24 February 2009


There ought to be a convention in the blogosphere that when a blogger is imparting information which will enrage his readers, he puts some sort of warning at the top of his post for the benefit of those who have to watch their bloodpressure. I felt that very acutely this morning when I read how the Tablet, having amused itself by doing its best to stir up trouble in his parish, came all serious and heavy about the infrigement of its copyright as soon as Fr Finigan took apart and exposed the squalid little article concerned.

You might have thought they would by now be rather ashamed of the cheap and nasty innuendoes in their article. You would certainly think that, as 'liberals', they would boast about a policy of free speech and a welcomed right to reply. Not a bit of it. Their true colours are now flying high enough for all to behold. And they are so b****y pompous.

For decades I declined to read the Tablet, since I found it just made me cross. It made me waste time drafting in my mind letters correcting what I judged to be errors. I still have a policy of never spending money on this deeply unpleasant publication. But I did read it online recently when they put it all on the internet because of the snow; I do sometimes have a quick look through if I see it at the back of a church; I do sometimes read the "free" items on their website. And I have been surprised by the mean tone of some recent pieces on the Roman Pontiff. Perhaps Fr Finigan should console himself by the reflection that, while they have been attacking him, energies have been taken up that might otherwise have been devoted to a campaign against the Holy Father.

Fr Finigan is well known among both Anglicans and members of his own Church for his quiet good manners and gentlemanly courtesy. His writings are distinguished by his accurate and careful scholarship. If the Tablet staff were not so mired in their own prejudices, I would invite them to take him as an example of how sensible people should write about their fellow Christians.


Pastor in Monte said...

I have to say that I continue to take the Tablet. This is not an endorsement of their shockingly shabby treatment of my friend, colleague and namesake, Fr Finigan, but I find the Pill a useful barometer of the centre of gravity (excuse the mixed metaphors) of the liberal tendency in the Church. And, dislike it as we do, there is no doubt that under 'Ma' Pepinster, it has made considerable progress towards the centre ground.
I used to say of the Tablet: it's a great paper; intelligent, well presented, well written: what a shame we don't have a Catholic paper like this.
I think that we should actually pursue the Tablet ourselves and instead of cancelling it, write to it, engage with it, and make it bow to market forces, becoming once again the leading Catholic organ.
After all, consider that, thirty years ago, the Catholic Herald was itself the leading liberal rag.

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Thank you, Father. I bow to your better judgement.
Among the many pleasures of reading your blog, incidentally, is that of seeing the ghostly sillhouette of the great church of Our Lady and S Nicolas, where I ministered for nearly three decades.
Alas, in those backward days, when saying Mass in Latin I used the Novus Ordo. I know so much better now!
Is that rather jolly fish restaurant on Shoreham Beach still functioning?

Ken Eck said...

Fr John, may I urge you and all your visitors to sign the online petition in support of Fr Finigan, demanding an apology from the Tablet.

Pastor in Monte said...

Ah: the fish restaurant. Somebody told me on Monday that it had just closed, but I looked in the window yesterday afternoon and it all looked fine, though it wasn't actually open at the time. I've never eaten there, as fish is for me a penitential dish, but I have heard elsewhere that it was/is reckoned to be very good.
And yes, I love that view of Lancing chapel: I can see it from my attic window. It is one of the great sights of the A27, along with Arundel's cathedral and castle.