Saturday, January 22, 2011

Telegraph: the ‘mean-spirited’ Church of England

His Grace has covered the rise of ‘anti-Anglicanism’ before (here, here and here).

One perhaps ought not to be surprised that The Daily Telegraph seeks to undermine the Established Church, considering the intolerance and censoriousness of its proprietors.

And now we are told that the Church of England is ‘mean-spirited’ because some bishops are not amenable to sharing parish churches with those former-Anglicans who have joined Pope Benedict’s Ordinariate.

The allegation, we are told, is ‘on the lips of many Catholics’.


This, from adherents of a church which refuses communion to Anglicans;

Informs us that we do not belong to a church ‘in the proper sense';

Denies the validity of Anglican ordination;

Treats the Archbishop of Canterbury with contempt;

Denies contraception to those who are live in dire poverty;

Is widely perceived to ‘hate women’;

And tells homosexuals that their thoughts are an ‘intrinsic moral evil’ and their desire an ‘objective disorder’.

The Church of England mean-spirited?



Anonymous Hackney Wicked said...

Your Grace is absolutely right. My fiancée is Catholic and as an Anglican, I have to go through a probing inquisition that made me feel as if my beliefs are not valid. If she were to come to an Anglican Church, the vicar would invite "members of any Christian Church" to share in communion. Which of these is the better attempt at Christian unity?

Having said that, I would draw the distinction between the polity of the Catholic Church and its members. Most Catholics I know are very socially liberal and lead private lives that would seem directly contrary to their church's teachings.

The important question though is how we make the Church of England more important in our national life. This has to be done by the church. It could try having a greater clarity of message, clearer communication from senior leaders and getting rid of trendy, politically-motivated churchmen. The church needs to show everyone how welcoming it is and regain a place as "Our Nation's Church", "Our Church". I believe that the appointment of a charismatic Archbishop of Canterbury (John Sentamu would be great) can help with this.

22 January 2011 at 10:06  
Anonymous Anguished Soul said...

Is the Catholic Church a christian church? Mind you, these days should the same question be asked of the Anglican Church?

22 January 2011 at 10:13  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Superb post, Your Grace. Without question they are all out there at the gates.

22 January 2011 at 10:19  
Anonymous Geoff said...

It would seem that the least the CofE could do is give back some of the churches that it stole from the Catholic Church.

The attendances at CofE churches have gone through the floor. Many are now mosques, pubs and creches.

Many churches will, by denying sharing arrangements or transfers, close down/become dilapidated.

The powers that be within the CofE should wake up and smell the coffee. After centuries of bigotry and discrimination people are moving back to the Church. Small minded and spiteful acts now will only damage the CofE more and drive more people away.

22 January 2011 at 10:22  
Anonymous stevemac said...

Your Grace, would it be 'mean-spirited' of me to highlight at this juncture, the instruction of the Vatican to Irish Catholic bishops, not to report allegations of child abuse to the police?

22 January 2011 at 10:41  
Anonymous Martin Sewell said...

The issue of the use of buildings by departing congregations is a difficult one, but perhaps they ought to be considering that if they are truly joining the Catholic Church, they ought to be uniting with their new fellows in the local Catholic Churches which are usually readily on hand to receive them.

To say this is not be meanly expulsive, but to identify the logic of their decision and set it in the proper context that to be a member of a Church is to be part of a community and not simply to occupy premises.

I could be persuaded to approach all such matters however, on a case by case basis

22 January 2011 at 10:56  
Blogger steve said...

The resurgent Roman church is as much a signal of a return to the Dark Ages as the rise of the Islam.

I had never spent much around Catholics until in my early 20s I did some voluntary youth work in an inner city. About a good third of the children were Catholic. They were the same as us but different; I could never quite articulate how. All I can say there was an odour of guilt and contrition.

Protestantism is misunderstood. One of my young female lecturers at university said religion had no impact on her life. I replied that if it wasn't for the Reformation she would be at home tending house and probably pregnant. She didn't like that, she was a free thinker. Again I replied that without Protestantism she wouldn't be allowed free thought. A similar vein runs through those discussions about the actions of immigrants from Islamic countries. We mustn't blame Islam! We musn't blame Islam! But Islam memes run through their culture even if they don't attend the mosque (which lets face it nearly all do attend.)

I think I have said enough. I don't want to go about linking the EU with Catholicism in case I do get branded a crackpot.

22 January 2011 at 11:19  
Blogger The Heresiarch said...

Is it not equally mean-spirited of the Church of England not to make their facilities available on fridays for use as mosques?

22 January 2011 at 12:23  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

I think your list is a little biased by nuancing. Nothing wrong with that.

Also, this is not just about sharing churches but about the CofE attitude to the Ordinariate in general. It cannot be denied that the Synod is seemingly hellbent on forcing some loyal Anglicans to accept female prelates and overriding their beliefs.

Should I still be in the CofE and should it be that a female bishop tries to force allegiance I would find that rather mean spirited.

We were told that there are two integrities, each of worthy value. But that surely does not mean trying to obliterate the different integrity.

22 January 2011 at 12:51  

"Denies contraception to those who are live in dire poverty"

It proscribes contraception for all, not just the poor. This is a good thing since contraceptives are harmful to women and can act as abortifacients. I am surprised that you attack the Church for its prolife stances.

In reference to your link, the AIDS rate in Thailand (0.6% Christian) is 800% higher than in the Philipines (85% Catholic).

22 January 2011 at 13:06  
Blogger Dr. Love said...

This is exactly what they mean, Your Grace. Instead of responding to the actual allegation, ie whether or not the response of some Anglicans to the Ordinate has been mean spirited, you instead resort to character assassination, a tactic of the left which is not becoming of Your Grace nor befitting your position.

Wish them well, stop obsessing, don't blog on it every other day and then try to convince your readers that it's not a very big deal when it obviously is, at least to yourself.

