Friday, December 18, 2009

‘Poor Joseph’ advertisement provokes worldwide fury

An Anglican church in Aukland New Zealand has come up with this advertisement to celebrate Christmas. And the reverberations have been global.

According to its website, St Matthew-in-the-City ‘enjoys thinking outside the box, exploring innovative liturgy, progressive ideas and topical issues’.

Well, they’ve hit fool's gold with this tripe. It is so far ‘outside the box’ that they have lost sight of the divine mission cuboid.

Their purpose is aimed at ‘challenging stereotypes’ about the birth of Jesus Christ.


The advertisement has been condemned as ‘inappropriate’ and ‘disrespectful’. But St Matthew-in-the-City is ‘an inclusive church’, which means, they say ‘that all are welcome to attend, and that all are welcome to receive communion no matter what church or faith (if any) they are from.’

Excellent. A church which gives the body and blood of Christ to the unrepentant degenerate and the idolatrous unregenerate. This is part of their ‘progressive Christianity’, which explains the provenance of the advertisement.

The church's vicar, Archdeacon Glynn Cardy, said the aim of the billboard had been to lampoon the literal interpretation of the Christmas conception story. He said: "What we're trying to do is to get people to think more about what Christmas is all about. Is it about a spiritual male God sending down sperm so a child would be born, or is it about the power of love in our midst as seen in Jesus?"

Who, pray, believes that God ‘sent down sperm’?

Lyndsay Freer, spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of Auckland, said the poster was offensive to Christians. She said: "Our Christian tradition of 2,000 years is that Mary remains a virgin and that Jesus is the son of God, not Joseph."

It is perhaps unsurprising that the Roman Catholic Church finds this advertisement particularly offensive, for it is a direct assault on their ‘ever virgin’ belief, to which Cranmer does not subscribe. He happens to believe that Mary and Joseph would have enjoyed a perfectly normal, regular and healthy sex life, and as a consequence Jesus undoubtedly had siblings. The descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob tend not to have the hang-ups and complexes about sex which have so bedevilled much of the Christian world through the syncretised Hellenistic obsession with separating the spirit from the flesh.

Archdeacon Glynn Cardy and St Matthew-in-the-City have got their much-longed-for debate. But it is not about the miracle of the Christ-child and the wonder that God became man: it is not edifying and does not in any sense bring glory to God. It is a tawdry, crude and gratuitously offensive ejaculation which resonates with a sex-obsessed age and lacks only used condoms strewn over the duvet in a Tracey Emin fashion.

And Cranmer can hardly wait for a billboard showing Mohammed in bed with the nine-year-old Aisha...


Blogger Rebel Saint said...

I see that the BBC are quick to publish the image which has caused so much offence. [As they did with the Jesus the "Queen of Heaven" images]

I have written to ask them if they will now be publishing the Mohammed cartoons. Should I hold my breath?

18 December 2009 at 09:01  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

I would have to agree that it takes things a bit far. No real need for that.

But they should be allowed to say it just as you should be allowed to be offended by it.

18 December 2009 at 09:03  
Blogger Botogol said...

I imagine his grace means half-siblings? :-)

18 December 2009 at 09:07  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Botogol,

Ah, yes. Good point.


Mr TheGlovner,


18 December 2009 at 09:10  
Blogger Terry Hamblin said...

Your Grace,

Good of your to point out the Roman error over the virgin-at-the time Mary and gracious of you to accept Mr Bogotol's correction.

18 December 2009 at 09:16  
Anonymous Knighthawk said...

Newstalk Auckland 89.4 is reporting that the controversial Christmas billboard outside St Matthews-in-the-City in Auckland has been stolen.

A man who took offence to the image Mary and Joseph in bed with the caption ?Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow? painted over it yesterday. Archdeacon Glynn Cardy says now the billboard's skin has now been taken and only the frame remains.

The Archdeacon saddened by this narrow minded vandalism has apparently reprinted the poster and its back up again. He says the billboard carries an important message and he is right. It tells us all we need to know about the spiritual state of his church.

18 December 2009 at 09:20  
Blogger Derek said...

Your Grace (and others)

I suggest you read the whole sermon associated with this poster:

It's quite clear that Glynn Cardy has progressed out of Christianity altogether.

18 December 2009 at 09:32  
Anonymous Anabaptist said...

I could have done without that image on a freezing cold Friday morning (or any other time, actually).

By the way, does anybody agree that the drawing style closely resembles Jehovah's Witness publications?

18 December 2009 at 09:49  
Anonymous Knuckledragger said...

"And Cranmer can hardly wait for a billboard showing Mohammed in bed with the nine-year-old Ayesha..."

Could I direct Your Grace's attention to this advertisement for children's building blocks.

18 December 2009 at 09:54  
Blogger FAIRFACTS MEDIA said...

Good point about Mohammed and Aisha.
I said as much on my own blog, the Fairfacts Media Show.
I am amazed at the fuss the posters have caused.
But tacky and offensive as they are, they have got us talking.
And while the ads are offensive, they show the strength of Christianity bceuse the offenders have not been killed.

18 December 2009 at 10:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He didn't challenge the stereotype of the trendy vicar.

18 December 2009 at 10:33  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

"And while the ads are offensive, they show the strength of Christianity bceuse the offenders have not been killed."

Or they show the brutal and intolerance of islam, take your pick.

18 December 2009 at 10:34  
Blogger Jess The Dog said...

Shows a complete ignorance of theology and religious doctrine that even a fool like myself is aware of (because of the ability to read the Bible in print myself, thanks to Your Grace and fellow Reformers.

I thought a clergyman would be aware of the concepts of "virgin", "immaculate conception" and suchlike. Apparently not.

I'm uneasy about the Aisha comparator cited (notwithstanding the fact it is used to highlight hypocrisy). Marriages (and second marriages of widowers) to young women and even girls were common until recent times in all societies, partly to do with mortality and life expectency in years past (in particular the significant risk of death in childbirth), and partly to do with advantageous marriages for reasons of alliance, money, property of prestige.

In Islam, the custom of polygamy arose because of the custom of marrying the widows of dead family members and of followers killed in battle, to provide shelter and some status, in addition to other reasons of advantage mentioned earlier. The marriage to the (uncommonly-young) Aisha was probably for dynastic reasons and she is said to have remained with her parents for some years after the marriage before moving in with her husband.

"But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also" as someone once said....

18 December 2009 at 10:45  
Blogger The Anti Christ said...

Jess the Dog

No Hypocrisy at all. What you describe as taking place in the past was not between 9yr old girls and people claiming to be the Prophet of God. What ever God was using his lips, and hers, is not any God I wish to take any notice of.

18 December 2009 at 10:53  
Blogger Gnostic said...

I've always puzzled about the RC Mary the perpetual virgin thing. How did she ever manage an immaculate birth? Was it a devine form of osmosis?

I understand why this image is offensive. That it is defended by an archdeacon says a lot about what is wrong with modern Christianity; nothing is sacred. However, I'm gratified that Christians have not gone foaming at the mouth crazy and taken to committing planet wide arson. A stark contrast with another group n'est-ce pas?

18 December 2009 at 11:24  
Blogger Tarquin said...

It's not offensive to others to say whatever you want about your own beliefs, jews and muslims have different views about jesus for instance - the people who painted over it and stole it are just mindless vandals and bigots

18 December 2009 at 11:32  
Blogger francis said...

I must point out to Mr Hamblin that the doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity is not a "Roman error" but something which the whole Church, East and West, believed for at least a thousand years, having formed part of a dogmatic definition of the fifth Ecumenical Council (Constantinople II) in 553, and having been the fixed teaching of the Greek and Latin Fathers for centuries before that.

