Tuesday, 16 May 2017

So What Is To Be Done?

I have chronicled the slow-motion car crash of the CESScandal in some detail over the last 11 days or so (what was it Alastair Campbell said about making toast?) It is a sorry story (though I am reminded of the dentist's comment about tooth decay: it's terrible of course, but it's good for business! - this has certainly been a story that people have been keen to read about, judging by the hits on this blog).

But what is to be done about it? There are those out there in the Twittersphere who think we might as well give up: 'they' will never listen to us.  I am always wary of such conflation: who are 'they?'

The people we need to listen to us are either the CES chaps (whom I don't know) or the bishops (some of whom I do).  The bishops, I think it is fair to say, are a mixed bunch; and some of them are very good indeed. So to say 'they' won't listen seems to me both a counsel of despair and a potential injustice.

But beyond them, we need Our Lord and Our Lady to listen. And anyone who says that they won't has departed from the path of wisdom and from the Faith.

So what is to be done?  Firstly, as always, pray! Pray to the Blessed Trinity, to our Immaculate Mother, to all the saints in heaven. You choose - but choosing not to pray is not a Catholic option.

And then, write to the CES and write to the bishops. Write with charity, avoid accusations about people's motives, and ask what is being done to address the concerns that have been raised.

You might want to make one or two points from amongst from the many that Joseph Shaw, Mark Lambert, Caroline Farrow or I have made, or from the Catholic Herald's reporting (here and here). I would recommend not making too many points, nor writing at too great a length (I am sure that when another 10 page letter from Trovato Towers arrives, in lurid green ink, it is quickly binned...)

Here are some useful addresses:

Catholic Education Service

Paul Barber
Catholic Education Service
39 Eccleston Square

(or use the form at http://www.catholiceducation.org.uk/about-us/ces-team)

Bishops with oversight of the CES (ie on the Management Committee):

The Most Reverend Malcolm McMahon, Archbishop of Liverpool
19 Salisbury Road
L19 0PH
Tel: 0151 494 0686
Fax: 0151 306 7762
Email: archbishop.liverpool@rcaolp.co.uk

The Right Reverend Terrence Drainey, Bishop of Middlesbrough
 16 Cambridge Road, 


Telephone: 01642 818253
Email: bishopsecretary@dioceseofmiddlesbrough.co.uk

The Right Reverend David McGough, Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Birmingham
The Rocks
106 Draycott Road

Tel & Fax: 01538 722433
Email: dmcgough@btinternet.com

The Right Reverend Marcus Stock, Bishop of Leeds
Diocese Of Leeds
Hinsley Hall
62 Headingley Lane

The Right Reverend Alan Williams, Bishop of Brentwood
Cathedral House, 

Ingrave Road, 
CM15 8AT

You might also wish to write to the Cardinal, both as Chairman of the Bishops' Conference, and in his role with oversight over St Mary's, and of course to your own diocesan bishop. 

Finally, there are those bishops with the wisdom and orthodoxy to see the problems without needing the problems to be pointed out to them.  So a letter to (say) +Moth, +Davies, +Byrne, +Campbell, or +Egan (to take a few names purely at random, you understand) asking them to use their influence and assuring them of prayerful support, might also help.

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