Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Is this why Cardinal Burke is not coming?

Trying to find out why Cardinal Burke is not coming to speak in London, I have just read the flyer I was sent, by Pro Ecclesia, it says,

... Sadly, because our bishops are obdurate in their refusal to allow our glorious Catholic faith to be taught in our schools ...

That alone, which is purely opinion, would make any Cardinal decide to turn back at the airport.
Facts are useful, opinions are not.

Our bishops are not obdurate, the ones who speak to me are as anxious about our schools as anyone else.
What a wasted opportunity.

43 comments:

Michael said...

Do you think extreme views and opinions on blogs may have contributed to this cancellation?

Something to be learned here.

We "traditionalists" should always remember we are but a tiny minority in a post-Christian country. Outside the boundaries of our own world we are of little significance. Humility has been lacking here.
A timely lesson from the Cardinal perhaps.

shadowlands said...

I found a letter from him, cancelling his visit on this webpage:

http://www.proecclesia.com/page_newsflash.htm

A Reluctant Sinner said...

Yes, I was looking forward to the visit.

Regrettably, it seems that some of the language used to promote the event in some quarters was a bit too intemperate. In that sense, one cannot really blame the Cardinal for not wanting to be hijacked and embarrassed.

Father John Boyle said...

The Cardinal had no option but to cancel.

Michael Petek said...

I can sympathise with the conference organisers. The latest newsletter of Pro Ecclesia laments the fact that the "Soho Masses" for active homosexuals are being allowed to continue in the Archdiocese of Westminster, and the Archboishop won't intervene to stop them.

We lay people are in an impossible situation. We can't criticise the Bishops for fear of disrespect to them, and we can't stay silent while some Bishops, by omission of action, allow Catholic faith and life to be dismantled in this country.

gemoftheocean said...

I read the item Daphne pointed to. I think the Cardinal Wussied out and was unfair. He lost a great opportunity and has fallen prey to failure to get at the truth and listening to weasels rather than finding things out for himself. People should honor their commitments unless some extraorinary circumstance pervents them from duing so. A lot of people, it seems went through great expense and time booking something they are stuck with going to if they booked in particular to hear the Cardinal speak.

EFpastor emeritus said...

I think the Cardinal had no alternative, though it seems to have been an unfortunate if not diabolical error to print what ProEcclesia etPontifice put on their flyer. No matter how true it might be!

My experience of bishops is that they are always concerned.....but that does not always translate into action!

Some years ago I had a meeting with a now retired Archbishop who was surprised when I showed him a heresy in a book still used today in our Schools. He said he would have it amended. That was 18years ago. it still has not been amended.

It states Jesus is a human person. You and I know that it not true but a whole generation of Catholics have been taught that it is true. He is a DIVINE person with two natures one human and one divine. I believe it matters very much since it will influence how we see His teaching....divine or merely a good person?

shadowlands said...

Laurence did a great post on the Mass a few days ago:
http://thatthebonesyouhavecrushedmaythrill.blogspot.com/2011/05/god-has-chosen-to-live-with-us.html

After reading it, it struck me, we are attacking our own body when we attack each other (whatever our preferred rite or form).

I propose each of us start praying for the group we feel least inclined towards, or even persecuted by. The more angry someone makes you, pray all the more for that person or group.If our anger makes us pray, It defeats sin's purpose.

Jesus suggested this first ofcourse, so I am stealing His ideas here.

"Pray for those who persecute you, bless those who hate you"
Luke 6:28

Then the Cardinal will hear of us Catholics in the UK..."See how those lot love each other!"

There is room for improvement in all Catholic camps. Maybe the traditional side of the one body of Christ will want to set the ball of rolling?

Say Yes!!

Praise the Lord!
in all things.

PS. Father, can I be cheeky and ask for prayers for my son Paddy. He is awaiting another heart operation?

georgem said...

Yes, a wasted opportunity. I was looking forward to hearing the Cardinal speak. However, what PEEP did not realise is that you cannot drag a cardinal into internal divisions.
I have great admiration for PEEP in its efforts to keep the flame of real Catholicism alive. They are not content to sit on their hands and moan.
But in this case its pre-conference literature was OTT. It virtually forced the Cardinal to take sides by affirming its public criticism of the E&W hierarchy. This he could not do, especially in a nation over which he has no direct jurisdiction.
Enthusiasm and fervour needs to be tempered with a certain diplomatic nous. The opposition achieved this with a targeted campaign, possibly via south London. And one can make an educated guess as to which group was behind it, backed by a second front in Rome, no doubt.
The recent history of orthodox cardinals having their visits blocked by technicalities should have been at the forefront of the minds of PEEP and the waspish response to the Cardinal's withdrawal does it no favours. There is a time to keep silent. The best one can do, I suppose, is to go to the conference or send a donation to help them out.

jacquelineparkes said...

