A call to arms

As many of you will have read, there is something of a tussle going on in the Catholic media. The background to the story is that Mgr Basil Loftus has threatened both Fr Michael Clifton (also known as Fr Mildew) and Fr Ray Blake with legal proceedings for defamation.

The allegation made by Mgr Loftus is that both Fr Blake and Fr Clifton called Mgr Loftus a “heretic”. This allegation is not true: Fr Clifton pointed out that some of the opinions expressed by Mgr Loftus in his column in the Catholic Times were “proximate to heresy” (in his recent columns about the resurrection and the presence of Our Lord in the Sacrament, I would suggest that Mgr Loftus is stating opinions that come very close to ideas formally anathematised by the Church at Trent and other Ecumenical Councils); Fr Blake merely reported that some of Mgr Loftus’ ideas are of dubious orthodoxy.

The claims that a court action could succeed are tendentious nonsense, the courts have ruled a number of times that claims of orthodoxy or heterodoxy of ideas expressed by one person or another are beyond the competence of the courts to decide.

Mgr Loftus has also threatened action in Church courts against Fr Blake and Fr Clifton.

Fr Clifton has apologised to Mgr Loftus and shut down his blog. It is understood that Mgr Loftus has refused to accept the proffered apology (which would rather blow the bottom out of any civil law case that he wished to bring, even if the matter was actually actionable).

A suitable addition to Mgr's wardrobe?
Goya - penitent in a San Benito

I will be frank: I do not know whether Mgr Loftus’ writing is heterodox or not, I stopped reading his contributions to the Catholic press a long time ago; I do know that he has shown himself to be no kind of gentleman.

May I please urge you to remember Fr Blake and Fr Clifton in your prayers, Fr Clifton has written that he is most upset by this furore, and to pray for the conversion of Mgr Loftus. May I also suggest the following practical courses of action:

  • encourage everyone you know to desist from buying the Catholic Times and the Universe until the Catholic Times stops publishing Mgr Loftus’ articles (the CT & the Universe being published by the same proprietor);
  • ask your priest to stop allowing either paper to be sold in his church;
  • write to the editor, Kevin Flaherty, to let him know that a publication that calls itself “Catholic” should not be publishing articles written by Mgr Loftus, who has manifestly demonstrated that he lacks basic Christian charity –

    K Flaherty Esq
    The Universe Media Group Limited
    4th Floor Landmark House
    Station Road
    Cheadle Hulme
    SK8 7JH
    United Kingdom

    0044 (0) 161 488 1753

    {Also, online:  -Ed}

    And readers in Scotland should do likewise with the Scottish Catholic Observer, which also publishes a column by Mgr Loftus;

  • if you are in a position to do so, take up the point with any person paying for advertising space in any of these publications and suggest that they look to place their advertising elsewhere;
  • if you do have the misfortune to have access to any of Mgr Loftus’ writings, please consider forwarding them to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for their consideration.

It is irksome, if not surprising, that the episcopate in England, Scotland and Wales has not acted against Mgr Loftus for the grave scandal that he is giving in by his actions against Fr Blake and Fr Clifton.

This entry was posted in Canon Law, Catholic Culture, Church Politics, Satan and hell and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to A call to arms

  1. Brother Burrito says:

    I have done my Christian duty in this regard.

    Thanks for the prompt.


  2. shane says:

    Me too. Whether Mgr Basil is a heretic or not I don’t know, but he is certainly a serial bore. The civil courts have no competence in determining religious orthodoxy and he could be left with a hefty legal bill.


  3. toadspittle says:

    But if nobody ends up being burnt, or even burned, at the stake, or even steak, what’s the perishing point? Where’s the fun? Oh, for The Good Old Days!


  4. mmvc says:

    Done, Raven. Emailed the editor of the CT. Prayers for both priests ongoing. Thanks for highlighting this sad affair here.


  5. bjro says:

    Well it is a point of view.

    I shall pray for Mgr. Loftus and also pray Fr. Mildew and Fr. Blake both repent or at least learn some basic good manners.


  6. The Raven says:

    You have an unusual notion of good manners, bjro.


  7. Gertrude says:

    There really is only one thing to say to Mgr. Loftus. Shame on you. The man is a bully, and to pick on Fr. Mildew (as he blogs – or used to blog), and to do it with such angst is indeed shameful.


  8. omvendt says:

    “You have an unusual notion of good manners, bjro.”



  9. omvendt says:

    “But if nobody ends up being burnt, or even burned, at the stake, or even steak, what’s the perishing point? Where’s the fun? Oh, for The Good Old Days!”

    That’s the spirit, Toad! 😉


  10. toadspittle says:

    Seriously, though…

    Like above, (the Goya?) people often put excellent illustrations on CP&S. Burro did with a (Spy?) cartoon the other day. Who was the schoolmaster? I know it doesn’t matter, but I suppose I’m just nosy.
    As an old hack, can I suggest attributing as a matter of course.
    It may stop Toad asking tedious questions. 😉


  11. The Raven says:

    A fair admonition, Toad. I have updated the caption accordingly!


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