22 January 2011 at 13:40  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Hackney Wicked (10:06)—Before Dr Sentamu is translated to Canterbury, let’s have a whip-round to buy him some elocution lessons. Charisma without intelligibility would be one step forward and two back.

22 January 2011 at 14:03  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

Pah indeed!

Never mind Anglo/Roman catholic relations, what of a Church of England cleric, one Canon Giles Fraser, who criticises the faithful for defending Christianity against Islam? Perhaps Your Grace would refrain from reading the Guardian. Had he done so he should have been as shocked as I was to be described as a racist and a bigot for looking to the example of Christ rather than the prophet of Islam.

22 January 2011 at 14:12  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Dr Love,

You clearly have read nothing that His Grace has written on the matter: how he has lauded Pope Benedict; decried the leadership of the CofE; sympathised with those who choose to convert; wished them well...

Blog on it 'every other day'?

The facts establish the absurdity of your hyperbole.

Parliament has already granted a mechanism for CofE churches to be 'shared': the arrangement exists. The lack of charity is manifest in the mean-spirited attitude of those who criticise those bishops and vicars who do not wish to share, while themselves remaining in a church which many believe to be mean-spirited on a number of issues.

Why not simply bless those who do not wish to share; wish them well, instead of heaping hot coals upon their heads for desiring nothing more than a distinct Anglican integrity?

22 January 2011 at 14:14  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

And what of those who want a "distinct Anglican integrity" that holds to scriptural and sacramental traditions? American Anglicans have had to endure female prelates trampling over their consciences. Jane Dixon was one such who seemed to lack Christian charity. Live and let live, eh? Not for some who take a very different approach.

22 January 2011 at 14:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some Anglicans ae a bit supercilious about the validity of non conformist ordination - which is one of the reasons the two Churches never merged and merely work together!

I do find Catholics go a bit quiet when I mention the only female Pope. One of these days I will find her memorial in Rome but it is not very well publicised!

22 January 2011 at 14:25  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

'This, from adherents of a church which refuses communion to Anglicans;'

Because they don't believe it's the body and blood of Christ. It would be sacrilegious to dole it out to someone who considered it no more than bread and wine.

'Informs us that we do not belong to a church ‘in the proper sense';'

If you actually read the link you posted, then you'd see it's partially due to their rejection of the Eucharist and partly due to their explicit rejection of the Catholic Church.

'Denies the validity of Anglican ordination;'

Because it is not a sacrament and doesn't make the vicar a 'priest' in the sense that he presides over no real sacrifice. It is the ordination part that is void, not the vicar bit.

The rest of your points I can tell (as you are a Christian and an intellectual) you don't actually agree with, but are only posted to say that in the public eye, this is how the Catholic Church are 'mean-spirited'. However, the total sum of your post seems to be 'Don't pick on us! Those people are bad as well!' Not the finest intellectual argument one can make.

22 January 2011 at 14:27  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

'how he has lauded Pope Benedict; decried the leadership of the CofE; sympathised with those who choose to convert; wished them well...'

Technically true maybe, but is no more evidence of your lack of anti-Catholicism than the 'I have black friends!' argument shows a lack of racism. The vast majority of your posts of Catholicism are negative, and you take great delight in reporting news that portrays it in a bad light. It smacks not of a sense of superiority but of bitterness. It degrades the worth of every well thought out post you make because every time I read them, I read them in light of the ill-thought out drivel you sometimes splurge.

22 January 2011 at 14:35  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Lakester91 (14:35)—Please bear in mind that it was Roman Catholics who set His Grace ablaze. He has a perfect right to feel a little tetchy towards Rome now and again.

22 January 2011 at 14:47  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Lakester91,

When you reduce sincere generosity and charity to 'technicality', your self-righteousness and bitter judgement falls foul of the Lord's injunction. There are very, very many posts which are positive, and, indeed, effusive about Pope Benedict XVI. You simply choose to ignore them in order to craft your crass, simplistic and puerile caricature. If His Grace's 'well-thought' posts are diminished by your redaction, please, feel free to depart permanently. You are not obliged either to read or to contribute.

22 January 2011 at 14:51  
Blogger OurSally said...

>It would seem that the least the CofE could do is give back some of the churches that it stole from the Catholic Church

Sky-daddy's self-appointed reps initially stole it all from the people by promising them pie-in-the-sky in exchange. Your Jahweh-class omniscient, omnipresent deity needs no middlemen.

22 January 2011 at 14:57  
Anonymous len said...

The Roman Catholic church is circling like a vulture sensing prey.It has spied the Anglicans falling apart at the seams lead by a bumbling ineffective intellectual and decided to swoop in for the kill.
All victims consumed by the vulture(sorry Catholic Church) become part of it and so it increases in size, and gets rid of the opposition in one fowl swoop(pardon the pun)
If Anglicans do not get 'their act together'they will fall victim.
Jesus used the analogy of wolves coming in to tear up the flock.
Without a strong shepherd Anglicans are an easy prey!.

22 January 2011 at 15:00  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

So those sitting on the hillsides of Judea listening to Jesus were ALL stiff-backed Anglicans were they? I've got my act together. It's those who want to rush onto the stage shouting the odds telling me the script is all dodgy who I have a problem with.

22 January 2011 at 15:45  
Anonymous John Thomas said...

Church sharing, etc.: But just imagine if we got into the awful situation of the TEC USA, where the ailing, dying church uses every last penny of its plummeting "Plate & Pledge" to pursue, in the courts, parishes who want to take their buildings with them when they leave the TEC (as inevitably they must). The CofE refusal does tend to remind one of the mean-spirited - nay, vicious - approach of TEC, and rather than risk going in that direction, I'd prefer to call the CofE "mean", and get it to change its direction/decisions.

22 January 2011 at 16:00  
Blogger Dave said...

A few years ago I was asked to take part in a musical evening put together by a Catholic friend at her local church.
At the start of the evening the priest stood up and welcomed everyone- even "those of a different faith".
I smiled and got on with the job.

