Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rowan Williams – Defender of the Faith

Cranmer never thought he would write that, but credit where it’s due. The Archbishop of Canterbury appears to have (re-)discovered a (slight) Protestant streak, even if his rebuke to Pope Benedict was cushioned with ecumenical pleasantries, concealed by conciliatory overtures and couched in some of his trademark dense theological verbiage.

His speech/lecture/sermon/six theses, that he nailed to the door of Gregorian University in Rome, made as strong a defence of Anglicanism as Cranmer has ever heard his successor deliver. He reiterated his commitment to women priests, and called for ‘clarity’ on the future of Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue which (let’s face it) has been a little stalled over the past decade and somewhat stifled by the Pope’s decision to heed the prompting of the Holy Spirit to offer ‘Personal Ordinariates’ to disaffected Anglicans who think their church has gone a via media too far.

He has said that he was kept largely in the dark about the Pope’s master plan, which The Telegraph says he referred to ‘the elephant in the room’ (though the phrase does not appear in the version on the Archbishop’s website). He diplomatically referred to the move as ‘an imaginative pastoral response to the needs of some’, but added that it ‘does not break any fresh ecclesiological ground’. He said: “It remains to be seen whether the flexibility suggested in the Constitution might ever lead to something less like a 'chaplaincy' and more like a church gathered around a bishop.”

And Cardinal Kasper seems as disapproving of the Pope’s move as the Archbishop was irritated. He said that such delicate issues ‘should be undertaken in the greatest possible transparency, tactfulness and mutual esteem in order not to entail meaningless tensions with our ecumenical partners’.

The Archbishop asked quite directly why the ordination of women by some local Anglican churches had become a deal-breaker in Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue, in spite of the fact that the two religions had reached agreement on far more complex theological questions in the centuries since the Reformation. And he added a rebuke to the Roman Catholic Church, asking in what way the ordination of women as priests ‘compromise(s) the purposes of the church’.

And he continued, setting out quite clearly the issues which divide: ‘issues about authority in the Church, about primacy (especially the unique position of the pope), and the relations between the local churches and the universal church in making decisions (about matters like the ordination of women, for instance).’ He asks: ‘Are they theological questions in the same sense as the bigger issues on which there is already clear agreement? And if they are, how exactly is it that they make a difference to our basic understanding of salvation and communion? But if they are not, why do they still stand in the way of fuller visible unity? Can there, for example, be a model of unity as a communion of churches which have different attitudes to how the papal primacy is expressed?’

And he gets to the nub of the matter with: ‘The central question is whether and how we can properly tell the difference between “second order” and “first order” issues. When so very much agreement has been firmly established in first-order matters about the identity and mission of the Church, is it really justifiable to treat other issues as equally vital for its health and integrity?’

He praised Vatican II because it ‘turned away from... the Church as primarily an institution existing because of divine decree, governed by prescription from the Lord, faithfully administering the sacraments ordained by him for the salvation of souls – an external, visible society, whose members, under a hierarchical authority headed by the pope, constitute with him one visible body, tending to the same spiritual and supernatural end, i.e., sanctification of souls and their eternal happiness'. And by praising the Ecumenical Council from which Pope Benedict appears to be distancing himself, the Archbishop is seeking the ear of a very sizeable constituency of the Roman Catholic Church indeed.

He identifies the two issues which divide as authority – the nature or indeed the very possibility of the magisterium; and primacy - the extent to which the integrity of the Church is ultimately dependent on a single identifiable ministry of unity to which all local ministries are accountable. And he repudiates ‘the language of rule and hierarchy established by decree, with fixed divisions between teachers and taught, rulers and ruled’, advocating instead ‘filial and communal holiness held in a universal pattern of mutual service’. As far as he is concerned, papal primacy is ‘allied to juridical privilege and the patterns of rule and control’ to such an extent that it fails to achieve what it sets out to do. He realises that this is a ‘slightly sensitive discussion’, but he asserts that ‘the question of altar fellowship and of mutual recognition of ministerial offices should not be unconditionally dependent on a consensus on the question of primacy'.

The Archbishop of Canterbury articulates the historic via media when he observes ‘a restored universal communion would be genuinely a “community of communities” and a “communion of communions” – not necessarily a single juridically united body – and therefore one which did indeed assume that, while there was a recognition of a primatial ministry, this was not absolutely bound to a view of primacy as a centralized juridical office’.

