Bp Campbell’s Press Release: “I have not closed down Protect the Pope.” ACTION ITEM!


Take a second and click HERE.

Over the last few weeks we have watched the developing circumstances surrounding the blog Protect The Pope, run by an English permanent deacon, and the Diocese of Lancaster.  HERE  Most recently I posted: A bishop kills a deacon’s Catholic blog

The Bishop of Lancaster has made a statement through a press release.  In fairness to him, I must post it too.  With my emphases and comments.


Bishop Campbell did not close down Protect the Pope [NB: It doesn’t bury the lead!]


‘Back in 2010 Deacon Nick Donnelly set up the Protect the Pope website/blog, as a direct response to the campaign of hostility and ridicule from sections of the media and lobby groups against Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI’s historic visit to the UK in September of that year.

Protect the Pope was particularly successful at this time in articulating a strong defence of the Petrine Office, the Catholic Church, and its teachings against certain secularist and anti-Catholic activists. In the last couple of years, however, Protect the Pope appears to have shifted its objective from a defence of Church teaching from those outside the Church to alleged internal dissent within the Church. With this shift, Protect the Pope has come to see itself as a ‘doctrinal watchdog’ over the writings and sayings of individuals, that is, of bishops, clergy and theologians in England & Wales and throughout the Catholic world.

Protect the Pope makes it clear that the site is a private initiative and is in no way officially affiliated with the Diocese of Lancaster. The fact, however, that its creator and author is a permanent deacon of the Diocese of Lancaster and holding some responsibility here fosters in the minds of some people that Deacon Nick Donnelly is somehow reporting the views of the Diocese. [“Some people”? Really?  It does?  I’ve been at this for a while now and I don’t see that happen.  Who takes the writings of a clerical blogger as if they were the official statements of the diocese?  Unless, perhaps, the blogger is the diocesan bishop, and there are a few of those.]

It is my view that bishops, priests and deacons of the Church – ordained and ‘public’ persons – are free to express themselves and their personal views, but never in a way that divides the community of the Church i.e. through ad hominem and personal challenges. [Such as tossing out lines like “Repent!” or personal remarks like the Seven Woes, e.g., “Woe to you scribes and pharisees, hypocrites!”.  Not challenging at all.  Cf. Matthew 23.  Or “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those of his own household.” Nothing divisive there.  Look, it has been long day and I am just riffing on a theme. ] Increasingly I have felt that Protect the Pope, authored as it is by a public person holding ecclesiastical office (an ordained deacon), has, at times, taken this approach its own posts – but has also allowed for this by facilitating those who comment online.

I note that Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, speaking at a media conference in Rome on 29 April, said: “We adhere to the best and highest standards”—indicating that this doesn’t only pertain to the latest in technological advancements which are “critically important,” but also to “the way we use that technology,” because “how we say something is just as important as what we say.”

Cardinal Dolan also noted the importance of never caricaturing or stereotyping those who oppose the Magisterium. He exhorted that even when confronted with those who attempt to distort what the Church says, or who issue “mean, vicious, and outward attacks,” we must “always respond in charity and love.”

On several occasions, I asked Deacon Nick, through my staff, for Protect the Pope to continue its good work in promoting and teaching the Catholic Faith, but to be careful not to take on individuals in the Church of opposing views through ad hominem and personal challenges.  [The blogosphere hardly works that way.  This isn’t a game of jacks, but… okay.] Unfortunately, this was not taken on board. Consequently, as a last resort, on 3 March 2014 and in a personal meeting with Deacon Nick Donnelly, I requested, as his Diocesan Ordinary, that Deacon Nick ‘pause’ all posting on the Protect the Pope website so as to allow for a period of prayer and reflection upon his position as an ordained cleric with regards to Protect the Pope and his own duties towards unity, truth and charity. The fact that this decision and our personal dialogue was made public on the Protect the Pope site and then misinterpreted by third parties is a matter of great regret. In fact, new posts continued on the site after this date – the site being handed over and administered/moderated in this period by Deacon Nick’s wife Martina. [Who isn’t a deacon.]

