Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tony Blair venerates the bones of St Thérèse of Lisieux

Matthew Parris (who describes himself as a ‘lapsed militant atheist’) decided yesterday to visit Westminster Cathedral to pay his respects to a big arched glass box containing the ornate wooden house with little tiles, embracing the sealed alabaster box in which the bones of St Thérèse of Lisieux lay. Or, as he says, 'were presumed to lie'.

As he queued with the faithful, he passed a sign which said ‘The Plenary Indulgence’, and which went on to explain that a plenary indulgence is the complete remission of the temporal punishment due to sin. Apparently Pope Benedict has declared a special grant of indulgences to pilgrims to these relics at Westminster: ‘One plenary indulgence may be gained each day and may be applied either to a soul in Purgatory or the pilgrim himself or herself’.

Mr Parris’ response: ‘A Lutheran rage rose in my gorge. Jesus would have been incandescent. I think I’m a Protestant atheist.’

At least the indulgences are not being sold (unless the peripheral stores selling candles for £1 and roses for £1 or fish and chips for £3.75 count as collateral profiteering).

But on leaving the cathedral, Matthew Paris had a surprise encounter (or meeting of eyes) with our former prime minister and latter-day convert to the faith, Tony Blair.

Why would Mr Blair be venerating the thigh and foot bones of a 19th-century French saint? Why would he seek to light a candle, clutch a rose, touch the glass box, and stare at an ornate wooden casket containing a few bones which he trusts are contained therein?

This was no photo opportunity: Mr Blair was anonymous and alone, which rather indicates sincerity in his Guardian-Tablet-Romish piety.

Was he hoping to beseech St Thérèse for a little French-Catholic intercession in his bid to become President of Europe?

Or was he seeking the plenary indulgence to relieve the punishment due because of his manifold (mortal) sins?


Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

I am no theologian.

The Catholic Encyclopaedia states:

‘The most important distinction, however, is that between plenary indulgences and partial. By a plenary indulgence is meant the remission of the entire temporal punishment due to sin so that no further expiation is required in Purgatory.’

Surely that cannot be right. No, I say, No Christian church can be teaching this.

Let’s get this right: this is about a journey from here to eternity. This is about where men will spend eternity. The Catholics just cannot be right on this.

15 October 2009 at 09:10  
Anonymous Knighthawk said...

Away with relics and veneration of saints! Away with elevation of our favourite preachers and Bible scholars too for that matter. God must have pre-eminence. Let us have no clouds that even partially eclipse His light or rob him of His glory.
We must support our spiritual life by spiritual food, and that spiritual food is the Lord Jesus. Not His life, or death, or offices, or work, or word alone, but Himself, as including all these. On Jesus Himself we must feed. Salvation is found in no one else.

15 October 2009 at 09:13  
Blogger McKenzie said...

Quite remarkable Your Grace.

15 October 2009 at 09:33  
Blogger tory boys never grow up said...

Which part of "let he is without sin cast the first stone" did you fail to understand?

Being an agnostic I don't have the same problem.

15 October 2009 at 09:43  
Anonymous The only Heterosexual in the Village said...

I think you are tilting at jugs of water here Your Grace, you cannot see the puddles for the rain so to speak.

Without such things as relics there would be nothing to be protestant about I suppose though. It makes me think about a world that eventually turns completely queer, eventually someone would have to come out of the closet and start a heterosexual rights movement.

15 October 2009 at 09:53  
Blogger D. Singh said...


It appears that it is you who fails to understand. Jesus was not demonstrating any social democratic left-liberal credentials.

Nor was He condoning her wrong-doing.

15 October 2009 at 09:53  
Blogger D. Singh said...

At 09.53 am

Your principle appears to be that if it was not for Catholic wrong-doing there would be no Protestant right-doing.

That is unsustainable as an argument.

Somebody fetch me a Catholic priest. An explanation is required.

15 October 2009 at 10:00  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

I didn't know that Tony Blair was allowed back in this country actually...

That's a bit disappointing.

15 October 2009 at 10:06  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Very well then.

If a priest cannot be found then a cardinal will do. Or must I knock on the doors of the Vatican and sweep aside the Pontifical Swiss Guard?

15 October 2009 at 10:24  
Blogger Theo said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 October 2009 at 10:25  
Blogger Theo said...

When we can worship a living Christ dead women's bones seem a poor substitute.

I always thought an indulgence was Blair giving a peerage for cash. Perhaps Rome taught hime a trick or two.

15 October 2009 at 10:29  
Blogger ukipwebmaster said...

This story has Leggs:

15 October 2009 at 10:31  
Anonymous Dick the Prick said...

Perhaps his heart problem is worse than suspected - born & raised a Catholic myself (and in receipt of a plenary indulgence by Pope John Paul II - result!) I have noticed a marked shift in my mum's generation when coffin dodging becomes a strategic desire. Fair play, none of my business.

OT - but one of the best things about being Catholic is the ability to utterly dodge Mormons which I had the unintentional fortune to do this morning. 'No, no, i'm a Catholic don't you know - deal sealed I'm afraid - now what's for breakfast?'

I'm not much of a fan of people 'converting' to anything really. Can't they just be interested and pop along? I dunno - guess it's bugger all to do with me.

15 October 2009 at 10:35  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

It appears that your post has perplexed many of your communicants. In an age, and in a country where Christianity is hard pressed on all sides this issue risks dividing Catholic and Protestant Christian.

On the other-hand it is the duty of every Christian to speak truth to his neighbour.

It reminds me a quote by one of America’s greatest ‘philosopher-kings’ of the 20th Century.

‘Doctrinal rightness and rightness of ecclesiastical position are important, but only as a starting point to go on into a living relationship [with Jesus] - and not as ends in themselves.’

Francis A. Schaeffer (1912 – 1984)

Those of you who are young and really do want to explore the great questions of life and death may wish to visit: L’Abri.

The Shelter.