He indicates that the corporate reading of Scripture, obedience to the Lord's commands to baptise and make eucharist, the shared understanding of the shape and the disciplines of what we have called filial holiness, do not need any ‘further test’ and certainly not ‘a universal primate’.

And so he repudiates those Roman Catholic theologians who assert that the ordination of women priests ‘makes the Anglican Communion simply less recognisably a body “doing the same Catholic thing”.’ But he says, for many Anglicans, ‘not ordaining women has a possible unwelcome implication about the difference between baptised men and baptised women, which in their view threatens to undermine the coherence of the ecclesiology in question’.

‘And the challenge to recent Roman Catholic thinking on this would have to be: in what way does the prohibition against ordaining women so “enhance the life of communion”, reinforcing the essential character of filial and communal holiness as set out in Scripture and tradition and ecumenical agreement, that its breach would compromise the purposes of the Church as so defined? And do the arguments advanced about the "essence" of male and female vocations and capacities stand on the same level as a theology derived more directly from scripture and the common theological heritage such as we find in these ecumenical texts?’

‘Even if there remains uncertainty in the minds of some about the rightness of ordaining women, is there a way of recognising that somehow the corporate exercise of a Catholic and evangelical ministry remains intact even when there is dispute about the standing of female individuals? In terms of the relation of local to universal, what we are saying here is that a degree of recognizability of 'the same Catholic thing' has survived: Anglican provinces ordaining women to some or all of the three orders have not become so obviously diverse in their understanding of filial holiness and sacramental transformation that they cannot act together, serve one another and allow some real collaboration.’

‘...It is this sort of thinking that has allowed Anglicans until recently to maintain a degree of undoubtedly impaired communion among themselves, despite the sharpness of the division over this matter. It is part of the rationale of supplementary episcopal oversight as practised in the English provinces, and it may yet be of help in securing the place of those who will not be able to accept the episcopal ministry of women. There can be no doubt, though, that the situation of damaged communion will become more acute with the inability of bishops within the same college to recognise one another's ministry in the full sense. Yet, in what is still formally acknowledged to be a time of discernment and reception, is it nonsense to think that holding on to a limited but real common life and mutual acknowledgement of integrity might be worth working for within the Anglican family? And if it can be managed within the Anglican family, is this a possible model for the wider ecumenical scene? At least, by means of some of the carefully crafted institutional ways of continuing to work together, there remains an embodied trust in the possibility of discovering a shared ministry of the gospel; and who knows what more, ultimately, in terms of restored communion?’

‘...At what point do we have to recognise that surviving institutional and even canonical separations or incompatibilities are overtaken by the authoritative direction of genuinely theological consensus, so that they can survive only by appealing to the ghost of ecclesiological positivism? The three issues I have commented on may all seem, to the eyes of a non-Roman Catholic, to belong in a somewhat different frame of reference from the governing themes of the ecumenical ecclesiology expressed in the texts under review. If the non-Roman Catholic is wrong about this, we need to have spelled out exactly why; we need to understand either that there are issues about the filial/communal calling clearly at stake in surviving disagreements; or to be shown that another theological “register” is the right thing to use in certain areas, a different register which will qualify in some ways the language that has so far shaped ecumenical convergence.’

And the Archbishop ended by noting that these are ‘political matters’ which ‘there is no point in approaching theologically’. And he posed a final question:

‘For many of us who are not Roman Catholics, the question we want to put, in a grateful and fraternal spirit, is whether this unfinished business is as fundamentally church-dividing as our Roman Catholic friends generally assume and maintain. And if it isn't, can we all allow ourselves to be challenged to address the outstanding issues with the same methodological assumptions and the same overall spiritual and sacramental vision that has brought us thus far?’

Cranmer can hardly wait to hear the response of His Holiness today, for we Anglicans ‘need to have spelled out exactly’.


Blogger Jomo said...

And he repudiates ‘the language of rule and hierarchy established by decree, with fixed divisions between teachers and taught, rulers and ruled’, advocating instead ‘filial and communal holiness held in a universal pattern of mutual service’.

More bla bla from "foggy bottom."

