Letter From Liverpool: priest-dissenter to preach at pilgrimage in honour of priest-martyr… Gerragrip!

Letter From Liverpool: priest-dissenter to preach at pilgrimage in honour of priest-martyr… Gerragrip!

Letter From Liverpool: priest-dissenter to preach at pilgrimage to honour priest-martyr

The following letter arrived in the Catholic Truth post today, enclosing the parish newsletter for SS Edmund & Thomas of Canterbury, 62 Oxford Road, Waterloo, Liverpool. The newsletter carried the following advertisement:

“Holy Hand Pilgrimage”: The annual pilgrimage to venerate the holy hand of St Edmund Arrowsmith will take place on Sunday 25 August at St Oswald and St Edmund’s Church, Ashton-in-Makerfield. Mass will be celebrated at 4pm followed by veneration of the holy hand. The preacher at mass (sic) will be Fr Kevin Kelly.  (Click on image of “The Archdiocese of Liverpool” to read about Fr Kelly).

Our correspondent wrote for publication in our October newsletter, but I think this letter requires earlier publication, for reasons that will become obvious…

Dear Editor,

In the enclosed newsletter you will see a pilgrimage being advertised to venerate the holy hand of St Edmund Arrowsmith. Fr Kevin Kelly is going to preach.

In ‘The Challenge of Aids – New Predictions in Moral Theology”, Fr Kelly advocates that two men should be able to marry. In his writings he has stated that he was shocked when Humanae Vitae did not allow artificial contraception. Why he should be shocked is a surprise for the Catholic Church has always prohibited it.

St Edmund Arrowsmith ended up suffering the most terrible martyrdom for defending God’s laws on marriage. He told two Protestants who were cousins that they should not be married. He ended up in trouble as the mother of the so called “couple” reported him. (Ed: I have never heard this story before, so if anyone can provide a source, that would be much appreciated.)

It is terrible to have a priest like Fr Kevin Kelly, who is obviously trying to create a false god in the image and likeness of his own ideas, preaching at the pilgrimage in honour of St Edmund Arrowsmith, who was a staunch Catholic priest who paid the most dreadful price for (his adherence to) authentic Catholic teaching.

The mission of the Catholic Church is to hand on the teaching of the Catholic Church, not to invent one’s own theology. There are 44,000 different Protestant denominations already doing this.

St Edmund Arrowsmith lamented on the scaffold as to what was to become of England. He will surely be horrified if Fr Kevin Kelly comes to preach his gravely sinful ideas at a pilgrimage in his honour.

Fr Kevin Kelly would do well to recall the words of Blessed Jacinta of Fatima, who had seen Hell. She said: “more souls go to Hell through sins of the flesh than for any other sin.”

You will note that there is no mention on the newsletter of the parish being a Catholic Church (Ed: yes, noted.)

Kind regards.
Name Withheld On Request – a concerned member of the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

Ed: let’s hope many Catholics from the Liverpool area read this letter and contact the parish priest – Fr John Cullen – to seek withdrawal of the invitation to Fr Kevin Kelly, without delay.

Comments (113)

  • Arkenaten

    Comment removed – off topic. Please check out the rules of this blog here

    August 17, 2013 at 4:58 pm
    • Athanasius

      Reply to Arkenaten removed – off topic.

      August 17, 2013 at 5:13 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Comment removed. Off topic. Check out the rules of this blog here

        August 17, 2013 at 5:23 pm
      • Athanasius

        Reply to Arkenaten removed.

        Ed: Would everyone please ignore off topic posts from Arkenaten. I will remove them, and any replies, when I see them. The topic is about the scandal of inviting a known dissenter like Fr Kevin Kelly to preach at a pilgrimage in honour of one of England’s great martyr-priests. Related topics might be seminary training/ the kind of ignorance which would allow Fr Cullen to invite Fr Kelly to such an event, episcopal negligence, possibly refer to other groups who have given Fr Kelly a platform (worth checking out any links he may have to the Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland) – and note that his books were, (probably still are), used in the training of Catholic teachers; these and such like matters may be related topics -NOT “an atheist’s view of the Christian world”. For those in doubt about our attitude to atheists such as Arkenaten, check out our blogging conventions here

        She and her atheist friends are welcome here only as long as they respect our rules.

        Thank you.

        August 17, 2013 at 5:30 pm
  • Athanasius


    Let’s hope the Catholics of Liverpool do read the letter and make themselves heard before the parish priest. I’m not holding my breath, though!

    August 17, 2013 at 5:14 pm
    • Arkenaten

      Comment removed

      August 18, 2013 at 9:38 am
    • Josephine


      I agree. I’m thinking of phoning a friend who lives in Liverpool, to tip him off but I don’t think he’s online. It would be good if a few would phone the priest or write to him to ask for the preacher to be cancelled. As you say, though, don’t hold our breath!

      August 18, 2013 at 5:43 pm
  • editor


    I sincerely hope a lot of Liverpool Catholics see the letter/this thread. There is no email address for the priest on the newsletter or I’d email him the link to this thread.

    18 August – Charles has uncovered an email address, see below.

    August 17, 2013 at 5:57 pm
    • Arkenaten

      You.re just a meanie….
      I see your Glaswegian Kiss and up the ante with a Liverpool Kiss.
      Last time I teach you smileys.

      August 17, 2013 at 6:36 pm
      • editor

        Ha ha! Behave yourself, Arkenaten. Try as I might not to, I can’t help liking you.

        Now, even an atheist must see that it’s not fair for a Catholic priest to present himself as a priest and then preach a different message? Especially at an event to honour a priest who gave his life for the very beliefs Fr Kelly disowns?

        Think of yourself as a lawyer in court arguing the case against Fr Kelly.

        Let’s hear it, Arky. Let’s hear it! (I’ve not had time to practise the smileys or I’d put one right here for you!)

        August 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Oh…I was just winding up Athanasius.
        He/She /it is so touchy.

        August 17, 2013 at 7:04 pm
      • Athanasius


        “He” is just fine, although “it” has occasionally been employed. She is a definite no no. I have neither the high heels nor the inclination!

        August 17, 2013 at 8:39 pm
      • Arkenaten

        ”She is a definite no no”.
        Is this on topic? Anyway, it is sometimes difficult to tell with Catholic Clergy and even choir boys, what with those long dresses they wear. And I take it the Avatar is not you?
        Mind you I have seen a few nuns in my time that had as much hair as that, so how would one know, right?

        August 17, 2013 at 8:46 pm
      • Athanasius


        My avatar is an image of the true God. Yours is an image of a false god. They are opposing avatars that say more than words ever could.

        August 17, 2013 at 10:26 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Comment removed

        August 17, 2013 at 11:23 pm
      • Athanasius

        Comment removed

        August 18, 2013 at 12:04 am
      • Arkenaten

        Comment removed

        August 18, 2013 at 12:07 am
      • Arkenaten

        Comment removed

        August 18, 2013 at 12:12 am
      • Athanasius


        “I thought snide comments weren’t allowed on this blog any more? Have you been given special dispensation by Editor or is this just your normal charming asinine self?”

        To quote you from an earlier post: “Oh…I was just winding up.”

        August 18, 2013 at 12:18 am
      • editor

        “I have neither the high heels nor the inclination”

        Maybe not but your matching necklace and ear-rings are a treat to behold!

        Now, enough already! Arkenaten the answer to your question is “NO” – this is NOT on topic. And your remarks are getting to be very close to that line which will take you back into moderation. Do we, or do we not, wish to avoid that fate at all costs?

        August 17, 2013 at 11:02 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Oh..Please, this is not a topic to get one’s teeth into.
        Isn’t there a real juicy topic you want to post? You KNOW all your pals are just chomping at the bit to chew my questions. 😉

        August 17, 2013 at 7:07 pm
      • editor


        I promise you that, in due course, we will post something that allows your atheist propaganda an airing. That time has not yet come, though, so please do not provoke moi to anger. It is not a pretty sight, believe me. Read the letter from the reader in Liverpool and see if you can think of a sensible contribution to make to this discussion. If not, lie low for a bit, or better still, Keep Calm & Dig out your Copy of Charles Darwin …

        August 17, 2013 at 11:08 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Comment removed

        August 17, 2013 at 11:27 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    I’ve heard of Fr Kevin Kelly before – he really is off the wall.

    It’s now that I’m wishing I’d kept in touch with various people I’ve met from Liverpool.

    If ever there was proof needed that the seminaries are ruining vocations, it’s the likes of Fr Cullen inviting a heretic like Kevin Kelly to speak about anything at all, let alone preach on St Edmund Arrowsmith.

    He’s very likely to use the opportunity to spread his homosexual propaganda, probably saying that if St Edmund Arrowsmith was here today he’d take a different view! Nothing would surprise me.

    August 17, 2013 at 7:56 pm
  • Margaret Mary

    I also meant to post this link from the ACP in Ireland – Kelly is published there

    August 17, 2013 at 8:08 pm
    • editor

      Thanks for that link – will take a look later.

      August 17, 2013 at 11:10 pm
  • violetwisp

    Comment removed

    August 17, 2013 at 8:19 pm
    • Athanasius

      Comment removed

      August 17, 2013 at 8:37 pm
      • violetwisp

        I’m sorry you feel that way. They are genuine questions. I don’t understand the level of certainty regarding perceived truth, given the margin for error. Was anything inaccurate?

        August 17, 2013 at 8:45 pm
    • editor


      I recommend you read our About Us page – newly updated for the specific purpose of enabling visitors who are not Catholics or even not believers at all, to do some preliminary background reading about the Church/existence of God before commenting on our site. Excuse my apparent tardiness in not placing another link to that page here but there are already more links to it on this thread alone than there are rebels on the streets of Cairo.

