Glasgow Priest-Policeman To Un-Masked Layman: Obey Or Forfeit Sacraments…

St Mungo’s, Townhead, Glasgow

Catholic Truth blogger Athanasius, aka Martin Blackshaw, writes…

In what can only be described as providential timing, I encountered first-hand on Saturday the evil that Fr. Dunn warned of in his letter challenging the bishops of Scotland on their Covid-19 response measures.

The venue of my bitter experience was St. Mungo’s church in Glasgow’s Townhead, the source of the evil was the superior of the Passionists there, Fr. Frank Keevins.

Having clearly been tipped off that I had entered the church for Confession, dismissing, as is my Catholic duty, the faithless and dehumanising house rules for entry imposed by Scotland’s wayward hierarchy, Fr. Keevins skulked around outside awaiting my departure in order to “have a word”

The word mumbled from behind his pitiful little face covering was that unless I conform to the Covid-19 tyranny of the State, as per the capitulation of the bishops and their clerical enforcers, I will not be allowed to enter that particular House of God again. In fine – no mask, no Sacraments.

Two Gospel texts came to my mind as he spoke; one being Our Lord’s condemnation of the Pharisees who close the kingdom of heaven to souls, neither entering themselves, the other His just wrath visited upon the worldly Temple moneychangers.

Imagine Our Saviour turning up in the flesh at St. Mungo’s today only to be greeted by a masked usher asking for His contact details, squirting him

with sanitiser, handing him a State muzzle and offering to guide Him to one of the few pews not taped off. I think it fair to conclude that having turned away from that worldly place, emptied of God, there would not be left a stone upon a stone.

No matter how hard I tried to explain this reality to Fr. Keevins, reminding him of the very grave evil he was perpetrating, evil that could well result in the loss of his own immortal soul, he remained unmoved and resolute. His response was a flippant “I will take that risk” as he sought refuge in “blind obedience” to the bishops – that monumental error of our time that robs the free children of God of their liberty on the whim of abusive ecclesiastical authority.

This recourse of Fr. Keevins to blind obedience rather reminded me of the pathetic defence of the Nazis at Nuremberg who sought to justify their wickedness with the line “I was only obeying orders”.

To be absolutely clear on this point, it is the teaching of the Church that subordinates must obey the legitimate ecclesiastical authority in all that is consistent with the faith handed down. However, it is equally incumbent upon them to refuse obedience when the ecclesiastical authority issues commands that are detrimental to the faith and harmful to souls.

There is no question that by their treacherous compliance with unjust secular laws relating to Covid-19, laws that subordinate the superior supernatural authority of the Church to the inferior State, trampling the freedom and dignity of Christ’s flock along the way, these worldly bishops and priests must be resisted by all Catholics who retain a true sense of the faith and zeal for the honour of God.

It has been patently obvious for several months now that Covid-19 represents no threat to health for 99.7% of the global population; this is verified both by official statistics and the declarations of the world’s leading scientists.

Hence this unholy behaviour of our clerical superiors, unprecedented in ecclesiastical history even during times of real plague, is proof positive that the Church is presently undergoing a great crisis of faith in her clergy, a crisis that demands of the faithful serious discernment in the grave matter of which priests they entrust their salvation to.

The Redemptorist missionary admonition of tradition reads “You have one life to live and one soul to save; death will come soon, then heaven or hell for all eternity”. With these words of true wisdom ever present in our minds let us all resolve to reject the spirit of “the Prince of this world” that so many bishops and priests have succumbed to – and are trying to subject us to.

Our clear duty is to seek out faithful clergy, supernatural men of God noted for their love of God and their spiritual zeal for souls. These, in my experience, are generally priests who celebrate the ancient Latin Mass of the saints and martyrs and are conspicuous for their Eucharistic devotion, rejecting the much-abused, irreverence-inducing indult of Communion in the hand to standing communicants.

While they are by far the minority these days, often disdained and marginalised by their worldly bishops and confreres, these are the priests whose voice resonates within our souls as the true voice of the Good Shepherd.

Comment: 

To date, only one priest has gone on the record in Scotland (and, as far as we know, in the entire UK) to express his shock at the way the Bishops are implementing Government Covid-19 restrictions, placing themselves at the service of the State – that is to say, they have chosen to serve Man not God. This, of course, contradicts the Gospel imperative: Our Lord teaches very clearly that we cannot serve two masters – we must choose God or the world.  If we try to serve both, we will come to hate the one and love the other (Luke 16:13)  The Bishops of  Scotland and the wider UK seem to have made their choice. This, of course, has been true for many years now, so we are entitled to ask if, in fact, they have come to hate God. They certainly do not appear to love Him more than the corrupt politicians from whom they are taking their orders, turning the Father’s House into a den of thieves. 

But, what about the rest of us? Martin Blackshaw has made his position crystal clear: he’ll be complying with this ridiculous Covidiocy around ten years after Cadbury ceases chocolate-making.  But what about you and me – will we go along with these outrageous restrictions through fear of fines and imprisonment? Are we likely to choose God over Nicola Sturgeon, in the absence of the kind of moral and spiritual leadership which we have a right to expect from our religious leaders?  Bishops and priests are clearly afraid of the possibility of finding themselves with a criminal conviction, and their fear is understandable… until, that is, we recall the many priest-martyrs at the time of the Reformation who were criminalised  – and executed  (our own Scottish martyr, John Ogilvie SJ included) – simply for refusing to stop offering Holy Mass.  Quite a standard – sets the bar very high for us all. 

