Thursday, 15 July 2010

Birmingham Oratory : 'Extraordinary rendition'

Catholic Family News - 10.6.2010

Members of the NACF and parishioners of the Birmingham Oratory email : 'We have written to Father Duffield, Provost of the Birmingham Oratory, to ask about the mysterious disappearance of Father Philip Cleevely, Father Dermot Fenlon and Brother Lewis Berry. Knowing them to be good and holy men, we could not understand why they had been sent to different monasteries, hundreds of miles apart. Father Duffield, a kind and orthodox priest, has assured us that there is no question of any insinuation of moral turpitude and we are grateful for this assurance. He then told us that he is not free to speak about the circumstances that have brought about this situation and advised us to write to his superior, which we have done.

The questions that we are asking specifically are as follows. Are Father Dermot Fenlon, Father Philip Cleevely and Brother Lewis Berry returning to the Birmingham Oratory, or not? If the answer to this question is yes, then when precisely are they going to return? How long is their penitential sentence to be?

A further question to which we require a particularly speedy response is this: is there any truth in the rumours circulating in London that these three men are shortly to be removed abroad, from where they will be unlikely ever to return to this country? It beggars belief that an ecclesiastical equivalent of 'extraordinary rendition' should be thought appropriate for three orthodox and holy pastors who have done nothing wrong. What is going on? As parishioners who have lost three of their pastors, we feel that we have a moral entitlement to an explanation.