Saturday, February 28, 2015

Loftus: Ordinariate bad, gay marriage good

Fr John Hunwicke of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, who seems to have
escaped from the Ghetto to give the SCT Family Retreat in 2013
Mgr Basil Loftus' weekly column in the Catholic Times (27th Feb 2014) is even more diffuse and rambling than usual.

The Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham gets a quick kick.

It [Dignitatis humanae and Unitatis Redintegratio] leaves later measures, such as the accomodation of former Anglicans within the confines of some ghetto-like personal prelature, as a mere touchline distration...

The irony of citing Vatican II's Decree on Ecumenism to dismiss the importance of the Ordinariate, the most important ecumenical project of our generation, is lost on Loftus. He typifies the attitude that is in favour of ecumenism in theory, but is horrified when it actually works and brings unity about, even if only for a relatively small group.

But if he hopes that the priests of the Ordinariate are 'confined' in their 'ghetto', he is deluding himself, as he would discover if he spoke to any of the many thousands of ordinary Catholics who have received pastoral care from them, including many Catholics attached to the Traditional Mass.

But Loftus moves on, if not smoothly, then with determination, to how we should give up all those rules about sexual sin. Or something.

...the invitation went out, first to bishops, now the whole People of God, and shortly again to the re-convened Synod of Bishops, to look at the positive spiritual and loving characteristics of those who live together without sacramental marriage, either because they have already contracted one such marriage, or because they don't feel ready for such a step, or because they are of the same gender. What can we do for them if they want to join in? Don't throw the rule-book at them. Don't bend the rules in a way that destroys the game for others. But ack-nowledge [sic] the dignity of some, not necessarily all, individual situations, and don't leave good people who want to join in, on the touchline, or in the pew when Holy Communion is distributed.

He goes on to talk about the transsexual he discussed a couple of weeks ago.

I am most intrigued by the bit about not doing anything to 'destroy the game for others'. It is a common idea that we can fool about with marriage, whether it is secular politicians on Same Sex Marriage or liberal Catholics on divorce, and not impinge on existing or future traditional marriages. This, however, is a fantasy. If the concept of marriage is blurred to the point of destruction, the social recognition of marriage is destroyed. Marriage as God intended it, marriage in Natural and Divine Law, cannot be destroyed, but the recognition and support married couples deserve and need from friends and family, from schools, employers, and the state, certainly can be. Loftus is proposing to destroy the recognition and support coming from the Church. Well, thanks a bundle.

Loftus, however, must be desperately trying to forget the remark of Cardinal Bergoglio on same-sex marriage. Let's have a bit more than the phrase most commonly quoted, from an article written at the time of the remark itself, back in 2010. Facing a referendum on Same Sex Marriage, Cardinal Bergoglio wrote:

"In the coming weeks, the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family…At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”

Cardinal Bergoglio continued: “Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

Fr Daniel Lloyd of the Ordinariate proclaims the Gospel at an LMS Mass in Milton Manor House.
As a service to the public, I have put together quotations on a range of themes from Loftus' published writings, mostly his Catholic Times columns, in a dossier here, and made one of his most theologically egregious articles, on the Resurrection of Our Lord, available here.

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  1. Is Loftus a real person? Is he really a Monsignor?

  2. There must be some reason why the Catholic Times publishes the peculiar doctrines of Mgr Loftus. Is it supposed to be a sort of humorous column, parodying the craziest ideas of 1960s hippies? I suppose that, as with the old Telegraph "Peter Simple" column, there is no need to flag it up as satire.

  3. To Ivan.
    Yes, Mgr Loftus is a real person. I was at school with him. Please ignore him. He is a very strange person.

  4. Joseph,

    I think I have said this before. Loftus would best be described in the part of the world he has taken up residence in as an "eejit", whatever that means exactly?

    You waste time and effort on him.

  5. Jacobi: well perhaps I do. My defence is that he isn't just spouting off to his mates in the pub; he isn't even just spouting off on a solipsistic blog; he is writing a weekly column in a newspaper sold in churches and operating with ecclesiastical approval, with 'Catholic' in its title.

    I also think that regular examination of the liberal virus as it affects different topics is a valuable exercise; it helps to clarify what we are up against and it gives intellectual weapons to the orthodox to oppose it. I critique other writers too with the same end in view.

  6. Why is Loftus given a platform in a 'major' Catholic publication to spout his heresy every week?

    1. A very good question indeed...over to you, "Catholic" Times!

  7. He typifies the attitude that is in favour of ecumenism in theory, but is horrified when it actually works and brings unity about, even if only for a relatively small group.

    I think we all know the score here: The problem with the Ordinariates, for Loftus, isn't that it's ecumenism in action, but that it is the wrong kind of ecumenism. For the true ecumaniac, ecumenism means accepting your dialogue partner exactly as they are. And a proper dialogue partner is a church whose views are of the sort that you would like to see your own church adopt.

    Mainstream Anglicans make ideal ecumenical partners, because they generally have all the right views. The ilk that came tromping in through the Ordinariates, you see, are the sort that have all the wrong views, especially on sexual stuff. Can't have that, can we?