some personal views for Catholic readers
So many Catholics are undercatechised these days so it is no wonder they are easy pickings for frauds.Is the picture showing the 'bishop' shaking hands with Pope John Paul II genuine or photoshopped?
With regard to local funeral directors, it might be an idea to get the Dean to send a circular to local FDs with a list of legitimate Catholic clergy,just to make sure that the FDs themselves aren't duped.Boycotting FDs might be counterproductive, especially if it would entail denying a Catholic funeral to the faithful who are entirled to one.
Your link, Father, to your namesake made for interesting but worrying reading. As well as photos of his family he also shows one of presumably him meeting Pope John Paul which of course would insinuate to readers that he was indeed 'one of us.'I see although he started off as a vicar in the C of E he now links back through a Catholic 'line' of ordination including Bossuet, the celebrated Bishop of Meaux. All very confusing. Apparently he took the Associated Newspapers to court for saying that he was 'self styled' - and he won!Years ago there was in Brighton especially the problem of Italians settling here and attending the High Church Anglican church thinking it was Catholic. I remember meting an Italian family once and being told by the Priest that they had attended St Martin's church for some time before discovering that they should have been going to St Joseph's!Now with the advent of these more unusual (better not say self-styled!) churchmen (and a tightrope walking one must be the most unusual) people settling here will be even more confused - especially when they use the word 'catholic'. Very sad.
Oh dear - your other link is also extraordinary. Among the comments on the Daily Mail article on the tightrope walking 'churchman' there are none which explain that he is not a real priest. All readers obviously think he is and if they search him further would be surprised to learn that he runs a gay bar in Brighton and is also a drag artiste known as Dame Margot Hamilton.
If they were paid for their services there could have been a crime committed such as obtaining money by false pretences.
Great post, but father "poor" does not necessarily correlate to "ignorant." I know lots of poor people who are well educated. And lots of "rich" people who are dumber than a post about the faith.Almost to the point of being invincibly ignorant![unless you meant to say "the poor people" - in which case "never mind." :-D ]It's scandalous here in the US how many perhaps well meaning but ignorant peasant background recent immigrant Catholics are picked off by evangelical bible thumpers. The bible thumpers fill their churches with statues of Mary and candles (which they would NEVER do for the mainstreme protestants here) and they lure them in. In some fairness to them (most of them come from Mexico) the Mexican governemtn was and still to a large extent is extremely anticlerical and forbade religious schools, etc. A good protion of them had scant training.But there are plenty of ignorant native born US cits. too. This one woman I've become acquainted with at the EF parish who is only a little bit younger than I am (she's about 50) - asked me if I was going to take the adult catechism class. And I informed her "no, why would I need that? I've been practising my faith for almost 53 years." She "challenged" me saying "well, did you know you can't attend protestant services instead of Mass? My mother converted to (some protestant brand) and I used to often go with her instead of to Mass." And I said "well, DUH, I've known that before I started going to school." [Okay, sometimes I can be a b*tch and have no "edit" button.] She said "well, I didn't know that before I went to the catechism class." She had gone to parochial school for at least a few years and had made her first communion, and English was her native tongue. She is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but you would have thought she'd have known at least that! The so called "educators" in the Catholic schools really did a "number" on many of use who went to school post mid 60s. If you weren't naturally attracted to catechism, or had parents who were indifferent, those so-called "catholic educators" need ot hang their heads in shame. THEY are the ones largely responsible for the "invincibly ignorant" of today. The preached "oh, the Baltimore Catechism is so inadequate, blah, blah." Yeah, but oddly enough, those who learned it would have NEVER made a mistake like you mention. The fancy stuff can come after you've had the meat and potatoes, instead of the marshmallow fluff they've been serving up to the lambs all these years. The priest is very wise to offer adult catechism classes.
Well, as far as I could see #1 didn't pass himself off as a catholic priest, and as for number 2, just the name of that church should tell anyone brighter than a 2 watt bulb that he isn't part of the "one, holy, catholic, apostolic" church.Granted, there's a sucker born every minute. But it's poor catechisis in the case of these two in case anyone was fooled. Duped by their own ignorance, as far as I can tell than by the wiles of either. [Now if guy #2 was down in South America and just saying he was "Catholic" then, yes, in addition to whatever sin he may or may not be commiting as regards his own self-aggrandizement, then he's guilty as all get out for misrepresenting.I can say "I'm Karen, Cardinaless of the Separated as all Get Out from the Catholic Church Gem OF The Ocean Parish" but if someone really WAS fooled that I really was a Catholic priest, because they heard the word "Catholic" somewhere in that circumlocution, then frankly, I don't have much sympathy for them. Anyone who called himself or herself Catholic that was that stupid, assuming they had a normal IQ, deserves what they get for paying more attention to American Idol than guarding and nurturing their so-called "faith." "Jesus loves me, yes I know" only goes so far.
