Sunday, 19 July 2015

Telling Fr Fisher's Story

It seems that some people thought my reference to vitriol in yesterday's post was directed at Dr Shaw; I have amended the post to clarify that was not what I meant. I was referring to some of the very intemperate comments I have seen in comms boxes and on Facebook.

With regards to Dr Shaw's post, he clearly reached a different prudential judgement to me about publicising Fr Fisher's story, and on balance I think he was right, though I question the precise way he went about it. 

My concerns were that such an approach would risk depriving Fr Fisher of his good name, that it would risk provoking precisely the kinds of intemperate comments we have seen (Dr Shaw sensibly deletes them - other blogs are less prudent), and that it would provide more arguments for the enemies of tradition.

On the other hand, I think there is always a case to be made for the truth being told - and everything published was material put in the public domain by Fr Fisher himself; further, understanding what was going on for Fr Fisher undermines any attempt to re-write history and suggest that traditionalists drove him from the parish, or any such nonsense; moreover, I think that parents of the school where Fr Fisher teaches have a right to know about his history and sympathies; and it is very important in our understanding of the episcopal crisis we face in this country (which was the point of my post  yesterday).

So my criticism of Dr Shaw's post, for what it's worth, is that it did not put that context around the story, which meant it risked seeming an act of retaliation against a man who has done things we don't like.  I am quite confident that was not his intention, not least as he concludes by asking for prayers for Fr Fisher, but I have already seen that particular interpretation being touted around.


Part-time Pilgrim said...

FWIW (probably not much) I thought Dr Shaw's approach - reporting facts with very little speculation as to culpability - is the preferable one. It certainly didn't seem to me to be an attack on someone who had done something the LMS did not like.

On the side of the angels said...

and FWIW I thought Dr Shaw's approach was reprehensible.
It was utterly unnecesary to divulge any of the details of Fr Fisher's private life - the matter should have been left well alone.
I have no idea if it was his contribution to Rorate caeli which he referred to on his blog but nevertheless - irrespective of its veracity - this resorts to revealing private details - YES private [irrespective of it being on social media - certain Catholics had to deliberately pursue and stalk Fr Fisher's timelines and interactions to discover these details and distribute them] - this encroaches upon detraction and gives rise to speculations and conjectures which were utterly unfounded - including the accusations of Christian Niles that Fr Fisher has broken his vows of Chastity and was leading an actively homosexual lifestyle.
The widespread malicious lynch-mob witch-hunt which has ensued online has been deplorable and shameful for all involved - and frankly - given we have absolutely NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER that Fr Fisher is not a chaste homosexual seeking to follow Church teaching for the online campaign of hate to seek to drive him from his employment as a teacher in a Catholic school is despicable - and I felt you submitted too much to the browbeating of such shameful, deplorable pseudonymous vicious characters online.
I deplore Fr Fisher's recent thoughtless shameful activities which hold the priesthood and his parish in contempt - but frankly the reaction to him and the pursuant violent malice of those online has revealed a very much darker shade of indictment upon the whole situation. if the Blackfenites were innocent of helping drive Fr Fisher away from Holy Mother Church - their provocative hate-filled bile online might aggravate this antagonism and incite a furtherance to the pain. God forgive them.

Jadis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
On the side of the angels said...

To suspiciously malign the motives of Archbishop Smith by intimating he deliberately imposed an unsuitable, fragile Parish Priest upon an Parish with the intention of its closure and sale is frankly disgusting.
[and yes I will concede that this form of outageous machiavellian machination has been known in the past [not by Archbishop Smith I may add] - especially in regard to Catholic schools perceived as a financial drain and deliberately made untenable with the plan for sale]
...but if we for a second conjecture on Archbishop Smith's discernment and bear in mind the Blackfen record of being a 'beacon of faithfulness' with a insurpassable wonderfully supportive set of parishioners and a glorious pastoral record - it would be the perfect place for a fragile priest [with a modicum of traditionalist affinity] to be placed to recuperate and be revivified by the exemplary support and good example of the parishioners - to be welcomed, strengthened and understood in charity... would be the perfect place for Fr Fisher to be 'recalled to life and ministry'

...little did anyone realise that most of this 'communal virtue' was more a veneer...