On 13 April 2014 Deacon Nick requested in writing that he be allowed to resume posting again from the date: Monday 21 April 2014. I did not accept this request as the period of discernment had not yet concluded. Again, the fact that this decision was forced, misinterpreted and then released publicly on the site – and miscommunicated by certain media outlets and blogs – claiming that I had effectively ‘closed’, ‘supressed’ or ‘gagged’ Protect the Pope was regrettable and does not represent the truth of this situation. To be clear: I have not closed down Protect the Pope.  [NB]

I am certainly aware of the need of the Church and the Diocese of Lancaster to engage positively with the new media, social media, blogs, and the internet for the sake of spreading the Gospel to the people of our age. Indeed, our Diocese has a good track record of such engagement in reaching out to a much wider audience through our active use of the new communication technologies. I have a weekly blog myself. [Ah!  Let’s go see!  HERE  ACTION ITEM! Dear readers, do click there and visit the bishop’s blog.  I am sure that someone is watching his statistics for him.]

I am, of course, also conscious, that no bishop can ever ‘close down’ or suppress blogs and websites – such a claim would be absurd. [Yes.  It would be.] Bishops can and must, however, be faithful to their apostolic duty to preserve the unity of the Church in the service of the Truth. They must ensure that ordained clergy under their care serve that unity in close communion with them and through the gift of their public office: preaching the Truth always – but always in love.’

There will be no further comment from the Diocese of Lancaster on this matter.

+Michael G Campbell OSA
Bishop of Lancaster 2 May 2014

God Bless Bishop Campbell in difficult mandate as one of the successors of the Apostles.  We all know that bishops now, more than ever, need the support of prayer.


The bishop does not have a combox open, but you can go spike his statistics.   It might be a good idea to show him that it is possible to reach a lot of people.

Whaddy say?  Take a second. Click HERE.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I think that the Bishop’s letter makes it sound like a case of censorship, or is it just me? Nevertheless, I did click the link and visited the Bishop’s blog, per the request of our esteemed Fr. Z.

  2. Polycarpio says:

    The Bishop is absolutely right. As Pope Benedict said in his 2009 message for World Communications Day, “New Technologies, New Relationships: Promoting a Culture of Respect, Dialogue and Friendship:” online activities of evangelization, “if they are to be fruitful, require honest and appropriate forms of expression together with attentive and respectful listening. The dialogue must be rooted in a genuine and mutual searching for truth if it is to realize its potential to promote growth in understanding and tolerance.” And as Benedict added in his final such message in 2013, “Trust in the power of God’s work must always be greater than any confidence we place in human means. In the digital environment, too, where it is easy for heated and divisive voices to be raised and where sensationalism can at times prevail, we are called to attentive discernment. Let us recall in this regard that Elijah recognized the voice of God not in the great and strong wind, not in the earthquake or the fire, but in “a still, small voice” (1 Kg 19:11-12).”

  3. Uxixu says:

    My initial impression was to treat it as something similar to the Franciscans of the Immaculate. I think obedience is a most holy attribute, even if the face of iniquity. Especially so, perhaps. I’m not convinced that His Excellency is in the wrong here, despite that first impression, though. I prayed for both of them in my Rosary yesterday and shall continue to do so. I always recall Father Z’s story about his boss, Cardinal Mayer and hoping both Bishop Campbell and his deacon will open their hearts to each other.

  4. Warren says:

    Cardinal Dolan also noted the importance of never caricaturing or stereotyping those who oppose the Magisterium. He exhorted that even when confronted with those who attempt to distort what the Church says, or who issue “mean, vicious, and outward attacks,” we must “always respond in charity and love.”

    “It’s nice to be nice to the nice.”—Frank Burns, M*A*S*H. Season 2, episode 16. “Henry in Love”. 1974.