When I read about his proposed visit I thought it would never go ahead.

I'm fed up with people attacking our Catholic schools..my 10 children have a lively informed faith & have been well instructed on the faith in their respective schools..

Joe @ Defend Us In Battle said...

I know we want to rigidly place our 'favorite' Cardinals & Bishops into hero rolls of squashing modernism and heresy, but there is a diplomatic nature to their role and vocation - obedience. It is a fine line and often not doing something isn't always a statement against that thing.

This seems a perfect example. Unfortunately, some will view this as a "missed opportunity" but in reality it might have saved further head-ache post event.

I think Michael is on target when he said we may have learned a "timely" lesson. Sometimes a scalpel works much better than a sledge-hammer.

Mike Cliffson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
santoeusebio said...

A sad business. I think if the Cardinal did not like certain things it would have been better if he came and ticked off those responsible.

I get the feeling that in the end the laity are on their own in protesting. So often when one puts one concerns to clerics at the best all one gets is jumping from one foot to another. They are too hidebound by obedience and misplaced loyalty forever making excuses for the actions of their fellow clerics. Surely the appalling scandal we have all had to suffer over child abuse is just down to those kinds of attitudes.

Recently I spoke to a very orthodox priest about sex education in schools. He came up with the excuse that the Bishops were afraid that if they did not follow the Government line on sex education they would lose their funding for Catholic schools. A purely utilitarian response in my view. "Obdurate" may be a strong word to use but was it untrue?

Nicolas Bellord

gemoftheocean said...

Amen, Nicholas, Amen.

Terry said...

Hear Hear Jacqueline Parkes!

Ten well-educated children with "a lively informed faith".

Listen to one who knows.

GOR said...

It’s not easy being an orthodox Cardinal. Cardinal Burke - while still Archbishop Burke - has been ‘used’ before. I can’t recall the details. It may have been around the time of the last presidential election or had to do with refusing Communion to pro-abortion politicians. But what he said to a group in Rome was then used to attack the American bishops. He had to issue a clarification to the effect that he was speaking about Church discipline in general terms and not criticizing individual bishops.

Once bitten, twice shy. Given what I read on the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice site, I suspect there was the risk that the same might happen again – his address used as a stick to beat the E&W bishops. That is not the way to make friends and influence people!

videomaker said...

Meanwhile, young British Catholics continue to grow in their understanding of the Faith.

Sadie Vacantist said...

Traditional Catholicism has little traction politically and the geo-political scene generally would have to undergo a radical alteration for it to gain any in the short term. The present race for the GOP presidential candidacy is a reflection of how moribund resistance to the status quo remains. A vote for Romney consigns the USA to four more years of worsening wars and bank bailouts either under the incumbent or the Republican newcomer. In that regard, Cardinal Burke embodies the same “don’t rock the boat” disposition of the secular majority.

A young, ponytailed, Irish (probably lapsed Catholic) intellectual summed up the current state of affairs in an interview with the internet journalist Max Keiser in respect of the financial disaster engulfing his country. “Resistance could be messy”, he concluded dispassionately. We all know what he means by this. Until there this a level of upheaval that does indeed turn “messy”, then the Cardinal Burkes and Vincent Nichols of this World will continue to ignore Daphne McLeod and her followers and enforce their own failed policies in the manner of their secular equivalents.

Jonathan said...

So it seems that PEEP were somewhat ill disciplined in attacking the bishops too forcefully. Perhaps a senior cleric ought to talk to them about proper church discipline...

Mike Cliffson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marion said...

I am pleased that Fr Ray and people commenting on this blog have met bishops anxious and concerned about Catholic education. That has not been my experience. Are they not in a position to do something about it? Cardinal Burke should have come, if only to distance himself from such comments and to explain why.

Gregory said...

