The priest-led dissent group Call to Action has held or is planning to hold meetings in the dioceses of Westminster, Birmingham, Nottingham and Brentwood during November and December.
Call to Action is the initiative of seven English priests who published a letter in The Tablet in June 2012 protesting about the Church’s teaching on sexuality, and married priests, expressing opposition to the new translation of the Mass and antagonism towards the Holy See. For example, regarding the Church’s moral teaching about sexuality they use the code words ‘listening to the lived reality of people’ to indicate that the Church should change its teaching on contraception, divorce and homosexuality:
‘The bishops speak of “fostering and encouraging a culture of dialogue and solidarity” but, in reality, there is little opportunity or forum for this and there seems a reluctance to listen to the people whose lived reality is so often at odds with the teaching of the institutional Church. This is especially true in reading the signs of the times; i.e. matters of developing a theology of sexuality rooted in the actual experiences of the faithful and developing an understanding of the relationships between evolution and religion. The sensus fidelium seems forgotten.’
The homosexual activist Terence Wheldon of the Soho Masses Pastoral Council is a prominent contributor to the Call to Action website.
Here’s a summary of the recent activity of the Call to Action dissent group:
Fr Joe Ryan led a meeting at St. John Vianney’s Church on the 30th November. Fr Ryan is one of the original priests who signed the letter in The Tablet. The meeting took the letter as the starting point for their discussions.
Tony Castle and Roy Smith led a meeting at St Thomas of Canterbury Church on the 1st December. Tony Castle is a Primary schools inspector and teaches on Brentwood’s CCRS programme for teachers.
A meeting was held at Our Lady of Mercy, Melbourne, Derbyshire on 17th November
The Jesuits are hosting a meeting of Call to Action on the 9th December at Manresa House. The organisers admit being inspired by other groups of dissenting priests around the world, ‘“Groups of priests around the world are calling for action. We are lay Catholics who share their concerns.’ This is clearly a reference to the Austrian Priests Initiative, and their Call to Disobedience, and the Irish Association of Catholic Priests.
Protect the Pope comment: These Call to Action meetings in English Dioceses express their objectives in terms of dialogue and discussion, but the original letter and their invited speakers make clear that their true objective is to promote ideas and causes that dissent from the Magisterium of the Church.
It is disgraceful that some priests, parishes and religious orders in England and Wales are leading and supporting a dissent movement at any time, but especially during the Year of Faith called for by Pope Benedict XVI. The Call to Action movement in England has all the appearance of fomenting open defiance to the Holy Father.