Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Tablet "disses" Fr Tim

It is very easy for a small group of parishioners to make life pretty unpleasant for a priest. The nicer a priest is the more it hurts. It hurts other parishioners as well. I remember once an old parish priest said to me, "10% love you, 10% hate you, and the other 80% don't care much, so long as you are there when they need you."

The Tablet has just done the dirt on my friend Fr Tim at Blackfen, who I think is one of the most hard working priests in the country. From the Tablet article there seem to be 12 people who object to him celebrating Mass in the Traditional Form. These have been engaging in that most traditional of Catholic sports: priest baiting. Now Fr Tim has not one, or two, or even three Sunday Masses but FOUR of which the late morning one is Traditional Form, a quarter of his people actually attend this Mass, and if it is like our Friday evening TLM it is full of convinced and devout young men and women and steadily growing.

Being the Tablet, the article is grudging and petty, this small group of parishioners complain about money spent on the Traditional Rite on vestments etc., well if it is like here those who come to the Traditional are actually very generous about things like that. The article just hints at financial impropriety, in its nasty Tabletist way, and fails to mention repairs redecoration, heating, installation of new equipment etc which Fr Tim has done recently. It complains about people being asked to keep a prayerful silence in the Church, the woman from the Tasblet says this stops people interacting, yet she fails to mention the large narthex, the hall and the parish "pub" where people can and are encouraged to chatter to their hearts content. Thank heavens Fr Tim has a good bishop: Pat Lynch, who supports his clergy.

Though I am sure that Tablet readers will hold their hands up in horror, intelligent readers will see this is a put up job.

There is a sad conservatism in many of the Tablet's writers that wants to keep the Church ossified in the 1980s, they have to remember that was almost thirty years ago!

Increasingly younger lay people and priests are not going to be satisfied with the models of parish life and liturgy of their parents generation, I think Fr Tim is bravely experimenting with something new, something Benedictine at Blackfen.


Anonymous said...

I know of no one who reads the Tablet under 45!
It is dying.

gemoftheocean said...

But then, isn't getting dissed by the Tablet akin to being pelted by popcorn by hippy geezers? Consider the source! I'd be happy to have Fr. Tim as my pastor.

Anonymous said...

I've had contacts with Fr Finigan over the years and I can tell you that he is a fine priest, an accomplished scholar and a first rate gentleman.
I wish Britain had more priests like him. If we had 100 priests like him in Britain we we have a truly different and Catholic nation.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes; Never ever buy the Tablet.
It is an liberal Anglican rag.
It is so anti-Catholic it is a parody of a proper magazine.

Volpius Leonius said...

The enemies of God doing what enemies of God do, persecuting God's chosen priests.

PeterHWright said...

Fr. Tim Finigan makes generous, I would say very generous, pastoral provision for all his parishioners.

There is no reason for any of them to be disgruntled. None whatever.

This may be prove to be a storm in a teacup, but if this is the real battle, then I am on the side of this good and kind and generous Catholic priest.

The Bones said...

I'm shocked by the nerve of the lady who penned this article.

Paul said...

I always thought the Tablet hankered for the 1970s. Nice to be put straight ...

Francis said...

Fr. Ray,

Being dissed by the Tablet means that you're already on the road to sainthood. It's a compliment of the highest order. Actually, Pope Benedict should introduce it as a criterion for the Westminster succession: "Has the candidate ever been dissed by the Tablet and if not, why not?"

Physiocrat said...

At least the people who are complaining can still go to a mass to their taste. Something similar happened in my parish and about one-third of the congregation were upset by what was happening, but they were forced to put up with what the priest imposed - or leave. Which many did. The congregation dropped by about a third. And £30,000 was then spent on work in the sanctuary which was unsympathetic to the style of the building.

There was nothing in The Tablet on the subject because the boot was on the other foot then.

Is is possible to organise an expression of support to this priest?

nickbris said...

"The Tablet" is that a Pharisee rag or just another organ of the Fifth Column ?

Us septuagenarians can remember that we enjoyed everything about the Old Mass and now we have more time to spare for God it is great to be taken back.

The churches will get fuller as we can see at the moment and it is not just with East Europeans.

For my Requiem Mass I want the Full Traditional and all my lapsed family can put up with it.

Anonymous said...

Too right Father! And the 'financial impropriety' inference is just disgusting. Is that Catholic journalism? Can't be easy being a Parish Priest, and to have a national magazine try and stir things up for you must be a nightmare.

JARay said...

The news must have got back to the Bitter Pill by now that the blogosphere is solidly behind Fr. Finigan.
I saw on another Blog that Miss Curti is not replying to e-mails.
If anyone wants to have a go at e-mailing her I believe that the e-mail address (as given on The Tablet) is

Long may Fr. Finigan keep doing what he does so very well.