Right, so maybe if PEEP's flyer had referred to "the pathetic situation of catechetics in this country" then that may not have been so apparently inflammatory? That was Bishop O'Donoghue's quote in the wake of his publication "Fit for Mission? Schools" (tell me, why did he feel the need to actually produce such a report?)and it was one of his more benign quotes.
No, PEEP instead used "obdurate" (hardened of heart, stubborn) and this has been used as a stick with which to beat them.
Nonsense.
Catholic schools are a mess. Yes, there are some anecdotal successes but they are rare. On what do I base my negativity? The pews each week, that's what.
Obdurate as a strong word? Give over. The only obduration here is the insistence that obdurate is a term beyond the pale (yeah, because the softly softly approach has really worked these last 41 years hasn't it?)
PEEP were pretty restrained if you ask me.
This provocative flyer excuse is convenient fog.

Paul, Bedfordshire said...

I have to say that I have put my own children into the local town state primary school. Admittedly we live a fair distance from the nearest catholic school but I also did it because I felt whatever iniquities might be sent their way, I could point out to the kids that as they were not Catholic such things were sadly to be expected from such unenlightened people.

When such iniquities are spouted in a Catholic school, and therefore on and behalf of the Catholic Church, it is 100 times harder to correct.

For this reason, I think we need to basically hand back all state funded catholic schools to the state as it is culturally, if not legally, virtually impossible for catholic state schools to be orthodoxly catholic, certainly for secondary schools.

The money the Church spends on such schools could instead be ploughed into properly resourced professionally taught, childrens catechetics at the Church Hall on Sunday, with confirmation, first communion etc conditional upon attenance.

Ironically, it turned out that for a good proportion of their time in the local state school, the kids have been taught by teachers who are catholics, I suspect practicing catholics. That is itself interesting.

With regard to PE&P, I don't think the leaflet left the cardinal much choice, and to be fair to our Bishops, the trenchant language now seems a little dated in the light of the recent missives from Ecclestone square on the holydays, Friday abstinence and the translation.

It is perhaps the success of organisations like PE&P in bringing to Rome's attention various problems and latterly our Bishops willingly starting to address them than now makes the tone a little jarring.

I feel it is now time to get behind and support our bishops as there are plenty of spirit of V2 types who are attacking them in recent weeks and will increasingly attack them

John Kearney said...

If the bishops were as anxious as any about the state of religious education in our schools things would have change long ago. This Uriah Heep approach was played out a long time ago.

santoeusebio said...

I wonder if Cardinal Burke's withdrawal will not give more publicity to the issue of Catholic education than if he had come. We will have to wait and see whether this is not an own-goal for those who counselled him to stay away.

Nicolas Bellord

santoeusebio said...

Perhaps I was generalising too much about priests. Here there are some who seem prepared to come out in the open to defend orthodoxy even if it means demonstrating in front of their bishop:

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/barcelona-priests-begin-monthly-protest-against-bishops-association-with-ab

Nicolas Bellord

9c9fb406-3a1f-11e0-ba1d-000bcdca4d7a said...

jacqueline parkes I am glad that your family has had a good experince of Catholic schools. That has not been my experience. What is the lapsation rate for pupils who attend Catholic schools now? Am I right in thinking it is over 75% I agree that the language used to promote this event was regrettable but I admire the tenacity and bravery of this group. I will pray for them.

shadowlands said...

Paul said:

'I feel it is now time to get behind and support our bishops as there are plenty of spirit of V2 types who are attacking them in recent weeks and will increasingly attack them'

I am a V2 'type' as you term us. I am committed to pray the rosary weekly for my Bishop for over a year and a half now. I defended him at a catholic blog last week, when he, along with another one of God's creatures received character and personal bashing comments from pre vat 2 'types'.
http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2011/05/breaking-news-from-most-useless-and.html

We (catholics)declare to the world, a God who is reconciling man to himself and yet we are unable to reconcile with each other, the Body of Christ! I never knew Catholics split Christ into parts. Not until I joined blogger, that is.

It is Christ's love
amongst the brethren that is lacking and making us look like weak teachers and witnesses.


Or as our Holy Father put it, to his fellow priests two days ago:

"Certainly, to the minister's at the service of the gospel, study and careful ongoing pastoral and theological formation are useful and neccessary, but even more neccessary is that knowledge of love, which can only be learned, in a heart to heart encounter with Christ, for it is He who calls us to break the bread of His love, to forgive sins and to guide the flock in His name and for that reason, we must never step back from the source of that love, which is His Heart, pierced on the Cross. Only in this way can we co-operate effectively in the mysterious plan of the Father, which consists in making Christ, the heart of the world. The Church needs Holy Priests, ministers capable of helping the faithful to experience the Lord's merciful love and convinced witnesses of that love."

