Edinburgh and the CDF


The news, as reported by the current Tablet (http://www.thetablet.co.uk/UserFiles/Files/3_Letter_from_Fitzpatrick_to_Archbishop_Cushley.pdf)

of the behaviour of the CDF towards the Edinburgh Newman Circle makes for depressing and confusing reading.

In summary, the CDF responded to an anonymous complaint after a lecture given by Joe Fitzgerald, accusing him of challenging Church teaching on Original Sin. They made no contact with Joe, or with anyone who could give them a proper account of the lecture or of the book that Fitzpatrick has written outlining his views on the subject. In fact they seem to have based their condemnation on a sentence in the pre-publicity for the lecture, which of course would not have been written by Fitzpatrick, but by the organising committee. They sent a diktat to Archbishop Leo Cushley expressing their displeasure;  and followed it with an order that the next speaker, Tina Beattie, should not be allowed to speak on Church property. Tina had, of course, drawn the ire of the CDF some time ago.  Again they made no contact with Tina, or corresponded with her in any way the reasons for the ban.

This type of behaviour by the CDF goes completely contrary to the words and writings of Pope Francis, who is encouraging discussion, and the expression of differing ideas as a way of coming to a full understanding of the truth.

The other disturbing aspect of this whole sorry affair is the way that the Archbishop totally submitted to the orders of the CDF. I would have thought that at this stage both bishops and religious superiors would be getting some courage, and beginning to stand up to the bullying. But that does not seem to be happening.

This occurrence is a further indication that all is not well in the Vatican, that in fact there is a serious power struggle going on, and that some of the people in very senior positions there do not either respect or listen to what Francis is saying. For those of us who have regularly been reprimanded for not respecting and obeying previous Popes, it is ironic to see the very same people who criticised us now behaving in far more disrespectful and destructive ways. For me it raises the question as to what faith they have in the Church,