Both A Call to Action and Quest are annoyed with Protect the Pope for raining on their parade

Two dissent groups active in the English church, A Call to Action an Quest, have expressed annoyance with Protect the Pope about posts we have published about them in the past.

A Call to Action and Protect the Pope

ACTA’s google group includes the following posts about Protect the Pope:

Protect the Pope sounds like a good title for a novel. which is perhaps appropriate since the world it reflects is essentially fictional. The Pope it seeks to protect is a fictional Pope created by the imagination of its subscribers with severely ultramontane dispositions. If anything they are attacking the real Pope, Pope Francis, who seems to them to be less catholic than they are, and criticism of ACTA is simply a stalking horse for attacks on him.  Certainly Pope Francis will need all the prayerful support possible if he attempts to strip away the overgrowth of centuries of pious whims and fancies, that now tend to be treated as part of the deposit of faith. ‘

‘Dear Friends, Welcome to our world where the fundamentalists snipe at and manipulate the truth about anyone or any group who does not subscribe to their point of view.   The amount of time they have to collect information on Catholics with whom they disagree never ceases to amaze me. To my knowledge they have a catalogue that goes back at least a decade or so.  There is something not quite healthy about it. I know of people and groups who have sought legal redress against the calumny but is it worth it?  You might get one group to desist but another will spring up in its place.  Just have a look at one fundamentalist blog and see the links from it to a myriad of others.  Don’t spend too much time on it, though, you have far more important things to do. Their aim is to intimidate and silence us.  The best redress is not to be silenced and to carry on the good work. ACTA is doing a grand job.  Your strength is in getting diocesan discussion groups going and encouraging Catholics in the pew to voice their views. Do like the rest of us do and ignore the sniping on websites and blogs. best wishes Valerie Coordinator, We Are Church (UK) Chairman, Catholics for a Changing Church.

‘Dear Valerie, Thank you for posting support, and for sharing with us your experience of years of such ‘snipings’. I’m sure your advice is timely and I for one will certainly try to heed it. As a lay Catholic of a certain age-with a bus pass – I have been amazed to discover there are so many groups  in the ‘ fortress’ church who have time and energy to devote to such destructive blogs. The threatening tone of references to named persons has been very disturbing and dispiriting, to say the least.  But it has highlighted for me the need for the work of ACTA, CCC and other groups of the ‘pilgrim’ church to continue to engage in ‘courageous conversations’ with ‘courageous hearts’.  As Francis has reminded us in significant signs the last hundred days,  ’Do not domesticate the Holy Spirit: it is pushing the Church, it is pushing us’. And thank you to Chris and Alex for your courage and generosity in engaging with others on our behalf.’!category-topic/acalltoaction/X0Y-YTFqVTU

Quest and Protect the Pope

‘Yet when LGBT Catholics do come together in the Lord’s name, for worship or discussion, some people and groups take it on themselves to object. We saw it for years in the hostility to the Soho Masses, we saw it recently at the blog “Protect the Pope”, where Deacon Nick Donelly was appalled at the effrontery of gay and lesbian Catholics attempting to meet – and at the letter of welcome we received from the local bishop. (For a site that calls itself “Protect the Pope”, I find it surprising that Deacon Nick appears to be so deaf to the words of the pope himself.  If the pope feels himself unqualified to pass judgement  - then what qualifies Deacon Nick to do so?)

However, that’s a digression. I would normally simply ignore the nonsense emanating from sites such as that, but I am disturbed that I have also encountered too much ignorance and misperceptions about Quest among people who really need to know better – British gay and lesbian Catholics themselves. I suffered under these misperceptions myself, until I attended conference last year. Then, and even more this year, I came away seriously impressed with the current activities and even greater potential of the organization.’

‘Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton was unable to accept the invitation to join us at the gala dinner as it coincided with the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes. He nevertheless wrote not one but two letters to Quest, welcoming delegates to the diocese. Doubtless the author of the blog ‘Protect the Pope’ (see page 10) – who commented at length (and, surprise, surprise, unfavourably) on this year’s conference – will regard the bishop as another renegade to be delated to Rome. Good luck with that as “the times, they are a-changing”, to quote Bob Dylan.’

