The always readable, and quotable, Damian Thompson of the Daily Telegraph andCatholic Herald coined the phrase the “Magic Circle” to describe the liberal block that controls the hierarchy of the English Catholic Church. The Magic Circle (a wonderful phrase — if Thompson is not the author, he nonetheless has given it cachet) has safely ignored directives from Rome to conform its practices to Catholic teaching. TheCatholic Herald reported in February 2012 Archbishop Nichols defended the Soho masses while the Catholic World Report had a 2011 story that noted the archbishop called for critics of the Soho masses to be silenced.
Now the archbishop has silenced the Soho masses. What happened to cause this extraordinary change? Is Archbishop Nichols shocked, shocked to find
that gambling is going on in herethat the Soho masses convey false teachings on Catholic moral doctrine?
And, the site of the Soho masses will now be turned over the Anglican Ordinariate — again, extraordinary. The influx of conservative Angl0-Catholics into the Ordinariate has been fought by the Magic Circle through delay, obstruction and (I believe) a degree of venality. What has happened to produce the sea change in the CBEW?
While this article gives good treatment in 750 words to the Soho masses announcement, it does not go down deep into the story and answer the question “why”. Now, is this a problem? I would expect the Catholic Herald and other specialty publications to focus on the ecclesiastical and bureaucratic infighting that led to this announcement. But should the Guardian wade into these waters? What say youGetReligion readers? Is my critique justified or am I carping — asking that theGuardian to be something that it is not.