Friday, February 26, 2010

Cardinal Keith O’Brien: the Pope should ‘give Labour hell’ for its policies

There’s an awful lot of Gehenna around at the moment. If it is not spewing forth from Number 10, it is being invoked from The Vatican.

But as much as one might agree with the Cardinal that the forthcoming visit of His Holiness to Scotland to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the Scottish Reformation might be a good opportunity for a ‘Thomas More’ moment (unless he is saving that for his address from Westminster Hall), Cranmer cannot for the life of him work out why the Archbishop of Canterbury has gone Trappist.


It is difficult to summarise the damage this Labour Government has done to the Christian conservative-liberal settlement by which the United Kingdom has been bound together for centuries. And that is conservative with a small ‘c’ and liberal with a small ‘l’. It is a peculiarly English disposition: autonomy in a social context; the right to life, liberty and property, possessed by man in isolation, with the state stepping in to do what only the state can do, leaving the rest of existence to voluntary association and free pursuit. It is the disposition which has guarded us against bloody revolution, and sustained the peace for more than three centuries.

After 13 years of New Labour, we now have a despotism in which each individual is encouraged to assert his or her rights, with one minority interest group perpetually pitted against another; all now conditioned to look to the state as the only source of wisdom and truth. By aggressively asserting ‘equality’, the benign Christian settlement by which the character of the nation has been forged and its liberties constructed is reduced to being merely one constitutional template among many. We have become, as Hegel would say, a soulless community, irredeemably divided into a mere multiplicity of individuals, in which all count the same.

The logical end of the New Labour project is expounded by Plato: the state controls voluntary association, suppresses the home and usurps the functions of family life. We are not quite yet at ‘mating festivals’, but the aggressive moves towards a state curriculum for morality, or the plans for a universal register of all state-approved home-schoolers, is designed to ‘liberate’ the child from all previous influences upon his or her life, to undo any religious or moral influence, and return the child to that state of abstract equality which preceded his or her social existence.

After 13 years of New Labour, church and state are no longer in what Hooker called a ‘living tension’; the secular state has neutered the sacred church, such that it dare not open its mouth for fear of offending some minority, uttering something profane to the creed of political correctness, or ‘inciting hatred’ towards Muslims. The Church of England has been emasculated and feminised by the testosterone-charge of rabid secularism. What was once the ‘Tory party at prayer’ has become the ‘spiritual wing of New Labour’.

The state of England’s national church is a disgrace. In fact, it is more than a disgrace, it is a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.

Shakespearean because it has abandoned the classical unities of action, time and place (there are so many gay, feminist and papal sub-plots that there is no possibility of coherent action occurring in one day and in one place). And it has a particular non-Aristotelian tragi-comedic feel, fusing clowns with hollow crowns, robed protagonists with carping clerics and religio-political spectacle expressed in sublime moments of poetry against the prosiac prose of life.

But it is not so much blank verse as blank theology.

There may be no towering protagonist like a Lear, Hamlet or Othello, but there is an individual who is leading us to an inescapable destiny of conflict. It seems to demand a tragic ending, but it will probably be averted by the pervasive comic action.

Godly people have simply been ground down by the bureaucrats and those who couldn’t beat them have joined them. If they are not consumed by women priests and bishops, they are distracted by serial re-marriage or absorbed by gay blessings.

All in the name of ‘equality’.

And while the new gospel of the rights of man has been ascendant, the Christian conscience has been usurped.

After 13 years of New Labour, we have seen an a steadily increasing intolerance of religious or ethical considerations, and especially to those of immense concern to Christians. The triumph of utilitarianism has relegated religious considerations to the peripheries of sanity, and the only rational context in which debate can now take place is that which reduces ethical considerations to matters of economics or science.

New Labour has cheapened the value of life and negated the primacy of conscience. They have misrepresented science in order to perpetuate their programme of social engineering, and they are intent on destroying the carefully-laid foundations of tolerance and respect which have set this nation apart. They are so intent on legislating for tolerance towards every intolerant minority that they are legislating for intolerance of the tolerant Christian majority.

When Christians dare to be convicted, they are portrayed as bigots. When they articulate a view with which others may disagree, they are dogmatic. When they fall short of perfection, they are pilloried and cast as hypocrites. When they defend the unborn, they are unenlightened. When they oppose animal-human embryos, they are anti-science. When they express concern over the fatherless, they are homophobic. When they speak up for the poor, they are wishy-washy liberals. When they defend faith-based education, they are intolerant. When they seek to uphold marriage, they are ‘right wing’ reactionaries.

It therefore comes as no surprise that Cardinal Keith O’Brien wants the Pope to ‘give Labour hell’.

Though it is probably now illegal to say politicians might go there.

But it is a very great pity that the Archbishop of Canterbury has not already called this anti-Christian Government to account, and reminded them that we Christians dwell in the same space as they, and that we have our ancient rights and liberties.