So… what now?  Should priests who refuse the Sacraments to non-compliant laity, be disciplined?  Share your thoughts…   

            Immaculate Heart of Mary,          pray for us!  

Scots Priest Challenges Bishops’ Response To Lockdown & Covid-19 Restrictions

On this, the Feast of St Michael, The Archangel, Defender of the Church & The Faithful, a priest of the Archdiocese of Glasgow – Father Stephen Dunn – speaks out against the closure of churches during lockdown, and the ongoing government restrictions being enforced in Catholic churches…

                        St Michael, Archangel,                           defend us in the day of battle…

An Open Letter…

Dear Members of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in Scotland,

“Then he said, Son of man, remember everything I say to you, listen closely, and go to your  exiled country men and talk to them.  Tell them, ‘The Lord says this whether they listen or not.’”   – Eziekiel, 2, 10-11. (Office of Readings, Monday, week 24)

“This is My Son the Beloved with whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!’ – Mathew, Mark & Luke’s gospel.

This morning I was deeply saddened and angered when I saw people having to be denied entry to one of our Catholic churches in our Archdiocese of Glasgow because there were 50 people already in, and in obedience to Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, and the guidelines issued by the Archdiocese and the Bishops Conference of Scotland, this procedure had to be carried out.  I was subsequently told that a man, his wife and his child, having travelled 15 miles were turned away a couple of weeks ago, again because 50 were already in.

ENOUGH  of  this  suppression, intimidation!  

This is disgraceful, shocking.  “Could you not spend one hour with me?”  No you can’t,  because Philip Tartaglia and the Scottish Bishops conference says no – only 50 are allowed in;  we are going to be obedient to government guidelines and not allow any more than 50 people in.

Obedient to a Government which advocates  Adultery, Abortion, Sodomy, and Transgenderism?  Please tell me one of those that is pleasing to God? 

Why are the Bishops of Scotland being obedient to such law makers? Being obedient to laws/directives made by a fascist, Communist government which drove fear into people and makes them act in fear, a government which you are obeying!  Our Lady warned at Fatima, Russia will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.  I am aware that is not unique to Scotland, but as a priest ordained 26 years ago for Glasgow in Scotland I am going to focus my criticism/argument  there.

One of these persecutions of the Church is happening now.   The government, in its freedom removal and fear laws, said churches were to be shut, God’s people were not to gather at His house and celebrate/receive  the Sacraments, the primary means of the Salvation of their souls.  Bishop,  are you of God or of the world?

This  intimidation is happening before your very eyes and you happily go along with it.  Is this good shepherding?

Never  in the history of  Mother Church, has she been subject to the laws of the State.   The Church is not and never has been subject to the State; this is clear in all Encyclicals regarding the relationship between Church and State issued by the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It is frightening that Bishops have compromised this clear teaching by their obedience to the State,  to the point where Sacraments, the primary means of  salvation, are being denied even to the dying. Shocking.

And  do not dare tell me that this is because of Covid 19, a disease which has a recovery rate of 99.79%! Yes a fatality rate of 1 in 500.  A disease, which 42 studies showed  by 39 – 3, that if treated promptly  and with the correct and proper dosage,  of  hydroxychloroquine, full  recovery increases by 33 – 50% ! 

See the facts  for yourselves! – this is not a study but a review of 42 studies!

For the purpose of the points/criticisms I make, I shall quote Truth given by Our Lord in the 4 gospels, showing how these present actions are against His will, contradict His will. I will also refer to other Scripture quotes and the lives of the saints.

From the start our Bishops closed our churches, the dwelling place of Jesus Christ in the most Blessed Sacrament.

Holy Water was removed from our fonts with which we bless ourselves on entering Jesus’ house, reminding ourselves of the covenant God made with us at Baptism – “Unless you are born of water and the Holy Spirit you shall not enter the Kingdom of Heaven” – John 3. 

Is God going to use Holy Water to pass disease to faithful followers of His son who remind themselves of His covenant?

The weekend before we entered national lockdown on Monday 23rd March the Bishops closed our churches, denying access. “Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me,  for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls!”-  Matt 11.

When the sheep were frightened and scared of the Covid wolf, you shepherds denied them entry to be with their Master, He through whom they were created, their Saviour, in His Real Presence, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Sorry to say it, but I say directly, this is Shocking, Disgraceful.

Consider the prayer taught by the Angel to the little children at Fatima –

My God I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You. I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not Adore, do not hope and do not love you. Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore you profoundly and I offer you the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, truly present in all the Tabernacles of the World in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended. And through His Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of you the conversion of poor sinners. Amen

You, Bishops of Scotland, you denied adoration, you are the ones who presently cause the outrages, sacrileges and indifference with which He Himself is offended, by denying the sheep time in the Real Presence of Jesus.  And at a time when they need it most.

You may reply:  But they might have had Covid,  brought it  and passed it resulting in an outbreak which would have resulted  through their coming to Church!

Is the Father going to allow His Son’s house to be the centre of disease and the passing of disease when the sheep come to His Son to find peace for their souls!  No. 

 When the Son of Man comes will He find any faith on earth?”  – Luke 18.  With such chief shepherds as we have, sorry Lord Jesus, it looks very unlikely.

What guidance and example do the saints give us, actions  that  will please the Father?

 St Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of our Holy Catholic Church,  says regarding shepherds i.e., Bishops and we priests who have advocated and followed the above practices; said on Monday, week 24, Office of Readings:

“So let us see how the Word of God, that flatters no one, addresses the shepherds who are feeding themselves not the sheep. ‘You take the milk, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fatlings; but you do not feed my sheep. The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the crippled you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought; any strong one you have killed; and my sheep are scattered because there is no shepherd.” 

