I must declare an interest. Fr Ray Blake, blogger and priest of the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, is a very dear friend as well as being a brother priest whom I admire. On the happy morning after the happy day when I entered the Presbyterate of the Ordinariate, he graciously joined me in Brompton as I offered my first Holy Mass in Full Communion with the See of S Peter, at that marvellous pietra dura Lady Altar from Brescia with the statue of S Pius V to its right. And at lunch ...
He has also proved himself a good friend of the Ordinariate. He fosters by God's grace vocations to the priesthood. He reaches out to the poor ... I could go on.
Many readers have already commented on his most recent blogpost. This is how Father begins.
"I have been asked to sign the Filial Correction. I signed the letter of the 45 academics and pastors last year and almost immediately found Cardinal Nichols' tanks parked on my lawn to inform me of his displeasure ..."
It gets even more readable as it goes on. I am now convinced: there are better things to do than signing the Filial Correction. Fr Aidan Nichols demonstrated this when he delivered his St Albans Lecture in August, raising the question of the orthodoxy of passages within Amoris laetitia. A report of his lecture appeared in the Catholic Herald (curiously, the full text of that lecture has not been allowed to enter the public domain). Fr Ray, by publishing his frank and extensive account of the current atmosphere in Jorge Bergoglio's Church, has probably done more good than he could have achieved by merely wielding his signature. Thank you, Father.
Many excellent people have asked me what, in this current crisis, they can do. Well ... just make sure that Fr Ray's post is known far and wide among Catholics, lay, clerical, episcopal. Particularly, were you to hear somebody say that not many clergy signed the Correctio ... let them have it ... that sort of stuff is just plain sick.
29 September 2017
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Prayer's to St John Vianney for Father Ray and yourself Father.I feel he underestimates how courageous that post actually was. Incidentally Father,I had the most good fortune in 'stumbling' across an Ordinariate Mass on the vigil of the Assumption, Having been attending Novus Ordo all my life, at first was slightly confused as to what was happening. However the Mass was an absolutely beautiful experience!
I will sign nothing. Who am I. Moreover, I don't want to fall under a blanket excommunication. I need to receive Our Lord daily. Silence is not assent and I understand More's position, having studied that magnificent and underrated merry satirist and defensor Fidei.
That said, a fine piece. Moreover, I am very grateful to Fr. Hunwicke that he signed. I thought he would be afraid -- mea culpa. No signature, besides the bishop emeritus from Corpus Christi, made me more glad.
Truly, it is necessary for only a few to sign. Numbers don't matter at all. The addition of mine or Fr. Blake's makes no iota of difference. I am prepared -- Deo Gratias -- to give the highest witness for my beloved Faith. That is all that matters and the readiness is all.
Does anyone know that Thomas More was ready to flee England under Henry VII? He saw the writing on the wall. He did not flee only because Henry VII died. He postponed (as almost all martyrs have -- read Butler's Lives on Bartleby) it to the last moment for the very best reason: he did not have yet the grace. And martydom is a very great grace, and necessesary. Butler gives the account of those who rashly stepped forward on their own courage, and died rashly in apostasy. Both More and Butler are very very underrated. I set both with firm conviction as two of the top ten (maybe five) English writer of all time.
Thanks for the head up. For your courage, Father, I thank God. All we need is complete trust and confidence in Him. We enter the most glorious days of the Church. I have never been so excited in my life (and I not long ago was seriously deeply depressed). The Triumph of Mary (and the two Hearts) is at hand -- no it is here. Deo Gratias!!
You are always too kind.
Fr take a look at this blog spot by an Eastern Rite Catholic on the Pope and Jesuit Casuistry. http://easternchristianbooks.blogspot.com/
One thing I still don't understand: what were Nichols's tanks doing in Brighton? Did they get lost and somehow rumble down the M23?
We owe a great debt to anyone who signed the correction. It is not disheartening to have this situation, but it is disheartening to have this situation and to realize one is alone, there is no one willing to defend Jesus Christ nor His Church nor His flock.
That, is disheartening.
May this be the beginning.
Fr Blake could have signed the correction and still written his post regarding his fears - they are surely not mutually exclusive.
I have been reflecting on this a lot over the last few days. One key consideration that I have not seen raised is the difference it makes if someone is a parish priest. Signing the Filial Correction is not a private act but a public one. If a parish priest signs it, it will not only affect his personal relationship with his bishop but everyone in his parish. It will severely divide most parishes and create a very great debate and disturbance.
Many will misunderstand what is being said and done in the Correction. I have had friends ask me about it who find it deeply troubling that "the Pope is being called a heretic". Some will conclude, as one man put it to me after Mass, "this means that we no longer have a Church!". The false understanding of the papacy that has taken root among Catholics for many decades sets them up for complete disillusion with the Faith. And we do have to admit that this is an extraordinary situation and in many respects unprecedented.
So if a parish priest signed, he would be obliged to preach and teach about it at length and with great care for souls. Perhaps that is what is needed now before any other action is taken on a parish level. Of course, many of the laity would not just be dismayed and confused, but would reject such an action by their parish priest very angrily as extremist, alarming and disloyal. This would not just be a personal cross for the priest concerned, it would create war in his parish amounting to local schism. Is this the right time and the right way to do that? And that is what is most likely to trigger intervention from his bishop.
So I do not think there is any moral or spiritual obligation on priests to sign up to this initiative, even if they agree with what it says, although I applaud those who have. Not signing this document doesn't necessarily indicate cowardice and certainly not agreement with what is going on in the Church. Those who are pushing the immoral and heretical agenda so hard are deluding themselves if they think that silence is consent, and they are even more deluded if they think that fear and intimidation will bring lasting victory for their cause.
Having witnessed the "progressive-church" civil war my whole life (starting as an altar boy in the late 1960's under what is now called the EF Mass), among the few lessons I have been taught by the progressives is that when they demand that people submit to irrationality and moral incoherence, they are going to use any and every ugly and brute force means to attack those who resist their pogrom.
Indeed - they have studied power - and they have come to worship it as their goal.
It is very sad indeed that many priests are afraid to sign the Correctio. I'm afraid to do so myself. Those whom I trust have counseled me not to do so at this point in my priesthood, being young and pursuing an advanced degree. If only some more bishops and prominent theologians would be courageous enough to sign. Perhaps it would give the rest of us more courage.
Not been to S Albans in years, Fr. Correction all over the internet. People have heard of that
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