Though the Church of England equivocates slightly over the status of Councils, it generally accepts the dogmatic definitions of the first seven Councils, while being more hesitant over their disciplinary canons. Its public worship refers to the Mother of our Lord as "the Blessed Virgin Mary" (even where no reference is being made to any particular stage of her life), which would be an odd description if it was supposed to mean that she was at one point a virgin – but later on, er, stopped being one. I thought that was how virginity worked in general. Presumably, on that definition, it would be correct to refer to Peter Stringfellow as a virgin.

18 December 2009 at 11:34  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Your Grace, it does seem that the Church, in an attempt to try and look relevant, has gone a bit too far and seems to have backfired at bit. Yes we have to take offence on the chin, so there is no point in faking outraged. But, interesting, you don't see Christian people rioting about this ? Remember those cartoons about Mohammed and the riots which ensued? Total contrast really.

18 December 2009 at 11:48  
Anonymous Anabaptist said...

Mr Jess the Dog:

For your information, and for what it is worth, the virgin birth and the Roman doctrine of the Immaculate Conception are two completely different things.

The virgin birth (which should really be known as the virgin conception) is the record that Jesus's mother was a virgin when he was conceived, and that Mary was 'with child by the Holy Spirit', having never known a man. This is a biblical teaching, recorded as history in the Gospels.

The Immaculate Conception is the dogma, not mentioned or suggested in the Bible, that Mary herself was conceived and born without sin. Presumably this was to prepare her adequately to be the eventual mother of Jesus. One (only one) problem with this doctrine is that implies that by the same logic Mary's mother would also have to have been immaculately conceived, and her mother also, and so on, back to Eve.

18 December 2009 at 11:51  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

anabaptist, wise words as ever.

18 December 2009 at 12:17  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

A response from the BBC as to why they are happy to publish images found offensive to Christians but not those to Muslims:

"We are sorry if you are not happy with our use of this picture, but we
feel that the circumstances here are very different from the pieces we wrote about the Mohammad cartoons.

It is seen as offensive to portray Mohammad in an image, which is not
the case with Christianity. Also the poster was put up by a church, and was therefore not meant to be offensive to Christians - if it had been put up by an anti-Christian group, that would have been a very different matter.

But please let us reassure you that we do look at issues like this very

18 December 2009 at 12:38  
Anonymous Mark Blades said...

TheGlovner wrote,'But they should be allowed to say it just as you should be allowed to be offended by it.
Should the right to free speech be applied to this situation? I think not. As a crude analogy, would it be allowed, if one branch of a multinational company were to 'advertise' its 'product' by mocking the founder of the company and offending the other members, directors, and even their own bosses? I don't know a great deal about the worldwide CofE, but I would imagine there are some rules that govern the behaviour of their members, in terms of belief and practice? I'm pretty sure my boss wouldn't be be satisfied with my explanation that I had the right to free speech, if I denigrated some aspect of his company through inappropriate marketing. Why should this individual church be allowed to operate according to 'free speech rights'?

18 December 2009 at 12:44  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

The reason this is so offensive is because the outrageous depiction of Joseph and Mary has been sanctioned by an Archdeacon who professes to be of the Christian faith and has held this faith up to ridicule.

18 December 2009 at 12:57  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

"Should the right to free speech be applied to this situation? I think not."

And the moment you say that then it fails to become free speech.

Just as I should be allowed to draw a twenty five foot high picture of mohammad if I want. If I offend, then it is their right to be offended.

There is no rights not to have your feelings hurt.

I completely agree that it is in bad taste and not something I would choose to do since my subjective morals tell me not too, but I wouldn't dream of saying for one second that it should be banned.

"I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it?"

-Ewelyn Beatrice Hall

Something I agree with wholeheartedly.

18 December 2009 at 12:59  
Blogger The Anti Christ said...

Rebel Saint

To interpret the reply from the BBC:

Muslims are simpletons and backward morons, whereas Christians tend to be rather more balanced.

18 December 2009 at 13:03  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

However where you go in the rest of your comments do not exactly challenge what I say.

If his church wants to chuck him out of their gang for what he has done then fine, but if he then wants to keep up his silly poster then again fine.

None of this stops free speech from taking place.

If you want to be in a particular gang you have to act in a certain way.

Free speech works both ways, to say at any point that one thing should be banned while another shouldn't completely defeats the purpose of free speech.

I can't remember the exact quote but it was some hippy activist shouting on about Nick Griffin and the quote effectively said that "I'm all for free speech except when it comes to the things that he [Nick Griffin] wants to say".

If you can't see the hypocrisy of statments like that and even agree with them maybe you should move to a country that doesn't tolerate free speech (or more accurately these days it would be a country that tolerates free speech even less than the UK).

It's like going back to that story about the registrar, she doesn't agree with the practice of gay sex, she finds it repulsive and that's fine she is allowed to think that, but if it means she can't do the job she is paid to do then she shouldn't be doing it. Same kind of situation here.

18 December 2009 at 13:07  
Anonymous widow twanky said...

nothing from D.Singh today? Is he OK?

18 December 2009 at 13:31  
Anonymous Stuart said...

Widow Twanky,

It is rumoured that D Singh, saw this poster and fainted in a fit of appalled horror and offense.

I thought everybody knew this, I am sorry that you are currently 'out of the loop'.

18 December 2009 at 13:42  
Anonymous Martin Sewell said...

Jess, Correct me if I am wrong but does not Islam accept and approve of Mohammed engaging in " thighing" his child bride at the age of 9? It is something that would have got him onto the sex offenders register today.

If I am wrong, I do of course apologise as the exercise of freedom does not make offence obligatory.

18 December 2009 at 13:47  
OpenID jobtwenteewun1to3 said...


Excellent points about the virgin birth v immaculate conception. Perhaps I could chip in with a few thoughts on this also.

In Luke 2:22-24, we have the narrative of Jesus being taken to be presented at the temple in Jerusalem. In v 24 they are to offer ‘two turtledoves or two young pigeons’. This is a reference to Lev 12:8 where a mother is to offer these two sacrifices – one for a burnt offering and one for a sin offering. Mary here is making a sin offering for herself. Of course prior to Christ’s birth in The Magnificat, Mary makes reference to ‘God my Saviour’. Mary was a blessed woman indeed yet if she was sinless, I wonder why she sang this line and made the sacrifices she did...... just a thought !!

18 December 2009 at 13:51  
Anonymous jeremy hyatt (ex-virgin) said...

francis said...

'an odd description if it was supposed to mean that she was at one point a virgin'

Weren't we all?


18 December 2009 at 14:25  
Anonymous IanCad said...

Anabaptist 11:51
I also have always conflated IM/VB. Thanks for the clarification. No, the JW comparison dosen't resonate with me. Perhaps the UK & US publications are different.
This is the best blog in town. So much more enlightenment than error.

18 December 2009 at 14:36  
Anonymous Widow Twanky said...

Stuart, thanks for the update re D.Singh. Much appreciated.

18 December 2009 at 14:37  
Blogger The Anti Christ said...

Jeremy Hyatt

NO. I was Fu**** even before I was born.

18 December 2009 at 14:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"It is perhaps unsurprising that the Roman Catholic Church finds this advertisement particularly offensive, for it is a direct assault on their ‘ever virgin’ belief, to which Cranmer does not subscribe."

But Your Grace, it is pretty likely you did before you were burned. Even Calvin believed in the perpetual virginity of the Mother of Christ.

18 December 2009 at 15:17  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Methinks the stereotypes are in the picture -- and so in the mind of the artist: who is, therefore, spiritually dead!!!

