Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Supporting Fr Zuhlsdorf

It was from Fr Tim Finigan’s Hermeneutic of Continuity blog that I learned the other day of the current harassment of the leading US Catholic blogger Fr John Zuhlsdorf.  Fr Tim, no stranger to similar pressure a few years ago here, wrote about Fr Z at On the Attempted Cancellation of Father Zuhlsdorf

I have not met Fr Zuhlsdorf although I once saw him in Oxford, have enjoyed his blog and heard him speak on the Latin Mass Society’s online conference last summer.

Fr Hunwicke has also posted about the situation Fr Zuhlsdorf faces at Father John Zuhlsdorf and in it urges his readers to do something to support his fellow priest. As some of the comments there say there is not much someone in the UK can do in these circumstances. What I am doing is adding Fr Zuhlsdorf to my prayers and writing this post to draw attention to the situation. It may not be much, but it is something.

The seeming pursuit of Fr Zuhlsdorf for daring to uphold traditional belief and practice is indicative not only of a tendency amongst certain “liberal” Catholics of a certain generation but also apparently of the febrile state of Catholicism in the US in the wake of last year’s elections. Neither are good, and neither will be resolved quickly.

I have no doubt that Fr Zuhlsdorf as a man of faith and principles will surmount this particular storm, but it should not be one he has to face - although we have to remember the Dominical warning that such are indeed the trials of His followers.

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