      Base line: only the Catholic Church can trace its history back to the time of Christ, so the only “spin-offs” of the teachings of Christ are the multitude of man-made “churches” created in protest against the Church of Christ (hence they are known as “Protestants”.)

      I can see that you have, at least, linked your comment about the Church to the scandal of Fr Kelly – albeit tenuously. Be on notice, however, Violetwisp that we are not gong to be steered off course into defending the Church against atheists. We’re busy, on this thread, defending the Church against dissenters who double as heretics-into-schismatics. If that does not interest you, arrange to meet Arkenaten for a prolonged coffee break and you can both check back from time to time to see if I’ve posted an atheist-propaganda-friendly topic.

      Luv ‘n stuff!

      August 17, 2013 at 11:20 pm
  • Athanasius


    Perhaps if you take care to phrase your questions in a more respectful way you will find others only too willing to engage. Now, you ask if anything you said was inaccurate. The answer is yes, all your statements were inaccurate. I will now address them individually, but please bear in mind that Supernatural Faith is a gift from God that transcends human understanding in many respects, so you will not necessarily be willing or able to accept what I write. Here goes, then.

    “Where in the Christian holy book is gay marriage mentioned?”

    Exactly! The Sacred Scriptures do not mention homosexual marriage because it was an inconceivable concept to the human mind. In fact, even the pagan cultures, depraved as they were, never got around to inflicting such a fallacy on the human race.

    That God condemns homosexual practice is well documented in Sacred Scripture, as well as in the moral teaching of the Catholic Church He founded upon Peter and the Apostles. Just one quote from Scripture should suffice, but there are other examples.

    From St. Paul (1 Romans): ‘For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.

    And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers, Detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy. Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.’

    “Where is contraception mentioned?”

    It is condemned in Genesis. 38:8–10. Scripturally termed Onanism, now contraception in all its manifestations, was declared immoral and against the natural law established by God, who said to Adam and Eve “Go forth and multiply.” You may benefit from a read of Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae, available here: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/paul_vi/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-vi_enc_25071968_humanae-vitae_en.html

    Here’s a further quote from Catholic.Com that may be helpful: “Contraception was so far outside the biblical mindset and so obviously wrong that it did not need the frequent condemnations other sins did. Scripture condemns the practice when it mentions it. Once a moral principle has been established in the Bible, every possible application of it need not be mentioned. For example, the general principle that theft is wrong was clearly established in Scripture; but there’s no need to provide an exhaustive list of every kind of theft. Similarly, since the principle that contraception is wrong has been established by being condemned when it’s mentioned in the Bible, every particular form of contraception does not need to be dealt with in Scripture in order for us to see that it is condemned.

    “In the absence of any direct evidence about your god’s opinion, and no mention in the holy book of any human being able to get everything right, how can you be sure that your particular spin-off of the teachings of Jesus (that includes graven images, an amassing of extraordinarily valuable material possessions and seriously judgemental attitudes towards fellow human beings) is not that of a false god based on the ideas of men led astray?”

    First, there is no “your god” as opposed to “my god.” There is only one God and His “opinion” is not opinion, but law. That law, as I have amply demonstrated, is, contrary to your opinion, perfectly knowable from Sacred Scripture, as well as from the principles He established in nature and the moral teaching of His Catholic Church.

    Next, let’s deal with your misconception that Catholic teaching is only “our particular spin-off of the teachings of Jesus.”

    You will find on proper objective investigation that the Catholic Church has taught the same things from the time of St. Peter and the Apostles, there has been no alteration throughout 2000 years. All the great saints have belonged to this Church alone and to no other. There are also countless miracles within Catholicism that prove the divine authority of this one religion. You will not find such evidence anywhere else, nor a religion that can trace its foundation and apostolic succession back to Jesus and His disciples.

    As to the charge that the Catholic Church worships graven images. Well, I’m afraid you have completely the wrong idea about what constitutes a graven image.

    A graven image is an image that does not, and is not designed to, reflect the true God. Typical examples of graven images are the beasts of all descriptions that the pagans once created and worshiped.

    What we Catholics have are images that reflect to the best of human ability the God we love, the true God, as well as images of the Blessed Virgin and the saints who were pleasing to God and who are now powerful intercessors with Him God in heaven. Since human beings are both spirit and flesh, it stands to reason that God clothes spiritual things in human manifestations so that we can better grasp supernatural truths. We, in return, magnify God and His saints by creating images of them that help us to unite more closely with them in prayer.

    Let me ask you this: Do you have photographs of your loved ones? I’ll take it the answer is yes. Well, that’s why Catholics have images of God, His Blessed Mother and the saints.

    Now to the charge that the Church has amassed “extraordinarily valuable material possessions.”

    Many of those possessions you speak of are priceless artifacts of great supernatural value. Not everything in this world has to come down to filthy lucre, there are higher values. But for your information, the Church is the largest and longest running charitable organisation in the world. It was feeding and clothing the poor of the planet long before such activity became fashionable. You should also know that there would be no hospitals or universities today had it not been for the dedication of the Church and the sacrifices of countless men and women in religious life. The Church is in this world, but not of it. Therefore, the Church must keep and distribute wealth in keeping with her mission to educate and save souls.

    You can find the stories of any number of wealthy men and women who gave up everything to serve God in poverty as priests and religious. Why not read the lives of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Dominic de Guzman to give you a flavour of how unimportant, though necessary, money is to the Church.

    As for Catholics having a judgmental attitude towards everyone else, please be assured that we also have the same attitude in regard to ourselves. What you call judgmental, though, we call comparison of life to the Commandments of God. We never ever judge or condemn individuals, only actions. I do understand, however, why those who reject God might feel uncomfortable when their actions are judged and/or condemned in the light of God’s law.

    August 17, 2013 at 10:09 pm
    • Margaret Mary

      That is a very clear reply to Violetwisp. If she is a sincere person, she will most definitely ponder the truth of your post, Athanasius. Thank you for it.

      For Violetwisp to say “It is terrible to have a priest like Fr Kevin Kelly, who is obviously trying to create a false god in the image and likeness of his own ideas” How can you come to this conclusion? shows a lack of objectivity. Any member of any club who signs up to that club’s rules and regulations and then gives talks which attack those regs, would soon have his membership withdrawn. It’s an obvious conclusion that it is a terrible thing for a Catholic priest like Fr Kelly to turn against his own Church and write and speak against it. Surely even someone who is not a Catholic can see that, if they are fair-minded?

      August 17, 2013 at 10:20 pm
      • Prionsais

        Yes, Margaret Mary, IF THEY ARE FAIR MINDED but it is a big IF in Violet’s sad case, the poor soul.

        August 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm
    • Arkenaten

      Comment removed.

      August 17, 2013 at 11:52 pm
    • editor

      Superb response, Athanasius.

      You have shown such patience with these dear, sweet atheists, that I’m almost tempted to become one myself!

      On topic: your final sentence to Violetwisp also applies to dissenters like Fr Kevin Kelly and Fr Cullen, the priest who invited him to speak at the forthcoming pilgrimage.

      They, too, appear to be uncomfortable when challenged about the dissent they promote. I notice it any time I attend a meeting addressed by a dissenter. The dissenter and organisers will brook no correction. They get irrationally annoyed/angry when the truth is pointed out to them. Indeed, I’ve witnessed, more than once, a dissenter becoming physically abusive; pushing/shoving, that sort of shocking reaction to being confronted by the truth.

      As a student teacher I was subjected to the writings of Fr Kevin Kelly, so reading the above letter when it arrived in today’s post, was like having a bucket of cold water thrown over me. I was incredulous that any priest would invite that man to address a pilgrimage. That it is a pilgrimage to venerate one of England’s holiest priests, martyred for the Faith, added insult to injury.

      I’ve never before wished I belonged to a parish such as that run (down) by Fr Cullen but I’m wishing now – for unless there IS a parishioner or few to challenge him, I fear that this event will take place and those attending that pilgrimage will be listening to error and heresy, and instead of having their Faith built up, it will be attacked and undermined, with very little, if any, opposition. I know that we used to have a number of Liverpool readers who visited our website and blog but I haven’t heard from them for a while. I hope they are still visiting – I have no doubt they’d act to make their concerns known about this scandal.

      Ironically, in the same newsletter there is a piece typed in a box which reads:

      “Scripture Focus: How hard is it to be patient? We like so much to see immediate results. Our Gospel today reminds us to wait patiently for the Lord’s coming and to be faithful as we wait. Question Time: What helps to keep you ‘vigilant?’ Hoe do you pay attention to the Lord?”

      If Fr Cullen happens by to read this thread I hope he notes the following, with regard to that “Scripture Focus” :

      1) It is getting harder by the minute to be patient when priests like him invite faithless and notoriously dissenting priests to poison the faith of his parishioners
      2) There is nothing “faithful” about what he is doing in issuing this invitation. “When the Lord comes”, he, Fr Cullen, will have to answer for this blatant attack on the Church, the Bride of Christ, and her members.

      St Edmund Arrowsmith – pray for us!

      August 17, 2013 at 11:33 pm
      • Athanasius


        Thank you for your kind comments, but please don’t put my fragile patience to the test by becoming an atheist. There are limits, you know!

        August 17, 2013 at 11:50 pm
    • Prionsais


      Well done (reply to Violetwisp)

      August 18, 2013 at 1:22 pm
  • Athanasius

    Margaret Mary,

    You’re right! Hypocrisy should be understood and detested even by atheists.