I passed a catholic church whilst driving through Coventry today. No Cross to be seen, just a huge statue of Mary.
He was right. I admit to having a different faith- one in Jesus and not Mary. One that looks to the Cross and not a plaster saint.

The catholic social club in the same grounds as the church looked well used though...

22 January 2011 at 16:08  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Mean spirited??? When, in the past, I have changed jobs, I have never expected to be allowed back to my old office, to use the photocopier!

Of course, unlike Damian Thompson, I have never been fortunate to have irons in several fires; is he not Director of the ''Catholic Herald'' still?

22 January 2011 at 17:02  
Anonymous Maggie said...

Church sharing - what many pro-Ordinariate blogs and commentators seem not to have noticed is that the Archbishop of Westminster has said more than once that he expects ordinariate congregations to worship in their local [Roman] Catholic church

22 January 2011 at 17:08  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

If they worship in Roman Catholic Churches how will they retain an Anglican Patrimony? The whole idea I thought was that the Ordinariate would be a place for Anglican Catholics to worship, retaining Anglican heritage and to be in full communion with Rome.

Vincent Nicholls has been said to be unhappy with the Ordinariate. I have no idea. But the "two sittings" approach is not what a lot of us have in mind.

22 January 2011 at 17:36  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

The reason for this is not exactly simple, but is far more so, then may at first appear to be the case.

It is not just the CofE, its faith, or its clergy who are under terminally serious attack. It is protestantism in all its forms, and guises, very much including Bible believing Christians. (Of which, I do NOT as a general rule include myself. I am just a seeker of justice, and above all TRUTH.)

This is not a new thing, in fact history teaches us that it has been taking place since Jesus first began his ministry on Earth. You may recall that at one time The Roman Empire as it existed then, used to feed REAL christians to wild animals, for mainly entertainment.

It is therefore not at all difficult to work out who, or what is behind this never ending counter-reformation, now is it?

If you are in any doubt may I draw your attention to Revelation Chapter 6 verses 2-9 and Revelation Chapter 17 verse 5.

(please note; it is not myself which wrote these verses, I am just a messenger, which would very much prefer not to get themselves shot)

It would seem to me most self-evident, what The Bible is warning Christians and the rest of mankind about. Which is using as much brevity as I can easily muster, that whichever fails to secretly or otherwise embrace The Ancient Mysteries of Babylon will eventually be destroyed by, or if not, consumed within, the body of the original Mother Church created by The Roman Empire.

Mary represents the MOTHER OF HARLOTS. These Harlots and other Abominations of the Earth, are those which deny The Word of Christ. The RCC, and others have long since not only disobeyed Gods commandments by worshipping idols, they have totally disregarded all other commandments bar none, and almost all of the teachings of Jesus Christ, time and time again. Also do so more today then at any time in their often horrendously murderous past.

I do not wish to divide one type of Christian from another. A real Christian is still a real Christian whichever banner PALE/yellow or otherwise, they feel bound to march under.

I am not telling THE TRUTH, to win any medals, or indeed friends especially in high places. I tell the truth because that is what I always instinctively do. Your job is to do the research yourself, and hopefully prove me wrong, not just shout abuse or ignore me.

A real Christian keeps The Word of Christ, in their hearts, and so has no particular need for any kind of establishment controlled Church. The clergy however, need an established Church to house, feed, and provide them with status, more then a fish needs water.

All that real Christians have ever needed is a Bible they can read, and preferably a small congregation of like minded friends and family to help share their thoughts with.

22 January 2011 at 18:18  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Sorry to crash the party folks, but Rome has NEVER been a Christian Church, any more than Islam is a Christian faith just because it believes in a God.
Oswin has got it right. If a person leaves a company to work for a competitor, they can't expect to turn up at their old office on Monday & use their old desk, enjoy the tea that others have paid for & all the perks that go with the job.
In my estimation it's just a sheep stealing ploy with it's source in the Vatican.

22 January 2011 at 18:30  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

'When you reduce sincere generosity and charity to 'technicality', your self-righteousness and bitter judgement falls foul of the Lord's injunction.'

Is that a reference to me? When did I ever do that?

'There are very, very many posts which are positive, and, indeed, effusive about Pope Benedict XVI. You simply choose to ignore them in order to craft your crass, simplistic and puerile caricature.'

There are very, very many more posts that are negative as well. Your point is that because you sometimes begrudgingly accept that there may actually be some good within the Church it justifies the bias you show the rest of the time. I didn't ignore your posts, but simply stated that they were the exception and not the rule. There's no caricature, just an opinion backed up with evidence. In most cases you show a reasoned and reasonable opinion, but if it comes to Conservatism or Catholocism you become a different person.

'Lakester91 (14:35)—Please bear in mind that it was Roman Catholics who set His Grace ablaze. He has a perfect right to feel a little tetchy towards Rome now and again.'

I understand your point Mr Rottenborough.
However the Bishop's namesake was an Anglican at a time when differences were less than they are now. It is strange, therefore, that he should be supportive of contraception considering that it is only within the last 100 years that the CofE have accepted it. Not to mention how Marian Doctrine has changed in Anglicanism since the early years.

Atlas Shrugged

You seem to have confused messenger with interpretor. The childish interpretations that many have made in the self styled 'evangelical' churches are hideously common nowadays. Many of these are no more accurate than astrology is an interpretation of the heavens. Revelation/Apocalypse is the account of a dream, and it incorporates elements of the past, present and future. There is no more evidence that the RC Church is the whore of Babylon than there is that star signs have an effect on personality, both are divined by ignorant superstition. The Bible is the truth and it is the absolute truth; however a reasonable person has to be able to determine the type of truth contained within each verse. The creation story is the truth about how God created the world, but it is not necessarily historically accurate.

'Mary represents the MOTHER OF HARLOTS'

Wouldn't that make Jesus a harlot?


'Sorry to crash the party folks, but Rome has NEVER been a Christian Church, any more than Islam is a Christian faith just because it believes in a God.'