First, that we have granted to God, and by this present charter have confirmed for us and our heirs in perpetuity, that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired...

"There needs no Pope, my lord, come from Rome to tell us this."


Blogger Laurence England said...

You'd be a marvellous asset to the Catholic Church, Cranmer. You're a fantastic writer. I get the impression you find more inspiration from the Holy Father than the Archbishop of Canterbury.

26 February 2010 at 11:04  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace

The Russian Orthodox Church survived extinction under 70 years of Communism and has emerged stronger than ever before. I do believe the Anglican Church will outlive the Labour Party whether or not the Vicar of Rome comes to its rescue. The diffidence of Rowan Cantuar does surprise although I did think his recent piece, enhanced by Your Grace's highlighter pen, was exceptionally well argued. In short, the man has a brain, so why does he keep it hidden under a bushell?

26 February 2010 at 11:05  
Blogger Species 8472 said...

Dam, that was well written Cranmer, it is such a shame that you are not in parliament with such words.

26 February 2010 at 11:12  
Anonymous graham Wood said...

YG I agree with all the sentiments you eloquently express. But, merely to lament the sad situation at this stage in the emasculation of our Christian liberties is not enough.

You have frequently made siimilar allusions to the authoritarianism of the present government and the consequent challenges presented, especially to the Established church, but you do not, as far as I'm aware, posit an answer.
You do not ask for example the question that seems to require urgent attention, namely, what is to be done about it?
Put another way - what is the Head of the Church saying to his flocks?
Perhaps the overall message is that the C of E should now seriously consider dis-establishment, and so become truly "free" as the mighty Magna Carta declared?
What say you?

26 February 2010 at 11:22  
Blogger Species 8472 said...

Graham Wood

First of all you are asking Cranmer what His answer is. Cranmer only has one solution = Tory.

Secondly you are asking Cranmer if the Church should somehow be removed from the constitution, for Cranmer this would be like cutting off your penis in order to spite your testicles. Do keep up old bean.

26 February 2010 at 11:34  
Anonymous Brooke Foss said...

As an ordinand in the Church of England and a Labour party member who bewails the totalising liberalism of both institutions, I am thrilled to have found your blog. Although I am of more Anglo-Catholic inclination, it is good to hear wisdom rather than tambourines from the Protestant camp. You are a fine apologist indeed for the classic Anglicanism that we are so in danger of losing. The more I read, the firmer become my convictions to remain Anglican and to leave Labour. Many thanks.

26 February 2010 at 11:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

One day – you’ll lead this nation to freedom, security and liberty.

Wonderful article!

26 February 2010 at 11:45  
Anonymous philip walling said...

Might it be Your Grace that we English have the government we deserve?

Might not 'New' Labour's secular totalitarian policies represent the majority view in our modern society?

I only ask.

The Church of England was founded in rebellion at the beginning of the English rise to greatness in the world; it is going down as surely as is England, and in my unhappy view, nothing can save it from its fissility.

26 February 2010 at 11:56  
Anonymous graham Wood said...

Species said:
"First of all you are asking Cranmer what His answer is. Cranmer only has one solution = Tory.

I think you presume to know YG's mind on the matter. It could be that YG, like myself, has very little time for "Tory", and find it irrelevant to the question he, and I raise.
In the first instance he is not talking about a political, but a spiritual matter, to do with the national status of the church.

Granted the C of E originally came about through a political decision (the Elizabethan Settlement), but that was some centuries ago.
The only guiding principle is of course, that of the Bible's own teaching about the nature of the church in the New Testament.

26 February 2010 at 12:20  
Anonymous graham Wood said...

As if the dilemma of the church was not pressing enough as a result of the government's repressive "equality" laws, Christ Bryant MP now calls for:

"civil partnerships to be recognised across the EU, and said the Government is working to ensure legal protection in all member states."

The fanatacism of the homosexual minority knows no bounds.
Clearly the church cannot recognise so called "civil partnerships" as being equivalent to a historic, and biblical understanding of marriage.
Fortunately this blind bigot may soon be out of office, but can we count on the Conservatives to really stand, as they profess, for "family values" ? I think not.

26 February 2010 at 12:44  
Blogger Fr Michael Gollop SSC said...

"There needs no Pope, my lord, come from Rome to tell us this."

But, as you admit yourself when commenting on the deafening silence of other (non-Catholic) churchmen, there obviously does!

26 February 2010 at 12:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too lament the downward spiral of the CofE - not because I'm an Anglican (I'm far too patriotic for that), but because the consequences of the lack of spiritual leadership are there for all to see. England wanted to be her own shepherd of her own flock - the inheritors of this settlement have squandered the rich inheritance bequeathed by the illustrious men and women that came before them.

