Monday, March 23, 2015

Loftus and the Gestapo

Last weekend the Editor of the Catholic Times felt the need to include in the Letters page a little defence of Mgr Basil Loftus, at some length.

Some letters sent to The Catholic Times in recent times imply that the notion of exploring the possibility of divorced and remarried Catholics receiving Communion emanates from Mgr Basil Loftus. It does not, '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

So just how 'loyally' does Loftus 'summarise' what comes from the Holy See? The Editor, Kevin Flaherty, doesn't seem to have noticed the content of Loftus' column in the very same edition, where the Congregation for Divine Worship's role in promulgating the 2011 translation of the Ordinary Form Missal is compared to the work of the Gestapo.

Like the Gestapo in the Channel Islands during the last war who had to admit that they couldn't make everyone speak German, but forced them to drive on the right-hand side of the road, that Congregation had, regretfully, to admit that it could no longer make everyone worship in Latin, but by means of an unintelligible translation it would force them to conform to an alien culture in order to demonstrate its own superiority.

This is, sadly, par for the course for Loftus. He really, really, hates the Congregration for Divine Worship. When they upheld the notion of an 'act of reverence' before the reception of Holy Communion, he compared them to Stalinists.

‘Look at North Korea. Is there in that blighted and over-regulated dictatorship any of the joy and freedom which is needed if human dignity is to be protected? Was there any joy or freedom in Stalinist Russia or Maoist China, or East Germany? Would anyone in the free world want to live there? In all of this there are lessons about freedom and joy for the Church.19 May 2013

Their attempt to uphold the right of the Faithful to receive Communion on the tongue he described as 'Seriously unbalanced prejudice,' and a person who wished to use that right 'individual fundamentalist bigot'. 29 August 2014

He has a particular hatred of its sometime Secretary: the Sri Lankan cappa magna fetishist and Tridentine-rite devotee, Malcolm Ranjith. 17 November 2013

But perhaps he hates the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei even more: it is hard to tell.

The Commission’s sometimes sententious decisions which then followed also inhibit the free discussion among the People of God which helps to build a liturgy, old-rite or new, which is sensitive to the needs of time and place. It is simply arrogant and unjust for altar-girls to be forbidden the Tridentine-rite Masses. More and more there is an unjustified presumption that Communion at such Masses may only be received kneeling and on the tongue. 24 November 2013

But let's not forget his hatred of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and its Prefect, Cardinal Muller: 'not fit for purpose.' 14 July 2013

And the Apostolic Signatura, and its then Prefect, Cardinal Burke. 'Effectively, it seems that it is those judgemental zealots themselves who “are not in Communion with God”, even though one of them, Raymond Burke, is, for the moment, the Cardinal Prefect of the Church's highest law tribunal.’ 19 Jan 2014:
 Or the Office of Papal Ceremonies under Mgr Guido Marini. ‘Who, for instance, advised the Holy Father on Easter Sunday to appear in cloth-of-gold vestments and sit on a throne designed by Pius IX to flaunt his prestige as a temporal ruler of the Papal States?
‘...Whoever has been digging into the Vatican toy-cupboard of late, to unearth thrones, pretty lace and furbelows, is obviously still clinging to the model of the Church which angered both Garibaldi and [Philip] Pullman, and became redundant with Vatican II.’ 16 May 2010

The 'Benedictine arrangement' of candles on the Altar, used by Pope Benedict, is described as 'dumb insolence9 Oct 2011

But he hates our own bishops in England and Wales just as much. I'll post about that 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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  1. He is like a caricature of everything pertaining to the "Spirit of Vatican II".

  2. What joy? But there is joy; its source is in the tabernacle. No wonder we express reverence as we draw near to it.

  3. Garibaldi and Pullman....? I'm speechless!

    1. Because we all know that what was holding back Garibaldi and Pullman from their violent hatred of the Church was not replacing enough lace with polyester.

      I think even I have more respect for these two gentlemen than Fr. Loftus does.

  4. As the man said in Fawlty Towers, Basil produces enough material for an entire conference.