  5. cl00bie says:

    After reading the bishop’s letter, I have to agree. Even if the deacon is not personally attacking individuals, those in his comboxes might. For better or worse, he’s responsible for the tone and content of his blog. The bishop is responsible for the flock in his diocese, and the spiritual well being of his deacons. Should my ordinary ask me to pause for a period of prayer and reflection, I would hope I would gratefully do it. I look forward to the return of this deacon’s blog.

  6. maryclare says:

    I am glad that Bishop Campbell has put out this statement but I am not sure that it will silence the comments.
    I am not sure where the idea came from that Deacon Nick was somehow representing the views of the Diocese – I have read the blog since it started and nowhere is that inferred.
    It worries me that there is an apparent reluctance to acknowledge the fact that there isn’t just ‘apparent’ dissent but ‘actual’ dissent which goes unchallenged the vast majority of the time, often by those whose job it is to lead us. Is one to understand that we are not allowed to ‘speak the truth in love’ and point out the errors/dissent/heresy? We do our fellow Christians/Catholics no favours if we do not speak the truth, if we do not challenge each other to strive towards greater holiness, obedience to what God wants of us. It was bad enough when those attacks were from the secular elements upon the Petrine Office, Catholic Doctrine etc. but much more insidiously damaging when those attacks upon doctrine, Petrine office, heretical views etc. come from those who consider themselves Catholic. I acknowledge their right to hold these views, and to vocalise them…BUT I think that we also have the right to challenge those views. If one is not allowed to respond then one has effectively been silenced. And as you point out Fr. Z preaching the Gospel is challenging….
    Will comment further tomorrow having further cogitated.
    maryclare :-)

  7. TopSully says:

    I read the Bishop’s Blog, at least part of it. It kept crashing the browser on my iPad so I didn’t get very far but I liked what he had to say. It also appears that there is another side to the story of the Deacon’s blog. I hope the two of them get it together.

  8. Bosco says:

    All I can say is if you could set the Bishop’s statement to Bob Marley’s 1974 “I Shot The Sheriff (But I Did Not Shoot The Deputy) it would be perfect.

    It was all in self-defence, ya’ know?


  9. Supertradmum says:

    When these unfortunate things happen, I always think one must take a deep breath and stand back, as we are not privy to the entire series of events. I, for one, think that, especially in this day and age of the lack of so many sacramental activities in the Church (like no Adoration in many dioceses and few visits to take the Eucharist to old folks’ homes), that the laity should carry the burden for Catholic investigative journalism.

    Except for one or two priests, like yourself, Fr. Z., who are needed online for various reasons, I think the local church suffers from too many clergymen who are not paying attention to the duties immediately in front of them.

    Also, I have warned even the laity about ad hominems, which spoil good argument. Some of the problems on Protect the Pope are not the articles or posts of the good deacon, but rabid readership.

    I see the church in England and in Ireland tearing itself apart because of infighting and rancor, especially from some trads. I have tried to help some realize that blogging must be done always in charity and in clarity. Excellent sourcing, for example, is a necessity.

    I think that the taking over of the blog by someone who is lay would be a great idea. We cannot do what the clergy can do and journalism plus commentary falls into the arena of the Church Militant.

    The fact that the blog was not shut down is an eye opener for many who were bluntly told it was. Taking a break and doing reflection may be an euphemism for “stop”, but one cannot assume so.

    I hope that all involved can be charitable to both the deacon and the bishop. We really must stop fighting in house. Satan loves this and is having a field day.

    The Church in England is weak as it is. Would not a quiet silence for awhile been more efficacious in prompting the Gospel?

  10. BillyHW says:

    When did niceness become the one and only commandment?

  11. SimonDodd says:

    As to the original animating concerns, they are almost too incredibly to believe; Protect the Pope never, at least that I saw, had the problems described, its combox did. His excellency appears to have done one of two things: To have imputed the combox to the blog (which is ridiculous because you wouldn’t fault a pastor for things said by his congregation) or to have faulted Deacon Donnelly for failing to close his combox (which is ridiculous because if he ever asked Donnelly to do so, he says nothing about it here, in the very moment in which it would be relevant).

