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out-of-date laws, undeveloped doctrines, and unreformed liturgies, to want at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
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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