After attending the Leeds A Call to Action workshop did Mgr Stock drop by the Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice Conference?

The Tablet is reporting that Mgr Marcus Stock in his capacity as the General Secretary to the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales attended the first national gathering of the dissent group A Call to Action in the Diocese of Leeds that among other things wants to change the Church’s doctrine on sexual morality to be ‘more closely rooted in the experience of the laity’.

Under the headline ‘Reform Group calls for an end to fear in the Church’ The Tablet reports:

‘FEAR WITHIN the Church is inhibiting bishops, priests and laity from advocating ecclesial reforms, the first national meeting of a new church group heard this week. Chris Larkman, an organiser of A Call to Action (Acta), said those at the meeting wanted to replace a culture of fear with one of dialogue in which any topic can be discussed.

“There was a strong sense that this fear is not of Christ, not of the Christian Church,” he said. “Bishops who are frightened of Rome,
laity fearful of priests, priests fearful of bishops. It is not creative and there seems to be a lot of it in the Church.”

Acta is calling for better dialogue between bishops, priests and laity on issues such as ordaining married men, the role of the Roman
Curia and a theology of sexuality more closely rooted in the experiences of the laity.

Mgr Marcus Stock, the general secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, attended the gathering at Hinsley Hall,
Leeds, on Monday and Tuesday which included 65 representatives from dioceses. The group’s leaders are hoping to meet with
the bishops of England and Wales in the coming months. The group grew from a letter to The Tablet last June signed by seven priests.’ (p.33)

According to the ACTA website they were very pleased that the Bishops Conference of England and Wales were able to send Mgr Marcus Stock ‘to observe and comment on our progress to date.’

Just to re-cap past meetings of ACTA:

In July 2012 seventy Catholic priests and deacons met in an Anglican Church in London and were addressed by Sr Myra Poole SND, a notorious advocate of women’s ordination who compared Pope Benedict with BNP leader Nick Griffin. Her organisation, Catholic Women’s Ordination, also funded a £10,000 advertising campaign during the Holy Father’s UK visit protesting the  Church’s teaching on the priesthood being reserved to men.

The seventy priests and deacons were also addressed by Mary Grey, a visiting professor at St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham. Mary Grey is a self-described feminist theologian, specializing in ecofeminist theology. She has made it clear that her grandiose goal is to topple ’3,000 years of patriarchy’. In an article published in The Tablet during the pope’s UK visit Mary Grey wrote with others:

‘But in fact no one believed that it would be that easy to topple patriarchy, a system reigning triumphant for nearly 3,000 years. It was obvious that the very enormity of the task would be a catalyst for retrenchment on a massive scale, which we note has come to pass. And it is not only women who suffer and feel a deep shame at a clericalised, top-down system that has lost touch with the grass roots: the heart and soul of the Church is wounded. It has frequently been women in the past, like Julian of Norwich, who tried to fight corruption with her mysticism of love. And  she, who tells us to keep faith in the  ongoing redeeming love of Christ, for, in the  end, all will be well.’

In her address to the priests and deacons of ‘A Call to Action’ Mary Grey also told them,

‘There has been a slow death of hope and the bleeding away of faith. Today Catholics loyal to the spirit of Vatican II experience their faith as famine and not feast. I have experienced a near despair at the loss of a generation of young Catholics, and particularly women.’

Protect the Pope comment: The questions that need asking in response to this Tablet report are, has a General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales attended a conference of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice in all the years of its existence? Would Mgr Marcus Stock be sent by the Bishops Conference to observe and comment on the progress of Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice? Does Pro Ecclesia hope to have a meeting with all the bishops of England and Wales in the coming months?

If Mgr Marcus Stock had attended this year’s Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice conference he would have observed talks on the theme, ‘The Catholic Church: Crisis and Revival’. Speakers included, among others: Daphne McLeod on ‘How this Crisis arose? Fr Hundwicke on ‘The Catholic Faith in a Hostile Culture’, Dr Harriet Murphy on ‘Feminist Dissent in the Church’ and Michael Voris of RealCatholicTV.Com on ‘The Future of the Church in Europe’.

Two final questions, why did the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales send their General Secretary to comment on the progress of a dissent group? Does the Bishops Conference really intend to arrange a meeting between all the bishops of England and Wales and A Call to Action?






14 comments to After attending the Leeds A Call to Action workshop did Mgr Stock drop by the Pro Ecclesia Et Pontifice Conference?

  • Augustine

    There is an interesting article by Sandro Magister entitled “Why Pope Francis Doesn’t Give Communion”.

    At the moment of communion, Pope Francis does not administer communion himself, but allows others to give the consecrated host to the faithful. He sits down and waits for the distribution of the sacrament to be completed.

    I’m sure some Liturgical “experts” may criticise him for this.

    But according to Sandro Magister, Pope Francis also did this when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires – and he apparently explained that it was to prevent unrepentant public sinners (especially politicians!) from using the reception of Holy Communion from the-then Cardinal as a photo opportunity to impress gullible electors.

    I suspect that before long “A Call to Action” will be wringing their hands rather than ringing the bells!

  • [...] Nick raises an interesting point: apparently the General Secretary of the Bishops Conference attended a meeting of A Call to Action, hosted by Hinsley Hall the Leeds Diocesan Pastoral Centre, being a moderate I wouldn’t [...]

