Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Beatification of Pope John Paul II

Has Tony Blair been invited? Well, has he? He is undoubtedly the most recent highest-profile Tiber-swimmer in the world, and you’d think with all his post-prime-ministerial ‘doing God’ and Middle-East-envoying he’d have received an invitation to the beatification of the late Pope John Paul II. Especially knowing how devout his wife is (on most things). And what about his successor, Gordon Brown? Surely the Vatican wouldn’t take its lead from Buckingham Palace and snub both former British prime ministers? Wasn’t it Mr Brown who actually invited Pope Benedict XVI to the UK on the first ever state visit by a pope (before Her Majesty even got a look-in)?

How on earth could the Holy See not invite Tony Blair but invite Robert Mugabe?

To be frank, all the preparations – the disinterment, the vials of blood for veneration, media communications – were all rather upstaged by yesterday’s Royal Wedding. Perhaps the House of Windsor was getting its own back after the 2005 clash, when the death of a pope caused (by cosmic coincidence) the cancellation of another royal wedding (except, of course, that Buckingham Palace made the announcement of the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton before the Vatican decided on this bank holiday weekend to beatify Pope John Paul II – the clash was entirely the fault of the Vatican's saint-making department). Relations between the Holy See and the Royal Family have not been so tense since the 16th century. Or at least since Mother Teresa died with days of Diana, Princess of Wales.

If His Grace is being honest, it is all being done with unseemly haste. Not because (unlike the most recent beatification of Cardinal Newman) the corpse of the late Pope has barely begun to rot (though that is doubtless true). And not because by choosing to re-position Pope John Paul II’s tomb in the Chapel of St Sebastian they are obliged to exhume and rudely eject the current incumbent of that location, the Blessed Innocent XI (1676-1689: so much for ‘rest in peace’). But because as impressive (chronically, politically and spiritually) as the pontificate of John Paul II was, it wasn’t as important as that of Pope Peter I or even of Pope John XXIII – both of whom might have merited a little law-bending and flexibility on the usual beatification process. It is unseemly because questions remain about far too many unresolved issues, and doubts are still circulating about certain under-explored matters. Yes, he bestrode the expansive 20th century like a colossus and helped to bring down the iron curtain to reunite East and West. He was to Roman Catholicism what Thatcher was to Conservatism: he was to the Church of Rome what Reagan was to The White House. Together, they were the triumvirate which confronted the tyranny of Communism, and with their conviction, confidence and courage they defeated it.

But what did he do about the constant drip-drip-drip of reports of paedophile priests? How could he turn a blind eye to tens of thousands of raped and tortured children? Was he involved in a cover-up? Why did he grant perpetual asylum and immunity from prosecution to Cardinal Bernard Law, who ‘was not only aware of egregious sexual misconduct among his subordinates but was apparently engaged in elaborate efforts to cover up incident after incident of child rape’. What about his long support for Austrian Cardinal Hans-Hermann Groer? Why did he not intervene against the founder of the Legionaries of Christ movement, Marcial Maciel, a notorious abuser? What of his fierce opposition to ‘liberation theology’ in South America which served to perpetuate oppression? Why, in the context of a global HIV/AIDS pandemic, did he tenaciously oppose any revision to his church’s often contradictory and severely restrictive rules on sexual ethics? Why did he resist any investigation into the role of women in the Roman Catholic Church? Bernard Fellay, of the Society of Saint Pius X recently incommunicated by Pope Benedict XVI, sees Pope John Paul II as a sort of Antichrist for instigating and participating in multi-faith prayer conferences, particularly in Assisi in 1986. He is of the opinion that this beatification is a ‘tsunami’ against faith.

The cult of John Paul the Great has gained an unstoppable momentum. For many, he inspires holiness and piety. For others, the hagiography is an impediment to a genuine appraisal of his achievements: it is more about delusions and a pathological religiosity. Those who laud the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI tend to blame his predecessor for many of their church’s present woes. Those who venerate John Paul II tend to be those who oppose Benedict’s reforms: it is the conservative traditionalists versus the liberal modernisers, just as it is in the Church of England.

But beatification is not about endorsing political policy or every attribute of character. The Roman Catholic Church is not ‘making’ John Paul II ‘blessed’: in Roman Catholic theology, they are affirming what has already occurred in heaven. So why the rush to pronounce it? By all accounts, he led a holy and virtuous if not heroic life, and he seemed to radiate the pastoral love of Christ. But why ‘Santo Subito’?

