Sunday, September 08, 2013

A time to keep silent?



After recent happenings I have been thinking I ought to stop blogging. I do not think I have done anything wrong but if journalists, like the unscrupulous, or possibly he is not malicious just not that bright, Bill Gardner, are getting the wrong end of the stick and using it to beat the Church with, then maybe silence is better.

I certainly do not want to be an embarrassment to brother priests, and I am well aware that although the young tend to rely on electronic media, older people, for example those amongst my parishioners and many clergy I know 'don't read blogs', the majority of people would simply read what was presented in the Argus, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph etc and come away with a very bad opinion of the Church, something quite contrary to what I have endeavoured to project.

And although I care little for the opinion people have about me as an individual, I care a great deal about the opinion people have of the priesthood. Mr Bill Gardner and other journalists have been enjoying trashing my reputation as a priest nationally and internationally and therefore of course all Catholic priests and bishops have suffered, because of way I have been portrayed, it is of course an attack on the Church.

Frankly I feel rather battered by this latest onslaught, and yes as Christians we understand the supernatural dimensions of these attacks but nevertheless we have to realise the effects of our personal actions on others and the whole Church.

Maybe I am being a little cowardly, Brighton is after all the second most atheistic city in Britain, although I didn't see them myself, I am told that there were lots of malicious remarks on the Argus website regarding 'my pervy friends' and threats of violence too, which were presumably were from the mad and taken down eventually by the editors, I don't like being the cause of that. Indeed some the versions of Mr Gardner's story are such a vile attack I haven't read them, besides there are so many.

One or two people have suggested I complain to the Press Complaints Council, I might, perhaps I should, but I consider irritating journalists rather like other irritating little *******s who steal, who lie, who mess up life for the rest of us, as part of the course of life, they are sent to test us, we grow closer to God if we bear them with mercy and patience. Others are free to make such complaints if they feel strongly they should, in the interest of Truth, and a decent press in this country. I am more concerned about other things at the moment, though I will be interested in hearing about the legal situation of such journalists from those who know about such things.

I was rather amused by Eccles little bit of humour today and in the light of it I would be very interested to hear how today's Gospel about hating one's family, and one's own life and giving up all one's possessions might be played by a journalist. Throughout the years I have been writing this blog I hope only rarely have I treated as my possession rather than a way of extending my ministry as priest of God.
.
Pope Benedict who has been the inspiration for this blog chose silence and prayer and for the time being I make that same choice, to reflect at least for the time being on whether God is best served by speaking or being silent and what purpose my blog can contribute anything useful to the life of Our Mother, the Church.
Pray for me!
And pray for journalists

150 comments:

polycarped said...

Please, no! Please don't let them do this to you Father! I understand that you must be feeling worried and exhausted but this is the price we all risk (and you are) paying for being children of the day. There are times to keep silent but I'm not sure this is one of them. Take a break from the blog, we will pray for you but please come back - your words and thoughts are so important to so many of us. As you discern, and whatever you decide, you will be in our prayers. God Bless you dear Father.

JARay said...

Please do not stop posting.
You do a great job and I value your posts. I promise you that I do, and have kept you in my prayers, for several years now.
God bless and support you.
John Rayner

Francis said...

Father -- after all the (quite unjustified) rumpus about your article on the poor, I don't think any readers of your blog would begrudge you a blog-gap of a few weeks while you put this episode behind you and let the dust settle.

However, as someone who regularly reads your blog from Canada -- and can therefore attest to the inter-continental reach of your priestly ministry -- to shut down completely would, I think, be to allow your supernatural enemy the victory that he has been working for.

By the way, I can remember Fr. Z. and Fr. Longenecker both writing posts similar to the one you have just written ("maybe I should quit...") -- and both subsequently returned to blogging with a vengeance.

Long-Skirts said...

THE
BRAG

There is a Rock
Upon we’re built
That evil men
Will sometimes tilt

And though they vex us
To the hilt
We never leave
Reject or jilt

We daily kneel
In His Blood spilt
To weigh down Rock
Of golden-gilt

And as they sink
In their sin’s silt
As though He built
On one lone stilt

Upon this Rock
His voice, love’s-lilt
We stand our ground –
Do what Thou wilt!

Joe Potillor said...

I'll most certainly pray for you Father Blake, I thank you for your witness to the Truth of the Church, and know that your words are very edifying to this American on the other side of the pond. Thank you for everything!

Prayers from Spokane, Wa

Joe of St Therese

Deacon Augustine said...

And what will you do if the same miscreant sneaks into the back of your church and misrepresents one of your sermons, Fr. Ray? Would you give up preaching the Gospel too?

No, absolutely not, please do not give that deviant, misbegotten slimeball the satisfaction of knowing that he has silenced you.

It was obvious from the chunks of the original blog he quoted that he must have read the full thing. Assuming that he is not a shitferbrains who suffers from the wildest form of selective dyslexia, his misrepresentation and lies must have been deliberate and calculated. Anybody who is so dishonest could twist anything you say with the right editing - he could even use your silence against you to further his nefarious objectives.

I don't blame you one bit for feeling shocked, dazed, hurt and even vulnerable for the spiteful attack that has been made on you. Any normal human being would feel that way. But to surrender the interwebbythingy and freedom of speech to the sheisters of this world is not the right response - it will only encourage the bullies to do it again.

Everybody who gives a rat's ass about the truth is on your side - anybody else's opinion doesn't count anyway. (Pointy hats are no judge of the worth of a MAN either.)

Jonny Blackwell said...

"If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." John 15:19

I do not think we should be surprised that this has happened; we are not of the world. These articles have indeed misrepresented you and are an attack on the Truth. I think your decision to return to silence may be a wise one but pray for guidance and you can won't go wrong! I will be praying for you Father, please pray for me if you ever get a spare moment. I will miss your blogging, it has at times been an inspiration to me, who have come to fear the world and its opinion of me and the truth.

Have a read of Book 2 of The Imitation of Christ! It will remind you of the context of all of this! Rejoice in being despised!

Pray and you will not err. God bless!

Jonny

Lucy said...

God bless you Father Ray. You are assured of my prayers.

Chateaubriand said...

Great if you still blogging Father, however you still in my prayers.

Mulier Fortis said...

Dear Fr. Blake, please don't stop blogging. It isn't just "the young" who read the blogs, and many people rely on the internet for true information about the Faith because, as has been demonstrated, we cannot rely on the MSM to provide a true picture.

Be assured of my prayers

Wynn said...

Dear Father Ray

You must do what you in conscience think right, and I am sure that all your supporters will respect that. For myself, though, I am horrified at the idea that you could be silenced (even by your own choice) due to a mendacious piece by an ignorant "reporter" who wouldn't recognise, much less report, the truth if it hit him in the face.

I assume you have seen, inter alia, Tim Stanley's blog on the Telegraph site. Both the blog post itself and the overwhelming majority of comments there are completely supportive of you. And the same is true on many other sites as well.

No-one can blame you for feeling battered by recent events. But you really should not suppose that you are in any way at fault here. The fact that some people will uncritically accept what they read in the press is not something for which you have any responsibility. All you can do is tell the truth, in whatever forum is open to you – if others will not or cannot receive the truth, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't be saying it in the first place.

If you still think you need to take a rest for a while from the frenetic environment of the press and the blogosphere – please make it as brief as you feel you reasonably can! And return to us refreshed for the immensely valuable ministry that you perform, on-line as well as off.

GOR said...

Like a host of others, Father, I would be sorry to see you cease blogging - though I understand where you are coming from.

However, one thought. Our Lord was misunderstood by some, vilified by others and seemed a failure. The Gospel would be a ‘scandal’ to many.