Presumably there's a an equally stereotypical sequel: the poor girl got seduced or raped, eventually: hence the semi-siblings. So she must now be dubbed - well, the stereotype opposite of virgin.

There's no limit to the stereotypes and commonplaces. Which is why I refuse to watch TV, or films, or to read anything that presently purports to be literature.

18 December 2009 at 15:34  
Anonymous Anabaptist said...

IanCad observes a possible difference between JW publications on either side of the Pond.

Actually, I doubt it. I get the impression that they produce one set of images for each publication internationally, which are then overprinted in the languages of the countries in which they are being used. They are a sort of theological McDonalds, with only slight regional variations.

As I am a professional artist/illustrator, maybe I am more alert to this sort of stylistic quality than many people might be. I think there is something rather creepy about the visual style: the use of colour, the way paint is applied, etc.

18 December 2009 at 15:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God has deemed it a fact that you have to share this world with arseholes. You cannot possibly kill them all, so He obviously has another solution for you to overcome this challenge. There are many possible solutions, both temporary and more permanent.

For example, you could kill yourself, or you could become an arsehole also. There are endless solutions - Have fun!

18 December 2009 at 15:47  
Anonymous Mark Blades said...

TheGlovner wrote,
If you can't see the hypocrisy of statments like that and even agree with them maybe you should move to a country that doesn't tolerate free speech (or more accurately these days it would be a country that tolerates free speech even less than the UK).

Quite apart from the fact that this part of your comment veers off topic slightly, it also seems to me to contradict your basic premise, which is that each of us should be allowed to express ourselves as freely as we like without penalty. You seem to suggest that, if people don't agree with your assertion, which is something you consider to be above contradiction, then they should move somewhere else. That indicates to me that you wouldn't like it if anybody expressed a contrary position to yours and you would like to have the person so expressing said statement, to remove themselves. That doesn't seem very consistent to me to your own initial assertion, but, no doubt, you will say that you have the right to say it, and I would agree with that. Or,perhaps, I misunderstood?
Also, how do you know where, exactly, anybody lives who contributes to a blog?
Finally, I fully agree with the individual right to free speech, and I think that right has been severely curtailed by this present government since it came to power. However, I still say that the right to free speech has limitations in certain contexts, and one of those, in my view, should be in, as one example, the C of E, while the individual is engaged in representing the organisation to which he or she belongs. I recognize the paradox in what I am saying, and also acknowledge that these kinds of resrictions I advocate could be, in the 'wrong'hands, used as a means of curtailing legitimate expressions of freedom. I don't have an all-embracing answer, except to say, that, if a man is a true Christian, then times will come when he will not exercise his right to free speech because he wants to avoid unnecessary offence to his God and his brethren. I think that this New Zealand Archdeacon has overstepped that mark.
Oh, and Mr.TheGlovner, if I feel you are starting to get too 'personal' for my taste, I will not be replying. That's my own right not to employ my right of reply.

18 December 2009 at 15:59  
Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

I wonder why the atheists waste their time throwing in their two pennorth to trash Christianity when so called Christians like this NZ vicar seem to be doing a perfectly good job themselves.

People say that he has the right to free speech, but as he is paid a stipend from his Church, he has basically 'done a Ratner'. I look forward to his future career in the manner of the unfrocked Vicar of Stiffkey who ended up as a very unsuccessful lion tamer.

Your Grace asks how long he might wait to see a poster of Mohammed in bed with Ayesha. When Islam becomes the established Church in England and we get Anglican Muslims I suppose.

18 December 2009 at 16:29  
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18 December 2009 at 17:03  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Mark Blades

I would say you are misunderstanding me a bit.

I am in fact to a point agreeing with you, as you are with me. Free speech is a right and this person employed it. However, as he represents/works for an organisation that disagrees with what he has done then they have a right to chuck him out their organisation. Once out the organisation though he still has the right to produce this image and the organisation still has the right to be offended by it.

What I am getting at is that his right to free speech/free expression does not trump his employers right to have people work for it or be members of it to adhere to specific rules/behaviour.

So while I completely agree with his right to produce and show this image I also support his employers rights to dismiss him, express their distaste about his actions and make the point that they are offended by it.

Just like with the recent story concerning the registrar that refused to provide civil partnerships as she disagreed with homosexual relationships on her religious grounds. I completely support her right to be disgusted by the practices of homosexuality however I also support her employers right to dismiss her as she refuses to carry out the job she is employed to do.

Same thing different scenario.

Would you disagree with that?

My point about someone moving away to a country that doesn't support the right to free speech I would disagree is a hypocrisy though. I would say that someone can certainly say that something should not be allowed to be said, that is your right under the right of free speech, however it seems a bit of a backward comment to make in a country that supports free speech. Just like it is my right in the same country that supports the right to free speech to make the suggestion that perhaps they would be better to move to a country that doesn't support free speech if that is what they are looking for, there is no hypocrisy there at all. Or would you disagree with that?

I don't believe I have gotten too personal with anything I have said here, so I do expect a reply, if you disagree with that I would be grateful if you would at least reply with "I am refusing to reply", so I know that this conversation is finished with.

Thank you.

18 December 2009 at 18:02  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Your graces explantion of the churchs reasoning for promoting this poster , is more fun than intellectual .

Joseph looks rather insecure and poor mary looks worried about explaining somthing to him . you could sense the theme tune for "friends" or "hollyoaks" ,somthing american and angst ridden snippet dilema.

It also perhaps shows how much the happy clappy narrative has cept in into one of the most controversial aspects of the christ story.

Let us all pray on this last sunday in advent , that a new light is indeed comming and that it understands how the socialists have sent us down the wrong road and that we have the strength to turn back and take on our spirutal foe , for surely if anything is anti christ it must be the continuation of this goverment of lies, liars and fraudsters .

18 December 2009 at 18:52  
Anonymous Happyinnz said...

Clearly Glen Cardy felt like giving the wider Christian Community a poke in the eye and garner a bit of notorioty for himself at the same time. How clever and inclusive of him. And how lucky we are to be represented to the wider world by such a fabulous guy.

18 December 2009 at 19:25  
Anonymous Knighthawk said...

Cardy has now given up on the controversial Mary and Joseph billboard, after it was attacked for the third time.

An elderly woman has slashed the poster with a knife, just hours after it was replaced. Apparently the sight of cold steel has convinced him that 'someone' is going to end up injured if there are any more attacks.

18 December 2009 at 20:45  
Blogger Preacher said...

Silly, Tawdry & Tacky. Is it any wonder that so many people think that there is nothing for them in the Christian church when this sort of tripe is stuck outside.
In a daft attempt to appear 'trendy', the simpleton who designed this showed a lack of knowledge, sensitivity & taste.
If any good thing can come out of this it should warn the ecclesia not to be hasty in the laying on of hands (1 Tim 5:22).
I Totally agree with Your Grace that the Jews are much more sensible in their views of sex being a good gift from God that strengthens marriage & forms a bond between man & wife that is a good basis of family life. At least three of the gospels speak of Jesus' mother & brothers trying to speak with Him which should lead us to understand that Mary Was a virgin at the conception of Jesus which was a miracle wrought by the Holy Spirit, similar to the creation of Adam & of course Eve without the need of human involvement. Mary remained a virgin throughout her confinement But that both Mary & Joseph as you say would have led a normal married life after Jesus birth.
Due to the fall, We are all sinners, yes , even Mary & this is what she is speaking about in the magnificat.
The sacrifices after the birth of the first male were made to redeem him, because according to the law the first male to open the womb whether human or animal belonged to the Lord.

