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)

  • 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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