We could do with more of such ‘failures’ and ‘scandals’…

Unknown said...

Dear Fr Blake. We were in Brighton for the wedding you mentioned the other day. we stopped to speak to a homeless lady who had asked us for something to eat and a hot drink. We did not hesitate to tell her to come to your Church for comfort and help. We wouldn't have known where to direct her if you hadn't been a blogger. "Illegitimi non carborundum!" Let us start a prayer marathon for the deluded journalist in this. When he is converted, he will apologise.

Chloe

servusmariaen said...

Father Blake,
I'm not certain what has happened of late between you and the press however, if there were ever a priest who had something to say it is you. I am edified more often than not by what you write. I wouldn't let the enemy off so easy. We need priests such as yourself to be a witness. Whatever might be said of you, those who know you even if only through this blog know better than any smear campaign could muster. Give them hell I say.

Martial
http://triregnum.blogspot.com/

Deo volente said...

Dear Father Blake,

I do pray for you by name each day; I pray for all Catholic priests whose blogs I read, and I read yours daily!

I pray that you reflect on your situation and weigh the good you have done in speaking truthfully on so many subjects. The press has seized on many blog posts and used them for their own devices. Anti-Catholicity is definitely one meme of the modern press and one which will be pursued relentlessly.

I have seen so many fine blogs fade away. "Secret Harbour" -- a blog on the Carthusians -- was one I really loved to read and it has now drifted into obscurity. Please don't allow this to happen to you!

As yesterday was a day of "fasting" at the request of the Holy Father, I decided to "fast" by turning off the television for the day (Saturday in the U.S. is a day of American College Football, so this was a rather severe penance for one who loves the game as much as I!). Instead, I spent the evening re-reading "Brideshead Revisited" by Evelyn Waugh. I was reading the chapter in which Lady Marchmain gives Charles Ryder a copy of the book about her three brothers who died in action in the "Great War." I was once again astonished by Ryder's reflections about the role of Catholics from Elizabethan times in England finally ending in this cavalier thought:

“These men must die to make a world for Hooper; they were the aborigines, vermin by right of law, to be shot off at leisure so that things might be safe for the travelling salesman.”


This is an astonishing statement but remains true to this day not only in the U.K. but in all Western countries as our Catholic civilization enters a twilight due to the rise of secularism and atheism. I pray you will reconsider! Your voice must be heard.

Pax tecum!
D.v.

Father John Boyle said...

Dear Brother and Father Ray

You are an outstanding witness to the truth but also to pastoral charity. Charity and truth, as your mentor Pope Benedict, go together. When truth gets trashed, so does charity. Keep up your works of charity and may the Lord console you in your period of prayerful silence. Blog or no blog, the Lord will bless your work and it will bear fruit.

Proud to have you as a brother priest.

With prayers.

Anil Wang said...

Father as you saw, there were various conflicting views on your article. Note that those views would have existed no matter what you said, and you would have been attacked no matter what you said. But even being silent won't get you off the hook, since as in the case of Thomas Moore, someone will find a reason for criticizing you for being silent or imply that your silence means "you're guilty".

Remain strong. Your writings do not reflect badly on priests. To put it bluntly, even if they did momentarily (which they didn't), you're really not that important. Anything you say (even if you made a colossal blunder) will be forgotten by most people within a week. Such a realization, while humbling, is liberating.

You might ask, if you're not that important and most of your postings are forgotten soon after the "ink dries", why blog? Because the cumulative effect of your blog postings *are* significant...at least to a few people. And once and a while, one of your postings do touch a few people. As in real life relationships, those few people that you touch, make it all worth while.

Orak said...

I agree with Mulier Fortis. Please do not give up your blog. It is such a fruitful ministry. I read your blog every day from Down Under.

Orak said...

I agree with Mulier Fortis. Please do not give up your blog. It is such a valuable ministry. I read your blog everyday from Down Under

Victoria said...

Fr Blake I can understand that you would be tempted to close down the blog after the battering you have taken, particularly as you said, all priests everywhere and Catholicism is also trashed.

I will miss the blog, should you decide to stop writing, but what you wish is most important and if the blog goes your work as a priest will not.

I wonder though if you stop writing will it be a victory for those who seek to push the Church from the public square and those who are pushing will move along to another target.

Keep a copy of any sermon you preach. A priest in Australia was sued because a parent said that the contents of his sermon caused the man's son to suicide. Luckily father had a copy of his sermon and the judge ruled against the litigant.

I would complain to the press council because when one compares what you actually said with what was alleged that you said it will be immediately obvious that the hacks were creating the story out of whole cloth. If the hacks are reprimanded by their press body they might think twice before trying this sledging on someone else with whom they disagree.

God bless father, you are in my prayers.

Patrick Gray said...

Dear Father,
It would be an appalling tragedy if one of these cunning, malicious modern men - I can only think in history of the notorious apostate Giacomo Achilli - were to force into silence a Catholic priest whose blog, when I have read it, seems exemplary. It would only give the victory to the faction who loathe the True Church and everything it stands for.

Malvenu said...

Dear Father Ray, I am proud to tell others that you received me into the Church, and i have been told how lucky i was to have been a parishioner of yours. Having had had to move away i make a bee-line for your blog and although i read a lot of other blogs yours is the one i always start with and one that i have never 'taken a break from' reading! Nevertheless, i understand your thinking. I am still coming to terms with Pope Benedict's resignation which, despite my confusion and the turmoil it has caused, appears to have been from God. I will pray for you and, selfishly, hope you resume blogging at some point!

Mark

gemoftheocean said...

NO!!!!!!!! DO NOT STOP BLOGGING. That is precisely the agenda of the wicked and vile "reporter" who misrepresented you 180 degrees, and his "familiars" as one commentator aptly called his fellow creeps in the press who piled on.

These people want to shove the church in a corner and make it irrelevant. They want the church to shut up and stop offering opposition to their culture of death re: abortion, pornography, gay marriage, hedonistic sex, "do it if it feels good and don't worry about the consequences" weltenschaung.

Frankly, they OUGHT be taken before the press complaints, or they will continue to pile on against priests all the more, if they can see one of the strongest priests in Britain shouted down and shut in a corner. DO NOT SURRENDER to this braying mob. They don't deserve a platform themselves if they will make up lies out of whole cloth, and they did about you. Heed the gospel instead which says in Matthew 5:16 "let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven."

I say double down. Sue the cretins of the press, and while you're at it, since I'm sure your readership has also been on an uptick, go ahead and put a donation button on your blog for the soup kitchen outreach so people can donate.

Yes, there were a few militant anti-Catholics in the commentators of the frankly, GUTTER press, but those people always come out caterwauling like the sheep in Animal Farm "two legs good, four legs bad." They were far outnumbered, I'd say, by the people who gave an up arrow or "recommend" who thoughtfully decided to look at your original post and said "this was a hit piece, he said nothing of the kind as was represented - he's a good guy."

In the end you want to be with what was said in 2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."

Remember that Christ Himself warned all this would happen. Remember in Matthew 10 Jesus tells the apostles he is sending them "like sheep in the midst of wolves"

The gutter press are the wolves. Jesus promised you will be told what to say with the help of the Holy Spirit, and PROCLAIM FROM THE HOUSETOPS.

Jesus warned that you will be hated, because of His name, but that whoever endures to the end will be saved. DO NOT THROW IN THE TOWEL. The gutter "journalists" can't be allowed a "victory" of any sort.

Priests like you are the true "Princes of the Church." Some with that title are mere administrators these days. If there were more priests like you the world would be a far better place.

Hughie said...

