|High Mass at the LMS Priest Training Conference at Belmont Abbey: just to cheer us all up.|
What has Deacon Nick Donnelly done which Loftus has not done? I haven't kept such close tabs on the Protect the Pope blog as I have on Loftus' Vatican Counsel column, but I challenge anyone to give examples of bad things which can compete with my examples of what Loftus has done.
Has he denied any Catholic doctrines? I don't think so, but Loftus has: the Resurrection of Our Lord, the Real Presence, the Inerrancy of Scripture, the Indissolubility of Marriage (at least indirectly), Original Sin (as the Church understands it), the impossibility of the Ordination of Women, and, on morality, the limitation of sex to marriage.
Has he sought to bring the Church's institutions in disrepute? I don't think so, but Loftus has: the Congregation for Divine Worship, the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, the Office of Papal Celebrations, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Curia as a whole, and the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Has he attacked prelates by name? Nick Donnelly has criticised some, or called for them to act, but Loftus has gone in for vitriolic personal abuse: Cardinal Nichols, Bishop Davies, Cardinal Ranjith, Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Müller. Not by name, but unmistakably: Archbishop Roach, Bishop Hugh Gilbert, and Mgr Marini, the Papal MC.
Has he undermined the discipline of the Church by intemperate attacks on binding decisions? I don't think so, but Loftus has: the new translation of the liturgy, the limitations placed on the use of General Absolution, and a vast number of provisions of liturgical law. And of course he has attacked clerical celibacy.
Hang on a minute: the clerical bloggers of the Ordinariate weren't attacking Müller, or the Curia; for the most part, they were defending them. Similarly, I don't think Bishop Campbell is a liberal who has more in common with Loftus than with Nick Donnelly: he is the man who has given one of the most stunning churches in the country to the Institute of Christ the King, and he can expect to be a target for Loftus' vitriol soon enough. What we are seeing is a deliberate policy, where conservative-leaning people in authority attack their friends and protect their enemies.
This is strange, but it is neither unprecedented nor incomprehensible. First, a little clue: it is the same policy that was applied by Pope Paul VI with regard to dissent over Humanae Vitae. I will explain more in another post.