Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Church of England to enforce ‘Papal-style laws’

A helpful communicant has sent Cranmer a most interesting article from The Daily Telegraph. Apparently, the Church of England is to ‘impose a “rule book” of beliefs’, and any who transgress these face expulsion. The General Synod meets in July to endorse this new covenant, which is deemed to constitute ‘’the most significant shift in the Anglican Church since it was created in the Reformation during the 16th century'.

The House of Bishops has decreed that, in the wake of the disagreements over homosexuality, bisexuality, lesbianism, gay marriage, gay priests, gay liturgies, and gay bats in the belfry, that there is a need for a ‘narrower definition of Anglican belief’ in order to ‘block Anglican clergy from pursuing liberal and potentially divisive policies’, thus avoiding schism. According to the Rt Rev John Hind, Bishop of Chichester: ‘A covenant should indicate those areas of faith (including morals) and order where unanimity of heart and mind belong to the nature of the faith itself and are essential for Eucharistic communion’. There is considered to be insufficient statement of ‘what it means to be Anglican’, and so the Bishops’ paper states:

It is possible to envisage the development of a form of covenant that was in effect a highly detailed code of international canon law... and to envisage such a code leading the Anglican Communion to becoming an increasingly rigid entity in which legitimate change and development became very difficult to effect.

Setting aside the very real difficulty of enforcing these new laws upon the autonomous regions of the Anglican Communion, Cranmer is more than a little irritated by this development, not least because a constitutional ‘rule book’ or ‘detailed code’ already exists: it is commonly known as The XXXIX Articles of the Church of England. If these were adhered to, there would be neither crisis nor impending schism. Cranmer spent years drafting The XLII Articles, from which the XXXIX were shaped, in order to maintain the peace of the realm through the unity of doctrine. All preachers and lecturers were required to subscribe to them, or else a license for teaching was not granted them.

The XXXIX Articles were never meant to constitute a systematic theology or a complete body of divinity, or a comprehension and explication of all Christian doctrines necessary to be taught, but, like the creeds of the fourth and fifth centuries, were aimed at resolving the disputes of the time. Insofar as many of the Medievalist errors and blasphemous claims persist to this day, there is a moral necessity to reassert the position of the English Church in order to safeguard the peace, stability, and security of the realm.

While Cranmer can hardly wait to read these new ‘laws’, this 21st-century Convocation has a puzzling dimension quite at variance with that of the 16th. It is announced that ‘Rowan Williams has just embarked on a three-month "study leave". He will return to work in September’.

Unlike Cranmer’s intimate and intense involvement in the formulation of the 16th-century covenant, the present Archbishop of Canterbury is apparently to be on ‘study leave’ while the new rules are drawn up. He will therefore absent himself and play no role in ‘the most significant shift since the Reformation'.

A truly breathtaking and utterly baffling abdication of moral authority, theological integrity, and political responsibility.

50 Comments:

Anonymous Voyager said...

I believe Art XXVI covers most cases........mind you adherence to Art VII would not come amiss

6 June 2007 at 07:27  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Indeed, Mr Voyager, indeed.

But who is there who dares to propose that 'inquiry be made of evil Ministers, and that they be accused by those that have knowledge of their offences; and finally, being found guilty, by just judgment be deposed'?

There is no such authority; there is no 'Pope' figure, and if there were, he would hardly depose himself (or she herself...)

6 June 2007 at 07:44  
Anonymous worried said...

As you rightly imply, the abdication of Rowan Williams from any responsibility for the impending changes is a profoundly "political" act. Whatever decisions are made, whatever the backlash from Anglicans, he can still cling to power saying "nothing to do with me, guv."

In the moral vacuum that is today, no-one has the guts to impose the existing rules. In civil society (if one may still call it such) the flouting of rules rarely leads to their enforcement, but more likely to the introduction of yet more rules. The same has applied here, where the flouting of the Articles is just being met by yet more of the same that has already been flouted.

