Friday 27 March 2015

Has Cardinal Nichols Rebuked Priests Or Simply Expressed Disappointment?

Cardinal Nichols has said we should be making our views known to our own Ordinary (our own Bishop), through established channels, rather than in the press.

To be fair to him, I'm not entirely sure he is rebuking those of us who signed the letter; I think he is simply expressing a disappointment that we have not communicated our thoughts through established channels. I think his disappointment arises from the fact that he has misread the letter (or had it shown to him in an unfavourable light) as a statement to our Bishops through a non-ecclesial channel. But it is not a letter which enters into dialogue with our Bishops (that dialogue is indeed taking place in our Diocese by Deanery discussions). Rather, the letter is a simple Declaration of Faith; a support of defined Catholic doctrine and ages-old discipline.

If the Cardinal has attempted to rebuke us, we have the right to ask, 'What is wrong with affirming the Lord’s own teaching; the teaching of St Paul; 2000 years of magisterial teaching and Tradition, and the centuries long discipline of the Church? Since when did loyalty to the Church become a bad thing?' 

To be honest, I suspect fewer Catholics are disturbed by the letter from the clergy than they are by the impression Cardinal Nichols has given by saying he was disappointed in the text of the 2014 Synod: “I didn't think it went far enough, there were three key words as far as I was concerned … ‘respect’, ‘welcome’ and ‘value’. I was looking for those words and they weren't there and so I didn't think that was a good paragraph...I wasn't satisfied with it.”(see here)  In saying this Cardinal Nichols has at least implied that he does not hold to the teaching of the ages and wants the discipline changed, as is reported of him

I think the Popes down would be much more inclined to support the letter’s signatories than Cardinal Nichols appears to be, which is disappointing, because his statement may not have been needed had the letter been read (or shown to him?) correctly. Perhaps we could ask the Cardinal to read the letter again? Meanwhile, let us seem him as expressing disappointment, rather than as rebuking. Charity, I think, requires it. 



    I send our children
    To the slaughter,
    One son of six
    And now a daughter.

    Why encourage
    Staying poor
    But pay high price?

    Giving all
    To those in need
    Suffer wounds
    For Mother's Creed?

    All for Him
    Take the thorn
    Then ignored
    Not worth their scorn.

    Not worth the bother,
    As feminists fail,
    A wasted life
    That takes the nail.

    Where daily climb
    Upon the Cross
    Some Roman men
    Count them as loss

    But worry of
    Debased desires
    "No need forgo"
    Just stoke those fires.

    And at your legal
    Unions wink,
    "We don't condone
    Though aid your kink."

    Cassocks, habits,
    Vatican Two in reverse --
    Forward couples' Civil Unions
    We'll pretend aren't perverse.

  2. Thank you for signing, Father. It is very heartening that nearly 500 priests have signed this affirmation of some important essentials of the faith especially at this time of confusion and uncertainty.

    1. Thank you, Lepanto.
      I think signing the letter was necessary in these days when society is having so much influence of Catholics that Catholics are losing their appreciation of the Truth.
      God Bless

  3. Now, why would a Catholic who holds a servant office in the Church, who by virtue of that office publicly swore to uphold and defend Christ's Truth, be disappointed with his closest collaborators, sons indeed, because they simply, publicly and courageously lived up to their promises. Secretively and silently this kind of intimidation and persecution has been going on for years, and it is not just faithfull, orthodox priests who have suffered. It seems like the Cardinal has done a Fr Rosica!

    1. Thank you Greg.
      I do not deny that he meant his comment to us as a rebuke, I just want to give him the benefit of the doubt...It could well be intimidation of the "I'm watching you" kind, but I hope not, as no one said or did anything wrong in signing the letter. All we did was show there are still some clergy who are not compromising with the world.
      God Bless.

  4. Father, The world has moved on .

    The Catholic Church in its current pre-occupation with Secular obsessions such as sex, divorce, sodomy, relativism of religions,you name it, is fully engaged in open speech, and with the specific encouragement of the pope. One could argue that we have it wrong. Personally, I think the Secular World is dictating to the Church and not as it should be, the other way round. But that is another discussion.