Might I suggest an alternative course of action? Why don't you call on the assistance as an intermediary with your detractors your fellow priest and well-known expert on dispute resolution, Mgr Basil Loftus? I feel absolutely certain that stoutly guided by this saintly man you will be able to quickly silence and vanquish that pesky man from Argos's.

In the alternative, I am visiting my son in Bognor Regius next week (flying into Southampton Sunday evening; he moved there at the end of June). I'm sure the resident Calvinist wouldn't mind my offering you some practical support. And I don't mean by beating up the imbecile who has caused you such anguish. Attractive though that prospect might have once been... 61, high blood pressure, a minor heart complaint, osteoarthritis, plantar fasciitis, a dodgy stomach and piles, well need I say more?

But be not discouraged. Ever heard of the ancient Irish tradition of "fasting upon" your enemy? In last Thursday's post you mentioned the "soup run". This set me thinking. Why not allow me and your many friends to help you arrange to FEAST upon your enemy? We could (after a wee bit of advance advertising in all those places where the more unfortunate of your Brighton neighbours are to be found) set up a soup kitchen outside the office of Argos's. Having duly fed them, we could then invite them to enter the premises and seek financial assistance, the use of toilet facilities etc. Obviously, this will allow Billy Boy and his editor to demonstrate their solidarity with the poor. They might even be moved to invite their friends at the Guardian, the Mail and the Independent, as also the BBC, to join them in their missionary endeavour.

Naturally, we would leave the gentlemen of the press to clean up afterwards.

Richard Collins said...

Fr Ray, what is certainly clear from all the goings on in the press and in the blogosphere, is that you are a light for all of us to follow.
We do not have many of those in these uncertain times and, if you stopped blogging, it would be a loss to Catholic bloggers in particular and the Catholic Faith in general. You will be the focus of our prayers. God bless you and your sacrifice.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Father: At a mere 75 I am glad to be counted amongst the young who read your blog. Please do carry on ad multos annos. These attacks in the Press are very unpleasant and hurtful and one feels awful at the time. But remember that in a day or two 99.9% of everyone will not have the slightest memory as to what has happened; the attack on you will have submerged under all the other rubbish that is in the Press. It is important to keep telling the truth so that we all learn the truth. It might just sink in! Please continue!

Roses and Jessamine said...

You are NOT an embarrassment to the priesthood or Holy Mother Church; you are a leading example and a shining beacon of hope in a mad world. The secularists will always get the wrong end of the stick and will always try to attack The Church. The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Please do not stop blogging. Hundreds of people all over the world are inspired and uplifted by your messages of truth. We need more of it, not less. Your very honest humanity is an encouragement to all of us that priests suffer with the same dilemmas the laity do. Sensible journalists understand and recognise that.

Mr Gardner has succeeded in getting himself noticed, as all rookie reporters aspire to do. Rather pathetic that he could find no other news in Brighton & Hove to write about other than a humble priest's blog. I can give him a list of more pressing stories if he is short of ideas.

I know how you have helped the poor, Father, and how you've never made a big song and dance about it. Your sacrifices are seen by God and also by those who know you as the kind, loving, and merciful man of God you are.

Bill Gardner: get a life.

Fr Levi said...

Father,
You are in my prayers. But you are not the cause of any 'fallout' the Church is getting, but the one who misrepresented you. Don't let his actions stop you from blogging. If he 'snuck' into the back of your church (I know - a highly unlikely scenario!) and then later misrepresented what you said in your sermon, would you stop preaching?

nickbris said...

Don't surrender Father,you must not hand VICTORY to the HEATHEN,anyway you are part of our therapy and it'll cost the NHS millions in anti depressants.

Gardner is just a thicko but that other evil whatnot Silverman needs taking down a peg for gross defamation and misinterpretation

Sean O'Donnghai said...

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out........God Bless Father.

Lazarus said...

Dear Father Ray

I completely understand how this attack must have left you feeling crushed and exhausted. However, I would miss your blogging terribly and it would be ironic (to say the least) if one of the most thought provoking posts I have read (ie your original discussion of the poor) led albeit indirectly to your silencing. May God bless you and sustain you.

Genty said...

Dear Father, A bit of R&R from the blog, informed by prayer, might well be the thing to recharge your batteries. However, permanent blog silence may not be what God is asking of you. Christ understood that the majority of people in the world cannot bear too much truth and knew that His own friends would run away including Peter, his first appointed bishop.
I'm not the only one who, discovering your blog, has come to the joyful realisation that I'm not isolated within my Catholic faith. I found what I had longed to know again: unsentimental, adamantine Christianity both from your posts and from the commenters. This is the online Catholic parish you have built up.
As we know, over the years there has been more than one attempt to shut you up for good. This latest - note, I do not say last - was a particularly vicious try. I doubt the journalist concerned is in the habit of reading your blog or he would see and, perhaps, comprehend a continous thread running through it. My guess is that he was alerted by one who is not your friend and, being wedded to the secular world, simply did not understand what he was reading. It's not an asset for a journalist to qualify for MENSA. In fact, it's a hindrance and today's telephone journalism is all about easy, knee-jerk responses, not actually getting out and about to ferret out real news.
Those of us who have supported you in the comments sections of various publications - particularly the feisty Gem - have actually been in the majority, including some who profess themselves atheist. So there has been some gold lifted from the midden.
Unless obedience to a command by your bishop requires you to cease publication forever, please do not impose it on yourself. I hope that in time you will come back to us refreshed as the estimable online pastor you are.
If, in the future, a Bill Gardner should come to you, perhaps the best response would be: What I have written, I have written. I join my esteem and prayers with all the others.
God bless and protect you, Father.

johnf said...

Dear Fr Blake

I can understand how you are feeling after such unfair and malicious reporting, but the so called gentlemen of the press are called reptiles for nothing.

I have not seen any letters in the telegraph regarding the news item they published last week. Most readers would have agreed with the points you made.

Please do not stop blogging. Your posts mean a lot to me and so many others, and has now become part of your wider apostolate.

It might be mischievous for you to invite him and other critics to join your soup run and other works of charity and when they do not turn up, keep asking them with concern where they were.


AndrewWS said...

For goodness sake, don't stop blogging, Father! Your blog is one of the few things that keep some of us more or less sane.

Richard Duncan said...

Dear Fr Ray

I can understand that you might be feeling a little bruised by Gardner's misrepresentation of your views, and you must of course do what you think fit, but I hope you won't mind me saying that I would miss your blog if it were to close. To me, its a bit like Nick King's translation of the Bible - sometimes I'm irritated, sometimes I agree, but what I value most about it is that I'm often provoked to think about issues in a different way than before.

I hope you'll continue - and if you ever feel like visiting Brum, do please ask.

Yours in DNJC

Fr Richard

Independent said...

"Rejoice and be exceeding glad for so persecuted they the Prophets that were before you". Do not extinguish the light which your blog has offered amid the encircling gloom of secularism.

There must be many people who look to your blog for inspiration, wisdom, and general information about a sane, rational, brand of catholicism .

Do not let the blighters get you down. Your blogs are a credit to your church. Please continue them. They are widely respected and not only by Catholics.

Independent said...

"Rejoice and be exceeding glad for so persecuted they the Prophets that were before you". Do not extinguish the light which your blog has offered amid the encircling gloom of secularism.

There must be many people who look to your blog for inspiration, wisdom, and general information about a sane, rational, brand of catholicism .

Do not let the blighters get you down. Your blogs are a credit to your church. Please continue them. They are widely respected and not only by Catholics.

Bill Gardner said...

Well, I've tried to contact Father Blake to talk about the article but he just hangs up on me. Thought I was at least entitled to an audience with a priest.

wintersturme62 said...

