'No friends—only strangers we haven't snubbed yet.'The triumph of the West Country Catholicism-Free Zone moves another step closer. God help whichever poor man is appointed successor to Hollis, Lang or Budd. How is one ever going to begin to rebuild after all that these three are doing?
A young man I knew from the Bristol area began a few years ago to explore his vocation with the Clifton (Crispy-fried Lang's) diocese. He was sent to the vocations team, where one priest on the team, in the pub with all the potential seminarians (and, I believe, some then current seminarians), boasted of his homosexual conquests and deplored the Church's teaching in this area. Now, I think that this was an unhappy man, for he left the Catholic priesthood not long after (and the Catholic Church too). As for the young man I was acquainted with, fortunately he is made of sterner stuff than some others, and persevered with his vocation—though firmly in another diocese.
In the interests of fairness, I should add that I read on Fr Tim Finigan's blog that Bishop Budd has taken a measured approach to Summorum Pontificum, and not knee-jerked. This is very much to be welcomed from the man who once said to me 'for 500 years the Church was celebrating Mass in the wrong way; now it is celebrating the right way', and in the presence of the friends and family of a priest known for his love of the Traditional Mass, as he threw earth on his coffin: 'and that's the end of the old Mass in my diocese!' Well, we live in interesting times, don't we? It goes to prove the truth of the saying autre temps, autre moeurs. I'm very happy that Bishop Budd has decided to be moderately friendly. Despite what you have read in this paragraph, I think that at root he's a nice man, and when I knew him in the past, I personally liked him while deploring his opinions. I'd just like to see more effort to rebuild the faith in his diocese.