Roman Catholicism is rapidly becoming the orthodox Christian voice once more, and whilst, as a Roman Catholic, I take both pride and succor in this, one cannot yet help but mourn the strange death, by a thousand cuts, of a once Christian nation - and the quivering cowardice in the face of it.

26 February 2010 at 12:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

Once more we an Archbishop who exists in cyber-space and an Archbishop who sits in Canterbury – muttering.

Will the real Archbishop please stand up and denounce this national socialist government!


26 February 2010 at 13:01  
Anonymous TheGlovner said...

Reminding me of an Eminem song there.

I am starting to think that Cranmer may have purchased Photoshop CS4Special Melodramtic Editon.

Amusing though.

Word verification: Patio.

How very normal.

26 February 2010 at 13:16  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder when the outright physical persecutions are going to begin. I mean, after all, the English people have been disarmed and can no longer do anything but yell, "Hey, stop it!" yeah, that will work.....


26 February 2010 at 13:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

‘In fact, the real test of a nation’s stability and dedication to freedom is not whether citizens’ rights and democratic procedures are sometimes violated, but whether anyone reacts when this happens, and whether anyone bears the political consequences.’

Anne Applebaum (American Spectator, Templeton Essay (2008))

26 February 2010 at 13:54  
Blogger Nicodemus said...

Well said.

26 February 2010 at 14:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

26 February 2010 at 14:16  
Anonymous Y Rhyfelwr Dewr said...

Somebody should explain to the Archbishop of Canterbury that if you act like a doormat, you must expect people to walk all over you.

26 February 2010 at 14:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

whilst not a lover of popey nor his false doctrines and their murderous history, I would support anyone whom would rid us of the crooks we have in office.

26 February 2010 at 14:33  
Blogger marry said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

26 February 2010 at 14:47  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

After 13 years of New Labour, church and state are no longer in what Hooker called a ‘living tension’; the secular state has neutered the sacred church, such that it dare not open its mouth for fear of offending some minority, uttering something profane to the creed of political correctness, or ‘inciting hatred’ towards Muslims.

The Church of England could dare to open her mouth in the days when England was a White and Christian country. The destruction of that England began with the mass immigration that followed the Second World War and, with all three main parties favouring ever more immigration, the destruction will be complete this century.

The England of today, multi-ethnic and multi-faith, is a minefield through which the Church tries to find a safe path. Rowan Williams must know as well as anyone the true nature of Islam but he dare not speak his mind for fear of the consequences for public order. Imagine the riots that would ensue if he did incite hatred of Muslims.

For you to blame this sad state of affairs on ‘13 years of New Labour’ is predictable and pathetic. The Conservative Party is every bit as much to blame for wrecking a united England by importing the peoples and religions of the Third World.

Now that the Third World is here (and accounting for 73% of Britain’s population growth), David Cameron tells us: ‘We would like to see net immigration in the tens of thousands rather than the hundreds of thousands…I’m in favour of immigration, we’ve benefited from immigration...’

So, even if we get a Tory government, there will be no change of immigration policy, England will remain divided into racial and religious tribes, and the Church will still have to bite her tongue when she should be proclaiming the Gospel.

26 February 2010 at 15:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

I wonder what the future will be like as the Christian is excluded from the public square.

Many of us will have left the established church and we shall be at home on a Sunday morning sharing bread and wine with the few that we trust.

Church buildings will have been transformed into warehouses. And those few that still remain open will no doubt be administered by the new-priest, presided over by the female bishop; preaching sermons on global warming. And the Peace will by subtle steps descend into a group sex orgy around the altar – with a statute of Buddha prominently displayed – eyes closed through indifference.

We shall be schooling our children at home; fearing the knock of the council inspector who, no doubt, will be looking to examine the child for a nugget of information which suggests religious instruction.

On Thursday evenings, we may again become concerned as we watch our daughter attend Girl Guides with the risk that she may tell another person about Jesus – and thus attract an investigation by the authorities.

All talk about Christian precepts will have ceased in the office and on the factory floor. Christian Staff Associations will have been superseded by the National Humanist Staff Association. Any attempt by Christians wishing to establish the National Humanitarian Staff Association would be swiftly suppressed by EU employment law.

The presentation of moral arguments in our newspapers against aborting the child who leaps in the womb will have ceased; and no doubt the ‘Progressives’ will be advancing the argument for infanticide for those whose lives are not at the required standard demanded by the Quality of Life ethic (the Sanctity of Life ethic having been long abandoned) and the prize of euthanasia for all having been secured.

The few Christians who will have attempted to resist the ferocity of secularisation will have lost their jobs (selling copies of the Big Issue on the street corner); and their children deposited by State officials in State orphanages.

Of course they will not have been arrested; put on trial for their beliefs nor shot in prison yards: that is not in conformity with the subtleties of the EU’s methodology.

26 February 2010 at 15:36  
Anonymous William Wallace said...

I am not convinced that the honest Scottish Cardinal had the fate of the Church of England foremost in his mind when he spoke.