Dear Father,

Having a break from blogging may indeed be something God is asking from you, although I would miss reading you daily.

Perhaps Our Lord's injunction "Watch and Pray" would be less tumultous for you, just for now.

Peace be with you.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Mr Gardner,
It is obvious that a conversation would be highly dangerous because you are entirely without scruples, you cannot be trusted, you lack integrity, ethics or any understanding of truth and you fall far short of the code standard even Press Complaints Council expects of a journalist.
No, I will not speak to you, conversation can only happen with some degree of trust, you are not trustworthy.

The Bones said...

Don't give up!

Annie said...

Fr Ray, please don't give up.

I'm sure should the journalist in question wish to do the decent thing straighten things out, he could publish a public apology to you in every rag he peddled his fabrications to.

I love reading your blog, Father, you do amazing work. Prayers.

John H said...

Dear Father Ray,
I descended into the cesspit that is the comments section of yahoo to try and put your side of the story, and thanks be to God there were at least two others who were fighting your corner. Yahoo is inhabited by a particularly vile and vocal anti-Catholic 'community', but in such a forum there is no dialogue - there is no listening' they spew out the venom and then move on.
I do not make a habit of commenting on forums (fora?), in fact this was only the second time , and I came away feeling exhausted, sullied and despondent.However, please do not give up the Good Fight: I came back to the Church after an absence of 40 years, at a time when every news item was an attack on the church and her priests (no change there}, and it was through reading the many different Catholic blogs, including your own, that I got to understand and appreciate the fuller picture and have the confidence to step over the threshold. Your work is important, it is a Home Mission Sunday every day of the year! God bless you. John H.

Londiniensis said...

Father, I echo the chorus of your regular readers in offering my prayers, my support, and my entreaties not to give up your mini-sermons (for that is what they are) on your blog.

I agree with some of your correspondents that you appear to have a prima facie case to take to the Press Complaints Commission regarding the Argus article. The very beginning of the Editors' Code states: "1 .i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures. ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and - where appropriate - an apology published ..."

You may be amused by this:

You cannot hope
to bribe or twist,
thank God! the
British journalist.

But, seeing what
the man will do
unbribed, there's
no occasion to.

fraz1971 said...

Father, please continue to reach out through your blog. Young people use the internet as a means of communication and learning. There is so much junk out there on the internet and men such as yourself provide something worthy of such a platform.

Satan is attacking the church relentlessly these days. Many are convince that the Catholic Church is an evil institution. Without priests reaching out and spreading the truth, the platform is left to satan alone.

As a Catholic from Northern Ireland, I must say that I can understand how hard it can be to be a Catholic. I will say this however, I have never denounced my faith when in danger of being attacked for it.

I was walking along a street in Glasgow and I heard someone singing "Eff the Pope and the Virgin Mary". He was with a gang who were drunk after a football match. I protested in the strongest manner possible about his disrespect toward the Pope and the Virgin Mary.

Needless to say I was surrounded and attacked quite vigerously. The amazing thing is that I walked away almost unscathed. A friend had pulled me from the center of the frenzy and they were too busy kicking each others legs to notice.

Anyway, the point is this. When we feel strongly about something that we know it is right to speak out,we are must do it. Our lord and his blessed mother will take care of the rest.

I found your blog because of the attacks on your good name father. Maybe it's Gods way of letting people find you?

We need priests like you now more than ever. God Bless Father.

Squashed Sardine said...

Keep blogging! Keep blogging! Keep blogging! Till your last breath, keep blogging!
Courage, mon frere!

umblepie said...

Dear Father Blake, It is quite understandable that you do not trust Bill Gardner - who would in the circumstances? However if he showed genuine regret for what he has written, sending you a letter to this effect, with an appropriate public apology in the Argos, then the peace and mercy of Christ will have prevailed. Please do not give up your blog-site, it is my number one read! God bless you Father.

Fred Brown said...

Father, You're dangerous. At least that's how the enemies of the Church, both outside and within in Her see you. I think this is reason enough to stay. Or ask yourself what would be the easiest cause of action, to stay or leave (?) and then do the opposite.

May our Lord guide you in your discernment.

A Catholic Comes Home said...

Please don't stop blogging Father.We need you!
You are loved because you speak the truth.
Sandy.

A Catholic Comes Home said...

Please do not stop blogging Father.We need you!
You are greatly loved,because you speak the truth.God bless you,and your witness to the Gospel.
Sandy.

Bob Hayes said...

Fr Ray, no one can blame you for considering stopping blogging, given the dishonest and poisonous coverage you received at the hands of gutter journalism. Rightly you say you have no wish for the Church and your brother priests to suffer as a consequence of this 'journalism'.

The Fathers tell us on many occasions that good may come as a consequence of evil. By all means take stock, take a breather - but please do not give-up blogging. It is after all an opportunity to evangelise in this testing times.

I will pray for you - and for journalists, that they may honour truth.

Ben Trovato said...

Father

Please be assured of my prayers and good wishes as you discern the best thing to do.

For myself, I'd love you to keep blogging, but I would not presume to advise you.

AMDG

Auteur said...

Reverend Father,

Please don't stop writing blogposts! That's exactly what the devil wants - to silence you forever. Please be assured of my prayers in Christo et Maria.

Jane Dudley said...

Father, thank you for being a priest! And thank you for blogging. Please do not give it up. Rest a little if you must, but do come back. You are suffering for trying to do the right thing, in the cause of Christ. That puts you in excellent company.

Dorothy B said...

Dear Father Blake, you are a beacon of light. I quite understand if you need a period of rest, but please, please, come back to us as soon as you can.

liam said...

Father Ray

you have done no wrong

keep on blogging

do not worry

prayers and best wishes

bill murphy

diff said...

I respect your decision to 'step down from the digital pulpit' as it were, but I will miss your insightful posts. You have been of great help to me and you have provided me with much food for thought and useful reflections. God willing you will return to blogging. Either way please keep preaching the Gospel in season and out of season.

God bless

akp5401 said...

Well, everyone has said it above, and much more eloquently than I could. God bless you Father, I read your blog regularly and learn much from it. Trusting our prayers will lift you up.

Katie said...

No No No. It wouldn't be right to be intimidated. Unless your phizz has been airbrushed, you are nowhere near the age of Pope Benedict, so you will just have to hang in there!

Solideo said...

Please don't stop posting dear Father!! Blogs like yours have taught me more about the Faith I was born into than all my life's Catechism classes combined!!

I truly value your posts and although I've never really commented on here before, I drop by at least once everyday to check for new posts.

I pray that you do not flee for fear of these wolves!!

May God grant you the fortitude and grace to weather this storm.

Thank you for all your hard-work!

Jon said...

"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

Father,

I read you daily from the US (btw, I'm 51, thanks for lumping me in with the "young!") I think what you do is invaluable to the Church and our sinking civilization. But I can offer no higher praise and encouragement than the above.

Martina Katholik said...

Persecution is a good sign, Father. It would be a bad sign if you weren´t persecuted. It is a great honour and a grace for a priest if he can suffer for Christ.
Will you really give in so easily to these communist and/or national socialist methods of silencing priests?
Don´t you think that the enemy will start persecuting your fellow priest bloggers if they realize they can silence a priest with one article in a paper?
And as Deacon Augustine put it: Do you think they will stop at your Church door, if they have silenced you on the internet?

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for Father Blake!

Deacon Augustine said...

Fr. Ray, it might be worthwhile speaking with Gardner to give him the opportunity to save his soul.

All you need to do is make sure that your phone is on speakerphone when you talk to him and get Laurence and his gizmo's in to record every last word of it. (If he did do the dirty on you again, at least you could have some real fun with him on Youtube!)

