Sunday, April 21, 2013

Basil Loftus' hope

On the basis that, as they say in Yorkshire, 'a trouble shared is a trouble doubled', I would share the pain I suffered in reading this weekend's Loftus article, or at least a bit of it. I think it would be a useful thing to keep a running record of some of his more outrageous sayings. So those of a nervous disposition, and those easily depressed, look away now.

From the Catholic Times, 21st April 2013

'Could he [Pope Francis] hold out hope to the priests who have married because in all honesty, and in conscience, they believed they had made a mistake in entering the priesthood? Hope of returning to their badly-needed ministry and remedying the Eucharistic starvation of so many who, because of a shortage of priests, are unable sacramentally to nurture that life which begins at baptism. Hope too of an end to ostracisation. These, surely are the ideal priests then to give hope to those lay-people within the Church who have lost hope because of the divorce and re-marriage, or because their same-gender sexual orientation makes conventional marriage impossible for them, without at the same time making possible a life of celibacy.
     'Could he hold out hope to those priests who because of their writings have been silenced and deprived of their ministry by unjust procedures of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith - procedures roundly criticised during Vatican II, but which still continue?
     'Could he not hold out hope to those priests who are living dishonest lives within the ministerial priesthood because of obligations in justice to partners and children which could not be fulfilled if they were to leave to priesthood - a problem not so much in the Western world but endemic in parts of the developing world?'

Notice how convoluted the sentence about homosexuality is. Where lesser men might say 'I think that the Church's teaching about same-sex sex should be changed', Mgr Loftus says that the Holy Father might offer 'hope' to laicised priests who in turn, might offer 'hope' to people who are 'unable' to be celibate and disinclined to heterosexual marriage.

Presumably the idea is that he can deny dissenting against the immemorial teaching of the Church on homosexual sex and sex outside marriage - oh no, he's just wondering if hope could be given to some people who might give hope to some other people. While at the same time making his views perfectly clear to the unsophisticated folk who read the Catholic Times.

Perhaps he's worried about joining the ranks of priests who have been silenced by the CDF. What, one may ask, of the priests, and lay people too, subjected to Mgr Loftus' attempts to silence them? Presumably they don't count.

The image on the right pops up if you do an 'image search' for 'basil loftus'. Weird, isn't it? I don't think it's because he's regarded as being in favour of it.


  1. If the fish in a particular barrel are piranhas, then shooting them is an obligation it wouldn't normally be. It must be fun to have such an easy target legitimately, though.

  2. Anonymous7:54 pm

    If Mgr Loftus was constrained by the character limit of a text message, rather than the word count of his CT column, I imagine his article could be summarised: 'I hope the Pope allows hope to advocates of sin and heresy whom I hope will be welcomed in hope by the new Pope'.

  3. Anonymous10:30 pm

    Quoth Basil, "by unjust procedures of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith - procedures roundly criticised during Vatican II, but which still continue?"

    Now, how on earth did I miss that bit in Vatican II?

  4. What the silly old man ignores is that those of us who are same-sex attracted ARE being given hope by our fellow laity and by CELIBATE priests.

    And there's no such word as "ostracisation". I think he means "ostracism". Doesn't the CT have editors?