If he is so concerned about the detrimental impact of hierarchy why does he spend so much time dressing up in episcopal garb. Basically his problem
seems to be his desire to act like a protestant and dress like a catholic.

Vatican 2 and the via media have emptied the churches of both denominations over the last 40+ years leaving us with the present secular state, the actions of which, Your Grace spends so much of his time condemning.

Rowan Cantaur and John Ebor owe their preferment to the arch synchrinist and failed emperor of europe!(Did he have a plan after all).Certainly leadership does not seem to be on the agenda of either Guardianista.

BTW I don't think Kasper matters much anymore.

21 November 2009 at 11:00  
Blogger Hank Petram said...

Your Grace,

Is Archbishop Rowan Williams successfully making it a two-way street? Easy fast-track switching for disgruntled Catholics wishing to swim the Thames? And if not, why not?

21 November 2009 at 11:49  
Blogger Christopher Evans said...

I didn't read it all , but I thought about unloading an opinion anyway. I suppose this sort of petty, divisive squabbling has some sort of purpose, somewhere, does it? I mean God must be chewing His finger nails! Why? Well if by some strange turn of events you guys managed to get over yourselves and got together to actually help people who are in need - we could all get the bus back on the road.

Too much wasted energy focusing on the inside and outside of a dog's arse.

21 November 2009 at 11:54  
Blogger Preacher said...

Hank P.
Perhaps 'El Papa' might be the first ashore on the South Bank? See you soon!.
Regards Preacher.

21 November 2009 at 11:57  
Blogger Revd John P Richardson said...

The trouble with Rowan's speech is that he is presenting a different 'face' to Rome from the reality on the Church of England's own ground. The idea that we have something to teach the world about ecumenism whilst fast approaching our own schism (as clearly detected by Rome itself) suggests no one should go down the road we are following.

My own somewhat different analysis of Rowan's speech is here: Rowan's Roman Bluff.

21 November 2009 at 12:47  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Your grace articulates these matters well , alas for me I sometimes fail to see what all the fuss is about , I hope I seek the salvation of christ and understand the many facets of the faith , I find such deep structual aspects of organisation difficult to value fighting over when churches are emptying .

My experience so far of women priests has not been good in that I find there sermons , studious rather than conviction . I have questioned my mysogomy and wondered if I dont value the obvious pastoral benefits , yet I hope for a new Wesley, perhaps that is the chasm I feel when I look upon our churches current state .

If our priests are to be sheperds it would seem , we have forgot how we should call our flock , for indeed they seem to be finding home in all sorts of dead end beliefs and cannot locate home !

I hope your grace feels better , his blogg chooses the most difficult subjects often at the expense of his faith limits , we are gratefull for having his wisdom and experience and I hope not depleted of that which he loves and values .

21 November 2009 at 12:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The foundation stone of your church was the bollicks of Henry V11.

21 November 2009 at 13:31  
Anonymous judith said...

Something I read very recently:

People believe in the same God, but approach Him by many different roads.

Why do so many end up worshipping the road?

21 November 2009 at 13:41  
Blogger Hank Petram said...

Hello Mr. Preacher. Pope Ben swimming the Thames -- that would be quite a spectacle. But would the massed Anglicans lining Westminster Bridge be cheering him on or hurling bottles at him?

21 November 2009 at 13:52  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

He has always been more protestant than catholic. The notion of female priesting on the basis of vocation and baptism alone completely ingnores the central element of the mass as being a re-presentation of Christ's Sacrifice.

It seems perfectly in order for protestant clerics to be of either sex as they do not subscribe to the sacrificial nature of the priesthood in the same way as Catholic Christendom does.

I take issue with you about "two religions". The Communion of Rome is not a different religion from the Communion of Canterbury. We all, or should, worship within the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

Rowan Williams is flying the flag for sacramental innovation and spiritual novelty. Such beliefs are contrary to that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all. That is truly and properly 'Catholic' or universal.

21 November 2009 at 14:00  
Anonymous len said...

Jesus Christ is building HIS church and it has nothing to do with "organized religion".
What is Babylon? It is the marriage of church and state, religion and government; or to be more direct, it is allowing the corruption of the world to spread via Organized Religion and Institutional Christianity.
Babylon is always antithetical to Christ. It is anti-Christ. Babylon is represented as a religious whore riding on top of a beast which kills the prophets and saints of God.