Love the idea of a soup run outside the Argus offices, by the way. What a perfect way to protest and really drive a point home.

Patrick Langan said...

Holy Micheal the Archangel , defend you in the day of battle. Be your safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do thou O Prince of the heavenly host , by the power of God, Cast down to hell satan and all the wicked spirits who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Unknown said...

Father: No matter what you decide, I believe you have done much good work through your writing and example. I know I have personally benefitted.

Thank you.

terry prest said...

Dear Father Blake

I hope that you will not let one malicious reporter with apparent pretensions to preaching his kind of warped morality deter you from continuing your excellent work in publishing your thoughts to the world outside Brighton

I thought the article on the TV programme from the BBC quite amazing. First it was a distortion of what you had said. Second, considering the problems that afflict the BBC (Jimmy Saville, mega payoffs for executives etc) a wonderful example the usual "Don`t do as I do, do as I say" mentality that seems to afflict much of modern life in all areas

As you can see from the number of comments, many value your work very highly as I do

With very best wishes for another 10 years at least on the blog

Terry

Lepanto said...

I emailed Rod Little (who repeated the story in his S.Times column). Would others consider doing the same to those who repeated the story. Father, if you do anything worthwhile you are going to get this sort of thing, the embarrassing priests are those who have nothing to say about anything because of fear or need for approval.

Genty said...

Tell you what Mr. Gardner, why not shift yourself out of the office chair to call upon Fr. Blake personally? Face-to-face is so much better for a journalist than relying on the telephone or email.
You know the old saying, don't you: "An empty newsroom is a healthy newsroom."

Fr Seán Coyle said...

Thank you, Father Ray, for your faithfulness in living, teaching and preaching the Gospel. I've just posted on my blog in support of you [http://bangortobobbio.blogspot.com/2013/09/fr-ray-blake-english-priest-blogger.html]. Pope Benedict has urged us to use the internet to bring the Gospel to 'this digital continent', as he calls it. Your prayer may lead you to take a short break from blogging, or it may not. But your being a blogger-priest is a source of encouragement to me as a blogger-priest. God bless you.

Jacobi said...

Father,

I can understand how you feel. What you are experiencing is but one of the many modern forms of persecution that you and other orthodox Catholics will have to put up with. Remember that Christ too felt “battered”.

A word of advice, actually, not from me, but from my mother, God rest her. Offer it up for your sins!

But above all do not give up. That is exactly what they want.

A silent Church is a vanishing Church.

Misericordia said...

Father Blake, yours is one of the most inspirational Catholic blogs on the internet, and I should be very sorry were you to give up blogging. Please give in to our pleas!

Aged parent said...

I realize that priests are under unusual pressures these days from a more than cowardly hierarchy, but even so I would strongly urge you to soldier on. As you well know, the Big Tool now being used by Christ's enemies is to silence them. Whether its the homosexual network, or the namby-pamby types, or the termites that are happily gnawing away at the Church's structure they all have the same goal: silence the opposition.

I respectfully ask you not to put down your pen now.

Jake Freivald said...

Don't let them stop you, Father. They want their yelling to get you down, but we need to hear each others' voices so we know we're not alone.

Gus Barbarigo said...

Father, this whole affair is a pretext to attack a traditional follower of Christ, i.e., your Reverend self.

Here's a pseudo-Classical motto to cheer you up during this pseudo-controversy:

"Illegitimi non carborundum!"

John Nolan said...

Beati qui persecutionem patiuntur propter justitiam: quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum. Beati estis cum maledixerint vobis, et persecuti vos fuerint, et dixerint omne malum adversum vos mentientes, propter me: gaudete, et exsultate, quoniam merces vestra copiosa est in caelis. Sic enim persecuti sunt prophetas, qui fuerunt ante vos.

Bill Gardner said...

Well, I'm genuinely sorry you feel that way Father Blake. But I would still like to talk to you.

Bernadette316 said...

Please do not stop posting Fr Blake! I rely on Catholic blogs to keep me on the right track, yours especially! An example would be when Pope Benedict resigned; I was so distraught but when I read your blog post about it, I felt more at peace.

It is very hard being Catholic in our society, and reading Catholic blogs is one way that I find helps me live my faith better and challenges me to follow Christ more radically and less comfortably.

Please do not stop!

I will join with all your other readers and pray for you.

Bernadette316 said...

Please do not stop posting Fr Blake! I rely on Catholic blogs to keep me on the right track, yours especially! An example would be when Pope Benedict resigned; I was so distraught but when I read your blog post about it, I felt more at peace.

It is very hard being Catholic in our society, and reading Catholic blogs is one way that I find helps me live my faith better and challenges me to follow Christ more radically and less comfortably.

Please do not stop!

I will join with all your other readers and pray for you.

Michael Patey said...

I appreciate your pastoral and theological insights greatly. Your posts are always interesting and topical. Please continue writing!

Annie said...

Father - Your response to Bill Gardner is spot on. Now please follow up with your complaint to the appropriate agency that handles these matters. Mr. Gardner has set his sights on you because you are one of the stronger Catholic voices in the blogosphere. If you get knocked down by his tactics you will take down with you many other Catholic internet voices who are strengthened and sustained by you and the other blog priests. If the shepherd is struck down the sheep will scatter and you are the shepherd to so many of us whose own parish priests are awol.

Separately - don't overestimate Mr. Gardner's influence. There are a zillion internet voices and his own in miniscule. Most of us never heard of this man before. However, he's using you as a means to increase his visibility. DO NOT have any private conversations with this man. Your Press Complaints Review Board is the proper place to have an exchange of views with him on this matter. As the Irish say, 'Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.'

Also, please note that you are read not only in Brighton, not only in England, but by people in different countries: Canada, Australia, the U.S. (where I am). Many of us suffer priests who are mediocre at best and cowardly at worst. You and the other internet priests - Fr. Z, Fr. Finigan and others - are the shepherds we physically don't have in our parishes. May I urge you to consult with them re this situation because they are where you are on the battlefield and their own experiences could help you. In fact, perhaps all of you could form a confraternity of Catholic blogging priests with a secure sight where you freely could discuss these and other matters with each other ('strengthen your brethren' comes to mind).

And finally, thank you Father Blake for your wonderful posts. You are one of three blogs I read every day even if there isn't time for the others. God bless you.

Cosmos said...

If there is a formal process through which you can clear your name, and it is not going to send you into bankruptcy, I think you should use it.

He purposefully and blatantly misrepresented the intentions of your blog piece in order to embarrass you. You should be publicly exonerated and he should be held publicly accountable.

Long-Skirts said...

UPON
THIS
ROCK

Weary, weary
On this earth
Shielding souls
Beyond their worth.

Few are grateful
Some regress
Others proud
They won't confess

When the waves
Break on the shore
Warning them
What is before.

Established
You stand on this rock
'Gainst the gales
'Fore those who mock,

Facing squalls
They cannot see
But all behold
Your bended knee.

Few will follow
Some deny
Oblivious
They won't comply.

Then a blue moon,
Saffron sun,
Come together
As though they're one.

Fingers blessed
With Holy Oil
You lift the Light…
Sun moon recoil

Blinding many
Opening eyes
Contradiction
Most despise

But on this rock
Eroded-rife,
You stand your ground
Opposing strife.

Between the storms
And sheep you block
The tempest winds
That hurt the flock.

With outstretched arms
The daily crux
You nail the Truth
So never in flux,

Never will lie,
Only can free,
Upon this rock
Catholicity.


(I shall pray for Mr.
Gardner and that Christ will forgive him...but keep running the good race, Father)

mrsmeadowsweet said...