    His excellency tells us that he asked Donnelly to “‘pause’ all posting on the Protect the Pope website so as to allow for a period of prayer and reflection upon his position as an ordained cleric with regards to Protect the Pope and his own duties towards unity, truth and charity.” Then he tells us that when Donnelly asked to resume posting, the request was denied because “the period of discernment had not yet concluded.” But how long was the period of discernment? His excellency writes that second line as though the first said something like “I asked him to take two months off to pray and reflect,” but it doesn’t. It’s open-ended. So which is it: Is the version of the story he now offers in his defense missing that key detail, or does it faithfully report to us that the version of the story he gave Donnelly in March was missing a key detail from which Donnelly was then hung by the neck in April?

    Were I Donnelly, I would immediately reply to his excellency on the blog and say “I appreciate your clarification that you “have not closed down Protect the Pope, which will—a period of prayer and reflection having been completed on or about Monday 21 April 2014—resume operations immediately. I further appreciate your assurance that it would be ‘absurd’ to think that either you or any bishop can ever ‘close down’ or suppress blogs and websites, which I will keep in mind the next time that you try to do just that.”

  12. Bosco says:

    Perhaps Eric Clapton’s version of ” I Shot the Sheriff” (with words) might be more familiar to most.



  13. Vecchio di Londra says:

    I wonder if the good Bishop (or whoever leant on him) has in turn been leant on by an even weightier force? (as a result of increasingly global reporting of the case in the Catholic blogosphere?)
    Yes, it’s completely implausible that anyone could think Nick was representing the views of his diocese. I think it’s more likely the Bishop regrets that Nick isn’t representing the views of the hierarchy of E&W.
    As for the request not to name ‘individuals in the Church of opposing views’ – that would be opposing views to, erm, Catholic orthodoxy? Aka, dissent, heresy, secularism, that kind of thing? No can do, Bishop. Freedom of speech is a tradition that is reawakening in England – aided by the Catholic and Universal Internet – after a period of slumber. The blogosphere genie has escaped from the stoppered diocesan and archdiocesan bottle, and has flown all round the world.

  14. Tom Piatak says:

    I actually started reading Bishop Campbell’s blog a while ago. It is never polemical, but it is often edifying. Bishop Campbell is an advocate of frequent confession, Eucharistic adoration, pilgrimages, and Marian devotion, and he is proud of the history of recusant Catholicism in the diocese of Lancaster, including the martyrs the diocese produced.

  15. Fr_Sotelo says:

    I think that prayers for the Bishop and for Deacon Nick are an excellent idea. Although the Bishop has no legal or canonical ability to shut down a blog, or even suspend the deacon for posting personal opinions which are orthodox, I hope that the Deacon might work to take his blog in a different direction. There is no need to agree with the Bishop, but there is also no need to antagonize him either.

  16. JacobWall says:

    It’ s too bad this couldn’t have been resolved in a different way. I understand the position of the bishop. There is some advantage to “being nice” in public. I was chatting with fairly traditional-minded Catholic friend about this a while back – there is something to be said about letting people “ease into it.”

    I think I would be OK with this approach – if it were applied evenly. I think the frustrating part is that the policy of niceness only applies to non-Catholics and (most frustratingly) openly dissenting Catholics. When it comes to someone who actively defends the Faith, then it no longer applies. Deacon Donnelly is expected to be nice and avoid confronting dissenting Catholics or clerics who fail to defend the faith as they should. It would be unthinkably unpastoral to silence or even confront such a person. Yet, it is there is no problem silencing Dcn. Connelly.

    That having been said, a part of me wishes that Dcn. Connelly had kept a little quieter, let the issue blow past (if that is possible) and gone back to blogging. Obedience to the Bishop is important. Perhaps publishing the conflict was not the best approach. I don’t know. I’m divided.

  17. JacobWall says:

    By the way, I did visit the bishop’s blog. Like other bishops’ blogs I’ve visited, it is good with nice pictures and nice points to consider. As per my comment above, I can understand completely why many bishops would want this kind of a blog for their public front cover. It makes sense. Yet, I would think that these same bishops would be happy to let others do the more engaging parts of public dialogue – the parts that might leave a less-than-pretty image. I guess not.

