CathHerald UK: Bishop says disobedience is harming the Church

From The Catholic Herald, the best weekly in the UK, comes this from the keyboard of the charming and persistent Anna Arco with my emphases and comments.

Bishop: disobedience is harming the Church
By Anna Arco

Bishops who have deep theological differences with the Pope are undermining the unity of the Catholic Church, a prominent English bishop has claimed.

Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue said that such differences prompted parish priests to ignore the authority of their bishops.  [In other words, those bishops commit the sin of scandal?]

He said: "The idea that there could be theological differences between a bishop and the Pope is just an incredible thing to admit but it is the truth. I suppose if priests see bishops showing disloyalty to the Pope, it is hardly surprising that they in turn should show disloyalty to their bishop. We all know what Jesus said about a divided house."

He added: "It is not uncommon for cliques to grow up among priests against the current bishop that ignore with disdain directives and advice from their bishop. [Very true.  I have seen that especially in one particular place.]  Sometimes it seems that the parish priest and parish declare UDI [Unilateral Declaration of Independence] from the bishop and the diocese. There is also a danger of this developing in a group of bishops’ attitude to the reigning Pope."

The bishop said this disunity created a "conspiracy of silence" in the Church.  [Silence?  I wonder.  It seems to me they become outspoken, in a braying sort of way.]

He said: "This cocktail of dissent, disobedience and disloyalty has resulted in what I call ‘a conspiracy of silence’ amongst groups in the Church. There is no real dialogue or willingness to talk openly and honestly about our differences.  [Ah… okay… I think I am getting his drift.]

"For example, I don’t know why my Fit for Mission? documents hit a wall of silence among the bishops in this country. All I did was reiterate the teaching of the Church, but this has been treated as unacceptable and unspeakable. Why?"  [Because like good Rawlsians they don’t want to permit a different voice to be heard.]

Bishop O’Donoghue offered his analysis at a retreat for priests of the Diocese of Northampton in Ars, the parish of St John Vianney in France in May. He called attention to the fact that "countless individual priests, and laity, even bishops, believe they are free to decide what it means to be Catholic for themselves". He suggested that accepting the Church’s teaching on sexual morality was a "litmus test" for Catholics. [Probably pretty close to the mark.  I would also look at their Marian and Eucharistic devotion.]

"For example, we have witnessed a wholesale rejection of the Church’s perennial teaching against contraception. This is the litmus test of the acceptance of the obedience in the Church. How many priests support Gaudium et Spes’s crystal-clear rejection of contraception, upheld by successive popes – Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI? If we reject their teaching on this matter we are saying as priests that we know better than the successor of Peter! Is this tenable in a priest?"  [NB: He didn’t mention Humanae vitae, but GS.  Very good.]

Bishop O’Donoghue not only criticised liberal dissent but also had sharp words for traditionalists who he said were in danger of falling into "liturgism"[Good!]

He said: "By this I mean the tendency among clergy and some laity to solely focus on the liturgy and sacramental life, ignoring our mission to go out of the church building into the world where suffering humanity lives. For a century the Church has been saying that social justice should be a concern of Catholics equal to attending Mass on Sunday. How many believe this? How many priests encourage this?"  [See Rule #4]

Bishop O’Donoghue also discussed the life of St John Vianney, whose 150th anniversary is being celebrated this year and who is the patron of the Year for Priests, drawing parallels between the challenges faced by the saintly parish priest and the priests today.

He argued that St John Vianney had a "keen sense of the need for salvation" which he expressed in his "whole being as a priest". Bishop O’Donoghue urged the priests who were taking part to reflect on a number of questions about their roles and identity as priests in the modern world. This included questions about attitudes to consumerism, alcohol, confronting evil and true repentance.

He also asked them: "Is it possible to talk to young people about salvation today? And is it necessary to go to confession regularly? What do you think the Curé d’Ars would say?" Fr Paul Hardy, a priest who took part in the retreat, said: "He was very good. He talked about the challenges facing us – do we duck them or do we face up to them."


WDTPRS kudos to Bp. O’Donoghue!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Dr. Herbert says:

    How I wish that our Bishops here in the Philippines are like that. I have seen lots of priests who are disobedient to their Bishops. too sad. But I trust in the grade of God to heal this rift.

