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Oratorian calls for protests over his removal to end

The Pope will visit the Birmingham Oratory after he has beatified Cardinal Newman at Cofton Park (Mazur/CCN)

One of the three Oratorians ordered to leave the Birmingham Oratory earlier this year has called for protests over his removal to end.

Brother Lewis Berry, one of the “Birmingham Three” removed from the community in May, has issued a statement distancing himself from the protests.

Brother Lewis, who is being moved to South Africa, said in a statement: “I would like to dissociate myself completely from recent reporting which has made criticisms of the exercise of legitimate authority, and made uncharitable and even defamatory statements about those involved in the present Visitation of the Birmingham Oratory. I fervently ask that now such attacks come to an end.

“I welcome the opportunity of spending time at the Oratory of Port Elizabeth in South Africa, and I am looking forward to arriving there,” he added.

As a result of his move, Brother Lewis will miss the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, founder of the Birmingham Oratory. Until leaving the Oratory, Brother Lewis ran the website of the Cause of Cardinal Newman.

In his statement he said Cardinal Newman’s beatification was “a sign of the unity of the Church”.

His removal, along with that of Fr Philip Cleevely and Fr Dermot Fenlon, followed an apostolic visitation of the community by Fr Felix Seldon. It provoked protests from parishioners, who said in a letter that it was a “grave matter of personal injustice”.