Monday, May 13, 2013


Deacon Nick raises an interesting point: apparently the General Secretary of the Bishops Conference attended a meeting of A Call to Action, hosted by Hinsley Hall the Leeds Diocesan Pastoral Centre, being a moderate I wouldn't attend A Call to Action and for the same reason at the other end of the spectrum I probably wouldn't attend a Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice, except some of my parishioners did and were quite impressed with the speakers, indeed a friend of mine spoke, and he is far from a ranter.

Deacon Nick's point is: if Mgr Stock can attend an ACTA meeting why could he not attend a PEP meeting? I am not sure what the protocol of arranging such visits is, whether ACTA invited Mgr Stock and PEP did not but as a consequence of Mgr Stock's visit ACTA now expect to meet the entire Bishops Conference, according to Deacon Nick.

Now, in the interest of balance in would seem that Mgr Stock should be available for various groups. Unlike individual Bishops who might attend specific meetings of groups like Latin Mass Society or Faith or Evangelium or even the CTS or Confraternity of Catholic Clergy or a myriad other groups, having the Secretary Secretary of the Bishop's Conference attending "in a listening capacity", not for himself but for their Lordships and apparently promising to report the proceedings to the Bishop's Conference seems to be on quite a different scale of things. Deacon Nick does not indicate who authorised such a visit but presumably in such matters, and with such a group, the General Secretary does not act on his own initiative. This was an official visit not a private or personal visit, as far as the information available, mainly from the Tablet, is concerned.

Now, it could be that ACTA, which in this country originated with a letter to the Tablet and seems have not a few Tablet connexions, has been rather clever in manipulating the media. Let us hope they have not been manipulating Mgr Stock and through him the Bishops Conference. It would be very unfortunate if the Bishop's Conference becomes seen as unbalanced and actually creating dissent. I find it quite concerning if their Lordships are more open to groups on the extreme left than the centre or right of centre groups. Members of ACTA seem to have connexions with far left groups within the Church that seem to be intent on undermining the Magisterium.


Trisagion said...

All the Bishops of E&W received invitations to the ACTA meeting. Rather than accept and be seen, or represented as supporting the organisation, they asked Mgr Stock to go, observe and report back. This he has done.

Bob Hayes said...

The closeness of the relationship between ACTA and The Tablet is evident from exchanges on ACTA's Google Group, here:!category-topic/acalltoaction/IQj-iQm3kM0

It is interesting to note the bickering amongst the would-be revolutionaries!

polycarped said...

Dear Fr. I attended the PEEP conference at the weekend - my first time engaging with the group and I have to admit I was especially keen to hear Michael Voris speak - and didn't really notice much ranting (at least not from the speakers - a bit from some members of the audience - but you tend to get that everywhere!). All I saw displayed was genuine concern for faithful transmission of the faith and a sincere loyalty to the Church. As someone who also does not self-identify as some kind of extremist (!) but who does see an increasing need for clarity in regard to the teaching and practice of the faith, I'd be genuinely interested to hear - if you are willing - why you would most likely not choose to attend a PEEP event. Thanks as always - and God bless you.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Simply, I find idenifying with the Church enough, rather than groups within it.

I do admire Daphne McC. but I was rather upset by the debacle over the invitation to Card Burke and the subsequently invited speakers.

Pétrus said...

ACTA are not, as you say, a group on the "extreme left"

Within the Church there is no left or right. There is simply truth and error. Orthodoxy or heterodoxy.

The headline speaker at the PEEP conference was Michael Voris. This is a man whose organisation "ChurchMilitant.TV" describes itself as "100% faithful to the magisterium of the Church"

Fr Ray Blake said...

ACTA too, would describe itself as "100% faithful",

It is the Church, the bishops, actually, not us who decides who is a loyal son/daughter. Hence I think the presence of Mgr Stock at one meeting and absence at the other is of tremendous significance.

Anita Moore said...

About 15 or so years ago, Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska excommunicated Call to Action members in his diocese (after giving them sufficient time to get out of the group). The Call to Action people appealed to Rome, and Rome affirmed the bishop. That gives us some idea of Call to Action's level of fidelity to the magisterium.

Pétrus said...

Father I fail to see how ACTA could describe itself as being 100% faithful to the magisterium of the Church.

It's entire raison d'etre is to enact change in Church teaching.

The topic of female ordination is but one example. That ordination is reserved only for men is an infallible teaching of the Church.

"I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgement [u]is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful[/u]. - Pope John Paul II"

Fr Ray Blake said...

Manipulation of the media?
Friends on the Tablet?
Friends in high places?

Take your choice.

Paul Commins said...

Call to Faction does not have the interests of the Church at heart,but rather sellfishness.

momangelica said...

The PEEP conference was as sound as ever and the previous attempt to hold one was sabotaged because a wretch had a tiny wedge to use. That conference would have been as sound as all the others over the years but hey ho, no trust in our good hard working Catholics which would be a good thing,they feel so alone and apart from many of the Clergy as it is but that is the way of martyrs so they have to grin and bear it while praying for our Clergy.

Elizabeth said...

Fr Ray Blake said...

ACTA too, would describe itself as "100% faithful",

It is the Church, the bishops, actually, not us who decides who is a loyal son/daughter. Hence I think the presence of Mgr Stock at one meeting and absence at the other is of tremendous significance.

That is what is causing me to seriously question my faith. I cannot understand why the Bishops continue to recognise and work with groups (in this case, a group that has been excommunicated in another diocese)as though they are loyal sons of the Church while ignoring those who are working for the renewal of the Church. It makes me very nearly despair. I do not understand how the bishops can claim to believe in the magisterium and yet work closely with groups that flagrantly oppose it. It honestly is making me question whether I made the right decision in converting (a decision I have suffered for quite a bit). What are the lay faithful to do? Should we just carry on, ignoring that our bishops are so cozy with openly heterodox groups? Or should it make us question whether something has gone terribly wrong, and I mean of a much greater magnitude than the problems we already know about? In the corner of the Archdiocese of Westminster where I live, the only way I can get to a Mass free from open liturgical abuses is to get my atheist boyfriend to drive me to the next town. Without that help, I would never be able to afford the transport costs on the measly salary I make working at a Catholic school. But my local parish features such abuses as First Communicants concelebrating the Presentation of the Gifts, ad-libbed penitential rites, skipped readings, readings re-written by the Children's liturgist and priests who say that the presence of the hierarchy is the 'work of the devil.' I have great respect for you, Father Ray, and I greatly enjoy your blog, but it makes me so sad to hear you compare these two groups as though they were on an equal footing. If we must view those who promote the Latin Mass and the Magisterial teachings of the Church as a sub-set on a par with a heterodox group excommunicated in at least one diocese, God help us.