Not only did you close churches and stop people from spending time in the Real Presence, you stopped funerals denying the grieving time at the Lord’s  altar,  to pray for their loved ones:  “All I ask of you is that you remember me at the Altar of God” – St Monica.

In hospitals where people were dying,  they were denied access to priests, and so to the Sacraments, the primary means of the salvation of their souls,  the Forgiveness of Sin, Absolution for their Souls, which would have placed their souls in a state of Grace,  so helping them to remove the fear of death, helping them to find peace in Jesus’ mercy… 

As the Compendium Catechism of the Catholic Church, written by Pope Benedict XVI,  says:

How are sins remitted? (#200)

The first and chief sacrament for the forgiveness of sins is Baptism.  For those sins committed after Baptism, Christ instituted the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Penance through which a baptised person is reconciled with God and with the Church.

Why does the Church have the power to forgive sins? (#201)

The Church has the mission and the power to forgive sins because Christ Himself has conferred it upon her: “Receive the Holy Ghost, if you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” – John 20

This mission of yours, this duty as shepherds, you neglected, by not making sure a priest was available to the dying in a time of great fear.

“But he could have caught Covid and might have died!”  I hear you reply.

Will the Father  allow disease to pass to a Priest/s, with whom Jesus has shared His priesthood, as he tries to worthily celebrate the Sacraments, the primary  means of Salvation, to sick and dying souls?   Have you any faith, trust in Jesus who has shared His priesthood with you? He whom St Paul tells us in his letter to the Philippians: “If our life in Christ means anything to you” (it should be the centre of our priesthood) “if love can persuade you at all, or the Holy Spirit that we have in common, or any tenderness and sympathy, then be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and mind.” 

That common purpose and mind must be to follow the actions and teaching of Christ – was He scared to touch the lepers?  In the Gospel Jesus tells us of the son who said “yes”, he would go to his father’s vineyard and work but never went. On being installed Bishops, you promised to go and look after the Lord’s flock, but you have gone to the world instead, listened to its instructions and imposed them on the people, failing to implement Jesus’ teaching and ways.

Lives/example of the saints –

St Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, feast 17th Sept,- During the time of great disease, at the time of the Reformation, the plague which ravaged Europe, he went about cleansing  and dressing the wounds of those infected by the plague;  what hand sanitizer was he using? Please tell me if you know – I better get some!

St Mother Teresa served the poor looking after them, dressing their wounds, helping them in their illness. What age did she live to?  87!  How many followed her, joined her order, she who trusted herself completely to the service of God and her neighbour. “By its fruits shall you know the tree.”  

If we are truly trying to be shepherds through the priesthood Christ has shared with us, these are the examples we should look to, copy and so trust in the power of Christ, as we try to do the will of the Father through the prompting of the Holy Ghost,  and without fear.

And finally to the Mass and how it has been changed by you Bishops.

Mass, the celebration of Christ’s offering on the Cross for the forgiveness of our sins, the institution of the Most Holy Eucharist, where we hear the Word of God to help us guide our actions to show our belief in Jesus Christ, our Saviour.

You shut our churches, denying people the Mass, the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ: “I tell you most solemnly, if  you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood you will not have life within you.” – John 6:53.

You stopped the sheep from receiving the Lord in Holy Communion at the time when they needed Him most.  Instead of doing what Christ instructed you did what the Government instructed: 

Do not get close to each other. Priests, keep people apart, distancing them from each other, no singing, the liturgy must be celebrated in a very basic way. You must make the faithful wear masks,  despite the  fact that the WHO admitted to the BBC that its June 2020 mask policy update was due not to new evidence, but “political lobbying”. – D Cohen, BBC Medical Correspondent     Yet, the people are  hindered in their ability to speak, to enter God’s Presence, showing their facial individuality, how God created them.  Disgraceful.

On 3rd September, in the Tridentine calendar, we celebrated the feast of St Pius X, great pastor of the flock, who realised the full value of the liturgy as the prayer of the Church that is pleasing to the Father.  You hinder such celebration in your clear obedience to the world.  Why?

One cannot help but think that if the Lord Jesus came into such churches, He would tear down your tape, cast aside your sanitizer bottles and masks and say My Father’s house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a worldly den  which follows practices of the world and the flesh! Be gone!  – Matt,  21.

Priests have to sanitize hands before giving out communion – as Philip Tartaglia said to me in a letter instructing me to follow guidelines, or else!  People should leave the church after receiving Holy Communion; they should not remain/return to benches. People are to be denied time in the Real Presence of their  Saviour, He who sacrificed Himself for the forgiveness of their sins, their Lord and Master.  This directly contravenes the example of the saints of the Church who in their lives show the importance of spending time in the presence of Jesus, having  just received Him.

“The Bishops of Scotland have agreed to suspend the choice of distributing and receiving Holy Communion on the tongue during the current pandemic for reasons of infection control. This is not an attempt to change liturgical laws. It is a reasonable temporary measure to adopt in this pandemic.” – letter  sent by email to me from Philip Tartaglia, 20th August 2020.

You Bishops have no right, no such power  to remove people’s choice to receive Holy Communion on the tongue!

It is for people to choose, not you to dictate things contrary to the teaching and rules of Mother Church.

Is Jesus, who is using the priest, with whom He has shared His priesthood, going to pass disease through their giving of Holy Communion? Again I quote, When the Son of Man comes will He find any faith on earth?” 