There is however another worrying development in all this. As the Church of England joins the Church of Rome in telling its congregations what they must believe, it will be adopting the authoritarian approach of the latter. Over the centuries this authoritarianism has been widely used to impose non scriptural beliefs on its adherents. I fear that we are likely to see the same trend in the CofE, including the re-introduction of merger talks with Rome. Given that we really are in the Last Days, this could well lead to wider moves to a merger with Islam and the formation of a one world religion. A necessary pre-condition is that the Anglican Communion stops thinking individually, and just passively follows its leadership, the way that adherents to the Church of Rome follow their substitute for (Vicar of) Christ.

In the same way that it is essential for believers in the Truth of the Christian scripture to reject the Church of Rome, so it is now necessary for the same believers of the Truth to reject the Church of England. Only God (in the Holy Spirit) can instruct us in what to believe. All else is man made religion, false and worthless.

6 June 2007 at 08:30  
Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

His Grace the Archbishop Cranmer

Your Grace

What does the current Archbishop of Canterbury bring to the party - why not make him redundnat and not replace him, unless a more effective replacement can be found

The C of E is corrupt & unAccountable, beyond the hope of Reform under its present Leadership - it has thousands of ineffectual Employees (modern english = Bishops, vicars, Diocesan Secretaries, Diocesan Social Responsibility Job-sharers etc, etc)

These Drones are so comfortable with their overpaid Jobs & prospective inflation-proof pensions, which (they think) they will receive, however ineffectual they may be and however much damage they are doing to real Christian belief

The C of E's Nomenclature are hardly going to seek any reforms which will save the C of E from Collapse - a collapse which they are engineering and for which they seem to be unaccountable, but from which they are being hadsomely paid

Surely, the only solution is for the ordinary Man (modern eng = Woman) in the Parish Pew to "Vote with his Wallet" and to refuse to give donations to Church Collections, unless :

1. these donations are not creamed off to remote, unresponsive Dioceses in order to pay generous "stipends etc" to Bishops/Clergy/Diocesan Employees who frankly have minimal Christian belief and

2. these donations are used to support Clergy/parishes which actually believe in Christianity and are effectively promotng the Gospel

The retaliation of the Diocesan Authorities may well be unpleasant and malignant - this is to be expected if their comfort & their perks are in any way threatened

but this would focus the C of E's resources on the Churches which are Alive and force the Dead/Dying Churches to close - unbelieving Vicars/Bishops would have to seek alternative employment, rather than completing the total deChristianisation of our Beloved Country, which these Creatures are so close to achieving

I remain your Grace's obedient servant etc

G Eagle

6 June 2007 at 09:34  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

"In the same way that it is essential for believers in the Truth of the Christian scripture to reject the Church of Rome, so it is now necessary for the same believers of the Truth to reject the Church of England."

Goodbye then, bon voyage, but remember when you are in your Unitarian Church of Worried, congregation of one yelling "The end is neigh", raging against Rome and the CofE, keep yourself warm with the knowledge that you acted fully in keeping with Protestant tradition. From the reformation onwards whenever a disagreement has arisen you split away from the original tree and by degrees Protestantism has been splitting and storming off ever since, didn't bother to keep the arguments in the family and work them out (as it says in scriptur) but instead stormed off in a huff yelling insults over your shoulder. Soon there will only be matchwood and it will be the Church of Swan Vesta, or are we there already and the ABC is just is just about to strike.

What never ceases to amaze me, especially from the more humourless adherent to the Protestant tradition, is the astonishment expressed when some section of the reformed branch threatens to go its own way and the ensuing entreaties, regrets, denunciations and the inevitable “it’s all Rome’s fault”. The spluttering of a petulant child on loosing his sweets and the consequent fit of pique, you started in divorce and you have been divorcing ever since, have you really not got the idea yet. Get used to it, its what you do.

6 June 2007 at 10:14  
Blogger botogol said...

will Anglicans begin to resemble electric monks..able to beleive whatever is required of them?