18 December 2009 at 20:54  
Anonymous judith said...

I have read that the word for 'young woman' was translated as 'virgin', just as the word for 'cradle' was translated as 'manger', and therefore backstories had to be developed to interpret the oddities.

Of course, there were also ancient Near Eastern/Mediterranean myths about holy virgin births, resurrections and a goddess named Mariamne, which could well have influenced the Gospels.

18 December 2009 at 22:29  
Anonymous Celia said...

I am not clear on the time frame of the immaculate conception.Was Mary married to the old man Joseph when the angel visited her telling her she was pregnant or did he marry her knowing she was pregnant already?

18 December 2009 at 23:39  
Anonymous len said...

St Matthew-in the - City.
A progressive Church.

" You don`t have to be a Christian to be progressive"

This is a Church that has lost its way, this is the insipid, useless Church, lacking vision, and worst of all lacking Christ.

19 December 2009 at 00:29  
Blogger francis said...


As indicated in earlier comments, the immaculate conception (which is a distinctively Roman Catholic doctrine relating to the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother traditionally known as Anne or Anna) is a totally different matter from the virginal conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary, a doctrine common to all Christian denominations and based upon explicit statements in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.

Your question is about the virginal conception of Jesus. St Matthew tells the story from Joseph's perspective, and St Luke from Mary's perspective, but the two accounts agree that Mary and Joseph were betrothed but not yet married when Mary became pregnant. St Matthew tells us that upon learning of this Joseph was at first minded to put an end to their betrothal, but after receiving a message in a dream decided to proceed with the marriage.

19 December 2009 at 00:57  
Anonymous Hank Petram said...

It is difficult to understand, Your Grace, how it came about that Archdeacon Cardy and yourself are both members of the same Church. Is there no central organization of any kind empowered to take Mr Cardy on one side and explain to him that there are things the Church can allow its clergy to get away with and things it can't? In the nicest possible way, of course. Or even, in Your Grace's own words, with a slight air of superiority. But firmly, so that Mr Cardy is left in no doubt that the Church means what it says.

19 December 2009 at 01:26  
Blogger Theresa said...

Ok, quick lesson on the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Now, I'm not looking for anyone to agree with this; I'm just giving it for your information so you understand where it comes from.

Christ could have come to us in a number of ways. He could have come in His own divine form, for example, or He could have come as a fully grown man. He took a gamble instead. He chose to be born and made that depend on a human being (Mary) agreeing to it. Now this posed a problem. The problem is, that the barrier between God and man is sin. There are two types; there are the sins that we ourselves commit and there is what we call original sin which is what we receive baptism for. If there had been any stain of sin in Mary, either her own or original sin, then it would have acted as a barrier to Christ. He would not have been able to come in His fullness through her, because it would have acted as a barrier to His divine nature. Either that, or you say that Christ is not fully divine. That leads to the conclusion that somehow Mary herself was kept free of original sin. That is why Mary has a special place in our church, because she is the model Christian; she allowed God to work to complete fullness in her and that is what we all aim at.

You can ask questions like 'Why didn't God do that before?' Well, He did. Adam and Eve were innocent, but chose to discard it. There may have been others chosen in a similar fashion to Mary, who said 'No,' when God asked them. Mary was simply the first to say 'Yes.' And we're given the same choice when we're baptised. A sobering thought.

19 December 2009 at 01:32  
Blogger Theresa said...

Quick point on the 'mothers and brothers' in the Gospels.
In the Middle East, when someone refers to their 'brother,' they can be talking about any relative from their brother to their second cousin twice removed. So the passage in Matthew isn't conclusive at all.
I'm not sure how much difference theologically it would make if we believed that Jesus had brothers and sisters; it's not really something I lose sleep about. I think it is a reasonable belief, as it has been handed down from the earliest days of Christianity; and I think we would have heard far more about Jesus' brothers if there had been any; they would have become a natural focal point after Christ's crucifixtion as successor to the Messiah in the absence of Jesus having children. But personally speaking, if I had been Joseph, I would have been afraid to touch Mary after such a birth and I think that is the point that the poster is (very distastefully and crudely) making.

19 December 2009 at 01:55  
Anonymous Celia said...

I don't think Mary was asked. She was told
'For behold I bring you good tidings..For unto you is born this day etc

There must have been a reason she was betrothed to an old possibly impotent man.I think Jesus was an only child.There would have been severe consequences in those days of becoming pregnant out of wedlock and Joseph could have married her for any number of reasons.Growing up with a father old enough to be his grandfather
would have formed Jesus' character
in a special way.I don't think enough attention is paid to the psychological makeup of Jesus.I don't see Jesus as the control freak he is made out to be in the
new testament eg if you do good works but not in my name it's worthless.Smacks too much of a megalomaniac and i don't believe it for a second.

19 December 2009 at 03:41  
Blogger Swift said...

An elderly woman wielding a knife has defaced the billboard again, and it will not be rebuilt.

Go the Legion of Mary.

19 December 2009 at 05:42  
Blogger F.G.S.A said...

The belief in the Ever-Virginity of the BVM is a fundamental feature of Christian Tradition and Orthodoxy. It has got nothing to do with the so called Immaculate Conception. The Ancien Saxon Church as much as the rest of the Undivided Church believed in the Ever-Virginity of the Mother of God. Cf. John of Damascus, Ephrem the Syrian and a host of venerable patristic authorities.

19 December 2009 at 09:20  
Anonymous len said...

The facts of Jesus`s birth are quite clearly stated in the Bible."This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit".( Matthew 1:18)

As for the Catholic myth of Mary being a 'perpetual virgin;

" This(Jesus)is the builder, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon, isn't it? His sisters are here with us, aren't they?" And they were offended by him.(Mark 6:3)

19 December 2009 at 09:35  
Anonymous len said...

For the cult of the Virgin Mother, the sky was clearly not the limit, and perhaps neither is the Trinity. In the meantime, however, so much effort has been spent on defining by dogma the nature of Mary and seeking to elevate her status, that she has effectively eclipsed the individual whose life was intended to be the means of salvation for all humanity.

19 December 2009 at 09:48  
Blogger Preacher said...

Theresa, What about the verse that says "All have sinned there is none righteous, NOT ONE?" Mary was a Jewish girl, as stated she kept the jewish laws of sin offerings, SHE recognised that she was a sinner, whatever spin one puts on it one can't alter the facts to fit your faith.
Celia: I think you are getting Mary confused with the shepherds, who were told "Unto you is born this day a in the city of David, saviour who is Christ the Lord".

19 December 2009 at 11:02  
Blogger Laurence Boyce said...

"Who, pray, believes that God sent down sperm?"

Forgive me, Cranmer, but I had always imagined that you believed something along these lines. Clearly I have been wrong. But perhaps you can now clear the matter up for me, by answering a couple of brief questions:

- Do you believe that Jesus was in possession of a Y-chromosome?
- If so, where did he get it from?

19 December 2009 at 12:50  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Mr Preacher sir,

Well I think you have got Miss Theresa with that one Oh yes ALL have Sinned, no exception there, none whatsoever, every one, man woman and child, ALL have sinned, even Christ because he was one of the the ‘all’, right! Now these are your words, NOT ONE you said not one indeed?

Mr Preacher I’m sure you know all about covenants and you will know what happened to the un-consecrated who entered the tent or even touched the Arc of God. Understand what descended on Mary at the annunciation (read the Magnificat), compare that with what happed in the wilderness when God descended into His tent. Mary is the Arc of the new Covenant who bore The Word, Joseph knew his Deuteronomy and he had been told by angels how to behave towards Mary. Now if Uzzah was struck down for touching the Ark of the Old Covenant, how do you think Joseph felt about touching the Ark which bore the eternal Word, Jesus Christ? And let’s not forget ours is a jealous God. Cranmer can choose to believe what he likes, that is the joy of Protestant eisegesis. Catholics believe what the earliest Catholics believe, the perpetual Virginity of Mary.

