Criticising the Poles

Austen Ivereigh with Pope Francis (America Magazine)
Despite the clear statistics in my last post, I was really shocked to read this, frankly rather rude critique of Catholicism in Poland from Catholic Voices founder Austen Ivereigh, who seems to be looking for a plum job in Rome as far as I can make out, because he seems utterly blind to any concerns about the current pontificate despite shock waves rolling across the Catholic world. He even goes as far as to label concerned Catholics "dissenters" in this somewhat incoherent defence of Amoris Laetitia. I think this is a real shame for an organisation which has tried to be the voice of regular Catholics.

So what's this about? As a friend recently commented, Austen went to Poland, was warmly received by his hosts who helped him to plug his book. And then he wrote this piece of rudeness.

Ivereigh arrogantly claims in his article that the Poles consider "everything since (JP II) is evidence of backsliding" conveniently forgetting that the Poles loved John Paul II's successor (and friend) Pope Benedict XVI. Ivereigh continues:
"Polish Catholics suffer from a superiority complex, an assumption that their fervent faith (and their magnificent pope) saved the church, and that everything the church has done since, culminating in Francis, is evidence of dangerous backsliding."
Amusingly he goes on to criticise Poland for only accepting 10,000 asylum seekers: its as if they want to feel safe wandering about their Christmas markets or something. A Polish lorry had to find its way into Merkel's Germany before it could be forged into a weapon of murderous cruelty. Go figure Austen! I wonder how those who hosted him and helped him flog his book feel about this rant?

I used to consider Catholic Voices could be relied on for orthodoxy, but I am confused by Ivereigh's current direction which seems determined to fly in the face of facts. He maintains, for example, that Amoris Laetitia upholds Church teaching on Marriage in continuity with the Magisterium:

Yet Crux, among others, report that Cardinal Kasper states Amoris Laetitia is clear in that it permits communion for the divorced and remarried. Another friend of mine posed the question regarding this section from Ivereigh's Polish critique:

Why? Why is Amoris Laetitia *more* magisterial than everything that preceded it? Surely it can only be seen as Magisterial insofar as it affirms and expounds what the Church has already said? For me, it utterly fails in this regard, because it has only served to breed dreadful confusion.

And the Pope remains silent about the meaning of his document. 


  1. Sadly the other C Voices seem to support Mr Ivereigh's erroneous position - I too used to think they were orthodox. Even the Opus Dei Jack Valero who co founded it - seems to go along with everything Austen says. Very disappointing

  2. That makes 3 absurd articles in about 2 or 3 weeks. I did tell him he needed a holiday.

  3. Amoris Laetitia is already being used to bulldozer Church Teaching in the most devious way it seems. Look at the liberal Fr Martin O'Connor from the Diocese of Brentwood, he already has been given his parish website its own Amoris Laetitia Tab dedicated to an exegesis of AL by the renowned controversial homosexual spokesperson Fr. James Martin SJ:

    It really is terrible what is happening in our Church and Mr. Ivereigh appears to be as blind as they come. All he can do is name call at faithful Catholics who are rightfully concerned with Pope Francis and his revolution. The only way forward is to address the ambiguities in Vatican II & AL which are constantly being used by liberals to destroy the Catholic Church.


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