The Church of England has no satnding in Scotland and the local Episcopalian church has long been a small minority with little impact on national life, save the odd atheist masquarading as its "Primus" getting on the telly to shock everyone.

26 February 2010 at 16:14  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

Glovner wrote:
'I am starting to think that Cranmer may have purchased Photoshop CS4Special Melodramtic [sic] Editon [sic]'.

Brilliant, Mr Glovner!

26 February 2010 at 16:22  
Anonymous Graham Davis said...

“It is a peculiarly English disposition: autonomy in a social context; the right to life, liberty and property, possessed by man in isolation, with the state stepping in to do what only the state can do, leaving the rest of existence to voluntary association and free pursuit” Fine words Cranmer and one that this atheist would endorse.

But you go on to say “but the aggressive moves towards a state curriculum for morality.... designed to ‘liberate’ the child from all previous influences upon his or her life, to undo any religious or moral influence....” Where is the state curriculum for morality? I suppose you mean sex! Sexual relations are only one aspect of morality yet you are all obsessed by it. You confuse sexual liberation with immorality. Sex is not simply a means of procreation, it is a pleasure, and it can be enjoyed like food for no other reason than it tastes good.

How presumptuous of you to tell us that we may only have sex inside marriage or with partners of the opposite sex and that we may not use contraception to avoid unwanted pregnancies. And how hypocritical too, since all my catholic friends have used contraception, as I am sure have members of this forum.

This government, far from undoing religious influence is busy shoring it up, because there are votes to be gained and because it sees religion as a potential opiate of the people (now where have I heard that before?). Like you it thinks that religion is good for us or at least for them, the masses. It has increased the number of faith schools to an extent that would have been unimaginable 40 years ago. We now have academies (like those sponsored by Vardy) that teach iron age creationism.

The world suffers from an overdose of religion, not just your own but all the others too. The only way we can look forward to a better future is to abandon all the supernatural nonsense and grow up. We don’t need imaginary friends, we don’t need morality based on fear and loathing, what we need is a simple humanistic morality based on the premise that you “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. And before you remind me that I am quoting from your precious book let me tell you that this is a universal human notion that pre-dates any gospel.

26 February 2010 at 16:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Davis

Don't interfere with our children's upbringing.

26 February 2010 at 17:26  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Unfortunately Your Grace the Anglican Communion and the CofE in particular doesn’t have one Pope, it has thousands. We Catholics have our problems as you point out with the hierarchy in England and Wales but we can look to the See of Peter, but when abandoned who can you look to, where is your authority?

26 February 2010 at 18:23  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I am fairly convinced your grace , that Labour consider Hell as an equality issue and the "fairer future for all of us" .

I agree with much that you have outlined , yet also realise that a great deal of soundproofing has been put into the electorates mind about why our society is rooted in christianity and what it has to tell each of us.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is perhaps shaking off years of service delivery spin , that has so submerged the churches message , and is perhaps looking for the root of the problem ,where labour and its wrecking conspirators , assumed the all too artificial high ground , that supplying needs was superior to having the christian faith .

It has always intrigued me how they come to see it as a matter of comparative programming assuming that Orwellian big bother fear is the same as fear of the lord , roped under the progressive idea .

They mislabell and blurr so many of the basic understandings I am not surprised we have so much athiesm.

If the cardinals prohecy is correct it is unfortunate that we will have to live with there legacy for some time to come .

26 February 2010 at 18:35  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ the recusant (18:23)—...where is your authority?


26 February 2010 at 19:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is our (the anglican authority?). The Bible, not a man who claims to be above theological criticism.

26 February 2010 at 19:45  
Anonymous William Wallace said...

a that old protestant thing, scriptura

which of the hundreds of versions and millions of interpretaions provides this buckstop?

26 February 2010 at 20:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look lads; we have got to suppress these spats between Catholics and Protestants.

Our country is in great distress - and we sit about as if playing cards.

This article that His Grace has crafted projects tremendous moral force.

As we approach that time when we vote for who shall rule over us - let us meditate on who or how we will be delivered from that creature, the Socialist.

I, even though am a member of the Conservative party, on the brink of voting for UKIP.

But last night a man (PK) argued that if we do not vote for the Conservatives - then Lab and Lib-Dem will form a coalition and pass an act for the AV voting system: ensuring that there is a permanent left-liberal majority in the House of Commons.

My view is to vote Conservative and then let the Right of the party organise the St Valentine's Day massacre of Cameron and his homosexuals.

What do you say lads?

26 February 2010 at 20:52  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Mr Johnny Rottenborough & Lord Lavendon,

Yes indeed as it should be but what do you do when one good Anglican, (Anglicans like Catholics admit tradition in their soterology) in all good conscience admits say consubstantiation and another, in the same good conscience, denies it, as plenty do, who is right, to whom is God and the bible speaking, surely both cannot be right?