This belief is not novel, it was not ‘invented at Vat1, as the Vincentian Canon says, “That which has been believed everywhere, always and by all. That is truly and properly 'Catholic,'”

The writings of Tertullian and Victorinus and the tract that appeared about a.d. 383 of Jerome Vs Helvidius.
The Brethren of The Lord Commentary on the Epistles of St. Paul by J.B. Lightfoot 1865.
The Nativity of Mary (the Protoevangelium of James)
Origen, in his Commentary on Matthew (c. 248),

EVERVIRGIN has been a title of our Lady from the earliest days; it appears in the documents of councils from Chalcedon 451 onwards (Lateran Council (649), can. 3; DS 703)

The Gospels make it quite clear that Jesus had brothers. They don't. Adelphoi can mean kinsmen. It doesn't have to mean uterine (that is, born of the same womb) brothers.

St Augustine says that "the Virgin conceived without male seed, gave birth without corruption, and remained in integrity after childbirth" (Sermo 215, no. 3; PL 38:1073).

In a letter of the martyr Ignatius, second bishop of Antioch after Peter, who fought with the wild beasts during the persecution in Rome says “Mary’s virginity was hidden from the prince of this world, hidden thanks to Joseph and her marriage to him. Her virginity was kept hidden because she was thought to be married.”

It was believed by the fourth century fathers, the doctrine is well attested for example, references can be found in the writings of Athanasius, Epiphanius, Hilary, Didymus, Ambrose, Jerome, Siricius, and others. Do you want me to list the references is detail?

As once told by a former rather large drug dealer from Cleveland Mr. T-style -- "Makes sense to me. You'ld hafta be a foool to touch her! She was God's baby's Mama!"

A bit of scripture Mr Preacher

"So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures (2 Pt 3:15-16)."

True Then, True Now

19 December 2009 at 13:28  
Anonymous Mark Blades said...

Mr TheGlovner,
Thank you for your reply. I'm not sure that we've even begun, adequately, to explore the concept of 'free speech', but I'm afraid that I don't have the time, or the intelligence, to be able to add much more to what I've previously said.
All the best.

19 December 2009 at 14:34  
Anonymous len said...

Mr Recusant
Your theological gymnastics would be amusing if it were not the seriousness of people being misled by Catholicism.
I now see why the Catholic church tried to prevent the publishing of the Bible in common language.
"They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men. You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." And he said to them: "You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions...Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down" (Mark 7:7-13).

At the moment the Roman Catholic Church condemned the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone, she denied the gospel and ceased to be a legitimate church, regardless of all the rest of her affirmations of Christian orthodoxy. To embrace her as an authentic church while she continues to repudiate the biblical doctrine of salvation is a fatal attribution. We’re living in a time where theological conflict is considered politically incorrect, but to declare peace when there is no peace is to betray the heart and soul of the gospel.

19 December 2009 at 16:03  
Anonymous len said...

The Virgin Mary - Does any of this Matter?
Our concern shouldn't be whether or not the "Virgin Mary" remained a virgin after the birth of Christ. That doesn't have any biblical bearing on our salvation, and therefore, is a peripheral issue. Certainly, Christian doctrine holds that Mary remained a virgin until at least after Christ was born. Thereafter, an argument could be made either way. However, if the perpetual virginity of Mary is used as part of the doctrine holding her to a level of worship, especially as Co-mediatrix with Christ, then we must question the motivation for that interpretation. The Bible teaches that we must trust in Christ - and Christ alone -- for salvation. Adding to or subtracting from what Jesus Christ did on the cross is unbiblical, and therefore, very misguided.

19 December 2009 at 16:14  
Anonymous Theresa said...

Mary and Joseph made the temple offering for the same reason that Jesus was baptised by John and Jesus paid the temple tax (see Matthew 17 24-27); so as not to give scandal.

And guys - it's Christmas. It's time to celebrate the coming of Christ, not a time for theological squabbles. A peaceful, happy and holy one to you all..

19 December 2009 at 16:17  
Anonymous no nonny said...

I incline to Len's view - BVM worship is primarily an RC cult.

Perhaps the Paternal Papists needed both to address and negate the female/goddess aspect of religion: fertility etc. That aspect might even be relevant to modern 'feminists' - even if their religion is marxism!!

Frankly, I think God could have ensured Christ's purity whatever his mother did or didn't do, though it seems reasonable that He would entrust His Son only to a good, gentle, and truthful woman. God can do anything, though -- so as always, our problem lies in our own limited perceptions. Hence the squabbling.

Still, I hope that the evangelists had a clearer understanding of their Teacher and His Doctrine than the rest of us; so I place their authority above others.

And yes - the Church mostly did try to keep Scripture in Latin (to say nothing of Greek or Hebrew!) so that they could interpret it for us. However, a couple of 7th-century guys called Theodore (a Greek) and Hadrian (an African) believed in teaching the Gospel in the vernacular. So we were lucky in Britain; we got a head start that even the Norman bully boys couldn't quite derail.

19 December 2009 at 20:13  
Blogger Preacher said...

Mr Recusant.
Theological diatribe only results in confusing the masses with verbal conjuring tricks, something Rome has been guilty of since Augustine. The words I quoted were written by Paul, so I think your argument should be with him, not me.
Personally I try to enlighten & assist people to find salvation through the blood of Jesus, shed for their redemption instead of binding them up in religous fear & attempting to levy an entrance fee for admission to Heaven & using the term indulgencies to cover up the greedy exploitation of the masses.
Should I wish to do so I could argue points & history with you but feel it would be a pointless excercise as Rome has always been the same, rewriting & adding to scripture.
True Then, True Now.


19 December 2009 at 22:50  
Anonymous the recusant said...


Before one claims that “the Church kept the Scripture in Latin to keep it from the people”, consider this:

• At the time of Jerome's translation into Latin (392 A.D.), the current Latin Vulgate, versions existed in Greek, Latin, Armenian, Syriac, Coptic, Arabic, and Ethiopic.

• At the time of Luther's German transliteration, there were 27 versions of the Bible in German, 9 of which were produced prior to Luther's birth.

• Prior to the production of the KJV, the Bible in English had already been produced by the Catholic Church in the Douai-Rheims Version of 1582-1609, the KJV being dated 1611.

• At that same time there existed 40 versions in Italian, 18 in French (prior to 1547) and versions in Spanish begun in 1478. The complete text of the Scriptures in English, done by the Venerable Bede in the 8th century were no longer extant but partial versions did exist.

• St. Methodius, in A.D. 878 was sent to the Holy See, charged with heresy and with celebrating Mass in Slavonic. He was cleared of heresy, the Slav liturgy was deemed desirable, and he returned to his people. During the last four years of his life, he completed the Slavonic translation of the Bible (except the Books of Maccabees). He died, April 6, 885.

• Alfred Aetheling (849-900), Alfred the Great, personally shared in the translation of portions of the Bible.

• Blessed Hedwig, Queen, dedicated to giving Christianity real roots in Poland, founded the Benedictine abbey of the Holy Cross and superintended the translation of the Bible into Polish. She died on June 12, 1399 shortly after the Bible was produced.

• Father Jacob Wujek (d. 1597), besides distinguished service as preacher and professor, edited a good Polish translation of the Bible.

• Of the 626 editions of the Bible known to have been extant prior to the KJV, 198 were in the vernacular. Not a bad record at all for a Church doing it all by hand. Of course, you are aware that the first book printed was a Catholic Bible, at Gutenberg (the Gooseflesh Bible).