"The Electric Monk was a labour-saving device, like a dishwasher or a video recorder. [...] Electric Monks believed things for you, thus saving you from what was becoming an increasingly onerous task."

6 June 2007 at 10:14  
Anonymous Voyager said...

There is no such authority; there is no 'Pope' figure, and if there were, he would hardly depose himself (or she herself...)

Your Grace is of course old enough to have forgotten that The XXXIX Articles espouse the congregation as the basis of the Church Art XIX

6 June 2007 at 10:36  
Anonymous Voyager said...

by degrees Protestantism has been splitting and storming off ever since

bit of a Jewish tradition actually.....wasn't Jesus Christ more in line with the Hihhel School and the Pharisees than with the Sadduccees if even this dictotomy can be judged to have been clearly-defined groupings?

6 June 2007 at 10:38  
Anonymous Voyager said...

why not make him redundnat and not replace him,


As what ?

For some reason the English National Church acquired can international franchise and with the passage of empire some countries continued with the Monarch as head of the Commonwealth while others disowned her.

The American franchise had enouh money to pay bills for conferences and mission work but had a tendency to rewrite Scripture.

Eventually the drift from orthodoxy became very obvious and the Archbishop was asked to stick to Scripture and forego the cheques.

Since much of the Church hierarchy likes the free trips to nice hotels the difficulty of giving up temporal comforts for spiritual purity proved hard for many of these administrators.

Rowan W decided to draw up a document not associated with himself to see if he could get Akinola to sign up or to persuade ECUSA to split with himself playing "honest broker" by holding no opinion which the public would comprehend

6 June 2007 at 10:43  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Your Grace is of course old enough to have forgotten that The XXXIX Articles espouse the congregation as the basis of the Church Art XIX

Mr Voyager,

His Grace has not forgotten; merely acknowledging the fragmentaty and disparate nature and implications of a disunited congregation.

6 June 2007 at 10:50  
Anonymous bob said...

Just out of genuine curiosity, can an Archbishop of Canterbury be dismissed? If he is appointed, essentially, by the Monarchy and the Government, cannot these same powers choose to remove him if they see fit? Is he bound by a contract? Are there circumstances whereby an Archbishop of Canterbury can be said to be in derogation of his duties? I'm just curious about how these things operate at a functional level in the Anglican Communion.

6 June 2007 at 10:54  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

"We have no doctrine of our own - we only possess the Catholic doctrine of the Catholic Church enshrined in the Catholic Creeds, and those Creeds we hold without addition or diminution."
Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury 1945-61

Sticking to the Creeds and Ecumenical Councils and the continuous Tradition is the best defence. Anything devised by this lot of bishops will only weaken us.

6 June 2007 at 11:27  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Bob I live in a country where a Judge - one of our be-wigged friends - does not get thrown into outer darkness for exposing himself......not one....but twice...to unsuspecting women travelling by train.....though perhaps he will be amusing when giving his occupation during trial proceedings

I fear that unless Rowan W says something to upset our koranic friends he can while away his time in blissful indolence until he is the sole member of the Church in England

6 June 2007 at 11:29  
Anonymous bob said...

Voyager, I live in a country where we've had numerous tribunals of inquiry into the numerous misdeeds and unethical behaviour of many of our public servants, including 2 prime ministers (one of which is the incumbent who is trying to form a new government), three minister, and the police force in an entire county. After 10 years of these very expensive tribunals not one conviction of prosecution has been achieved. I can, therefore, empathise with your frustration about the difficulty in dealing with errant public servants.

The problem as I see it, speaking as an outsider in every sense, is that the Anglican Communion seems to be reluctant to stand over it's core beliefs. This struck me when I was looking up the XXXIX articles on the Anglican Communion's website and saw that a few of them had been italicized, in a sort of 'we don't really believe this anymore' sort of way, including the one about the Bishop of Rome having no jurisdiction in England. While I, as a Catholic, might not like that core precept of Anglicanism, it shouldn't be downplayed if that's what Anglicans believe. I think there's too much pandering to popular opinion in Anglicanism - a sort of 'we can't believe that, it won't go down well with...'. It seems to be at the stage now where Anglicanism, or at least a significant part of it, has strayed so far from the original core precepts that a split seems inevitable.

