Thursday, 15 July 2010

Prisoners of Conscience?

Catholic Family News - 4.6.2010

Members of the NACF and parishioners of the Birmingham Oratory email :

'Parishioners at the Birmingham Oratory remain completely in the dark as regards the loss of their priests, Father Dermot Fenlon and Father Philip Cleevely, and of Brother Lewis Berry. No reason has been given as to why they have been ordered to three separate monasteries hundreds of miles apart, how long they are to remain there or when, if at all, we can expect them back. They are sorely missed, and there is a great deal of confusion and sadness in the parish as a result, which of-course extends far beyond geographical parish boundaries. The beautiful and reverent liturgies in both Tridentine and Novus Ordo forms, sound teaching and access to the Sacrament of Confession several times each day draw many from all parts of the city and beyond.

Could this in fact be the problem? Certainly the Birmingham Oratory was a rare bastion of defence of Catholic doctrine in such controversial areas as pro-life issues, Government proposals for values-free sex education in Catholic schools endorsed by the Catholic Education Service, the Catholic understanding of the problem of homosexuality and so on. Are these good men in fact the prisoners of conscience of the Catholic church in the British Isles? Certainly the idea is abhorrent to their parishioners that they could possibly have deserved their banishment through any wrong action of theirs.

We urgently require this injustice to be rectified and our priests restored to us. We deserve an honest and clear answer to our question: when are they coming back?