According to Scripture in the Office of Readings of the last few weeks, the Lord asks of His shepherds, on numerous occasions, through the Prophets, and very precisely here: “When the upright man renounces his integrity to do evil and I set a trap for him, he too shall die for his sin and the integrity he practised will no longer be remembered; but I will hold you responsible for his death.” –  Ezekiel  2:20

By publishing this letter, as a priest who is struggling in the present situation, I truly believe I am acting in obedience to God’s will, pleasing the Father and following the prompting of the Holy Ghost by giving clarity through Christ’s words, not mine. I believe that by my quotes from the Gospels, I have declared myself for Jesus in the presence of men as Jesus commands and, I believe, a true shepherd should.  (Matt, 10:32)

To you, the people of the Body of Christ in Scotland, the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church I ask your prayers, especially before the altar of God. I am a sinner with faults and failings, some say many faults and failings.  Many will assure you “that you definitely won’t see a halo over  Dunn’s head!”  However, even with such weakness and faults,  I believe that I have a duty  to make this letter available to you, in obedience to God, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, to address grave failings and incorrect directives from our Scottish Bishops.

To those whom I accuse, I say reflect, realise what Christ wishes of we Shepherds, and like the Prodigal Son, come back to the Father – remembering that Christ tells us, ”There will be more rejoicing in heaven over one repentant sinner than ninety-nine good men who are in no need of repentance.” – Luke, 15.

And as individuals,  let  none of us forget:  “Remember dear Christian:   You have but one soul to save, One God to love and to serve, one Eternity to expect, Death will come soon, Judgement will follow, And then, Heaven or Hell for all Eternity!”  (St Teresa of Avila).

Yes, we priests have many souls to save, and because more has been entrusted to us in priesthood, the greater our Judgement!

God Bless you all, and may we all be united in Christ Jesus to carry out His will.

Christ’s brother in priesthood,

Fr Stephen Dunn
Priest of 26 years of the Archdiocese of Glasgow.
stephen.dunn@rcag.org.uk 

Comment:

Father Stephen Dunn has honoured Catholic Truth by permitting us to publish the above letter.  We thank him for this, and I have already assured him that our readers and bloggers will be praying for him.  It takes courage for any priest to speak out in this way. 

Father Dunn regularly offers the Traditional Latin Mass.  He learned the Mass on publication of Summorum Pontificum, and at that time his main reason for wanting to learn the old Mass was because his father, Dr John Dunn RIP, a supporter of Catholic Truth from the beginning of our publication, had stipulated that his funeral Mass must be offered in the Traditional rite.  Father has come to fully appreciate the old rite, especially in its reverence, and he now offers it as often as possible.

Please express your support for Father in the comments below, and remember to pray for him because, as we know, while dissenting priests are protected and promoted in the Church at this time of apostasy, loyal priests who preach and defend the Faith are, sadly, more often than not punished at some level – we have all been following such cases, most notably, recently, the case of the American priest, Father James Altman.  

Reports of LGBT Scandals Waiting in the Wings – Scots Clergy Concerned…

Background…

From time to time, concerned clergy and teachers contact us with information about various scandals of which they are personally aware, or have witnessed.   They are keen for Catholic Truth to make these scandals public, but that is not always possible.  When I have written to bishops in the past, reporting information about, for example, priests engaged in affairs with women, I have been astonished at their replies:  they initially tell me that they will investigate the allegations and then write a second time to tell me that their investigation showed that there was no cause for concern.  Their “investigation” – in each and every case that springs to mind right now – consisted of asking the culprit-priest if there were any truth in these claims and then accepting his word for it that there is no truth in the allegations.  DUH!  Just as well none of these bishops applied for the Police Force. 

Then, too, some years ago, when we exposed information about priests who had been recognised in a “gay” bar in Glasgow city centre – which we had investigated ourselves, in one case employing a Private Investigator (thanks to a generous donor who wanted to know the facts) – we were punished for our trouble.  Note, when we rang to politely confront the names we had been given, we made clear that we didn’t want to publish anyone’s name; instead, we hoped for a reassurance that each priest (and one teacher) realised that frequenting such a place was scandalous, and that would be an end to it.  The majority offered that reassurance but then launched a hate campaign which – were I to publish the details here – would take a couple of hours (and then some), and perhaps result in moi being invited to appear in the starring role in a “film based on a true story…”    I’m really not the Hollywood type, as those of you who know me well will testify.  I heard that! 

In fact, most, if not all of the priests named in our reports back then, left the priestly ministry thereafter.  Not cause and effect, as some of them would have us believe.  Indeed, we just would not have had the room to publish all the information which poured out AFTER they’d left – and there was some very seedy information indeed, which poured out long after our reports.   

Update…

As with the first batch of names given to us “back in the day” by a worried priest in the Archdiocese of Glasgow, so, now, more clergy are coming forward to express deep concerns about the way a group of young men, some, if not all,  generally understood to be of a homosexual disposition, meet regularly at the presbytery of a young Glasgow priest.  At this stage, I’m not prepared to offer any more identifying information but, putting this information together with the fact that a number of children attending  Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Glasgow are being permitted to return to school this summer dressed as the opposite sex, names changed on the school register, then, clearly, the clergy informing us of their serious concerns, definitely have a point.  The Archbishop and his minions in the Scottish Catholic Education Service need to spend a little time reflecting on Christ’s warning to those who lead children astray:  “… he that shall scandalise one of these little ones who believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone should be hanged about his neck and that he should be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

Any priest, therefore, or Catholic teacher, who fails to communicate – age appropriately – the teaching of the Church on homosexuality, had better learn to swim.  For the teaching of the Church is clear:  homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” and “under no circumstances can they be approved” (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 2357)

Action Plan…

Firstly, pray for all concerned – that’s a given.