15 October 2009 at 10:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tory Boys Never Grow Up:

Are we meant to think that your utterances on various blogs are those of a "grown up"?

15 October 2009 at 11:01  
Anonymous Bethel said...

I'm all for old relics, especially my Mum.

15 October 2009 at 11:12  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

15 October 2009 at 11:16  
Blogger McKenzie said...

To have the statement "Tory boys never grow up" as your Raison d'être is kind of autistic really. It's difficult to connect to such a personality without being seen in the remedial class.

15 October 2009 at 11:19  
Anonymous Dick the Prick said...

Dear Mr/Mrs/Miss McKenzie - with regards to TBNGU, whilst he uses it as an insult he's unwittingly fallen into a relative truism. I think the left want to project how people should live and it's all 'thou shalt' blither whereas Tories are more likely to proscribe 'thou shalt not' but you can do whatever else you want - no probs!

In chatting with my socialist oppo yesterday on OFSTED's new requirements that home schooled kids HAVE to be registered - he came out with a blinder - 'no, you're wrong'. Hokely dokely! There's only 1 person who has authority to tell me waht to do and it ain't government - never was, never will be. The left - how very odd they are.

15 October 2009 at 11:30  
Blogger McKenzie said...

We are all relics of byegone era. It seems I will now be a member of a political Party that is all inclusive. Griffn is to ask members to change it's constitution to allow membership from all races and religions.

We can now join the hidden agenda club of say one thing and do another politics Yay!

15 October 2009 at 11:45  
Anonymous Black and Asian BNP Police federation said...

Hail Mary Mother of Grace.

15 October 2009 at 12:06  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

15 October 2009 at 12:37  
Blogger Bardirect said...

Tony Blair dines from the a la carte menu of religion.

He may have been alone. He was never anonymous.

He didn't do religion whilst he was PM but now he does.

15 October 2009 at 12:42  
Blogger McKenzie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

15 October 2009 at 12:57  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

His Grace has decided to delete some recent contributions. There is no need for (or toleration of) offensive slang terms upon his august blog of intelligent and erudite comment.

15 October 2009 at 13:11  
Blogger Dave said...

When it all comes down to it people believe what they want to believe.

They then go to the religious group that most closely matches their beliefs.

Or to put it another way-

Many people go to church in order to have their prejudices affirmed.

I was born again in 1990, and spent many years as an itinerant preacher and worship leader across the UK. I've been in churches of every denomination and hue, from Catholic to Pentecostal and everything in between.

I learned a lot. (see above)

Bones won't help you. Tongues won't help you. celebrity preachers won't help you. Christian TV and radio won't help you. And ultimately the Church won't help you either.

Churches? You can have them all.

15 October 2009 at 13:44  
Blogger Cardinal Pole-Zapart said...

D Singh

It appears that you are in desperate need of a Cardinal and vow to confront the Holy father if none is available.

What ails you my child? Are you interested in converting to the Roman Catholic Faith?

15 October 2009 at 13:51  
Blogger D. Singh said...


Rest your soul.

I am content to be a co-belligerent with the Catholics.

15 October 2009 at 14:06  
Anonymous Old Grumpy said...

Your Grace - I seem to recall that our Lord Jesus had quite a bit to say about whitewashed sepalcures (please excuse the mis-spelling, but spell check can't find it) and a collection of old bones seems to fit this description quite well. H

Having said that, if such things bring comfort to lots of good fold, who am I to deprive them of it?

Just so long as they don't try to make out that it's particularly Christian to do so.

I guess that makes me a protest-ant.

PS today's word verification is ovenally. Just what should be done with the bones, really

15 October 2009 at 14:11  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

A quote from the York Minster site to which His Grace thoughtfully provided a link in his earlier sermon entitled Rome, Relics, Royalty and Rowan:

Visitors included the Carmelite sisters from Thicket Priory, Thorganby (York) and Wood Hall (Wetherby), and ordained and lay Christians of many denominations. The hourly Offices through most of the night were led by Church of England, Roman Catholic, United Reformed and Methodist ministers.

United Reformed, I believe, means Baptists and Congregationalists and possibly one or two others. So that’s quite an assortment of Protestant clergy. Why, then, are there so many comments on this thread purportedly penned by outraged Protestants? Sneering atheists I can understand, but if anyone wants to shoot their mouth off in the name of Protestantism, they ought to address their grievances to the C of E and other Protestant churches which – presumably after due deliberation – elected to send clergy to take part in the prayers at York Minster.

15 October 2009 at 14:28  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Petram,

In Great Britain and Northern Ireland there are two fundamental parties at loggerheads with each other: the Government and the People.

In the Church of England there are two fundamental parties at loggerheads with each other: the Left-liberal clergy and those of us who sit in the pews listening to another sermon on ‘Why football is a game of two-halves.’

15 October 2009 at 14:41  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Mr Singh, speaking of football, I was delighted to see that Argentina just scraped through after all. They scored their winning goal against Uruguay in the closing minutes of an exceptionally tense game. A World Cup without the Argies wouldn't be the same at all.

Your Grace, forgive me for going off topic, but this is after all an important event in its own way.

15 October 2009 at 14:47  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Petram,

Were they assisted 'by the hand of God'?

begging your pardon, Your Grace.

15 October 2009 at 14:49  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Mr Singh, you mean the fat boy with the sagging jaw who jumps up and down a lot? Well, whether he assisted them or hindered them is a moot point. If he's kept on as coach I suppose it means he's been forgiven for his sins.

15 October 2009 at 14:58  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

Here is the epitaph on Shakespeare’s tombstone:

Good friend for Jesus sake forbear
to dig the dust enclosed here!
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
and curst be he that moves my bones.

I wonder if St Thérèse of Lisieux had an epitah.

15 October 2009 at 15:28  
Anonymous Ron Todd said...

We did not even get a full set of bones. How do they decide which bones go where.

Do a full set have more magic than a partial skeleton? How far down can the magic be diluted if a full set cures cancer would a skull cure pig flu and a sliver from a toe bone be good for a slight case of the sniffles.

