Westminster Cathedral is the mother-Church of England and Wales. Yet, consistently, the Cathedral sells a magazine which seemingly week in, week out, presents the Catholic Faith in a way that appears determined to undermine the authority of Pope Benedict XVI, challenges Church Teaching and acts as a mouthpiece for dissident Catholics opposed to the Magisterium and Holy Tradition of the Church.
Many of the contributions to the magazine, as well as the editorial team and, as we have seen from Tina Beatty, the trustees, are radicals who, far from defending the Faith, seek to knock some of the most basic and fundamental tenets of Catholicism from their axis.
While content to publicly deride the efforts of traditional Catholic Priests, as was seen when Fr Tim Finigan and his parish in Blackfen was dragged through the mud, and while only too happy to discuss issues such as the ordination of women priests as if 'the gals' were printing the outcomes of their latest pub discussions, critiques or analysis of, say, the lack of leadership and the lack of a strong Catholic identity from the Bishops of England and Wales are not so forthcoming. While the Successors of the Apostles have received criticism from the dazzling array of impressive Catholic blogs that continuously spring up nearly every month like water in Lourdes, senior figures in the Church in England and Wales are, when you read The Tablet, seemingly untouchable.
Much of the content, in terms of the defense of the Catholic Faith, the Magisterium and the Successor of St Peter is, quite perversely and often bizarrely seditious. It simply oozes dissent from Church Teaching and more than one parish Priest in England has banned it outright from their parish for this reason alone. It really makes you wonder. If a few people got together with some investment from benefactors and started up a magazine which sought to lance the carbuncle that is The Tablet with fresh writers loyal to the Holy Father and to the Magisterium, a magazine which did not shy away from voicing opinions which are offensive to the Successors of the Apostles, rather than the Successor of St Peter, would Westminster Cathedral stock it and sell it? Somehow, I doubt it. The Tablet has something of a monopoly on the Catholic magazine (rather than the Catholic newspaper) for sale at the back of the Church but that really, really isn't on.
The Catholic Church in England and Wales evidently has a wealth of Catholic writers who are chomping at the bit to voice truly Catholic opinions, rather than feminist opinions, or Marxist opinions, or other ideologically-entrenched opinions that fly in the face of both the spirit of obedience to the Magisterium and the spirit of Christianity itself altogether.
Adherents of the One True Faith, the "creative minority" talked about by Pope Benedict XVI are perhaps a minority even within the Church Herself. While that is a cause for sorrow at The Tablet's dominance, the quality of Catholic blogs and their author's explanations and defenses of the Catholic Faith are a sign of hope for the Faithful who have for a long time felt like they are living in a ghetto. It is high time we got out of the ghetto and preached the Gospel to men and women in the pews, because, as many of us know, we are living in a time in which the Faith is not being taught throughout England and Wales with passion, with zeal for souls and with love for God and His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, a time in which heresy is unchallenged by 'not just laity but a veritable army of Priests and Bishops'.
I know that the internet is, as Pope Benedict XVI has already made clear, a wonderful way of communicating the Gospel to the Church and the World, but, wouldn't it be nice if Catholics who pray that they will be 'faithful unto death', rather than faithful until reading The Tablet, could have a truly Catholic magazine to take home after Mass?
Just a thought...