Fr Joe Ryan, the Westminster priest who has invited Tina Beattie to give one of the Diocese of Westminster’s Year of Faith lectures, has acknowledged the controversy caused, but casually dismisses it. Fr Joe Ryan is the parish priest of St John Vianney, West Green Parish, and the coordinator of the Archdiocese of Westminster’s Justice and Peace Commission. He is also one of the leading organisers of the dissent group A Call to Action that is calling for changes to the Church’s teaching on sexual morality, among other things.
Fr Joe Ryan, who describes himself as the parish coordinator rather than parish priest writes in the parish newsletter:
“I draw your attention to the article by Tina Beattie which is available. It gives the essence of what she will be saying on Saturday 16th February, here in the parish. Her talk is on chapter 8 of Lumen Gentium: The Vatican II document on the Church, i.e. the place of Mary, the Mother of God in the plan of salvation. You may be aware that there is considerable controversy about having such a speaker, but if others have difficulty, really it’s not my problem!!”
Protect the Pope comment: It’s disappointing, but unsurprising, that Fr Joe Ryan has washed his hands of the controversy caused by his invitation to Tina Beattie, who is notorious for her public dissent from many of the teachings of the Church, including the immorality of same-sex marriage. Fr Joe Ryan has also expressed opposition to the Church’s teaching on sexual morality, priestly celibacy, and to the authority of the Holy See in the letter he signed with six other priests in The Tablet.
Fr Joe Ryan has been boasting of a conversation he had with Archbishop Nichols about the group he formed with the other six priests, A Call to Action. Independent Catholic News reported, ‘“The first open meeting they organised on 18 July attracted 70 Catholic priests and deacons who shared concerns and discussed the future of the Church. In advance of the second meeting, some organisers had met with Archbishop Vincent Nichols at what was described as a “very good meeting”. Fr Joe Ryan of Westminster Diocese reported that “he agreed that something needs to be done” and “will observe our movement”.”
To be fair, Fr Ryan’s invitation to Prof Beattie to lecture in his parish one week after she publicly supported gay marriage in The Guardian doesn’t originate from his role as leader of the dissent movement A Call to Action. Rather, Fr Ryan has invited Beattie to speak in the name of Archbishop Nichols’ Justice and Peace Commission. Has this been ‘observed’ by Archbishop Nichols and the other Westminster bishops.
H/t to Hugh McLoughlin