  2. Jack says:

    For the most part I agree with his Excellency, however I must respectfully disagree with his comment about those of us who prefer the 1962 Rite, most of us are fine with V2 and the ‘existence’ of the NO but just want to be able to worship according to the 1962 missel, and whilst I accept that there are ‘trads’ including myself who at times have thought of themselves as the modern day St. Athanasius, the root cause of that attitude is the ‘shut up, roll over and keep quiet’ attitude of many Bishops and priests towards the TLM rather than showing respect to our pastoral needs/concerns. [He didn’t criticize “trads”. Relax.]

  3. Alex says:

    I think His Excellecny was warning against being an extreme Trad. THank the Good Lord bishops are starting to speak the truth! Let us pray for more and more bishops like this.

  4. MQ says:

    “The bishop said this disunity created a “conspiracy of silence” in the Church. [Silence? I wonder. It seems to me they become outspoken, in a braying sort of way.”

    Does the conspiracy of silence extend to the Church (Rome), when she does not speak out against the assaults against Her?

  5. Maureen says:

    Well, I think it’s true that a lot of good Catholics don’t give alms/help to the poor as often as they go to church on Sunday. It’s all lobbying for laws on the one side and lobbying for jobs on the other, but not as much work or giving as is probably needed on any side.

  6. Larry says:

    “For example, we have witnessed a wholesale rejection of the Church’s perennial teaching against contraception. This is the litmus test of the acceptance of the obedience in the Church.”

    I could not agree more, and have said as much on a number of occasions recently to my wife. I have found that when it really comes down to it, even many of what one would think are some of the best members of various parishes, involved in Church life, very devout, etc., hvae or did contracept for many, many years. They put themselves in the place of God, and preferred to acquiesce to modern society’s demand of controlling the number of children they have rather than accept Church teaching. This is an utterly forbidden topic; it’s impossible to discuss it without causing extreme reactions, but I think it cuts to the core of so much of the problem in Catholic identity. Those who go against Church teaching on this subject, even if relatively devout in many other areas, are still holding back a very critical part of their being, and have basically held themselves apart from the Will of God.

  7. Rellis says:

    Defending the anti-poor people Traddies…

    1. The USCCB and most bishops trot out a distorted, perverted version of social justice. It’s no wonder that most politically-conservative people (most Trads) instinctively shy away from it. Obamacare and agriculture subsidies are hard to find in Rerum Novarum.

    2. Let’s get the priorities straight here. Mass and social justice are not equal. VC2 (S.C.) said that the liturgy is the “source and summit” of the Christian life. Everything starts here. If you get this wrong, everything following from this will also be wrong.

    “Liturgism” is nothing more than starting where the Church tells us to start. [Yes. But the point the bishop was making is that some people do not then take the next step.]

  8. Ave Maria says:

    “I would also look at their Marian and Eucharistic devotion”

    Very telling indeed as well as the stance on life issues.

  9. Simon Platt says:

    I too was disturbed by the “sharp words for traditionalists”, which seemed to have no relevance to the stituation here in Bp. O’Donoghue’s former diocese of Lancaster.

  10. Bravo to the good Bishop!

  11. Tom says:

    Bishop POD (as he’s affectionately known here) said “I don’t know why my Fit for Mission? documents hit a wall of silence among the bishops in this country. All I did was reiterate the teaching of the Church, but this has been treated as unacceptable and unspeakable. Why?”

    Because as the good bishop knows very well, the majority of the bishops of England and Wales are, by and large, out of touch with the Pope, the Magistrium and, indeed, many of their priests and faithful. None of that is likely to change until there is a wholesale change of bishops – and that has not even started yet. Even the new archbishop of Westminster, though he has made a good start in many ways, is unlikely to be a standard-bearer for the ‘Fit for Mission’ documents. None of our bishops, except POD, have spoken in support of Humanae Vitae, not even in its 40th anniversary year.

    We have a long way to go. Thank God we do have many good, sound, younger priests who are quite likely to ignore their bishop and follow the pope.

  12. Veritas says:

    Is it time for the republication of Newman’s “On consulting the faithful in matters of faith”?

  13. ssoldie says:

    Before the ambiguous wording of ‘Humanae Vitae” there was the unambiguous words of “Casti Connubii”, Look it up. Is ambiguous wording the spirit of anything good? just askin.

  14. ssoldie says:

    Before the ambiguous wording of \’Humanae Vitae\” there was the unambiguous words of \”Casti Connubii\”, Look it up. Is ambiguous wording the spirit of anything good? just askin.