• The Latin Vulgate, itself, was "in the language of the people", insofar as there existed two major classes of people through most of the early Western history. 1. Those who could read Latin. 2. Those who could not read. The word "Vulgate" refers to the "vulgar" or "common“ language. It was produced by the Church for the express purpose of putting the Bible into the "common" or "vulgar" language.

• The Eastern, Greek-speaking Catholic Church had the Bible in the original Greek.

Can you refute any of the above facts Len, if not do you still honestly hold that the Catholic Church tried to keep the bible from the people bearing in mind how many cow-hands could read and write, for those who could the language of the ‘English’ court was Latin and a derivation of Norman French (both had bibles). Anglo Saxon English was the language of the commoner from 11c to the 15c, our Norman overlords, we were still under the yoke of the Plantagenets and they called the shots not the peasants. Look what happened in The Revolt of 1381, Richard II made short work of that and the uppity oiks, only towards the end and with the Tudors did English become more common at the court. This begs the question what was the demand for an English Bible, how could a peasant pay for a book that would cost 3-4 years of his wages. You see when you go into it a bit deeper the comfortable line; the church forbade it doesn’t hold much water; the Church was very concerned with bad or mistranslations, now that I will agree she did try to stop.

19 December 2009 at 23:53  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Len (Cont)
Your debating style Len is primarily to quote a verse or two from scripture, regurgitate some anti-catholic twaddle you picked somewhere and sit comfortably on your laurels. I don’t mind if that’s the level you are comfortable with but really as the saying goes pick your battles, do you feel equipped to enter a debate on this, are you sure you’re ready? The last time we debated if memory serves, you pointedly refused to proceed or even engage on some of the more knotty protestant problems you found difficult to deal with. Now I can’t be doing with that, if you want to play then that’s fine but no dodging the proverbial bullet by trying to change the subject.

Finally Len you said in your post above “At the moment the Roman Catholic Church condemned the biblical doctrine of justification by faith alone” Len show me in my bible where it says “by faith alone”, what does it say this Len, please?.

19 December 2009 at 23:54  
Anonymous len said...

We have had this conversation before and you endlessly quote catholic doctrine ( not found in bible)
I suggest you( and all catholics) read galatians.

20 December 2009 at 00:39  
Anonymous len said...

Throughout the New Testament and the Old Testament as well, the message is clear, we're saved by God's undeserved grace. Something God has given us, as a result of his mercy and kindness, we cannot earn this salvation by works. If this salvation was not gained by God's grace through faith, as God's undeserved gift to humanity, as Ephesians 2:8 says, then this salvation would cease to be a God given gift, we'd gain it by works, and then we'd be able to boast. But that is not what Ephesians 2:9 tells us; it is not gained by works, specifically so we cannot boast. Of course works have a place in Christianity, as Ephesians 2:10 states. The point is, these works are not meritorious, furthermore God prepares these works for us to do beforehand. Moreover without being justified/saved by faith, we are not able to do these works. "I do not set aside the grace of God; for it righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain." (Galatians 2:21).

My conclusion, which is based on Sola-Scriptura (scripture alone), is: salvation is gained by God's grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone! To deny what Jesus said on the crucifix, "It is finished!" is to play the role of the spirit of the anti-Christ that John wrote about to the church in the area of modern day Turkey, because it is essentially denying that the Messiah has actually come to fulfill all requirements of the law, and that we do not need to add to his finished work. It's not fully trusting and relying on Jesus alone for the salvation of your soul. It's like telling God, "God, oh Sovereign Lord over all, thank you so much for the gift of your Son...your atonement on the cross, well it almost was enough to remove the filth of sin on me, I just need to do one last thing..." It's depending on yourself to perform at least part of your salvation, that's not the gospel message.

20 December 2009 at 00:58  
Anonymous len said...

In 1522 Jacques Lefevre translated the New Testament into French, and Collin, at Meaux, printed it in 1524. In 1525 William Tyndale translated the New Testament into English. All these New Testaments were translated from the original Greek, and not from the imperfect Latin Vulgate used by the papal church.

Printing presses were kept busy printing the Scriptures, while colporteurs and booksellers sold them to the eager public. The effect was tremendous.

Every honest intellect was at once struck with the strange discrepancy between the teaching of the Sacred Volume and that of the Church of Rome. Eugene Lawrence, Historical Studies, New York: Harper Brothers, 1876, 255

In the Book of God there were found no purgatory, no infallible pope, no Masses for the dead, no sale of indulgences, no relics working miracles, no prayers for the dead, nor worship of the Virgin Mary or of the saints. But there the people found a loving Saviour with open arms welcoming the poorest and vilest of sinners to come and receive forgiveness full and free. Love filled their hearts and broke the shackles of sin and superstition. Profanity, coarse jests, drunkenness, vice, and disorder disappeared. The blessed Book was read by young and old, and became the talk in the home and shop, while the Church with its Latin Mass lost its attraction.

Rome was awake to the inevitable result of allowing the common people to read the Bible, and the vicar of Croydon declared in a speech at St. Paul’s Cross, London:

We must destroy the printing press, or it will destroy us. Quoted in E.R.Palmer, The Printing Press and the Gospel, 24, quoted in ibid., 14

The papal machinery was therefore set in motion for the destruction of the Bible.

There now began a remarkable contest between the Romish Church and the Bible—between the printers and the popes. . . . quoted in ibid., 15

To the Bible the popes at once declared a deathless hostility. To read the Scriptures was in their eyes the grossest of crimes. . . . The Inquisition was invested with new terrors, and was forced upon France and Holland by papal armies. The Jesuits were everywhere distinguished by their hatred for the Bible. In the Netherlands they led the persecutions of Alva and Philip II; they rejoiced with a dreadful joy when Antwerp, Bruges, and Ghent, the fairest cities of the workingmen, were reduced to pauperism and ruin by the Spanish arms; for the Bible had perished with its defenders. . . . quoted in ibid., 15

To burn Bibles was the favorite employment of zealous Catholics. Wherever they were found the heretical volumes were destroyed by active Inquisitors, and thousands of Bibles and Testaments perished in every part of France. Lawrence, op. cit. 254-257, quoted in ibid., 15

20 December 2009 at 01:21  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Yes, Len - not to forget Wyclif's (c. 1330-84) translations, or the views of his contemporaries Chaucer and Langland.

It's possible to read Chaucer as being quite a Lollard!! He wrote in English for a courtly audience; and btw English strengthened further at that level - (and in law courts, when translation was required) - around the times of Henry V.

In addition to the preaching in English advocated earlier for conversion of Anglo-Saxons, Bede supported the notion; and he told us about Caedmon's Hymn, which that cowherd (fl 670) sang in Old English. The tenth-Century Anglo-Saxon gloss on the Lindisfarne Gospels (it's interlinear) also shows we didn't have to wait for either Caxton or Luther to hear them in English. The texts were based on Jerome's translation, though.

However, hadn't we got a bit independent for Popes, at that point? Isn't that part of why Alexander II backed the 'reforms' proposed by William the Bastard? William, who indulged in the "harrowing of the north"(1069 - having previously massacred Harold's army) - to wit ... we've inherited mostly Celtic DNA. They shared out our lands among themselves, of course; thence they were pleased to consider us all 'peasants' .... until the Tudors brought a touch of Welsh into their equation.

However - monks were educated; and some of them had kept literary English going. I daren't even think how much we lost through the combined works of Vikings, Normans, and the Reformation -- the wonderful thing is that in all cases, some dedicated people managed to rescue and preserve the language and the work. Some of those were RC; the later ones were CoE.