  18. Ben Trovato says:

    I live in the diocese of Lancaster (UK) along with +Campell and Deacon Nick. I am no apologist for bishops behaving badly (as a brief look at items tagged ‘bishops’ in my blog will confirm). However, I think that our Bishop, +Campbell, has been misunderstood, and even misrepresented and defamed by many on the blogosphere over this.

    He had concerns over the tone of Nick’s blog, and particularly the combox. He asked Nick to carry on with his good work, but ensure that due charity was observed, as he is an ordained deacon. He believed that was not happening, so asked Nick to pause, reflect and pray. Nick asked him if he could resume, and +Campbell said the period of prayer and reflection was not yet over. Nick decided to close the blog, and announce that the Bishop had closed it. Nick also, on Twitter and Facebook, publicised a very large number of hostile commentaries, accusing his bishop of all manner of things: and I think the bishop’s impatience with that approach is also discernible in his statement.

    One might disagree with the Bishop’s judgement over this, but for myself, I am pleased that a Bishop takes seriously his responsibility for what ordained ministers do and say in his diocese: I only wish many more would do so, with particular reference to heretics and dissenters.

    It should be noted that +Campbell is no liberal time-server. He encourages Confession with his ‘The Light is On for You project; he has invited excellent and orthodox nuns into the University Chaplaincy; he hosts a monthly Traditional Mass in the Cathedral (and continued it when he had a first-class excuse to stop it) and has even invited the Institute of Christ the King (dedicated to the Traditional Mass) to run a large and prestigious Church in Preston.

    By all means go after Bishops who are remiss – but let us not savage those who are doing so much better than so many of their peers.

  19. ghp95134 says:

    Moderated comments can be made on his Lordship’s “About” page. I left a short and polite note saying I found his website through you, Fr. Zuhlsdorf.


    [Thanks. I hope that anyone who tries to leave a comment will be polite. Deeply so.]

  20. jflare says:

    Call me skeptical, but His Excellencies comments don’t inspire me with much optimism. He says he asked the Deacon to cease posting, apparently to enter into some time of prayer and reflection, but didn’t apparently then and does not now seem to have any particular time frame in mind. Nor does he appear to have any particular guidelines in mind for what circumstances need to be met in order for the blog to “return to duty”.
    In other words, I read the bishops comments as a polite way of saying he’s shutting down the blog in practice, just technically not issuing a formal cease and desist directive.
    It may not technically be shutting down the blog, but it may as well be so for practical purposes.

  21. StWinefride says:

    I was very surprised to hear that Bishop Campbell had not in fact closed down PTP and I detect a hint of sadness in the Bishop’s letter. The spiritual sons of Bishops are his Priests and Deacons and it is sad that Deacon Donnelly went public with his frustration in this matter.
    There has been another situation in the UK over the last year that involved a disagreement with a Bishop (and petition to Rome) and that resulted in a massive walkout from a very respected Institute of Higher Education. As a former student, I have no idea what to make of the whole thing because I only know part of the story and I am sure, knowing the people involved, that they didn’t do this lightly, I have great respect for them. However, it is such a shame and I hope that going up against the Hierarchy will not start to backfire on people who have good intentions.

    Prayers for everyone involved in both situations and may we always remember that Our Lord sent us out as sheep in the midst of wolves and that we are to be as wise as serpents, and innocent as doves. (Matt. 10.16)

  22. Supertradmum says:

    Ben Trovato, thanks and I agree with much of what you said. Those who want to create “sides” do not help the Catholic cause in Britain. And, I meant to write “promoting” the Gospel above. My eyes are not working together yet.

    The Church in England is ripping itself apart by people not loving first, but wanting to be right first. Being right is a great virtue, but love must be part of the presentation of information. Demonizing clergymen does not help the Catholic Faith in a country where there are more enemies than friends. Too often on blogs, bishops, cardinals and even the Pope are so demonized. This type of response to words or events not only does damage to the Church, but to one’s soul.