15 October 2009 at 15:37  
Blogger PaulineG said...

In the matter of plenary indulgences and in the absence, at least to date, of the priests, cardinals and Pope to whom Mr Singh understandable appealed, perhaps this might help:

Although I confess I have no time to read it in full myself, the opening paragraphs do suggest some misunderstandings within earler comments on the nature of indulgences.

St Therese is certainly having an impact. I was at Aylesford last Saturday. I have never experienced such an atmosphere of love and joy. I shall carry those memories with me always. St Therese pray for us all.

15 October 2009 at 15:45  
Blogger English Viking said...

PaulineG @ 15:45

St Therese is not praying for anybody. She's dead. The same as Mary (but not Jesus, thank God).

15 October 2009 at 16:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@English Viking

You and I are stuck in the temporal realm, Heaven is not so bound.

The Church triumphant is now and always. Just as is the Church in Purgatory (which most protestants don't believe in, at least as far as I understand protestant ideas).

So if St Therese was found worthy of life eternal with jesus Christ and all the saints after her ressurection. Then she is outside time and so can ask (pray to) Jesus Christ (the only intercessor with God) to help us.

Just as we can pray to (ask) Jesus Christ to forgive us our sins and those of those in purgatory or even hell.

We can also ask (pray to) a saint to intercede on our behalf with Christ.

15 October 2009 at 17:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What An Indulgence Is Not:
To facilitate explanation, it may be well to state what an indulgence is not. It is not a permission to commit sin, nor a pardon of future sin; neither could be granted by any power. It is not the forgiveness of the guilt of sin; it supposes that the sin has already been forgiven. It is not an exemption from any law or duty, and much less from the obligation consequent on certain kinds of sin, e.g., restitution; on the contrary, it means a more complete payment of the debt which the sinner owes to God. It does not confer immunity from temptation or remove the possibility of subsequent lapses into sin. Least of all is an indulgence the purchase of a pardon which secures the buyer's salvation or releases the soul of another from Purgatory. The absurdity of such notions must be obvious to any one who forms a correct idea of what the Catholic Church really teaches on this subject.

What an Indulgence Is
An indulgence is the extra-sacramental remission of the temporal punishment due, in God's justice, to sin that has been forgiven, which remission is granted by the Church in the exercise of the power of the keys, through the application of the superabundant merits of Christ and of the saints, and for some just and reasonable motive.

Gives full details

15 October 2009 at 17:33  
Anonymous southwood said...

We need another Luther. Another Luther PLEASE !

15 October 2009 at 17:50  
Blogger Carl Gardner, Head of Legal said...

Do I get let off purgatory even if I don't believe in any of it? I might go myself - I was named after this woman.

15 October 2009 at 17:50  
Blogger Theo said...

Anonymous at 1733

It is interesting that you doubt the all sufficiency of the sacrifice of Jesus.
When and why did Rome invent such nonsense as this.
Presumably God knows that Rome is making rules on His behalf. Any indication whether or not He's likely to honour them?

15 October 2009 at 18:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read '50 years in the church of Rome by Charles Chiniquy,

15 October 2009 at 18:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I am with the bones on this one. If dogs can't eat straw then get out of the manger and make your self useful.

15 October 2009 at 18:46  
Blogger Preacher said...

This whole Blog is starting to sound like that old song "the toe bones connected to the hip bone" etc. Lets get it straight, all this religous hyperbole was invented by men to further their own ambitions, massage their over sized egos & keep the ignorant in check through fear.
Is their a Hell? Yes, is their a Heaven? Yes, is their a Judgement by God? Yes. Can a man who claims falsely to represent God on Earth make a blind bit of difference? No, can praying to a box of bones do any good? No.
We pray to a God who by His Holy Spirit is Omnipresent, (everywhere) thus He is able to hear & respond to our supplications. Poor old Therese is not even close to BEING God thus she is incapable of being Omnipresent & can't even answer the door, (being deceased) Jesus however is not dead & being part of the trinity is able not only to promise salvation having been our perfect sacrifice, eradication of the sin which held us captive by redeeming us, but is also able to be our advocate (defence cousel) with God the Father.
Now if any other fallen sinful human is offered as an alternative, this mockery is the worse form of heresy & any self respecting Christian that accepts this idolatry is guilty of this crime. Blair is so blinded by his own self love that he will clutch at any straw that offers him a chance at further self deification, so it's not surprising for the gaff prone 'teflon' Tone to be hovering over the bones of a poor dead girl, asking for a good word upstairs. Tough luck Tone, no cigar.

15 October 2009 at 19:03  
Anonymous len said...

In 1 Tim. 2:5, Paul wrote, "For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." Any system which posits a mediator in addition to Jesus Christ is a corrupt system which has departed from Jesus Christ. Sometimes the putting of mediators between God and man occurs in subtle manners. We must always be on the look-out that we do not allow such things to happen to us.

15 October 2009 at 20:02  
Anonymous A strange wave variance in the vector stream said...

I think it is too late Len!

15 October 2009 at 20:08  
Blogger English Viking said...

PaulineG @ 15:45

Ah, this is all very interesting. It would be even more so if you could provide Biblical references for these explanations of yours, coupled with your reasons for ignoring the numerous Biblical injunctions on attempting to speak to the dead and venerating useless lumps of wood, metal or anything else (bones?), and trying to obtain forgiveness for sins from anything or anybody other than Jesus and His blood? I'd be much obliged.

15 October 2009 at 20:44  
Anonymous Old Grumpy said...

You Grace - to assist Mr Pretram vis a vis the non conformists, the United Reformed Church (URC) is a church by itself. The Baptists are Baptists and the Methodists are Methodists. The URC is not some for of umbrella organization.

Hope this helps

It doesn't address the issue of why such clergy were visiting the bones, of course. Perhaps they were secretly having a good laugh. (What an unchristian thought, apologies. Any spare indulgences, anyone?)