Fine logic there, after all the only similarity between Catholicism and real Christians is belief in a God of some sort. When Jesus founded his church he really only meant for it to get started in 1517. He should really have mentioned that before though because it would have saved a lot of hassle.

22 January 2011 at 19:20  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

' If His Grace's 'well-thought' posts are diminished by your redaction, please, feel free to depart permanently. You are not obliged either to read or to contribute.'

I'm certainly not, that is true. I find it strange that you have asked me to leave your blog as it raises two questions.

Why would I make my point unless I actually enjoyed most of your posts, but wished to point out the inconsistencies with others?

If you want me to leave because I don't agree with you, then what is the point of blogging only to people who do?

22 January 2011 at 19:28  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Lakester91,

You are being obtuse, perhaps puposely.

You said that you were unable to read His Grace's 'well-written' posts without constantly recalling the poisonous bile of his anti-Catholic bigotry (to paraphrase).

His Grace was simply reminding you that you are not in any sense or by any means obliged to do so: it is your choice.

His Grace does not ask you to depart because you disagree with him: on the contrary, he welcomes reasoned debate. But perhaps you have not realised that. He does not censor, and perhaps you are not familiar with this forum and its reputation as a very broad church indeed for a wide variety of perspectives.

There are, it would appear, other blogs you may frequent where your sensitivities would not be tested or your spirit troubled by the narrow-minded bitterness you evidently find here.

22 January 2011 at 20:15  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Your Grace - recent experience of the Episcopalian and Anglican churches in the US suggests that they, too, favor reunion with RCism. In their case, of course, there's no fear that Rome (or anyone) will reclaim lands etc. that the natives had reclaimed as their own.

Property and riches were ever what the RCs wanted - they never forgot. That's why they're in league with the euSSR.

Soooo. Disenfranchised we are. The programme for dispossessing us is very far advanced.

Pretty soon, the ostriches won't even be able to lay eggs.

22 January 2011 at 20:42  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Quite right, Non-mouse.

Apart from property and assets the Church of Rome also seeks human capital. It has always struck this communicant that the quality of the Anglican priesthood is in the main far higher than that of the Catholic priesthood. There are exceptions of course. The UK remains a class based society and there are always a number of extremely capable Catholic priests ordained from the old Catholic families. Anglican converts through the Catholic university recruiting system, particularly at Oxford, contribute uanother stream of high quality vocations.

At the other end of the spectrum are the Irish based priesthood ministering to what remains of the old white Catholic working class in cities like Liverpool and Glasgow.

But in the middle there is very little.

This communicant understands that in 2004 there were a mere 22 White British vocations in the RCC. A falling birthrate and the reluctance of families to see their sons condemned to a life of sterility has caused the White British priesthood to age and contract. Replacements are being airlifted in from Kerala in India. Now with the best will in the world, an Indian from Kerala can scarcely build the same intimacy and rapport with his flock that a White British priest can strike up immediately. Going to mass is reduced to a call-centre experience.

It therefore seems likely that the real aim of the Anglican Ordinariate is to recruit from the English middle class before the whole structure implodes through lack of manpower.

22 January 2011 at 21:36  
Anonymous non mouse said...

an Indian from Kerala can scarcely build the same intimacy and rapport with his flock that a White British priest can strike up immediately. Yes, indeed, bluedog. And wasn't that the principle espoused by Gregory the Great when he sent Augustine to the English? And it was also the thinking that inspired Theodore and Hadrian - when they set about developing literacy in the vernacular. We subsequently managed to hold on through the monks and lay preachers, until the advents of Wyclif and Henry.

So I think you must be right in supposing that the RCs haven't forgotten that dynamic of preaching. The trouble lies, as ever, in their penchant for imposing their own materialistic 'ideologies'; when we must, instead, read and be as our British selves.

22 January 2011 at 22:01  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

'You are being obtuse, perhaps puposely.'

Really? I haven't come out with any hate or blunt criticism. I haven't denounced all you write as nonsense. All I have done is question why such a high proportion of your articles concerning Catholicism are negative.

'You said that you were unable to read His Grace's 'well-written' posts without constantly recalling the poisonous bile of his anti-Catholic bigotry (to paraphrase).'

Not constantly but in light of. I simply find it interesting how the same man wrote both types of article.

'His Grace does not ask you to depart because you disagree with him: on the contrary, he welcomes reasoned debate. But perhaps you have not realised that. He does not censor, and perhaps you are not familiar with this forum and its reputation as a very broad church indeed for a wide variety of perspectives.'

How patronising. I'm very well aware of the nature of this blog thanks. I've no problem with the 'wide variety of perspectives' but with their manifestation.

'There are, it would appear, other blogs you may frequent where your sensitivities would not be tested or your spirit troubled by the narrow-minded bitterness you evidently find here.'

Well I'm sure you'd absolutely hate it if li'l ol' me got offended by one of your controversial posts. My sensitivities aren't tested here; I've visited plenty of evangelical websites and your disdain is tame in comparison to their hatred. As for my spirit, it is only troubled by knowing what hatred does to people.

But hey, if you have the URL for some of these unbiased blogs, I'll be happy to take a look.

22 January 2011 at 22:07  
Anonymous bluedog said...

C'mon Lakester91, chill out , dude. Da man luvs yer really.

22 January 2011 at 22:15  
Blogger Owl said...

YG, I think Mr Lakester91 has a fair point even if his choice of words seem to have touched a nerve.

Unfortunately, some people have the impression that all Catholics are so indoctrinated by Rome that they are incapable of independent thought.

As an RC, I have yet to meet another one that agrees with the vatican in all points of Catholic law or even dogmas.

The reformation was desperately needed by the Catholic church.

The church, at that time, got a long overdue clean up.

It is now going through another reformation as a clean up is once again neccessary.

The Catholic church may be narrow at the top but it is very broad at the bottom. Far broader than even Rome realises.

