Father Benedict Groeschel will never be called a shy wallflower of a man, afraid to speak his mind.

That much was clear from a talk he gave in Arlington, Virginia recently on the media:

In a modern society where “truth is lost, justice denied and morality mocked,” Franciscan Friar of the Renewal Father Benedict Groeschel blamed the media for its attack on family values and lamented the lack of defense from Western Civilization.

Family is the “building block of human society,” and its “most serious enemy is a mindless, stupid reptile … called the media,” he said during a talk at Blessed Sacrament Church in Alexandria.

Analogously comparing reptiles to popular culture and the media, Father Groeschel, who noted he once had a pet iguana, said, “reptiles are stupid, they don’t relate well to people, but they survive.” Descendents of reptiles are all over the place, he said noting their prehistoric origin.

Father Groeschel criticized a media for glorifying detraction and calumny.

“We have become so accustomed to the iniquity of the media,” he said during his talk, which ended the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal’s “Future Depends on Love” tour, an eight-day walking tour from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. to promote the culture of life by talking at various churches along the way, speaking to individuals on the streets and praying in front of abortion clinics.

“The media pushes people in the wrong direction,” Father Groeschel said, noting the tremendous influence of the media on young people.

“They want a story. They will exploit almost anything to undo moral restraint,” he said. Because the Catholic Church is the last powerful moral restraint, there is no surprise that the media attacks the Church, he said.

Recounting the secular media of his childhood days, he said, “the media was pro-Catholic.” Times were different, said the priest, who serves as adjunct professor at the Institute for Psychological Sciences in Arlington. He reflected on the time when movies were made glorifying virtue rather than vice, and often depicted the lives of saints and even Catholic priests as heroes.

The media has moved to complete anthropocentricism, he said, noting its promotion of a self-centered existence. The media upholds man as the center of reality when it is really God who is at the center, he said.

During his talk interspersed with his typical dry humor, Father Groeschel lamented the fact that many immigrants are deprived of a just wage, the promotion of atheism by the media, and the false Catholic identity of many universities.

“Be careful if you send your kids to a Catholic college,” he warned his audience about universities that are only nominally Catholic.

“Some of the greatest enemies of the Church are inside the Church,” he said, referring to some near heretics teaching theology at Catholic universities and religious communities that defy the pope.

Many things masquerade as Christianity, the priest said about the deceptive nature of institutions that call themselves Catholic.

“Open your eyes, we live in bad times and as human history goes; you sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind,” he said.

Well, as someone who works in that “mindless, stupid reptile, the media,” I’m not sure it’s all that mindless or all that stupid.

But yes: it can be scaly.

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