Thursday, April 30, 2009

Michael Nazir-Alir: 'Don't look to Bishops for moral lead'

Cranmer has been sent a link to this statement by the Bishop of Rochester which appears on Iain Dale's Diary. Mr Dale is not best pleased with Cranmer at the moment, so His Grace is relieved that Mr Dale is finding spiritual succour from the life-giving water of Bishop Michael, a most politically-reliable and theologically-sound alternative.

After a discussion on global capitalism, Mr Dale said: 'I was very impressed by the Bishop of Rochester. In fact, he came out with the quote of the lunch...

If you want a moral lead, don't look to the bishops. I certainly wouldn't.'

And one of Mr Dale's more insightful and discerning communicants adds in the comment thread:

"Always excepting the excellent Cranmer of course!"

Bless him.

The spiritual decline and political fall of the Church of England is rooted in Bishop Michael's observation. The reality is that the moral lead in the UK now comes from the Roman Catholic bishops who also happen to be rather good at attracting and using the media. The archbishops who head each church are now somewhat polarised, and Cranmer is hard pressed to find areas of agreement between Rowan Williams and Vincent Nichols. While the latter ascends to the stratosphere, the former is mired in a religio-political morass of perpetual compromise. The via media has been 'enhanced' with a via sinistra and a via dextra and all roads no longer lead to Rome (though the via dextra might some day soon).

Perhaps Bishop Michael should go into politics?

Bishop Michael has clarified his words to Church Mouse:

'What I said was that you cannot leave giving a moral lead to the Bishops. The discussion arose because of a remark about something Harold MacMillan had said. I said first that ‘giving a moral lead’ and ‘behaving morally are not the same thing. Some (including bishops) may be called to give a lead, but everyone is expected to behave morally. Secondly, that giving a moral lead should not be left to bishops. I certainly would not leave it to them.

'This is, more or less, what I said to Paddy Ashdown at a pre-election breakfast some years ago. There were two bishops at the lunch giving a moral lead and I am, myself, not known to be unwilling in this respect, however modest my contribution might be.

+Michael Nazir-Ali
30 April 2009'


Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

30 April 2009 at 19:49  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Mr McKenzie

If I may assist, His Grace uses Latin; via media means the ‘middle way’ or facilitator if you like. It is a term first coined in the days of Henry VIII and later resurrected in the time of Elizabeth I to denote the compromise reached between warring parties of divergent protestant persuasion in England. Depending on your point of view it was between the Calvinists and Lutheran traditions or puritan protestant and catholic Anglicans (note small c as the Roman Catholics were excluded from all agreements as they were too busy being fined, imprisoned, tortured or executed).

The term disappeared during the Protectorate of Cromwell until the restoration of Charles II by which time it had effectively lost its meaning but was retained as a foot note of early Anglican Spin. It next took on any meaningful significance during the days of the 19c Oxford Movement or Tractarianism as it was known (an affiliation of High Church Anglicans), when a general lack of confidence by some Anglican clergy in the validity of their ordination subsequently resulted in them seeking clarification from the then Pope Pope Leo XIII, for which they have felt slighted ever since. Well if they didn’t want to know the answer they shouldn’t have asked the question.

Back to His graces Latin via sinistra means the left way (sinistra = left from which we get sinister and a smack on the back of the hand with a ruler if you insist on writing with it) and via dextra means the right way (dextra = right from which we also get dexterous). In Anglican church politics sinistra are the liberals (women and gays) and dextra are the traditionalists.

As you may know the Pope has appointed Archbishop Vincent Nichols to replace Archbishop Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor as the new Archbishop of Westminster and leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales. It is thought that in Catholic teaching, Ab. Nichols will be more in tune with Rome than his predecessor or Rowan Williams (and therefore more likely to attract the criticism of the BBC, the Tablet and their ilk). Time will tell if this is indeed the case.

I think Ab. Nichols is far more savvy when it comes to the Media (TV etc), he is able to think on his feet and is a bit of a charmer where Ab. Murphy-O'Connor seems more at home out of the spotlight. Saying that the output from Eccleston Square (RCC Admin HQ) over the past years has progressively become more dyer. It is only the ineptitude and ignorance of the Media in matters RCC that has prevented it from having a bean feast, so as for attracting and using the Media, I think it is more an own goal on their part than any conscious effort on the part of the RCC.

In the last sentence His Grace is saying that because the Anglican Communion is now so infused with socialists it is likely those remaining High Church Anglicans may in the near future swim the Tiber. If it were to happen it would be entirely the wrong reason to join the Roman Catholic Church.

Hope that helps.

30 April 2009 at 22:26  
Anonymous len said...

Romani ite domum!

30 April 2009 at 23:15  
Anonymous churchmouse not Church Mouse! said...

Sounds so much better in Latin, doesn't it?

Oh well! Home Rule for Britain, anyway.

30 April 2009 at 23:47  
Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Vot - a Bishop who actually believes in Christianity !!!

Shurely shome misstake

Oh - BTW

Surely, Ien, it should be (at least for left-footers) :

Ite Domum Romanorum (or rather Romanarum, in these enLightened Harmanesque times)

1 May 2009 at 09:44  
Blogger John Woolman said...

About a month ago I gave an introductory lecture on medical law and ethics to around 240 first year medical students. I asked have many had studied Latin or Greek. Two hands went up. Res ipse loquitor

1 May 2009 at 10:03  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Recusant,

His Grace is most appreciative of your patient exposition of his meaning for Mr McKenzie's spiritual edification.

Bless you.

One might have expected a word of gratitude from Mr McKenzie for your labours.

1 May 2009 at 10:38  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Bishop Michael has mounted a stunning attack upon our bishops. He stated, ‘Secondly, that giving a moral lead should not be left to bishops. I certainly would not leave it to them.’

My Lord Bishop is certain.

The object of the attack is clearly liberal bishops. It is they who undermine the faith of the weak, the immature and the young.

It is they who have had their moral development arrested by liberal theological colleges. They must have attended lectures hoping for bread to be cast at them to satisfy their souls’ longings. And what did receive?


Their judgment will be great. As the light from the stars takes time to reach the earth, so does their judgment.

In the mean time our youngsters must discipline themselves to read the works of the American-Swiss philosopher Francis A. Schaeffer, C. S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton so that they are equipped to carry the battle to the pulpit.

1 May 2009 at 11:04  
Anonymous len said...

Religion has a serious problem which I believe is terminal and in total opposition to the original intention of God.
In the old covenant priests were mediators between a Holy God and an unholy people.
In the new covenant we are supposed to be in a direct relationship with Jesus Christ who is the head of the body.
However ,
religion does not like this new role and competes with Christ to be the head of the Body., hence the manipulation and the control of organised religion.
What we need are not theologians, but Spirit filled leaders who point the way to Christ not themselves!

1 May 2009 at 13:40  
Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 May 2009 at 17:55  
Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 May 2009 at 14:35  
Anonymous egh said...

Yes, I think coffee house has taken a strong left turn. The page McKenzie cites seems pretty subversive to me... not pro-British, English, CoE, Anglican, or maybe even Christian!
Fortunately, they manage to irritate some of their traditional audience into response - but the numbers decline.

Even Phillips may have fewer ... her popularity strikes me as odd; but maybe the speccie publishers have the Daily Mail readership as their next target.

2 May 2009 at 22:31  

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