Secondly, there’s no point in my unworthy self writing to the Archbishop of Glasgow – same old, same old. 

Thirdly… However, YOU might be able to reach the part of the Archbishop’s conscience that I’ve never managed to reach.  Remember, my clergy sources are confident that the Archbishop knows about these regular meetings.  If you think it’s worth a try (just don’t hold your breath) here are the contact details taken from the website of the Archdiocese of Glasgow:

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia,
196 Clyde Street,
Glasgow,
G1 4JY
Phone: +44 (0)141 226 5898
Email: info@rcag.org.uk   

 

 

 

 

Archbishop of Glasgow On “Low Level of Catholic Formation” … So What? 

Below, the text of the Pastoral Letter sent from the Archbishop of Glasgow to be read in all parishes tomorrow, Sunday, 3rd March, 2019.  Underneath the Pastoral Letter, is the text of the ad clerum – that is his letter to priests – on the same subject.  Compare the two – and weep!

ARCHDIOCESE OF GLASGOW
Curial Offices, 196 Clyde Street Glasgow, G1 4JY
E-mail: archbishop@rcag.org.uk / http://www.rcag.org.uk          

Pastoral Letter for Sunday 3rd March 2019

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We are approaching the time when, each year, young Catholics make First Confession and receive First Holy Communion.

It is incumbent upon the whole community to pray for these children, to support them in their journey of faith and to show them good example of Catholic faith, practice and discipline in the celebration and reception of the Sacraments.

I call especially upon the parents and guardians of these young Catholics to be mindful of the promises they made when they presented their child for baptism. The Church considers you as “the first and best teachers of your children in the ways of faith”. There is no doubt that the influence of parents, siblings and family is central to the faith formation of children. So, please, pray with your children, accompany them to Sunday Mass and be a good example to them of practising Catholics. Please cooperate with your Parish Priest, with our teachers in Catholic schools, with Parish Catechists and with all who are currently preparing your children.

The Sacraments are Sacraments of Christ, of the Church and of faith. Our faith teaches us that the Sacraments confer grace when they are received with the right disposition. When we go to Confession, our sins are truly forgiven through the grace of Jesus Christ. When we receive Holy Communion, we are nourished by the true Body and Blood of Christ. When we receive the Sacraments, the Lord deepens our belonging to his Church.

Please help your children to receive the Sacraments with faith, devotion and reverence. Let your families and friends rejoice with you. Let your enjoyment always be worthy of the “holy things” that you and your children have received.

I hope and pray that this Season of the Sacraments for your children will bring us all an increase of faith and of the immense joy of profound encounter with Jesus Christ our Lord. May Mary, Mother of the Church, intercede for children and families, and bring them to Jesus.

Yours devotedly in Christ,

Most Reverend Philip Tartaglia Archbishop of Glasgow

18th February 2019

Dear Monsignor, Canon, Father,
Dear Rev. Deacon

Ad Clerum Letter on Preparation for the Sacraments

As you know, I have written a short Pastoral Letter on the Season of First Confession and First Holy Communion addressed to parish communities and especially to the parents and guardians of the boys and girls they have presented for these Sacraments. My letter to them encouraged them to prepare their children as well as possible for the Sacraments, to give them good example of Catholic faith and practice and to cooperate with Parish and School in the programmes and initiatives designed to prepare the children for the Sacraments. Finally, I wished them and their family holy joy in this Season of the Sacraments.

With this Ad Clerum letter, I wish to address a few words to you. I want to express my support for you in your attempts to prepare the children and their families for the Sacraments. We all know that in this time of apathy, indifference and superficiality, good preparation for the Sacraments is both rather challenging and very necessary. It is such a joy and such a consolation for priests and deacons when children and their families respond to our promptings with sincere faith and regular practice.

At the same time, my dear brothers, you know as well as I do that the faith of many families is weak and that, for them, the celebration of the Sacraments is alarmingly superficial. Much to our frustration, their personal circumstances andometimes mean that they cannot or will not cooperate with the preparation initiatives that we would like them to engage in.

I ask you to have compassion for these families and not to be too demanding with them. The whole weight of contemporary culture is against them. They are the ones who above all need the love and encouragement of their Priest and Shepherd.

I have always taken the following as a pastoral rule of thumb in discerning the threshold for the reception of the Sacraments. If the child is baptised, is a pupil at a Catholic school, if the parents request the Sacraments for their child, and if the child sincerely wants to receive the Sacraments, I believe that the minimum threshold for reception of the Sacraments has been reached. This minimum threshold is not to place an obstacle to the grace of the Sacraments (cf. Council of Trent, Decree on the Sacraments in General, Can 6).

Of course, we want more, and that is why we invite parents and candidates to engage in various initiatives. The Sacraments are Sacraments of faith (Vatican II, Sacrosanctum Concilium, Constitution on the Liturgy, 59), and we want as much faith as possible to welcome the encounter with Christ, which is the core of the sacramental event.

These are our neediest brothers and sisters. Jesus died for them. He loves them. He reaches out to them through you. I do not wish to supplant your pastoral judgment. You are there on the spot and you know your people as the Good Shepherd does. Please consider carefully what you are asking them to do. Please do not place unnecessary obstacles or hurdles in their way. Please give the child and the grace of the Sacrament the benefit of the doubt, for Jesus Christ alone is the Saviour, and we are the priests and servants of his mysteries of grace.

