Sunday, 7 January 2007


A friend today showed me a rather unpleasant letter in the Catholic Times by a priest in the arch-diocese of Birmingham. He called the Oratories of Birmingham and Brompton "liturgical sideshows", and accused Catholics whom attend those churches as being part of a "ghetto". Why on earth would someone be so ill-mannered and insensitive as to use such terms of derision? Here's something for this priest to think about-the purpose of the Oratory (or of any Catholic church) is for the salvation and sanctification of souls, not as a private club for Catholics for various tendencies. Granted, there are some people whom began to attend the Oratory because they were distressed by liturgical abuses, or because they were in need of uncompromised Catholic teaching, but many of these people have benefited immensely from their 'transfers' from other churches. Before anyone even considers labelling such people as 'reactionary' or 'refugees', they should carefully consider how distressing it is for many Catholics when prayers which they have always said are dismissed as "outdated", or when worst of all, they see the Blessed Sacrament treated with disrespect and sacrilege.
Please be aware that I am not trying to start an argument here, but I get very annoyed when the Oratory is unjustly derided, and I am shocked that a member of the clergy should adopt such an attitude. Let us pray that the gift of Charity will lead us away from such situations.


Matt Doyle said...

I was equally shocked when my friend Andrew (of pub-mass fame) read the letter to me. Horrible! I love the Oratory and freely admit my attending regularly is now due to liturgical abuses elsewhere. But what do people expect? In big cities we are blessed with the choice of churches to go to. It is the most important decision one can make if it means better spiritual direction and access to the sacraments.

Anonymous said...

Emitte - I came across your blog following a link from Joee Blogs. Keep up the good work.

I, too, read this letter yesterday. I'm in the Birmingham diocese, though I don't know this priest (Fr Eddie Butler) - but I suspect you can take something of his style by the fact that he goes by the tag 'Fr Eddie'.

On the other hand, I know the Birmingham Oratory well. I would guess that the followers of the Fathers of the Oratory will be around long after the followers of the likes of 'Fr Eddie' have given up.

In the final analysis, we must pray for him and his parishioners.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with "anonymous" - although I go to the London Oratory.