On 29 March I posted a blog on the letter signed by 461 priests asking those attending the next synod to uphold sound teaching on marriage and human sexuality. In the post I agreed with the letter but voiced my concern at how the publicising of the letter had been handled. Cardinal Nichols seems to agree with me on that too, although his words, like mine, have been taken to mean we disagree with the content of the letter.
The usual social media behaviour from the usual social media noises occurred. There were letters to The Tablet decrying the signatories for their lack of faith in the Holy Spirit (a concern I heard vocalised more than once) there were those supporting the letter decrying the Tablet letter writers for doing so, both sides got personal and my concern about the lack of grace mentioned at the end of my blog post grew.
Mgr Keith Barltrop wrote a graceful piece in the Catholic Herald here saying why he had chosen not to sign the letter, I saw not one comment from either side on his article, but then, there was nothing to say
On Thursday I had a call asking if I had seen who had signed, ‘the people’s letter’. “Eh?” said I, and was led here
This letter is outstanding. There is nothing anyone who stands with their fellow Catholics on a Sunday and says The Creed can argue with. One might not like the fact the letter exists, one might want to write ones own letter saying one does not support the 461 priests, one might, like me, look down the list of signatories with a wry grin at some of the names, or lack of diocese mentioned, or wondered if such a young signatory should be signing the letter or (yes, like me) admiration that some have used their real life legal names rather than the name of their anonymous Twitter feeds, but one cannot deny this letter is full of truth and grace, as is Christ’s bride, The Church. The letter has been handled with tact and grace and the authors deserve our thanks.