    August 17, 2013 at 10:29 pm
    • Arkenaten

      Comment removed

      August 17, 2013 at 11:53 pm
  • Eileenanne

    Some time ago we had a robust discussion on this blog about the whole matter of some saints not getting a decent burial, or being dis-interred after being buried. I don’t know what happened to the rest of St Edmund’s remains, but it is high time his hand was reunited with them, or given a proper burial elsewhere if that is not possible.

    It seems that “a Catholic” cut off the hand after the saint ahd been hanged drawn and quartered. Hadn’t his body already suffered enough abuse and disrespect? The Church should express disapproval of this grisly and unCatholic practice forthwith instead of showing it approval by organising pilgrimages .

    August 17, 2013 at 11:32 pm
    • Athanasius

      “unCatholic practice,” Eileenanne? Are you serious? The practice of venerating the bodily remains of the saints, whether in part or as a whole, is as ancient and Catholic as the Church herself. It goes all the way back to the early martyrs. What you consider to be a grisly practice, then, (the worldly view), is in fact a practice of great love and veneration for the saints that has always been promoted by the Church and has resulted in countless miracles. Never heard of people being cured of incurable illnesses when touched by a holy relic? The veneration of the saints remains is anything but disrespectful. On the contrary, it is the greatest respect the Church can pay them.

      August 17, 2013 at 11:48 pm
      • Eileenanne

        If I am ever martyred – unlikeky – I hope you are not around to start chopping off bits of my body for “great love and veneration”. Such a practice is completely contrary to the respect we Catholics are taught to give to the bodies of all deceased persons.,

        August 18, 2013 at 10:10 am
      • Athanasius

        Rubbish! You need to discover the Catholic spirit in regard to venerating the remains of the saints. I have already said that it is an ancient practice that goes right back to the time of the early martyrs. But maybe you think you’re on to something that the Fathers, Doctors, Popes and saints of the Church have missed these past 2000 years. I don’t really think so, Eileenanne, do you?

        You see, this is typical of today’s Catholic mindset; everything is viewed from a purely natural standpoint.

        As for that respect “we Catholics are taught to give to the bodies of all deceased persons.” Is that what cremation amounts to? It seems this is the latest fad in the modernist/liberal parishes, previously condemned by the Church under pain of excommunication. So much, then, for respecting the bodies of the deceased.

        August 18, 2013 at 1:56 pm
      • Eileenanne

        You are quite correct that the Church USED to forbid cremation. Nowadays Catholics MAY choose cremation so long as it is not done for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching.

        You may not like that change, but it is in the current code of Canon Law, so no point in discussing it further, except to point out that the Church requires the ashes of a cremated person to be treated with utmost respect, and to be interred in a suitable grave. They may not be scattered or kept or shared around the family so that everyone can keep a little bit of Grandma on the mantlepiece. I am sure you will accept that the Church is right on that one.

        It astounds me that you see no contradiction between the Church’s insistence that dead bodies, as Temples of the Holy Spirit, are respectfully handled and the remains timeously and suitable buried and the retaining of bits of the bodies of Saints for display – even world tours as someone’s bones were subjected to recently.

        As a matter of interest, how would you have justified the retention of body parts BEFORE the Church allowed cremation, since you seem to be arguing that “two wrongs DO make a right” above?

        August 18, 2013 at 3:10 pm
  • Arkenaten

    Comment removed

    Editor writes:


    I actually have a post in the drafts folder, on the topic of atheism. I seriously doubt whether I will now post it. You are showing no respect for the rules and conventions of this Catholic blog, so I really don’t see why I should indulge your wish to have a “juicy” discussion on the subject of atheism. Not least since one of our excommunicated bloggers (he’s struggling to log in to the new blog) said to me only this morning (in jest) that “atheists are (by definition) in bad faith” so what’s the point?

    I’m increasingly of the opinion that you not here to discuss but merely to raise daft side-issues. You appear not to understand the old maxim “there’s a time and a place” – we are using this thread to discuss a particular issue and the wealth or otherwise of the Church is not related to the issue of Fr Kevin Kelly. Now, I’m going to keep deleting your off topic posts and I am NOT going to post the thread I’ve prepared to go up to please you, as long as you persist in disrupting our discussion. And, if and when I do post the atheist thread, I will close it down in a heartbeat if you use it to post ridiculous claims about the Catholic Church and/or to insult any of the bloggers. No more Mrs Nice Gal.

    August 18, 2013 at 9:31 am
    • Arkenaten

      The topic of hypocrisy was raised regarding the priest. I answered Athanasius and his claim concerning the wealth of the church.
      You actually are more concerned with propagating a single very narrowly focused point of view rather than exploring any particular topic and its wider implications.

      I thought this attitude was the sole preserve of extreme religious fundamentalists.
      Most Catholics on other sites are quite open to discussion.

      August 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm
      • editor

        When you can find a scientist willing to discuss whether the earth revolves around the sun or vice versa, report back.

        Until then, we are discussing one (and clearly related) issues per topic.

        We are not here to provide answers to wide-ranging questions from atheists on every thread.

        I’m now working my way down this thread and will answer every off topic post like yours – but trust me, I’ll then go off and delete the post on atheism which I’d prepared to post later tonight. It’s not going to be posted now.

        And I’m afraid I’m going to have to do what I’ve NEVER done before, Arkenaten, blacklist visitors like yourself who are disrupting the blog. All you’ve succeeded In doing is proving certain of our bloggers right and me wrong. Satisfied?

        August 18, 2013 at 4:34 pm
    • spiritustempore


      Constructive debate is only ever possible where good faith exists and all parties are prepared to consider the pros and cons to an argument and, perhaps, come to a different conclusion to the ones they started out with.

      Otherwise, ‘discussion’ becomes polemic: either preaching to the choir or shouting slogans across an unbridgeable void.

      No-one here is likely to be persuaded to accept atheism as a realistic philosophy, just as Arkenaten has shown from his (yes, his) continuing inability to respect the rules of the forum that he is simply looking for a platform to promote atheism and to provoke the backward religious nuts.

      IMHO it’s naive and unrealistic to expect any positive result from providing that platform.

      August 18, 2013 at 4:04 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Comment removed

        August 18, 2013 at 4:18 pm
      • spiritustempore

        Comment removed

        August 18, 2013 at 4:29 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Comment removed

        August 18, 2013 at 4:35 pm
      • spiritustempore

        Comment removed

        August 18, 2013 at 4:43 pm
      • editor

        Spiritusempore, replying to your post timed at 4.04pm

        It’s quite clear that one word from me and everyone does exactly what they like. I’m disappointed that the regular “choir” members didn’t respect my request to ignore the atheist interventions. Instead, this thread has been spoilt. Fr Cullen must be enjoying the fun. He’s well and truly off the hook.

        Please do not – anyone – be concerned that I am “naïve” – I am no such thing. Nor am I “unrealistic” (nor I imagine was Cardinal John Henry Newman – see quote at end of the About Us page – a page which I might as well have left unwritten.)

        You wrote:

        “Constructive debate is only ever possible where good faith exists and all parties are prepared to consider the pros and cons to an argument and, perhaps, come to a different conclusion to the ones they started out with.”

        Since no Catholic on this blog is going to come to a different conclusion about the existence of God or the nature and history of the Church, I can only presume that you meant that statement to apply to the atheists.

        And given the quote from Fulton Sheen, again on the apparently unread About Us page, where Christ acknowledges that “the masses” will not be converted… then I think that we must have a quite different rationale here.

        And that different rationale is precisely why I have asked Arkenaten NOT to interrupt threads on Catholic topics. It’s why I prepared a thread specifically to deal with her atheist’s questions (she claims to be a mother of two – why do you think she is a he?)

        I have given umpteen warnings to Arkenaten all of which have been ignored.

        Therefore, I will – when I decide the time is right, as intimated above – blacklist her from this forum. I am reluctant to do that simply because we have never had to do that before, and I know that (s)he will swan off claiming censorship from here to eternity – oops! (s)he doesn’t believe in eternity. Ach well, you know what I mean.

        And – again, as stated on the About Us statement – I will make that decision when, in my view, it is necessary. So, there’s no need for anyone to be concerned that I am being naïve or anything else. I am TRYING to be patient, and not having a naturally patient disposition, I’m not having much success. Correction: I’m not having ANY success.

        I’ll now work through the rest of these posts but in the meantime, could I repeat my request to the regular bloggers to NOT engage with Arkenaten or any other atheist. Please state your views about Fr Kevin Kelly etc. and ignore all else. To do otherwise, is to be part of the problem, not part of the solution.

        One thought is coming through to me loud and clear, having just listened to a taped discussion about some daft American research which claims that atheists are more intelligent than religious people, and it is this: You gotta be kidding me! I jes can’t see it! No way!

        I mean, like, they’re promised a thread on atheism on condition that they do not disrupt this thread, please and thank you; I’ll be posting the thread on atheism which is in my Drafts Folder, very soon (complete with opinion poll, note – a first for the blog) and they continue to disrupt? Very intelligent indeed. Yeah right.

        August 18, 2013 at 4:53 pm
      • spiritustempore

        Comment removed

        August 18, 2013 at 5:14 pm
  • Arkenaten

    Comment removed

    August 18, 2013 at 9:39 am
  • Charles

    I quite enjoy this blog. Very controversial at times. As a Garngad lad living in London for 25 years I enjoy controversy. Those were the days when we had 7 priests regular house visits under Canon Boyle.

