Stuart Reid says I've lost it...

Blogged by James Preece on 2nd August 2010

Stuart Reid has some nice things to say about me in his Catholic Herald blog, but he also think's I've lost it on the Birmingham three.

James Preece is in many ways an admirable young man, and he clearly loves the Church. [...] Many will think that it was wrong to exclude him from Catholic Voices, the team set up to prepare the public for the Pope’s visit. But he seems to have lost it as far as the Birmingham Oratory is concerned. He is very, very cross. Consider this:

“Unfortunately, when you are three humble holy men standing in the path of Archbishop Nichols and his plan for an all encompassing Church where anybody and everybody can believe whatever they like … then you tend to get squashed.”

It is an extraordinary charge. The Archbishop may have been derelict in certain areas — some find him wanting in his media statements on sex education and contraception – but nothing can justify the accusation that he is plotting to destroy the Church (for that would be the result of his “plan” for a Church ”where everybody can believe whatever they like”). It rather looks as though Mr Preece has been carried away by his emotions.

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Hold on a moment... "nothing can justify the accusation that he is plotting to destroy the Church"... when did I say that?

I did say that Archbishop Nichols has a plan for "an all encompassing Church where anybody and everybody can believe whatever they like" because there is plenty of evidence for it and I agree with Stuart that the result of this plan will be the destruction of the Church in England and Wales.

But I don't think Archbishop Nichols is intentionally planning to destroy the Church. I think he genuinely thinks that re-jigging the odd teaching here or there is a good way to get more people through the door.

The Birmingham Three were outspoken defenders of the family and they were in the perfect position to defend the Church on all sorts of issues. Brother Lewis Berry was running the Newman Cause website. Fr Philip Cleevely was writing articles and now they are both silenced.

Who is speaking for the Oratory? Who is managing the Newman Cause website? Who is "working with" Fr Cleevely on articles and publishing them under his own name?

Jack Valero - and who pays Jack Valero? The Bishop's Conference: Vincent Nichols and friends.

So for the next few weeks it will be Jack Valero on the radio, Jack Valero on the TV (or Jack Valero's Catholic Voices team), Jack Valero in the newspapers. He will say nothing that would put Vincent Nichol's nose out of joint.

Because that is what he is being paid to do.

Very, very cross? Yeah.

Guilty as charged.