Mary will knock the rough edges of the lot of us, if we ask her. More rosaries!!

santoeusebio said...

Pro Ecclesia has always been a protest or ginger group expressing concern about catechesis and Catholic education frequently questioning the Bishops. I do not think it has ever been flavour of the month with the Bishops.

Before accepting the invitation to speak did Cardinal Burke not inquire as to the nature of Pro Ecclesia? Just looking at its website makes it fairly plain where it stands and it has not changed its spots.

It seems though that he received letters from several (note he does not say 'many') "devout and faithful catholics" deterring him from attending. Did they tell him something which he should have known already? Or were the messages from sources telling him not just about the nature of Pro Ecclesia but telling him very firmly (perhaps obdurately?) that his attendance would be regarded as totally inappropriate and unacceptable by those sources? Would those sources have been acting on behalf of the hierarchy?

My questions are pure speculation but I think they need answering. If not then many will continue to be concerned about:

1. The acceptance of the Government line on sex education last year.

2. Whether there was such internal dissension in the Birmingham Oratory justifying what happened or whether such was used as an excuse to get rid of tiresome clerics who were openly criticising the Bishops' sex education stance.

3. The Cardinal Vaughan school scandal.

This latest incident, if my speculation goes unanswered, will only serve to convince some that the hierarchy are taking a very firm (obdurate?) line in the face of criticism of their education policies.

Lastly I believe the quote from the flyer about obduracy was merely used an excuse. It simply does not wash.

What is needed is dialogue on these issues not power politics.

Nicolas Bellord

Richard said...

Paul, that's just what I did.

I would rather have my children educated at a secular school, and learning the Faith at home, than to have to fight uphill against poor catechism (at best) from a supposedly Catholic school.

johnf said...

Just who are these devout and faithful Catholics who have been advising Cardinal Burke to lay off?

What does this imply about those who were interested in what he had to say? Neither devout nor faithful?

Mustn't rock the boat, or it will sink faster.

Jamie said...

Surely no Catholic parent can send their child to a diocesean 'Catholic' school nowadays! To be 'talked dirty' to?? With all their wicked 'sex ed' (I remember Fr Finegan defending Teen Star) that to me amounts to abuse. Better put your little ones to State schools (or homeschool).

shadowlands said...

'Surely no Catholic parent can send their child to a diocesean 'Catholic' school nowadays! To be 'talked dirty' to?? With all their wicked 'sex ed' '

???????????

I am beginning to think a lot of 'catholic' bloggers are actually anti catholic. They slag the Church off, worse than some of the prod fundamentalists do.

My son learnt that abortion was wrong , in a Catholic school, also euthanasia, also many other truths taught through the catechism, there was a much bigger emphasis given to the latter. He would not get that in a non-catholic school. I know. I went to one. He also gets the opportunity for Mass and confessions, not on offer in state schools.

These are all moments, times offered by God, where he might be glimpsed and a moment of clarity given to a soul, so needed in this world today, where even our fellow catholics do not look on each other as brothers.

The Pope tells us to pray for this, yet 'serious catholics' are seeking to dissolve catholic schools and implement your perfect teaching at home. What about children who's only introduction to Christ might be through their catholic schooling? Their souls are more important to God than your need to expose and punish their lapsed parents. According to most of you it's the church hierarchy's fault from Vat 2 that they've got a weak faith anyway, so why seek to wreck their children's formation, poor as it maybe, now.

You Catholics who are in the know liturgically, instead of defending your unfriendliness, by saying it's caused by years of hurt, take the vat 2 bull by the horns and repent for the church's(our)mistakes. Own them yourself, don't sit from a high and lofty place, watching the biological judgmental clock 'tick,tick,tick'

Christ didn't do that! He died for us, while we were yet in the mire!
He got stuck in.
Do any of you scorners of imperfect catholic education actually know any sinners?
Or love any sinners?
Or like Christ, would be prepared to die for sinners, rather than sit back as they die?

You can't keep using past behaviours as an excuse for your own. Imagine if Jesus did that with us.


Our Lady can turn this round. She managed to turn my out of control life around. If she can do that for me, she can surely raise the spirit's of the righteous?

Stop knocking the church, it is Jesus you are fighting.

Shame on us!!

santoeusebio said...