15 October 2009 at 20:49  
Anonymous len said...

Its never too late to get away from a religion which tells you about God and into a relationship with God!.Our relationship with God is a personal relationship. Do not let anyone or anything come between you and God. If you are not grounded in God's Word, and you do not know the voice of the Holy Spirit in you, then you are vulnerable to bad advice or even false doctrine. God has given apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers for building you up in the faith of the Lord Jesus. They are there to encourage your relationship with God, and not to be a mediator between you and God. Everything they say and do should be pointing you to Jesus Christ and the Word.

15 October 2009 at 21:14  
Anonymous the recusant said...


You are quite right there is one mediator between God and men, Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church does not teach or believe anything different. We do believe that the faithful (alive and well) in heaven can intercede on our behalf and present our petitions to Jesus or His Mother (who will present them to Jesus). Only Jesus is the mediator no other. Can you go direct to Jesus; of course you can, so why go through an intercessor well fist what is Intercession. Intercession is praying for others, one can ask someone to pray for you, have you ever done that?, an Intercessor is one who takes the place of another or pleads another's case.

When you pray this way, you are interceding, have you ever prayed for the benefit of another, your mother, father etc, you are an intercessor. In exactly the same way we believe that the Saints, who are in the presence of God, can present out petition (to Jesus) on our behalf, after all one day (time? Place?) we will be able to speak directly to these very saints. AND when I get there the first person I’ll look for is that Cranmer. I’ve got a word or two for him; let me tell you I’ll give him what for….

If you object to this and think this is wrong then never say another prayer for your family or friends, for the country or Her Majesty because you will be acting just like the ting to which you object, a mediator.

15 October 2009 at 21:24  
Anonymous otacilia severa said...

No, I don't believe it either. But the people in that queue seemed kind, gentle, friendly and generous-minded. They certainly seemed to believe that they were doing honour to the King of Kings by honouring these relics. If they are making a big mistake, doesn't God take account of this and forgive them?

15 October 2009 at 21:43  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Old Grumpy, thanks for your explanation. I thought I'd read a few years ago that some of the smaller Nonconformist churches had merged with one another, but I ought to have checked before writing that comment. Thank you.

15 October 2009 at 21:48  
Blogger Preacher said...

Why all these dead peoples bones? weren't they once just sinful humans saved by grace? Let the living pray for the living. Does not the scripture condemn contact with the dead as the same as sorcery? I would suggest that this is because of the great danger of deception that can, has & is being wrought by the enemy on those that lack wisdom, discernment & now blindly follow religious teaching to their potential detriment instead of reading their Bibles to see what the Almighty says.

15 October 2009 at 21:50  
Anonymous anthony said...

In a column some years ago, Parris saw at a homosexual club which he frequented an unlikely (and presumably participating)MP. He kept his identity secret,presumably because it would have done the MP's career at the time no good. Now he chances upon Tony Blair exiting Westminster Cathedral. Did Parris see Blair venerate the relics? No mention of that. Had Blair gone for other reasons? Prayer perhaps or Confession (now wouldn't that make those who hate him salivate). What is unnerving is that a cultured despiser of religion should think it appropriate to enter a building he would wish never to have been built, to feign participation in a ritual which he considers primitive and loathesome and to "out" a prominent individual who was around at the time and may, just may, have taken part in the ritual in which he,dishonourably,took part. What next? Perhaps he could pocket at Mass a consecrated host,take it away and write another oh-so-superior anti-catholic piece to satisfy the hunger of those many who seem to share his hatred in a nation that was after all built on anti-catholicism.

15 October 2009 at 22:04  
Anonymous Knighthawk said...

The reasoning that asking departed saints for their prayers is no different than asking a fellow Christian for prayer is challenged by a former Catholic at the following link:

It is a useful response to an argument that sounds reasonable but is misleading and deceptive.

15 October 2009 at 22:09  
Anonymous sydney said...

You're showing levity and light hearted irreverent humour of late Grumps.You're acquiring a whiff of the Protestant about you.Maybe you've been on this site too long.
As for viewing the bones,well,it seems harmless enough.I have a theory though that if the Church wants more saintly people it should stop this practice.It may be acting as a deterrent to potential Catholics saints who are not keen on being dismembered .

15 October 2009 at 22:16  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Sydney, I thought it was the other way round. Aren't Catholics the ones who are said to wear their religion lightly and Protestants the glum dour puritanical ones, constantly snooping to see whether they can't catch somebody breaking the sola scriptura rule? Certainly here on His Grace's blog the majority of the comments seem to bear this out.

15 October 2009 at 22:27  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

Hank,you and Recusant could never be accused of wearing religion
Mr Singh isn't a Lutheran.He is an
Anglican with strong overtones of
surrealism.McKenzie could never be
called puritanical or dour.Even
His Grace gets raunchy on occasion.
Who are the glum dour puritanical Protestants you referring to?

15 October 2009 at 23:45  
Anonymous no nonny said...

"but if anyone wants to shoot their mouth off in the name of Protestantism, they ought to address their grievances to the C of E and other Protestant churches which – presumably after due deliberation – elected to send clergy to take part in the prayers at York Minster: ..."

Your statement raises issues of freedom of speech, Mr. Petram: It's all right for RCs to speak out, but not for Protestants?

On the rest of your point: Who says we haven't tried to tell the Church what we like and want, Mr. Petram? What you fail to see, I think, is that the CoE type Protestant Churches are following euSSR method and totalitarianism: they're forcing RCism on us whether we like it or not. And we're supposed to be so stupid that we haven't noticed.

Beyond the matter of the abolition of British Indpendence and Freedom, it seems to work on the same principle as the requirement to pursue English studies in light of franco-german claptrap - or not at all. When it comes to Chaucer or Wyclif, for example, I have been shouted down for believing their criticisms of 'claimed' malpractices in the Church of their day ... including the very bone worship and indulgence sales we're discussing on this strand.

Last time I told an English vicar I disliked all the RCism creeping into our services nowadays - he shrugged his shoulders and said "What do you think I can do about it?"

