Thursday, 24 March 2011

What is to become of Fr Dermot Fenlon?

Catholic Pater Familias blog - 24.03.2011

The Free the Birmingham Oratory Three blog posted the cartoon below yesterday.

I'm copying the cartoon without asking their permission so may yet get a letter from them or a lawyer asking me to remove it. That said, unless that blog is actually a front for the Middlesbrough Diocese I'm guessing I should get away with it.

The cartoon does raise a serious issue. Here we have a man who is a renowned academic and known by many to be a holy and good priest who has been expelled from his home by a process which might, if all the reports in the public domain are correct (see James Preece's blog and the Free the Birmingham Oratory Three blog), at best be referred to as unusual. The less charitable might describe the process used against Fr Fenlon as an abuse of process and politically motivated.

They may not like it but Fr Felix Selden, Fr Ignatius Harrison and Fr Gareth Jones are going to find themselves continually facing questions about what has happened to Fr Fenlon (and their involvement in it). The treatment received by Fr Fenlon is a scandal that will only serve to undermine their individual authority and that of the wider Oratorian community.

As to what will become of Fr Dermot Fenlon, I wish I knew the answer. Having done nothing wrong, he certainly doesn't deserve the treatment he has received so far.