“Catholic” bullies attempt mischief during the papal visit and to harass Vincent Nichols and the Pope with childish letters. This gang hold us in the same contempt that a bully holds its victim. Because of what we believe, we deserve this rude nastiness.

I know sighing is impolite – but really I can’t help it. This ‘new’ “Catholic” group is just so passé. A faction called ‘Catholic Voices for Reform’ plan small-time mischief for the papal visit. During Benedict’s visit they hope to grab the media spotlight! Are they opportunists or what? Their name – ‘Catholic Voices for Reform’ – isn’t a fluke. They have set themselves up as the phony opposition to the admirable ‘Catholic Voices’. The Guardian is in hallucination heaven giving this group favourable coverage. But The Guardian is oblivious to the fact that this reform group seek to bully ordinary, loyal Catholics.

This reform group claim to want a liberal revolution. They want the Catholic Church to encourage homosexual acts, allow married priests and ordain women. This group are entitled to their opinions – but they actually care very little about these issues and are merely using these hot topics to get publicity – for themselves. And as I will explain – this group is not Liberal.

In the Guardian, key founder (Sister) Myra Poole has publicized that they will hand deliver two letters to the residence of Archbishop Nichols. Sr. Myra has said, "One [letter] will be for the archbishop and the other will be for the Pope. We will be asking six very simple questions on reform. We're working on them now." Hmm, schoolyard bullies use better tactics. If Sr. Myra were to put such letters under the door of any other public figure, she would be a laughing stock. This ‘reform’ group is still wording these mischievous missives, and we have yet to see how spiteful the letters will be. But the whole project smells of arrogance and jealousy. Who are they to tell the Archbishop how to change Mother Church? Why do they think they know best? Archbishop Nichols will probably consign the letter to his the loony-letters file. But we should probably note that Sr. Myra is a staunch supporter of female ordination.
This ‘reform’ group claim to be passionate about the ordination of women, and have shelled out £15,000 for 15 red London buses to carry the message "Pope Benedict - Ordain Women Now!" Do they fail to notice that in 2010 there are religious communities that allow women clergy?
But perhaps, we should put it to them that they should change, not the Church. If I may use a comparison – they are like a forty year old who still lives at home but complains All The Time that his mother won’t allow him have a girlfriend, that his meals aren’t hot enough, and that his Peter Pan bedspread is a bit dated. Well, if this forty year old were to move out, he wouldn’t be able to complain and blame his parents for his problems. This reform group are in a similar situation – perhaps they should move out – or make themselves at home in the Church. Both alternatives are open to them. But no, they want to kvetch like bitter old folk, and make the Church change to their way of thinking. It doesn’t matter about the rest of us who believe in the Church’s tradition. As far as this reform group is concerned, we are part of the problem. This reform group hold us in the same contempt that a bully holds its victim. Because of what we believe, we deserve this rude nastiness.

Sr. Myra and her ‘reform’ group of “Catholics” are more united in their hate for Mother Church than in their love for her. There’s something so very unattractive about their loathing of Mother Church. The sad fact is that they thrive on the adrenaline of hate, and desire to hate Mother Church. This group like being the agitators in the Church. And having a reason to splatter their group on the London buses.

This reform group’s big claim is that they are presenting an ‘alternative’.Yet, it’s a fact that there are religious organisations that allow women clergy and encourage parishioners to come out, and there are Protestant clergy that are active homosexuals. But you see, were this group to join a ‘liberal’ religious community, then they wouldn’t be the revolutionaries, would they? They wouldn’t be the ‘rebels’. May I suggest to this reform group, that those of us who are joyful Catholics don’t need to be patronised with their antics?

This is all the more unfair because their anti-Catholic Church campaigning is taking place in London – where Catholics are a minority anyway. Can they not allow us to enjoy our customs and our traditions in peace – without their disrespectful letters and big-bus adverts?

For the immediate future, we must take an objective, pragmatic approach to their nonsense. Ultimately, what can they do? Pass patronising letters into the hands of the Archbishop? Make a few anti-Catholic Church statements in the media? The worst they can do is to cause others to lose their enthusiasm for welcoming the Pope. I for one am not going to let this faction and their funny frolics upset my zeal for the papal visit.


  1. I think the £15K spent on advertising needs to be looked at more closely. Where is this source of cash coming from? Perhaps someone could scratch the surface:)

  2. I agree, Paul. I haven't been able to find many ways of contacting this 'Catholic' group. I originally wanted to send a letter of complaint.

    Maybe it's just me, but that £15,000 could have been spent in much better ways. In ways that would have actually helped women and children. For example the Good Counsel Network have an advertising campaign on the London Tube, and imagine if that £15K had been given to them instead. Imagine how much bigger the pro-life advertising campaign could be. How many lone and desperate pregnant women would learn of the help they need to keep their babies. More on the Good Counsel Network pro-life advertising: http://mariastopsabortion.blogspot.com/2010/08/well-theyre-up.html

  3. May I say that it is better to stay calm in view of all this? We know who is really behind it don't we? The evil one loves publicity and the more we react, the more he likes it. These sily antics cannot really harm the Church, and rather than get too upset, I suggest we pray to St. Michael for protection. Why are we seeing so much opposition? Because England has a special mission (and linked with this, so does Scotland and Wales). This is Mary's Dowry. She has not let go of it, and because of that, there will be a "New Spring". Let's see Newman's beatification in wider terms; this has something to do with the future of the Church in Britain. Let's not lose that hope and that vision because of these unfortunate and deluded people. Let's pray for them.

  4. Thank you Fr. John for your calm response. It's a bit late, but I'm going to say the Joyful Mysteries for all of this now.


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