Sunday, 27 February 2011

Happy Birthday Fr Felix Selden!

Fr Felix Selden meeting Pope Benedicte XVI
at the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman
at Cofton Park on 19th September 2010

Monday, 21 February 2011

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes!

Dr Matthew Doyle - Lacrimarum Valle Blog - 13.2.2011

Some interesting comments on this piece can be read at the Catholic and Loving It! blog.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Question for Archbishop Bernard Longley

from Catholic Pater Familias blog - 9.2.2011

Why has Father Dermot Fenlon not been returned home?

I only ask because from reading James Preece's blog there seem to be a good number of your flock wanting the return of their much loved and innocent priest.

Not your problem but Fr Felix Selden's? Erm, nope - your flock.............your problem........

Monday, 7 February 2011

Man and cat get promotion (but what about Fr Dermot Fenlon?)

from Catholic Pater Familias blog - 6.2.2011

February is often a time for job changes in the Oratory and there will be one or two changes this year. These will come into effect straight away.  Fr Anton will replace Fr. Guy as Parish Priest. Fr. Guy has been Parish Priest for the last ten years and done a tremendous job. He now has a new task, to set up a school of liturgical music at the Oratory. We hope to be able to do this in conjunction with Maryvale. Care for the music and worship of the Church is a strong element of the Oratory’s mission and an area in which Fr. Guy has a particular expertise. Fr. Guy will also be spending some time researching a book as a part of this project. We hope this book can be turned into a doctorate.  Although Fr. Anton is relatively new to the Oratory he has considerable expertise as a Parish Priest and Hospital Chaplain in the diocese. He will bring many great pastoral gifts to his new role.  Fr. Paul will resume his work on the Cause of Blessed John Henry as the Vice-Postulator but Fr. Richard remains the Actor (promoter) of the Cause since that job goes with being the Provost.

Oh yeah, they've also permanently transported one of those pesky Birmingham Oratory Three chaps to Canada. But hey, the bloke with the cat got promoted and the chap who had the "intense but physically chaste friendship with a young man" is back in. Another chap is off to do musical things.

This whole situation stinks to high heavens. Do they not realise you cannot make people 'disappear' quite so easily these days?

Pushkin the cat was unavailable for comment when I called earlier.

Who's Who at the Society of St Catherine of Sienna

Newman Cause website for sale

We note that the Birmingham Oratory has closed down the website fot the Cause for the Canonisation of Blessed John Henry Newman and put the domain up for sale.

Fr Philip Cleevely transferred to Toronto

Catholic & Loving It! blog - 6.2.2011

The man who Jack Valero said would be "back soon" has now been in exile for 269 days. Turns out I was right, his exile is to be permanent.

Here's the "official" version of events from the Birmingham Oratory website...

Fr. Philip has been resident at the Toronto Oratory since last September, teaching philosophy and spirituality to the students in the seminary run by that community. He has found this work very satisfying. Full use has been made of his intellectual gifts in the tasks assigned to him. He has in consequence asked for a definitive transfer from the Birmingham Oratory to the Toronto Oratory. The Fathers in Canada, recognising the contribution he can make to their community’s life and work, have agreed to his request
We would like to thank Fr. Philip for his contribution to the life of the Birmingham house over the last twenty years. We would also like to thank the Fathers of the Toronto Oratory, their Provost Fr. Jonathan Robinson, and Fr. Martin Hilbert and Fr. Daniel Utrecht who were such a support to us in the preparations for the Papal Visit. Our two houses retain close fraternal bonds and we look forward to continued close collaboration in the future.
[Source: Birmingham Oratory Homepage]

Note the official version contains absolutely nothing by way of an explanation of how Fr Cleevely came to find himself resident in Toronto. That despite being an innocent man, despite twenty years residence at the Birmingham Oratory, Fr Cleevely was not allowed to be present in his own home during the Papal visit.

This is a family blog, so I will delete the last two paragraphs I wrote and leave it there.