Father, it is your decision but you will be greatly missed if you stop writing.

I have been reading about St Peter Claver today. He got the blame for everything, whilst ministering to African slaves in Colombia, because by doing so he encountered powerful interests.

“What sort of a man must I be, that I cannot do a little good without causing so much confusion?” he said. Seems about right!

Whatever you decide, accept
the thanks of your readers.

Mark Nel said...

Fr Ray, I understand how you must feel and would probably react the same way. I would be very disappointed if you stopped blogging. I wish we had priests like yourself here in South Africa. Maybe I can ask this: If this journalist - Bill the b%#^%*% - was to come in and mock your homilies or the way you celebrate Mass, would you stop giving a homily or stop celebrating Mass? Be strong Fr Ray. Chin up and do it for all of us who enjoy and value you Blog, please.

krysia59 said...

Father, if it isn't you, it'll be someone else. The enemies of the Faith will not stop. They will count this as a victory and move on. Here in the States an internet news site picked up the story from the Telegraph and posted it. When I saw it, I set them straight in the comment box and posted a link to your blog. After that other readers began to thank me and speculate on whether there was an anti-Catholic bias at work. It's been less than a week, and the story has vanished. I agree with those who have encouraged you to fight this. Bill Gardner should be held accountable. It all comes down to whether you feel God has called you to use the internet to spread the Gospel. If He has, what else can you do?

Mrs D. said...

Praying for your continued presence in Catholic blogland. God bless you, and all those who are falsely accused.

Fr. Stephen Brown said...

Well I really hope you continue blogging, Father - I have gained so much from reading your insights

IanW said...

I do hope not. I value your honesty, rather than the advice of those whose approach to these things has been formed by PR and a desire for public approval. Your blog reflects well on the the Church in a way that such advice doesn't.

Bruvver Eccles said...

No, don't give up. You reach many people with your blog, who would otherwise be unable to learn from you. I hope you also see the overwhelming support you have received from your fellow-Catholics, both liberal and traditional.

You have been the victim of malice and spite, and such people should not be allowed to win.

Thanks for the plug, by the way!

blondpidge said...

There is only one person who stands to benefit from your silence.

Your blog is not a mere personal indulgence but an important extension of your ministry. There are those who would love to see you silenced or muted and your contribution to the blogosphere is irreplaceable.

No-one can be presumptious enough to advise on the correct course of action, but I do believe that it would be a great tragedy if you were to cease blogging on a permanent basis.

As Mac pointed out, I don't believe that blogs are only read by the young, but even if this were true, it makes your blog of more value, not less. I bet you never thought you'd end up as a internet youth minister! ;-)

But you remain in our prayers, regardless.

Delia said...

No doubt you could do with a break, but I hope it won't be a long or permanent one. I find your posts so thought-provoking and helpful - a wonderful apostolate.

What does Satan want you to do? Give up blogging, I guess, especially now you're famous. Well then, do the opposite!

But whatever you decide, be assured of my prayers and support.

PJ said...

Your blog has been a great help on my journey of faith, God Bless you Father, I will pray for you

Lola said...

NO, Father! Please, NO!

Jessica Hoff said...

I don't often comment, Father, but always read you. Please do not let these small-minded people turn you away from the great witness you give to the hope that is in you.

Rod George said...

Father, sorry to read how this has affected you and do fully understand why you might want to call it a day but I do hope you will carry on.The vast majority of the media hate the catholic church and what it stands for and will use every opportunity to attack it and its priests.The number of comments show that you have a tremendous amount of support and together with the prayers being said on your behalf I do hope this will encourage you to keep on with your blog.God bless you, Rod Kearney.

Rod George said...

Father, Sorry to see how this buisness has affected you and fully understand why you feel like giving up but do hope you will carry on.The vast majority of the media hate the catholic church and will attack it and its priests at every opportunity,even when it is unjustified to do so. Judging by the number of comments you have a tremendous amount of support and together with the prayers being said on your behalf I do hope you will keep your blog going. God bless, Roderick Kearney.

Mike Hurcum said...

Hughie, I live the firthest sdie of North America. Wher can I send a donation for you and John Waynes of the Catholic church to have the foof bank outside the Argus Office and please extend my thanks to Gardner for the ubity he has brought to us Catholics and extend an invitation for him to open the argus for a day food bank thus instructing us how to practice charity. I think the invitation should be extended to his editor

Mike Hurcum said...

I forgot ask the bishop too

mark said...

Father Ray,
You write that you do not wish to embarrass your fellow priests, but then you include a link to the 'Eccles bit of humour'? This seems strangely contradictory.
I support your intention to choose silence for a while, and prayer of course. I hope that you will return refreshed in due course.
Why not talk with Bill Gardner, if he is asking for a chat? As others have said, do be sure to have some friends with you, to keep Mr Gardner's subsequent report honest.
Praying for you both, and also for Jason (I hope he is managing to handle all this publicity).

Physiocrat said...

Keep at it. Don't let that scum win.

Terry Nelson said...

Dear Fr. Blake, I think you are a wonderful priest, kind, generous and compassionate - I've often remarked I would love you as my parish priest. Your post about the poor was honest and understandable - your ministry is its own defense, you minister to the poor every day, day in and day out in your urban parish.

Prayers for you in this time of duress.

Matthaeus said...

Please do not give up the blog, Father.

Your posts are of value, often thought-provoking, and a source of interest, information, and sometimes also inspiration.

Sadly, honesty and candour about your feelings, and a willingness to raise uncomfortable issues are easily seized upon by the bullies, idiots and sensationalists, and the results can be stressful and painful at times. However, I would encourage you not to let them get the better of you.

May I echo Independent's reference to Matthew 5:11-12.

You are in my prayers.

Pétrus said...

Keep blogging Father.

Your "job" is to save souls and I think you will touch more of them blogging than not.

The Bones said...

Bill Gardner says, 'I'm sorry you feel that way, but I'd still like to talk to you'.

Okay, all the priests put your hands up who want to be strung up by a journalist simply for being frank and honest about their ministry with the poor.

I am sure, Mr Gardner, that Catholic priests would sooner take refuge in a nest of vipers than spend time opening their heart to you!

epsilon said...

Dear Fr Blake

Your posts are essential nourishment for the souls of countless sinners like myself who read them on an almost daily basis. If only the hierarchy of the Church were made up of bishops and priests like yourself, Catholics and others would learn to understand the true meaning of our existence on this earth!

Many prayers are being said for you to have the strength to continue with your priestly ministry - remember "Do not be afraid!"

As for Bill Gardner, if someone like this could turn around and fight the very evil he perpetrated, then it's well within the realms of possibility that Mr Gardner too will see the error of his ways, and repent his defamation of character of a good and holy priest. Let us pray that he will read and reflect honestly on more of the wealth of material in your blog posts and come to experience the love of Jesus Christ through them.

None of us can ever thank you enough, Fr Blake, as well as the many other selfless priests who give your lives to bring souls to God.

Nate C said...

Hold fast to tradition, the insults are a sure sign that you are doing the Lord's work!

Allan Wafkowski said...

Those creatures spit venom at random. Don't let their actions dictate yours.

Love from the USA.

EFpastor emeritus said...

Father,
I wholeheartedly agree with all those who urge you not to stop blogging........though I would understand if you took a SHORT break.
I also respect the loyal way you excused your Bishop's "apologising" though I consider what he said inexcusable.

Mattdiem said...

Father please don't go!

You worry about sullying the good name of the priesthood? Father, it's already been sullied and not by you!

You're one of the few removing the tarnish, scrubbing off the grime...squeezing a few diamonds out of the black coal that is my heart!

