Taking notice of America taking notice of The Bitter Pill

Here is something in passing, just so you know what is going on.

This, from the leftist America magazine published by the Jesuits.  It is a piece about the recent training conference in the Archdiocese of Westminster for priests to learn the TLM.  You will recall that the new Archbishop of Westminster, Most. Rev. Vincent Nichols, wrote a foreword for the booklet published for the men who attended the training conference.  The Bitter Pill then tried to use that foreword to pit the Archbishop against Pope Benedict.

Then came the decision of H.E. Most Rev. Edward Slattery of Tulsa to celebrate only ad orientem when in his cathedral church.

Now America weighs in.

Ad Orientem, Pars Secundus  [Ummm… pars is feminine, no?  Pars Secunda?]
Posted at: 2009-08-23 15:01:12.0
Author: James Martin, S.J.

Thanks to an alert reader who spotted this in the Letters section of the London Tablet [aka RU-486].  In my earlier post on the decision of the archbishop of Tulsa to celebrate Masses ad orientem, I included the Tablet’s editorial about Archbishop Vincent Nichols’ (Westminster) communications with the Latin Mass Society, to shed light on how other bishops were approaching those who were enthusiastic about rites other than the common Mass in the vernacular (ad orientem, the Latin Mass, the "Tridentine Mass," etc.).  Now his auxiliary says that the archbishop has been misunderstood.  The Tablet is here, but I’m copying the letter below for those who don’t subscribe (though you should). [He is peddling RU-486?  Figures.]  The Tablet had praised the new archbishop for his "timely display of clear leadership."

Hereafter, Fr. Martin reproduces the letter of the Auxilliary of Westminster who clarified precisely how wrong RU-486 was in its malevolent interpretation of Archbp. Nichols aforementioned foreword.

I repeat: I think Archbp. Nichols should ask his brother bishops why any support should be given to The Tablet given their willingness to pit the Archbishop of Westminster against Pope Benedict.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. robtbrown says:

    I’m not so sure I think of The Tablet as the Bitter Pill.

    I would say its Catholicism is more like a Placebo.

  2. RichR says:

    I am reminded of the line in the movie, Becket, where Richard Burton (Thomas Becket, Archbp of Canterbury) tells Peter O’Toole (King Henry II) that he intends to excommunicate the king’s nobleman. O’Toole’s response is applicable to this situation:

    “If you attack me, you attack England.”

  3. Jack Hughes says:

    Tabula et Americana Delenda Est

  4. Childermass says:

    Father, Fr. Martin’s original blog post was much worse:


    In that, he pits Bishop Slattery against not only Archbishop Nichols but against Sacrosanctum Concilium!

  5. Fr_Sotelo says:

    The Tablet has gone from being the bitter pill to RU-486. So, I have been drawing a few conclusions from that analogy.

    First, this pill is deadly. That means if you swallow it hook, line, and sinker, you will abort your faith and incur, latae sententiae, separation from the Mystical Body of Christ.

    Plus, the after effects of this pill could be anxiety, depression, loss of sleep and appetite, and unexplained fits of crying for what could have been but will not be.

    Finally, in clinical trials, those who swallowed this pill actually died in some cases or were hospitalized, with long periods of therapy and recuperation before they could function normally again. The message from Fr. Z is clear. Even when ingestion of this kind of pill is legalized and advocated, that doesn’t make it good for you.

    You may think the only thing you can do for your future is pick up the Tablet, but you have options. Don’t be fooled by quick and easy fixes for complex problems (of faith). Give (truly liturgical) life a chance.

  6. JoeGarcia says:

    In the interest of full disclosure, the few times I have interacted with him I have found him kind and charitable. So there.

    What I found problematic about Fr. Martin’s first piece — and I am trying to be charitable, because while there’s much which Fr. Martin writes which tests my family history of hypertension, there is also much I find worthy and laudable in his writings — was that he was contrasting two wholly disparate things: 1) A statement by Bp. Slattery on his saying Mass ad orientem in his cathedral and in the Ordinary Form; with 2) An editorial which referenced (inaccurately and unfairly, in my opinion) Abp. Nichols’ views on the EXTRAordinary Form.

    As a consequence, all this Macoun apples to Valencia oranges comparisons really came off as more of a worried signal along the lines of “The traddies are coming! The traddies are coming!” and that there is real reason to be concerned, etc.

    However, the part that I find the most intriguing are the COMMENTS left in both of Father’s blog entries, and which merit careful attention.


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