    However, Arkenaten (Ed: seems to be a) troll who contributes nothing to the topic. Be constructive in your comments or (Ed: with respect…) blog off somewhere else.

    August 18, 2013 at 1:46 pm
    • Prionsais

      Comment removed

      August 18, 2013 at 1:58 pm
      • Athanasius

        Comment removed

        August 18, 2013 at 2:25 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Comment removed

        August 18, 2013 at 3:38 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Comment removed

        August 18, 2013 at 3:37 pm
      • Prionsais

        Comment removed

        August 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Comment removed

        August 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm
      • Prionsais

        Comment removed

        August 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm
      • Magdalene

        Comment removed

        August 18, 2013 at 4:11 pm
      • Arkenaten

        Comment removed

        August 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm
    • Athanasius


      Welcome and well done!

      I was taken by your reminder that the Church used to have so many priests to a parish. It’s hard for younger Catholics to grasp today how holy and loved the Church was before Vatican II. So much has been lost in just 50 years, it’s heart rending.

      August 18, 2013 at 2:10 pm
    • spiritustempore

      Comment removed

      August 18, 2013 at 4:09 pm
  • Prionsais

    Comment removed

    Ed: I repeat my request to bloggers NOT to reply to off topic posts from Arkenaten or any other visiting atheist. All such replies will be deleted, whether in whole or in part. Like I say, no more Mrs Nice Gal…

    August 18, 2013 at 1:49 pm
  • michelangelo1979

    There appears to be an issue with reply posts when viewing these on a mobile device (iPhone in this case). The replies can be displayed with each line only containing one letter, making it impossible to read these!

    August 18, 2013 at 2:58 pm
    • editor


      I answered this concern (from Crossraguel) on the General Discussion thread the other day. I have changed the settings to allow the maximum ten replies (instead of the recommended three) because bloggers were complaining that the reply button was not available after, well, three replies!

      3LittleShepherds then posted the following useful information in two comments:


      Can you download the WordPress App to your phone? It’s a really cool free app. Then you can follow Catholic Truth, the reader is excellent! On my phone it takes a little while to load the threads but it’s really easy to read. No more single column of letters. Plus you’re suppose to be able to comment in the reader.

      And later.. (August 14, 2013 at 8:56 pm)

      I tried posting in the reader and it worked well. I could actually edit my post which I’ve never been able to do before on my phone. I’ve always just closed my eyes and pushed post because I couldn’t scroll back in the comment box. Also with this app all of the long thread’s comments are on one page. You can post anywhere by tapping on someone’s comment. END.

      Hope this helps, Michaelangelo…

      If not, and if anyone else is experiencing this difficulty, let me know and I’ll restore the “recommended three” replies.

      August 18, 2013 at 10:30 pm
  • violetwisp

    Comment removed

    August 18, 2013 at 3:28 pm
  • Prionsais

    Ed, It’s a pity you didn’t put the brakes on Arken sooner rather than trying to protect them.

    Ed: fourth comment down I posted a request to bloggers to not respond to Arkenaten’s comments. My request was ignored, so spare me the lecture, please and thank you. Without responses, she’d soon have gotten fed up. I wasn’t “protecting” anyone, but the thread has been spoilt through childish goading and silliness.

    August 18, 2013 at 4:14 pm
    • editor


      It’s also a pity that I presumed our regular bloggers would respect my requests not to respond to Arkenaten. I’m learning a lot from the Arkenaten experience that has nothing to do with atheism.

      Now, Prionsais,

      Have you read the book review of Fr Kevin Kelly’s book? Or the link to the ACP article by Fr Kevin Kelly posted by, I think, Margaret Mary? I’d be very interested to read your opinion on either or both of those writings of the priest who is the subject of this thread, yet seldom mentioned on it.

      August 18, 2013 at 5:11 pm
  • Prionsais

    Comment removed

    August 18, 2013 at 4:31 pm
  • editor

    N O T I C E . . .

    I have now blacklisted Arkenaten and Violetwisp, so there can be no excuse for not addressing the topic of this thread. ~We’ve had plenty of discussions on same sex marriage and all the other diversions which have spoilt this thread so far. Please address the issue(s). I’ve already supplied a list of possible related issues and there are at least a couple of links leading to the writings of Fr Kelly. The fun’s over. All off topic comments will continue to be removed and if bloggers are not particularly interested in this latest attack on the Church by a Modernist/faithless priest or two, then I’ll close the thread down.

    May I suggest that, if you have not already done so, you read our updated About Us page. As the blog administrator, I am obliged to implement Catholic Truth policies. Nothing personal, folks, but we are trying to keep our reputation as a Catholic blog with attitude, but that means a good attitude. We don’t allow slanging matches so please, if you choose to blog with us, and no-one is obliged to do so, then please do so in as charitable a manner as possible. Thank you.

    August 18, 2013 at 5:16 pm
  • Josephine

    I think a lot of people might have missed that link due to the controversy, so I thought I would copy it here – I had missed it myself until it was mentioned today.

    I’ve just copied the article by Fr Kevin Kelly posted by Margaret Mary – he actually sent copies to all the bishops of England and Wales, so there can be no excuse for Fr Cullen inviting him to preach at the St Arrowsmmith pilgrimage – his dissent must be very well known by now. Below is the article which was on the Association of Catholic Priests website. He has a go at the Church, including Humanae Vitae and the new Mass translation. How on earth was he invited to speak at this pilgrimage?

    The Vatican’s Tahrir Square?
    Fr Kevin Kelly


    Kevin T Kelly is a retired parish priest and emeritus Research Fellow in Moral Theology at Liverpool Hope University. Address: 31 Arch View Crescent, Liverpool, L1 7BA, England. The author has sent this text to all the bishops of England and Wales.

    In 1975 in my role as Director of the Upholland Northern Institute (UNI) I was involved in arranging the very first In-Service Training course for the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. It was on the theme, ‘The Bishop as Teacher’ and was held at the UNI. When the bishops arrived, they all had embargoed copies of the CDF Declaration, Persona Humana, on sexual issues which was due to be published during the week. Quite a number of the bishops shared with me their deep unease about the Declaration. They were highly critical of it and made no secret of that to me and to each other. I was given a copy and asked to run a special session on it. When I read it, I could see why they felt so critical. Despite its title, Personal Humana was based on a theological approach which failed to do justice to Vatican II’s person-centred vision of moral theology. In my talk I suggested to the bishops that, if they were to be faithful to their role of teachers, they should be prepared to voice their criticism of the Declaration, if they were interviewed by the media. I stressed that we owe it to the truth to be honest and authentic in what we say. Positive criticism is intrinsic to good teaching. As far as I know, none of them followed my suggestion in their subsequent TV and Radio interviews.

    What disturbed me even more was the text of a telegram I found in an issue of Documentation Catholique.a few months later. It was sent to the CDF from the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and thanked them for their excellent Declaration, Persona Humana! That left a bad taste in my mouth. It suggested a kind of ‘double speak’, as though there was a dysfunctionality in communications within the Church.

    That seems to be relevant at present with regard to the new translation of the Roman Missal. I may be wrong, but I have the impression that at least some, perhaps many, of the bishops share the unhappiness about the new translation which is felt by many priests and lay Catholics. Yet the new translation is being promoted as a precious gift. Let me quote from a suggested insert for parish newsletters for the coming weeks sent out by Liverpool Archdiocese. “The new translation brings with it a deeper and more profound meaning of the mystery we have gathered to celebrate at Mass.” This is because “we have grown as a Church over the last 40 years in terms of understanding how to better translate our Latin texts into the vernacular language of the people”. Consequently, “the changes also bring us a wonderful opportunity as a Church to delve more deeply into the mystery of Christ Jesus and the praise and thanksgiving we offer to God, our Father, during Mass”.

    I love the liturgy, I really do. I find it a rich source for my own devotional life. But I find those quotations deeply disturbing, arousing the same feeling of uneasiness I experienced with the Bishops’ telegram to the CDF. I simply cannot identify myself with what is being said. It smacks too much of a ‘double-speak’, not the straightforward ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ that Jesus urged us to follow. On the Sunday following Mubarak’s stepping down as President of Egypt, I made the following point in my homily to the community of Notre Dame Sisters with whom I am privileged to share the Eucharist each day.

    “Re-reading the first paragraph of Benedict’s 2009 social encyclical, ‘Caritas in Veritate, has helped me to see beneath the surface of what has been happening in Tahrir Square. Benedict writes: “Love is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of Justice and Peace.” He goes on to stress that this force “has its origin in God” and is a “vocation planted by God in the heart and mind of every human person.” The crowd in Tahrir Square were mainly Muslims but also included many secularists and Coptic Christians. They showed “courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace” in their peaceful demands for a peaceful, non-violent transition to genuine human freedom and justice. Benedict’s amazing words applied to them and made me very conscious that what I was seeing on TV was God’s spirit present and active in these people.”

    I am sure many people felt that same “extraordinary force” was tangible in the crowds during the Benedict XVI’s UK visit. I certainly felt that at Evensong in Westminster Abbey.

    However, I also feel that this “extraordinary force” is also manifesting itself in the growing unease about the imposition of the new translation of the Roman Missal. A grass-roots resistance seems to be growing among ordinary Catholics who are deeply concerned at the impact this new translation will have on their Sunday Mass. They had no say in what is happening. They feel disempowered. To my mind, their instinct is right. The New Missal imposition is just one instance of the abuse of power in our Church. It is just the tip of the ice-berg. I sense a growing discontent among many very committed Catholics who have a deep love for the church. They feel it is losing touch with the Spirit-inspired vision of Vatican II and its hope for the future. They want to mount a protest against this but there seems no appropriate channel for such protest.

