Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cardinal Dias: the Church of England is terminally ill

Meet His Eminence Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples. His evangelisation technique is to tell it like it is.

He notes that some churches 'live myopically in the fleeting present, oblivious of our past heritage and apostolic traditions', and others (or is it the same one?) 'behave in a disorderly manner, going whimsically our own way without any co-ordination with the head or the other members of our community'.

And so Ruth Gledhill concludes that the Cardinal has diagnosed the Church of England as suffering from 'spiritual Alzheimer's' and 'ecclesial Parkinson's'.

Charming.

And yet the Cardinal is in many respects quite right, notwithstanding that the analogy makes light and is profoundly unsympathetic to those who are afflicted by such illnesses - as Pope John Paul II tragically was - or their families who endure the darkest years of stress and trauma having to watch their loved ones decline inexorably to incapacity, incoherence, and what must feel like oblivion.

But Cranmer's principal contention would be with His Eminence's choice of illnesses, for he has chosen the incurable, terminal kind. It would have been missiologically more accurate and theologically more appropriate had he chosen to speak of suffocating weeds and thorns (Mt.13) or a part of the body which needed the surgeon's knife (5:29-30). At least then the harsh words of his flesh would have been tempered by the spirit of truth, and their reception might consequently have been more palatable.

And all church communities, however great, suffer their bouts of illness. Dare one speculate of what diseases the Roman Catholic Church in England might be showing showing symptoms?

It is noteworthy that the Cardinal is among those who favour 'a positive reception for defecting Anglicans'. His choice of illnesses is possibly therefore not accidental. It is also interesting that his Congregation and its mission spawned the term 'propaganda', though its original meaning has been somewhat negatively warped over the past century.

And doubtless if any Protestant had spoken of the Roman Catholic Church in such terms, (s)he would be a 'bigot'.

21 Comments:

Anonymous latin rage said...

Your constant whinges about what would have happened if a Protestant had the courage to do what a Catholic has done only serves to remind how utterly emasculated Protestantism has become in the UK.

And they make you sound like a pathetic crybaby.

23 July 2008 at 00:00  
Blogger Livingsword said...

The true Church that transcends the visible denominational demarcation lines is healthy and robust, the visible man made structures are ill. The Roman Catholic system is not the Church and is no different than Islam or atheism….lost and loved by God, the Church should do likewise…

23 July 2008 at 00:17  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

How on earth can anyone defend the catholic church?

PRIESTS RAPE BOYS.

23 July 2008 at 00:42  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

in some ways i am inclined to agree with the cardinal but how has this happened ???

i think he is making the case that those of us of try to find and worship the love God within the structure of the CofE, are looking at it as somthing that is to be preserved, it is not is somthing that for each generation needs to be up held.

For to long those that want to see christianities demise either through theological squabbles that only a theologian can understand or by putting the faith on equal terms with lesser works , have had their say .

what we have failed to do is see how the bibles universal teachings , stand up in the changes in our lives.

is having an I phone more important than truth , a gleaming car more important than having the love to make use of it and care for our enviroment.

i can understand moses anger , he was holding the ten commandements only to find every one had got bored and made a golden calf to worship baal . this is in some ways todays problem , we have so many examples of Baal in which to indulge our boredom ,by contrast we have so few than engage the struggle to make one self rightous and holy before god.

the Cof E has forgotten which one yeilds good fruit, and also the book which it is built upon and its teaching throughout.

how can the relevance of the eternal be past its sell by date ??, it would take the very grandest of deceptions to make that happen , and equally the most lax of minds to accept it .

far be it for me to wonder if the mass dumbing down of society has been a deliberate act , by a goverment hell bent on vain imagery for the purposes of ridding the nation of christianity , whilst performing an ecnomic high wire act !!

23 July 2008 at 01:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How in Earth can any one defende the Anglican Church

Gay Boys rape Gay Bishops.

23 July 2008 at 02:03  
Blogger Bob said...

+Cranmer - to attempt an answer yo your question, I think it would be fair to say that the Catholic Church is suffering from spiritual/ecclesiological cancer, the manifestations of which have been evident to all for the past twenty years or so. I'm sure there are other spiritual diseases that could be ascribed. I'm sure others will ascribe them.