The anglican church is currently broad at the top and totally splintered at the bottom.

I, personally, would prefer a strong leadership in the CofE and a far stronger sense of identity among the members.

I can understand the CofE members fear of Rome but not their fear of Catholics.

I, also, keep a wary eye open on Roman politics.

22 January 2011 at 22:27  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Lakester91,

You can redact and selectively quote from your own opinion as much as you wish. But you said:

"...It smacks not of a sense of superiority but of bitterness. It degrades the worth of every well thought out post you make because every time I read them, I read them in light of the ill-thought out drivel you sometimes splurge."

There, you see? You said 'every'. Every single post is infused with such bigotry and bile, you can scarcely appreciate what may be 'good' about them. In light of that, His Grace is simply concerned for your enjoyment and edification.

And, yes, His Grace would certainly call that 'blunt criticism'. He finds it quite astonishingly undiscerning and, as he has said, a crass caricature and a most un-Christian judgement. So, please try The Telegraph's religion blogs. There you will find most congenial company.

22 January 2011 at 22:32  
Anonymous Fran said...

Splendid post, Your Grace.

Any Catholic heirarch who accuses someone of meanspiritedness should recall the words of our Lord "Let him who is without sin amongst you cast the first stone."

Then they could reflect upon the Catholic persecution of John Wycliffe, the Inquisition, the Canon Law that stated that each Jew was personally responsible for the death of Christ etc.

22 January 2011 at 23:08  

YG. A casual visitor reading your post would almost certainly be left under the impression that you disagree with the Roman Catholic Church's teaching on contraception and homosexuality. Since this teaching coincides with that of Archbishop Cranmer I can only conclude that you are not the real Cranmer.

23 January 2011 at 00:03  
Blogger English Viking said...

Your Grace,

You were doing fine, until you apologised for Williams and pooftahs.

23 January 2011 at 01:57  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

'"...It smacks not of a sense of superiority but of bitterness. It degrades the worth of every well thought out post you make because every time I read them, I read them in light of the ill-thought out drivel you sometimes splurge."

There, you see? You said 'every'. Every single post is infused with such bigotry and bile, you can scarcely appreciate what may be 'good' about them.'

No you don't understand my point. It degrades the worth of the good posts, not because they are objectively infused with bigotry and bile, but because they are written by the same man who shows his contempt for Catholicism in other posts. To make an extreme example I'll use the BNP. They make some (albeit few) good points on the rights and wrongs of immigration and the role of the Christian Church in this country, but no one listens to them because they also hold moronic views on colour and nationality. I fear that despite the good points you make and the perceptive intellect you reveal, people will ignore it when they see some of the more emotional and mal-thought posts. With myself, it only serves to make me question whether Graham Davis sometimes has a point... (don't worry I'm still not convinced)

'He finds it quite astonishingly undiscerning and, as he has said, a crass caricature and a most un-Christian judgement.'

I have made no moral judgement but an opinion based on evidence.

23 January 2011 at 02:11  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Ooooh some bitter aloes going down amongst the cognoscenti tonight!

Owl @ 22:27

I'll have you know my bottom isn't at all splintered! :O)

Lakester @ all hours : when you gan tappy-lappy aboot scrieven folk wi a pointy stick, ye have ta expect a scud or twa in return hinny-pet.

23 January 2011 at 02:12  
Anonymous PaganPride said...

Well - while you all squabble amongst yourselves, the fastest rising spiritual pathway is not Islam - it's paganism! So watch out all of you, we'll be around to claim OUR sacred sites - you know; the ones you built your churches over!!

And women-haters beware! a lot of us worship the Goddess :)

23 January 2011 at 02:28  
Anonymous Oswin said...

PaganPride ... give it a rest, there's enough problems without you kicking the leaves about too.

Anyhows, you lot had better work out a solution to Islam, before you go getting yourself too excited.

23 January 2011 at 02:54  
Anonymous len said...

If there are Catholics who don`t agree with all the unbiblical teachings of the Catholic Church what are they doing in the Catholic Church ?
If you compare Catholic teachings, dogma, and traditions with the Bible (and don`t twist, misinterpret, and bend them to fit)you may(or may not) be surprised to find that Catholicism has little to do with the Bible!

Mr Lakester 91 seems to get a little hot under the collar when we point this out but;
'All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness'(2 Timothy 3:16)

I also think Lakesters attack on His Grace is unfair as I have often thought when reading His Grace`s articles that he might even have been a Catholic! (perish the thought!.)

23 January 2011 at 08:34  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Well said, len, both at 08.34 and particularly at 15.00 on 22nd Jan.

Perhaps we can guess from his name that Mr Lakester91 is no more than 19 or 20 years old. Which may explain his youthful 'enthusiasm'.

23 January 2011 at 09:06  
Anonymous Tony B said...

Lakester91 said...

" All I have done is question why such a high proportion of your articles concerning Catholicism are negative."

Because such a high proportion of things the Catholic Church has does and has done are negative, perhaps?

23 January 2011 at 09:15  
Blogger Dr. Love said...

Apologies Your Grace. Your blog, your rules. If you say that you're the only one allowed to employ figurative language, so be it.

23 January 2011 at 12:43  
Blogger François said...

Of course the Catholick Faith has nothing to do with the Bible- it's not some book-fetichism cult like so many proddy conventicles. It has more to do with the Word of God, living and incarnate, and, guided by the Spirit of the Same, it perpetuates His Work here.

Go,the, and read those heretical versions, the fallacious masoretic text, and be content with the blessings of Calvin, Luther, Zwingli and Bucer at the 4 corners of your bed.

23 January 2011 at 13:05  
Blogger KINGOFHIGHCS said...

Lakester91 and other rc's that write on this blog suffer from what I always perceived from other Roman Catholics after leaving the Church of Rome and which manifests itself here as 'Victimhood'!