Like Henry I wondered if these people could be had up for fraud or deception especially if they refer to themselves as 'Catholic.' However, as the word 'catholic' merely means 'universal' perhaps a good lawyer would emphasise this in such a case and get them off.Incidentally the tightropewalker alias Dame Margot appears on Youtube and seems to be quite entertaining in the style of Hinge and Bracket. It is a pity he does not stick to entertainment.
On the other hand, the "mechanistic" turn of Catholic sacramental theology itself serves to confirm vagantes of various kinds in the belief that a documented "succession" (how they fetishise their lines of "succession"!)for the consecrating bishop, and the requisite form, matter and intention, is sufficient to put the "validity" of their sacraments beyond doubt.
Having had another look at the comments on the Daily Mail regarding the tightrop walker, I see one local person mentions that 'Fr' Lloyd visits local hospices.I find this very worrying. Hospitals are not mentioned and presumably when in hospital one can be sure that the Catholic priest visiting will be bona fide? Having spent a couple of longish periods in hospital in the past and received many visits from the visiting priests, who I had not met previously, it would not have occurred to me to doubt their validity. In one hospital stay the priest was the pp of the patient next to me so no problem there. In the stay in the rehabilitation centre an irish nurse brought in the Priest who knew my own pp so presume he was ok!How can one be sure that a visiting Priest is genuine in such circumstances without being rude and questioning him asking which parish he is attached to or whether he knows Fr so-and-so. The thought never crossed my mind before but now we know that these unusual 'clergy' exist, cslling themselves 'catholic' and visit the sick, I do find it worrying.
Ben,You are too hard on your former Church. Do you want us to be like the monks of Athos who refuse to accept the sacraments of other Churches, denying even the validity of non-Orthodox baptism?Ultimately for Catholics the arbiter of sacramental validity is not as you say "succession", as important as it is, it is intention which is judged by the Church herself.
Fr. Ray,Could you please elaborate on your response to Moretben.What defect of intention would cause the persons you say are 'simulating' sacraments according to RC theology?Of course Orthodoxy would say there are no sacraments outside of the Church hence would not distinguish between Archbishop Blake's 'orders' and your own. Admittedly RC priest converts are treated with some variation of praxis when received into Orthodoxy; a late friend of mine merely concelebrated at a hierarchical liturgy and was considered to be thus priested by economia. However, I was informed recently that in the Philippines RC priest converts are ordained by the Orthodox ab initio.The SSPX is notorious for ordaining sub-conditione, if requested, RC priests who have wished to serve alongside them but were ordained in the post-1968 rites.Rome's praxis when dealing with 'Old Catholic' type clergy is to consider cases on an individual basis and not make blanket judgements - the case of the former Bishop of London comes to mind. Archbishop Blake is clearly schismatic from a Roman perspective but as Moretben points out by RC theology you cannot assume invalidity.
What is the attraction of wearing the Roman Collar, I gather that it only originated in the later 18th Century, and now even Baptist Ministers wear it? I have heard though I do not know if it is true that even an occasional Rabbi does so.
Old Believer,It is necessary to desire what the Church desires in order to both ordain and to be ordained. The ordinations of the SSPX are considered valid, the ordinastion of Abp Maligno are not.From my understanding, some paederastic priests are deemed not to have been capable of having a sufficiently pure desire -intention- to serve Christ in his Church. The same criteria would be used as in the case of nullity of marriage.
I never publish anonymous comments but I received this one from someone regarding the individual mentioned here by other commenters, which I publish.Concerning Fr Jerome Lloyd it perhaps should be noted that 1) he actually does not run a "gay bar" and 2) the entertaining Dame Margot solely performs for charities.One might also note that Fr Jerome does not "masquerade" or present himself as a "Roman" Catholic priest - a distinction made clear on his church's website.You show a considerable lack of charity and prudence by your article Fr Blake and are probably in "danger of defamation of character" if not libel re your misrepresentation and assault on Fr LloydI am given to understand that Fr Lloyd has written to you personally to introduce himself and you, very rudely, ignore his corresondence and refuse to publish his comments in defence on your blog? No doubt the same fate will befall this comment also?I would be very careful if I were you Fr Blake to avoid an embarassing sue for libel and defamation by someone so widely and popularly known for philanthropy and community service.I trust the sin of pride will not prevent you from rewording or removing this article, for certainly I fear, Fr Lloyd would have strong grounds for bringing a case against you.I do not think I defamed anyone, indeed I referred to no-one in particular in what I wrote. I only referred to the illustration of those who walk a tightrope, which was provided by the Daily Mail. J Blake & J Lloyd also illustrate a preference of the more bizarre non-Catholic clergy to dress in the garments proper to Catholic priests, or bishops. Tightrope walking and cars which resemble police cars seem wonderful examples of the bizarre.I appologise if readers were misled about JL's running a gay bar.
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