Saturday, April 24, 2010

Greg The Anti-Pope

I had not intended to comment on the appointment of Greg Pope as deputy head of the CES but I have had a number of emails about it, so it is easier to reply here than to the individuals who have written to me.

It strikes me as if we are back to Kung and his challenge to the authority of Vicar of Christ. His understanding of "Catholic" is that it is "universal" in the sense of "all embracing". Therefore it is non-credal, without a specific moral stance, ultimately it becomes an empty humanism. With the appointment of Mr Pope it seems that this is precisely the understanding of "Catholic" that the Catholic Education Service of England and Wales is presenting. I would love to be proved wrong, because it affects the very notion of "communio".

If the CES feels able to appoint Mr Pope, then apart from being formally in communion with the Catholic Church and the successor of St Peter what other signs of communion are there?

I am just asking, but the problem is that his appointment increasingly forces the question of what is meant when those who sanctioned his appointment define themselves as "Catholic". Ultimately, as with sexual predation on children, the issue revolves around the central issue of who can ordinary Catholics trust, which is at the heart of what we understand by communion.

23 comments:

Independent said...

The late John Carmel Heenan said that "heresy is now interconfessional". Judge people by what they believe, not by whether they are in communion with His Holiness. I can remember saying, as a then Anglican, to a group of Catholic Priests including Gregory Baum a consultant at the Second Council of the Vatican, "If I believed what you lot believe I would be where I am".

Pope Benedicat is wise in Anglicanorum Coetibus in accommodating Anglicans who share his moral theology presumably in acting as a counter-weight toCatholics who don't.

JARay said...

I would have to say that this appointment is a total denial of Catholicism as I understand it. A Latin phrase comes to mind:-
Quis custodiet ipsos custodies?
"Who is looking after those, who are (supposed) to be looking after things?
What account must the Bishops make to God for appointing such a man?

JARay

wheat4paradise said...

I am writing from the United States. It would appear that the Catholics of England and Wales cannot trust their appointed shepherds. I believe that you are right, Father, to frame the issue around trust. Not all who are in communion with Rome can be trusted. On the other hand, it is wrong for certain Traditionalists (they know who they are) to reject communion with Rome on the basis that our appointed shepherds are untrustworthy. In the end, we must trust the Good Shepherd, Our Lord Jesus Christ, which means that we sheep must learn to endure with patience our abuse at the hands of hirelings.

God bless,
David

Athanasius said...

I think that's what's called preserving the status quo.

It's a little like China's tactics against Christianity: allow it (to a point - still much persecution of course), but make sure it's THEIR version of Christianity, thus weakening its force.

Sadly in this country there are some Catholics complicit in this weakening of Catholicism, and this is a prime example.

The rest of us must redouble our efforts to preach and defend the true faith. Keep up the great work Father.

shadowlands said...

Our present Pope said this in 1969, but not a lotta people know this.........

"From today’s crisis, a Church will emerge tomorrow that will have lost a great deal. She will be small and, to a large extent, will have to start from the beginning. She will no longer be able to fill many of the buildings created in her period of great splendor. Because of the smaller number of her followers, she will lose many of her privileges in society. Contrary to what has happened until now, she will present herself much more as a community of volunteers... As a small community, she will demand much more from the initiative of each of her members and she will certainly also acknowledge new forms of ministry and will raise up to the priesthood proven Christians who have other jobs... There will be an interiorized Church, which neither takes advantage of its political mandate nor flirts with the left or the right. This will be achieved with effort because the process of crystallization and clarification will demand great exertion. It will make her poor and a Church of the little people... All this will require time. The process will be slow and painful."...+Joseph Ratzinger, 1969 lecture on Bavarian radio."

Pray your rosary. Listen to the message of Fatima. Again I say, pray the rosary. I struggle daily with alcoholism, I know great highs and demonic lows. We are in a battle for our own and other's souls. Does your priest and Bishop pray their rosary? If they do, they will begin to change. I am a sinner, it's changed me in moral areas I had battled with ( to uphold of course!) for years. Our Lady moves in and melts down blockages in heavily defended wills.
Our leaders have the same battle to face, more aggressively. They have the power to build or destroy earthly kingdoms. An intellectual onslaught is approaching. Only the rosary will be able to defend us.

umblepie said...

Father, all credit to you for your restraint, for I feel that this post reveals more in what it doesn't say than in what it says. It seems scandalous that this appointment has been offered to a man who appears to have nothing in common with the organisation that he is supposed to represent.It is doubly scandalous that the organisation in question is the Catholic Education Service,chaired by Bishop McMahon, which is an agency of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of England and Wales, officially presided over by the Archbishop of Westminster, Archbishop Nicholls. In this country today, we have a rampant secularism which is pulling out all the stops to effectively destroy Christianity in general, and the Catholic Church in particular, and our Catholic schools are in the front line. We need true and loyal Catholics to lead and manage our Catholic institutions, particularly those responsible for teaching and safeguarding the Faith for future generations. This appointment reminds me of the 2nd Vatican Council, where so many non-Catholics were invited to participate and contribute their views, resulting in a
'Protestantised' Mass (ref. 'Cranmer's Godly Order' by Michael Davies) and the destruction of the liturgy in the Church, with resultant mass exodus from the Church, and a general and continuing - to this day, decline in faith.
'Greg Pope has a strongly anti-life and anti-family record in his previous capacity as Labour MP for Hyndburn'- see John Smeaton (SPUC) http://spuc-director.blogspot.com/2010/04/catholic-education-service - how on earth did he get selected? There must be something very wrong! Please think again CES, and think again Bishop McMahon.

Hestor said...

