Before anyone gets too excited, I would advise caution about interpreting this article. After reading it carefully, it boils down to a representative of Ushaw College saying that the petition will be considered by the trustees at their next meeting, later this month.It is probable that a reporter has rung the college asking for a comment about the petition, and that he got the reply that it would be a matter for the trustees to consider at their next meeting. There is no indication in the article that the trustees have had a change of mind.
OK, Expecto, I hear what you are saying, but...Pressure is being brought to bear on the Bishops, not only from the petition, but from several other sources, including the local MP. We have learnt, in recent years, that closed, secret cabals hate the air of publicity being wafted about their deliberations. The Bishops are being seen in a very bad light, they are allowing themselves to become an object of anger, of scorn, of ridicule on a national (and some would say international) stage. As L/Corporal Jones would say "They don't like it up 'em".
I have to admit my own non-catholic indifference to Ushaw's closure (I'll be happy for the church if the seminary is saved, but not too bothered if it isn't), so I was interested to see how few signatories there are in the petition, IF the journal article is accurate. 600 doesn't seem very many in the context of the number of catholics in H&N diocese - admittedly I don't know what the 'census' is but it must surely be in excess of that? I don't want to depress anyone, but if I was a trustee I wouldn't be feeling particularly pressured by that petition.
Madame E.Actually, the petition now (Thurs 13th) contains 861 signatures.But, there are moves in the background from various groups and the petition is a back-up which provides a place for ordinary Catholics to register their objections.Two aspects of the petition disturb me, however..1. The notable lack of priestly support from "Old Voccers" (they know what I mean!).2. The lack of support from St Cuthbert's Society both officially and from individual office holders (with one exception, Faz).Have the clergy been leaned on from a great Archiepiscopal height?Does Alma Mater mean nothing to Ushawmen?Is it going to be left to the laity to make all the waves? But, there again, the laity paid for, and supported the place for nearly 200 years.
The piece in 'The Journal' is at least some hope.No doubt the costs of running Ushaw, not to mention long-term maintenance and repairs, are massive.I wonder whether such a complex would be of interest to some of the national Heritage organisations?
As Madame Evangelista says, the numbers signing the petition represents a very small percentage of the Catholic population. Unlike her I do care whether Ushaw remains open & it is up to us to mobilise the Catholic population into signing the petition. We are, probably, faced with the usual roar of shattering silence from the well-named "Silent Majority"I was interested in 1569 Rising's comment on the clergy (most of whom were trained at Ushaw)being noticeable by their absence as with the 800+ members of St Cuthbert's Society. Come on chaps, wake up!!
902 as at 10pm Saturday.Still hardly any priests, there is obviously some hidden agenda of which we mere pew dwellers and money payers know little. Were I of a suspicious frame of mind, I would be suspicious, but since we are discussing affairs of the Catholic Church, I have no grounds for suspicion. I suspect.
With the imprisonment of a pries-lecturer of Ushaw for downloading pornography we must demand that when Ushaw is saved (DV) as a seminary the teaching staff should be re-assessed as to their suitability to train our future priests. We cannot expect proper training to be given by leturers - either priest or lay - who blatantly commit such dreadful offences.
992 signatures as of midnight Monday.Still hardly any priests!!There MUST be a reason, please tell!
1869's clocks are (so I am told) running on 'Gill' time which is two hours behind Greenwich time so by midnight(Gill time)there may have been a few more signatures. Probably not many, though.Why so few priests signing the petition? Perhaps because most of the past students who actually made it to ordination remember its many faults and feel it best if the place was closed and a fresh (Catholic) start was made?
1041 signatures as at 9.50pm Tuesday (Gill time).Sceptical Believer has a point about the reason for the lack of priestly signatures, and I have a fear that any suggestion that Ushaw could become the home of a Traditionalist Seminary, or indeed a home for the Ordinariate would merely accelerate the Bishops' closure plan.We are in a mess.By the way, Sceptical, who is 1869 - I ask since I am 300 years ahead of him?
1859 is obviously a pseudonym so how should I know who it is?THe chances of Ushaw remining open as any kind of seminary (at least a Christian one)are NIL! Maybe the site might be attractive to the Islamic community?
Yesterday I was in the company of a retired Durham academic. He told me in words of one syllable that the university offered to take over Ushaw if passed to them on a £1 sale basis. In heritage preservation that is a not uncommon scenario. If this is true I cannot for the life of me understand why the hierarchy have not jumped at this offer. Ushaw closed is nothing but the most enormous liability in money and reputation to the Roman Catholic church. 30 years ago Ushaw was an enormous asset. Unless you invest and develop your assets, they become liabilities. This is exactly what has happened to Ushaw through the last 30 years of its management. And now I am told that the management has looked a gift horse in the mouth and walked away. I find it amazing if the deal described to me was made in those terms. Ushaw has no value shut and mouldering not unless you beleive you can knock it all down and turn it all into a housing estate which would be the ultimate scandal.
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