    Vatican II placed collegiality at the very heart of church governance. Implied in that teaching is the involvement of all the faithful through collaborative ministry and corresponsibility. The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales made that abundantly clear in The Sign we Give, the magnificent 1995 Report from their Working Party on Collaborative Ministry. Sadly, these developments in church governance, so central to the renewal of the Church, have never been properly implemented. That continues to this very day. Until recently most Catholics have felt they had no choice but to tolerate of this abuse of power. Now, however, I suspect that the ‘Tahrir Square’ syndrome in the church is a sign that the “extraordinary force” of the fire of the Holy Spirit is beginning to disturb us from our complacency.

    The flagrant misuse of power involved in the new translation of the Roman Missal is not just about its pastorally disastrous kind of language. It is also about the serious disregard for Vatican II’s teaching on collegiality in the process leading up to the New Missal. The original International Commission for English in the Liturgy (ICEL) was set up after the Council and was a fine example of the implementation of collegiality, since it was answerable to the English-speaking bishops conferences throughout the world. ICEL’s only link with the Congregation of Divine Worship (CDW) was the requirement to obtain a ‘recognitio’ (a kind of ‘rubber stamp’!) for its proposed texts and translations. ICEL was also true to Vatican II’s ecumenical spirit since it worked with the liturgical agencies of other Christian churches to ensure that the common texts and the cycle of biblical readings would be shared in common by the churches. Moreover, it tried to avoid as far as possible exclusive language which might be offensive to women. These original ICEL texts were carefully vetted and voted upon by all the English-speaking bishops’ conferences and are still used today throughout the English-speaking world. However, from the start ICEL had been aware that the need to provide English texts as soon as reasonably possible after the Council inevitably meant that their texts were far from perfect. In fact, Archbishop Denis Hurley, a major figure at Vatican II and first Chair of ICEL, immediately set in motion the work of revising and refining these texts. He gathered together a team of liturgical and literary experts to undertake this task. The guiding principle for their work was based on Vatican II’s insistence that the “full and active participation by all the people is the aim to be considered before all else” (Liturgy Constitution, n.14) Consequently, this team was commissioned to produce texts which, while not being literal word-for-word translations, should be faithful to the meaning of the original, as well as being simple, dignified and easily understandable. In this they were following the guidance enshrined in the Vatican II-inspired 1969 instruction, Comme le prevoit, approved by Paul VI.

    By 1998 ICEL’s revised version of the Roman Missal was complete and had been examined and approved by all the English-speaking bishops’ conferences. It was then sent to the Congregation of Divine Worship (CDW) for its formal ‘recognitio’. This was refused, completely disregarding the key Vatican II principle of collegiality! Moreover, without any consultation, the CDW brought out an entirely new set of guidelines, Liturgiam Authenticam, which insisted on a much more literal fidelity in translating and actually warned against any ecumenical involvement in the process. Moreover, it showed total insensitivity to women by ruling out any use of inclusive language! Archbishop Hurley, by then no longer Chair of ICEL, is reported to have said: “I find the attitude reflected in the proposed change in translation practice a distressing departure from the spirit of collegiality in favour of authoritative imposition”. He even wrote to a friend: “At times I find it difficult to understand the attitude of the Roman Curia. It seems to be more concerned with power than with humble service.” (both quotations from Paddy Kearney, Guardian of the Light: Denis Hurley, Renewing the Church, opposing Apartheid, (New York, London, T & T Clark, 2009), pp.292 & 295)

    A radically reconstituted ICEL set out to produce a new Roman Missal following the new guide-lines. In due course this was sent out to the English-speaking bishops’ conferences. They could have rejected this new Missal but instead chose to approve it. It looks as though they had given up hope of any genuine collegiality. The earlier revision of the Missal which all the Bishops’ conferences had approved in 1998 was virtually binned, despite being the fruit of years of dedicated expertise and ecumenical cooperation by the commission set up by the original ICEL. A full account of this sad and shameful affair is found in Chapters 4 and 5 of It’s the Eucharist, Thank God (Decani Books, Brandon, Suffolk, 2009) by Bishop Maurice Taylor who was chair of ICEL during the fateful years of 1997 to 2002.

    This new Missal has provoked widespread dismay and disquiet, especially among many clergy, fearful of its negative impact on parishioners. For instance, in January of this year the eminent US liturgical scholar, Anthony Ruff OSB, withdrew from a commission given him by the US bishops to help prepare people for the new translation of the Roman Missal in dioceses across the US. In his letter of withdrawal he wrote:“…my involvement in that process, as well as my observation of the Holy See’s handling of scandal, has gradually opened my eyes to the deep problems in the structures of authority of our church. The forthcoming missal is but a part of a larger pattern of top-down impositions by a central authority that does not consider itself accountable to the larger church. When I think of how secretive the translation process was, how little consultation was done with priests or laity, … how unsatisfactory the final text is, how this text was imposed on national conferences of bishops in violation of their legitimate episcopal authority…—and then when I think of Our Lord’s teachings on service and love and unity…I weep.” (America, 14/2/11)

    Anthony Ruff is not a lone voice. On 3 February the Irish Association of Catholic Priests (ACP) issued a press release entitled “New Translation of the Missal Unacceptable”. They described the texts as “archaic, elitist and obscure and not in keeping with the natural rhythm, cadence and syntax of the English language” and say: “from the few available samples of the new texts, it is clear that the style of English used throughout the Mass will be so convoluted that it will be difficult to read the prayers in public.” Moreover, they continue: “It is ironic that this Latinised, stilted English is being imposed on Irish people who are so blessed with world-renowned poets, playwrights, and novelists.” They ask the bishops to follow the German bishops who have objected to similar texts being imposed on them and urge them to defer the Missal’s introduction for five years to give them time to “engage with Irish Catholics with a view to developing a new set of texts that will adequately reflect the literary genius and spiritual needs of our Church community in these modern times”.

    Two years earlier, an article appeared in America (14/12/09) entitled What If We Said, ‘Wait’? The case for a grass-roots review of the new Roman Missal, by Fr Michael G. Ryan. He spoke out of his experience as Pastor of St. James Cathedral, Seattle since 1988 and board member of the national Cathedral Ministry Conference. He tells of the reactions of “disbelief and indignation“ of his friends to some of the translations; and of “audible laughter in the room” at a diocesan seminar for priests and lay-leaders. One reaction will strike chords with many:

    “with all that the church has on its plate today—global challenges with regard to justice, peace and the environment; nagging scandals; a severe priest shortage; the growing disenchantment of many women; seriously lagging church attendance—it seems almost ludicrous to push ahead with an agenda that will seem at best trivial and at worst hopelessly out-of-touch.”

    He also notes that when the new translations were mistakenly introduced ahead of time in South Africa they “were met almost uniformly with opposition bordering on outrage”. Fr Ryan makes a gentle “What if?” challenge to his fellow priests:

    “What if we, the parish priests of this country who will be charged with the implementation, were to find our voice and tell our bishops that we want to help them avert an almost certain fiasco? What if we told them that we think it unwise to implement these changes until our people have been consulted in an adult manner that truly honors their intelligence and their baptismal birthright? What if we just said, “Wait, not until our people are ready for the new translations, but until the translations are ready for our people”?”

    I recommend Ryan’s article very highly, especially to priests. Many Catholics seem to have mixed feelings about the church at present. At one level they really do love the church and, in the UK at least, felt boosted by the Pope’s visit. Yet they also agree with Tina Beattie’s comment that the problems have not gone away. A lot of these problems are related to the way the authority of God is being used to shore up teaching which, at the very least, is open to debate and, in some instances, rejected as inadequate by many theologians and most people in the church trying to be faithful to the spirit of Vatican II. I am thinking, for instance, of the rich understanding of human sexuality found in current Catholic and Christian theology, revealing to women and men, gays and lesbians, the depth of their God-given dignity and the ultimate foundation for their sense of self-worth. The same is true of developments in liturgical and Eucharistic theology with its emphasis on full participation, so crucial to the spirit of Vatican II. Using authority to close down these legitimate debates paralyses pastoral imagination from exploring new ways of coping with such down-to-earth issues as the sacraments to the divorced-remarried, Eucharistic hospitality in an ecumenical context, general absolution’s highlighting the social dimension of sin, as well as stifling the much-needed debate on contraception, the ordination of women, and the presence of God’s love in the faithful love lives of gays and lesbians.

    It seems to be increasingly recognised that abuse of power is also a key factor lying at the heart of the scandal of clergy sex-abuse and Episcopal cover-up. The eradication of this horrendous abuse of power seems to lie not just in dealing with the actual perpetrators but also in a radical conversion of the organisational pathology of the church itself. I cannot get out of my mind the telling words of Brendan Callaghan SJ: “The faces of this tragedy are always the faces of the hurt and betrayed children, and we must somehow find the courage neither to turn away from those faces nor to diminish what they show us of death and destruction.”

    For some readers this article might seem too negative and disturbing, especially as coming from a 77-year old retired priest and emeritus (“past it”) moral theologian. I hope and pray that what I have written is empowered by the same “extraordinary force” of God’s love referred to by Benedict XVI which I mentioned in my opening paragraph. God alone can judge that. Certainly it is what I pray for each morning with the words, “Come, Holy Spirit, enkindle in us (and in me) the fire of your love”.