Protect the Pope comment: Both A Call to Action and Quest take a highly critical stance towards the Church’s teaching and authority, but when they are criticized in turn they take great offence.   Quest’s September issue of their newsletter contains an ‘Open Letter to Deacon Nick Donnelly’ by Benedict Luckhurst. The strange thing is that no one at Quest thought to tell me that they have published an open letter addressed to me! I will fisk Benedict Luckhurst’s letter about me and Protect the Pope once I’ve had a chance to go through it.


29 comments to Both A Call to Action and Quest are annoyed with Protect the Pope for raining on their parade

  • Well done Deacon Nick, to be the subject of anger from “A Call to Action” and “Quest” means you are speaking the Christian truth. Your blog is a true act of charity for you are helping these dissident groups find truth and salvation. Is a shame some bishops are letting them down by indulging their sin.

  • Joseph Matthew

    Again we see these heretical Frankensteins trying to create a Papal monster according to their own tastes. One of the values of this blog is that it alerts us to the various infiltrations/infestations going on inside the Church. Thank you!

  • Lola

    “If anything they are attacking the real Pope, Pope Francis, who seems to them to be less catholic than they are…”.

    I never thought I would ever agree with anything ACTA has to say but, there are more than handful who appear to be more Catholic than the Holy Father.

    “…whims and fancies, that now tend to be treated as part of the deposit of faith.”.

    And, here’s another I agree with and as it applies to the conduct of more than a handful of those who support/promote the Extraordinary Form and criticise the Ordinary Form.

    • Rifleman819


      Yes …of course..I was forgetting…that “whim and fancy “of the Holy Roman Church …a universal Western Rite Mass in Latin …structure agreed and in use since the Council of Trent….must cede to a poor and theologically dubious translation with the imprimatur of about 1968.

      Yes …of course……..

      And this fabulous translation had nothing to do with the massive exodus from the church thereafter , did it?

      Lex orandi …lex credendi

  • Wake up England

    Bob Dylan also wrote

    “Ain’t Gonna Go to Hell for Anybody”

    Which is probably a succinct statement of a proposed Nu Catholic doctrine from ACTA (after lots of “nuance and self-indulgent “dialoguing”, of course).

  • Mike2

    Why are they not calling for dialogue with Protect the Pope? Their obvious annoyance is witness to the excellent job done by Protect the Pope. Please keep up the good work.

    • Wake up England

      Mike 2

      Very constructive suggestion indeed.

      Please will ACTA interface with the comments here in the spirit of dialogue so that we may explore our differences of nuance in a spirit of openness?

  • ConofChi

    Deacon Nick

    Keep up the GOOD work. You have my support

  • John Fannon

    Well done, Deacon Nick! Fundamentalist, far from being perjorative recognises the foundations of something, i.e. the Church. The foundations of the Church are important – they constitute the rock on which Christ built his Church. Does ACTA wish to dig up these foundations? Surely not?

    If those who are attracted by others of their sex decide to come together as an identifiable group, to me that means that they celebrating their LGBT-ness. If they appear at Mass, say with a rainbow flag or sash or some identifiable badge of LGBT-ness, and present themselves for communion the Priest hopefully will give them short shrift and tell them to go to confession (as has happened in the US). The rest of us have to live with opposite sex attraction, but if one of us went up for communion with some badge glorifying himself or herself as being in an adulterous relationship, we would be treated the same way.

  • montechristo

    Congratulations deacon Nick! You must be doing something right here and they are scared of you! Just like the good Father Blake, champion of the poor in Brighton , they will try to tarnish your name and reputation. May our Lady protect you.

  • Lynda

    You wouldn’t be doing good or properly presenting the Catholic Faith if such anti-Catholic and anti-morality groups weren’t at least “annoyed” by you. God bless.

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon NIck,
    There can be no better endorsement….these groups thought that they had everything sewn up but reckoned without this blog.
    They thought that the ecclesiastical war was won….and forgot that other Catholics existed……..and had their own networks too.
    Interesting assumption that they believe that the Holy FAther is own their side as well!

    You have earned the accolade of their undying hatred.
    Well done!

  • Rifleman819

    Oops…ecclesiastical war was won….

  • Stan Phil

    “If the pope feels himself unqualified to pass judgement…” which is what disqualifies Francis from being Pope, since he sees morality as something which is elusive to him while seeing the “big tent” approach to popularity as something he must advocate.

    “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.”