23 July 2008 at 08:20  
Anonymous tiberswimmer said...

Putting aside for the moment a certain (admitted) indelicacy on the Cardinal's part, is Your Grace seriously suggesting that his comments are anything less than perfectly accurate?

23 July 2008 at 11:36  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Tiberswimmer,

Have you read His Grace's article?

Have you not seen: "And yet the Cardinal is in many respects quite right..."?

Why is it that so many Tiber-swimmers and the left-footed are so quick to judge and criticise what they perceive His Grace to have written, and so slow to apologise (if ever they do) when that judgement is flawed and their perception manifestly inaccurate?

Do they perchance suffer some mental affliction which renders them myopic or whimsical?

23 July 2008 at 12:04  
Anonymous tiberswimmer said...

Your Grace . . . with respect, is that a yes?

23 July 2008 at 13:23  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Tiberswimmer,

With respect, 'perfectly accurate' is something of an overstatement.

And His Grace feels very sorry for all those who suffer from Alzheimer's or Parkinson's who now have their profound suffering increased beyond toleration by being compared to the hopeless state of the Anglican Communion.

23 July 2008 at 13:36  
Anonymous tiberswimmer said...

I thank Your Grace. Now I understand. And I do hope you don't mind my pointing out that it's actually Lord Tiberswimmer.

23 July 2008 at 13:48  
Blogger Jomo said...

I am sure everyone would benefit from reading the whole of the address.

timescolumns.typepad.com/gledhill/files/dias_address.doc

A moment of reflection on the content may prevent communicants from insulting one another

23 July 2008 at 14:16  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Lord Tiberswimmer,

His Grace does not mind in the slightest, but begs His Lordship's indulgence for possessing neither omniscience nor any extra-sensory ability to discern the undisclosed style or concealed title of his communicants.

And, with respect, did His Lordship purchase it, inherit it, or was he awarded it for noble and valiant services to the state?

23 July 2008 at 14:36  
Blogger Margo said...

Let's knock off the Protestant v. Catholic theme and get to the heart of the matter. It's a distraction to what ails the CofE.

What would bring the CofE back to a robust health? LEADERSHIP -- not Rowan Williams.

A friend of mine (Russian Orthodox) told me that a priest in Russia officiated at a homosexual marriage. The priest was defrocked, and the Bishop or Metropolitan closed the church and performed a rite of sanctification and purification, although some of the local towns people wanted to burn the Church to the ground. Compare that with the nuptial mass for a homosexual couple (both priests). It caused nary a ripple.

23 July 2008 at 17:27  
Anonymous Katy said...

Homophobic Horse said...
How on earth can anyone defend the catholic church?

PRIESTS RAPE BOYS.



As has been pointed out before on this blog, independent reports into child abuse perpetrated by Catholic Priests in America concluded that the incidents in the Anglican Church, by percentage, in the same period were far higher - 1.2% or thereabouts in the Catholic Church, over 5% in the Anglican. Zero is the only acceptable figure, but to conclude from this that '(Catholic) Priests (all inclusive) rape boys' is a gross mis-representation of the facts. It is simply hysteria, the peddling of which will not serve to help you in your argument (not that you proposed one), HH. In fact, any little vestage of respect I might have had for your opinion on any topic has vanished.

23 July 2008 at 18:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU HAVE THE BODY OF CHRIST WHOSE HEAD IS THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.
THEN YOU HAVE ORGANISED RELIGION WHOSE HEAD IS A MAN!(IN A FUNNY HAT)
NUFF SAID.