    At the opening of the 2nd Session of Vatican II, Paul VI spoke of the church as “the Bride of Christ looking upon Christ to discern in him her true likeness” and reminded the bishops that: “If in doing so she were to discover some shadow, some defect, some stain upon her wedding garment, what should be her instinctive, courageous reaction? There can be no doubt that her primary duty would be to reform, correct and set herself aright in conformity with her divine model”. Yves Congar, Hans Kung & Daniel O’Hanlon, Council Speeches of Vatican II (Sheed & Ward, London, 1964) p.51. Paul VI was not encouraging a spirit of negative criticism at the Council. He was inviting the bishops to show their love for the church by facing up to its need for healing and renewal. Positive criticism should be loving, inspiring and life-giving. I believe, with many others, that the church needs this kind of love more than ever at this point in time – not a soft love but a courageous reforming love. Henri DeLubac is reported to have said: “If we do not learn to love the church in its sinfulness, we will not love the church loved by the Lord but, rather, some figment of our romantic imagination.” cf. George B Wilson SJ, Clericalism: The Death of Priesthood, (Collegeville, Liturgical Press, 2008) p.x. As members of this sinful church, each of us, myself included, needs to ask the Spirit to help us discern how we are part of that sinfulness and especially in this Lenten season ask for forgiveness and healing.

    Kevin T Kelly

    August 18, 2013 at 5:39 pm
    • editor

      Josephine, thanks for posting that piece from the ACP website. I’ve been meaning to read it since the link first went up but not had a minute.

      What comes through loud and clear is that Fr Kevin Kelly is a Vatican II man through and through, and the heresy of collegiality has taken such a hold among the Modernist fraternity that he regards anything “authoritative” (his word) as being “an abuse of power.”

      I kept highlighting bits of his article to comment on here, but had no sooner highlighted one handful of sentences than the next seemed just as bad if not worse. So, I changed my mind and decided simply to say – appalling. The whole thing. And to think that the author of that appalling article, downplaying the divine authority of the Church, is to address a gathering of pilgrims seeking to honour one of England’s great martyrs. Truly, you could not make it up…

      August 18, 2013 at 9:44 pm
  • Charles

    I have e-mailed Father John Cullen to ask him to stop the dissenting priest, Kevin Kelly from preaching. This is a matter for all of us. Not just Liverpool.

    He can be contacted at fr.john@virgin.net

    This address is a matter of public knowledge on the Liverpool Archdiocesan web site.

    August 18, 2013 at 7:01 pm
    • editor


      Many thanks for that email address – I have now emailed Fr Cullen and I respectfully urge others to do the same.

      You are spot on about this matter being of concern to us all, not just Liverpool.

      August 18, 2013 at 9:51 pm
      • Yorkshire Rose

        I agree, this is a matter for us all and we should do what we can.

        August 18, 2013 at 10:44 pm
      • Jacinta

        Yorkshire Rose,

        I agree that we should do what we can but it seems to be a losing battle.Things are getting worse all the time.

        I know that Our Lady said Her Immaculate Heart would triumph in the end, so we should take consolation from that and just get on with things the best we can. I do wonder what was going on in the seminary that trained Fr Kelly and Fr Cullen. .

        August 18, 2013 at 10:56 pm
      • editor

        “I do wonder what was going on in the seminary that trained Fr Kelly and Fr Cullen”…

        They would be set to read rubbish like the writings and rantings of the nearest heretic. That’s definitely ONE thing that was going on!

        August 19, 2013 at 8:36 am
      • Yorkshire Rose


        Maybe we should get some hats or T-shirts printed.

        August 19, 2013 at 10:22 am
      • Charles

        My pleasure. Some of your posts have prompted me to seek out e-mail addresses and complain to the relevant authorities and people concerned.

        E-mail addresses can generally be found on diocesan/parish web sites. They are in the public domain.

        I will continue to seek them out where necessary.

        August 19, 2013 at 9:11 am
      • editor

        That’s fantastic, Charles. You are now our official email-seeker-outer!

        August 19, 2013 at 9:39 am
  • Laura

    I’m like some others I know who have been reading this blog for quite a while but not commented before and I won’t comment a lot but I think it would be a shame if this discussion did not get a good airing, since it’s not often England is the centre of attention here! I have a Scottish surname so I’m not being racist! I have followed the battle on this blog today so thought I would put my tuppence worth in because I think it is a real scandal that this is happening in Liverpool. I hope passers-by are allowed!


    What an awful piece of writing from Fr Kelly, stirring up discord. I don’t know anyone in Liverpool or I would encourage them to do something about this, although there’s not really anything much anyone can do. Any time I’ve ever expressed myself to be worried about anything I get fobbed off. It’s good to shine a light on it anyway and although I don’t know anyone in Liverpool I do know from reading The Flock (pub. Surrey) that this kind of thing is a fruit of Archbishop Kelly’s days in office.

    I was shocked to read from Fr Kelly’s article that Pope Paul VI spoke about the possibility of the Church having a “stain” – I was always taught that the Church is the spotless Bride of Christ and only her members could be stained. So what is this (the following extract) all about?

    “If in doing so she were to discover some shadow, some defect, some stain upon her wedding garment, what should be her instinctive, courageous reaction? There can be no doubt that her primary duty would be to reform, correct and set herself aright in conformity with her divine model”. Yves Congar, Hans Kung & Daniel O’Hanlon, Council Speeches of Vatican II (Sheed & Ward, London, 1964) p.51.

    I think only Our Lady of Fatima can help us now. Oremus.

    August 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm
    • editor


      “passers-by” are more than “allowed” – they’re very welcome!

      However, with such a beautiful avatar of Our Lady of Fatima, we don’t want you to pass by. Stick around!

      You are absolutely right about the “spotless Bride of Christ”- the Church. St Francis de Sales writes eloquently on this, and points out that the Church is in no need of reform – it is only the faithful (or, rather, the faithless!) who need to reform ourselves to conform to God’s law.

      Modernists apparently cannot make this important distinction. Hence they routinely talk about “the Church” being guilty of this or that and “the Church” needing to reform/change. Silly beggars.

      August 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm
  • Petrus


    This strange practice of inviting dissenters to give talks, conferences, retreats etc is quite worrying. What a kick in the teeth to good priests when a dissenter is chosen to do these things. I remember a lay group in Glasgow invited a well known dissenter and sexually deviant priest to give a retreat. Unbelievable. Surely a concrete sign of the diabolical disorientation.

    August 18, 2013 at 10:42 pm
    • Jacinta


      “I remember a lay group in Glasgow invited a well known dissenter and sexually deviant priest to give a retreat”

      How shocking. This is truly the devil at work. I hope that priest does disinvite Fr Kelly but I wouldn’t bank on it. This is the diabolical disorientation we were warned about at Fatima. We are living through it but these dissenting priests don’t realise they are part of the disorientation. I bet Fr Kelly (and the PP who invited him) would laugh at the Fatima apparitions. The blind are leading the blind.

      August 18, 2013 at 10:50 pm
    • editor


      You make an excellent point when you say that sound priests must feel like they’ve been kicked in the teeth when they see dissenters given such prominence in their diocese. In my email to Fr Cullen I suggested he replace Fr Kelly with a sound traditional priest and offered to supply him with a list of names if required! I’m sure that went down like the proverbial lead balloon.

      August 19, 2013 at 8:34 am
  • editor

    A reader from the north of England emailed to ask me to post the following comment on her behalf:

    The most appropriate action to the ‘dis-honouring’ of St Edmund Arrowsmith would be a ‘confetti’ of letters to the organisers protesting at this unsuitable Priest taking part. Then, a ‘prayerful protest’ on the day. i.e. The continual recitation of the Rosary in reparation at the venue. NO SLANGING MATCHES, SHOUTING or other un-Catholic behaviour. It does not become us.

    The most effective and powerful weapon we have in our hands, is Our Lady’s Rosary. That will suffice! Nothing more is needed, and a dignified, prayerful response to this outrage, will be much more impressive than anything else. A SILENT REPROACH. END.

    August 19, 2013 at 9:55 am
  • editor

    I have had a reply to my email to Fr Cullen who writes that there has been some mistake since the pilgrimage is to be held in the Church of St Oswald and St Edmund, not at his parish of SS Edmund & Thomas of Canterbury. He included the telephone number of St Oswald & St Edmund in his message. I replied as follows:

    Thank you Father. I did presume, from the newsletter heading “SS Edmund & St Thomas of Canterbury – not knowing the area) that you were involved in the organising of the pilgrimage event.

    In any case, you advertised the event. Do you not have any qualms (about) exposing your parishioners to Fr Kelly’s heresy? I’m sure you would have greater influence than I or any other lay person in having the invitation withdrawn. Will you approach the PP (telephone number in your email below) ? END.

    That’s what’s called passing the buck straight back!

    August 19, 2013 at 11:06 am
  • Theresa Rose

    I had intended emailing Fr Cullen about the dissenting priest, Fr Kelly preaching at the pilgrimage on 25th August, but hesitated and continued reading further posts.

    Fr Cullen indicates that the pilgrimage is not at his parish, but at the Church of St Oswald and St Edmund. Should Fr Cullen not withdraw his support from the pilgrimage and stop advertising it, on the grounds that Fr Kelly is a dissenter from Catholic teaching.

    I wonder what Fr Cullen’s reaction might be (never mind Fr Kelly’s) IF Bishop Fellay (SSPX) had been invitated to preach at the pilgrimage. How many complaints would be made, claiming an excommunicated, schismatic Bishop being allowed to preach.

    Bishop Fellay is neither excommunicated or schismatic, and those attending would hear sound Catholic Doctrines being preached. Perhaps the Tridentine Mass be offered up – a Mass I’m sure St Edmund Arrowsmith died for. BUT no, I doubt that such an invitation would be extended to Bishop Fellay.

