Dioceses of Clifton and Northampton give the ACTA dissent movement official status on diocesan websites

The Diocese of Clifton and the Diocese of Northampton have both given the A Call to Action dissent movement official status on diocesan websites. The Diocese of Clifton lists ACTA under ‘Services and Commissions’, and states that Bishop Lang attended the 26th November 2013 meeting as an observer, ‘thanked us for our views, and expressed the desire to be kept informed of our progress.’ The Diocese of Northamption lists ACTA under ‘Groups and societies actively represented in the Diocese.

Diocese of Clifton’s ACTA page

ACTA Clifton

Diocese of Northampton’s listing of ACTA


ACTA Northampton


Protect the Pope comment: Apart from showing the official collusion of two dioceses with a dissent movement within the Church both of these website pages make reference to ACTA’s infamous Heythrop meeting held in October 2012.  Following their Heythrop meeting ACTA published a document that explicitly outlines the extent of ACTA’s dissent, which they have attempted to hide since Mgr Marcus Stock’s attendance of the Hinsley Hall national conference. It should be noted that the ordination of women was mentioned four times in the summary of the Heythrop meeting, and that withholding money and saying No to Peter’s Pence was also mentioned a number of times. This is the true face of ACTA.   The Heythrop document also shows that they are fundamentally opposed to the hierarchical Church instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ. It also shows a deep antipathy towards, and rejection of, the authority of the successor of St Peter and the Holy See. A Call to Action makes it clear that if the bishops don’t heed their demands, they will take unilateral actions by setting up their own institutions.



The true nature of A Call to Action’s dissent exposed at 2012 Heythrop meeting, part 1 http://protectthepope.com/?p=8173

The true nature of A Call to Action’s dissent exposed at 2012 Heythrop meeting, part II http://protectthepope.com/?p=8197

34 comments to Dioceses of Clifton and Northampton give the ACTA dissent movement official status on diocesan websites

  • Joseph Matthew

    I do have to ask: Could this have happened when Benedict was Pope?

    • iggy o'donovan

      Yes it could. Nothing to do with Francis.

      • Bob Hayes

        I am with you on this one Fr Iggy.

        ACTA, its confrères and precursors have been active in the Church for many decades. Indeed, Protect the Pope emerged in response not only to atheist opposition to Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Britain, but also to the antics of various dissenters.

        The impression of Pope Francis that most of the world sees today is presented through the lens of the self-serving media. On the mainstream wing are the traditionally sceptical and/or hostile secular media. On the ‘religious’ wing are many fantasists and agenda-laden publications and journalists.

        With such a distorted perspective of the Holy Father so widely projected, it is inevitable that the likes of ACTA, Beattie, Mickens, Heythrop and The Tablet should feel more confident; and that the doubting and weak-willed amongst the hierarchy should feel so powerless.

        There is not a Benedict – Francis dichotomy. We are witnessing a cunning attempt to undermine Petrine Succession by a – literally – unholy alliance of secularism and dissent.

        Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us

        St Peter, pray for Us

        St Paul, pray for us

        St Francis, pray for us

        All holy men and women, pray for us.

        • Denis

          Dear Bob

          I and a few friends have been to a few leeds& Birmingham ACTA meets and have found them good ! Not dissenting at all , full of charity and God’s abiding presence . It is good news that some enlightened bishops are accepting and promoting this movement .

          • Bob Hayes

            ‘Not dissenting at all…’

            That is a relief to hear Denis! So at the meetings you found participants:

            * Accept the New Translation agreed by the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales;

            * Support the Petrine Succession and Papal Authority;

            * Affirm that sexual relations outside marriage are sinful;

            * Reject abortion and euthanasia;

            * Embrace the Catechism of the Catholic Church;

            * Reject calls for ‘women’s ordination’

            Charity and ‘no dissenting’ – have I got this right Denis?

      • Wake Up England

        Father Iggy O’Donovan

        Yes, well you would say that wouldn’t you?

        I happen to disagree with you over this (and indeed many other aspects of your promotion of Nu-Catholicism).

        You evince a sinister aura of glee at each and every new manifestation of dissent, Father.

        personally I find much of what you write (and your crashingly obvious Pride) a cause of scandal. I am not alone.

        • tro

          Seems iggy waves his pom poms for any dissenter from the Left: “the late, great Cardinal Martini”, etc.

        • John Dare

          Wake Up England
          February 24, 2014 at 5:13 pm · Reply
          Father Iggy O’Donovan

          ‘Yes, well you would say that wouldn’t you?