20 December 2009 at 02:43  
Anonymous len said...

The first hand-written English language Bible manuscripts were produced in the 1380's AD by John Wycliffe, an Oxford professor, scholar, and theologian. Wycliffe was well-known throughout Europe for his opposition to the teaching of the organized Church, which he believed to be contrary to the Bible. With the help of his followers, called the Lollards, and his assistant Purvey, and many other faithful scribes, Wycliffe produced dozens of English language manuscript copies of the scriptures. They were translated out of the Latin Vulgate, which was the only source text available to Wycliffe. The Pope was so infuriated by his teachings and his translation of the Bible into English, that 44 years after Wycliffe had died, he ordered the bones to be dug-up, crushed, and scattered in the river!

One of Wycliffe’s followers, John Hus, actively promoted Wycliffe’s ideas: that people should be permitted to read the Bible in their own language, and they should oppose the tyranny of the Roman church that threatened anyone possessing a non-Latin Bible with execution. Hus was burned at the stake in 1415, with Wycliffe’s manuscript Bibles used as kindling for the fire. The last words of John Hus were that, “in 100 years, God will raise up a man whose calls for reform cannot be suppressed.”

Almost exactly 100 years later, in 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses of Contention (a list of 95 issues of heretical theology and crimes of the Roman Catholic Church) into the church door at Wittenberg. The prophecy of Hus had come true!

20 December 2009 at 10:21  
Anonymous len said...

John 16:12-15
Jesus`s Words
"I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
(Short Prayer)
"Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and guide me into your way of truth. Free me from erroneous and false ways and lead me in the knowledge of your ways and your will for my life. May there be nothing in my life that is not under your lordship." Amen.

20 December 2009 at 11:09  
Anonymous Steve said...

Besides the offensive nature of the ad, the bad theology.

The ad is simply a bad ad. It is making an obscure theological point which is missed on the majority of people.

I've blogged about it here:

20 December 2009 at 11:20  
Blogger F.G.S.A said...


The Venerable Bede already translated extracts from the Gospels and the Old Testament in the 8th cent. a.d. And monks continued to translate for folk-but and the Word of God was not separated from the Life of the Church which was most sublimely expressed in the Liturgy of the Mass.

Learn history first.

20 December 2009 at 13:47  
Anonymous the recusant said...


You see Len you’re doing it again, your premise was that the Catholic Church prevented the common folk from reading the bible. I demonstrate that this is clearly not the case that it is in fact baseless propaganda and site evidence but that’s not what you want. Len you are clearly not interested in the validity of your charges, it is enough for you to make as many as you can shotgun style and run, you cannot substantiate them but that’s not what you care about. So be it Len, when you are ready to support your claims I’ll debate them. Huss was a Heretic, he was burned as all heretics were by the civil courts, both Catholics and Protestants supported this, unfortunate but there it is.

It is impossible to say when the first translation of any part of the Bible into English was made. No English Bible of earlier date than the fourteenth century has ever been found. But translations, older than Wcyliffe's are, by at least two eminent witnesses, said to have existed.

"As for olde translacions, before Wycliffe's time," says Sir Thomas More, "they remain lawful and be in some folkes handes." "The hole byble," he declares (Dyalogues, p 138, ed. 1530), "was long before Wycliffe's days, by vertuous and well learned men, translated into the English tong."

And Cranmer, in his prologue to the second edition of the "Great Bible," bears testimony equally explicit to the translation of Scripture "in the Saxons tongue." And when that language "waxed olde and out of common usage," he says.

As for Wycliffe's bible, it was chock full of errors, as I have agreed the Church opposed erroneous biblical translations, like when the odd ‘alone’ in thrown in there, but the propaganda of which you are so fond doesn’t seem to care about that side of things, just that the Catholic Church opposed the Bible in English.

Happy Christmas Len.

20 December 2009 at 16:17  
Anonymous len said...

I present you with the truth but you simply deny it.
In fact you seem to be in denial of anything which doesn`t line up with your Catholic traditions.
One last go, then I give up. "Canon 14. We prohibit also that the laity should
not be permitted to have the books of the Old or
New Testament; we most strictly forbid their having
any translation of these books."
- The Church Council of Toulouse 1229 AD

"The Roman Catholic Church has traditionally
suppressed, opposed, and forbidden the open use
of the Bible. It was first officially forbidden
to the people and placed on the index of Forbidden
Books List by the Council of Valencia in 1229 A.D.
The Council of Trent (1545-63 A.D.) also prohibited
its use and pronounced a curse upon anyone who would
dare oppose this decree. Many popes have issued
decrees forbidding Bible reading in the common
language of the people, condemning Bible societies
and banning its possession and translation under
penalty of mortal sin and death. The Roman Catholic
Church has openly burned Bibles and those who
translated it or promoted its study, reading, and use.
(John Hus, 1415 A.D.; William Tyndale, 1536 A.D.)"

I quite understand why Catholics are frightened to question Catholic doctrines and traditions because if they do curses (anathemas)are put upon them by the hierachy.

"For freedom Christ has set us free, stand fast therefore,and do not submit to a yoke of slavery "( Galatians 5:1-5)

Just one more thought why would Jesus set up a religion exactly the same( works based) as the one that crucified Him?.)

Happy Christ mas Recusant

20 December 2009 at 17:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re "protestants" & "catholics" from "anonym":
Paul commended Bereans who listened to their teachers yet checked everything against their scriptures(at that time, the Tanach or Old Testament). There have been false teachings in parts of both the Catholic &Protestant (& I assume others parts of the "visible Jesus-following church") throught history. There have also been stigmas against parts of the "visible" church by different parts. Not all in the "visible" church are genuine followers of our Lord ie part of the true Body of Christ.
Further, Ephesians says even young-in-the-faith yet genuine believers can get carried away by strange doctines & the lies & deceptions of some people.
We are all called, if we choose to follow our Lord, to follow Him. We hate disagreement, but sometimes there will be conflict with some leaders or others in churches & outside. Truth (as well as trouble-making) can be divisive. In James, wisdom is desribed as pure then peaceable where a conflict sadly exists.
We can thank our Lord for those in leadership who preach the truth (though no-one is perfect except God in all bible-teaching let alone actions or thoughts), yet try to follow our Lord & not give in core issues like salvation which is by faith, though works will be produced by real faith, as "God works in us to will & to do of His good pleasure" though we have free will & need to fight our old nature minute by minute.
Even Peter was guilty & rebuked by Paul for becoming legalistic out of fear of the others(see i.a. Acts).
Unity in the true Body of Christ increases as each genuine believer walks in the Spirit.Some believers attend individual churches with unscriptural teaching because they have little choice ie geography or where some feel their calling is to work from inside. Some cannot tolerate that. Some real Christians are not welcome in some churches which welcome other real believers, not becuase of their sin, but because some churches are more like the world in attitude to some issues than our Lord is. See 2/3 Epistle of John. It happens today, including "politely".