Now we know there are many examples we can call on but the problem remains, who decides in a dispute over unity of form or unity of doctrine, you see you can’t have it both ways when a house is divided against itself.

Let me put this in context, in 1992 the Church of England voted to admit women priests and that is fine as far as it goes, God and the Bible according to Protestant patrimony allows for this, the Synod guided by the Holy Spirit chose at a majority vote (very biblical) to ordain women, God said it, I believe it, that settles it, as any good Baptist will tell you. The problem comes when you consider that the first vote on ordaining women in modern times was in 1920, and a subsequent vote in 1930, were both lost. An archbishops' commission in 1935 also found against women's ordination, and well so it was repeatedly defeated up to 1992.

Now my question is what was the Holy Spirit doing all this time, changing His mind? Does God do that, Change His mind. If as you say God and the Bible are your authority (and I don’t doubt it) then your authority is changeable. The pro-women ordination lobby were deaf to the Lords words, so much so that they did not accept the Holy Spirits ruling all the way up to 1992, if fact they out and out disobeyed Him by returning to the issue time and time again until they got what they wanted irrespective of the Holy Spirits guidance.

Let me say that I think the CofE can ordain whomsoever it likes, and it clearly has. I can’t see any objections to Women Bishops once you accept the principal of ordained women but let’s not pretend that unity of doctrine is preserved because is clearly is not, and the tragedy is that not only has this gone out the window, unity of form is close on its heels.

26 February 2010 at 21:10  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Mr Johnny Rottenborough & Lord Lavendon, (CONT)

So while I applaud your call on God and the Scripture, it doesn’t solve the problem of two opposing views on a matter of theological importance, perhaps vital importance. Nowhere are the effects of this more evident recently than in the USA, where I must confess, I have lost track of all the different breakaway Anglican groups, all I know is that there are now about 120 of them, and they all say they are 'united and faithful.'

The big question is: united with whom and faithful to what? They seem to be mostly Evangelical former Episcopalians. Who, then are they united with? Themselves I guess, but not with the other 150 some Anglican schism groups? Certainly not with the Eastern Orthodox or the Catholic Church. So I guess they're 'united' like every other Protestant group is 'united'; that is to say, they are united within their own denomination.

The other question is: faithful to what? Not faithful to the Catholic faith that 'comes to us from the apostles', faithful to Anglicanism? Only as defined by the group itself. Faithful to the Scriptures? Only as interpreted by themselves. Faithful to Christian morality? Only as defined by themselves. Faithful to 'Mere Christianity'? Who defines what that is?

Cardinal Newman said of church unity that without an infallible authority any group had to either sacrifice unity of form for unity of doctrine to preserve unity of form or will sacrifice unity of form to save unity of doctrine. As such, they would fall into either the latitudinarian error or the sectarian error. What this means is that any non-Catholic group will either lose formal unity in order to be on the same page doctrinally--in which case they breakaway to form a sect, or they sacrifice unity of doctrine (you can believe what you like) in order to preserve unity of form or structure. This is the classic Anglican position. "Believe whatever you like--just don't form a schism." For lovers of long words, this is called latitudinarianism.

What we are seeing is the disintegration of the classic latitudinarian position of the Anglican Church (some like to comfort themselves by calling this the Via Media or some such nonsense), as Anglicans decide that they would rather sacrifice unity of form for unity of doctrine.

Of course, it doesn't take a German theologian to figure out that as soon as you form a new sect you are soon faced with another issue which will force your people to ask themselves again whether they wish to retain unity of form or unity of doctrine. They choose and either water down their beliefs (to retain unity of form) or they break away and form yet another sect.

As I say, for all our troubles we have to Pope, the apostolic descendant of Peter look to, to who’s authority can an Anglican look to?

26 February 2010 at 21:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll take one point, you talk about the women ordination being guided by the vote of the general synod as being "very biblical", I assume this to be sarcasm. Yet this is the principal of the Roman Church when the Cardinals "elect" a Pope. And techincally, if a Pope said it was OK to have Roman Catholic women Priests or Priests who could marry, then that would be OK because of his say so.

Splinter? Plank?

Now, I agree with D.Singh, that these are on the whole minor issues and there are greater matters at stake. I have said before when I was a student a few decades ago I have the pleasure of sharing my digs with 1 Anglican, 1 Atheist and 2 Catholics, one of who was the Catholic Society President,so I am well aware of the various doctrinal differences, e.g. I do not believe that in the Holy Communion I am literally eating flesh and blood,but also of the many aspects of common grounds in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ.

You asked where does the Anglican Church dervive its authority. My answer was the Bible. A sweeping statement was given to a sweeping question.

26 February 2010 at 21:34  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Remember Prof. C.S. Lewis? He never wrote to divide Catholic and Protestant.