  • Trisagion

    Nick, As I posted on your FB post, Mgr Stock was attending on the instructions of the Bishops in order that he could report to them on what happened. It is mischievous in the extreme of The Tablet to suggest his attendance signified anything.

  • Peter Northcott

    Michael Voris is dead right: we’re not about being ‘nice’. BUT…

    …sadly, that doesn’t mean being like lots of the laity and priests faithful to the Magisterium who seem to use it as an excuse to be aggressive and just plain nasty. They come across as socially maladjusted and anything but full of the joy of the Lord. I know. I used to attend so-called ‘Faith’ meetings in London and the conversations in the pub afterwards were often catty and puerile, and the priests behaved like teenage public schoolboys who hadn’t grown up. I didn’t stay long.
    This mentality exemplified itself recently in the combox of Fr Blake’s Blog on Bishop Egan’s recent “clear out” of his diocesan staff. The schadenfreude was juvenile and palpable to the point of being just plain sick – if being faithful to the Magisterium elicits that sort of mentality – in post after post.

    There’s a big difference between the Church Militant and the Church Belligerent, as Fr Paul Scalia pointed out in his well-known CA article, and from where I’m sitting, these people look awfully like the Church Belligerent.

    Let’s make sure that we’re not the the cause of dissenters entrenching their position because we’re deliberately winding them up.

    Instead let’s be a beacon of Faith, Hope, and Love, through our supererogatory actions, kindness, and sweetness, in conveying the truth which is divine sweetness and mercy himself.

    Let’s challenge the Bishops, in love, rather than simply antogonise them in our efforts to prove we’re right and they’re wrong and feel the resultant sense of self-righteousness more than trying to win their souls for Christ and welcome them back into the fold. The behaviours of these priests seem rather Donatist.

    To allow and encourage the Bishops to repent and come back into the fold would mean they’d now have to eat too much humble pie. These ‘traddies’ need as much conversion as the Bishops they’re attacking.

    The Lord had the Apostles, not the Gestapo.

  • Bob Hayes

    The Tablet’s short article is effectively a press release written by one of the ACTA ‘Core Group’ – funny, I thought these people opposed hierarchy? The coverage generated a certain amount of bickering amongst the would-be revolutionaries of ACTA. See the discussion its Google Groups page:!category-topic/acalltoaction/IQj-iQm3kM0

    Looking at the discussions about the the article, and also about ACTA’s ‘Mission Statement’ on the Google Group reminds me of the old joke about the three Trotskyites who were washed-up on a desert island. Within a couple of days they had formed two political parties and an entryist faction.

  • Wake up England

    “The beginning of wisdom is fear of The Lord”

    • peter

      Hi Wake up England,

      When you use the word ‘fear’ do you mean ‘a fear from some form of punishment’ or the biblical use of the proverb, ‘filial fear’ where a person dreads offending a loving God because in doing so it separates us from God?


  • Lynda

    The only question that needs answering is: is the organisation obedient to the Church’s teaching, the whole Deposit of Faith. If not, they must be rebuked, admonished to conform to the Church or be recognised as being opposed to the Church.

  • Joseph Matthew

    I think Peter Northcote needs to be reminded how bad things are in the Uk Church. A Catholic doctor told his juniors that he was proud to perform abortions. Some juniors went to see the bishop who was very,very “nice.” Nothing,absolutely nothing, got done about the situation. In the words of the great Mother Angelica, that bishop should attract zero obedience.

  • Joseph Matthew

    For the sake of clarity, I should add that the doctor doing abortions described himself as a “practicing Catholic” who received Holy Communion inspite of his abortion activities.

  • Dominic McCarthy

    Presumably Mgr Marcus Stock was there ‘to observe and comment on our progress to date’ – not to approve of it or encourage it. The best interpretation that can be put upon his presence is that of “Know your enemy”. No-one needs to keep much of an eye on Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice. Anything which happens there is going to be orthodox, even ultra-orthodox. But where you have an influential group of heretics passing themselves off as the genuine voice of the Church, isn’t it right that the bishops keep themselves informed – before thundering their collective anathemas, of course? If only……

  • Peter Northcott

    Hi Joseph.
    I am in England. We are not ‘the UK’.

    Joseph. It is like Hell – and what many of the clergy supposedly faithful to the Magisterium are doing is polarizing the issue stoking the fires. Yes. I’d be the first to say the issues are black-and-white. BUT…

    My point is that, from where I’m sitting, they’re being aggressive and deliberately provocative for the sake of it. They want to make a point, and their actions seem to be directed at proving their point – that they won’t be listened to – rather than trying to be listened to.

    In other words, their agenda is one of making their agenda appear prophetic when they’ve merely set it up to make sure they’re proved right by being antagonistic.

    One can say ‘I told you so’ in two situations: one where you have no hand in bringing the situation about, and one where you have doggedly manipulated the situation to bring it about. They seem to be in the latter category.

    They’re the sort who want to appear martyrs, so any opportunity to promote that end they say, ‘Bring it on, and see how holy and loyal I am!’.

    To my mind, they’re simply narcissists.

    You think I’m harsh? Listen to their vitriol towards anyone outside their clique.

  • Peter Northcott

    Good point, Dominic!

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