  15. Chris says:

    “By this I mean the tendency among clergy and some laity to solely focus on the liturgy and sacramental life, ignoring our mission to go out of the church building into the world where suffering humanity lives.”

    Does this bishop, who is clearly taking aim at the SSPX, know that H.E. Lefevbre led missionaries for years in Africa? And those missions, unlike the so-called missions today, were more concerned with saving souls that building roads and preaching liberation theology? [breathe deeply and slowly]

    With all due respect, You Excellency, focus on the true Mass and theology and the eternal suffering of souls in hell and less on temporal suffering. Once we get the Faith back to more than a remnant of Roman Catholics, the rest will fall in line.

  16. Larry says:

    The Good Bishop has hit the nail on the head, indeed several nails. Disobedience is a prolific father running hither and yon.
    Consider the priest who is frustated in his desire to obey the pope but to do so he must disobey his bishop or at least ignore him. A problem. But there are more and far more wide spread. New groups growing in the Church under the radar of priests and bishops. These groups often connected to healing and deliverance ministries operate openly and have only loose identification with Church authority. Others of the Charasmatic movement operate in a similar fashion to the SSPX in that they believe they are the authentic Church. They differ from the SSPX in tha they believe they have more direct links to God than does the Bishop. They may partake of the Sacraments but do not have guidance from priests or bishops. Indeed the remnant flock my be quite small when the Lord finally comes. Will he find Faith on earth and will that faith be in God or something else?

  17. observer says:

    “By this I mean the tendency among clergy and some laity to solely focus on the liturgy and sacramental life, ignoring our mission to go out of the church building into the world where suffering humanity lives.

    Sorry, but just the opposite is the problem not only in our parish but in the majority of parishes, I would say, in the diocese. I struggle to have anything from the pulpit emphasizing Eucharistic Adoration or any other devotions that put the emphasis on instructing the uninstructed adults about the True Presence as well as Marian history and sacraments. I mean we haven’t gotten something like 30% of those mass going Catholics with no belief in the True Presence because we’ve put the emphasis on that for the last several decades. That’s for sure. It’s “social welfare” and social justice stuff that gets the repetitive drum beat. “Without Me you can do nothing” … but they sure do try.

  18. Angels stole my phonebox says:

    I lost 200 quid when he didn’t go to Westminster..

  19. moon1234 says:

    sharp words for traditionalists who he said were in danger of falling into “liturgism”.

    He said: “By this I mean the tendency among clergy and some laity to solely focus on the liturgy and sacramental life, ignoring our mission to go out of the church building into the world where suffering humanity lives.

    I sure hope his is not talking about MOST of the traditional orders. SSPX, ICTK, FSSP, etc. all have missions all over the world. They are out there doing their hardest to save souls.

    Here is a recount from a family friend:

    While I was living out of state I received a call from family that Mother was dying. I frantically started calling around all of the surrounding parishes to find a priest to give her last rights. I called 10 “ten” surrounding parishes to see if someone would go to my mother. All of the priests refused stating either “It is the middle of the night” or “She is not a member of our parsih”.

    I then out of desperation called an SSPX chanel and asked the priest to see my mother. He immediatly said he would even though it was the middle of the night. He was at the hospital within 45 minutes and was able to administer last rights before she died.

    I know that we don’t like sob stories, yada yada, but these are the scenerios that cause people to really doubt the missionary spirit of many of the new church clerics. Many seem annoyed when you ask for blessings for your farm, etc.

    In our Parish we luckily have very good young priests who advertise that they are available to bless farms, etc. They regularly eat with their parishioners and are always available in case of emergency. Father’s cell phone is in the bulletin for any emergency. Does your parish priest publish his CELL phone number in the bulletin and make himself available at any hour of the day?

    I have to agree with the others above that the jab at traditionalists is not called for.

  20. Steve says:

    How sad. Another nasty and uncalled for attack agaist Traditional Catholics. [This is a “nasty” dig? You just lost any chance at being taken seriously.] Traditional Catholics have a tremendous history of aiding suffering humanity.

    But what can we expect. Whenever a Church leader garners the nerve to tackle problems with liberalism, a nasty dig at Traditional Catholics always seems to follow.

    Liberals are scolded and then thrown a bone — the bone always being a nasty word or two against Traditionalists.

    Our Churchmen will go just so far then…balance their scoldings with a dig at Traditionalists.