As the brilliant Swiss-American theologian Francis A. Shaeffer said: let's keep our doctrinal differences and be co-belligerents.

And hit those Left-liberals hard!

26 February 2010 at 21:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

D.Singh, I agree with you as noted in the lower half of my post.

26 February 2010 at 21:55  
Anonymous Lucifer said...

To the Recusant and Lord Lavendon, your ramblings are insignificant compared to the power of the dark side of the force!

26 February 2010 at 22:22  
Anonymous Anubis said...

Don't I get a look in?

26 February 2010 at 22:23  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ the recusant (21:10 and 21:11)—I feel something of a fraud for commenting because, although confirmed in the Church of England, I haven’t ‘been to church’ for years.

That said, the C of E appeals to me for a rather odd reason: her way of muddling through. It gives the Church a human dimension that touches my heart. I can understand how the sense of certainty, solidity and order that exudes from the Vatican appeals to Roman Catholics but it isn’t for me. I guess if I’d been born into a Roman Catholic family I’d see things differently.

One last thought. For a short time, I looked at Damian Thompson’s blog on the Daily Telegraph website and I was really quite shocked at the level of vitriol directed at Protestantism both by Thompson and the commenters. Does it really have to be like that?

26 February 2010 at 22:36  
Blogger Stan said...

Your Grace,

I`m having a blog warming party,you and your friends are most welcome as my honored guests!..

26 February 2010 at 23:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Rottenborough

Don't betray your church.

Remember: God, family and country.

And in that order.

We'll have these left-liberal boys for breakfast!

26 February 2010 at 23:16  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Mr Singh—God, Family, Country. If today’s Conservative Party held to that creed, I’d be proud to vote Tory.

26 February 2010 at 23:37  
Anonymous William Wallace said...

You see I do agree, that which unites us is greater than that which divides us, but I think the Recusant's questions remain unanswered here.

Or anywhere.

27 February 2010 at 00:29  
Anonymous bluedog said...

@ the recusant, the basis of Anglican faith as taught to me is the Thirty-Nine Articles, about which wikipedia comments;

"Adherence to the Articles was made a legal requirement by the English Parliament in 1571. They are printed in the Book of Common Prayer and other Anglican prayer books. The Test Act of 1672 made adherence to the Articles a requirement for holding civil office in England (repealed in 1824).

In the past, in numerous national churches and dioceses, those entering Holy Orders had to make an oath of subscription to the Articles. Clergy of the Church of England are still required to acknowledge that the Articles are "agreeable to the Word of God," but the laity are not. The Church of Ireland has a similar declaration for its clergy, while some other Churches of the Anglican Communion make no such requirement.[15][20]

The impact of the Articles on Anglican thought, doctrine, and practice has been profound. Although Article VIII itself states that the three Catholic creeds are a sufficient statement of faith, the Articles have often been perceived as the nearest thing to a supplementary confession of faith possessed by the tradition."

The Nicaean Creed takes various forms, as you would be aware, depending upon which of the early Councils is used as a reference point. As an Anglican I refer to the version found in the Book of Common Prayer. In common with the Orthodox and as enjoined by the Emperor Constantine through the Nicaean creed we Anglicans affirm our belief in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. However, as His Grace is wont to point out, translating late antiquity Greek into English is an art rather than a science. Hence there are various translations of the various versions of the Nicaean Creed, if you want to muddy the waters further. I am also aware that the Vicar of Rome rejects the proposition that the Anglicans can claim Apostolic Succession, an assertion we reject on the basis of the Mandy Rice-Davies Defence.

In answer to your question 'to whose authority can an Anglican look', I would answer, to the Synod. To some extent the various Anglican provinces are auto-cephalous, as is the case with the Orthodox Church. Again, like the Orthodox Church we eschew the caesaro-papism of Rome, which was arguably responsible for both the Great Schism of 1054 and the Reformation of the sixteenth century. We don't need an alpha male telling us what to think, much as I admire Benedict for what he says and does.

In answer to your question, 'faithful to what?', see the above.

27 February 2010 at 03:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,
From David Lonsdale

I recently read the biography of Rowan Williams "Rowan's Rule". It made depressing reading. He was brought up in the Welsh chapel, but preferred the 'bells and smells' of the high Anglican church up the road.
He nearly went over to Rome, but decided he could not accept the sole authority of the Pope. Does that mean he can accept the heresies of purgatory, Mary the co-mediatrix; Mary the co-redemptrix?
He is referred to as a humble man, and in a material sense he is. But behind that cloak of humility resides a spirit of rebellion. He is too intelligent to accept what God says in plain language. He does not believe that homosexuality is a sin, unless it is practised in an unfaithful relationship like adultery. God never said that. God said that homosexuality was an abomination.
Williams finds more to argue about with God than with Gordon Brown, whom he counts as a friend.
Only 2 Chronicles 7 v. 14 will save us. To a Christian God is the answer as revealed to us in scripture. To Williams it appears that Marx is closer to the answer.