6 June 2007 at 11:49  
Blogger Cranmer said...

His Grace has located a draft of the 'Anglican Covenant' here.

Mr Bob,

Could you please send a link to the page on the XXXIX Articles to which yu refer. Many thanks

6 June 2007 at 12:20  
Anonymous bob said...

With pleasure - XXXIX Articles

6 June 2007 at 12:25  
Anonymous bob said...

Apologies - I did the Anglican Communion a disservice. I had mixed up anglican.org, which is the offical website, and anglicansonline.org, which is not. Sincere apologies.

6 June 2007 at 12:28  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

In light of Gospel teaching it is certainly more credible to assert Jesus had more in common with the Pharisees than the Sadducees. I would contend however the early Christian movement was more Essene in flavour than any other sect, with its emphasis on sharing possessions, disciplined study, worship, and work. Also guided as it was by those who knew Jesus and therefore conversant with life and teaching in a far more personal and intimate level than we, this is a more sustainable position. Let us not forget that once the Pharisees gained control over the Jewish people and Rabbinic Judaism was born after the fall of the temple they continued to persecute the early Christian Church remorselessly so they were not that 'friendly'. I think whereas the Christian denominations differ chiefly, but not exclusively in matters of doctrine, Jewish denominations differ from one another primarily with regard to practice and so the assertion that to ‘split off’ is a Jewish tradition is somewhat flawed. Those who differed in doctrine and split from the Christianity of the Church Fathers were considered heretics and proscribed. The continuing division from the original form of Christianity as practised by the Church Fathers is contrary to Christ’s instruction for his church, that it should be one.

6 June 2007 at 12:50  
Anonymous Voyager said...

NO Bob, you picked ECUSA the US Apostate Church and its variant on our Anglican Faith

You should try the English XXIX Articles

XXXIX ARTICLES

6 June 2007 at 15:04  
Anonymous bob said...

Yes apologies - I noticed my mistake after I'd posted. I did try to find the XXXIX Articles on the Church of England website but it failed me to do so.

6 June 2007 at 15:09  
Anonymous Voyager said...

the fall of the temple they continued to persecute the early Christian Church remorselessly so they were not that 'friendly'.

Yes but you only persecute people who pose a threat to your orthodoxy - which is why Rome could not accept Martin Luther's proposals and excommunicated him.

I don't know whether you can separate Judaism from its rites - if you eat pork as a Jew are you still a Jew ? Surely Judaism is not simply a religion but the definition of a people.

Did you see that research into DNA of Levites and how common the strands were suggesting litle marriage out of the family line ?

After all Roman Catholicism is less orthodox than Orthodoxy itself

6 June 2007 at 15:10  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

With hindsight I believe Martin Luther was more a threat to the vested interests and practices of certain corrupt German Princes and RC Clergy than the Church itself, however he was not averse to turning a 'situation' to his own advantage when it suited him. It is ironic that the RCC has adopted many of the reforms Luther protested about which is why I think such arguments are better kept in the family.

I did not see the DNA of the Levites, it sounds fascinating, one can be Jewish without being a Jew and visa versa, race and religion are not co-dependent.

Orthodoxy simply means straight thinking, although modern usage presupposes some kind of inflexibility or intransigence. I don’t thing the RCC is either of these things outside of its professed doctrine which admittedly is not open to amendment. I find that the RCC thinks straight enough for me on all the issues that matter in life, the rest is just noise.

6 June 2007 at 16:37  
Blogger Cato, author of www.toryheaven.com said...

Your Grace may be interested to learn that the Scottish Episcopal Church, meeting in Edinburgh tomorrow and Friday, is also going to discuss and vote on this proposed Anglican Covenant. The debate takes place at 2.20pm tomorrow afternoon, so I may be able to update your Grace relatively soon on what the view of this Covenant is North of the Tweed.

