Monday, 9 February 2015


By: Patrick Lawler

Ms Maria Cooke

The following letter was sent to Pro Ecclesia last December.  Having done some investigation, it appears there is sufficient cause to be concerned at the direction Maryvale seems to be charting.  I wish to remain anonymous but send you this information.
Following the departure of the majority of the totally orthodox staff from the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham, the Institute has recruited new staff to replace those who left.

My Diocese was recommending the Maryvale Catechist Course to parish-ioners, below are details of information I sent the Diocese of my concerns.

I am sure that you can check this and write an appropriate comment in the next addition of the Flock.



... redacted part ...

In all honesty I have to tell you that I am very concerned about the ortho-doxy of the 'new' Maryvale Catechists Course.

The Maryvale website lists Marie Cooke as now responsible for the MCC

(  It also states that she is doing a PhD part-time at Glasgow University.

A quick Google search indentifies that her thesis is inspired by 'Woman and Man: One in Jesus Christ' ( - which is in favour of women priests and also that she is a forum moderator, and so presumably an active member and supporter, of ACTA (

The link to her thesis questionnaire website is taken from the Jan 2013 e-news of the www. website.  The link ap-pears on page 7 of the Jan 2013 newsletter which can be accessed via:

I heard two people on last year's MCC course at Maryvale who will not be returning to complete at Maryvale because of comments made by Marie at their last residential.

Based on just what is in the public domain I certainly would not now be happy sending people to start an MCC course at Maryvale as I would have no confidence in the orthodoxy of what would be taught.

Yours sincerely

Background: On 28th October, 2013, Dr Petroc Willey, Acting Director of Maryvale Institute, whom Pope Benedict XVI appointed Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelisation, made public a letter which began:

“Dear Students
I am writing to let you know that for personal reasons I will soon be leaving Maryvale.  A number of other staff here have also made a similar decision.”

The “other staff” who left at the same time as Dr Willey were Dr Caroline Farey and Dr Andrew Beards who, along with Dr Willey, comprised the three most senior lecturers at Maryvale.

Great was the consternation and conjecture over what was going on; rumour and counter-rumour flew thick and fast. One thing was clear; whatever had led to the three resignations was far more specific and important than the deliberately vague “personal reasons” revealed. It still appears to be the case that everyone involved in these events has remained close-mouthed and nothing much is publicly available.

The three academics went on to form the School of the Annunciation at Buckfast Abbey, along with Deacon Nick Donnelly who used to write the blog, “Protect the Pope”. They offer courses on the Faith and a Diploma in Evangelisation.

So, now we turn to the present and the concerns raised by our correspondent regarding Ms Marie Cooke.

Having looked closely at the various resources and websites listed in the let-ter (and quite a few others), the following emerges:

Ms Cooke is, indeed, Director of F.E. Courses with particular responsibility for the Maryvale Catechesis Course.

Ms Cooke is pursuing a PhD. Based on an Australian ‘study’ conducted by the Australian Bishops Conference, “Woman and Man: One in Christ Jesus” which is openly in favour of and promotes the cause of Women’s ordination.

It is no longer possible to access the online versions of her thesis ques-tionnaire. Bearing in mind that the working title of Ms Cooke’s doctoral thesis is “The Participation of Women in the Catholic Church”, it is probably not a pop-eyed conspiracy theory to surmise that she is, also, in favour of women’s ordination.

Ms Cooke is the ACTA (A Call to Action) forum moderator for the Archdiocese of Glasgow. ACTA is a notoriously heretical organisation actively trying to undermine the Catholic Church from within by pro-moting sodomy, same-sex sham ‘marriage’, transsexualism, contracep-tion, abortion, married clergy and women’s ordination ... and did I men-tion she’s in charge of the Maryvale Catechesis Course?

Far from being “A wolf in sheep’s clothing”, it would seem Ms Cooke is a wolf in wolf’s clothing with a great big red flashing neon sign above her head saying “Beware, Wolf!”  Since all of the above is in the public domain, one can only assume that the current leadership of Maryvale is fully aware of her background, associations and views and, one must assume, approves of them.

Whilst there are some who have raised question marks over the “totally orthodox” of the staff who have left, there is absolutely no doubt about Ms Cooke heretical and dissident agenda.


  1. Good to hear from you Graham. The church truly is in a dreadful state, I shudder to think how things will be in twenty years time. Many of the hierarchy can only be described as an enemy within, plus, most of what are left of the faithful seem either too dumb or too cowardly to speak out against what has happened and what is still happening. It is all well and good to say we must pray, but surely prayer without action is not enough. Our blessed Lord most certainly did not just stand and pray.

  2. One look at her picture tells me she needs our prayers.

    "You can't tell a book by its cover" I know, but on the other hand, when its dust jacket provides common and distasteful signs of its contents, one can not be blamed for not looking further into its table of contents.

    I think the folks at the abbey have taken the only proper course. If you want Catholic education, you have to start your own school.

    1. I wonder what features you consider to be "common and distasteful". Your comment sounds rather like an ad hominen attack.