You help me to see, again and again, how to think through, how to live through these treacherous times as a Catholic.

Please don't leave us Internet sheep without our beloved shepherd....

Prayers for you from half way around the world,

Matt

Gratias said...

Dear Father Blake: I read you at least weekly from Los Angeles. Your apostolate reaches far and wide. Now that Benedict XVI retired we need you even more.

Thank you for this thoughtful blog. You have a large following here in the colonies, so please do not let the bad guys win. God bless you Fr. Blake.

Gratias

Angele Dei said...

Please do not stop blogging Fr Ray!

This is one of my favourite Catholic blogs.

The sheep are fed here and know what you provide is good. Wolves may come from time to time and twist your words but that is just what wolves do.

It isn't between you and the wolves, it is between you and God.

God bless.

Aggiornamento said...

Don't let the bastards get you down. And for goodness sake make a complaint to the PCC - that's why he's trying to call you, because he's scared. Be a martyr, but not over this. Die for a poor person's soul, not for some snotty teat with an HND in journalsim studies.

Dorset Rambler said...

Fr Blake

Don't go! Your honesty and thoughtfulness is much appreciated.

JabbaPapa said...

Dear Father Blake, I am sorrowed by this seemingly international hooplah that a local Brighton hack has managed to create through sheer misrepresentation -- you are most certainly correct about the supernatural origin of these sorts of attacks. Accordingly, I hope that you say the appropriate private prayers of exorcism that these things require. I am very poor myself, and living amongst the poor, so that I can very well understand the extremities towards which extreme poverty can push the souls of some of our more desperate brethren. You do not mention the violence that they are capable of, but it can be rather extreme.


They are trapped in their Original Sin, in what Blessed Pope John Paul II once described as the Matrix of Sin, and whilst those of them that are baptised have been forgiven this Sin by Our Lord the Christ, as it is forgiven for all of us, this does not mean that the Sin cannot be in control of our actions. They are deeply deserving of our pity and of our Charity, no matter what violence they may do to the tranquility of our Worship.

---

As for the other question to emerge from this ridiculous polemic, it might become necessary one day for the Church to designate some "Ordinaries of the Internet" to bring a sense of more discipline and clarity to the online activities of Catholics.

In the meantime, may I suggest Mortalium Animos as providing some useful guidelines and basic principles for the avoidance of the false ecumenism that has become so rampant on these interwebs ? After all, what are many of these online discussion forums if not some ad hoc ecumenical groups, not guided by Catholic doctrines nor principles nor beliefs, that we are forbidden to participate in without the permission of a competent Ordinary ? NOT yours, obviously, Father !!!

hughosb said...

Father, I know how you feel, truly I do. So I offer two observations:

(1) if you, and others, stay silent the militant secularists and atheists will still find something to beat the Church with. Let them prostitute themselves by perverting the truth to do so, rather than allowing them to ignore it entirely;

(2) such attacks and twisting of your words surely shows you are having an effect. When the Devil is stung he lashes out: it is a sign of his weakness.

Probably Benedict XVI's retreat into the silence of the cloister and the Cross is not the best paradigm in this case. With Benedict there is a different dynamic at work, involving his obviously poor health.

Hang in there!

Pax.

Gervase Crouchback said...

Fr stay and blog. I look forward to reading your blog from Downunder.

Tim said...

If you're getting flak you must be over the target. They're afraid of you Father - and so they should be.

Unknown said...


Dear Father:

Whatever you decide, please know that I value and learned from your writing.

Praying for you.

ThereseRita said...

I am SO sorry you having to go thru this. Personally, I've pulled offline (blog & Fb) a lot bc of the "intolerance of the tolerant." I know this is only a foreshadowing of the persecution to come.

Mary O'Regan said...

Fr Ray, don't give up!
http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2013/09/10/fr-ray-blake-described-the-reality-of-helping-the-poor-he-should-be-applauded-not-castigated/

Mary O'Regan said...

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2013/09/10/fr-ray-blake-described-the-reality-of-helping-the-poor-he-should-be-applauded-not-castigated/

We have a Pope in Rome who unceasingly insists that we share with the poor – and a situation in Britain where a frank priest has qualms about blogging on the reality of carrying out the Pope’s wishes.

David said...

If Bill Gardner really wants to talk to Fr Blake, he's got an easy way of finding him. Mass times for Catholic Churches are generally published on their noticeboards, and the priest is usually to be found somewhere on your way out afterwards. Surrounded by his parishioners, of course, who would, I'm sure, be happy to acquaint Mr Gardner with their views.

Mr Gardner, make sure you arrive in good time. You'd certainly not want to miss joining in the bit near the start which begins 'I confess...'.

catholiccat1 said...

Fr. Ray, I only found your blog because of the controversy - so maybe some good has come of it. As I read the comments, I could not help thinking of Matt 5:10-12. Through your trials many will be given the opportunity to speak of Christ. To point to the good that is done by your church and so many others. In this "hedonistic" time, we are under assault for living as Christ, His truths and His beliefs. The truth of our Church flies against this culture and no matter what you say you will be opposed, vilified and hung out to dry!

My question for you is - didn't Pope Francis just tell the youth to "stir up the pot"? Make noise; bring your faith out into the street. Isn't that what you are doing? By "stirring the pot" you are inviting discussion and yes controversy. But from discourse comes enlightenment. Isn't that what Jesus asks us to do? Bring His word to the world, no matter the cost?

God bless you Father, I will await future blogs with interest!!

Celia said...

Father, by all means take some time out to think about what has obviously been an unpleasant and unsettling experience. But I hope you will return, because as others have said many of us find the insights and teaching you and the other internet priests supply very useful.

And please do take this to the PCC. Gardner is all too typical of his trade- they are quite happy to run inaccurate stories, knowing that few people will challenge them and that they can usually get away with a very small unnoticeable paragraph months later 'correcting' the story. Not sure how many teeth the PCC has, or how sharp they are,but Mr G is obviously worried, or perhaps his editor is- he's probably been told to contact you so that you can put 'your side of the story'. Don't fall for it,let him sweat. You can still pray for him!

Damien said...

I imagine the responses you have received, both in number and content, will have given you your answer - PLEASE Father carry-on!

Damien said...

I imagine the responses you have received, both in number and content, will have given you answer. PLEASE Father carry-on!

B flat said...

Blessed are you when men revile and persecute you, and say all manner of evil FALSELY for my sake; rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven.
Father, I will not ask you to continue. You know yourself, whether you troubled to write your blog to please your vanity or as ministry, preaching the Gospel. The latter is a duty on all. How can you even consider ceasing from doing your duty?
You have to fight for the Truth, the Way and the Life, even to your own death. That is true witness, "martyria". Not all are called. Take inspiration from John Henry Newman, when calumniated so cruelly by a much abler opponent than yours, Charles Kingsley. In reply he wrote the Apologia Pro Vita Sua. Prepare your reply, and lay a complaint to the Press Council, otherwise the media will intimidate other priests into silence. Already laws on "hate speech" are used to muzzle defenders of age-old moral teaching. If you buckle under open and obvious lies, then where will they stop? If you will not defend the truth in your case, then who can? Don't despair. Don't give up. Do God's work; that is your life.

The Social Pathologist said...

I wouldn't be trying to "image manage" the Church if I were you. The saints of the Church never aimed to be in society's good books, their aim was to please God.

It can be pretty harrowing when the Cathedral comes down to bear upon you but it's you duty to put up the good fight, especially as you have been chosen to be a shepherd of some of God's people. By abandoning them in the fight you're leaving them in the lurch.

The internet and the pulpit are the the few forums left where truth can be spoken.