But shadowlands people have varying experience of Catholic schools. Jamie is perhaps over the top in saying one should never send one's child to a Catholic school. Surely a Catholic parent should inquire what is being taught at the particular Catholic school and then decide whether it is better to send the child to another school or hometeach rather than be taught some so-liberal version of the faith.

My experience of one school is one of extreme disappointment. Other parents and grandparents come up with similar stories of other schools.

The Catholic Education Service put out a totally false version of Government policy last year and apparently see no need to defend their policy. I wrote and got no answer. Were the three clerics at the Birmingham Oratory right in what they said about this issue of sex education? What is that the Cardinal Vaughan School Parents Action Group are defending so vigorously?

As for attacking the Church: is one attacking the Church when one complains about the behaviour of a paedophile priest? Is one attacking the Church when one complains that a Catholic school is giving guidance on how to access abortion? Is one attacking the Church when one complains that a Catholic Hospital is making referrals to an abortion clinic?

Of course not. We must build up the Kingdom of God by rooting out these evils not for ever trying to pretend they do not happen. We should ensure that our schools and hospitals are truly Catholic and follow the teachings of the Church.

Nicolas Bellord

Crouchback said...

Yes let's see who these "Devout and Faithful Catholics" are.

If Cardinal Burke calls them Devout and Faithful, then they should be willing to spread the word from the roof tops.....

So will they be "outing" themselves ....

I have my doubts.

Question is if they don't out themselves...then why not..??

Will others out them..??

If they don't out themselves and nobody else does.....

Then I might be tempted to think of them as back stabbing arse lickers, than heroes of the Faith...

As was said to Harry Lime ...."Come out, come out whoever you are"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1EGzUmkopE

Jamie said...

Jamie is perhaps over the top in saying one should never send one's child to a Catholic school.
--Perhaps OTT, but I'm happy to be in the company of Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen who advised the people of Rochester NY not to send their children to Catholic high schools if they wanted them to remain Catholic way back in the 1970s!
Our own dear Fr Thwaites SJ, too, often gave the same advice.

Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

GOR said, It’s not easy being an orthodox Cardinal. Cardinal Burke - while still Archbishop Burke - has been ‘used’ before. I can’t recall the details.

It was http://te-deum.blogspot.com/2009/03/archbishop-burke-was-duped-by-terry.html.

Reading that flyer, I don't think Cardinal Burke had a choice. It could appear that he is joining in public criticism of his fellow bishops. That's about as tasteful as seeing members of the same sports team publicly criticizing other members who erred or didn't do his job. Those things should be handled in the locker room, not on the field where they create further division and loss of focus.

Daphne McLeod says in the letter to Cdl Burke, We must remember that St Thomas Aquinas said that ‘correction, even of bishops by their subjects, is a precept of charity' . And, as you will know better than I do, Your Eminence, Canon Law 212 cites this correction as a “duty”.

There are many wrong ways to do this, and very few right ways. I don't think St. Thomas Aquinas meant that the faithful should be openly critical of a bishop in the public square.

I think Cdl Burke just gave a whole lot of orthodox Catholics some things to think about with regards to how they deal with concerns in the Church.

Gregory said...

The old "hold our tongues" stealth tactic, hey Diane?

I've heard similar before. This is where gets years of diplomacy:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11218791

No, as much as I can truly appreciate where you're coming from, the Emperor's New Clothes moment has arrived (in fact it arrived several years ago).

PEEP said "obdurate" that's all. Perfectly good word. Perfectly solid definition. A good word and a solid definition describing an exact situation.

It's possibly one of the least trenchant words I've heard PEEP use in recent years (i.e. before Cardinal Burke was invited to London and accepted the request). But then he changed his mind because the word "obdurate" was used?

Doesn't wash.

Exhibit A: PEEP has lobbied for years for the removal of a textbook that had its imprimatur removed in 1998 from UK Catholic schools. Result? It's still being used.

Exhibit B: PEEP has lobbied for years for the cessation of the Soho "Gay" Masses. Result? They're more embedded into Westminster diocesan life than ever.

In other words, PEEP has long since tried the tactic you advise. Got them nowhere. Any wonder they used the word "obdurate"?

And then irony of ironies they get hit with a big stick for using a word like "obdurate" and everyone goes all lily-livered and tells them to maybe be a bit more diplomatic.

I could go on but it's ever decreasing circles this argument.

It's very clear now that the UK laity are on their own in this fight.

