Westminster priest inviting Tina Beattie to speak washes his hands of the controversy

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


22 comments to Westminster priest inviting Tina Beattie to speak washes his hands of the controversy

  • Joseph Matthew

    Fr Joe Ryan of Call to Dissent asks dissenting theologian Dr Beattie to speak. What are you going to do Archbishop Nichols ?

    • I contacted the Archdiocese yesterday and Archbishop Nicols is convelescing after surgery. Bishops Arnold and Sherrington have been left in charge in his absence. It is now their decision whether or not to cancel this lecture. I have complained direct but they need to hear more people complaining direct even if it is just an email or phone call.

  • Karla

    It is sad too see a priest like Fr Joe Ryan dissent in the way he has done. This is scandalous that Archbishop Nichols has not cancelled this invitation

  • Gurn

    Nichols will never get his red hat.

  • aindelal

    Well, Archbishop Nichols, this does seem to be causing a public scandal. I do hope Rome is watching all this. It’s all very damaging to the church and her authority.
    I think the laity need clear guidance about all this; one moment we’re all sending off postcards to our MPs in opposition to Same Sex Marriage (postcards given to us at church at the request of our bishops); and the next week we’re all invited to go to hear Tina Beattie (who publicly supports same sex ,arriage) speak at a London church! Really I think our dear Archbishop should make it clear which camp he actually supports here. At the moment he seems to be running with the hare and hunting with the hounds. What are we all to make of it? William Weber

  • wl weber

    On 5th February 2013 Tina Beattie wrote in The Guardian newspaper
    “I have come to believe that same sex marriages will be good for society and for those involved”

    For father Jo Ryan and Archbishop Nichols to allow her to lecture on Church property at a “Year of Faith” lecture is a grave scandal.

  • Christopher

    Dear all,

    Perhaps contacting the CDF may stop this?

    God Bless.

  • aindelal

    Excellent idea to contact the CDF. Deacon Nick, will you do it please? You’re “official” and more likely to be listened to in Rome

    • Deacon Nick Donnelly

      I have been told by my fellow clergy that the CDF, and other dicasteries, takes very seriously letters from the faithful about their own dioceses and country. You may not get a reply but this doesn’t mean that they’re ignoring your letter. So everyone should write to the CDF giving the facts in a calm and balanced way, expressing your concerns. Deacon Nick

  • John Dare

    ‘wash your hands of somebody/something
    to stop being involved with or responsible for someone or something, usually because they have caused too many problems for you’

    I think the good father is (rightly) suggesting that people who don’t think Dr Beattie should speak should just not turn up, or, as my son would say, ‘go and do one’.

    Good for him.

    • Rifleman819

      John ,

      Sorry to mention this but to Catholics -when someone is advocating heresy …we don’t take it lightly.

      The RCC is not a theologically democratic set-up like I suppose the CoE is.

      There is a logical reasoning for this as well…if you believe that the organisation you are part of , the RCC, really is the One True Church….then what she teaches must be , through the Ages, defended against all spiritual enemies-internal and external.

      But of course …if you don’t have that basic premise to start with -much of what you read here might seem baffling.
      RCC’s teachings are not pick n’ mix.

  • aindelal

    Okay. Please will you post the CDF’s contact details?

    Westminster Cathedral’s number is 020 7798 9055

    email chreception@rcdow.uk

    The contacts there are Bishop Arnold and Bishop Sherrington as the Archbishop is unwell.

    It’s time we all made a fuss about this scandal.

  • Karla

    Address: Piazza del S Uffizio, 11, 00193 Roma, Italy

    Telephone: 0669895911

  • ms Catholic state

    Wow…..have a read of this! The vicious agenda of the homosexualists is coming out of the closet.


    • Frances

      “Does this mean that if we get married, we are going to have to shop our equal love around to various churches until we find a priest who is willing to allow it to be equal?” Not a member of a church then is he!!! Why does he want to get married in one? And where oh where, as a non-attender does he get his teaching that gay marriage is equal in God’s eyes?! Also interesting that he overlooks the small matter of being able to produce children in his ideal of equality!

  • Mel

    I know from an insider that the complaints to the Westminster Diocese are having a considerable effect on the Diocesan Curia, the person’s response was that we must keep on respectfully making our intentions known to the diocese, especially Bishop John Arnold : Johna@rcdow.org.uk and Cc the Archbishop into any correspondence: archbishop@rcdow.org.uk . His Grace is recovering from an operation at the moment and thus +John is practically shepherding the diocese. The person also said angry RANTS are not responded too, please be polite and respectful and remember we are speaking to the successors of the apostles, the Lord’s anointed.

    All responses from Bishop John Arnold should be duly recorded and forwarded by POST to:

    H.E. Msgr. Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
    Piazza XII, 10
    00193 Vatican City

    I beg you my brothers and sisters in Christ, please do NOT leave this to your fellow Catholics, as they may be leaving this to you!

    Souls are at stake, we must act NOW.

  • Lola

    Does anyone have a copy of the Parish Newsletter to send to CDF? Call to Action’s letter in the Tablet will also be handy. Many thanks.

  • Bob Hayes

    The St John Vianney newsletter – advertising Tina Beattie’s talk and the A Call to Action dissident group – can be found here: http://www.rcdow.org.uk/westgreen/news/default_viewnews.asp?parish_id=88005&news_ref=3197

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>