6 June 2007 at 21:36  
Blogger The Hitch said...

As The Hitch is both theologically illiterate and a bit of a thicko I am not sure what to make of all this , however , what I do know is that Rowan williams doesn't prance about in Prada shoes and sun glasses expecting people to kiss his ring as members of his flock starve to death or die from disease for want of a few quid.
Good to read your musings once again your grace , it makes a nice change from wading through the effluent of my own blog and that of the esteemed Mr Fawkes.
Tomorrow I yet again go head to head with HMRC , please pray for me.

6 June 2007 at 23:14  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Cato,

His Grace looks forward to hearing news of this debate, the result of which will be of interest to many of his communicants. Thank you for being His Grace's correspondent 'North of the Tweed'.

Mr Hitch,

Welcome back - you have been much missed (though not as much as Mr Colin appears to lament the departure of Mr Mission Impossible). His Grace is concerned to hear of your going 'head to head' with HMRC, and can only assume that you have engaged in something you oughn't. Notwithstanding the presumption of guilt, His Grace shall indeed pray that the judgement shall be swift and just, and the good may come of it.

7 June 2007 at 08:32  
Anonymous bob said...

At the end of his address, delivered in the Vatican Press Office, Archbishop Cordes gave some figures that reflect the course of John Paul II's donations over the past 3 years. Thanks to the contributions of Catholics, religious Congregations, and the annual Peter's Pence collection, at the Pope's request "Cor Unum" has been able to distribute $4,707,832 in 1997; $7,446,386 in 1998; and $8,915,369 in 1999. The donations have been made to alleviate natural or man-made disasters.
http://www.zenit.org/english/archive/0001/ZE000127.html

I couldn't find figures for Pope Benedict's time in office but I assume they're something similar. He did pose for photographs for a calendar which went on sale this year, with the money going to the poor in Rwanda. I think some balance is needed before criticisms of papal commitment to the poor and suffering come into play.

7 June 2007 at 10:40  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

Mr Hitch,

Being, by your own admission illiterate and thick, by what wisdom do you presume to pass judgement on Pope Benedicts threads? Would you have a Head of State dress as a poor country parson or perhaps just a loincloth imitating the crucifixion? Do you think Jesus wore his working clothes at Canai? Do you even know what the surplus of the Vatican State was lat year; research it you may be surprised that a medium sized town council has a larger budget. Pope Benedict/Cardinal Ratzinger has always been particular about his dress even to the point of keeping his old tailor Raniero Mancinelli and foregoing the papal-dress contract with Annibale Gammarelli tailors, who have made papal wear since 1792.
The Gucci sunglasses and red Prada loafers were gifts (did you really think he went out and bought them) as were his gold cufflinks and watch, and don’t fret he has not spent Peters Pence on his wardrobe. If you want to give him a hard time why not mention the Pectoral Cross Given To Pope Benedict XVI by The Archbishop of Canterbury that was made by London Silversmith Richard Fox, ooh how much could have been given to the poor, or what about him blessing a fleet of 45 shiny new Ferrari sports cars in St Peters Square. As you seem to be concerns about the Popes footwear perhaps you know that just last month he was given 15,001 pairs of shoes during a visit to Italy's shoe capital Vigevano, a local consortium gave one pair of burgundy-coloured loafers for himself and 15,000 more pairs for the needy around the world.
Your kind of Puritanism sucks all the joy out of life, its parasitic and is rooted in the envy of reducing everything to your own lowest common denominator of “I’ll not be happy until everyone else is as miserable as me”, how shrill and mean spirited you sound. Would you have the Pieter broken up and sold off in bits or the Sistine chapel whitewashed not to offend the poor or perhaps divided equally among them the works of Donatella, Raphael, Michelangelo or Caravaggio? But fear not, your objection is not new; Jesus himself reproached the Apostles for just such an attitude (I’ll let you find about it in Matthew chapter 26)

May HMRC treat you with as much charity and knowledge as you yourself display in your posts for truly it is said the ignorant can be educated, there is no hope for the stupid.