.

Jamie said...

Yep, Gregory sums it up pretty well!

santoeusebio said...

Is it not significant that the clerics and religious who have responded here universally support Cardinal Burke's withdrawal? Clericalism is alive and well!

I must say I was looking forward to Cardinal Burke's visit and what he had to say as he has said some interesting things in the past.

As a lawyer I am particularly interested because he holds a position in the Canon Law system in Rome and I would love to ask him why, to a lay lawyer, it looks like the sort of system one might expect in a South American banana republic some 50 years ago. I will be writing to him!

Nicolas Bellord

Crouchback said...

UK laity on their own in this fight..?? says Gregory @ 5/6/11 3:12 pm........

Not ALL on their own, most are in the pockets of the Bishops. I was at the first Pro Ecclesia meeting back in 1982 where at the very mention of a certain French Archbishops name the roof was raised by a great roar of approval. The UK bishops take a different line from the French Archbishop....that's why the church here is dead. And that's why the vast majority of catholic laity are dead to the faith as well.

The rest of us are quite used to living our faith with weak, mealy mouthed bishops who get nothing right and their cheerleaders amongst the brain dead laity, who are easy to spot covered in Bene Merenti medals and the like. Let them keep their baubles....

I'll keep the faith, along with hundreds of others.

Father John Boyle said...

@santoeusebio: very regrettable that you have introduced a clergy/laity divide. So many of us clergy are on your side and want to support you with what you disparagingly describe as a banana republic canonical/legal system. It is precisely the restoration of the Church's law/discipline that the Cardinal was due to speak about. This was made impossible by ill thought out remarks that just need not have been written.

Many of us were behind you in your brave fight for St John and St Elizabeth's. We are anything but clerical. If you want to alienate us from you, carry right on with such remarks.

santoeusebio said...

Dear Father John,

I was being deliberately provocative as is often necessary!

I have not 'introduced a clergy/laity divide' but merely asked whether such does not exist!
If such a divide does exist then it is regrettable but we laity surely need to be realistic.

If you read the correspondence between Cardinal Burke and Mrs McLeod you will see mention of a certain Opus Dei priest who has written excellent books on Christian Ethics. However when it actually comes to the practice of those Ethics respect for the Bishops is such that nothing happens.

One commentator speaks of those who talk the talk but won't walk the walk.

In respect of Canon Law I am sure that substantively it is excellent but adjectivally? Can we really claim that Canon Law was effective in dealing with the paedophile abuse scandal? Cardinal Burke was to speak on the restoration of the Church's law/discipline. So it needs restoring does it? Perhaps the real objection from those "devout and faithful catholics" was not to Pro Ecclesia's campaign but to the very idea that Canon Law might be restored as an effective instrument.

When I started practice as a lawyer in the UK system the substantive law seemed excellent. But the adjectival or procedural side was abysmal. As one Judge said the only change he could see in his court since the 18th century was the lightbulb. The High Court did not even have a telephone and everything had to be done by personal attendance - the Chancery Division had actually deteriorated since the days of Jarndyce and Jarndyce. Whether my more provocative statements or the quiet diplomacy of my colleagues effected reform I do not know but I think one needs both!

Now my experience with Canon Law is that I recently prepared and delivered a case. I took advice on procedure in this country and from a Judge in Rome. I prepared a vast dossier and sent it off at no inconsiderable expense. I was warned to make it difficult to shred and too large for the wpb! That was several years ago but I never had even the courtesy of an acknowledgment despite several reminders.

Now in my time in the UK I have had proceedings thrown back at me by the Courts because of some piffling minor technical defect but at least I get a response and I can put the defect right! So are you surprised when I say that the Canon Law procedures LOOK (not are) like those one might expect in a banana republic?

And is this not what happened when people complained about sexual abuse? I.e. nothing.

And now we have an even greater scandal of our children and grandchildren being exposed to forms of sex education which are profoundly immoral and what is being done about it? Just where are the Bishops and the CES on these issues? They just keep mum and we must not say anything as that would be disrespectful.

By the way I note that Cardinal Burke, at the end of his letter, invokes God's blessing upon Mrs McLeod and her apostolate - so what is his problem? Or is it just the meaningless way some conclude their letters so as to have their cake and eat it?

Best wishes and I would like to think that the Canon Law Society of GB will spend its next conference mulling over procedural or adjectival law rather than the substantive stuff.

Nicolas Bellord