With the greatest respect and esteem for your priestly and diaconal service,

Yours always in Christ,

Most Rev. Philip Tartaglia Archbishop of Glasgow

Comment: 

Well, doesn’t that take the proverbial biscuit?  In essence, Archbishop Tartaglia tells parents to practise the Faith, show good example to their children as they prepare for First Confession and First Holy Communion,  only to tell his priests not to expect too much, and by too much, he means ignore the fact that they’re lapsed. Just let the children receive the Sacraments and get back to your golf.  Honestly, it really does take the biscuit. But don’t take my word for it – let’s examine what, precisely, the Archbishop of Glasgow is saying to his priests in the above ad clerum…  

In paragraph one, he mentions his Pastoral Letter acknowledging that he is encouraging parents to do what he later (in his ad clerum) admits they just cannot do, which is to “prepare their children as well as possible for the Sacraments, to give them good example of Catholic faith and practice and to cooperate with Parish and School in the programmes and initiatives designed to prepare the children for the Sacraments… ” [para 1]

He describes “this time of apathy, indifference and superficiality” [para 2] without mentioning the part he and his priests have played in creating and perpetuating this apathy, indifference and superficiality. Think, for example, of the many dissenters given platforms in Glasgow – even to the point of having a female Anglican vicar speak in the Jesuit church, St Aloysius College only a few weeks ago. 

The entirety of paragraph three is a damning indictment of the Catholic Church in Scotland, and the Archdiocese of Glasgow in particular: “…you know as well as I do that the faith of many families is weak and that, for them, the celebration of the Sacraments is alarmingly superficial. Much to our frustration, their personal circumstances and low level of Catholic formation sometimes mean that they cannot or will not cooperate with the preparation initiatives that we would like them to engage in. ” [para 3 – emphasis added].  Who, pray, is to blame for the fact that children are now coming forward for the Sacraments, from homes where the parent(s) have not, themselves, been adequately taught the Faith? As he laments this scandal, the same Archbishop is allowing the Scottish Catholic Education Department to push homosexual/transgender propaganda in Catholic schools.  Is the Archbishop really that incapable of joining up the dots?

In paragraph four,  the blindness becomes even more apparent: “I ask you to have compassion for these families and not to be too demanding with them. The whole weight of contemporary culture is against them.”   Talk about missing the point!  The whole reason why these families are faithless is because of negligent priests in pulpits and teachers in schools – overseen by “liberal” bishops; it is precisely because nobody has been remotely demanding with them.  Can he really not see that?  And as for this nonsense about contemporary culture – Muslims, Jews and Hindus live, move and have their being in the very same contemporary culture and they can be picked out on any street as they, literally, wear their religion for all the world to see. So, don’t gimme “contemporary culture” – gimme instead, an open admission of negligent hierarchy, clergy and allegedly Catholic teachers.  

The rest of the Archbishop’s letter to priests can be summed up thus:  don’t bother your heads if the parents are not practising; don’t put obstacles in their way – if they want their child to dress up in a pretty Communion dress, kilt or nice suit, and have their “special day”, don’t go and be a spoil-sport by talking about off-putting things like Commandments (to keep holy the Sabbath) or Church laws (like regular Confession, Sunday Mass etc)  

Left unsaid in the ad clerum:  do you really want to have to say you had no First Communicants this year?  Think of the field day Catholic Truth would have with that little nugget… 

 

Consider:  what SHOULD priests do when presented with non-practising families;  child is baptised and attends Catholic school – should they be permitted to make First Confession, Communion and, later, Confirmation?  Does it make sense to be confirmed in a Faith you know little to nothing about and don’t actually practise – except when weddings and funerals come around?  Let’s hear it…     

Why Are Catholic Schools Giving The Wrong Message to Young People?

Young people urged to ‘change the world’ at Paisley youth Mass – click here to read more While across in Glasgow, St Ninian’s High School in Kirkintilloch has put a stop to the high-sugar and caffeinated beverages, following calls from both teachers and experts in the UK –  click here to read about that nonsense...  

Comment:

I don’t remember being made to feel obligated to “change the world” during my schooldays.  Some pressure! 

Instead, the focus was on God and on our own souls.  We were to change ourselves, not “the world”.

What about you?  Would you be hurrying to get to Catholic school these days or do you prefer the “old” model where we were brought to understand that it is holiness of life, achieved by being faithful Catholics,  that changes us… and thus, the world?   Isn’t that the message Catholic educators should be delivering? 

American Layman to “Reboot the faith” in the [Dying] Archdiocese of Glasgow…

One of the world’s top Catholic speakers is coming to Glasgow – with a mission to reboot the Catholic faith of the Archdiocese.

Chris Stefanick is currently selling out events across America in his ministry which presents the Catholic faith in all its beauty, power and truth in an engaging and uplifting way.

He has worked for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the areas of marriage and family life, laity, and youth. This month he brings Reboot Live to Glasgow.
Glasgow University’s historic Bute Hall has been booked for Thursday July 27 for the event and organisers are hoping for a sellout.

Fr Joe Lappin, Director of Religious Education for the Archdiocese, who has been instrumental in bringing Chris Stefanick to Scotland said: “Reboot Live will be like no ordinary Church event. Chris’s dynamic presentation will bring people to tears, to laughter, and most importantly, to Christ. He presents the Gospel in all its beauty to a world much in need of the joy only Jesus can bring.