    Same old tired story. [Indeed. The same tired old story.]

  21. Jack says:

    Whilst the dig at ‘trads’ is uncalled for I’m just glad he barks at the librals. Give us in the UK one or two more POD’s and Lawleys and we’ll be converting the anglicans in droves.

    Steve Stop complaining and lightin up, whilst the our situation as trads ain’t ideal at least the Ecclesia Dei restrictions have been lifted, invite your NO friends to the beauty and wonder that is the TLM, as for part I’m helping to broaden awareness of the TLM both in my local parish and throughout the country. Onward Happy Trads !!!

  22. Emilio III says:

    It would be nice to have the exact quote from the bishop, since it seems that some people are misreading ‘Bishop O’Donoghue not only criticised liberal dissent but also had sharp words for traditionalists who he said were in danger of falling into “liturgism”.’

    He did not criticise all liberals, but only liberal dissenters. Likewise he did not criticise all traditionalists but only traditionalists who are in danger of falling into “liturgism”.

  23. Jack says:

    Reflecting on my earlier posts and Fathers comments, i’ve realised that those trads who REALLY want to see greater use of the TLM have got to do three things (a) brighten up and TRY and break out of the Athanasius contra mundem mentality we’ve cultivatd, (Yes its hard but it CAN be done) and (b) work actively to explain to our NO brothers and sisters why we hold the TLM in such reverence and invite them along and exercise a gravitational pull.(c) THINK Then post.

    BTW This Bishop seems like a real good one :)

  24. wsxyz says:

    Jack, it is true that traditional Catholics want to see more of the traditional Holy Mass, but what is more important than that is the traditional Catholic doctrine. No one should be playing nicey-nice with heretics in the hope that they’ll allow a few more crumbs to fall from the table.

  25. JPG says:

    I have not read the entire post and coments, but His excellency or should I say His Lordship has been highlighted before by Fr Finnegan at the Hermeneutic of Continuity . One only hopes that his Lordship will at some point receive a red hat. One hopes also that his hermeneuticalness will likewise receive a purple one.

  26. David says:

    “Bishop O’Donoghue not only criticised liberal dissent but also had sharp words for traditionalists who he said were in danger of falling into ‘liturgism’. [Good!]”

    Not sure I agree. Liturgical do what ever you want belies doctrinal do what ever you want. At any rate, it has never been my experience that “traditionalists” are into “liturgism”, and I know a lot of “traditionalists”, including former “indulters”, SSPXers, sedes and Feenyites. Maybe the ICKSP? They do like all the frills. But still, I doubt it.

    At any rate, if this is the worst criticism he could come up with for “traditionalists” he must be fairly friendly to them.

    I don’t understand what is leading people to think, though, that he is taking aim at the SSPX. He never mentioned the SSPX. Perhaps we traditional Catholics are so used to seeing (and tired of) the accusation we are starting to see it in places that it doesn’t exist?

  27. MemberoftheChurchMilitant says:

    “For a century the Church has been saying that social justice should be a concern of Catholics equal to attending Mass on Sunday.”

    Social justice equal to Mass? That’s scary to hear from a Bishop. Does he not know the Church’s teaching: the sacred liturgy is central as the “source and summit” from which all else flows?

    Instead of “Save the Liturgy, Save the World” should we say “Serve the poor, Save the World”?

    I have read the rest of his talk, there are some good things, but also many problems.

    Here’s the text of his talk (the “Liturgism” part is on pg. 4 as a problem in the priesthood after VII): “Rich in Christ, rich in love”

  28. Jack says:


    I have yet to meet a traditional priest who espouses heresy?, as for playing nicy-nicy with heretics surely we want to fraternaly correct them? the whole point of my post was to say that if we have more traditional priests preaching traditional doctrine then we can ‘evangelize’ our NO brothrs and sisters, Now I have no idea about the situation where you live but there are only 3 regular celebrations of the TLM in my diocese and unfortuatly I can’t attend (due to logistics) have I wimped and complained in the past? YES, In the future it is my intent to see the glass as Half-full, Have you heard about the FSSP and INCKSP seminaries full to the brim? Have you heard about the forthcoming (1-3yrs my guess) reconcilliation with the FSSPX ? (hardly heretical orders)The tide is turning our way, now if Bishops Lawley and O’Donoghue can help I’m all for it. BTW Bishop O’Donoghue is saying that his fellow prelates need to get their act togethr.