  • BJC

    “I will fisk Benedict Luckhurst’s letter about me and Protect the Pope once I’ve had a chance to go through it.”

    I would think the reason why they haven’t told you is because they know they are just about to quote the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other “sources” out of context. They aren’t that dumb. The whole idea of it is that its for private consumption among the Quest devotees, and as long as they can keep it circulating within that narrow cult-like group the longer I suppose the leadership can maintain control. They certainly don’t want a reply from you. Benedict Luckhurst sounds like a pseudonym to me, and presumably he’s part of the Quest leadership.

  • Karla

    Deacon Nick you should be happy that your posts are creating this annoyance among dissenting groups such as these.

  • Sonja

    In 2011 — in a blog, Benedict seemed to be a lost soul by his own admission:

    Over the past six years, I have vacillated wildly between wanting a man in my life and living alone as a celibate semi-hermit. Two years ago, again after many years of debate and searching, I finally became a Benedictine oblate; which is to say, that I took the Rule of St Benedict as my guide and allied myself to a particular community while continuing to live and work ‘in the world’.

    Since he speaks strongly for the groups representing those with same sex attractions that are ‘lobbying’ hard for acceptance by the Church — maybe his celibate position has changed?

    Deacon Nick — just want to say — that you are doing an amazing job keep your readership informed and giving us a voice of solidarity for all those who believe that the Doctrines of the Church are too precious to have eroded by the subversive views of these groups. Satan is really among them and the voice of Faith and Reason needs to be heard (read).

  • Paul Commins

    A Call To Faction appear to consider dissent against Church teachings as being courageous.I wonder if any Martyrs were dissenters?

  • Andrzej

    Good job Deacon Nick!

  • I do not suspect that they will be too impressed with this priest being excommunicated, on the authority of Pope Francis!

    • Wake up England

      Poor man to be laicised and excommunicated.

      Doubtless it is a just, necessary and condign punishment for heresy and disobedience, but we should take no pleasure in this very sad event; and we must pray for the man in question that he will be reconciled to the Church.

      God have mercy on him and on those who support and encourage him. Amen.

  • Rifleman 819

    I agree.
    That said -what is beginning to appear to me is that these folk have never had any orthodox catechesis to start with -they appear to be completely unaware about what they should actually believe as Catholics.

    Not only that they appear totally unaware of the theology and indeed history of their own Church-a horrid thought …are they rebelling against what they are “told” the RCC teaches -rather than what it actually “does” teach??

    A hard core will be forever lost to the Church but a proportion can actually be won to orthodoxy.
    Those who willfully lead them astray are heinously guilty.

  • “As a lay Catholic of a certain age-with a bus pass – ”

    That is the most encouraging thing about ACTA and such similar groups – they nearly all have bus passes. Dope-addled hippies who are clinging to their 1960′s rebellion against everything that is true, good and holy. They don’t realise how tired and reactionary they appear to today’s youth. I just hope they wake up and discover the years have passed them by before its too late for them.

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon Augustine,

    Your last two sentences are extremely apposite-I remember that generation …still trying to be “hip” in all organisations across the West….but failing to realise that Old Father Time is shuffling ever onwards.

    A Peter-Pan syndrome that today’s more orthodox and younger Church regards at best as rather sad and silly.

  • Jarmila

    I just want to CRY OUT LOUD!
    BISHOP CONRY As you know, christians in Pakistan have been murdered in great numbers a couple of days ago.
    We have just received, by post, a plea from our bishop, in our country, to aid the refugees in Syria.
    We are witnessing AN APOCALYPSE in Iraq, Syria and Egypt. It is not even possible to keep track of all the mass murders of christians in many parts of the World.
    Bishop Conry: have you heard of ASIA BIBI in Pakistan?
    Do you consider her sufferings less painful to bear than homosexuals in Britain?
    I FEEL SICK, ONCE AGAIN, IT IS GETTING UNBEARABLE to hear so many bishops ranting about “homosexuals”, meeting them here and there.
    I want to be able to know, for sure, that when the history of the horrendous persecutions of christians will be written, in 20 years or so, that I CAN BE PROUD OF THE CHURCH, that they wil be able to write that the church, DID ALL THEY COULD to ais their christian brothers and sisters.

  • Bob Hayes

    Keep up the good work Deacon Nick!

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