You will never receive historically based arguments why catholics believe certain dogma, how it was established and became dogma (Holy Spirit based truth) but just as a personal interpretation by another RC who happens to be a Pope (and can make it infallible by papal bull.)If a pope can speak 'Ex Cathedra' when does what is spoken spiritually become fallible and HOW do you know it is to be ignored by catholic's as such?
They will ask you long questions which you will answer in detail and show scripture WHY you arrive at this but you will never get a detailed answer to YOUR questions only vague explanations about something you NEVER asked about.
You are not allowed to ask probing questions but only accept blindly what is presented to you! Sorry but that's WHY I left Rome as I, even I must give an account of myself to Christ and can blame no-one else for my beliefs and sins but myself. I am responsible and held accountable for this!!!!

'Owl said 'As an RC, I have yet to meet another one that agrees with the vatican in all points of Catholic law or even dogmas'. (Agreed but only because they never investigate any deeper than what is told them at school or what is promoted by the priest on sundays at mass..They hardly EVER read the Holy Bible as a personal fellowship with God Himself).

If the RCC believes itself to be THE historic universal church endorsed by Christ then perhaps it can start by answering those who dispute IT IS, without resort to calling other christians Unloving and Unchristian!!

By an EX Roman Catholic who loves ALL catholics but ask them to consider what they believe and why, to see if know you are truly saved by Christ and what you must do to ensure you are..Christ died to pay for sin in full (Past, present and future, not part met by Him and for you to add the shortfall) and was buried and risen and now seated at the right hand of the Father. Roman Catholicism does NOT preach this gospel as delivered by the Apostles through their definitive epistles of Christian Faith!

If I do not tell you as an ex catholic, then who will?


23 January 2011 at 16:39  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Bless you brother. Keep speaking the truth in love.
I presume you refer to the split between Henry VIII & the Vatican as being the start of the CofE? Well there may be some truth in that. But you will have to look a mere few hundred years back to find where Constantine usurped the true Christian Church from its original roots & teachings by offering a mixture of religion & paganism to confuse the laiety.
Speaking of which, Pagan Pride, thanks for bringing a bit of humour into the dogfight. But don't hold your breath waiting for a vacant throne in either Rome or Canterbury. Dr Williams may be a Druid, but that's about as close as you guys will get until after Armegeddon.

23 January 2011 at 17:59  
Anonymous len said...

The bottom line(as far as I am concerned) is if you want religion does it really matter which one you choose?.You can have nice ceremonies lights, candles,gongs,images, a bit of singing (in most religions,) bowing ,scraping, prayers,'good works'these things are part and parcel of most, in not all religions. They will keep you occupied and give you the illusion that you are doing God a favour by being 'good'.
Biblical Christianity is the only 'Religion' as far as I know) that has a saviour,in all other religions you have to be your own saviour.Which means you have to be(at very least) equal to Jesus Christ.I do not know of any other religion that says you must be born again.And Jesus affects this spiritual re-birth through the Holy Spirit.
I know Buddhists believe in re-incarnation but as the Bible says it is for man to die once then the judgement. I guess all Buddhists(and those who believe in re-incarnation( the endless cycle of dying and returning for another crack at it ) are in for quite a shock!!

23 January 2011 at 18:02  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Anyhows, at a time when ALL Christendom should look to its common enemy, it ill behoves Rome to drive wedges into ancient cracks.

The Panzer Pope seems to want to fight on all fronts simultaneously.

Or does he? He did seem to back-off from his Eastern Front, pretty early in the campaign. Is he hoping to pick-off what he might perceives as easier targets, before turning upon the Infidel?

Nay, I reckon he lost his bottle, is all; and, like the school-bully, has to find a scapegoat for his vainglory.

Whatever; this is no time for further schism.

23 January 2011 at 18:13  
Anonymous Preacher said...

Going back to the original Blog.
To put it in plain English, If Manchester United have let you go to West Ham, Don't turn up at Old Trafford in a West Ham strip next Saturday & expect to play for your old team, then sulk if they say no!.

23 January 2011 at 18:14  
Blogger Kit said...

Amazing, people leave the Church of England and then complain when the Church of England won't allow it to continue to use Anglican buildings!

Are they serious??

23 January 2011 at 21:05  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Has the french-sounding personage at 13:05 got lost? That person should stand advised that most English people don't keep their books on their beds.

Furthermore, the expression of the faith in our vernacular (the language we like and understand) depends first from Bede, then from various glosses and Psalms of the 9-10th centuries. Some of the latter are housed in froggie-german euroland, whence they appeared as exemplars of scholarship. So they should be familiar to the above personage, who presumes to lecture us on our rights of protestation.

Ælfric translated the OT into English in the 10th century, a little before we were overtaken by a Plague of Frogs.

Thereafter we had to wait until the 14th century before we moved to free ourselves from the bonds, taxes, and corruptions of RCs and their foreign languages. In those days, Wyclif produced a vernacular Bible; he preceded Luther's protestations by more than 100 years.

Next, Tyndale was first among the many who sought to access the Word of God as directly as possible, without contemporary political/foreign intervention: he translated from the Greek.

In modern English, my own preference lies with the KJV; here, despite the foreign proclivities of KJ, the text is in the tradition of Tyndale, and the English is not much later than that of His Grace - to whom the Great Bible(1539) is attributed. On requisite occasions, though, I resort to the KJV's RC part-contemporary, the Douay Rheims (from the Vulgate); or to modern translation from the Hebrew.

The french person is either lost in the web, or needs to understand that audience analysis is a useful part of writing in English.

23 January 2011 at 21:45  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

Preacher my friend

'I presume you refer to the split between Henry VIII & the Vatican as being the start of the CofE?'

I referred to the reformation, but the start of the CofE makes the same point.

'Constantine usurped the true Christian Church from its original roots & teachings by offering a mixture of religion & paganism to confuse the laiety.'

This is a common myth actually and I don't blame people for believing it. It takes a bit of looking into but the evidence shows he had no influence on his adopted faith and was simply an observer in the various councils.

