Saturday, May 02, 2015

Published letter on Mgr Loftus

With others, I recently wrote a letter to The Catholic Times, The Tablet, and The Scottish Catholic Observer to protest at the public scandal caused by the writings of Mgr Basil Loftus in these publications. Only the Scottish Catholic Observer deigned to publish my letter, in a form cut to ribbons by the Editor, Liz Leydon.

In light of this, and in response to Loftus' latest outrages, Patricia McKeever of Catholic Truth Scotland has started a petition to the two bishops with authority over Mgr Loftus: his ordinary, Bishop Marcus Stock, and the Bishop of the diocese where he lives, Bishop Hugh Gilbert.

Since I have written to these bishops, already, privately, on this matter, without response, a public letter seems to me to be justified. However I should emphasise that this is Miss McKeever's petition, not mine.

Here is the letter as it appeared in the Scottish Catholic Observer, with the bits edited out inserted in red. The black square brackets and elipses are retained from the published version.

SCO, Letters, 24 April, 2015

Concern over writings of monsignor 

WE, THE undersigned, believe the time has come to publish a protest against the [the stream of personal abuse, libellous accusations, and theological error, contained in] articles and letters [written] [published in The Scottish Catholic Observer, The Catholic Times, The Tablet, and elsewhere] by Mgr Basil Loftus. These have been appearing for more than 20 years, but have become particularly unacceptable in recent months.

In these articles Mgr Loftus describes a respected Cardinal, Malcolm Ranjith, as a ‘Cappa Magna fetishist’, the arrangement of candlesticks on the Altar favoured by Pope Benedict as ‘dumb insolence’, calls for ‘anger’ against Bishop Mark Davies, accuses the Apostolic Nuncio of gross financial extravagance, denies that the arisen Christ had a ‘physical body’, and declares that up to three traditional religious institutes in the United Kingdom are characterised by ‘at least quasi-schismatic ecclesiology’, which is ironic coming from Mgr Loftus whose theology is far more questionable. Most recently he has accused the Congregation for Divine Worship under Cardinal Ca├▒izares of behaving like the Gestapo.

It is fast becoming a scandal…[that Mgr Loftus is permitted to defame the reputation of good priests, religious and laity in this manner.] Out of respect for the Church, his victims have thus far refrained from taking [any] [legal] action. [but, if this abuse is allowed to continue, action may become necessary.]

His writings disturb the peace of the Church, they violate the respect due to our bishops, and they deprive numerous individuals of the good name which is their right under canon and secular law.

We call upon Mgr Loftus' canonical superior, Bishop Marcus Stock of Leeds [and others concerned] to take the necessary steps [to take the necessary steps to bring Mgr Loftus’ campaign of abuse to an end.]

A dossier of quotations from Mgr Loftus is available on the website of the Latin Mass Society.

Dr Joseph Shaw

James Bogle

Fr Michael Clifton

Fr Thomas Crean OP

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  1. I think the edited letter put the point across more than adequately.

  2. A good letter. The edits speak for themselves. I'm sure the message has gone home.

  3. Is this a case of taking a sledghammer to crack a nut?

  4. Dear me. If Mgr Loftus sees you calling him a nut, Savonarola, he'll probably threaten you with legal action.

  5. If I may make another point, and it seems I'm not the only one to feel like this. The time for silence, for leaving the rostrum to the opposition, whether within the Church or in the secular world is over . The Catholic and Christian voice has to be heard again - although as someone has said recently, from a background of piety!

  6. I confess that I'm impressed that the Observer printed the letter in any form at all.

    I hope that Ms. McKeever's petition flourishes, and bears fruit.