVER THE ARBITRARY REFUSAL OF THE HIERARCHY TO HAVE ROBERT SPENCER SPEAK THAT THEY WILL BE FORCED TO RECONSIDER. MY BEST TO YOU MR. SPENCER.
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR HARD WORK AND COURAGE!

  18. says

    Most Jews see Vatican II as a slight improvement in relations between Christians / Catholics and Jews following a history of persecution and violence between Christians and Jews. Your point is an interesting one. I am not sure what ecumenism accomplishes between Islam and Judaism or between Islam and Christianity other than blur the distinctions between these faith-based communities. A few years back we had a local mosque invite non-Muslims to participate in dialogue. I invited one of our local priests to go with me. He said “NO.” This was after the Pope Benedict’s 2006 Regensburg lecture. I invited one of our local radio talk show hosts. He said it would be a waste of time.

    Ecumenism has been going on between Catholics and Jews for a number of years. I am not sure what the dialogue accomplishes as I’ve never attended one of these conferences. Jews and the Vatican for instance (not individual Catholics) do not see eye to eye on Israel, Jerusalem, the Palestinians, etc. I am not certain what ecumenism accomplishes other than trying to reach an understanding about our similarities and differences with respect to our separate faiths.

  19. says

    Agreed. I believe the word, hudna, could appropriately switched with the word, dialogue because until the Kuffar submit to Muhammad’s demands, that all any state between the two groups is short of conversion.

  20. says

    I do not consider myself a religious man. I believe in God. Ever since I began reading the Hebrew Bible (the prophets) some thirty years back, I came to the conclusion we are living in the “last days.” The last days could go on for decades; we might not be living by the time all these terrible events, described by the prophets, take place. Nonetheless, we are living in very dangerous times. Every human being will have to make a decision; are they on God’s side or on the side of the enemy? That is what R. Spencer is encountering with some of the leaders in his Church. Best to keep your eyes and your heart on God rather than on some chief rabbi or on some priest, minister or pope.

  21. says

    When thousand of Islamic mushroom clouds hang over western cities? When the believers go house to house, slaughtering, raping, looting?

  22. says

    Blinker wrote:

    The Catholic Church uses the word ecumenical as a euphemism for outreach and shared values. That’s fine when when the outreach is between Catholics and Protestant’s, Catholics and Jews, Catholics and Hindu’s, Catholics and just about every other mainstream religion on the planet execpt for Islam. Islam does not respond to outreach except to deceive as in the allegory “Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly.”
    …………….

    Excellent point, Blinker.

    While it can be a tad silly at times, I basically have few problems with “outreach””except when it is used by one group for deception and softening up their victims, and by another group for continuing their denial and willful blindness”as here, with the supremecist Muslims and the dhimmi Catholics.