“It’s like hearing the Gospel for the first time. We all need a ‘faith boost’ from time to time. This is like no other faith event you’ve ever been to. We hope those who come along will reach out to their family and friends who have fallen away from the faith, who have lost touch with the Lord and His Church and invite them to come home.”

One attendee at a recent event said: “We can’t believe it. We had a man at the event last week who hasn’t been to Church in 50 years. I saw him at Mass yesterday. He told me he is so grateful for the event because it finally opened his heart to God. He just needed an invitation to the right thing. We haven’t felt this joy-filled leaving the church in a very long time.”

Fr Lappin said: “I became aware of Chris Stefanick through his website: www.reallifecatholic.com. It contains some great resources that we use with teachers and we recommend them to make use of his material in the classroom. Of particular help are his short videos which can be informative, instructional and inspirational.

The event in Glasgow can only be described as guided by the Holy Spirit. On the spur of the moment I contacted Chris by email to explore the possibility of him coming over to do some youth, teacher and parish events. In the meantime, he was planning to come to Britain on holiday with his family this summer.”

Chris Stefanick said: “One evening I was praying about going to the United Kingdom and whether to break the family holiday with some ministry work. I asked the Lord about getting to Scotland – if I was going to England, how could I reach out and present the beautiful message of the Gospel in Scotland? I left it with the Lord, went to bed and when I got up the next morning Fr Joe’s email was waiting for me with an invitation to Glasgow.”

Since that initial contact, a great team of volunteers has offered time and talents to organise the event and presentations have been made to the priests of the Archdiocese, the Head Teachers and many of the school staff to promote the event.

Archbishop Tartaglia said: “When I was in Philadelphia recently I was struck by the Archbishop of that city – Archbishop Charles Chaput’s view of the Reboot phenomenon. He said to me, ‘Chris Stefanick is recognised as one of the most creative ministers to youth and young adults in the United States. He has extended his ministry to parish communities as well. He brings deep personal faith and an exciting energy to the Reboot programme. Chris Stefanick practises what he preaches. And what he preaches is exciting and Catholic.’ With a recommendation like that I think we are in for a great event in Glasgow.”  Source – Flourish

Comment:

When a fellow parishioner handed me a copy of Flourish, this morning, the official publication of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, I groaned.  When  I saw the headline: “Reboot the faith” and read the above article, I groaned again.  “One more gimmick to add to the list.” I thought. I then watched a couple of the videos, and realised that the young man, Chris Stefanick, whom I initially and very uncharitably dubbed “the new Michael Voris”,  appears to be a very well-meaning person, who loves the Faith.  My next thought was, “But, wait: is the Faith which he loves, the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic faith as it has been handed down to us from the apostles, or is it the changed faith that has come down to us from the Fathers of Vatican II?”  So, I went in search of a video talk on the Mass and found the video below.

I’m not quite sure why, but it seems to me – I have a kind of sense, albeit having only watched it once – that Chris is a step away from the Traditional Latin Mass, if he’s not there already, but then, is it remotely likely that a TLM attending Catholic would be invited to “reboot the faith” in the highly modernist archdiocese of Glasgow?  You tell me!

Archdiocese of Glasgow in Meltdown

On 17th May, Catholic Truth received a copy of the following Statement sent to the clergy of the Archdiocese of Glasgow, by  the Chancellor of the Archdiocese, Monsignor Paul G. Murray B.Sc., Ph.B., S.T.L…

Statement regarding Monsignor Christopher McElroy

Mgr. Chris McElroy recently informed the Archbishop of his decision to step down from priestly ministry to allow him to reflect on his future. He will leave the Cathedral on Friday 19th May. A new Administrator will be appointed as soon as possible.

Well, I think we all know by now that “reflecting on his future” is a euphemism for “I’m off”.  So, the Archbishop, presumably stuck for a suitable replacement within the geographical confines of the Archdiocese has, literally, turned to Rome for help;  I mean, think about it; his Vicar General, subject of our front page report in January is hardly going about the place cutting the mustard, is he?  (Visit Newsletter Page on our website, and select the January 2017 edition in our Archive Section). And so it came to pass that the Archbishop has recalled the young Father Gerald Sharkey from the Scots College, to take up the post of administrator in the Cathedral in Glasgow.  Photo and text below is taken from the website of the Archdiocese of Glasgow – click here for source

Father Gerald Sharkey has been named by Archbishop Tartaglia as the new Administrator of St Andrew’s  Cathedral.

He succeeds Mgr Chris McElroy who is stepping down from active ministry.

Fr Sharkey was ordained in 2006. Currently he holds the post of Vice Rector of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome, and previously served as Parish Priest of Our Lady and St Helen’s in Condorrat.

Commenting on his appointment, Fr Sharkey said: “Although I will be sad to leave the eternal city and the happy environment of the Pontifical Scots College, I thank Archbishop Tartaglia for the trust he has shown in me by appointing me as the new Administrator of St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow.  Please pray for me in this time of great change.”

He will take up his new post on the Feast of the First Martyrs of the Roman Church,
June 30, 2017.

Comment:

We wish Father Gerald Sharkey well in his new appointment.  He has a reputation for being a sound priest – which is becoming something of the norm among the younger, more recently ordained clergy, thanks be to God. 

That said, it is clear from conversations with various priests around the archdiocese and beyond, that  the informed, more orthodox clergy are of the undiluted opinion that “the game’s a bogey”: it’s over –  the archdiocese is in meltdown. 

This is not a new thought here at Catholic Truth – we’ve known this to be the case for a long time now.  Click here to read one of our previous discussions on the topic of the Archdiocese of Glasgow R.I.P.