  29. Andrew says:

    The Bishop does indeed have a point. But I think it’s rather inaccurate to simply accuse traditionalists of a false liturgism. Does anyone really think that everyone in a Novus Ordo parish with seeming-emphasis on social-justice issues, after being ”nourished” by the Church’s sacramental life, goes out to ”join the offensive” against injustices in the world? Believe me, there are plenty of people who attend Novus Ordo Masses who simply come to Mass and then go, with little tangible impact on their lives.

    Of course, it’s true that this problem is not absent amongst traditionalists. But I would vouch a guess that the percentage of traditionalists tackling problems in the world is at a higher rate than their Novus Ordo counterparts. I mean, let’s face it, traditionalists tend to take the Faith more seriously – and by this I don’t mean to sound Pharisaical – and consequently, the implications of this Faith.

    Moreover, traditionalists tend to have a more clear focus on the more pivotal or foundational social justice issues, e.g.: pro-life initiatives. Unlike the ‘Catholic’ ”social justice” enthusiasts who support Obama’s toleration of abortion as a necessary evil. See here, the very word ”social justice” has been corrupted due to its being associated with such people. And what is the cause of this? It stems from liberalist catechesis and liturgy not in line with the Church’s ‘law of belief’. As long as this liberalism remains, it’s very difficult to get initiate strong and solid social justice initiatives. In this regard, ‘traditionalism’ can provide a remedy to this very problem.

    So the question remains; why has the Bishop simply painted traditionalists in this light?

  30. wsxyz says:

    Right Jack, I wasn’t implying that traditional priests espouse heresy – just that orthodoxy is more important than the Traditional Mass, to the extent that the two can be separated. We want the Traditional Mass because it is more Catholic, not because it is pretty or because it is in Latin.

    In other words, we need to fight for orthodoxy, of which the Traditional Mass is a part. Fighting for the Traditional Mass without worrying about orthodoxy is a waste of time.

  31. supertradmom says:

    Traditionalists in the UK usually mean the “Old Catholics” or the SSPX and not the Latin Mass Society, or those new people going to the EF, who seem to have very good relationships with the hierarchy. On the whole, the English are less rabid and polarized than North Americans, as they avoid “zealousness”, which to them caused the bloodshed of the long Civil War. As to the other comments, the Bishop is spot-on. Contraception has been accepted by many priests in the UK for a long time. I worked in the Diocese of Westminster and found that there was a long-standing and quiet rejection of Humanae Vitae among the clergy. Some of the priests who stood up for that document and for subsequent teaching were ostracized by their fellow priests and labelled “conservative” or “out of touch”. This pro-contraceptive stance had to do with mixed-marriages and the proximity of the Anglican hegemony. Disobedience seems to me to be a global problem, but more obvious in the United States, as we are simply more vocal and because so many Catholics want to “democratize” the Church.

    The Tablet, by the way, is considered mediocre and passe by many English Catholics, and has been seen so for at least twenty years. Sadly, modernism snuck into The Tablet during the 1950s and helped push the atmosphere of disobedience to the fore.

  32. Alice says:

    Are the SSPX referred to as “Old Catholics” in the UK? I was under the impression that that term was reserved for members of the Union of Utrecht who reject papal infallibility. In a few older books, this heresy is known as traditionalism, since the Old Catholics claimed that they were following the true traditions of the Church. It gets a bit confusing since those who reject Vatican I are known as Traditionalists and modern Traditionalists accept Vatican I but have problems with Vatican II.

  33. Alex says:

    I think I get what the Bishop means by Social justice being equal to Sunday Mass. 1) think of the dismissal “Ite Missa est” We are supposed to take what we have recieved ( and I hate using that expression) namely having been edified with a good sermon, a good reception of Holy Communion, confession etc and thus being “fortified” apply our faith to the world, the everday and in practicing the corporal works of mercy. I would suspect what that statement was intended more those who have latched on to the whole notion that social justice is the key mission of the Church, not the salvation of souls. Moreover, those who ignore the former for the latter needed to be reminded faith without works is dead.

  34. Brian Sudlow says:

    Bravo to POD and bravo to Bishop Peter Doyle, the ordinary of Northampton and one of the very few diocesan bishops in England and Wales to celebrate the EF from time to time (he, McMahon of Nottingham and …?).

  35. Jack says:

    In that case wsxyz i’m with you all the way, brick by brick.