Religion heaps burdens on mens backs when Christ says " Come unto me and I will give you rest"
(rest from the treadmill of religious works)

(Rev 18:4-5 NIV) Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.

You cannot just join The Church of Jesus Christ you must be born into it!

21 November 2009 at 14:13  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


After reading this latest post, just tell the truth, what have you done with Cranmer??

Can the real Cranmer please step forward.

21 November 2009 at 15:00  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

This canard about "organised religion" assumes that a person can do his own thing without being part of a local church. Ever since the Disciples went out to preach, people have come together in groups.

Describing the Church as the anti-Christ is setting oneself up in judgement indeed!

21 November 2009 at 15:10  
Anonymous len said...

Arden Forester,
See the 'churches' in Revelation.

21 November 2009 at 16:08  
Blogger F.G.S.A said...

I agree with mr Forester. All this anarcho-anabaptist utopian crap about an unorganised Church leaves the door open to licentiousness, heresy, compromise and what not. There is the Church which is both visible and invisible, the mystical body of Christ, of whom He is the Head(sorry Harry). See the Hymn "Christ is made the sure Foundation"- Angularis Fundamentum. The life of the Church is sacramental with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. But enough: Nolite dare sanctum canibus, neque mittatis margaritas vestras ante porcos...

21 November 2009 at 16:20  
Anonymous Stuart said...

It would appear that the Pope and the ABC didn't spend too much time together:-

Dr Rowan Williams gets 20 minutes with the Pope. They both know it's all over

Sums it all up really.

21 November 2009 at 16:42  
Anonymous len said...

Mystery Babylon is a CORRUPT Church: Just as a pure woman represents a pure Church, a corrupt woman represents a corrupt Church. The woman in white is Christ’s bride, the true Church. But Revelation 17:1, 15-16 and 19:2 call this second woman a “WHORE” or “HARLOT”, a fallen Church teaching false doctrines.

Mystery Babylon is a RICH Church: This symbolic wicked woman, this corrupt Church is a rich one with gorgeous display. Revelation 17:4 says she’s “decked with GOLD and PRECIOUS STONES and PEARLS, having a GOLDEN cup in her hand.” Which Church would you say is the richest in the world?

21 November 2009 at 17:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As far as my life goes, the Anti Christ is nobody less than BT. If David Cameron promises to do something about BT and the state of the Internet in this country, I will vote for you guys on this one policy. If he sorts out BT and finds someone to take over who actually owns a brain, I will hand over my soul to the Tories.

Why can it not be made possible for a new modern telecommunications system here in the UK?

No wonder he only spent 20 mins with the pope, it's going to take them all weekend to upload the details.

BT is the Anti Christ. Blatant lies and outright extortion - EVIL!

21 November 2009 at 19:01  
Blogger Frugal Dougal said...

As a Gregorian University alumnus, I have to agree with you about the ordination of women being a "breaking" issue re RC/Anglican relations, especially as the Old Catholic Church, whose orders the RC Church recognises the validity of, ordains women.

21 November 2009 at 20:48  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

On a more mundane level Anglicanism has strayed too far into the wilderness with all this women priests and gay vicars lark, and now the ultimate in diversity women Bishops!? All it does is blur the boundaries and cause confusion. There are some vocations which are better suited to women, being a member of the clergy isn’t one of them. It is a natural instinct in women to talk, I think they cannot keep secrets as well as men. Imagine someone confessing ones sins one day then sometime later it was all around the village. Women are by nature less discreet than men.

And as for gay priests, well this is has totally undermined what is said in The Bible. No wonder folk have gone off to worship Jedi Knights and other weird and wonderful phenomena.

I think we are sliding into such times where the bizarre, the obscene and the ugly is becoming accepted as the norm so I welcome the Pope trying to rein it all in again.

21 November 2009 at 21:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marie 1797, I disagree with you, our Rector is a women and is perhaps one of the best Parish Priests I have yet dealt with, she knows how to listen, counsel and guide.

21 November 2009 at 22:22  
Anonymous fed up with patronising Catholics said...

Marie 1797 is a catholic, arn't your priests peodophiles ? Better a women Vicar than a peodo priest.