    Deacon Nick did not fall into the worst of polemics, but I do not think a deacon should be an investigative journalist. That is not his vocation to the Church.

    I hope some good, rational and professional laity do the blog. Part of the problem is that two generations have not learned debate or argumentation, but only react in knee-jerk manner.to situations and words .

  23. Imrahil says:

    Well… forgive me but…

    His Lordship may, or may not, have had good reasons in Church policy to use the obediece his clergy owes him to close the blog down. But (being a hopeless dreamer and unrealist) I think that if so, he had better say he did close it down. We all know that in the Catholic Church, censorship is not a term of abuse but an honorable name of an in principle necessary thing (the extent of it is not the point here); but I still think if a bishop censors, he should call it censorship.

    Then, to be a ‘doctrinal watchdog’ over the writings and sayings of individuals within the Church may not be as honorable an occupation as defending the Pope against attacks from the outside, but honorable still it is, in principle.

    So… all in all… what the dear SimonDodd said.

  24. Bosco says:

    In fairness to +Campbell I can understand why there would be some real-world concerns. The fact that Deacon Nick (who I greatly admire and whose blog I often followed) is well known as ‘Deacon’ Nick of the Diocese of Lancaster is akin to having a blog “Protect the Rule of Law” by Alabama State Trooper Rusty Eversharp (hope there is no such real person). Whatever Trooper Rusty may say or allow in the ‘com box’ will leave not only old Trooper Rusty but the State of Alabama open to criticism but also civil liability.
    God bless clerics like yourself, Father Z., who wade into the mire in order to inform, advise, and draw out a range of thinking on various subjects.
    If the ‘com box’ was Protect the Pope’s undoing (which it may or may not have been…the explanation seems too easily remedied) then the opinion and news of the blogger (sans the title of ‘Deacon’ in the byline) could have been offered without permitting comment while allowing e-mailed responses, a few of which might be published after careful review.
    I would have a clear disclaimer that the opinions expressed were those of the blogger and only the blogger and that the approval of no other organization or individual or entity is implied or intended.
    Anyway, that’s how I see it.

  25. maryclare says:

    Having thought more please see comment on Lucas Cambrensis re this matter (helpfully linked via Linen on the Hedgerow). Sorry I don’t know how to link these things, but I’m sure that someone will do it. Seems a balanced comment, and probably much wiser than mine earlier…
    one thought though – several commenters in various places seem to have highlighted the problem seems to be with some of the comments made on the PtP blog site and Twitter/Facebook. If one moderates/deletes all these allegedly adverse/critical comments, how can one be seen to be engaging or dealing with these dissident voices? For example – I used to shut the door in the face of many Jehovah’s Witness door step evangelists who came to the door of my home, the equivalent of ‘deleting’ said comments. It was pointed out to me that a) this was very rude and discourteous b) unchristian and c) how could one evangelise them with the true Gospel without engaging in dialogue with them. However I had to allow them to have their say before I could begin to answer from a Catholic standpoint, which meant that it did invite quite a lot of anti-Catholic sentiment.
    Further the fact that there are many such ‘dissenting voices’ – the disunity is already there. Hiding it by deleting the comments,or not commenting upon it oneself does not mean that it either goes away, or does not exist. Highlighting it, engaging those who hold those views, surely is the first step to encouraging them back to the true Faith.
    I am very glad that it appears from his blog and info given by others that Bishop Campbell is a very orthodox fellow and that the same goes for the life of the Church in the Diocese. I shall continue to pray for both Deacon and Bishop and the healing of their relationship. I also hope and pray that they can also talk about the blog, because it is essentially good and it would be a terrible shame for it to close.
    maryclare :-)

  26. StWinefride says:

    Supertradmum, you say: The Church in England is ripping itself apart by people not loving first, but wanting to be right first.