Last time I was at Wakefield Cathedral, I wanted to buy a cross: for personal and family reasons, and because of the special history of Wakefield. They offered euro crucifixes and olive wood, etc. When I asked for something English, a cross not a crucifix, and preferably from Wakefield, they sneered and offered a cheap, rough-hewn, mis-shapen cross made from the oak of old pews. So that's what I took; and I love it dearly.

My church in the US states plainly that it is about becoming one with RC. If I don't like it I have to give up the few Anglican things they're retaining and vote with my feet. Which I have begun to do.

So ... I'm not a bit surprised Bliar is hanging around the presumably TB-ridden bones - he's probably checking out how many of us are doing what we're told; or whether we're falling for the drama; or ... what His Grace says.

~~Where is this Lisi.. place anyway? Frightfully 'elite' and superior to anything British, is it? The froggies really believe we think that way, as I've heard say from francophile academics.

16 October 2009 at 00:27  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Sydneysider, I think the comment immediately following yours (and just above this one) answers your concluding question for you.

For an instance of sola scriptura snooping, I would cite this demand by English Viking (15 Oct. at 20:44):

It would be even more so if you could provide Biblical references for these explanations of yours, coupled with your reasons for ignoring the numerous Biblical injunctions on attempting to speak to the dead and venerating useless lumps of wood, metal or anything else (bones?), [. . .]

Ultramontane grumpy old catholic is the name that springs to mind to illustrate what I mean by Catholics wearing their religion lightly, in numerous posts (though none on this thread, except for the briefest of one-liners).

Did I ever suggest that D. Singh is a Lutheran? I don't think so, but if I did, it was wholly unintentional. I know very well that he isn't.

16 October 2009 at 02:25  
Blogger Holy Smoke said...

It seems that many of us don't want to be reminded that we are dust and unto dust we return. Can some CoE member explain the point of the basement of St. Paul's. Isn't this a place to visit and be reminded of the great people in history? True all were not saints but they tried to help a nation. Shouldn't some of them be venerated? It seems we lead awful cold and dreary lives if we only focus on the here and now. We are all pilgrims on a journey. All of us are not good at abstract thought if a visual object helps us in our contemplative process so be it.

16 October 2009 at 05:03  
Anonymous Fox in sox said...

there is no doubt in my mind that worship of bones and other relics is a fundamental distraction and obstacle to a relationship with the living God. Do not believe any intermediary who wants to put themself in the way of that relationship.

There are times when I see the pope as providing a public moral stance, but when I see the nonsense and idolatry of the church of Rome and the half hearted fellow travelers in the Church of England, I am reinforced in my Nonconformism. If the URC is now contaminated by this nonsense I am tempted to despair.

Jesus described the kingdom of God as like a mustard seed, a very small seed capable of growing into a very large plant. While the seed is still in existence we should do our best against the weeds that stifle it.

Tony Blair is once again deluded if he thinks that bones can help him. He had better repent soon, before it is too late.

16 October 2009 at 06:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Carl Gardner, Head of Legal
Do I get let off purgatory even if I don't believe in any of it?

I don't think anyone gets out of going to purgatory, we have all sinned even the greatest of the saints I suspect.

Apart from those alive at the reserection perhaps

16 October 2009 at 07:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is interesting that you doubt the all sufficiency of the sacrifice of Jesus.

Who doubts it?
We must be remoresful of our sins for them to be forgiven and any forgiveness is by the grace of Christ Jesus alone.
No remorse along with an aim to sin no more and we are abjuring Christ's sacrifice and will not be forgiven.

When and why did Rome invent such nonsense as this.

About the same time as confessing of sins. One of the wordly punishments (handed out to show contrition) was to go on pilgrimage.

Presumably God knows that Rome is making rules on His behalf. Any indication whether or not He's likely to honour them?

If they are acceptable he will honour them, if not not.

If they bring people to focus on and try to emulate the lives of the saints then they are good.

For those who do it out of false piety they just compound the sins.

16 October 2009 at 07:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@English Viking and Knight Hawk

Revelations is in your version of the Bible, unless it is a very strange Bible.

There you'll find the Church trumphant.

Saints bringing prayers to Christ Jesus is described therein.

We also known that God is eternal, we know that he is outside time as both the past and future of this universe are an open book for God.

The Church's justification for purgatory is multi-fold, the main one being.
1) Maccabees (not considered canon by many protestants, but that's their error)

16 October 2009 at 07:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On re-reading some posts it seems people are confusing words that are used in an lod sense as opposed to their modern sense.


They do not mean the same thing.

Today, adore is used most loosely and often replaces like. But as we know Adoration is only due to Christ or God.

Veneration in modern usage is considered more important than adoration, when it is really the least of the three.

We venerate many peope for various reasons.
In the case of the Saints it is because they have led worthy lives that served God's pupose (well hopefully they did). Those who venerate the Saints are those who wish to emulate their piety and lives and by so doing come closer to being what Christ wishes us to be.
Some revere the memory of those who did great deeds (explorers, scirntists, warriors etc). The saints aren't or shouldn't be worshipped or adored.

So, I suspect a lot of the problem comes from words changing their meaning over time.

16 October 2009 at 07:54  
Blogger D. Singh said...


A few notes on C.S. Lewis and the subject of ‘Christian reunion’.

In the essay Christian Reunion he states that the real disagreement between Catholics and Protestants is not about any particular belief, but about the source and nature of doctrine and authority:

"The real reason I cannot be in communion with you is ... that to accept your Church means not to accept a given body of doctrine but to accept in advance any doctrine that your Church hereafter produces."

When Lewis was working on Mere Christianity, he had Book II vetted by Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist, and Presbyterian clergymen, to avoid any hint of denominational bias creeping in. In a telling passage in Allegory of Love he recognises the potential flaws in both the Catholic and the Protestant paths:

"When Catholicism goes bad it becomes the world-old, world-wide religion of amulets and holy places and priest craft; Protestantism, in its corresponding decay, becomes a vague mist of ethical platitudes."