21 November 2009 at 22:50  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Marie 1797 is a catholic, arn't your priests peodophiles ?

Some seem to have a predilection for same-sex relationships with minors, but that is hardly confined to the Church of Rome....

21 November 2009 at 23:27  
Anonymous Village Parson said...

"Imagine someone confessing ones sins one day then sometime later it was all around the village. Women are by nature less discreet than men. "




21 November 2009 at 23:35  
Anonymous Voice of Evangelical Anglican said...

Am I the only one who is worried that the Cramner blog is being used as a site for fundamentalists?

21 November 2009 at 23:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think we are sliding into such times where the bizarre, the obscene and the ugly is becoming accepted as the norm so I welcome the Pope trying to rein it all in again."

e.g. Peodophile Priests. Yes it is about time the Catholics reigned in them , eh, Marie 1797??? They only had God knows how many years to spread their venom amongst victims ! Think about that before you spout another word of your complete and utter cock and bull view .

21 November 2009 at 23:43  
Blogger Young Mr. Brown said...

Well, said, Mr. Richardson!

Excellent analysis.

21 November 2009 at 23:44  
Anonymous Billy, Evangelical Preacher said...

"Vatican 2 and the via media have emptied the churches of both denominations over the last 40+ years leaving us with the present secular state, the actions of which, Your Grace spends so much of his time condemning. "

Actually it was the arrogance of the Churches which has lead to this - the Churches arrogantly believed that people would attend Church, but Anglicans and Catholics forgot that Christ told us to evangelise. OK , we did so with missionaires, but we need them in the UK now to spread the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ!

21 November 2009 at 23:49  
Anonymous Anglo Catholic Anglican said...

Is Williams actually making a gambit to be the next Pope? He knows the games up with the Anglican Church as it is more divided than the Tory party is , so perhaps he is trying to gain some political foothold in the Church of ROME ?

21 November 2009 at 23:52  
Anonymous Fed up with Papist arrogance said...

"Rowan Williams is flying the flag for sacramental innovation and spiritual novelty. Such beliefs are contrary to that which has been believed everywhere, always and by all. That is truly and properly 'Catholic' or universal."

Typical Roman Catholic Papist arrogance- it is always with you guys "my way or no way" isn't it ????

21 November 2009 at 23:55  
Anonymous Billy, Evangelical Preacher said...

Judith @ 13.41: my reply is many roads can lead to Jesus Christ , but only Jesus Christ can lead you to God and eternal salvation.

21 November 2009 at 23:59  
Anonymous len said...

Voice of Evangelical Anglican.23;38
I think Jesus Christ would be accused of being a fundamentalist if he were allowed in some churches today!

22 November 2009 at 01:03  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

@ fed up with patronising Catholics said... 22:50

Marie 1797 is a catholic”
I am a confused C of E actually and appalled at Rowan Williams lack of leadership. He has helped to split the Church and reduce attendees.
My father was a Roman Catholic and I must say they have been most kind to me in the past so I am seriously considering crossing the Tiber.

“arn't your priests peodophiles? “
There are just as many of those who abuse minors lurking in all other religions and walks of life too.

Better a women Vicar than a peodo priest
A woman Vicar can also have the propensity to abuse and do bad as well as a man.

22 November 2009 at 01:14  
Anonymous John Knox said...

Dearest Cranmer,

Women in the priesthood is not a trivial issue. It is symptomatic of a break with Scripture, traditional hermeneutics and Church history.

The places in Acts and the pastoral letters (not to mention the Old Testament) that set qualifications for elders or priests include that they should be a male. Jesus followed the same pattern with his apostles, while countless devout women were available.

For 1990 years the Church of England bowed to this rule of Scripture and tradition. Not for cultural reasons, but because God said so. If a rule that stood for two thousand years is suddenly changed, it usually is for the wrong reason.

St Paul founds the different roles for men and women in the order of Creation, the historic order of events that led to the Fall into sin; and the headship of Christ over his Church. These reasons are not cultural but historical and spiritual and long after Jesus paid the price to set men and women free to be one in Christ.
In other words, as long as Creation and Fall remain historic event, and as long as Christ remains Head of his Church, female leadership in the church goes against the mind of God.