    For a bishop (Cardinal or otherwise) under these circumstances to seek to restrain priests and in particular those out side his jurisdiction of the diocese of Westminster, is quite inappropriate.

    All good Catholics and True must speak out, must shout from the rooftops the Truth of the One True Holy and Catholic Church and not, repeat not, hold tactful silence.

    1. Thank you, Jacobi.
      I agree. The Church is very much following the world; not in in morality but in its organisation -hence the push for lay-led parishes as a measure to make good the fall in vocations when our lamented over sheep without shepherds.
      God Bless.

  5. I'm sure he read the letter loud an clear. He is unhappy that some of us, probably the majority. Don't subscribe to a church of this world with its protestant leanings that seems to be the trend of our "sheherds" at the present time. It won't last. Eventually we will get our Holy Catholic Chuch back and restored.

    1. Thank you Paul.
      Yes, I think he knew it was a challenge to the worldly.
      God Bless.

    2. I agree. I'd love the Church to be back to how it was in my Youth. But the reality is this; the Church reject, they lose their parishioners, they have no money and parishes close. Do you think the Holy Catholic Church we experienced many years ago can be restored in a year, two years, five years, ten years? Twenty years? The truth of it is the way we're going the liklihood of a survival at all, if we are rejecting those who need support, is slim. We need to embrace it and get on with it. Support those who need it and get on with it.

      It's unfortunate, but true.

    3. Thanks Dave.
      Actually, the Church as we know it may not be restorable in 5, 10 or 20 years, but maybe in 200. It may survive in the West in only a remnant form, because we have in fact abandoned biblical and traditional teaching. In those areas of the world where the Church is strong she will continue to grow.
      The Church will be with us till the end of time, but its presence in any given nation or continent has not been promised by the Lord.
      God Bless.

  6. Thank you Father for signing this letter along with your fellow priests.
    I pray this coming October sees a reversal of the trend the current leadership is promoting. True mercy is having the courage to tell the Truth no matter what the cost, and I pray this signed letter sends a clear signal of England's intent to fight for the sacrament of marriage to remain HOLY, just as our holy English Martyrs and Saints down through the ages. Hopefully inspire other countries to mount a similar campaign.
    God Bless You


    1. Thank you, Stephen.
      I too wondered if any other countries would follow the example of the English clergy.
      God Bless.

  7. Remember what Pontius Pilate said: "Truth, what is that?"

    I can't help it, but a lay-led church makes my flesh crawl.

    Thank you for being one of the 500, Father.

  8. Father,

    I get the concern over the Synod and your comments. However, when I look around the Church on a Sunday morning, especially in a close knit parish in an ex mining town (not disimilar to your own parish) the reality is that a lot of the parishioners if not all of them have had some experience in their lives of the issues the synod are discussing. At our Vigil Mass on Saturday in the row in front of me I had a family whose daughter is "gay", their son is having a child out of wedlock and her brother is divorced. The reality is this, will the mother abandon her family? No. If the Church say she is "wrong" to agree with them does she abandon them. The answer is no. She abandons the Church.

    If we continue to reject those who genuinely seek hope in prayer and support from our blessed Lord and the Church, the reality is that the Church must support them. If they dont, the Church has no money, Churches close, the Chuch dies.

    Society has changed, it's unfortunate. The Church changes it succeeds. It doesn't it dies.

    1. Actually, as priests we too have families where we experience cohabitation, illegitimacy etc, among our relatives; we have family members who are homosexual, etc. It would be a mistake to think those involved in the Synod do not have the same family experience as the man in the pew. But we make our fears for the souls of such family members known to them and say why we see their choice as wrong and dangerous. We support what we can, and withhold support where we simply cannot give it. The Church does the same: she gives support in saying keep coming to Mass; keep joining with us in prayer, sacrifice and devotional life, but she does not support what they do by admitting them to reception of the Lord’s Holy Body and Blood without their Confession and their return to a Catholic lifestyle.
      If they are not getting the support they want (and they usually mean permission to continue in their non-biblical lifestyle) and choose to abandon the Church we cannot force them to stay; we may get smaller, but Our Lord described His Church as a ‘little flock’; it may not be huge in number, but it must remain faithful to His teaching and the Tradition.
      God Bless


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