Physiocrat said...

For my Requiem Mass I also want the Full Traditional please.

None of that trouble here. The youngsters want it and the PP is more than happy to oblige but is going softly softly.

Anonymous said...

Jealousy, jealousy. The Tablet strikes me as some kind of green-eyed monster jealous that somebody else in the playground is more popular.

I think this article is good news and shows the devil is going fists flying at the most important targets - boy is he mad. First Benedict and the SSPX, now Fr. Tim. Watch out Fr. Ray and Fr. Z something tells me you're next. The devil obviously reads the internet. He will go after anyone who's important in changing the tide of opinion. You three are in the frame.

It's interesting to contrast all the nonsense of the past two weeks with the devil's reaction to V2 and it's aftermath. He didn't say a dickie-bird. He loved it. There is definetly something satanic about all this reaction. We are definetly back on the right track and B16 has to follow through his changes. Never has a clearer signal been given.

Unknown said...

As JARay suggested, I have written to Elena Curti via the email listed. I tried to be charitable, but just could not find it in me. Dear Lord, forgive me!


Bravo. Your latest article about Fr Finigan is brilliant!

You really show how low a newspaper, and unfortunately a Catholic one, can stoop to try and garner publicity to help it's diminishing sales.
Your newspaper is pathetic. You are pathetic.

You have the cheek to call yourself a Catholic, writing for a Catholic newspaper.
You and your editorial team are stuck in the past, a time-warp of a period that is long over, and you lot just don't get it. Or maybe, you can't accept it? That your hippy, happy-clappy, tambourine-waving herd are so out of touch with what the Catholics in Britain today want. You all are now so passe that it's embarrassing.

Why don't you and your team at the Tablet do the only honourable thing possible right now. The only action that can justify your very existence right now.
Please, please, go and join the liberal wing of the Anglican church. Or is it the Episcopalean Church? Or whatever it is they call themselves. I'm sure you and Katherine Jefferts Schori will get on like a church on fire.

Do it. Do it now. You know it makes sense.

Best Wishes to you and herd,"

Unknown said...

Looks like Elena Curti has gone into hiding to escape the fallout from her hatchet job. The reply I received:

"I am away until Monday 2 March. If you are contacting me in connection with an article please write to the editor's PA Fiona Chisholm at
If you wish to offer a piece for home news or Notebook contact our home news editor, Isabel de Bertodano at"

torchofthefaith said...

Dear Father

Thanks for posting on this. Our prayers are with you priests of Jesus Christ as you strive to lead us all to Him. May you be given many blessings in your ministry to souls.

In Christ
Alan and Angeline

Fr Ray Blake said...

Terry, I don't think she will read more than the first 20 words.

Unknown said...

Well, Fr Ray, I had to try. I also forwarded to Fiona Chisholm but I suspect she's just a dogsbody. It felt good all the same. Maybe the editor will see the volume of emails that have come in regarding the article and perhaps have a quiet word with the harridan when she gets back?

God bless both you and Fr Tim. We've got your backs covered. :)

Et Expecto said...

The conclusion is:-

1 Never buy another copy of the Tablet

2 Tell everyone you know not to buy it again

3 Ask your priest not to stock it at the back of the church.

4 Do not advertise in it.

epsilon said...

I've emailed them as well:
20 02 09 18:16

I used to read The Tablet until you invited me to a talk at your place being given on Human Rights by Cheree Blair

I then understood that you are no more Catholic than New Labour - the party that have sold their souls to secular materialism.

No true Catholic will believe the lies and inaccuracies you are loading on Fr Tim Finigan who is trying to give choice to his flock as suggested by Pope Benedict. Unfortunately, for most of us in this foresaken country, we do not have priests like him. My parish priest for instance told me he "doesn't do" Latin and referred me on to a priest 30 miles away, when I asked him to say Mass in Latin this year for the anniversary of my aunt who died a few years ago and was a member of The Latin Mass Society - what appeared then to be a fringe element in the Church, but now has been proved right all along that the way to keep our faith alive is to stick to the Mass of all ages.
May God forgive you for your infidelity to the Catholic Church while posing to be spokespeople for it!

George said...

I can't wait to read the response in support of Fr Tim and the EF that will be no doubt be issued by the office of the Bishops of E&W to be read out in all Catholic Churches together with their unanimous decree to all the Faithful "Do not read that dissenting, liberal rag called the Tablet which passes itself off as Catholic in name only".

Well, we can all dream can't we. One day Lord.... one day... England will return as Mary's Dowry!

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