The overlaps in content (but certainly not style) between the article by "Monsignor Loftus", which I have shared with you, and the elegant paper delivered recently to an ecumenical audience by Fr Aidan Nichols, are quite considerable. And all the more diverting since they come from the opposite ends of the theological spectrum.
The Catholic Herald account of Fr Aidan's address quotes him as saying that "bishops' conferences ha[ve] been slow to support Pope Francis, probably because they [a]re divided among themselves". The Monsignore is much more prolix. "And in many, many more countries, our own included, whole episcopates are sitting on the fence ..." ... I honestly don't feel up to copying out the two columns which follow. I do, you know, type my posts with just the one finger.
All you need to know is that the Monsignore does not like Episcopal Conferences, least of all his own. He does not like "young" bishops, who are "often over-moralising, over-dogmatising, and over-sure". And, above all, he dislikes young priests, who are "youngsters", "aggressive", "narcissistic", "Tridentinising". "Unless some opposition to all this backward-looking ecclesiology is forthcoming ... mumble mumble mumble ... growing and clergy-led retreat ... mumble mumble mumble ... introspective sacristy-sect"....
Historians will be diverted to realise that, while B Paul VI unwisely tried to rid the Church of the curse of gerontocracy by curbing the electoral powers of elderly Cardinals, the Monsignore apparently sees the salvation of the Church as lying entirely in the hands of the elderly. In their richly varied shades of grey, they should break their retirement and flock to Episcopal Conferences and deanery meetings and never stop putting their successors right about everything.
We wrinklies are enormously good at that sort of activity, and generous, to boot. "When I was ABC, what I used to do was DEF ..." "I always found it good practice to GHI...". "I think you will find, as I did, that JKL ...". Our anecdotes (rarely flawed by concise over-abbreviation) never end in our own discomfiture, but always in the confusion of the partes adversae. And it is amazing what excellent wind we still have, even though the advance of the years means that our flecks of spittle are broadcast with perhaps just a tadge less discipline than in the days of our prime.
It's called "being boring".
12 September 2017
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When you sat "This would help to account for his repetitions and fillers", could it be that he is actually being influenced by aspects of the rite which he so dislikes? Although, I suppose, it should in that case be "many, many, many"?
How vexing! Is "Mgr Basil Loftus" no more real than the Easter Bunny? Or is he what the Twitterverse calls a sock puppet? Un nom de plume? Who could it be? Someone, clearly, who is raging against the dying of everything "lite". On immature reflection such blatant inanities must surely be from un agent provocatuer, some man clad in purple-piped black beating jeremiads out of his keyboard in order to get someone in the rag concerned to call out their absurdity.
Speaking of which, however, I am very glad to hear you have found a good use for the Catholic Times.
Ps At least Fr Aidan OP is real.
Only this very morning my wife and I were regretting the rudeness of so many priests of the Monsignor's generation, and comparing them unfavourably to younger priests of our acquaintance. What went wrong in the 60's and 70's?
You are indeed a riot. Yet, I must confess that, at this point, I have failed to capture the cognitive thrust of this series. I am certain that your more erudite readers have already proleptically nodded in agreement with what they have foreseen to be the "point" here. I am not one of them. I do hope that there is more to say in this series (though it did not say "Continues..."), as it seems to me you were gearing up in the comparison to Father Aidan, but veered off suddenly. Oh my! Do help us incognoscenti.
Would it be matter for confession (detraction) to suggest that the good Monsignore might harbour a deep-seated, possibly unconscous resentment that he never made it to the episcopacy?
If so, I won't even hint at it.
By the way, the gentleman has previous form: if he threatens to sue you, there are plenty of us who would contribute to a fighting fund.
Sue Sims is right about the previous form. One elderly Priest (who has since died) who he threatened with suing was so upset that he stopped his blog and changed to writing emails to those who followed him instead. I remember Fr Ray Blake was also threatened by Loftus.
I commend Sue Sims for her discernment of Mgr. Baz Loftus' resentment. I am certain that she is bang on the money. He made "Head Boy" at school and I have it on good authority that the person (whom I will not name) who chose him for this position, regretted his choice afterwards. Baz thought that he was born to rule!
Perhaps I could also add that after his Ordination, Mgr Baz Loftus worked his way into the Vatican Diplomatic Service and it was through that that he became a Monsignor. He did not last long there and he then was shipped back home to his diocese which is the Diocese of Leeds. When he got his chance he moved out of Leeds and he now lives in a small house in Scotland. His address used to be available still on the Leeds Diocesan website but I do not think that it is there now.
Sue Sims is bang on with her discernment of his resentment.
Worked his way, or wormed his way??
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