7 June 2007 at 10:45  
Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Bonjour Monsieur Hitch

It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the Living God

.... it seems an even more terribl thing to fall into the hand of the Revenue, an increasingly greedy & grasping Institution whose depredations are driving Wealth & Jobs abroad and are bringing our Economy to its knees

Your obedient servant etc

G Eagle

7 June 2007 at 10:59  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Bob, you don't need to look on the internet for the XXXIX Articles; they are in your Prayer Book.

7 June 2007 at 14:43  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Bob, you don't need to look on the internet for the XXXIX Articles; they are in your Prayer Book.

No they aren't bOb is a Roman Catholic !

7 June 2007 at 17:29  
Blogger Scott said...

Isn't the most worrying thing the possibility that Liberal Anglicans could one day have this power, and that would be the end of it as a Christian church?

7 June 2007 at 17:31  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Scott that has already happened in the USA but then again a nation that started out predominantly Protestant now has the largest single denomination being Roman Catholic; and a multiplicity of Reformed Protestant Churches in differing degrees of Apostasy but all bigger than ECUSA with its miniscule membership......

7 June 2007 at 18:21  
Anonymous Colin said...

His Grace's observation is correct that "Mr Colin appears to lament the departure of Mr Mission Impossible"

Yes, his intelligence is sadly missing on this blog.

7 June 2007 at 20:09  
Blogger Cato, author of www.toryheaven.com said...

Your Grace, hotfoot from the Synod of the Church in Scotland, I can report that the debate was in fact neither especially rivetting, nor did it produce much in the way of a definitive decision.

Views were, rather predictably, split between the few Evangelicals on the Synod who favoured the Covenant, and the majority who had some reservations about it (especially in relation to section 6, which some Synod members felt had the potential for destroying provincial autonomy and creating an Anglican International College of Cardinals - an idea which sent a shiver down your correspondent's spine!). The vote at the end of the debate was a majority one in favour of a motion to permit the Faith & Order Board of the Scottish Church to draft some comments for tranmission to the Primates. These comments, given the tenor of the debate today, are likely to express some concern at certain aspects of the proposed model.

One of the most interesting questions from the floor was a question about what would happen to Provinces which did not agree to any Covenant. A view from, I think it was the Archbishop of the West Indies (who had chaired the group which drew up the Covenant), was read out in which he indciated that, in his view, such a province would still be part of the wider Anglican Communion, even if not part of the covenanted provinces. This did rather make me wonder what the purpose of the whole enterprise was.

Doubtless there may be somne further comments on today's debate in this week's Church Times.

7 June 2007 at 20:45  
Blogger Cato, author of www.toryheaven.com said...

P.S. As I don't think a link has been posted yet to the Report of the Primates' Covenant Design Group, which contains the proposed Anglican Covenant, it can be found here:

http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/articles/42/50/acns4252.cfm

7 June 2007 at 20:50  
Anonymous Voyager said...

If you go to the C of E Website there is a nice list of Anglican Churches NOT in communion with Canterbury.....it may simply grow longer

7 June 2007 at 21:53  
Anonymous bob said...

Bob, you don't need to look on the internet for the XXXIX Articles; they are in your Prayer Book.

The XXXIX Articles don't appear in the breviary.

7 June 2007 at 22:28  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Cato,

His Grace is profoundly grateful for your efforts in this regard, and for relaying the news 'hot-foot' from the uttermost regions.

Ultimately, it will come down to the question of provincial autonomy, and His Grace does not believe the Anglican Communion will head for the Rome-ward model of episcopal authority.

7 June 2007 at 22:37  
Anonymous i spy strangers said...

Do we have any indication as to what subject the saintly Archbishop (Williams, not Cranmer) might be contemplating during his period of study?

8 June 2007 at 16:00  
Blogger The Hitch said...

Recusant Would you have a Head of State dress as a poor country parson or perhaps just a loincloth imitating the crucifixion?