  36. Pro-life and pro-chastity advocacy is, of course, working for social justice. Writing and
    fighting to retain freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and freedom of
    speech is part of social justice. Alongside the corporal works of mercy, are the
    the spiritual work of mercy.

    There is more to “social justice” than throwing money in the basket for
    various charities, bringing cans to church and handing out soup. Even the poor do not live on bread alone. Sometimes I wonder if the work the more conservative among us do to
    help society is recognized as being in the interests of “social justice”.

  37. Maureen says:

    Re: equal obligation to going to Mass on Sunday

    Well, folks, it seems to me that there’s this lil’ ol’ list of Precepts of the Church. And it seems to me that… why, yes! #1 is attending Mass on Sundays et al. #5 is providing for the needs of the Church, which means alms for the Church’s poor as well as the rest. And then there’s #4 on fasting and abstinence, which from ancient times has also included giving the money saved on food to the poor. And there’s all that Paul and James stuff about not daring to wish people well in church if you’re letting them starve outside church. But no doubt you want something more explicit. Hmmm.

    Baltimore Catechism’s always good. Here you go:

    “492. What is the duty of the faithful?

    A. The duty of the faithful is to learn the revealed truths taught; to receive the Sacraments, and to aid in saving souls by their prayers, good works and alms.”

    So. Truth/non-heresy and receiving the Sacraments are placed on an equal basis with alms. Saving souls is done partly by means of alms.

    And yes, I’m sure Archbishop Fellay did a lot of feeding, clothing, providing water, and building shelter during his stint as an African missionary, just as all missionaries in all times and places have always done. If he didn’t build roads, it’s because God didn’t send him a bulldozer and a village in incredibly remote isolation.

  38. JR says:

    Having worked under Bishop O’Donoghue for some years, I will keep my views and my experiences of him to myself. I think that’s the dignified thing to do.

    Regarding this idea of trads not taking that next step, however…

    Thought I am a liberal I read this site with great interest very often and I am interested in Fr. Z’s idea of restoring Catholic identity. The idea you guys seem to have is that if you can restore a proper base from which to work then you can be invigorated to change the world. Well, bravo. It’s a fine idea. I am sure that liberals have exactly the same idea (albeit with a different take on ‘identity’) but nonetheless it is a fine thing to aspire to.

    (I am being genuine here)

    The problem is that I see little evidence among traditionalists of this actually happening. I live in a deanery with a notable traditionalist contingent. They have their EF Masses and other devotions, but whenever there is volunteering to be done or some other work of charity or mercy it is by and large the liberals who turn up time and again. In terms of putting faith into tangible action, the traditionalists are often found wanting. This is my experience.

    I am not saying this in a nasty way, so please don’t take offence. Just an observation offered as a challenge and perhaps a constructive criticism.

    While I am here, one more thing: I find it odd that Bp. O’Donoghue is refered to as a ‘prominent English bishop’. Neither Arco, nor and of the commentors seem to have mentionned that he is now retired from his diocese.

  39. Simon Platt says:

    Dear JR,

    1. Which deanery are you in? As there is no “notable traditionalist contingent” with “EF masses and other devotions” in Lancaster diocese it must be somewhere else, so I suppose you’re no longer at Keswick – assuming you are who I think you are.

    2. It is of course well known that Bp. O’Donoghue has retired, and I think nobody here has said or implied otherwise, and I at least did refer to his former diocese, and the link cited by MemberoftheChurchMilitant describes him as Bishop Emeritus. There is no doubt however that he is prominent – he certainly stands out. It is odd that he is described as “English”, although “Patrick O’Donoghue” leaves little doubt as to his ancestry and I think all his priestly ministry has been in England. Besides, only Anna Arco has described him thus here. But why are you bothered about this?

  40. Jack says:

    One distinction I think we need to make is between those whose politics are liberal,I once had a very nice, very othordox Parish Priest whose political views were decidedly left of center, I assume that is the group JR counts himself in and not the theological dissentrs that the good Bishop is refering to. As I don’t know many ‘trads’ I can’t speak about their politics but I assume since most right of center parties tend to adhere more to the natural law, that that would be a trad’s default position (indeed I believe this was the reason Achbp Lefarbvre spoke out in favour of the Vichy Regeime, Jean Marie Le-Pen et al).