Get busy.

ElizabethK said...

I believe you must fight them Father, and not fall silent. I really do. If it helps, consider that they will attack you and the Church regardless of what you do. You aren't provoking this, and so you also can't stop it. You have done nothing wrong. I will be praying for you.

Lois said...

Maybe you should have called before you wrote the article....

Joe Sales said...

Fr Ray, I am praying for you. Please don't give up. May the Holy Spirit guide you. May Our Lady continue to love and protect you.

You are strong.

Joe Sales said...

Fr Ray Blake, please dont give up. I will continue to pray for you. May Our Lord Jesus Christ and our Blessed Mother continue to guide you and protect you. We are in tough times but we need to pray. Never lose focus on the truth.

Restore-DC-Catholicism said...

Father Blake, I am a fellow blogger from "across the pond". If you keep silent, I believe you will hand Satan his victory. Sometimes we do need a rest, but only to come back. Please reconsider.

J said...

Fr. Blake:
That is what they want. To silence you, so the Truth is not announced. We are all in need of Priests like you, even the journalists.
From S. America,

J

Part-time Pilgrim said...

I too hope you will keep blogging. I don't always agree with what you write but it is always worth reading. I am sure that the last few days have been painful but my judgment is that the wider publicity given to the work you parish does and your own deportment during this time is good for the Church; it's certainly an inspiration to me.

Obviously it is your decision about what to do next. I am sure that decision will be taken following lots of prayer and will a wise one.

Please be assured of my prayers at this time.

A Country Priest said...

As a priest and a blogger, I am not embarrassed by you Fr Blake. On the contrary, you are an example to me, and you motivate me to continue blogging myself, and encourage others who love the Lord and think with the Church to get out there and "drown evil in an abundance of good."

Gratias said...

Father Blake, this article is like Chinese food, it will promptly go though the system and be forgotten. But you will have more readers wishing for your New Evangelization on this year of Faith.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Elizabeth K has mentioned that the comments to the Daily Mail article have been closed. More surprisingly the Catholic Herald has closed the comments to the excellent piece by Mary O'Regan after a mere 37 comments.

On that blog a lady of liberal persuasion had seen fit to attack Father Blake. I wondered why what he had done should provoke an attack from someone who was liberal and also a supporter of ACTA. It seemed to me that it had nothing to do with the trad v lib controversy.

However Benedict Carter said it had everything to do with that controversy.

I am reminded of what Georges Bernanos wrote in his Letter to the English (I think it was there). Writing in the 1940s he said that many people believed they had fulfilled their duty to the poor in paying their taxes and thus supporting a welfare state. Others believe that donating to Charity is sufficient but he said you really need to meet the poor and get your hands dirty with direct action in order to fulfil our Christian duty.

Martina Katholik said...

But, when necessity compels, not those only who are invested with power of rule are bound to safeguard the integrity of faith, but, as St. Thomas maintains: "Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers."(12)
To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good.
Moreover, want of vigor on the part of Christians is so much the more blameworthy, as not seldom little would be needed on their part to bring to naught false charges and refute erroneous opinions, and by always exerting themselves more strenuously they might reckon upon being successful.
After all, no one can be prevented from putting forth that strength of soul which is the characteristic of true Christians, and very frequently by such display of courage our enemies lose heart and their designs are thwarted. Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph: "Have confidence; I have overcome the world."(13)
Nor is there any ground for alleging that Jesus Christ, the Guardian and Champion of the Church, needs not in any manner the help of men. Power certainly is not wanting to Him, but in His loving kindness He would assign to us a share in obtaining and applying the fruits of salvation procured through His grace.

15. The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power. For, as is often said, with the greatest truth, there is nothing so hurtful to Christian wisdom as that it should not be known, since it possesses, when loyally received, inherent power to drive away error. So soon as Catholic truth is apprehended by a simple and unprejudiced soul, reason yields assent.
Now, faith, as a virtue, is a great boon of divine grace and goodness; nevertheless, the objects themselves to which faith is to be applied are scarcely known in any other way than through the hearing. "How shall they believe Him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? Faith then cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."(14)
Since, then, faith is necessary for salvation, it follows that the word of Christ must tie preached. The office, indeed, of preaching, that is, of teaching, lies by divine right in the province of the pastors, namely, of the bishops whom "the Holy Spirit has placed to rule the Church of God."(15) It belongs, above all, to the Roman Pontiff, vicar of Jesus Christ, established as head of the universal Church, teacher of all that pertains to morals and faith.

16. No one, however, must entertain the notion that private individuals are prevented from taking some active part in this duty of teaching, especially those on whom God has bestowed gifts of mind with the strong wish of rendering themselves useful.

12. Summa theologiae, IIa-IIae, qu. iii, art. 2, ad 2m.
13. John 16:33.
14. Rom. 10:14, 17.
15. Acts 20:28.

SAPIENTIAE CHRISTIANAE
ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/leo_xiii/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_10011890_sapientiae-christianae_en.html

Nicolas Bellord said...

Father: I trust after reading to-day's Gospel you will be dancing with joy. Can we have a photo?

vitae2day said...

Dear Father Blake,
I have just discovered your blog amidst the controversy. I do hope that you will continue blogging.
In a Q&A, Pope Benedict XVI said "We have to tolerate some speaking in a “cruel” way, they speak in a “cruel” way about the Pope, too, and, yet we go forward."
Do take a break but please return soon for the sake of your new readers.
God bless,
Gie (from the Philippines)

polycarped said...

Nicholas B, interesting that you note the unusual early closure of comments on the CH blog article by Mary O'Regan. I also found this intriguing too and wrote to the CH asking if they could explain why. No response yet.

Gretchen said...

Father,

If you decide to stop blogging, I will respect that. However, the time may come when Catholic voices are truly silenced in the public sphere. That has not yet happened, so I pray you will continue to edify and inspire the faithful who are so often without such pastoral care.

Now, as a former small-town journalist, I will tell you to have nothing to do with that Gardner fellow unless you meet him face-to-face and record the meeting. Journalists these days are never, ever to be trusted. This one seems particularly without a shred of conscience or integrity. To be publicly contacting you on your blog is unprofessional. If he had any true regret, a private letter of apology and a public announcement of retraction would be the correct thing to do. As it is, he will most likely come up with something to the effect that you have rejected him (oh the horror!) and will not forgive him, and does this not prove how horrid you are, or some such nonsense. Like most journalists nowadays, he is an embarrassment.

Delia said...

Just a thought, but how about 'image blogging' for a while? You are really good at choosing apt images for your posts, so maybe you could have some fun juxtaposing two or three to make a point, under a punchy title?

FR. HECTOR R.G. PEREZ, S.T.D. said...

Persevere, Fr. Blake! Your blog is most enlightening. Don't let them get to you!

Oremus pro invicem

Fr. Héctor R.G. Pérez, STD
ST. Stephen, Pensacola, FL USA
latinmasspensacola.com

Physiocrat said...

Fr Ray, five days since you last posted anything. Need a fix.

Johannes de Silentio said...

Good Father, keep fighting! Fighting wisely implies self-assessment and for appraisals such as these from time to time. The scars left from wounds of calumny should be worn as badges of honor when suffered for the sake of our Lord and His Church.

Rabies Theologorum said...

Corragio as Freud used to say.... I am a lapsed Catholic who still says his prayers... I like reading your blog... am sure you are a fine priest..
stuart

Salvage Project said...

Fr. Ray ... I will pray for you ... and I shall pray that you may receive true blessings for the work you do.

God Bless

Salvage Project said...

Fr. Ray: My prayers are with you. May you have courage, and may God shower His blessings upon you.