I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it.
One of my friends on facebook put up that quote from Blessed John Henry Newman yesterday; and I have to be honest and say that when I read it I thought to myself that it was not without relevance to a certain priest who seems to believe that he knows everything about the Faith, and can tell us all where we’ve got it wrong . . . by explaining what’s wrong with the Faith for which many thousands have, over the years, given their lives; by pointing out that the principles which led the English Martyrs to their deaths were in fact basically misunderstandings; by seeing as virtuous so many things that, for almost two thousand years had led others to believe that they were beset by evil when they perceived them.
I understand that he is determined to defend his own position, his own superior knowledge and understanding, by exercising the privilege of seeking legal redress against those who disagree with him.
Well, so be it : but if does, he can hardly complain if others exercise the same privilege . . . and it must be pointed out that the laity, as well as the clergy, have the right to refer matters to the Apostolic Signatura : and that tribunal is not reluctant to consider and adjudge on points of theology.
One might be forgiven for wondering whether a priest is perhaps just a little bit rash to behave in a way which might lead him there ?