WESTMINSTER, England (ChurchMilitant.com) - The head of the world's oldest pro-life organization is condemning Cdl. Vincent Nichols' appointment of a pro-abortion priest as pastoral director of Allen Hall Seminary in the archdiocese of Westminster, England.
Father Philip Dyer-Perry also supports LGBTQ+ rights, the Marxist-led Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, the abolition of the death penalty and referring to God as "she." He is currently parish priest of Our Lady of the Rosary in Staines, Greater London.
John Smeaton, executive director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), slammed Fr. Dyer-Perry's appointment on Wednesday as a "grave threat to the future of the pro-life struggle in Britain."
"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," the pro-life leader lamented.
Smeaton noted that in his 47 years of service to SPUC, he could not "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 Fifth Commandment."
Fr. Dyer-Perry's position on abortion is "truly revolutionary" and uses "the most commonly used and discredited arguments of the pro-abortion lobby," Smeaton explained.
The priest's posting to Allen Hall "will come as a great shock to faithful Catholics and those involved in the pro-life movement of all denominations and none," he stressed.
Dyer-Perry's position on abortion surfaced after he attacked a pro-life ruling by Poland's Constitutional Tribunal on the feast of Pope St. John Paul II in October 2020, banning eugenic abortion and ending the killing of unborn babies with genetic defects like Down syndrome.
In a message to his Polish parishioners published in the parish's newsletter on Nov. 1, Dyer-Perry wrote that "the recent decision of the Polish government is a bad one" since "this law fails to respect the choice and autonomy of the mother."
Claiming that he is "pro-life" as "a Catholic and as a priest," Dyer-Perry went on to define "pro-life" as upholding the sanctity of life through adherence to COVID-19 safety precautions, attention to the welfare of migrants and refugees, Black Lives Matter advocacy, embracing equal rights for LGBTQ+ persons and as the championing of various other left-wing social causes, such as rehabilitation of prisoners, abolition of the death penalty and nuclear disarmament.
"And I also support the protection of unborn children," he added, observing, "There are situations where the abortion of a pregnancy, tragic though it is, may be the 'least-worst' and most appropriate decision."
"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," the priest emphasized.
Informing his congregation that Cdl. Nichols had asked him to join the staff at Allen Hall, Dyer-Perry said: "All I can say is that they can't have listened to any of my homilies, or they might want to think again."
In the same address, the parish priest referred to God twice using the third-person feminine pronoun "she," asking, "Where's God in this? Where's she calling me and where's she calling you?"
Smeaton noted that "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 United Kingdom."
In comments to Church Militant, British author Dcn. Nick Donnelly noted that "a cleric who publicly advocates that a mother has the right to commit the 'abominable crime' of abortion [Gaudium et Spes, §51; Didache, ch. 2] commits a grave sin against the Faith."
"If a bishop appoints a cleric to a senior position in the Church knowing that they have publicly advocated for abortion, they themselves exhibit a moral laxity tantamount to a grievous sin against the Faith. The faithful have a duty to bring this matter to the attention of competent authorities" (can. 212, §3), Donnelly said.
In its ruling against eugenic abortion, Poland's Constitutional Tribunal stated that "the mere fact of a fetal handicap or its incurable disease alone cannot determine the admissibility of the termination of pregnancy in the constitutional perspective."
"Neither care for the quality of the transmitted genetic code nor consideration for the possible discomfort of a sick child's life can justify the decision to take actions aimed at causing his death," Judge Justyn Piskorski declared.
Pro-life apologist Scott Klusendorf, in his book The Case for Life, argues that many disabled adults are less "developed" than many unborn babies, but that hardly justifies killing them.
When the mother's life is in danger — as in the case of an ectopic pregnancy (EP) — Klusendorf and other pro-life advocates argue that the best moral good that can be achieved in such a situation is saving one life rather than losing two.
"The unintended and unavoidable consequence of that lifesaving act is the death of the embryo," Klusendorf writes, but "the intent in ending the pregnancy is to save the mother, not directly and purposefully to kill the child."
Dr. Thomas Murphy Goodwin, who oversees the largest high-risk pregnancy clinic in the United States (averaging between 15,000 and 16,000 births annually), observes that only one or two cases a year pose an immediate lethal threat to the mother's life.
Church Militant contacted Fr. Dyer-Perry for a response. We also asked him if he supported same-sex "marriage" and endorsed the Catholic Catechism's teaching on homosexuality.
The Catholic Church, "basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity," teaches that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered" and "contrary to the natural law." Hence, "under no circumstances can they be approved."
Church Militant also contacted the rector of Allen Hall and Cdl. Vincent Nichols, archbishop of Westminster for comment. We received no response from any of the above as of press time.
Last month, Nichols sparked outrage after he appointed pro-abortion Muslim prosecutor Nazir Afzal as chair of the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency (CSSA) for the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Church Militant reported.