Yes !
True authority doesnt require gold braid and finery to assert itself.
Look in to yourself and think who is the most impressive person you have ever met , if it was somebody in thousands of pounds "worth" of clothing you probably read Hello magazine and fret that you cant afford the latest chanel bag.

8 June 2007 at 18:15  
Anonymous bob said...

So if true greatness is in the measure of the man and not the clothes he wears then why are you dismissing the Pope because of the clothes he wears and seemingly using that as a yardstick by which to measure the man, rather by his words and actions?

8 June 2007 at 18:26  
Blogger The Hitch said...

Bob because he (and all popes) expect priests to live in poverty (they dont)and preach against materialism.
Lead by example.
People die of poverty , he is supposed to be christs representative using obscene amounts of wealth for his own comfort.
Sell the Vatican and all its art , use the money to change peoples lives for the better

8 June 2007 at 19:20  
Anonymous bob said...

As I pointed out above the Pope does give significant amounts of money to the poor already. This is over and above the work of Catholic organizations which work with the poor. For example, it's estimated that a quarter of all care of people suffering with AIDS in the Third Word is provided by the Catholic Church.

You see art only as a material resource. The Vatican views art as a thing of beauty to bring joy, inspiration and something of God's wonder into the mind of the beholder. It feels that the works of art that it has in its administration belong not to it but to the entire Church and they are held in trust on behalf of the entire Church. I'm sure you'll rubbish that argument, but c'est la vie.

I think you also over-estimate the wealth and splendour that Popes and ordinary clergy enjoy. Here in Ireland a Catholic priest earns less than the minimum wage per year, and is taxed on his income. I know that in Lancaster diocese in England a priest earns the princely sum of £20 per week. The clergy aren't in danger of starving but they certainly aren't raking it in.

Also only priest in orders such as the Franciscans and Benedictines are bound by vows of poverty. Diocesan priests are not expected to take any such vow.

Finally, I assume your request for religious leaders to sell their goods will extend beyond the Pope to include the Queen, who as Head of the Church of England, commands material and financial resources far in excess of anything the Pope has. Or is helping the poor in this manner to be reserved solely for Catholics?

8 June 2007 at 19:40  
Anonymous Voyager said...

True authority doesnt require gold braid and finery to assert itself.

I have never met authority without gold braid


Look in to yourself and think who is the most impressive person you have ever met

I am still waiting....

8 June 2007 at 20:28  
Anonymous Observer said...

Bob you should really ask The Hitch why he refuses to give his money to the poor and has to be visited by HMRC to help him with his giving.......

It really is hypocritical to try to withhold from the public what rightfully belongs to it and to ask His Grace to pray for him as he seeks to avoid meeting his obligations and contributing his wealth to the common good

8 June 2007 at 20:31  
Blogger The Hitch said...

Observer
I think that it is for me to decide how to share my wealth (limited as it is)
I also happen to think that I could make it go a lot further and to better effect rather than having it stolen from me and p***** up the wall by a parasite.

9 June 2007 at 00:08  
Blogger The Hitch said...

Bob
I think that most Catholic clergy are very decent people, its the system that I loathe.
good night and god bless

9 June 2007 at 00:14  
Anonymous Observer said...

I think that it is for me to decide how to share my wealth

Hardly. The Community that secular congregation of modernity determines what is yours and what is theirs.....

9 June 2007 at 10:07  
Blogger The Hitch said...

Observer
Only if they know what I have (=;

9 June 2007 at 17:40  
Anonymous Observer said...

I am afraid they will simply suspend you by your feet from the rafters and see if you rattle.....it takes weeks sometimes....but in the end the anti-social elements conform to the wishes of the Revenue Men.

In a spirit of celebration Big Gordon has imposed the features of a fellow Scot on the new £20 note - a man who was incidentally the son of a Customs Officer - replacing an English national composer on his 150th anniversary

The English may celebrate Enigma but the Scots go for the money

9 June 2007 at 19:06  

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