Cardinal Nichol’s Checklist for Priestly Formation

What is required for the proper formation of priests in the Archdiocese of Westminster?

When writing the job description for the new Pastoral Director at Allen Hall Seminary in Chelsea, what was on the checklist for the Cardinal?

Well, looking at the appointee, Fr Philip Dyer-Perry it appears the check list included:

  • Support for legal abortion, condemnation of pro-life clergy
  • Support for LGBT issues
  • Support for BLM
  • Liturgy abuse on a scale not seen since 1970
I have heard from a number of Westminster clergy over the last couple of weeks concerned about the appointment which one priest described to me as “wrong in every way”. This really is a head scratcher, what is Cardinal Nichols thinking?

Some clergy have speculated that this appointment is about moving a problematic priest away from the people. This is the kind of strategy which got the Cardinal in trouble with the IICSA. One priest said that he was being put there for his benefit more than for the students but seminary does not exist to sort out bad clergy! It should be the place where the best men are sent to train our future priests. Others suggest that Cardinal Nichols is concerned the seminary is “too orthodox” and wants to water down the faith a bit. I’m not sure which is more concerning!

Fr Dyer-Perry according to Independent Catholic News, (a website which is trying to be more Tablet than the Tablet) wrote a message to his Polish parishioners, strongly condemning the ruling from Poland’s constitutional tribunal banning abortion in the case of a baby thought to be seriously disabled. He said:
“… this law fails to respect the choice and autonomy of the mother. It is very courageous decision (and arguably right) for a woman to choose to give birth to a child with disabilities – but courage cannot be imposed by government edict. While governments have a responsibility to safeguard all lives, the reality is that the unborn child lives within the woman’s body, is entirely dependent on the mother for life, and therefore the most appropriate person to decide whether to continue with the pregnancy is the mother – assisted of course by medical professionals and others. Matters are not helped when those who seek to impose this new law are, predominately, male.”

Commenting on the Voice of the Family website, SPUC Chief Executive John Smeaton said about this:

I retire as chief executive of SPUC at the end of August 2021 after 47 years working for the Society at national and international level. I cannot recall anyone purporting to speak on behalf of the Catholic Church in England and Wales expressing a position on abortion which so clearly opposes the 5th commandment and which does so in the form of the most commonly used and discredited arguments of the pro-abortion lobby.

The aim of the pro-life movement is to oppose and to defeat the idea, which dominates virtually the entire world, that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived; and to create a society in which God’s law “Thou shalt not kill” is not only written into national and international law, it is also upheld and energetically defended by our fellow-citizens.

A civilisation can be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable members. Unborn children are the most vulnerable members of the human family. While a mother’s womb should be the safest place, it is statistically one of the most dangerous places to live! Unborn children with disabilities, in turn, are the most vulnerable among the unborn. It is, therefore, the protection of these children and their families that is the core characteristic in evaluating the level of our civilisation. Poland has illuminated the way to the rebuilding of a truly civilized society.

Fr Dyer-Perry’s appointment, by way of contrast, constitutes a grave threat to the future of the pro-life struggle in Britain, and its resistance to barbaric anti-life laws, since he will be forming the Catholic priests who form the Catholic people from whose ranks the vast majority of the pro-life movement is made up.

His position on abortion is truly revolutionary in that it openly seeks to overthrow a commandment of God on which Christian civilization is founded and it would not be difficult, drawing from church texts old and new, to demonstrate in detail how this is the case. Suffice it to say that according to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Catholic moral doctrine clearly rejects the notion of the autonomy of the state (from the Church) that is understood as independence from the moral law.

The poisonous seed of Fr Philip Dyer-Perry’s sentiments regarding the Polish Constitutional decision will fall on fertile political ground at governmental level and in academic circles in the UK.

Liturgically, one has to wonder if seminarians will be introduced to Fr Dyer-Perry’s own rite of the Mass including the “eucharistic bear”?

From the liturgy I have viewed posted on line, one obvious problem is that Fr Dyer-Perry does not use the authorised translation of the Mass, Instead, using the previous translation, which was abrogated in 2011.

In his most recent Facebook post, Fr Dyer-Perry finishes his monologue by referring to God as "she".

At first I thought this could be a typo, but it is in the text there twice. It's also in the audio so is clearly a deliberate thing.

Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition never refer to any person of the Godhead as she or he or she. The word he is always used. This same usage is invariably followed by the Church’s magisterium and in the liturgy and is stipulated in the Church’s translational norms as well.

Jesus began the only prayer he taught us with “Our Father.” A father is a he. Jesus himself is obviously male, so it would be inappropriate to refer to him with a non-masculine pronoun. And Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as he: “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (Jn 14:26).

While the Bible does sometimes use feminine and maternal metaphors for God and especially for divine wisdom—which in some passages seems to be represented as a divine person and has sometimes been theologically identified with God the Son—nevertheless Scripture and the Church’s liturgical tradition agree that God is to be called he, not she. Bottom line: There is no place in historic Christian expression for “inclusive” God language.

Fr Dyer-Perry seems to be one of those priests who is trying to be “hip”. He is prepared to manipulate, ignore and twist doctrine in order to present it as what he considers to be more palatable to modern ears. No doubt this will win him friends in the congregation, especially those who think the Catholic Church is wrong on all the issues Fr Dyer-Perry seems to think it is (abortion, LGBT, etc). From the few snippets I’ve seen, it is abundantly clear lacks a proper understanding of the faith — or has rejected it — in a number of areas. Undoubtedly he will be schooling parishioners in these problematic positions, confirming them in their rejection of Catholic truth & revelation. Now he is going to be responsible for forming young men into the next generation of priests?

Pope Leo X’s wrote in Satis Cognitum
There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition (Auctor Tract. de Fide Orthodoxa contra Arianos).
A quote which is as true today as it ever were.

The above blog post is a very quick survey of this mans ministry prompted by deep concerns expressed from Westminster clergy who feel this is a terrible appointment to an extremely important role.

It has been suggested that Westminster Diocese were “unaware of any of this”. What disastrous mismanagement. How on earth do they not know? Sadly I’m not surprised. It seems to me that a majority of bishops fail to monitor standards and leave priests to their own devices, which is why so many fall to error, depression, alcoholism or worse. It is not fair or right that any man should be left alone to care for a whole community, hear their concerns, deal with their criticisms etc totally without support. Like any vocation, constant support and on-going formation is absolutely essential just from a basic duty of care perspective.
So please pray for Fr Dyer-Perry.
Jesus loves His priests and He wants them to be faithful and fulfilled. That only comes from walking closely with the Lord and not wandering off on our own.


  1. One feels so sad reading and listening to this. It behoves us to be very reluctant to comment beyond saying 'yes, we pray for him and God bless him.'
    I'm sure he sincerely wishes to further the Kingdom of God here and only our blessed Saviour can divine our hearts and judge the motives of each of us. Objectively, his message warps and blunts the Church's heroic stand against abortion in each and every case.

    1. Gimme a break. I can't believe I'm still reading this nonsense about not judging blah blah. Of COURSE we must judge - words and actions. Otherwise, we need to shut down the entire legal system, police, courts, the lot. Instead of such a sweet little (falsely) compassionate response to this nut, it is important to speak bluntly - in public, at least, to highlight his grave and damnable errors, unless you actually want him to end up in Hell? In private, sure thing, be "nice" to him, but this is a man who is about as Catholic as Sadiq Khan. As for Nichols... words fail. Again.

    2. I agree with Patricia. I have had first-hand dealings with this man and he is a dissident. His pro-abortion, pro-LGBT views are on public record. As is his calling God 'She'.


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