Friday, 4 February 2011

"Justice for Fr Dermot Fenlon" is still world news!

In September 2010, we reported that this blog had had over 15,000 visitors, from numerous countries,   including the USA, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, South Africa, India and even Vatican City State. 

We have now had over 25,000 visitors and our list of 'audience'countries has grown to include regular visitors from Russia, China, Singapore, South Korea, Latvia, Jamaica and erm... Austria.

It would seem that bloggers just have to mention Fr Fenlon's name to receive a visitation from Austria.   

Fr Fenlon and Homelessness Sunday.

Catholic & Loving It! blog - 1.2.2011

I must say, I always feel a bit uncomfortable when people refer to Fr Dermot Fenlon as "homeless". I cringed a little when I saw that the Free the B3 blog had ran a blog entry to mark Homelessness Sunday.

My feeling was, I'm not sure it's entirely appropriate to hijack Homelessness Sunday for the cause of Fr Fenlon. I mean, so far as I know, Fr Fenlon has a roof over his head when he goes to bed at night. He doesn't spend his days on the icy streets of Hull, London, Birmingham or Brighton. We risk trivialising a vital issue if we call a man "homeless" when he has (so far as I can ascertain) somewhere to go.

But then I thought again.

Because we also risk trivialising the issue of homelessness if we act as though the homeless are like stray animals that simply need rounding up and putting in kennels with a bit of food, shelter and warmth. The homeless are not animals, they are people. They are people with hopes and fears, hungers and dreams. They are human beings made in the image and likeness of God, they need our time, they need our attention, they need our love. Of course, we should also feed them!

The people on the streets of Hull and Brighton are there, more often than not, because somebody couldn't or wouldn't love. Maybe they had a drink or drug problem, an anger problem, a mental health problem... or their parents did. Maybe they were abused, maybe they were in the way of a second marriage and a new partner who didn't want them around, maybe they made a lifestyle choice that their parents couldn't accept, maybe they just couldn't stop leaving the toilet seat up.

Whatever the reason, and there are many (that's the thing about people - they are all different) it often comes down to this: somebody who should have loved unconditionally, didn't. We are not only dealing with a lack of food and shelter (though of course, we must meet those needs as well), we are dealing with a lack of love.

In this way, Fr Dermot Fenlon is not so very different to the homeless. Fr Fenlon had a home, but somebody found him difficult to live with, somebody couldn't or wouldn't love. Somebody thought that it would be better for everyone if he left. Maybe they had the legal "right" to send him away (maybe) - but as Chesterton reminds us, to have the right to do something is not the same as to be right in doing it.

It's really just a matter of happy circumstance that Fr Fenlon's exile does not mean putting him on the streets of Birmingham. The Oratory would have thrown him out even if it did mean putting him on the streets of Birmingham... Is that an outrageous thing to say?

You mean to say that if Fr Fenlon were sleeping in Cofton Park on a bench in the snow that Fr Duffield would invite him in?

That's good... so it is possible for him to return home?

Say a prayer for Fr Fenlon and everybody who for whatever reason is unable to go home. Some of them are lucky enough to "couch surf" while others find themselves in hostels and the less fortunate find themselves in doorways and prisons. Say a prayer also for those they are unable to go home to - they may need God's mercy even more.

"If any one says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen." 1 John 4:20

Charity begins at home?

from Catholic Pater Familias blog - 31.1.2011

As Fr Dermot Fenlon enters his 263 day of exile from his home at the Birmingham Oratory, when can we expect to hear Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, who is known for his opposition to homelessness, champion Fr Fenlon's cause?

And what of Fr Felix Selden, Fr Ignatius Harrison and Fr Gareth Jones? Do they know what homelessness and exile are like?

For background on Fr Fenlon's plight, the required reading is:

The one thing that is clear in this tale of misery is that Fr Fenlon has done nothing wrong (see James Preece's many postings on the subject).