Happy Christian Unity Week everyone!

23 January 2011 at 22:25  
Anonymous non mouse said...

On Constantine - I'm not ashamed that he was first elected to emperorship at York: by his Roman troops.

I don't forget, either, that he sent his Mama (Helena) off to Israel to find the remains of the True Cross. According to the poem we have in Old English, she said she got it (185); and the nails(192).*

*Bradley, S. A. J. ed. and trans. "Elene." Anglo-Saxon Poetry. Everyman. London: J. M. Dent, 2000; 164-197.

24 January 2011 at 01:15  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Furthermore, On Christian Use of Pagan Shrines ---

Bede repeats words from the letters of Gregory the Great to Augustine via Abbot Mellitus, in 601.** Augustine had converted Ethelbert and, as D. H. Farmer suggests, it is likely that the king gradually encouraged his followers to support Christianisation (365). Gregory recommended that their Pagan temples not be destroyed, only purified and re-dedicated; but that idols should be destroyed, and sacrifice of cattle to them should end. All this at Augustine's discretion (90-91).

Writing to Ethelbert in 601, Gregory did suggest the destruction of shrines, but also said: "raise the moral standards of your subjects by your own innocence of life, encouraging, warning, persuading, correcting and showing them an example by your good deeds." This teaching by good example, Gregory indicated, had been the method of Constantine (94).

As Farmer suggests, there is distinction here between Temples that were Roman built, in stone, and Anglo-Saxon shrines "of wood in the open air," [which would be smaller] (365).

In any case, we have archaeological evidence of Roman, Celtic, and Christian worship in pre-A/S England; so Christians by no means swept in and 'took over' everything at one fell swoop. Indeed, I think there is a suggestion that some Celts, than as now, were backsliders. So who's to say they hadn't appropriated previously Christian places for their purposes?

Let's not forget, either, that we're not talking about a population of 60 million, all vying for space. Wasn't it something like 1-2.5 million, in England, even at the Domesday count?

**Bede. Ecclesiastical History of the English People.Ed, Intro. & Notes, D. H. Farmer. The History translated by Leo-Sherley-Price, rev. by R. E. Latham. Revised ed. London: Penguin, 1990.

24 January 2011 at 01:39  
Anonymous len said...

Constantine`s contribution to 'Christianity' is one of compromise and Political expediency! Constantine was the first to enact Sunday laws, enforcing the maintenance of the pagan day of worship in violation of the law of God. The German historian Heggtveit describes the compromise in these words:
Constantine labored at his time untiringly to unite the worshippers of the old and the new faith in one religion. All his laws and contrivances are aimed at promoting this amalgamation of religions. He would by all means melt together a purified heathenism and a moderate Christianity…His injunction that the “Day of the Sun” should be a general rest day was characteristic of his standpoint…Of all his blending and melting together of Christianity and heathenism, none is more easy to see through than this making of his Sunday law. The Christians worshipped their Christ, the heathen their sun god; according to the opinion of the Emperor, the objects for worship in both religions were essentially the same.iii

And Harry Boer has this to say on the topic:
[Constantine] designated Sunday by its traditional pagan name - The Day of the Sun, not the Sabbath or the Day of the Lord. Pagans could therefore accept it. Christians gave the natural sun a new meaning by thinking of Christ the Son of Righteousness. Constantine and later emperors, as well as the church councils, enacted additional Sunday legislation. It was Constantine’s decree of 321, however, that laid the basis of the universal recognition of Sunday as a day of rest.iv

24 January 2011 at 08:16  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Yes, Len. And English poets have, pretty well ever since, exploited the pun: Son/Sun, not forgetting, I'm sure, that God is Light.

I don't pretend to know what Constantine did or thought - most scholars I read seem to suggest that he maintained a fairly ambiguous stance throughout his reign, accepting baptism probably when he was close to death. Nevertheless, it seems clear that he put an end to the vicious persecution that preceded his reign. The tradition is that he attributed his victory at the Milvian Bridge to Christ, because of his vision of the Cross: before the battle. It seems likely that this is the origin of the Cult of the Cross.

I also don't think we can presume that everyone in the 5th century shared present day (anti Christian) perceptions on right and wrong ways to practice persuasion or encouragement to Christianity. Though it seems to me that Gregory was sensible in his approach.

However, I'm grateful for the
establishment of Constantinople if only because the Eastern Church preserved the knowledge of Greek rhetoric. Apparently the Romans let it go once they didn't have an empire to administer. It was most likely from the East, then, that it came to the English (via Theodore); and from then on we developed our own tradition.

24 January 2011 at 11:01  
Blogger killemallletgodsortemout said...

God is great.

Religion is not.

I can't help imagining that in 10 years time, Rome will change its mind about the things that are causing such rifts in the CofE today. That will be quite something. Where will the Ordinariates run to if that happens?

The current squabble will go some way to easing the current 'vocations crisis' in the RCC, no doubt.

I wonder, 'What would Jesus say about all this?'

24 January 2011 at 11:09  
Blogger François said...

Notwithstanding any vain theory to the contrary, England has been protestant for only half a millenium. She owns her greatness not to Cranmer, but to the unique place she made for herself in Catholic Christendom. The greatest monuments of this nation, the abbeys, cathedrals and other places owe little to Protestantism. Who reads Piers Plowman anymore, and what English bible-protestant would be able to fully appreciate the theological riches of the Parson's Tale? Do you seriously fancy Bede was some doubtful monk entertaining private schemes of iconoclasm and sacrilege? What i earlier is that the spoken and proclaimed Word in Holy Liturgy has more value than a mere collection of writings.And what were the last words of Bede as he was breathing his last? Furthermore, a french name, or pseudonym on the web does not absolve one of one's cornish lineage that goes back to Henry the IIIrd at the very least.

