Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Cranmer’s Pulpit No. XI

Cranmer's blog is now 2 years old, and His Grace wishes to share his continuing success with his faithful readers and loyal communicants. March was yet another record month, registering 26,066 unique visitors to his world-renowned blog of intelligent erudite comment upon matters religio-political.

His Grace featured in the ‘Best of the Politics Blogs’ in the New Statesman, and Reuters once again broadcast his religio-political insights far and wide, including his ‘Cardinal condemns “monstrous” legislation’.

Iain Dale’s Diary has now considerably surpassed ConservativeHome among Cranmer’s top referrers, of which he now has 4677 all over the world.

In celebration of his birthday, and his continuing record statistics, and in perpetual commemoration of the spiritual liberation afforded by his own pulpit experience with the Provost of Eton, Dr Henry Cole, His Grace is pleased to host another ‘Cranmer’s Pulpit’ for communicants to raise whatever religio-political or politico-religious concerns they do so wish (intelligently and eruditely, of course).

But there is perhaps one article to which Cranmer would like to draw attention:

Vatican: Muslims now outnumber Catholics

It is reported by Reuters that ‘Islam has overtaken Roman Catholicism as the biggest single religious denomination in the world’:

Monsignor Vittorio Formenti, who compiled the Vatican's newly-released 2008 yearbook of statistics, said Muslims made up 19.2 percent of the world's population and Catholics 17.4 percent.

"For the first time in history we are no longer at the top: the Muslims have overtaken us," Formenti told Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano in an interview, saying the data referred to 2006.

He said that if all Christian groups were considered, including Orthodox churches, Anglicans and Protestants, then Christians made up 33 percent of the world's population -- or about 2 billion people.

The Vatican recently put the number of Catholics in the world at 1.13 billion people. It did not provide a figure for Muslims, generally estimated at around 1.3 billion.

Formenti said that while the number of Catholics as a proportion of the world's population was fairly stable, the percentage of Muslims was growing because of higher birth rates.
He said the data on Muslim populations had been compiled by individual countries and then released by the United Nations, adding the Vatican could only vouch for its own statistics.

This is a curious story, not least because Roman Catholicism is a denomination, and Islam is not.

While it is possible to infer from this report that only Roman Catholics are Christians, Monsignor Formenti clearly does not accord with this.

To talk of Roman Catholics and then Muslims is like comparing the number of Sunnis to the number of Christians. The one is simply a denomination, the other an over-arching religion.

When one adds the Orthodox, the Protestants, the Anglicans and sundry Non-Conformists to the statistics, Christians still considerably out-number Muslims, so the picture is by no means as bleak as the Reuters headline conveys.

However, when one notes that ‘the percentage of Muslims was growing because of higher birth rates’, perhaps Pope Paul VI had prophetic foresight when he penned Humanae Vitae


Blogger Dave said...

I recall an ecumenical service I once attended at a Roman Catholic church. The priest (who would have been close to retirement age) welcomed everyone to the event and, with a nod in my direction, included those of other faiths. I'm surprised that it still goes on. I'd have thought that attitude would have died out by now.

1 April 2008 at 10:15  
Blogger The Heresiarch said...

Happy Birthday!

As a present, I shall be adding you to my referrals list. I can't promise you as many hits as Dale, but I have a growing and appreciate band of heretics, some of whom will no doubt take up the offer.

(apologies if this appears twice: something went wrong, I think).

1 April 2008 at 11:33  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Heresiarch,

His Grace is touched.