27 February 2010 at 08:24  
Anonymous Tancred said...

The English do, in fact, have what they deserve.

They have accepted secularism, multiculturalism, Islamism, Marxism - every 'ism in fact.

One can only watch as a once great nation sinks into the mud now that Labour and the Tories have conspired to break our society and make the majority no longer independent people but people who just want "stuff" paid for out of benefits, state employment, debt and crime.

I have given up being angry or railing against the tide. Life is too short.

The only solution is a societal collapse.

Only then will people wake up.

Or perish.

27 February 2010 at 08:32  
Anonymous jeremy hyatt said...

D.Singh said...

'My view is to vote Conservative and then let the Right of the party organise the St Valentine's Day massacre of Cameron and his homosexuals'.

I've heard how many divisions has the Pope but how many homosexuals does Cameron have?

Does he collect them like ye olde cigarette cards?

This is very unkind anyway. It's also aacdemic cos moon face is looking increasingly unlikely to winm outright :D

27 February 2010 at 16:06  
Anonymous t said...

Lord Lavendon

Nothing could have been further from my mind, the vote is very biblical, the successor to Judas Iscariot was elected by the vote, guided by the Holy Spirit see Acts of the Apostles 1: 21-26. Nope I was not being sarcastic, and yes a conclave for a new Pope is run likewise by election, so I hope we can avoid all references to planks of wood and splinters.

I was not making any points about doctrine but about authority, who has it and where do they get it from? Your position then is that the Bible is your sole authority. My question then is where does it say that? Let me put my fingers in the holes.

I note that you say you don’t believe that in the Holy Communion you are literally eating Christ’s flesh and blood. Can I ask, why? Why do so many reject Christ’s teaching today, it’s not because it’s against scripture, reason and logic perhaps, but the Bible is perfectly clear that it is Christ Himself in the Eucharistic. Jesus words are plain enough “This is my body, this is my blood” “Unless you eat the flesh of the son of man and drink his blood, you do not have life in you” “My flesh is real food, my blood real drink”, no room for equivocation there.

From scripture then any modern rejection is an echo of that heard 2000 years ago when the disciples first heard it and complained “this is hard teaching, who can accept it?” But note, and this is important, not once did Jesus explain that he had not been speaking literally in saying he would give his body to eat and his blood to drink. Not once did Jesus explain his teaching other than to let those who could not bear it leave, he didn’t call them back and say ‘you don’t understand , what I meant was…’, he just let them go. His meaning then could not be clearer.

In every Biblical reference to Christ body and blood it’s always literal, repeatedly he emphasises this by saying “Truly I say” or “Amen, Amen I say”, there are no exceptions (cf. 1Cor. 10: 16-17, 11: 23-29, and most forcefully John 6: 32-71). If the bible states that this is really true body and blood, why is it rejected by the bible believing Christian? There is no biblical reference to support such a rejection so it must be reason, an inability today, as two millennia ago by his disciples, to reason or rationalize this teaching of Jesus. Either that or one must hold something’s are impossible with God.

The conservative theologian Louis Berkhof, in his famous work Systematic Theology, insists that the Roman teaching “… violates the human senses, where it asks us to believe that what tastes and looks like bread and wine, is really flesh and blood: and human reason, where it requires belief in the separation of a substance and its properties and in the presence of a material body in several places at the same time, both of which are contrary to reason.

Our Lord’s words then are not interpreted non-literally because that is the obvious way to interpret them, but because a literal interpretation seems to be repugnant to reason.

And here we come back to it, by what authority is this teaching overturned? As a person for whom the Bible is his authority, what hoops do you have to jump through to arrive at the position that this teaching is false, or was good then but not now?

27 February 2010 at 20:49  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Mr Johnny Rottenborough

Thank you for a considered and honest reply, I occasionally look at Damien’s blog, he has had a pop at Cranmer a few times in the past (I don’t think they’re best of pals), and he can be a bit caustic at times (but can’t we all). That said he is not averse to highlighting areas we (Catholics) would rather have swept under the carpet, in this he provides a valuable service.

About going to Church then, why bother? Sometimes I’m sure we think we are doing the Lord a favour by going, racking up the celestial smarty points so to speak; either that or depositing our prayers in the bank of St. Peter for when we need to draw on the heavenly account. But this is clearly nonsense, we are commanded, I mean get that will you, commanded to keep the Sabbath Holy, it’s not optional, but why one has to ask is it a commandment at all. Well I don’t think it’s because God needs it, I am convinced He doesn’t need our worship to exist anymore than a clock needs time.

I think he wants it though, not for Himself but for us, we are the ones who need it, it is the one time where He has our undivided attention, where He can bestows His Grace, where we hear His word. Jesus said to Satan, ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God!’, I would ask, can you live then without the word of God, or just exist?