And i suppose you never heard of something called 'Our Lady's Dowry'...Truly to Her, and to the Church Catholick generally, these words of Tibullus could more or less apply :

te manet invictus romano marte britannus/teque interiecto mundi pars altera sole

There where Pagan Rome has failed, Catholic Rome will succeed, even if it be presently misunderstood, derided, scoffed at, etc.

24 January 2011 at 16:42  
Blogger François said...

non mouse,

the Cult of the Cross began on the Calvary itself. o crux ave spes unica. which you probably never heard of...of course, Venantius Fortunatus was a bishop in the pay of some terrestrial power and serving human purposes of domination...Never heard of catacombs predating Constantine?

Do you seriously believe the ceremonies in the catacombs to have resembled a Friends' meeting or some baptist or other 'service' at which the presbyter would give his own blighted subjective interpretation of Holy Writ, and that the persecuted Christians would content themselves with hymn sandwich and profusion of hugging and quaking and spouting supposedly divine gibberish?

24 January 2011 at 16:52  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Frankish personage: Are you talking about kermit's catacombs? I heard a claim that yours are older than the Italian ones! I once visited the latter - horrible smell.

'Protestant' appears to be another English word that you fail to understand, Cornwall nothwithstanding.

btw: do you understand the Latin you spout? Or are you just mangling it, according to french tradition?

Beyond that, your latest collocations indicate that you haven't read/translated mine. That troubles me not, rest assured. Though given your contempt for both literacy and the vernacular, I wonder why you exercise them in any forum!

My part in this script is over, btw. I have left the room.

24 January 2011 at 18:07  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Francois @ 16:42

What were Bede's last words?

Are you refering to his last writings; his last dictations to Wilfrid; his last words to Wilfrid; or Bede's singing of the 'Gloria' and the naming of the Holy Spirit? And if so, what exactly is your point?

Which is, I suppose, MY point here: you mention much of interest, but I for one cannot always follow your drift. I would very much like to; so perhaps you would oblige an old duffer by stating your points a tad more clearly? I assure you I mean no offence. Thank you.

24 January 2011 at 18:24  
Blogger François said...


indeed, i am referring to the Gloria Patri. This doxology is not to be found as such in Holy Writ, though the Saint Paul uses several in his epistles and yet enjoys a high reputation of Christian antiquity. The Gloria Patri is intimately linked to the singing of the Office- hence i was referring to its liturgical value. Protestants do not realise that the Catholic Faith before being academic, is essentially liturgical. Reading the Bible cut from all authentic liturgical ecclesial life is not the best way to give glory to God.

I fear i have not been much articulate, indeed.

However, so many Catholics themselves are so alienated from their own Tradition (what with modernism, lack of liturgical interest, and the last vatican council, and so forth) that they fall easily in the traps laid by protestants arguing sola fide, sola scriptura and sola gratia- too many 'sola's really- not realising that they do not have to share the same premises of these 'bons hommes' on these subjects.

Look at it this way: the notion of deposit of faith, understood as the whole of the Apostolic teaching and Traditions, including scripture, has nothing to do with a schizophrenic division into several 'sola's.

Look at them, deprived of sacraments and the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar-what miserable, poor people.

24 January 2011 at 18:58  
Anonymous len said...

What were the Bede`s last words?(whoever he was)

"I told you there was something wrong with meeee.........

I cannot understand Francois either Oswin I think you need a Catholic phrasebook!.

24 January 2011 at 19:35  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Francois @ 18.58, where would you rate the velo-solex in all these solas that you quote?

24 January 2011 at 19:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh, bluedog @ 19:41.
Just for a minute I thought the computer was asking for a rating on those who say: velo scolex!

24 January 2011 at 20:08  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Anon at 20.08, thanks. Despite their considerable ingenuity I see no prospect of the French developing a motor-cycle like a tape-worm!

On the subject of which, I have always thought that you could judge a country by the quality of its motor-cycles and its beer. Results in an interesting list.

24 January 2011 at 21:43  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Francois @ 18:58

Thank you, I think I now better understand your point 're Bede.

However, I feel you might be a tad too all encompassing re' 'protestants'.

Within the very broad church of the C-of-E you will find certain Catholic rite (for want of a better word) of a pre-reformation nature, more akin to what you refer, than to that found within the present day R.C. Church. The latter, as you indicate, has been subject to much revision.

Whereas, within the High Anglican refuge of the C-of-E, much of what you appear to lament the passing of, is held still.

Of course, you'd need a compass to find it, hidden as it is, amongst the latter-day High Anglican post Newman, 'Oxford Movement' make-over job. Nonetheless, it is there, caught as in amber, and surprisingly free of the confines of sola scriptura. Fides fiducialis doesn't get a look-in!!

There are many degrees to the Reformation; the only absolute no-no's being stransubstantiation, and any vassallage to Rome.

25 January 2011 at 01:25  
Anonymous Preacher said...

All very impressive. But after all the theological & Latin verbiage, you still end up with just another religion.
It might all sound intellectual but then so do all religions.
The problem is that religion - any religion, cannot save a single soul from Judgement & Hell. If we could by religious rites save ourselves then Jesus would not have had to come & die to save us.
Really what you are saying is a repetition of the confusion sown by Rome to bring the people under subjection to the Vatican because we 'need' a priest to interpret the Bible for us LOL!.

25 January 2011 at 10:55  
Anonymous len said...

Religion may and can do many things but one thing it CANNOT do is give Life.

Only the Lord Jesus Christ can do that!

John 14:6

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

25 January 2011 at 18:39  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I didn't know better, I'd think Cranmer was implying that homophobia isn't OK in this entry (cf. last point).

Surely not?

25 January 2011 at 23:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Simple solution. Let the protestant church keep the churches and cathedrals it has built. Give back to the Roman Catholic church the ones it still squats in centuries after the reformation.

26 January 2011 at 13:55  
Anonymous len said...

Anon 13:55

Why not sell all the churches and all the trappings that go with Religion and give the money to the poor?. (All Denominations)

God does not live in Churches but in the hearts of true believers.

26 January 2011 at 19:55  

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