And the bishop and "Catholics" who appointed Mr. Pope - they are still regarded as being in "full communion", unlike a certain traditionalist priestly society?

Anthony Dickinson said...

Father - God bless you. Shadowlands - God bless you.

I have decided to go to the Blessed Sacrament (exposed) this evening for an hour in reparation for our Bishop's stupidity. Yes stupidity. I will pray the Rosary. Those able please join with me between 7 & 8 this evening. I found a church 25 miles away that has Exposition with Confession.

Hippolytus said...

The appointment is a betrayal of the Catholic Faithful.

wheat4paradise said...

Hestor, to borrow a distinction from Newman, there is notional (formal) communion and then there is real (actual) communion. Let us say that notional communion with Rome is a necessary but not sufficient condition for salvation. The Bishops who facilitate clerical buggery and appoint anti-Christ politicians to positions of influence in the Church will burn for their lack of real communion with the Bishop of Rome. However, the fate of pious Traditionalists who scoff at and ultimately refuse notional communion, priding themselves -- and I do mean PRIDE -- on their supposed "actual" communion, shall not be much better.

David

mum6kids said...

So even though the CSF Bill failed the CES will see to it's survival via some other means.

Parents need to fight back.
Will they?




Thought not.

What We Are Waiting For (WWAWF) said...

This appointment will come to be seen as a watershed. Following on so soon after the CES's support for the Government's compulsory sex education legislation, it is an overt statement of intent that the CES is committed to a liberal, secularising agenda for Catholic Voluntary-Aided Schools in this country. Paradoxically perhaps, this is a moment of grace for all orthodox Catholic parents, teachers, clergy and others of goodwill who have wondered whether the system was worth salvaging but are now effectively free in conscience to seek something better. I think it is likely that over the next decade or so we will see a steady growth in new institutes, foundations, charities, establishments and home schooling co-operatives for children whose parents wish them to receive a genuine Catholic education. Who knows, we may see a re-birth of some of the great teaching orders, or the setting up of new ones.

gemoftheocean said...

Well, I'd immediately put on the suspect list the creeps that appointed this dude!

gemoftheocean said...

mum of 6: Take courage - even if it starts with ONE Catholic mum or dad fighting for the sake of their innocent children -- it will be worth taking up the banner and cross. There's a lot of "hired hands" at the top in England etc right now (and believe me, a lot of our American hired hands are much the same) but with the help of good priests like Fr. Blake, RIGHT will overcome evil in the end. And appointing a man like that IS evil. Sorry if that's American bluntness coming through -- but you good folks over there must come through and perserver for the sake of Christ crucified. Let's all pray for the Holy FAther to hear us and take care of His sheep and appoint good shepherds, come whatever fall out, temporarily there needs to be - even if mass "send your request for resignation" has to be done. Clean house -- and don't look back on the decision to shake the dust from the feet. And of course, allowing those who need to repent to repent. Doesn't mean you have to let those prone to kleptomania mind the cash register while the owner is gone - lest the place become bankrupt. Too many "bankrupt" dioceses right now. Hired hands must be replaced with true Shepherds.. .. God's holy church deserve true leaders of courage and conviction. Sometimes it needs to start with the lay people and good priests to shake the status quo.

Holy Father, I pray you hear your people crying in the wilderness -- answer our prayers for good shepherds to guide the faithful.

Karen

Physiocrat said...

Is this a case of "Every religion is as good as any other"?

So far as I am aware, this is the view of religion held within Freemasonry. I do not want to run conspiracy hares, but it makes you wonder.

Patricius said...

Perhaps we should ask the holy father to send us some real Catholic bishops.

Volpius Leonius said...

"And we charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the tradition which they have received of us."

St. Paul, 2 Thessalonians 3:6

SimonR said...

Does anyone know where we could write to object?

Which Congregation in Rome for example?

Should we also write to Archbishop Nichols?

Hestor said...

However, the fate of pious Traditionalists who scoff at and ultimately refuse notional communion, priding themselves -- and I do mean PRIDE -- on their supposed "actual" communion, shall not be much better.

You will then have to excuse such people, when they see bishops who have "notional" communion with Rome, doing the devil's work and wanting to have no part in it. And it is no secret that many of the French and German episcopal conferences would not want to be in "notional" or "actual" communion with the likes of Bishop Fellay either.

The idea of "communion with Rome" has become a Pharisaical tool, to give carte blanche to the modernists to attack faithful traditional Catholics that refuse to comply with this sort of nonsense and label them as "schismatic".

It is these bishops who are "schismatic" not the SSPX.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Hestor,
Communion is two way thing, in order to be in Communion the HS has to accept a bishop's communion.
Like Anglo-Catholics who claim communion with the Catholic but its head is not in communion with them.

mum6kids said...

Karen, thank you for the encouragement. I had hoped we could rest from the fight at least until the election was over. Seems not.
One of the things that has left me a bit cross is that Home Ed parents were fighting the Bill for over a year before anyone else bothered to join us. The majority of parents I saw fighting the sex ed side of things don't have children in school anyway, but we were prepared to fight for the rights of schooled children too.
Where were the priests, bishops, fellow parents-on the whole, the Home Ed community was left to fight alone and be thrown to the wolves if we lost. Thank God we didn't.

Of course we will fight this too. And even if it is only a few home edders and Fr Blake, we will fight.

Horace said...

I spoke to someone who had emailed bishop MacMahon about this and the reply he got was that `Greg Pope is a practising Catholic`. So that`s all right then.

Frank said...

It seems that this man has voted in favour of abortion, & arguably is automatically excommunicated.

Is there not some provision in Canon Law which enables interested parties, eg parents, to take action against the CES or the bishops' conference, or at least to rescind his appointment?