The commandment, like them all then, is there for our benefit, not Gods. What are we commanded to do with the Sabbath, keep it Holy, we have to do something, not sit on our backsides and watch Songs of Praise, (not that I’m suggesting that’s what you do). The original Hebrew root word of Holy is Kadesh meaning separation or withdrawal, we have to separate ourselves from what we would normally do, withdraw from the world and give God a chance, as Cicero one said a couple of millennia ago Cui Bono? - Who Benefits?. Answer, We do.

I urge you then Mr Rottenborough , go and visit the Lord, not for His sake but for yours, Easter is on its way, what better time, sit in the silence and listen, ponder 1 Kings 19: 11-14, he is always at home. You never know, one day you may even become Catholic. [Cicero, Latin and Hebrew in one post, if only I were that smart]

27 February 2010 at 21:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Hyatt

'It's also aacdemic cos moon face is looking increasingly unlikely to winm outright...'


Then what is the future?

Clegg and Brown introduce a PR voting system that will ensure at least another generation of left-Liberal hegemony.

Today I read of a publican who has been imprisoned because he contined to permit his customers to smoke.

Here is an ordinary man willing to go to prison with muderers and rapists over this issue.

Something is happening. It is called resistance. It starts of in an innocuous way. Another issue arises and another man will be willing to go jail.

Britain has lost its influence in the EU; there is no EU Commissioner; the Franco-Germanic axis is about to pass legislation that will destroy the City. If the British government reist the legislation then the rule of law in the EU will break down. I don't think the British government will refuse to obey the EU.

Britain wil be broke: no manufacturing base and no City to make profits for tax revenues.

It will end in civil conflict. The Army will stay neutral

27 February 2010 at 22:16  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Mr bluedog,

Ah Yes the Old 39 Articles of 1571, I remember it well, but are they the right ones, are there more article or less, how am I to know and who should I ask. Who has the authority to decide?

You see first there were the Anabaptist Schleitheim Confession of 1527, then the three Confessions presented to the Diet of Augsburg in 1530 at the command of the Emperor Charles V, who demanded a clear account of the position of the Reformers

Then there was the infamous Augsburg Confession.

Then Huldrych Zwingli’s Confession, the Tetrapolitan Confession. Not to be outdone the Lutherans, Reformed and Radicals alike continued to produce further confessions, many of them in fact.

Then the Smalcald Articles (1537), the Formula of Concord (1577), among others (ten in all), were gathered together in 1580 in the Book of Concord, which itself became normative for most Lutheran churches,

Not to be outdone the Reformed, by contrast produced the Irish Articles of Religion (1615), the First Helvetic Confession (1536), the Westminster Confession (1647), the Confession of the Waldenses (1655), the Scots Confession (1560), the Belgic Confession (1561), the Heidelberg Catechism (1563), the Second Helvetic Confession (1566), the Second Scots Confession (1581)


Most Reformed churches, but by no means all, accepted the Canons of the Synod of Dort (1618-1619) which defined the “five points” of Calvinism, and I’m not going there

Wittenberg Articles of 1536, the Ten Articles later in the same year and Cranmer’s own Thirteen Articles of 1538. Yeah Cramner!

In June 1553, the 42 “Articles of Religion” drafted by Archbishop Cranmer were promulgated by the authority of the Privy Council (no ecclesiastical body or assembly ever debated or approved of them).

Just a minute you said 39 Article, yes I checked definitely 39 Article, onwards then MacDuff…

Ahhh the 42 Articles died with the king (He was a mean little sod anyway, typical Tudor just like his dad) and they formed the basis for the later 39 Articles.

So Mr bluedog, who can I look to for a decision on what are the right ones, which Articles did Christ give? and if I choose one, can It change later if I don’t like it, or can I add a few more articles and start my own Church, It’s all so confusing? It’s like a bad TV advert, fed up with you Articles, change to new improved blue biological Article 3.9, same as your old 39 Articles but a lot smaller.

Cue: storm clouds vanish, sun comes out, rainbow appears and the Barque of Peter sails over the horizon with a little German man at the helm. (Sorry, excuse my bit of Papist soliloquy)

But seriously Mr bluedog, I don’t buy it, your articles are only 500 years old, why should I choose them over a Church that can show a provenance back to Peter. Your Articles are not consistent, they are the product of repeated change and revision and in the end a human originated and published them to protest against the Church in Rome (let’s not pretend otherwise). Your Articles change the teaching in a number of places of that Church whose teaching had been accepted for the previous 1500 years, the one that goes back to Christ, by what authority are they changed, human or divine. Are the 39 Article divinely inspired, well no they are not, not even he AC claims this so why should I pay them any more attention than say the racing post.

Wikipedia, really?

27 February 2010 at 22:49  

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