Original material© Catholic Truth 2014
Bishop Marcus Stock, Diocese of Leeds
Bishop Hugh Gilbert, Diocese of Aberdeen
24 April, 2015
We, the undersigned, write to ask you to end the scandal of Mgr Basil Loftus’ writings in both the Catholic Times (CT) published in England and read UK-wide, and in the Scottish Catholic Observer (SCO), Scotland’s only national Catholic newspaper.
Week after week, Mgr Loftus writes in rebellion against the Catholic Faith. He has denied dogma; for example, on the subject of the Resurrection and, in the same edition of the newspaper, he undermines the doctrine of the Real Presence of Christ in the Sacred Species (CT 10/10/10). Mgr Loftus is, clearly, a material heretic and he is something of a hypocritical heretic at that:: while praising Pope Francis for “abolishing monsignors” (CT 24/4/15), he retains his own title of Monsignor. Surely, he should hand back that title, if he is so pleased at its abolition.
Since the election of Pope Francis, Mgr Loftus has plumbed new depths in manifesting his hatred of Catholicism, communicated markedly through his loathing for the Traditional Latin Mass and his mocking references to “carnival costumes” - i.e. sacred vestments. He agitates for a change in the moral law by pushing the Cardinal Kasper agenda to legitimise divorce and “remarriage” and a recognition of same-sex unions (CT, 24/4/15). Mgr Loftus persistently falls into the error of creating false dichotomies between Christ and doctrine, and Christ and His Church, peddling the currently fashionable (but un-Scriptural) notion of a false mercy which amounts to nothing more than human sympathy with those living in what Canon Law describes as “manifest public sin” (# 915).
It is a matter of the utmost seriousness that any priest is permitted to use Catholic newspapers to rail against the Faith, to attack and undermine dogma and morals and to insult sound prelates - Cardinal Burke is a favourite target, as is Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco who merely sought to Catholicise the schools in his archdiocese and was subject to a massive hate campaign by the enemies of the Faith, as a result. In his column, Mgr Loftus blatantly misrepresents him, and is personally nasty about both Archbishop Cordileone and Cardinal Burke. (CT, 24/4/15).
I wrote to Mgr Loftus when he threatened legal action against two priests in England because they had allowed criticism of his column on their blogs. He replied: “It would have been irresponsible not to have taken those steps to protect those who, in good faith, read what is published under the authority of a Catholic parish”. In fact, what Mgr Loftus writes here applies to the faithful who pay money to read the CT and SCO. The faithful purchase these newspapers in good faith. They do not expect to read heresy; certainly not from the pen of a priest and with the blessing of his bishop(s).
The fact is, Mgr Loftus is an obstinate material heretic. He has had his errors pointed out many times, having been made aware of the blog discussions on our site (and others) so that, were he genuinely ignorant of the nature, purpose and teaching of the Church and the natural moral law, the truth has been made known to him by these means, if not by those few letters which have been published in the two newspapers guilty of promoting his heretical and entirely un-Catholic writings.
Action to end the scandal of Mgr Loftus’ attacks on the Faith and true morals is imperative,and long overdue. The buck stops with the bishops.
With due respect, therefore, we, the undersigned, ask you, Bishop Stock, and you, Bishop Gilbert, to exercise your episcopal authority and show dutiful leadership by implementing Canon Law. - canon 1369 springs to mind, although there are several canons that might be invoked to end this scandal: “A person is to be punished with a just penalty who… in a published writing…gravely harms public morals, or rails at or excites hatred of or contempt for religion or the Church.” Yours etc.