10 February 2018


I have declined to enable a small number of comments.

I am not averse to enabling robustly critical comments about PF himself and about the sycophants with whom he surrounds himself.

But just watch how you do it. Moreover, the more critical you are, the more you need to show, carefully and logically and factually, the grounds upon which you draw your critical conclusions.

You do not make any contribution to solving the crisis in the Church Militant if you just write nasty abuse without careful argumentation to back it up.

I have hitherto allowed some borderline comments. In future, I will be stricter.

I understand and sympathise with the wounds which PF's personality and actions have created in many minds and lives. But I would rather you refrained from merely letting off steam and doing so abusively.

Furthermore, understanding is spreading. A piece which has just popped up on the Catholic Herald website uses the Barros scandal to raise questions like whether PF is fully in command of his faculties; whether, rather than being part of the problem, he  is  the problem. The 'Mainstream', gradually, is becoming less timid. Pennies are dropping. This is not the moment to give the world what hesitant and undecided people will conclude is evidence that PF's critics are unpleasant nutters. Always ask yourself "How will this sound to someone who is sitting on the fence?"

I urge people to keep their heads and say their prayers and, if they find these two suggestions too difficult, to keep quiet.


Master Dickey said...

Well said, well said Fr John. All the more reason that I wish you were a priest here in Texas.

Karl J said...


Kathleen1031 said...

You are right, Fr. Hunwicke. A priest goes to the trouble to have a blog, and I'm sure it is trouble at times, and we need to be mindful of what we post there because our faithful clergy are already walking a fine line by being faithful.
So when here, we need to be mindful of that. But in all other venues, we the faithful, need to ratchet up our protest. The time for patience and politeness has been used up. Maybe the clergy can't do it, but the laity can, and this may be now our responsibility. We have long waited for someone clerical to do it, it never comes. So be it.
I am going to keep the Chinese Catholics, Bishop Zen, Juan Carlos Cruz and the other Chilean sex abuse victims in my heart, and I'm going to make some noise about what is going on. When I feel like it's nothing and nobody hears I will think of them. At the very least when I meet the Lord I can offer some little thing I tried to do.

geoff kiernan said...

My Previous comment not printed...Here I go again..... There should be a direct correlation between how much you critise the Pope and how much you pray for him

Fr John Hunwicke said...

Dear Mr Kiernan

I don't think I can have received your 'previous comment'.

Your point is a good one.

Dear Kathleen

I very much hope that you will make a noise. And, as you so often do in the comments you send me, I very much hope that your noise will continue vigorously to express valid and well-argued criticisms of what is wrong.

The sort of comments I feel less easy with are those that are two lines long and contain nothing but terms of abuse combined with typographical errors.

DeHereticoComburendo said...

So you wish us, in criticising the Pope, to, as our teachers used to say, “show our workings”. OK, here goes.

This Pope is very concerned with ‘proof’, all of a sudden - anything else is calumny, it seems. (Proof in the empirical sense, I mean, not as in Anselm’s Five). So when PF says, in support of Laudato Si, that the climate data “…. aren’t opinions pulled out of thin air. They are very clear,” He invites us to accept man-made climate change as a fact, and to accept that we must change our ways accordingly on pain of sin. This, presumably, is his standard of “proof”.

Not for me, I’m afraid. Climate change statistics involve computer-modelled guesstimates provided courtesy of scientists whose paychecks come from global-socialist politicians proposing one-world solutions; politicians with a vested interest in telling us that we are baaad people for driving to work in our cars to earn the wealth they tax to pay for the damage we’ve caused to the planet. For me, the only reason for accepting Laudato Si at face value would be the Protestant travesty of papal infallibility: that the Pope has magical powers and just can’t be wrong. He is able to correctly predict the winner of tomorrow’s 3.30 at Kempton Park.

May I just say, for the avoidance of doubt, that I yield to none in my love and admiration for our beloved Great Leader. I await his next encyclical with an almost breathless anticipation.

Randolph Crane said...

I would recommend to everyone to read the great article over at hughosb.com (Deus Mihi Adjutor Blog), where Dom Hugh talks about self-proclaimed defenders of the faith - I won't post a link, but it is the article titled "A Late-Night Counsel to the Bold and the Beautiful".

It is suggested that being overzealous is maybe not the best course of action.

Kathleen1031 said...

I will try to read that Randolph, but being the age I am, I have realized that there are always going to be naysayers and doubters, the people who probably counseled against the Christians who fought at Lepanto "But you're outnumbered. There's more of them than you. You can't win!". Fear and doubt can make us immobile.
Sometimes, you just have to take a breath and dive in.
We are truly living in singular times! No one has seen this or experienced it, there ARE no reference points, no sages who can wisely guide us, they don't exist. It's just one opinion and there's always another.
For my part, after five years, I have no more doubts. I stopped having doubts in 2015 or so, and now, I'm 100% convinced, so I now speak and can act with no reservation. My deciding is done.
Now I pray and ask God to read my heart, please God, if I'm wrong about what I'm saying or doing, you know my heart, you know I intend only good. And I leave it at that, because He knows.

Aqua said...

I tend to agree, in general, in normal times.

These are not normal times.

Doctrine is falling, in a very practical and personal way, for souls going to their judgement.

Our brethren are suffering all over the world; martyrdom and violent pogroms against our fellow Christian brothers and sisters with inadequate response and protection from their Church brethren.

The Apostolic Line is failing. With the breach agreed to in China, it is now an open question everywhere.

In time of combat and conflict, it may be messy; response less than ideal when a more proper time for reflection is possible. But Zealousness messy as it may be, is appropriate under conditions like these. Anything less is wildly inappropriate, when considering what is actually at stake.

coradcorloquitur said...

I believe that both Kathleen and Aqua above are very much on target. These are indeed exceptional times that call for exceptional action. What is a greater danger than over-zealousness is timidity and the indifferentism too often the fruit of misguided ecumenism or lukewarmness ("The lukewarm I vomit out of My mouth," says Christ). I heard (during a pilgrimage to Holy Land, of all circumstances!) a priest from one of the canonically approved traditional orders proclaim: "The Church saves us; we don't save the Church." A partial truth. While realizing that doubtlessly we are saved through the Church in her preaching and through the channels of grace which are the sacraments, the implication that we should adopt a somewhat passive attitude in the current crisis of Mother Church strikes me as opposed to what the Church herself teaches regarding the graces of confirmation: "A sacrament of the New Law in which a baptized person receives the Holy Ghost, is strengthened in grace, and signed and sealed as a soldier of Jesus Christ" (Dr. Donald Attwater, "A Catholic Dictionary"). The key phrase in this widely respected theologian's orthodox definition if "soldier of Christ." While over-zealousness can be imprudent or even counter-productive depending on circumstances, its opposite seems to play into the hands of the enemies of Christ, within and without the Church. One does not need to be a commissioned evangelist or ordained to know and defend the Faith, our solemn duty after receiving the graces of the sacrament of confirmation. To suggest so strikes me as a form of clericalism, that old cancer that has done the Mystical Body so much harm over the centuries by engendering in many baptized Catholics a casual attitude towards the Faith itself as well as the liturgy.