16 October 2009 at 08:06  
Anonymous southwood said...


Who says not accepting Maccabees 1 is the "error" of protestants ?

The RC "church" ?

Well, who says they are right ? Read your bible Anonymous i.e. Genesis to Revelation exclusively. Revelation chapter 22, especially, since it curses those who add to the bible.

16 October 2009 at 09:33  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Cassell's Latin Dictionary* shows:
s.v: veneror -ari dep.
1) to ask reverently, beseech with awe.

2) to revere, respect, worship, honour.

*Cassell's Latin Dictionary. Ed. D. P. Simpson. Macmillan, USA:1959.

Further ~~ adore stems from ad + orare - so 'to pray to'.

And 'worship' is from: OE 'weorthian'** - to esteem, honour, distinguish, celebrate, exalt, praise ... the noun therefore having signified worth, respect, honour, dignity, glory.

s.v. **Clark Hall, J.R. ed. "A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary." 4th ed. Supplement by Herbert D. Merritt. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1960.

Apparently the definitions of 'glum,' 'dour,' and 'puritannical' are now re-inscribed and narrowed to describe anyone who refutes RCism and the euSSR and who, in consequence, believes in fighting for Freedom of Speech, Thought, and for the Independence of Britain.

Then denigrate away, Mr. Petram! I'm delighted that you're plaiting a crown for me to wear in Heaven!!!

16 October 2009 at 09:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I'm sure that those who remove from the Bible aren't beloved either.

Orthodox, Copts, Abyssian etc Churchs accept Macabees as canon.
Add the Catholic church to the list and you have the early churches.

The fact that some, not all, break away sects discarded them is for them to explain.

16 October 2009 at 09:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@no nonny

That a dictionary mixes them up isn't a correction.

Words may have the same root and different meaning.

Or are you literally claiming that in theology or even in the vernacular they mean the same thing?

In a strict sense (i.e. what theology uses) an act of religion offered to God in acknowledgment of His supreme perfection and dominion, and of the creature's dependence upon Him

Veneration: Latin servitus), a theological term signifying the honour paid to the saints, while latria means worship given to God alone

It does matter a great deal what meaning of these words is used and meant.
The Orthodox and Catholic churchs when speaking on such things are speaking on theology so it may be worthwhile finding out what meaning they ascribe to the words rather than imposing your own view.

Oh yes, just in case it is brought up, marianology is a heresy according to the Church. Mary is venerated as are all the Saints.

16 October 2009 at 10:06  
Anonymous no nonny said...

I wasn't correcting or claiming.
Just pointing it out.
Suit yourself what meanings or developments you derive.

16 October 2009 at 11:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fish & Chips for £3.75- sounds like a miracle to me - we would have to pay £5.00 for that here!!

16 October 2009 at 11:59  
Anonymous A Catholic said...

I invite those of you with questions about the Catholic doctrine of indulgences to consider the following analogy.

Imagine a boy has just broken a shop window. When he gets home he pretends nothing has happened even though he and his father both know what he had done. The father loves his son but as a responsible father he can't just forget and move on. Only when the son confesses can their relationship be restored. Indeed because the father is pleased that his sin was honest, humble and courageous enough to confess their relationship may even have improved.

This is similar to the relationship between the soul and God which is broken by mortal sin and restored by repentance and confession.

However the story cannot end here because in justice the boy must pay the shopkeeper enough money to fix the window. However the father knows he doesn't have enough money and so of mercy gives his son a contribution he can manage and then pays the rest himself. Having contribute something makes his son more aware of his offence and keener to amend himself thanif he got away without punishment or need of restitution.

In the same way the merciful God does not ask us to suffer all that justice requires but rather accepts the little things that we can offer (like venerating the relics of his beloved servant St Therese) and, if we are truly sorry, supplies the rest Himself from the infinite merits of Christ.

The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ and thus He has willed to exercise this Indulgent mercy through the one he chose as visible Head of that Body on Earth, namely the successor of St. Peter, the Roman Pontiff.

16 October 2009 at 15:04  
Blogger D. Singh said...

A Catholic

We shall no doubt consider this subject again and no doubt we shall be pleased to read your explanation.

But today, we are quiet and in prayer.

For our beloved leader is down on his knees this day. So patiently we wait for him to rise again.

This whole website is quiet.

16 October 2009 at 15:51  
Anonymous RonTodd said...

What would I be doing differently physically or mentaly if I was venerating instead of worshiping?

What sin on this earth deserves an eternity (wghich is a very long time)
in the burning pit of hell

16 October 2009 at 16:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If you are adoring God then you are giving yourself to God, heart and soul and trusting in the mercy and redemption gained for us by Christ Jesus.

When you venerate someone, or their life you aren't giving anything.
In the case of Saints you are reflecting on how they lived their lives, hopefully with the intention of trying to follow in their footsteps and so lead a better life.
The same would occur if you happened to venerate the life and works of Sir Isaac Newton or Einstein with the intention of using them as a role model in becoming a great scientist.

Of course ignoring any things they may have done that are sinful (in the case of Saints) or unscientific (in the cases of Sir Isaac Newton and Einstein).

16 October 2009 at 17:22  
Anonymous len said...

A Catholic. "If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin" (1 John 1:17)


For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. - EPHESIANS 5:23

But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. - EPHESIANS 4:15-16

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. - COLOSSIANS 1:18

16 October 2009 at 20:34  
Anonymous southwood said...


I see you mention all the churches who use idols. So did they get that in the Apocrypha too ?

The canon of scripture of the early church did not include the Apocrypha.

You need protestant enlightening.

16 October 2009 at 23:15  
Anonymous Michael Canaris said...


--Who says not accepting Maccabees 1 is the "error" of protestants ?

The RC "church" ?--

On the contrary, along with St Jerome we do accept it (amongst certain other apocryphal books emanating from the Septuagint) as fitting for example of life and instruction of manners, albeit not viewing them as fit for ultimate determination of doctrinal question.

