Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Loftus and the bishops

In my last post, I wondered whether Mgr Basil Loftus deserves to be defened by Kevin Flaherty, the Editor of The Catholic Times, who wrote last weekend:

'Vatican Counsel' [the name of the column] aims to be just that - a loyal summary of 'counsel' coming from the Holy See, and in particular from the Holy Father.' 20 March 2015

I demonstrated that Loftus has nothing but hatred and contempt for the institutions of the Holy See, notably for the Congregation for Divine Worship, and for the curial Cardinals, including not only theological conservatives like Cardinal Burke ('judgemental zealot'), Cardinal Muller ('not fit for purpose') and Cardinal Ranjith ('Sri Lankan cappa magna fetishist and Tridentine-rite devotee'), but Cardinals of a quite different stripe, like Cardinal Bertone (the 'previous Cardinal Secretary of State is constructing his own “Trump Towers” right next door to the hostel where the Pope lives'). Although ideology is certainly important to Loftus, he is ready to spew his bile at anyone who comes to his attention, like some kind of loathsome toad.

And he does the same with our own bishops in the UK, with and under whom we are united with the Holy See. Here are some highlights.

Bishop Mark Davies: his remarks about the 'evident goodness' of Pope Francis: 'This may even call for anger.’ (22 June 2013)

Bishop Alan Hopes: accused of leading an 'quite astounding' campaign 'to play down the very desireability of frequent Holy Communion' (1 Aug 2014) (a complete untruth, of course).

Bishop Philip Egan: accused of having 'a closed-minded approach, a refusal to take risks, a tendency to take refuge in a museum of antiquities, out-of-date laws, undeveloped doctrines, and unreformed liturgies, to want at all costs to guarantee a “safe ride.” ' (13 June 2014)

Bishop Hugh Gilbert: accused by implication of being responsible for 'the shameful way that the name of Roddy Wright, the former Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, had been crudely scratched out' of a parish notice at Pluscarden Abbey in around 2002, when Bishop Gilbert was Abbot. (10 Nov 2013)

All the bishops of England and Wales, and Scotland, who fail to erect diocesan lay councils: The continuance of monarchical rule by certain bishops frustrates the rightful expectations of priests and people to share in the governance of the Church.’ [This has been achieved by] ‘a dishonest flanking manoeuvre by those in authority’. (29 Aug 2014)

Mgr Keith Newton, Ordinary of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham: 'How can we tolerate, let alone encourage, alternative and extraordinary forms of worship within the parameters of the Catholic Church, whether in the extraordinary form of Mass or in personal ordinariates, where the ‘clamour’ or pomp now rightfully being expunged from the Church lingers on? At the moment this is only a question. It may well soon become a real problem.’ 7 July 2013

Vincent, Cardinal Nichols: ‘Something has to be done to challenge those cardinals, bishops and priests who simply don’t get it. Is an appeal for £500,000 for work on Archbishop’s House, Westminster, and the some £1 million reportedly spent recently on the nunciature, compatible with the example Francis wants to “send ... to other cardinals, bishops and priests” when he lives in a clergy hostel?’ (22 June 2013) Loftus also attacked him for talking about Spiritual Communions (9 March 2014)

The only British bishop with whom Loftus appears to have genuine sympathy is the late 'Roddy' Wright, the Bishop of Argyll and the Isles who abandoned his vows, not to mention one of his mistresses and his child by her, to elope with another woman in 1996.

Our attachment to the Church is not only to human individuals and the offices they hold: it is to the Church's teaching. So I'll blog about Loftus views on the teaching of the Church next.

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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  2. I do wonder whether Msgr Loftus has read the statements where Pope Francis derides the clericalism that often plagues both the clergy and laity. I think that this rascally old priest needs to read the words of our pontiff much more closely while ceasing his terribly sycophantic behavior.

  3. Its always "Vatican II" and "Pope Francis" with a liberal like this man. I read somewhere in your dossier about him, that Loftus referred to some papal accoutrements used by Benedict as being "made redundant by Vatican II". I wonder: did Vatican II make the Church itself "redundant", in the process? Did time itself restart in 1965? This man is truly a scourge upon the Church in England and Wales.

  4. Does the Catholic Times realise that people have stopped subscribing to this paper because of Mgr. Loftus. Week after week it is jading to read the same old stuff. I ceased my subcription because of this some years ago. So did a family member.The world provides enough anti Catholicism without me paying money for the privildge.

    1. I certainly did some three years ago, because of Loftus, and the general negative and non-constructive editorial attitude. Pity in a sense since two quite good columnists.

  5. I think it is time to cease discussing Mgr. Loftus on your blog. He is not important, and no-one who reads the LMS Chairman's blog is going to sympathise with him or is views. One has the impression that your protracted attacks on his views are a way of avoiding discussion of people who are important; first among these is Pope Francis, who is devastating the Church, but whose harmful actions are not ever addressed on this blog. There is nothing politic about such avoidance. It hands victory to the enemies of God and the Church.

  6. John: if you click on 'Pope Francis' in the list of topics under the blog title you will see I have addressed him at considerable length.