    If Rosary Crusades were successful in ensuring the Muslim defeat at the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
    The Rosary protected Jesuit Priests from the effects of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945.
    And, the Rosary Crusade freed Austria from Communist rule by 1955. When did you ever hear of Russian forces ever willingly give up their hold on a country?

    August 19, 2013 at 1:42 pm
    • editor

      Theresa Rose,

      Superb point about Bishop Fellay. You got it in one.

      Well said!

      August 19, 2013 at 10:11 pm
  • westminsterfly

    Kevin Kelly was a contributor to the dissenting book ‘Opening Up: Speaking out in the Church’ which was edited by Julian Filochowski and Peter Stanford, and produced in honour of dissident Martin Pendergast’s 60th birthday.

    August 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm
  • sixupman

    Liverpool Archdiocese has been a stronghold of the ACT for years, they even vetoed the erection of a Traditional/orthodox parish and have publicly scoffed at their orthodox confreres.

    August 19, 2013 at 8:35 pm
    • editor


      I’d forgotten all about that business of veto over the setting up of a traditional parish in Liverpool. From memory, I think the clergy allegedly rose up in opposition and the whole thing died a death. Correct me if I’ve not remembered it correctly. That would certainly explain their willingness to have a heretic like Fr Kelly preach at a pilgrimage, presumably advertised all over the archdiocese, with a large attendance representing every parish.

      Talk about the fort has been betrayed even by those who should have defended it. Big time.

      August 19, 2013 at 10:14 pm
      • sixupman

        You are correct. The seeds of the Liverpool problem were sown at the time of the late Abp. Worlock, though I have been told, having every reason for it to be true, that as he was dying he recognised the enormity of that which he had wreaked and repented. Nonetheless, there was a level of goodwill between, then, SSPX and Diocesan clergy, one SSPX facilitated the Celebration of Mass in the Cathedral crypt. Even to-day, the Diocesan TLM’s available are reasonable in number.

        Salford Diocese has only one Sunday TLM and that only facilitated on sufferance after complaint from Rome. The said Mass very well attended and now moved to a less accessible, though unreconstructed church, has seen numbers decline. That said, the congregation might be termed as parish based as opposed to the multifarious congregation previously. Previously numbers included a large number of students, now abandoned to the Jesuits and the return of ‘The Table’ for Celebration of Mass abd a very poor ‘Table’ it appears.

        August 20, 2013 at 7:50 am
  • editor

    Father Cullen has written to me again to point out that our concerns should be addressed to a “higher authority” because the instruction to advertise the pilgrimage was sent to all clergy in an ad clerum. Since Archbishop Kelly has retired, Liverpool is in the (clearly highly dubious) hands of an Apostolic Administrator, Bishop Williams. Below is my email to him – you can email him on bpwilliams@rcaolp.co.uk

    For the attention of the Right Reverend Thomas Anthony Williams, Titular Bishop of Mageo, Apostolic Administrator, Archdiocese of Liverpool

    Dear Bishop Williams,

    I write with regard to the forthcoming pilgrimage in honour of St Edmund Arrowsmith, due to take place on Sunday next, 25th August, at St Oswald & St Edmund’s Church, Ashton-in-Makerfield.

    I know about this pilgrimage because a member of your archdiocese wrote to me in deep concern at the fact that the invited preacher at that event is Fr Kevin Kelly, whose heretical writings are notorious among informed Catholics. I was exposed to his false beliefs during my own teacher training in Glasgow, so I am astonished that the faithful who will attend the pilgrimage in good faith, are being similarly exposed to his heresies.

    Having made enquiries at local level, I am informed that the request to advertise the Pilgrimage to the Holy Hand was sent to priests in the July Ad Clerum.

    This scandal is the subject of a discussion on our blog http://catholictruthblog.com/2013/08/17/letter-from-liverpool-priest-dissenter-to-preach-at-pilgrimage-to-honour-priest-martyr/#comments
    And the opinion poll on our website has shown a steady majority in favour of having this invitation withdrawn from Fr Kelly. http://www.catholictruthscotland.com

    I write to you now, therefore, in the sincere hope that you will exercise your authority to put an end to this scandal without delay. It is unconscionable to invite a priest who is, to say the least, a material heretic, to preach at an event in honour of one of England’s most famous priest-martyrs. A rich irony indeed, but worse, a monumental scandal. As one of our bloggers remarked, had this invitation been issued to the thoroughly orthodox and traditional Bishop Fellay SSPX, it would be withdrawn in a heartbeat.

    I look forward, therefore, to your confirmation that you will withdraw the invitation to Fr Kelly as a matter of urgency.

    Thank you. END

    August 20, 2013 at 10:54 am
  • editor

    I have now received a reply from Bishop Williams – a truly unbelievable reply – which I am copying here, with my response underneath it.

    From: Williams, Tom [mailto:bpwilliams@rcaolp.co.uk]
    Sent: 20 August 2013 16:28
    To: Catholic Truth

    Dear (Editor)

    The only mention in the New Testament of all the Apostles ( the first Bishops ) doing and saying the same thing, was the account of Good Friday and it says….”…….and they all deserted him ” . St. Peter himself denied The Lord three times. ……so your condemnation of Fr. Kevin puts him in good company.

    I find your ‘urgent’ request both unforgiving and judgemental. I fully approve of Fr. Brian Newn’s (The Parish Priest ) request to invite his old friend and former colleague to Preach. He is the one with the authority to invite — not me. I am sure that we would all listen carefully to what he says, and not be judgemental and critical before he’s even said it. He my even give us food for thought, which may be why he was invited in the first place.

    May the peace of Christ be with you. END.

    MY REPLY – if you think I should be polite, don’t read on. What follows is not for the faint-hearted or those who belong to the BWBR (Best Win Bishops Round) Brigade…

    Bishop Williams,

    In my fourteen years of writing to Bishops in my capacity as editor of our newsletter, your reply to me below counts as easily the worst, the most ignorant and the most anti-Catholic I have ever received. You offer the usual ridiculous claim that it is “unforgiving” and “judgmental” to identify a heretic – which philosophy, if applied in the secular sphere would lead to the closing down of the police and entire justice system: policeman arresting robbers? How uncharitable. Crackers.

    You have given dissent your blessing – and the most serious imaginable kind of dissent at that, from a man who is, at the very least, a well-documented material heretic. We can but hope that even in the midst of the diabolical crisis currently afflicting the Church, you are not appointed to replace the eminently replaceable Archbishop Kelly. Your appalling attitude is all the more inexcusable because, according to your profile on the archdiocesan website, you were born in 1948; hence, there is absolutely no excuse for your ignorance and modernism. No excuse whatsoever. You are no victim of the errors of Vatican II. You know the truth perfectly well and appear to have chosen to reject it.

    Your ignorant twisting of Sacred Scripture and Church history to suit your own modernist and faithless agenda is astonishing. Ridiculously, you cite the betrayal of the first apostles, including St Peter, as proof that dissent is acceptable, entirely ignoring the fear-motivated betrayal of the apostles and their subsequent repentance and zeal to spread the Faith, undiluted. Unlike the first apostles, Fr Kelly has shown no sign whatsoever of repenting of his betrayal of Christ and His Church, continuing instead with his counter-apostolate. That you have given your blessing to this scandal will return to haunt you at your judgment.

    Are you unaware of the fact that your support for Fr Kelly’s dissent flies in the face of even relatively recent papal statements? The apostolic letter (Motu Proprio) Ad Tuendam Fidem (To Protect the Faith) of Pope John Paul II springs to mind as but one example of the outright condemnation of any kind of dissent whatsoever: note: all dissent condemned, even by a “liberal” pope: “Each and every thing definitively proposed by the magisterium of the Church regarding faith and morals (even if not fitting into the category of divinely revealed) must also be firmly accepted and held; one who denies (such) propositions… opposes the doctrine of the Church.” (new text of Canon Law # 750, expanded by Ad Tuendam Fidem).

    If, as appears, you are saying that it is acceptable to oppose the doctrine of the Church then you are no more Catholic than Ian Paisley’s granny and you should resign immediately.

    It goes without saying that I will be reporting this matter on our blog and in the October edition of our newsletter. If you wish to make any further comment, you are invited hereby to do so. My only additional comment is this: poor faithful in Liverpool, served by hirelings.

    Catholic Truth

    August 20, 2013 at 5:32 pm
    • sixupman

      It is only going to get worse if Damian Thompson’s Telegraph Blog, to-day, is correct! There are to be no further Shrewsbury or Portsmouth type elevations – +++Murphy-O’Connor plotting otherwise.

      August 20, 2013 at 5:52 pm
      • editor

        Nothing would surprise me – nothing. Years ago, I wrote to Cardinal Murphy O’Connor about a teacher, Head of RE, who was appointed to be RE adviser for Westminster schools. I had attended an inservice course with that teacher and he was an out and out modernist, ranting against the Catechism of the Catholic Church and generally being a liberal pain.

        When the Cardinal replied, in “shock horror” he assured me that he would check it out and get back to me.

        Get back to me he did, to assure me that he had consulted the people who’d appointed the new RE Adviser and they allayed his / my fears.

        Could you, I ask, make it up? We’re dealing with one numpty after another. If they’re not being numpties north of the border, they’re being numpties south of the border or across the Irish Sea. Numpties, numpties, numpties. Gimme strength!

        August 20, 2013 at 7:08 pm
    • 3littleshepherds

      I can’t believe what Bishop Williams wrote. It gave me the creeps!