    I disagree and I think it’s overgeneralising to say that the Church in England is ripping itself apart. The vast majority of Parishioners in the UK are quietly going about their “Parish lives” and do not involve themselves in Church politics, there might be some problems caused by Parish Councils having a little bit too much influence, but that can be said of any Parish, anywhere. I regularly travel back to the UK and sometimes it’s a breath of fresh air to visit an ordinary Parish far from the battles my own TLM community are fighting.

  27. Athelstan says:

    Ben Trevato,

    “I only wish many more would do so, with particular reference to heretics and dissenters.”

    The problem is that hardly any bishops in E&W do so – often, quite the opposite. They employ such people, and encourage them. (Why does Msgr Basil Loftus still have a job? Why is he still allowed a forum for heterodoxy in the Catholic Times?)

    Who protects the sheep when the shepherds turn into wolves? A blog is a poor way to do that (to say nothing of comboxes). But these blogs have sprung into being precisely because the Church leadership has failed to act. And make no mistake: some of these dissenters are wolves. They must be treated as such. Souls are at stake. Once upon a time, not long ago, most bishops realized that.

  28. The Masked Chicken says:

    I was in England, once. Might I suggest that this situation could be fixed if everyone, there, drove on the right side of the road :). There. Solved that! I mean, I can understand the secret urge of people in England to be in the right.

    The Chicken

  29. StWinefride says:

    Oh Chicken!! It must have been so confusing for you! Here’s an idea for the next time you visit our green and pleasant land :)


  30. jacobi says:

    The bishops’ statement is rather sad. To say he has not closed down the blog is, well, just not true and shows the reaction of an unsure and insecure man, bishop though he may be.

    What we are seeing here is the classic reaction to new phenomena, as I already said, just as so many of the bishops predecessors reacted to printing all those centuries ago.
    I jokingly advised Fr Z to watch his back the other day. Now I’m not so sure it is a joke. Perhaps I should also pass the warning on to at least three other clergy bloggers whose sites I visit.

    So to all of you clergy bloggers, watch your backs. Use “Reacher” tactics. Double back frequently. Use shop windows to see behind you. Watch out for men in blue clerical shirts with tiny expose bit of white collar and hats pulled well down, in cars three spaces behind – they never drive directly behind.

    Good luck!

  31. Vecchio di Londra says:

    I am certainly *not* disagreeing with the Bishop.
    I’m just not agreeing with him.

  32. Hidden One says:

    As a wise “traditional” pastor has said to me quite a number of times, it’s not so much what you say as how you say it. Deacon Donnelly’s how seems to be what his bishop objects to, at least principally, but Bishop Campbell seems to be under fire for allegedly objecting principally to the what.

  33. Mike says:

    The feature of the Bishop’s blog that I find most striking is its photographs, which are superb (but the quantity of which may have been responsible for crashing OP TopSully’s iPad browser).

    As for whatever infernal goings-on there may be in D.Lancaster — and one is given to believe there may be plenty — let us pray that those responsible for the care of souls will summon the courage to tell the truth in boldness and charity, from the top down. The kerfuffle over Deacon Donnelly has become a sensationalistic distraction which ill bears repeating.

  34. Vincent says:

    Interesting that some have noted Bishop Campbell’s orthodoxy, it’s certainly not something he is famed for in the rest of England. There is a tendency in traditional circles however to compare Bishops rather than give them an honest appraisal.

    The point of the blog surely is to Protect the Pope. Since ACTA clearly teaches dissent (that used to be called heresy, folks) from obedience to the Magisterium (and therefore to the Pope) I fail to see how there can really be any defence of the Bishop’s actions. What he more or less said is that he does not feel that an ordained minister in the Church should criticise those who wish to destroy the teachings of that church.

    Far be it from me to criticise the Bishop, but sometimes you have to tell people that they’re wrong and that they need to repent. Such a shame that is was targeted at those arguing for the Church, since the bishops of England have manifestly failed to deal with those “inside the church” who argue against its doctrines….

  35. maryclare says:

    Too late…. PtP blog RIP.
    maryclare ……

  36. cl00bie says:

    @BillyHW, not the only commandment, but it is mentioned…

    If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

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