          I happen to disagree with you over this (and indeed many other aspects of your promotion of Nu-Catholicism).

          You evince a sinister aura of glee at each and every new manifestation of dissent, Father.

          personally I find much of what you write (and your crashingly obvious Pride) a cause of scandal. I am not alone.’

          Is that an ‘ad hominum’?

          • Wake Up England

            John Dare:

            The troll returns, yawn.

            Why not go and start your own blog rather than bossily attempting to make judgements on this one which are, quite obviously, the business of Deacon Donnelly, and him alone?

            One waits in vain for you, John Dare, to contribute anything on this blog which is relevant to any subject under discussion. In my view, your silence over the last few months has been an improvement here, but it is entirely up to Deacon Nick as to whom and what he publishes. You appear not to grasp this concept.

          • John Dare

            How there WUE son. Haven’t heard bossily for years. Good to know someone’s keeping the old words going.

  • Rifleman819

    The next round will be the forthcoming episcopal appointments.

  • Genty

    Yes, it could have. But it didn’t. Fact.

  • Damian

    This endorsement of dissent is a natural follow on from years of poor catechisis, weaken the faithfuls’ understanding of Catholicism over years, then there will be less outcry when dissent under the guise of “dialogue ” is promoted. I suspect many Catholics don’t have the confidence or will to raise the appropriate hue & cry over this.

  • Michael Petek

    The primacy of conscience has nothing to do with dissenting from the official teaching of the Church for the sake of one’s own opinions. To be legitimately invoked, it has to be about dissenting from the merely authentic teaching of the Church for the sake of the truth of God, when actual error in a teaching has been identified. A high threshold indeed.

    So anyone who favours contraception or the ordination of women has to take his stand on the proposition that they are permitted by God, and that this judgement must be adhered to by all the faithful as having been acquired with the assistance of the Holy Spirit.

    Here’s a suggestion, Nick. How about going through ACTA’s statements looking for any point of dissent from truths which must be believed with divine and catholic faith. Then challenge the Bishops of Clifton and Northampton either to remove ACTA from their approved list, or to declare themselves excommunicated and deposed as heretics.

    • Pat

      You could try, but it took over 10 years of complaining by lay Catholics for the dissident Catholic Women’s Network (aka Women Word Spirit)to be removed from the National Catholic Directory, even though plenty of evidence had been made public and shown to the bishops of this group’s dissent on everything, ranging from abortion to women’s ordination. To this day, this group are still listed in several diocesan directories. They are listed in the 2014 Westminster Year Book under ‘Catholic Societies and Organisations’. If CWN can get away with it for so long, I can’t see why the bishops will jump to remove ACTA.

      • Michael Petek

        In “Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Homosexual Unions” the CDF, with the approval in forma specifica of Pope John Paul II, confirmed (infallibly) that the judgement of the grave immorality of homosexual acts is founded on Scripture and has been unanimously accepted by Catholic tradition. Sententia definitive credenda.

        Again, in Evangelium Vitae, the teaching of the truth concerning murder, abortion and euthanasia is sententia definitive credenda, and so dissent from it is heresy incurring automatic excommunication.

        In Sacerdotalis Ordinatio, Pope John Paul II affirmed that the limitation of priestly ordination to men is sententia definitive tenenda. Dissent from it is proximate to heresy and contrary to the judgement of the Holy Spirit.

  • Chrysostom

    What a difference between now sympathetically bishops treat these agitators for change, and the hostility the same bishops show to those who want the Old Mass, as they were promised at the Council of Trent and over the centuries!

  • Paul Commins

    It has everything to do with those who support them.Organisations like ACTA,and the ACP,don’t have the good of the Church in mind.

  • solly gratia

    I’ve emailed this article with comments to my Bishop’s email address – no idea if he will see it himself. I’m in the Diocese of Northampton.

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon Nick ,

    One presumes this has reached the Nuncio’s Office….and the fact that it is a co-ordinated and networked campaign.

    It begs the question…….who actually controls the web content of the Dioceses?

    And further than that -who in reality -is running a number of RC dioceses?

    And again…would the Latin Mass Society have the same privileged internal media access?

  • BJC

    You have to wonder at the gall of ACTA. They are telling lies, and they know that we know they are telling lies, and yet still they go ahead with this hiding behind a white as the driven snow facade. It’s a farce, but this is the modern day church for you.

