|Fr Nicholas Schofield celebrating the EF in his church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Uxbridge,|
for the Chesterton Pilgrimage (an event promoting the Cause of GKC).
The day was today. Instead of Mgr Loftus' byline, there was a photograph of a young priest in a tree. A little odd, you might think, but the story was about sport.
I understand this is a permanent break, not a momentary pause, so it is something of significance.
Readers familiar with the names above - Fr Marsden, Fr Schofield, Francis Davis - will know that these are terrific, orthodox Catholic writers. Furthermore, Fr Schofield celebrates the Traditional Mass in his parish. Mgr Loftus actually used his column to attack Fr Marsden's column by name. And there are more good writers, in the Catholic Times. The permanent presence of Mgr Loftus cast a shadow over the paper which has now lifted. I wish the Catholic Herald would pluck up similar courage to cut its ties with regular writers who, like Loftus, seem to be left over from a former, darker, era.
The Catholic Times is shortly re-launching as a tabloid. I never thought I'd say this, but I think it deserves our support.
It so happens (perhaps not by chance) that Loftus' very last column was quite a nasty attack on those attached to the Traditional Mass, and I wrote a letter in response, something I've not felt motivated to do for a long time. It's not published this week, and I don't suppose it will be now, the moment has passed, but for the record I post it below. I'm not going to spend ages copying out chunks of his column to prove I've not misrepresented him; I just leave it here as a reminder of the problem Loftus represented.
Happy feast of the Sacred Heart to all my readers!
|O Jesus meek and humble of heart|
Make my heart like unto Thine.
Mgr Basil Loftus (1st June) writes that differences of liturgy imply differences of belief, and that resistance to change is ‘to fly in the face of the Holy Spirit.’
This may sometimes be the case, but he would do well to refresh his memory of the principles set out by the Second Vatican Council: ‘Even in the liturgy, the Church has no wish to impose a rigid uniformity’ (Sacrosanctum Concilium 37) and ‘let all… enjoy a proper freedom, … in their different liturgical rites... they will be giving ever better expression to the authentic catholicity and apostolicity of the Church’(Unitatis redintegratio 4) Pope St John Paul II declared that a ‘genuine plurality of forms’ is ‘the Church’s ideal’ (Orientale Lumen 2).
It is worth pondering the last point: that the universality, the Catholicity, of the Church is not weakened, but manifested and strengthened by liturgical pluralism, and, yes, by the fidelity to tradition common to the Eastern Churches and to those, in the West, who preserve the ‘treasure’ of the ancient Latin Mass.
Chairman, Latin Mass Society
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