Catholics Controlling the Message

by | February 20, 2014

The organizers of the first debate in the Chesterton Debate Series would like feedback:

Have a good experience at the first Chesterton Debate and would like to share your feeling/thoughts with the world? If so, send me a brief comment (no more than 40 words) and it might end up on the Chesterton Debate website which is coming soon!

As usual, the Catholics are trying to control the message. In 40 words or less, you must discuss your “good experience.” If you discuss your bad experience, you probably won’t “end up on the Chesterton Debate website.”


What really happened at the debate that would make the debate a bad experience?

In preparation for the debate, each debater ( Philip Cleevely and Justin Trottier) was required to make his opening statements available to his opponent and after each debater submitted his opening statement, he was not allowed to change his statement.  It became very obvious, when the opponents began to question each other, that Cleevely didn’t follow the instructions. Trottier addressed his question to Cleevely based on the opening statement Cleevely submitted. Cleevely smirked and addressed the audience to say that it was clear that Trottier asked him a question about something about something Cleevely didn’t say.

Cleevely changed his opening statement after he submitted it and neither the moderator nor the organizers made this clear to the audience. Cleevely’s, the moderator’s and the organizers’ conduct is unacceptable: it put Trottier in an awkward position.

Philip Cleevely is a Catholic priest who teaches at Saint Philip’s Seminary in Toronto where he prepares men for the priesthood. His students should not consider Cleevely a worthy role model. It is to Justin Trottier’s credit that he was courteous in the face of Cleevely’s appalling behaviour.

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