    Could this have happened under Benedict? No I don’t think so, the timing wasn’t right. A few factors have come together all at once and I think this is what prompted it. They seem to me to be:

    - A new Pope creating a window of opportunity. The beginning of a pontificate is the best time to manipulate what a Pope is saying because the pattern isn’t set yet. ACTA are an unscrupulous lot and have taken full advantage of this. It hasn’t helped that Pope Francis has been naive in some of his comments and hasn’t figured out that groups like ACTA are waiting to pounce on every word he says, and twist everything to their own meaning.

    - After 40 years of waiting in the shadows all the British dissenters decided it’s now or never. They’ve figured it’s time to leave behind some kind of structure to perpetuate their poisonous and heretical beliefs. With an average age of 65 and rising they are panicking that it could all be over for them unless they try and make one final push.

    - Retired people have plenty of time on their hands. Under Benedict they were just that little bit younger. The ACTA project gives the dissenters something to do. The leadership have always been involved in churchy things, so ACTA is just an extension to that. It keeps them occupied and stops them getting bored. Somebody with a full-time job could never take on something like this.

    • Rifleman819

      You are not wrong.Being an avid reader as a boy of the 1960s comic the “Victor” and the “Hornet” I now know what ACTA actually stands for-fiendish devils:-

      But as you are doubtless aware…..these Marks of Panzers are pretty old models…they look impressive but their crews are ,in the main, elderly old Reservists, Altekamaraden of the Vatikan 2 campaign in Italy in ’65.

      They have a good recce platoon though….wearing Allied uniform to look like friends while they infiltrate, deceive and find routes to assault our bastions.
      But the 1st Battalion The Papal Rifles(The Loyal Catholics’Own) are there ready for them—anti-tank guns, missiles and our Vincentian canons(sic) as the counter-attack forces.
      And as Corporal Jones used to say…” They don’t like it up ‘em, Mr Donnelly, sah!”

    • Rifleman819

      The sentence that stood out for me was this one:” It is not the job of the Church to be popular”

      Quite so.

      • Bob Hayes

        Quite so Rifleman819. And today’s first reading from the Letter of St James makes that abundantly clear:

        ‘… don’t you realise that making the world your friend is making God your enemy? Anyone who chooses the world for his friend turns himself into God’s enemy.’ (James 4:4)

        The opening clause of James 4:4 rather neatly sums up the dissenters: ‘You are as unfaithful as adulterous wives…’.

        • Rifleman819

          Thanks…our bishops are not here to please the secular media but to preach and defend the Word.

          We are a great army with pxss-poor generals I’m afraid

  • Kieran

    I’m very worried about ACTA and the heightened profile the group seems to have been given in certain dioceses. It is an organisation that calls for transparency and dialogue and yet unlike the ACP website in Ireland, it’s website doesn’t seem open to all (unless you register/join). Perhaps if they were more transparent then we wouldn’t worry as much as we do. If ACP are big enough to welcome criticism and dialogue, so too should ACTA. Until that happens, no Diocese should offer them any publicity.

  • Lionel (Paris)

    it is getting worse!

  • James

    As I pointed out on 5th February, when you praised Bishop Malcolm McMahon O.P., Bishop of Nottingham, and the Diocesan Spokesperson, Fr Andrew Cole for “opposing dissent” in the Diocesan Newspaper: “I have been shown a copy of the Paper, and the same edition of the Paper gives a glowing report on an ACTA Conference in Birmingham. The paper may be “for”, and not “of” the Diocese, but it is published with the approval of Bishop Malcolm McMahon O.P., Bishop of Nottingham. Many of the views expressed by ACTA echo statements Malcolm McMahon has made, in different talks etc, before.”

    I have been advised by people in that Diocese that the Bishop probably has Fr. Timothy Radcliffe O.P. on speed dial, and that he has addressed, more than once, Diocesan Assemblies, Clergy Conferences and led Clergy Retreats.

    If a campaigning blogger can occasionally, totally mistakenly, back the wrong horse what chance do the rest of us have?

  • scary goat

    I can’t believe it. I know my diocese is pretty liberal and I read that Bishop Lang had met with ACTA…but one could hope that meeting doesn’t mean approving…but there it is…on the diocesan website. I saw his article a couple of days ago but couldn’t quite bring myself to check…maybe….maybe it’s some sort of mistake? I just checked…and there it is. What a betrayal. I already knew….but I feel shocked. How could they?

    • Denis

      But scary , I have been to leeds ACTA events and they are good. What is the fear about ? Their motives are open, just, charitable, searching, honest, Richard Rohr like, prayerful, funny, spiritual, Christian , emerging church, challenging, great!

  • John M


    You describe ACTA meetings as ‘emerging Church’. Is this a new Church then? I thought the Catholic Church was already in existence and has been for 2000 years.

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