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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jesuits invite leading dissenter from Catholic truth

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The weekly newsletter for Sunday 13 January of the Parish of the Sacred Heart in Wimbledon, South West London, announces the following (under ‘Parish Organisations’): 

“NEWMAN CIRCLE WEDNESDAY 23 JANUARY at 7.30 pm in the Lounge. Dr Tina Beattie will be speaking on ‘As Mary goes, so goes the Church’. All are welcome.” 

Sacred Heart Church is a large landmark church in the area and is currently run by the Jesuits – although they announced shortly before Christmas that after many decades they will hand it over to the Archdiocese of Southwark later this year due to rapidly falling Jesuit numbers. 

 And yes, it’s the same Dr Tina Beattie, Professor in Catholic Studies at Roehampton University only a few miles away, who together with others scandalously wrote to The Times (of London) on 13 August to state that “it is perfectly proper for Catholics, using fully informed consciences, to support the legal extension of civil marriage to same-sex couples”, and who equally scandalously quoted Cardinal Basil Hume, the late Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, in a way which suggested he might have supported their case. They used words from his 1997 document, ‘A Note on the Teaching of the Catholic Church Concerning Homosexuality’: “love between two persons, whether of the same sex, or of a different sex, is to be treasured and respected” whilst omitting to mention that he went on to say that “the Church does not approve of homosexual genital acts” and “homosexual genital acts ... are morally wrong”.

 It should also be pointed out that the church is not so far from the residence of the Papal Nuncio where Pope Benedict XVI spent a night during his memorable visit to England in September 2010! 

As a result of that dreadful letter a lecture due to be given by Dr Beattie at Clifton Cathedral, Bristol was cancelled by the Bishop of Clifton, Rt Rev. Declan Lang, after the intervention of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Subsequently, an invitation to lecture on Mary at the University of San Diego, California was also withdrawn. 

Dr  Beattie is a Trustee of and regular contributor to The Tablet – a weekly journal dedicated to liberal Catholicism. In its issue for Saturday 12 January it published a version of Dr Beattie’s lecture on Mary. 

We should recall the words of Pope Benedict XVI to the English and Welsh bishops during their ad limina visit to Rome in February 2010: “it is important to recognise dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate. It is the truth revealed through Scripture and Tradition and articulated by the Church’s Magisterium that sets us free.” 

Very few doubt that Pope Benedict had The Tablet and many of its contributors in mind when he uttered those words. The Church in England and Wales is now entering a period of intense public conflict with David Cameron’s coalition government over its obsessive intention to legislate for “gay marriage”. And yet, a renowned parish run by the Jesuits (whose special charism is a vow of obedience to the Holy Father) is unfortunately hosting a public lecture by a serial dissenter to Church teaching on a wide range of issues, women’s ordination among them. 

Anyone, especially who is a parishioner of Sacred Heart Church, Wimbledon or who lives within the Archdiocese of Southwark is asked to write and/or e mail urgently with a respectful request that the lecture be cancelled to : 

Dr Bill Russell, Secretary, Wimbledon Newman Circle. E mail: William_russell@talktalk.net

Mr Anthony Baker, President, The Newman Association. E mail: president@newman.org.uk 

Mr Christopher Quirke, Secretary, The Newman Association. E mail: secretary@newman.org.uk 

Fr Keith McMillan SJ, Parish Priest of Sacred Heart Church, The Presbytery, Edge Hill, Wimbledon, London SW19 4LU. E mail: wimparish@gmail.com 

Fr Dermot Preston SJ, Regional Provincial of the Society of Jesus, Provincial Office, The Jesuit Centre, 114 Mount Street, London W1K 3AH. E mail: curia@gbsj.org 

Most Rev. Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark, Archbishop’s house, St George’s Road, Southwark, London SE1 6HX. E mail: archbishop@rcsouthwark.co.uk

HE Archbishop Antonio Mennini, Apostolic Nuncio, 54 Parkside, Wimbledon, London SW19 5NE. (E mail not available) 

Archbishop Gerhard Müller, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Piazza del S. Uffizio 11, 00193, Rome, Italy. E mail: cdf@cfaith.va 

The Church in England and Wales is fighting a profound battle against the forces of secular reaction (though they call it “progress”) and cannot afford to be wrong-footed by parishes who perhaps are not aware of the consequences of what they do and dissenters who most certainly are. Please act and please pray to Blessed John Henry Newman so that this lecture may be cancelled and no further invitations extended to this serial dissenter.



She is also speaking in Westminster in February

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