20 December 2009 at 23:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from "anonym"
I hope that Protestants, Catholics and other "Christians" will all attempt to follow our Lord, even where that means sadly criticising our own or other parts of the visible church in love where appropriate. I personally have a problem with relgious alliances with denominations whose teaching contradicts scripture clearly re salvation, whether Protestant, Catholic or any others. The kind of peace which leads people off a cliff in a blissful state of error is not loving or genuine.See the Epistles of John. Vut there are some disputable issues where real believers have different opinions & discuss them even heatedly (nowadays some Anglo-Saxons have an atypical & unscriptural allergy to discussions/anger) yet respect each other & keep a genuine peace.
It is not a game of football. If it were the true Body of Christ is one team, & we are not trying to beat people but overcome evil with good.
Will we put our Lord or our denominations first? No head of a denomination is our Advocate in hief or there on Judgement Day. The fear of man ("Christian" or not) is always be a snare.
I grew up exposed to different denominations though not a believer until an adult. Some squabbbles are like class-war hatred. Some others behave childishly like supporters of competing teams, don't like discussion & believe "their" way or church or denomination is the only one which leads to Christ.
I agree with Len's points re salvation. I also know both Protestant & Catholic leaders have misbehaved, and some write off all believers in the other churches, including some who are believers and disagree with wierdness or wrong teaching in their owrn denominations. I know also Pharisees and Sadducess thrive in churches of several denominations, and are sometimes more welcome than some genuine believers, as has always happened. Look how our Lord, Paul, King David , Noah, the prohets etc were treated by some inside and outside the then "orthodoxy" in and outside congregations. Criticising the church, leaders or individual Christians or others is often not a sin. See the words/actions of such godly men in context in the Bible.
Many of us could grow in love & truth, delight in diversity on minor or morally neutral things while being firm about obvious errors or truths.
How about trying to remember not to bring our gift to the alter if someone has something genuine against us (ie deal with disputes before they fester)?
How about we try to go to our brothers when they hurt or harm us and tell them and try to restore peace?
How about Catholics, Church of England & other denominations talk to other followers of Jesus where we don't to and get to know the individual?
How about we get to know others in our churches - including the ones who slip through the cracks or those society looks down on? How about we question why others think such and such more often?
My Christmas wis is also that any Pharisee, Sadducee or those who push out real believers or those looking for our Lord, in leadership or elsewhere in churches (and outside), repent or quit.
Your Grace, none of the above was a criticism of you and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and New Year.

21 December 2009 at 00:06  
Anonymous the recusant said...


You got me there, except the Council of Toulouse was a regional council, not an ecumenical council. Regional councils do not have authority on the Church as a whole, but only in the diocese of the presiding Bishop, so what I hear you say, those Catholics still banned the Bible.

If I were to come to your church and hand out say some New World Translation bibles, you may know the ones I mean the NWT is the Jehovah Witness bible, one of the most inaccurate and heretical translations in existence, would you mind?

If then you pastor/bishop/elders or whoever said get rid of those bibles they are not the Holy Bible, but erroneous translations made to support a sect, would you object saying ‘wait a minute you are banning the Bible’. Well Len that is what happen in 1229, this council was called to deal with the Albigensian/Manichean heresy that was running amok in southern France. The texts it was referring to were doctored versions of the Bible which the Albigensian/Manichean created in order to support their heretical teachings. So no, this council did no forbid the reading and study of authentic copies of the Bible, just the forgeries and just in its own area.

Sometime after this in Tarragona Spain Muslim Moors, who had recently been ejected from this region, had produced doctored versions of the Bible (1242), much like the Albgensians had done in France. This was done to support the view that it was Ishmael, not Isaac, who Abraham blessed, that Jesus was not crucified and that another even greater prophet would follow Jesus. Many many copies of these false scriptures had been spread throughout the land during the Moorish occupation of Spain. Would you Len being a Bible believing Christian not object to the existence of these heretical Bibles and if you had the power would you not destroy each and every one?

Now be honest did you know that, do you think I am making it up just to support the Pope. I suggest you ought not believe me, but check it out for yourself, I don’t want to be accused of how did you put it “frightened to question Catholic doctrines and traditions because if they do curses (anathemas)are put upon them by the hierarchy”., to be honest Len when you say things like that its just silly and cheapens your argument.

As I’ve said before Hus was a heretic, we have had a lot of them in the Catholic Church.

21 December 2009 at 14:28  
Anonymous len said...

According to the 1913 edition of the "Catholic Encyclopedia," when the Catholic Church anathematizes someone, the Pope ritually puts curses on them and sentences them to hell. There is a solemn written ritual for doing this. The ritual demonstrates the belief that God has given the Pope the power and the authority to keep people out of Heaven, and to condemn them to hell.

In pronouncing the anathema, the Pope wears special vestments. He is assisted by twelve priests holding lighted candles. Calling on the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Pope pronounces a solemn ecclesiastical curse. He ends by declaring, "We judge him condemned to eternal fire with Satan and his angels and all the reprobate". The priests reply, "Fiat!" (Let it be done!) and throw down their candles.

(Sounds pretty serious to me!. Jesus said to bless our enemies, not curse)

21 December 2009 at 19:05  
Anonymous len said...

You called Hus a heretic ,anyone who questions Catholic doctrines or the Popes authority is proclaimed heretic.( A good way of getting rid of anyone who proclaims the truth)

22 December 2009 at 08:23  
Anonymous the recusant said...

I see you have moved away from your claiming the Church banned bibles, please remember to tell your friends and correct them when they repeat this nonsense.
OK, well now, having hopefully cleared away that last error, you want to have a poke at anathemas (you know of course that Gk Odx and Anglicans also claim use of anathemas). Why is it always the pope why not the bishops or priests they can declare the same exclusions (as in exorcism – do we have to go there?) But the Pope will do I suppose.
Question should the declaration of pronouncing formal anathemas be just a matter of rubber stamping a bit of paper or should it be a significant action requiring public declaration, the church thinks any such action is so serious it warrants the bells and smells touch and the snuffing out of candles. No doubt the formality of the ceremony is a throwback to the middle ages, I don’t know much about it nor when it was last used or even if it ever has been used. I expect you have you own version of it i.e. a way of disciplining someone who once having been a member of your sect later rejects your teaching, causes scandal and is unrepentant of their actions. OK but why bother at all, well if you are a bible believing Christian you can check for yourself
Matthew 18:18
Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.
This passage gives the disciples and their successors the power to loose and bind, you have to believe in apostolic succession as the majority of Christians have done for 2000 years.
If that does not convince you then how about John 20:23:
Jesus said, " whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them, and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."
This means that the Church is to proclaim the way of salvation and those who accept Him are forgiven, but those who reject Him are condemned. Simple straightforward and unapologetic
So if you think Jesus was wrong all I can say is take it up with Him after all Jesus Himself cursed peoples, towns and nations even a fig tree, find it for yourself . So if you want to think the Church is somehow barbaric or cruel in this then we are not the only ones are we? Note he gave the power to excommunicate but he said nothing the detail, left that up to the disciples.
Points to note: Catholics do not go in fear of excommunication, anathema or other exclusion to say otherwise is as I have said silly.

22 December 2009 at 08:29  
Anonymous len said...

I think we have exhausted the subject of the catholic church banning bibles, you are still stuck in denial.
Anathemas ,you are still in denial over them,( the information I gave on these came from catholic sources, interesting that you deny them!)
Binding and loosing,
Christ in heaven ratifies what is done in His name and in obedience to His Word on earth. In both Matthew 16:19 and 18:18, the syntax of the Greek text makes the meaning clear. What you bind on earth will have already been bound in heaven. What you loose on earth will have already been loosed in heaven. In other words, Jesus in heaven looses the authority of His Word as it goes forth on earth for the fulfillment of its purpose.( I suspect you will put some spin on this too)

I think your illustration of jesus cursing the fig tree and comparing this with the pope cursing people shows how far out your theology is!

I think your rebuttal of the truth is a sad indictment of your catholic beliefs.I can only assume that indulging in the catholic religion has a blinding and deafening effect.I feel genuinely sorry for those suffering the delusion of religion . May all so entrapped break free.

Merry Christmas.

( Please feel free to have the last word I shall not bother to answer)

22 December 2009 at 20:50  

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