The “new” question is …drum roll… is the end of the Archdiocese of Glasgow as it now operates under Archbishop Tartaglia… (another drum roll) … a good thing?  What – in your considered opinion – lies ahead? 

Glasgow: time for Archbishop Targaglia to share office with a Co-Adjutor Bishop?

Archbishop Tartaglia

Archbishop Tartaglia

Angry parishioners were told to “go to confession” after they raised objections to their new priest accused of “unwanted harassment” during a drunken homosexual incident.

Father Paul Milarvie was accused of trying to “constrain” a male guest at his parish house in 2010, just months after he returned to Scotland.  That led to an investigation by the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

Milarvie was later allowed to keep his parish and dragged the church into a row over homosexuality after the incident was classed as “totally unworthy of a priest”.

The complaint against Milarvie alleged he invited a man to dinner at his parish house and an incident, which is disputed, occurred.

Milarvie apologised to the man, who agreed to return for a second dinner. It was during this evening he claimed he was subjected to unwanted harassment.

After an investigation, Archbishop Mario Conti later said there had been no crime committed and claimed there had been “consensual” activity, rather than an unwelcome approach by Milarvie.  [Emphasis added]

He said allowing for the “morally reprehensible over-indulgence” in drink, Milarvie’s actions had been “voluntary and totally unworthy behaviour on the part of a priest”.

Now churchgoers at St Mary’s chapel in Duntocher, near Glasgow, are up in arms over the proposed move by Milarvie to their parish.

One, who asked not to be named, said: “Parishioners are outraged and disgusted at his dark secrets. Meetings are being held to discuss the way forward.

“This priest is not wanted or welcomed. It’s a disgrace after the way he’s behaved and this dreadful issue has been swept under carpet by past and present church authorities. No one is listening to the people who pay for the upkeep of the church.”

The parishioner claims they emailed and phoned Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, a friend of Milarvie, but were ignored.

He added: “People are utterly appalled. We have contacted Archbishop Tartaglia and have been met with a disgraceful attitude.

“The priest we spoke to said we should ‘go to confession’ and that Milarvie was ‘forgiven’.

“We said that wasn’t good enough and that we’re very concerned he’ll do this again. He said, ‘We don’t know if he’ll do it again but we hope not’. Disgraceful.

“People deserve to know the truth. We want this priest out. Not only of our parish but of the priesthood.”

The case, which came to light in 2012 after the church spoke out against SNP plans to legalise same-sex marriage, prompted accusations the church was confused in its attitude to homosexuality.

Milarvie, 51, was vice-rector of the Pontifical Scots College in Rome from 2001 to 2005 and rector from 2005 to 2009. He is currently the parish priest for St Flannan’s in Kirkintilloch, near Glasgow.

The Record approached both Milarvie and the Catholic Church for comment.  Source  

Comment

Click here to read the response of Archbishop Tartaglia to the scandal reported by us in our current,  January newsletter and then vote in our poll below.  It seems clear that, his health concerns together with his failure to act in the face of scandals involving his priests, Archbishop Tartaglia is not fit for office. A bishop with equal authority to himself, who is not tainted by scandal and who will deal fairly and transparently with the legitimate concerns of the faithful, would go a long way to restoring confidence in the Archdiocese of Glasgow.  I can’t see how anyone could disagree with that solution to a very dysfunctional archdiocese.  After all, part of the problem may be due to the Archbishop’s poor health, so in charity, the Vatican ought to do all that is possible to lighten his load.  What do you think? 

 

Archdiocese of Glasgow RIP ?

Archdiocese of Glasgow RIP ?

Catholic parishes in Glasgow could face closure or amalgamation as part of plans to reorganise resources.

The Archdiocese of Glasgow is launching a consultation with parishioners amid changes in congregation numbers.

The move is being driven by the city’s falling population and a shift in whereabouts Catholics live in Glasgow.

The church said there was no “hit list” or target number of parishes that would close but that closures or amalgamations were a possibility.

Ronnie Convery, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Glasgow, said: “It is a consultation about rearranging our resources to match our buildings and priests to where people are.

Population move

“At the moment it’s largely based on a model from the 1950s and the emergence of new housing schemes all over the city.

“These areas grew in the 50s, 60s and 70s but by the 80s they were beginning to depopulate, so we ended up with areas with churches but virtually no population, and the population has moved to another area of the city where it’s bursting at the seams.”

Mr Convery said the church was clarifying where its resources lay presently and where they needed to be in the future.

He said: “We want to get the whole Archdiocese thinking about how to reconfigure for the 21st century.”

The population of the city of Glasgow has dropped from 1.1 million to 585,000 in the past 40 years, he said.

Parishoners leaflet

There are 200,000 Catholics in the wider Archdiocese area, which has 93 parishes and 200 priests.

The consultation will be launched on Sunday, when parishioners will be handed the leaflet titled “This Affects You”, which asks people to think about their local parish and what would be the ideal set-up.

By next spring representatives from parishes will meet priests to discuss people’s responses and just before Easter priests will give feedback to the Archbishop, Philip Tartaglia.

Mr Convery said: “I think people will be glad to be consulted. In the past people complained about decisions being made from on high without a chance to hear their side.

“I think people will be generally glad to be encouraged to feed back about their own experience of the church in their own area.”

Click on photo for source of this report.

So, what’s going on here – a simple “reorganisation” (on a grand scale!) or a PR exercise to cover up the lapsation through to apostasy in Glasgow in the wake of the Vatican II project? And are these “consultation” exercises to be the norm in the Church from now on? Anglicanism by the back door?