Andrew Brown, who writes on religion for the staunchly anti-Catholic paper The Guardian, has stated as a cast iron fact that Archbishop Nichols has beem made a cardinal to ‘strengthen his hand in coming struggles with traditionalists & progressives’. Go figure!
‘And then there is the parochial news: Vincent Nichols, the archbishop of Westminster, has finally got his hat. This is in part a reward for loyalty and competence but it will also strengthen his hand in the coming struggles within the English Catholic church. Nichols has been attacked by a traditionalist minority for his tolerant presentation of church teachings and his lack of enthusiasm for the theatrical approach to liturgy. Like the rest of his clergy, he was not at all keen on the ordinariate, Pope Benedict’s scheme to attract Anglican clergy who wanted to escape from women priests. There is no sign that Francis has any interest in that group at all.
[Protect the Pope comment: Is this the tolerant presentation of church teaching that tells faithful Catholics to 'hold their tongues' while at the same time giving a pastoral mandate to the Soho Masses Pastoral Council? And the tolerant presentation of Church teaching that responds to the suggestions of blessing gay unions with '"I don't know. Who knows what's down the road?"]
But Nichols will soon face a real challenge: the church is consulting its members on what they think of such matters as the ban on birth control and the exclusion of remarried couples from communion. We actually already know what most English Catholics think of these teachings: they think they are nonsense and ignore them. But official questionnaires, such as are going the rounds of English parishes now, make the policy of silent compromise much harder. If the laity find their opinions have been solicited, and then once more ignored, this will weaken the church still more.’
[Protect the Pope comment: And this tolerant presentation of Church teaching has resulted in what according to Andrew Brown? Most English Catholics think the Church's teaching on contraception and the indissolubility of marriage are 'nonsense and ignore them'. How can the Church be weakened anymore if this is true? It shows the complete rejection of the authority of the Church.]
Protect the Pope comment: Here a simple test to ascertain the reliability and accuracy of Andrew Brown’s observations. On the Ordinariate Brown writes ‘There is no sign that Francis has any interest in that group at all.’ You’re wrong Mr Brown. The Catholic Herald reports that in July 2013 Pope Francis widened the remit of the world’s Personal Ordinariates by allowing Catholics who have been baptised but not yet confirmed to become members. Previously, only former Anglicans and their family members could join the ordinariates. The amendment, it said, “confirms the place of the Personal Ordinariates within the mission of the wider Catholic Church, not simply as a jurisdiction for those from the Anglican tradition, but as a contributor to the urgent work of the New Evangelisation”. This relaxation of the rules of admission to the Ordinariate by Pope Francis 3 months after becoming pope makes Andrew Brown’s ‘ There is no sign that Francis has any interest in that group at all’ appear very ill-informed. What else has he got wrong?