1 April 2008 at 12:11  
Blogger steadmancinques said...

You Grace, I have only very recently discovered your 'blog', having been directed here by Mr. Stuart Parr's 'Wonko's World. May I congatulate you on your success, and add how very much at home I feel here.
Availing myself of your invitation to occupy the pulpit, I note that our un-mandated Prime Minister recently raised the possibility of repealing the Act of Succession to permit a Roman Catholic to accede to the throne, or to take one as a spouse or consort. This, I believe, has very little to do with the likely marital plans of any of the current members of the House of Windsor, and everything to do with the not-a-constitution Treaty (not actually a treaty either) of Lisbon. Let me expound. HM is not bound by the Treaty, but her successor will be; he (or she) will be a subject of the EU, like everyone else in this unhappy land. The Commonwealth countries are already considerably exercised concerning the possibility that their Head of State will be subject to an alien jurisdiction, which they, rightly, regard as totally unacceptable. The reason that HM is exempt is that the treaty would require her to commit a total breach of her Coronation Oath. Now new Labour would like us to consider such things as quaint and archaic ceremonies of no real relevance today. However, the Coronation Oath, by the Act of 1688, makes two things abundantly clear; firstly, that the sovereignty in this country is the people's; what constituted sovereignty and legitimate authority was, after all, the fundamental question that the English civil war was fought to determine. The sovereign swears to uphold the freedom, liberties, justice and rights of the British people. By the second part of the oath the sovereign swears to uphold and advance the reformed Protestant religion; remove this plank, and you inevitably make the case for retaining the first much weaker; the Continental view, stemming from Roman Law, is that the state is supreme, and the people are permitted to have some say in its running; that is the model up to which we have just signed. The logical outcome of that is that the Oath in its current form would be such a piece of hypocrisy that it could not form part of the next Coronation at all, and so the unique nature of the English constitution would be at one with Ninevah and Tyre. Steadmancinques feels that it in this case it would be by one of those superb pieces of historical irony that the first Coronation Oath of which we have record is that sworn by Ethelred the Unready.
Ubi caritas

1 April 2008 at 14:02  
Blogger steadmancinques said...

My humble apologies, Your Grace, for two typographical errors. In the first line, 'You' should read 'Your' and 'congatulate' should, of course, read 'congratulate' Stedmancinques apologies for these errors.

1 April 2008 at 14:11  
Anonymous Serf said...

The rather delicate problems associated with leaving the religion are no doubt also a factor.

1 April 2008 at 15:27  
Blogger Man in a Shed said...

The most important thing you mention is the birth rate.

Many of the Muslim countries with exploding populations (no-pun intended) are able to keep stable due to oil wealth. But this will not last.

Shortly Arabia will have a large population and cease to have the means to support it.

Unless a dramatic cultural change happens ( equal rights for Women and the corresponding fall in birth rate ) they will need somewhere else to put their population.

The same area of the world is busy funding large Mosques all over Europe. I think their planned solution is rather obvious.

What Islam lacks is either living room or a reliable form of contraception. ( A higher Christian birth rate would just ensure the Rowan Williams proven right with the collapse of civilisation. )

1 April 2008 at 15:48  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

Migration has brought 'zero' economic benefit

Ten years of record immigration to Britain has produced virtually no economic benefits for the country, a parliamentary inquiry has found.


1 April 2008 at 18:26  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

your grace
I am closely watching turkey struggle secular or religous state , the EU would of course then encompass its first islamic country !!

one can only wonder whn the winner of the eurovision song contest will be the adnan , for ever!!

1 April 2008 at 21:33  
Anonymous Doris Bonkers said...

The iguanas of wrath are wiser than the toads of instruction...


1 April 2008 at 23:35  
Anonymous Reva Unsicker said...

Doris Bonkers speaks as one whose wisdom is like that of the Pants of Destiny

2 April 2008 at 00:23  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Poor Gorgon Brown if he tampers with The Act of Settlement 1701 he removes the basis for the Act of Union with Scotland 1707

3 April 2008 at 06:54  
Anonymous doris bonkers said...

Reva Unsicker said...
Doris Bonkers speaks as one whose wisdom is like that of the Pants of Destiny

You smooth talker, you...

Do you have a change of clothes?

3 April 2008 at 23:10  

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