Thursday, October 31, 2013

Loftus attacks Fr Ray Blake

Mgr Basil Loftus wrote this in his Catholic Times column of 22nd September. I was away so I missed it at the time.

Sadly however the artificiality of ceremonial, the regimentation I of prayer, and the insistence on uniformity at the expense of messy unity have all taken the slurry out of the ecclesial farmyard. The smell of incense has come to be values over that of unwashed bodies, the intricacy of priestly lace over the tattered clothing of tramps, because, quite simply, as one blogging priest recently said, with, I hope, crass nativity rather than evil intent, "the trouble with the poor is that they are messy,"


As the culture of the Second Vatican Council is now revived surely we can continue not only raw challenges it threw down to the Church, but also the atmosphere of civilised debate and moderate language which very largely characterised its honest and open arguments.

...But since Vatican II the new phenomenon of unregulated 'blog-sites' purporting to have some kind of Church allegiance has so often brought hatred and personal attacks, where there should be only love and objective discussion. This is a problem which is going to have to be tackled if the necessary challenges which must be made within the Church are to remain within the parameters of Christian charity. Otherwise the sad example of backbiting in the Roman Curia, which has so distressed both Pope Benedict and Pope Francis, will pervade the local churches as well.

It does not appear to have occurred to him that he is demonstrating what he purports to condemn: hatred and personal attacks, backbiting. Since he heard about Fr Ray Blake's blog post, he can scarcely have failed either to have had the chance to read it in its proper context (heck, you only have to read it to the end) or to have noticed that the journalist who quoted it out of context was being criticised for inverting Fr Blake's intended meaning. If he had no chance to check whether or not he was attacking a fellow priest unjustly then, of course, he needn't have used the quote.

Looking at this column I am relieved of any feeling that I have been too hard on Loftus. What he dishes out to others puts anything I have said in the shade. I would also much rather he attacked me, than a priest at the front line of parish life, for whom this kind of calumny can have real pastoral implications, implications for the good of souls.


  1. And Loftus had the cheek to threaten to use others for libel!

  2. Does the revival of the spirit of Vatican II have anything to do with the rumours we've been hearing about the Holy Father placing a moratorium on new monsignors?

  3. Dr Shaw, I don't have the Catholic Times in my church, perhaps you or one of your readers might send me a copy of Loftus' piece so my legal team can examine whether this piece is libellous.

    1. Scan sent - if the email address I have for you works!

  4. New candle arrangement on high Altar for Papal Liturgies.... comments please