17 October 2009 at 11:14  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

'albeit not viewing them as fit
for ultimate determination of doctrinal question' What does that mean exactly?

17 October 2009 at 12:47  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

A question about Limbo for Mr Canaris.
Has the Pope proclaimed that Limbo never existed or did he just close it down?Did all the unbaptised babies get trucked into heaven or where they in Heaven anyway because the Church made a mistake and Limbo didn't exist after all?

17 October 2009 at 13:04  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

Where=were typo?

17 October 2009 at 13:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see you mention all the churches who use idols. So did they get that in the Apocrypha too ?

You say they are apocrypha the Church doesn't.

What are these idols you write of?

The canon of scripture of the early church did not include the Apocrypha.

The early church didn't have the New Testament. Would you throw that away also?

Though I would dispute your claim in any case. The Church, especially that in Jerusalem, accepted the testament of the Jews in full, what we now call the old testament minus some restrictions reserved for the Jews and not applicable to Christians' Maccabees included.

You need protestant enlightening.

Which protestant enlightening would that be then?

So many splinter groups, how to choose amongst so many false inerpretations of the Word.

17 October 2009 at 13:35  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Not only I Maccabees but II, III, and IV Maccabees are in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible compiled in Alexandria several centuries earlier than the Masoretic text (in Hebrew), which superseded the Septuagint as the accepted Jewish canon.

The question why certain books got left out (III and IV Maccabees by the Catholics, all four books of Maccabees by the Jews and, later, by Martin Luther) is a complex one. In some cases the answer may simply be that the book was written in Greek and the Masoretic scholars accepted only books orginally written in Hebrew. In other cases it may be a question of content. There isn’t a single answer to explain every one of the decisions to leave out this or that book.

17 October 2009 at 16:12  
Anonymous Michael Canaris said...

--'albeit not viewing them [certain apocryphal books] as fit
for ultimate determination of doctrinal question' What does that mean exactly?

That said books, contrary to Rome's assertion, don't work as some sort of trump-card to decide Christian truth.

17 October 2009 at 17:01  
Anonymous Michael Canaris said...

--Has the Pope proclaimed that Limbo never existed or did he just close it down?--
Neither (he simply papered-over speculation concerning it along similar lines to how certain predecessors of his papered-over contention between various orders concerning predestination, election and free-will.)

--Did all the unbaptised babies get trucked into heaven or where they in Heaven anyway because the Church made a mistake and Limbo didn't exist after all?--
Going by the preponderance of speculation prior to Limbo's initial positing, I'm afraid a rather less comfortable place of consignment seems more plausible.

17 October 2009 at 17:20  
Anonymous len said...

Does the Bible teach that babies go to hell when they die? In order to answer this question, we must find a biblical example in which an infant died, and in which his or her eternal destination is recorded. To do such is not difficult. In 2 Samuel 12, King David’s newborn son fell terminally ill. After seven days, the child died. In verses 22 and 23, the Bible records that David said: “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” It is clear that David’s dead infant son would never return to this Earth, but David also said that one day, he would go to be with his son. Through inspiration, David documented that his own eternal destination was going to be “in the house of the Lord” (Psalm 23:6). Therefore, we can conclude that “the house of the Lord” would be the eternal destination of his infant son to whom David would one day go. King David was looking forward to the day when he would be able to meet his son in heaven. Absolutely nothing in this context gives any hint that the dead infant son’s soul would go to hell.

Furthermore, Jesus said in Matthew 18:3-5:

Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

17 October 2009 at 18:21  
Anonymous len said...

The Bible nowhere teaches that babies go to hell if they die in infancy. Neither does it teach that babies inherit the sins of their parents. Although many skeptics have tried to portray God as an evil tyrant Who condemns innocent children to eternal destruction, their arguments are without merit or any semblance of biblical credence. In the words of Jesus Christ, “Let the little children come to me.”

17 October 2009 at 18:23  
Anonymous southwood said...


Idols are against scripture. Protestantism is anti idols, anti Apocarypha as canon of scripture (as e.g. Maccabees contains error i.e. purgatory - definitely contradicts NT teaching. Who are we to accept = Paul or Maccabees ?

Yes you do need enlightening. You are pointing to traditions of men.

Read the bible as I said before and NOT dubious texts which contradict it.

17 October 2009 at 18:32  
Anonymous Michael Canaris said...

--Neither does it teach that babies inherit the sins of their parents.--
On the contrary, David asserts in Ps. 51 that he was.

To formally deny a genetic component to Original Sin is rank Pelagianism and contrary to the very raison d'être of the Reformation.

18 October 2009 at 01:33  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

Maccabees contains error i.e. purgatory -

Southwood, does the word "purgatory" actually appear in either I or II Maccabees?
Chapter and verse, please?

18 October 2009 at 02:11  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

@ Mr.Canaris
The fact that you use a term like 'paper over' suggests something dodgy and expedient.It was my understanding that if the Pope made
a pronouncement ex cathedra that Catholics were compelled to abide by the ruling without question as the Holy Spirit has spoken through the Pope.I think you may have just committed a sin. Hope it's not a big one and you don't get hit by a bus before you get to confession.

My greatest opposition to the Catholic Church is its attempt to destroy freedom of thought in the individual and to keep him subjugated. Living under fear of damnation in the torments of hell is such a cruel and wicked enforcement of the teachings of Jesus. A callous murderer and a Catholic woman who takes a contraceptive pill both end up in hell as sinners. Even if hell is compartmentalized with different levels of suffering,it is still
unacceptable.I can only think that there is a lot of 'papering over' going on in your Church to keep up the numbers.
Mistakes have been made
particularly of late in the Anglican Church but they are mistakes that were made in pursuing freedom for the individual. Anglicanism is the human face of Christianity.Thank God!