23 July 2008 at 19:47  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

KIDDIE FIDDLING PEEDO PRIESTS GO TO HELL

ITS A WELL KNOWN FACT THAT THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN CATHOLIC PRIESTS IS AIDS

There are over 1 billion Catholics in the world - that's one out of every six people alive today - and every single one of them will split hell wide open when they die - period. And there is nothing they can do about it. God Almighty has chosen their delusion (Isa 66:4, 2 Thes. 2:11). Every time any person gives any amount of money to the Catholic Church, that person is paying the salary of pedophile rapists. Not merely looking the other way, mind you, but actually paying the salaries of thousands of criminal, sexual deviants, who try to pass themselves off as men who have moral authority, but who are, in fact, the basest of men (Dan. 4:17)

'Priests rape boys' is an air-tight, three word case against the Catholic church. The Catholic Church is the largest, most well-funded and organized pedophile group in the history of man! No further proof need be given on the Judgment Day against every single person of authority in that monstrous organization of perverts. The case is as open and shut as a murder case where the murder is actually witnessed by the judge and jury themselves. No matter the rank nor the level of personal involvement in that sin, from priest to Pope the whole clergy of the Catholic Church, the world over, is irreversibly hell-bound. The rare abstinent priest who sits silently by while thousands of little children are abused to satisfy the perverted sexual lusts of those in positions of authority is as guilty as the filthy, craven boy-diddlers themselves. Few, besides those with a vested interest in promulgating the priestly perversion, would argue in defense of the unspeakable evil desired by the dark-hearts and carried out by the bloody hands of these deviants. Their moral authority is completely gone - but 'priests rape boys' is far more than an indictment of the clergy of the Catholic 'church'. In fact, 'priests rape boys' is an air-tight, three word case against not only the parishioners of the Catholic Church, but other so-called 'Christian' churches, this doomed nation, and the world entirely.

24 July 2008 at 01:02  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

KIDDIE FIDDLING PEEDO PRIESTS GO TO HELL

ITS A WELL KNOWN FACT THAT THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN CATHOLIC PRIESTS IS AIDS

There are over 1 billion Catholics in the world - that's one out of every six people alive today - and every single one of them will split hell wide open when they die - period. And there is nothing they can do about it. God Almighty has chosen their delusion (Isa 66:4, 2 Thes. 2:11). Every time any person gives any amount of money to the Catholic Church, that person is paying the salary of pedophile rapists. Not merely looking the other way, mind you, but actually paying the salaries of thousands of criminal, sexual deviants, who try to pass themselves off as men who have moral authority, but who are, in fact, the basest of men (Dan. 4:17)

'Priests rape boys' is an air-tight, three word case against the Catholic church. The Catholic Church is the largest, most well-funded and organized pedophile group in the history of man! No further proof need be given on the Judgment Day against every single person of authority in that monstrous organization of perverts. The case is as open and shut as a murder case where the murder is actually witnessed by the judge and jury themselves. No matter the rank nor the level of personal involvement in that sin, from priest to Pope the whole clergy of the Catholic Church, the world over, is irreversibly hell-bound. The rare abstinent priest who sits silently by while thousands of little children are abused to satisfy the perverted sexual lusts of those in positions of authority is as guilty as the filthy, craven boy-diddlers themselves. Few, besides those with a vested interest in promulgating the priestly perversion, would argue in defense of the unspeakable evil desired by the dark-hearts and carried out by the bloody hands of these deviants. Their moral authority is completely gone - but 'priests rape boys' is far more than an indictment of the clergy of the Catholic 'church'. In fact, 'priests rape boys' is an air-tight, three word case against not only the parishioners of the Catholic Church, but other so-called 'Christian' churches, this doomed nation, and the world entirely.

24 July 2008 at 01:02  
Anonymous M Burgess said...

Your Grace,

'spiritual Alzheimer's' and 'ecclesial Parkinson's' may not be temperate, or clever, or enlightening, but things were worse in your own time: Thomas More and Martin Luther went for each other like fishwives.

With respect

M Burgess

24 July 2008 at 09:48  
Anonymous tiberswimmer said...

Once more, may I thank Your Grace for his reply and kind words. My indulgence (that word again) is given freely and happily. And please don't be too concerned about this little bother - it happens all the time.

Now about the title - it, like so many honours and benefices in the kingdom, was, shall we say . . . procured.

24 July 2008 at 10:23  
Blogger sexy said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

14 January 2009 at 07:29  

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