Saturday, 10 July 2010

"Stonewalling at the Birmingham Oratory"

Catholic and loving it - James Preece on 21.6.2010

Do priests serve a purely utilitarian function?
Do they exist to provide Mass and the other Sacraments over the counter like fast food? The same impersonal service. Welcome to McChurch, Would you like fries with that? Have a nice day...

Is that how it works?

Is that why Fr Ignatius Harrison thinks that parishioners of the Birmingham Oratory deserve no explanation as to why much loved spiritual directors have been "indefinitely" banished?

Parishioners of Birmingham Oratory write...

Despite sending two letters to Father Ignatius Harrison, on the advice of the Provost of Birmingham Oratory, we have received no reply. Clearly it is felt that as mere parents and parishioners we are owed no explanation, almost as if it is none of our business. There seems to be no particular concern for us as parents, trying to bring up our children in a world ferociously hostile to our Catholic values, deprived of two priests and a Brother who were like manna in the desert in terms of their courageous support. We simply cannot afford to lose their brave voices and their tireless pastoral support. Our family and many others are devastated at the breath-taking injustice of serving a sentence of indefinite banishment on three good and holy men who are guilty of no transgression, save perhaps that of speaking up a little too zealously in defence of life, of our families and of our parental rights. This scandal to our children is profound and will not be remedied until Father Dermot Fenlon, Father Philip Cleevely and Brother Lewis Berry are restored to our Oratory, Cardinal Newman's Oratory.

The mistake those parishioners made was thinking the Birmingham Oratory any different from McDonalds and thinking their relationship with their priest was any different from their relationship with a teenager in a paper hat.

Was it?

Or is it Father Ignatius Harrison who is mistaken?