  41. MemberoftheChurchMilitant says:

    “They have their EF Masses and other devotions, but whenever there is volunteering to be done or some other work of charity or mercy it is by and large the liberals who turn up time and again. In terms of putting faith into tangible action, the traditionalists are often found wanting.”

    While making these observations did you also notice that many traditional families have multiple children and the progressives are usually single, or have 1 or 2 children?

    It’s interesting how the liberals, it seems, often don’t consider the fact that parents are first obligated to looking after their children, which is the ultimate sacrifice and work of charity. “Charity starts in the home.”

    Are there people from all sides that are lazy, yes. However, there are also more factors that need to be looked at before making rash judgements. Also, to be quite honest, when my family does charity work we choose not to do it with the liberal bunch unless the work of charity is to evangelize them about abortion being murder, contraception is a mortal sin, homosexuality is disordered, and explain the doctrines of the Church.

  42. MemberoftheChurchMilitant says:

    So. Truth/non-heresy and receiving the Sacraments are placed on an equal basis with alms.

    What you listed are duties of the faithful there is no hierarchy stated within that list, nor is there meant to be since the Catechism makes it quite clear that Holy Mass is the most important Christian act from which all other acts come from. In other words: Holy Mass is not equal to social justice, rather it is the first and most important duty.

    Perhaps, you and the Bishop would say that St. John Marie Vianney is wrong, and the scores of other saints and Popes who say the same thing – because this has always been what the Church teaches. It is irresponsible for the Bishop, or any Catholic, to say that Mass and social justice are equal – they are not.

    Here are St. John Marie Vianney’s words on the matter: “All good works, taken together, do not equal the sacrifice of the Mass” – he would say – “since they are human works, while the Holy Mass is the work of God”.[17] He was convinced that the fervour of a priest’s life depended entirely upon the Mass: “The reason why a priest is lax is that he does not pay attention to the Mass! My God, how we ought to pity a priest who celebrates as if he were engaged in something routine!” (Pope Benedict XVI’s Letter to Clergy for the Year for Priests)

  43. Mitchell NY says:

    I have commented on other posting similiar sentiment in regards to the dangers of disobedient Bishops and how the lay faithful view this….They then pick and choose, as do the Bishops, what to obey and disobey..Especially in this technological age when everything you say and do is recorded or picked up my microphone and broadcast everywhere…Years ago a Bishop could have a dissenting opinion and the rest of the world would not even know about it. Now, in the far corners of the globe people hear everything..The dissent was probably always there but now it is more dangerous because of the “unity factor”. Dissentors can find a legion of supporters through hyperspace and spread their ideas anywhere. Maybe the answer lies in the Church becoming more secularized and cut off from the rest of us for our own good.

  44. Peter says:

    I saw the link to the 4 talks his Lordship gave to his priests on the Hermeneutic of Continuity blog. I recommend them – all very good. All 4 are shot through with great quotations, many from the Catechism of the Catholic Church – another document met with GREAT silence by the episcopate and presbyterate and catholic education systems.

    I’ve noted the many allergic reactions to his commments about ‘liturgism’. However I think he has a valid point, both in terms of theory, fact and perception. It is worth taking a deep breath and thinking on it.

    The focus on the liturgy as the end (not a means) in and of itself is, and always has been, a danger. This of course can apply equally to guitars and dancers as to traditional uses.

    I can relate that in my own personal experience there are ‘traditionalists’ who lessen the importance of works of practical charity explicitly or implicitly. I wonder if this is some sort of reverse calvinism, or just a fruit of the bitter fights over the liturgy? I am left asking how many sermons advocating alms giving or such I have hear recently in ‘traditionalist’ apostalates.

    On the perception front, I suspect that many well meaning Catholics not attached to the TLM are disappointed at the lack of enthusiasm their traddie brethren show in working with them on activities of practical charity. My perception [subjective agian I know but] is that ‘traddie’ Catholics don’t actually work together that much with ‘NO’ Catholics. We may disagree about the liturgy but surely we can cooperate on other works with unanimity?

  45. I thought the article excellent & can relate to all that Bishop O\\\’Donoghue says. I am NOT a traditionalist neither are any of my family..parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, 52 first cousins, 10 children..we are simply Catholic..not liberal, conservative, neo cons..just learned that one courtesy of LMS , ultramont??/ can\\\’t spell that one!
    The Bishop speaks a lot of sense..we must avoid extremes..just follow Peter it\\\’s sufficient! Nice living down the road from the Birmingham Oratory though!

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