St Peter Canisius, hammer of
heretics: ora pro nobis
4th June 2013
Dear Dr Shaw,
May I once again ask you to refrain from garnishing your 'blog' with offensive illustrations when you refer to me. My attention has been drawn to yet another instance of this jejune, hurtful and totally unacceptable practice in you 'blog' of 29 May.
It is particularly worrying that within the same computer-reference parameters (www.lmschairman) on 1 December 2012 you spell our your connection with St Benet's Hall, "my own academic home". You are already damaging the once conciliatory and respected Latin Mass Society with your personally vitriolic writings. Please do not also try to tarnish yet another well-loved institution.
Your purported 'cartoons' have succeeded in their clear intent to cause hurt and harassment. Now, I ask you again to desist.
This is an interesting letter on a number of levels, and I think it is worthy of a reply. I am today sending him this open letter.
Dear Mgr Loftus,
Thank you for your letter of 4th June.
I am sorry you feel hurt and harassed by my blog posts about you. You may like to consider, however, the hurt and harassment you cause each week in your columns in that once respected Catholic newspaper, The Catholic Times.
As I have begun to chronicle more regularly, almost every column of yours attacks, in the most sneering and disrespectful tones, those Catholics in good standing with whom you happen to disagree. Allow me to illustrate the point briefly.
|St John the Baptist: didn't mince his words|
In the same column, you described the new English translation of the 1970 Missal as 'unwanted and unwelcome, artificial and stilted, unprofessional and occasionally theologically inaccurate', in relation to which 'priest and people lose the will to live', and which constitutes 'oppression'. This is vitriolic language, directed at something promulgated officially by the Church, and by implication at those who prepared and authorised it, such as Mgr Andrew Wadsworth of ICEL, Bishop Roche of your own old diocese, and Pope Benedict XVI. Do you really think that this is an appropriate way in which to treat such a complex and delicate matter? Do you believe that that this way of addressing the Church's officials, including the Pontiff Emeritus, reflects the respect due to them, and the heavy burdens it is their duty to bear?
|The Prophet Jeremiah: didn't opt for the|
quiet life when faced with evil
In the same column you wrote 'And every week people in many parishes are deprived of fuller participation because, in total contravention of an explicit General Instruction in the Roman Missal, their view is impeded by a crucifix and six candlesticks.' This is an even more direct attack on Pope Benedict XVI who, I venture to say, had more authority to speak and act both on the meaning of liturgical legislation and on the best ways to foster liturgical participation than you do yourself. Granted that this is a subject open to free discussion, do you really think that your manner of addressing it is compatible with a proper respect for the Office of the Papacy?
It is not enough, however, for you to attack your fellow priests and your hierarchical superiors in this disedifying way, for you extend your campaign of degradation to the Blessed Virgin Mary herself. In your subsequent column of 2nd June, you attempt to cast doubt on three of her titles: 'the idea of Mary as 'co-redemptrix' is simply a non-starter', 'Some mediation on the part of Mary is part of her role - but clearly not for "all" graces', and 'Pope Paul VI cheated, and referred to Mary as "Mother of the Church" during one of his private documents during the Council' The suggestion in each case is that the titles are theologically inappropriate and not upheld officially by the Church. Since I doubt that you are entirely ignorant of the truth of the matter, it is hard to excuse you of mendacity in this case, something all the more extraordinary in the context of the honour due to Our Lady, intimately related as it is to the most heartfelt aspects of the piety of the simple Faithful.
|Our Blessed Lord: not exactly flattering |
toward the Lakeside Towns
On the title 'Mother of the Church', can you really be so deluded as to have convinced yourself that Paul VI's Address to the Second Vatican Council on September 21, 1964 was a 'private document'? Can you possibly describe his Encyclical Solemni hac liturgia of 1968, in which the title is repeated, as a 'private document'? And what of the addition of this title to the Litany of Our Lady by Blessed Pope John Paul II: does this not count as an official public act?
On the title 'Mediatrix of All Graces', what you regard as 'clearly not' true was affirmed as not only true but suitable for a public liturgical celebration by Pope Benedict XV in 1920. Do you perhaps imagine yourself to be superior, not only in wisdom but in magisterial authority and legislative power, to a succession of Supreme Pontiffs?
In your columns you have deployed your invective against good Catholics at every level of the Church. You have made The Catholic Times notorious for your rudeness, insensitivity, and divisiveness. You have trampled on the piety and traditions of the simplest of the Faithful and of the Holy Father alike. And now you complain that my blog posts about you cause 'hurt', that they aren't as 'conciliatory' as the Latin Mass Society was wont to be, and that they are 'personally vitriolic'. I think readers of my blog and your column will find the mote-and-beam comparison here easy to make.
|Edmund Burke (attrib) 'All that is necessary for|
the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.'
Failing this, I will on the contrary undertake to make reasoned criticisms of as much of your output as I can, as I have been doing in recent weeks, lest lack of contradiction give your views specious credibility.