We live in dark days.
Many deny Creation.
Many deny a historical Fall into sin, but instead confess advancement through the death and destruction of survival of the fittest in Darwinian sense.
Many like to play Church and run Christ's show for him.

Let Jim Hacker's choice for a new bishop of Bury St Edmunds be a lesson.

22 November 2009 at 02:01  
Anonymous IanCad said...

"Dense theological verbiage" Your Grace kiddeth not! This kind of turgid gobbledygook may be fine for the Sanhedrin but it will do little to reassure the average congregant who may still adhere to the Thirty Nine Articles.
Anglicanism is incompatible with Roman Catholicism. The two can only meld if one or the other gives up its core beliefs -- you know who that will be. Oh, the good archbishop is protesting with perhaps a little more vigour than of late, but Benedict must be already licking his chops. The ecuminical movement is solely designed to gather the sheep into the fold and then sharpen the knives. It's working very well.

22 November 2009 at 02:06  
Blogger Preacher said...

I heartily agree with Billy @ 23.49 the UK is in need of evangelists to reach the lost, but many church leaders seem to rate evangelism very low on their addenda. It seems that often the work involved in nurturing & discipling new converts to maturity is viewed as too much effort & not worth the trouble & time involved.
New believers are like new born babes, they come with a lot of issues that need sorting out, often the same sins & problems arise again & again requiring patience, love & the ability to see the potential of the person. This really requires a combined effort by all the mature believers in the church, it's rather like a family, where everybody lends a hand according to their abilities. But all too often leaders view it as a profession & see others as a threat to their position, I'm sure that if we followed the Master's lead & got rid of the titles & robes in favour of 'Preaching the gospel & making disciples of all nations' the whole church would grow in strength & numbers & the world would be a safer, happier, better place to live in.
Although scripture teaches about the structure of the church, it views it as a whole body (The Body of Christ) with Christ Himself as the head, not Popes or Archbishops. Men & women working together to accomplish the Lord's purpose irrespective of empty titles.

22 November 2009 at 02:30  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

Will the Queen be required to convert when England becomes Catholic again?

22 November 2009 at 03:47  
Blogger F.G.S.A said...

I agree with Mr Knox. Compromise and disbelief in fundamental matters of Faith like Creation and the fall have contributed to the sorry state of Reformed and Protestant Christianity. I watched the other day a tv programme on Swedish women curates and came to wonder when it was over whether there was anything christian about what i just went through. The mixture of marxist, feminist agenda with a respectable coating of Christianity- that's what it was all about. The one thing prominent was the ME and the I. The Human Ego and the Respect of Creatures crucify Christ anew on their filthy altar.

22 November 2009 at 08:35  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Beardy is just the latest and worst in a long line of ABC reasons I'm no longer a practising Anglican.

22 November 2009 at 11:24  
Anonymous Bert said...

RW's stridency seems not a bit rich to me on several accounts: just how long has the CofE considered WO innocuous? And yes, as others have stated, how can RW preach about true communion when his own is crumbling round him? I didn't read his speech but from what Cranmer has reported it appears he's not actually very concerned about the truth; just about some warm fuzzy left notion about how we should all just get along. And that, I'd argue is the rub; it reflects the compassion/mercy of women. Such compassion/mercy is a very important piece to have about; indeed, the species would not exist without it. But it must be under justice, the traditional inclination/purview of men. Without justice supreme, all systems that hold any ground/order against chaos eventually will fall. Witness the fall of the CofE and the Anglican Communion. I've just recently gone Anglo Catholic (1928 BCP, no WO) after 30 years witnessing as a member the destruction of the Episcopal church in the US. I had and accepted women priests during that time and they were all extremely pleasant people but they all held an elemental, typically female, suspicion of and desire to correct/destroy patriarchy. This is, again, not a bad thing; indeed it is a very good and needed thing, but I've come to see (and quite painfully so; it is terrible to leave one's church family after 20 years) it only works when under authority. When female strengths of compassion/mercy become
THE authority, authority itself is doomed with order and civilization soon following.