18 October 2009 at 02:57  
Anonymous Michael Canaris said...

--The fact that you use a term like 'paper over' suggests something dodgy and expedient.--
Precisely my intent.

--I think you may have just committed a sin.--
Guilty as charged (having offended against God's holy laws and left undone my duty, it seems there is no health in me.)

--I can only think that there is a lot of 'papering over' going on in your Church to keep up the numbers.--
No doubt, although I somewhat suspect you might be mistaken concerning which church is mine.

18 October 2009 at 03:31  
Anonymous len said...

M Canaris : Re purgatory,
The Bible, however clearly states:
Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect for ever those who are being made holy.Hebrews 10:14 NIV
Grace can only be sought in the merits of Christ and sacraments cannot contribute to one’s salvation.

If by one sacrifice Christ justifies the sinner who comes to Him in repentance, then it also follows that the doctrine of purgatory has no Biblical basis. In fact, Catholic doctrine completely negates the ministry of Christ and replaces it with salvation by the system. The Pope becomes the supreme leader, the priest becomes the one who forgives transgression and Mary becomes the mediator between man and God.

The Catholic Church has elevated Mary to the level of mediator, advocate and co-redeemer of man in clear and direct contradiction of the Scriptures. In 1854, Pope Pius IX declared Mary ‘immaculate’, and in 1951, Pope Pius XII defined and enforced the doctrine of the Bodily Assumption of Mary, thus placing Mary in a position to act as mediator and supporting the long list of claims made by Catholic saints over time.

Catholicism is basically a ' man made religious system'

18 October 2009 at 11:01  
Anonymous Michael Canaris said...

While I grant what you said concerning purgatory, Len, declarations of particular bishops, irrespective of their see's illustriousness or the fond pretensions of their acolytes, don't ipso facto constitute Catholic Doctrine.

18 October 2009 at 11:21  
Anonymous Ron Todd said...

All religions are a man made religious system.

Some of them are less self contradictory than others and some change less over time than others.

18 October 2009 at 14:56  
Blogger Preacher said...

I have found that a lot of R.C doctrine is in error, but the Word is there for correction IF one reads it. For example, the old favourite of transubstantiation which many honest & learned men died for refuting (including His Grace Archbishop Cranmer himself) is easily proven false by the book of Hebrews. It seems that speculation about the Apocarypha being acceptable as part of Holy writ by Rome is a case of straining out gnats if Hebrews is not read & assimilated as truth.
But history itself records the wicked attempts to suppress the Bible by Rome so that men would not be able to uncover her secrets & be freed from her tyranical bonds of fear. I have no dispute with the victims of this religous ogre, but only with the centuries of its leaders whose hands are stained with the blood of Christs martyrs.

18 October 2009 at 17:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Again I ask, what idols do you speak of?

Choosing between St Paul and Maccabees is a non choice, Paul was an observant Jew after all.

I may need enlightning, if I do I'll become a Budhhist :o)

But you've written naught to sway me.

I am pointing to the traditions of The Church. I'm not a Sola Scriptura person.

18 October 2009 at 17:33  
Anonymous len said...

Ron Todd.
Gods plan for mans redemption is a total work of Gods grace, from start to finish.
God did the difficult bit, suffered and made atonement for man sins, whipped, mocked , crucified, rose again on the third day.
Man gets the easy bit, puts faith in what God did.

I guess God hates religion as much as most people do,Jesus called the religious hypocrites.

18 October 2009 at 21:31  
Anonymous southwood said...


Such "idols" as statues of Mary and the saints.

Read Paul. He says "it is appointed unto men once to die and after this the judgement". NOT purgatory - "judgement."

Maccabees speaks of a sacrifice for the dead, no ?

Well, if you do not see a contradiction I doubt you'll ever be swayed.

Also Paul condemns the mass in that he said Christ died once for sinners.

Read the bible Anon.,
save my finger on this laptop !

19 October 2009 at 17:52  
OpenID jamestheless said...

Mr Singh,

According to the Roman Catholic Church sins are either "venal" or "mortal". The difference lies in what happens to an RC when he (or she) dies without having received absolution for a sin. For a mortal sin, he will be condemned to Hell for eternity, while for a venal sin he will spend some time in Purgatory before spending the rest of eternity in Heaven.

An analogy would be between crimes that result in the death sentence, and ones that result in imprisonment or a fine. There are even tariffs which prescribe how much time will be spent in Purgatory for the various types of venal sins!

An "indulgence" shortens the time spent in Purgatory - a form of remission for good behaviour, if you like. Many traditional RC devotions, such as the Adoration of the Eucharist or visiting the Stations of the Cross, result in indulgences. Indulgences can also be granted by the Pope on special occasions, such as Jubilee years. Notoriously, it was the sale of indulgences in order to raise money to rebuild St Peter's that triggered the Reformation.

(In fairness, I should state that the doctrine of indulgences was substantially revised at the Second Vatican Council; the emphasis is now on being a more enthusiastic RC as opposed to trying to get off a punishment).

While indulgences and - in this form at least - Purgatory are innovations made by Rome in the Middle Ages, veneration of relics was practised by the early Christians; the first reference is in the Martyrdom of Polycarp, 150-160AD. There are several examples in the Bible of relics being associated with miracles (e.g. II Kings 13:21; Mark 5:25; Acts 19:12).

20 October 2009 at 14:22  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr jamestheless,

Thank you.

But I do not wish to quarrel with anyone until His Grace returns.

My kind regards.

20 October 2009 at 14:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I imagine that T. Blair Esq had more important things on his mind that the Pres of the EU role - like trotting along to see the relics each & every day they're available to view, in the vain hope that he will avoid the afterlife he so richly deserves. Karma, Tony old son - it will get even you & Imelda Slotgob.

20 October 2009 at 16:35  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

Personally I can't stand him, he, like much of our political class are simply charlatans working to a completely different agenda to whay most Brits are.

I'd far rather trust this man than Blair anyday.

President of Iran, Christmas Message
Christmas Wishes

24 October 2009 at 04:42  

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