Sunday, December 14, 2014

Loftus goes into orbit

IMG_0285I have been neglecting Mgr Basil Loftus on this blog, recently, but for some reason he has chosen to attack me specifically in his latest column in the Catholic Times (12/12/14). I'm not going to write about that here and now, however, except to say that his claim about dissension within the Latin Mass Society on his account is pure fantasy.

I am in good company: as well as the familiar target of Cardinal Burke, Loftus takes aim at the ''St Peter' priests' who he says are active in Shrewsbury and Lancaster dioceses. He is, presumably, confusing the Fraternity of St Peter, who are based in Portsmouth diocese, with the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, which works in Shrewsbury and Lancaster. Perhaps he means both, anyway. He draws in the Sons of the Holy Redeemer too.

One only has to think, in our own countries, of the 'Tridentine' Redemptorists in the Orkney Islands - almost but not quite visible across the water from my study window as I write this. There are other communities of 'St Peter' priests in the dioceses of Shrewsbury and Lancaster who are not only totally cocooned in pre-Vatcian II rubrics and pre-Pius XII liturgical outlook, but who enjoy immunity and isolation from the 99.9 recurring per cent of the rest of the Catholic Church, as though it were a contagious disease against which their baptism has not vaccinated them. Because, as [Robert] Mickens avers, this goes to ecclesiology, not just to maniples, lace and cappa magnas, then [sic] it becomes very worrying.
     As if this at least quasi-schismatic ecclesiology were not enough to link today's crypto-Lefebvrists with the second and third century perfectionist heresies, they go on in their language, not least on innumerable 'blog-sites', to ape the rudeness of those predecessors by the way they have, to quote Mickens, constantly "mocked and scorned those with whom they disagree."

Is this the same Robert Mickens who was sacked from The Tablet for his being rude about Pope Benedict on Facebook, hosting a discussion on his page which looked forward to his death? The very same.

Are these religious institutes referred to, particularly the Fraternity of St Peter and the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer, not established, under the authority of the Holy See, precisely in order to avoid any danger of schism and 'Lefevbrism', at great personal cost to the founding members? They are indeed.

However, I think Loftus' tirade needs not so much refutation as a wider audience, for its absurdity to receive the ridicule it deserves. Although I am not a lawyer, it looks to me very much like libel, and especially the canon legal equivalent. Canon 220 says:

No one is permitted to harm illegitimately the good reputation which a person possesses nor to injure the right of any person to protect his or her own privacy.

To put Mgr Loftus' complaints about other peoples' rudeness in a proper context, I have decided to make publicly available a compilation of quotations I have made from his writings. You can download it as a PDF here.

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  1. What a fabulous dossier (I speak of the downloadable PDF) on one who must be the ultimate hypocrite of the English Catholic press! When is the dissemination of his lies and confusions going to be stopped by The Catholic Times?

    1. If the Catholic Times is anything like its sister paper The Universe I suspect the answer to your question is Never.

  2. What a shameful way to speak about these faithful servants of the Church who work so hard!

  3. Whatever your opinion on the views of Mgr Loftus, could you please afford him the respect that he deserves as a priest and refer to him as Mgr Loftus at all times and not merely Loftus? Thank you.

    1. This comment comes up on this blog every time there's a post about him. Mr. Loftus has especially renounced and decried the title of "monsignor", so it is in his wishes to not be called as such.

    2. In which case please address him as "Father" which his priestly role merits.

  4. Loftus goes into orbit

    And I wish he would do us all a favour and stay there too

  5. Joseph,

    Father Loftus, (if he is a Monsignor I understand that is but an honorary title?) is what is described in the part of the country he has taken up abode in, as an "eejit".

    Personally I would just ignore him!

  6. "..but who enjoy immunity and isolation from the 99.9 recurring per cent of the rest of the Catholic Church,.."

    This old fossil of the 1960's revolution is so out of touch with reality. I can say with certainty that these priests are valued and appreciated by many of the diocesan clergy in the dioceses where they work. Loftus is just trying to sow division and dissension within the Church in this country by fighting battles in which the younger clergy are just not interested.

    Its time he did everybody a favour by hanging up his boots and slinking off into the sunset gracefully.

    1. Reverend Deacon

      If I were a Bishop, especially one from a certain central european nation with a record of belligerency, I would be welcoming these Priests into the Diocese with open arms, I'd even be paying for their residency permits (for non-EU citizens),

  7. A few points:

    "...pre-Pius XII liturgical outlook..."

    And here is Msgr. Loftus getting those of us critical of many of the Pius XII liturgical reforms all excited - can it really be true that the Institute of Christ the King is now celebrating the traditional Roman Rite in England with editio typicas pre-dating 1939, even in apparent disregard of the terms of Summorum Pontificum? Alas, no, this is not the case, Msgr. Loftus. I am sure you meant "pre-conciliar," but I would hate to assume too much about the coherency or groundedness of your thought on this score. For him, 1964-65 is Year Zero, and everything before it tends to blur together.

    "...but who enjoy immunity and isolation from the 99.9 recurring per cent of the rest of the Catholic Church..."

    Question: If we really are talking about only 0.1% of the Church - let us take the number for the sake of argument - why does the activity of this tiny, tiny, tiny minority exercise Msgr. Loftus so much?

    "...this goes to ecclesiology..."

    Yes, it really does. And it is Msgr. Loftus's ecclesiology which is the problematic type, the one which cannot be reconciled even with the Council's text - only, in fact, with the Council of his fevered imagination.

  8. Just because he can practically spit on Orkney from his study window doesn't mean he should.