22 November 2009 at 13:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


22 November 2009 at 20:33  
Anonymous len said...

Rome has made great inroads into the Protestant churches of our land by use of the ecumenical movement. Ecumenism works by diminishing the doctrinal differences between ritualism and evangelicalism. It thrives because most people are ignorant of Scripture. We therefore need to be sure of what we believe and why we believe it. In particular we must hold fast to the fundamental truth of justification. How is a sinner made right with a holy God? The Bible’s answer is that he is “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom.3:24). Justification is always and ever “by faith without the deeds of the law” (Rom.3:28). This is the key doctrine of the gospel. Its recovery at the time of the Reformation dealt Rome a deadly blow.

Although the day is dark the Lord is well able to light the candle of truth again in our land and one day He surely will. May our great God revive His work and deliver us from the peril of Rome!

22 November 2009 at 22:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It summons up the image of a 7 year old child berating a 40 year old man.

I expect the Pope was kind and indulgent towards Williams. Children need to make their mistakes.

Meanwhile the thousands of Anglicans who have had their church altered beyond recognition have, with traditional Christian charity, been shown a path away from the train wreck of the CofE.

Meanwhile the CofE seem to regard these people as its property, some kind of corporate "asset".

They are people. They are unhappy and dispossessed.

They are on their way home.

23 November 2009 at 10:49  
Blogger Preacher said...

Please don't forget that there are more christian churches out here to choose from than the 'Big Two' If you're not being fed & looked after where you are, don't be scared to look around & shop for a gospel preaching, Bible teaching christian community where you will be warmly welcomed, you might be pleasently surprised & wonder why you didn't do it years ago.

23 November 2009 at 12:50  
Blogger Senn the Cartoonist said...

Your grace, a perception not married by myself . An anglican archbishop with a protestant streak, never never! the Romish cloaked Anglicans...

23 November 2009 at 16:46  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

And every single one of them preaches the fact that their version of the story is the truth and all others are wrong.

Join our gang, it's better than there gang because they are stinky.

Lot of nonsense. Cheer up, god probably doesn't exist anyway, forget about it people and enjoy your life.

23 November 2009 at 17:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to be an Anglican Minister.
Now I am a Catholic.
The real problem, under the clever words is this. Anglican clergymen and women are people who run parishes in their own free way. They say and do more or less what they feel is right. So long as they avoid sexcrime, keep out of the news and keep paying the Quota, all is well. Every now and then, they make use of the fraternity of fellow Ministers, but that isn't that important really as you live in a nice comfy Vicarage with all expenses paid.
Bishops are there in the background as either an aspiration or the enemy.

Catholics are quite different.
Priests aren't married. That means that they are basically loners. They move around quite a lot visiting other "parishes". Where, for instance, do they go on holiday? Where do they go if they need to recover from illness? To other priest's houses! It is perfectly OK to do this if you are a celibate male.
It is not OK do do this if you are an unattached famale! (Think of the delighted red top scandal). Gay priests, of course, are also impossible (Ever worshipped with a cradle Catholic?)
Think of Father Ted and how naive he was.
You can dress up this difference how you like in clever language about first and second degrees or whatever.
The Catholic priesthood has a real function which is simple: it holds the worldwide Church together. The Faith is the same in Bangkok, London, Texas or Australia. So is the Mass.
If the priesthood is wrecked, or, as seems to be happening in Europe, it fades away, then you get a free for all. This is not good to work in. (Remarriage of divorcees, baptism of "unbelievers", gay priests, what to wear for Services, even the sacraments themselves all vary from parish to parish, making the work of the Vicar impossible, actually).
I hope this helps.
Both sides are right and, I am afraid, that, humanly speaking - lots of that - it is impossible to reconcile.

24 November 2009 at 10:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Williams is a Common Purpose idiot. And what can we look forward to when he’s gone? Oh Lord save what remains of the Church of ‘England’ from women bishops and archbishops and, most importantly Lord, save us from Sentamu.

24 November 2009 at 11:00  
Anonymous Harlow Smith said...

"Anglican clergymen and women are people who run parishes in their own free way. They say and do more or less what they feel is right. So long as they avoid sexcrime, keep out of the news and keep paying the Quota, all is well. Every now and then, they make use of the fraternity of fellow Ministers, but that isn't that important really as you live in a nice comfy Vicarage with all expenses paid."

Couldn't have put it better myself- I for one am FED UP with the way Anglican clergy moan about their workload. They don't ever refuse to stop doing sermons- they like they sound of their own voice basically.

24 November 2009 at 12:15  

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