      August 20, 2013 at 6:56 pm
    • Michelangelo

      Good response to a diabolical pile of gibberish. Surely the Vatican should be made aware of this. No doubt Abp Mennini will be against this individual being promoted while Card MOC will be for – vital struggle. Alarming!

      August 20, 2013 at 9:55 pm
    • Josephine

      I could not believe what I was reading, that a bishop would openly support Fr Kevin Kelly and say he is in good company with St Peter and the apostles, as if they were dissenters too! It is incredible stuff.

      Glad your reply did not spare his feelings. Too many people worried about “not respecting the office” of the hierarchy, when the hierarchy are actually betraying their office.

      August 21, 2013 at 12:35 pm
  • westminsterfly

    Send your correspondence with the bishop to the Apostolic Nuncio – he ought to be aware that the bishop is happy to invite dissenters into his diocese:- nuntius@globalnet.co.uk

    August 21, 2013 at 3:38 pm
    • editor

      Will do – thanks Westminster Fly.

      August 22, 2013 at 6:41 pm
  • Leo

    “Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot: they have changed my delightful portion into a desolate wilderness.” – Jeremias 12:10

    I have to say that I’d have serious problems believing that a Bishop could write the above response of Bishop Williams, if I was told of it at second or third hand. As it is, I find it hard to believe my own eyes. I wonder what Saint Charles Borromeo would have to say.

    It’s difficult to be confident that your measured riposte to Bishop Williams will bring relief to the Catholics of Liverpool, Editor. That said, if His Grace or anyone else is inclined to dismiss the totally justified concerns of any Catholic in this matter, here are the familiar words of Saint Thomas Aquinas:

    “When there is an imminent danger for the Faith, Prelates must be questioned, even publicly by their subjects.” – Summa Theologica, II, II, q.33 a. 4.

    Bishop Williams and any priest in a position of influence in this matter ought to consider the words of Saint Paul before encouraging any unsuspecting Catholics to sample Father Kelly’s “food for thought”:

    “Guard the deposit committed to thy trust, avoiding profane novelties of words and opposition of knowledge falsely so-called.” – I Timothy 6:20

    And what of Father Kelly? Editor is certainly in a better position than most to express an opinion. I notice that an article on the “sede vacante” tab of the diocesan website describes Father Kelly as “an admirer of Fr. Charles Curran, US moral theologian who was deprived of his license to teach Catholic moral theology in Catholic University, Washington.” So what do the clergy of Liverpool think about exposing their flock to “an admirer” of a notorious and pertinacious dissenter from Catholic doctrine? Is this what the New Evangelisation is all about? “Not my problem” is not an answer.

    Father Kelly’s “Tahir Square” article might provide useful material in future discussions about the massive ongoing crisis in the Church. In it, he spoke of “Vatican II’s person-centred vision of moral theology” and of problems “related to the way the authority of God is being used to shore up teaching which, at the very least, is open to debate and, in some instances, rejected as inadequate by many theologians and most people in the church trying to be faithful to the spirit of Vatican II”. Lots of material alright.

    It appears to have been forgotten in recent decades just how seriously the Church always regarded attacks on the Faith and the consequent danger to souls, from the time of the apostles. Those who devote their lives to challenging Church teaching, are often very quick to play the charity and respect and freedom of expression card. Lest anyone forget, the Catechism of the Council of Trent teaches us that charity is a supernatural virtue which induces us to love God above all things and then our neighbour as ourselves for the love of God. True charity towards our neighbour, which works for his supernatural good, cannot but place divine truth above everything else, cannot but oppose our neighbour when he is opposed to divine revelations, cannot but seek to protect our neighbour in the face of another’s errors. To sacrifice love of God out of human respect is not charity. Liberalism, in fact twists the true order of charity, placing our neighbour before God. Catholic truth is Catholic inflexibility, Catholic charity. Liberal so-called charity and tolerance of error is essentially opposed to the true good of man, which is inseparable from the unchanging divine law.

    “Catholic doctrine tells us that the primary duty of charity does not lie in the toleration of false ideas, however sincere they may be, nor in the theoretical or practical indifference toward the errors and vices in which we see our brethren plunged but in the zeal for their intellectual and moral improvement as well as for their material well-being…” – Pope Saint Pius X, Our Apostolic Mandate.

    Of course religious liberty, and dialogue, and tolerance have been much talked of in recent decades. No amount of post-Conciliar repudiation of the constant Catholic teaching that error has no rights will ever change that truth. If Liberals and moral relativists have any doubts, or want to talk about tolerance, let them take it up with Saint Augustine.

    “In many things they (the heretics) are with me, in a few things not with me; but in those few things in which they are not with me, the many things in which they are will not profit them” (S. Augustine in Psal. Liv., n. 19).

    “If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.” Saint Augustine, Contra Faustum 17,3

    If the clergy of Liverpool or anywhere else, are inclined to just let all this pass by, talk about peace and justice, and dismiss objectors as intolerant reactionaries they ought to think of the three generations of Catholics that have been deprived of their inheritance and led into the modernist desert. Surely every Catholic is duty bound in these times of crisis to take seriously the fruits of the “diabolical disorientation” that has engulfed the Church in the last five decades.

    “Heresy has been called a canker: “It spreadeth like a canker”. (2 Tim. 2:17) As a canker infects the whole body, so heresy infects the whole soul – the mind, the heart, the intellect and the will. It is also called a plague; for it not only infects the one contaminated with it, but others who associate with him. Truly the spread of this plague in the world has injured the Church more than idolatry.” – Saint Alphonsus Liguori, The History of Heresies

    Catholics who adhere to Tradition stand on rock solid ground. Liberals who deny that there is one, unchanging divinely revealed truth, stand on the quicksand of modernism. Don’t anyone say that it is not an act of charity to try to keep souls away from the quicksand.

    If Bishop Williams or anyone else feels inclined to dismiss views expressed in this blog as “unforgiving and judgemental”, so be it. With all due respect to His Grace and all those Liverpool clergy who are promoting this talk, they might do well to think about the words of Sacred Scripture:

    “And if the watchman see the sword coming, and sound not the trumpet: and the people look not to themselves and the sword come, and cut off a soul from among them: he indeed is taken away in his iniquity, but I will require his blood at the hand of the watchman.” – Ezechiel 33:6

    August 22, 2013 at 6:11 pm
    • editor

      Leo – thank you. A first class analysis of the Liverpool situation, without a doubt.

      August 22, 2013 at 6:44 pm
    • Josephine


      “I have to say that I’d have serious problems believing that a Bishop could write the above response of Bishop Williams, if I was told of it at second or third hand. As it is, I find it hard to believe my own eyes.”

      My own reaction as well. I was totally amazed to read Bishop Williams’ letter. I still feel the same shock when I remember it.

      I do hope the nuncio acts when he reads it all – but I hear that he is being targeted by the liberals as well, so this might not be a good time.

      August 22, 2013 at 10:54 pm
  • praesentia

    Bishop Williams’ (he is not an academic) downright silly and unworthy response to the Editor’s letter is, no doubt, in part because he is afraid to discuss the writings/teaching of the aged “moral theologian” (sic) of the Archdiocese of Liverpool. Kevin Kelly has a DD among his qualifications. He was ordained during the pontificate of Pius XII so he has no excuse for undermining Catholic truth, which he should be better acquainted with than most. For a long time, the Archdiocese of Liverpool has promoted a “pastoral” agenda to the detriment of sound theological training for the laity and indeed the clergy. (Retreats organised for the clergy have, in the recent past, included input from a Zen Buddhist.) Result: an astonishing level of ignorance concerning genuine Catholic teaching, except among those well taught before the mid-sixties. As you say, Bishop Williams is old enough to know better but will not/can not take on Kevin Kelly. Liverpool Catholics need a new Archbishop who will teach the Faith in season and out and not be afraid of clerical dissenters. Pay for Liverpool.

    August 25, 2013 at 10:19 pm
  • praesentia

    P.S. Pray for Liverpool! Faithful Catholics may be interested to know that the PP, Brian Newns, who invited Kevin Kelly to speak on the occasion of this 2013 pilgrimage to the shrine of a martyr, wrote an anonymous column for 25 years (under the name “Dinosaur”) in Liverpool Archdiocesan’s own now defunct, “Catholic Pictorial”. He also wrote for the Catholic Times under the name “Parochus”. I seem to recall that the PP before Brian Newns was Canon F. Ripley, good bishop material but clearly sidelined as a “traditionalist.” He was for years the courageous chaplain to the Legion Of Mary in Liverpool. Canon Ripley author of many books, including “This is the Faith,” was a fitting custodian of the shrine of a Catholic Martyr. If I read Bishop Williams’ email correctly then it seems that the present incumbent’s “request to invite his old friend and former colleague to preach,” was more on the lines of another social occasion to deconstruct the Catholic Faith, with scant respect for genuine pilgrims likely to join the ranks of “confused Catholics.” Re-read “Open letter etc.” !

    August 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm
    • editor


      All very interesting, indeed. Many thanks for that.

      I’d be very interested to learn what Fr Kelly said at the pilgraimage on Sunday, so if there’s a Liverpudlian (or two!) out there who can send me a first hand report, I’ll publish it when I report the scandal of the invitation.

      I was well acquainted with the writings of Canon Ripley in my youth – he was a great Legion of Mary priest.

      It says a lot – says it all, really – when the likes of r Brian Newns has the bishop’s ear over a solid priest like Canon Ripley.

      August 26, 2013 at 3:13 pm

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