We live in an era of instant coffee, email and twitter. ‘Santo Subito’ was the immediate sentimental cry of an spontaneous outpouring of grief. If the late Diana, Princess of Wales had been Roman Catholic, there would have been the same sentimental demand for her to be set on an immediate path to sainthood, as Mother Teresa has been. There would have been no harm in delaying this process in accordance with Church tradition. The chronological 'pause’ was purposeful, to permit perspective, objectivity, reason and reflection. It took more than a century for John Henry Cardinal Newman to make it. It is ironic that Benedict XVI, the most intellectual and reasonable of popes to occupy the Throne of St Peter in centuries, should succumb to this sort of dianafication.


Anonymous Dreadnaught said...

Just goes to show what a load of nonsense the whole men in frocks thing is.

30 April 2011 at 11:25  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace, are you aware of any study on the age profile of the priesthood in the Roman church? Your communicant believes that in the developed world the RC priestly demographic looks like an inverted pyramid. At some point the RC priest population is going to crash, and with it the whole structure. If the RC priesthood faces block retirement presumably the executive are looking at solutions. In the context of which, this communicant believes the Anglican ordinariate stunt was primarily an attempt to rejuvenate the Roman ranks.

The answer is so simple - allow RC priests to marry. Then they will have less incentive to shag the children in their care and in general may be a lot more normal.
Additionally there would be a lot more of them. This would be good for Christianity as a whole. Why can't the RC church see it and get over their self-imposed restrictions?

30 April 2011 at 12:08  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

What a simplistic, inaccurate and ill-considered post!

Space prevents me from addressing all this nonsense, so a few points.

Firstly, to try and categorise John Paul as 'liberal' or 'conservative' is daft. It was he who persuaded Cardinal Ratzinger to continue, with an eye to him becoming his successor, rather than retire into theological teaching. His views on 'liberation' theology and 'the role of women' were traditional Catholic positions. What he did attempt, perhaps too robustly, was opening a conservation with other faiths. He also opened the doors on christian and Catholic history and humbly owned the sins of the church.

Secondly, where is the evidence that John Paul himself participated in a systematic, wilfull and deliberate cover up of the sex abuse of children? The Catholic church is one of the largest organisation on earth! Like any 'bureaucracy' it requires its members to behave properly. What is known today about the perpetrators of child abuse is that it is not a one off sin committed under the temptation of Satan. Paedophiles are psychological disturbed and dangerous individuals, become addicted to their behaviour and often believe they are doing no harm. They can be persuasive and highly manipulative. Without understanding all this, the church heirarchy acted with reckless stupidity in responding to reports of abuse and probably acted to protect the reputation of the church too. This is now all understood. Was John Paul negligent? Was he culpable for these failings?

Finally, Beatification is not the same as Canonisation.

Now we'll wait for the all the anti-Catholic hatred to be spewed forth.

Have a good Bank Holiday weekend!

30 April 2011 at 12:10  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I'm not sure even I dare to touch this one. :)

30 April 2011 at 12:21  
Anonymous len said...

Wise choice Danjo,

The Bible warns us not to meddle with Idols.

30 April 2011 at 12:29  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

I don't know enough about Pope John Paul II to really give a deep judgment of him. I must say though that I consider Vatican II to be an almost unmitigated surrender and disaster for our Roman cousins. Where the Anglican Church is suffering death by a thousand cuts, it seems the Roman Church appears to have had its jugular gone for. Those who question whether it is even the same church are not completely right in my opinion but they're not completely wrong either. It is such a shame and it came about at just the time when neo-Thomism, which showed real promise, was beginning to flourish and seems to have cut that off in its infancy.

I understand the current Pope, who was influential in the council, quickly realised many of its mistakes. Let's hope he can make some reverses before it is not too late instead of worrying quite so much about beatifying his predecessor.

30 April 2011 at 13:16  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

DanJ0 said...
I'm not sure even I dare to touch this one. :)

30 April 2011 12:21

Oh, go on.

You know you want to. ;)

30 April 2011 at 13:17  
Blogger English Viking said...

'Tis Christ that makes men saints, not a Nazi in a dress.

Lakester, Albert, Dodo, et al,

Go on then, continue to bury your heads to the epidemic of abuse perpetrated by your 'priests'.

His Grace has so much more elegance in his speech than I, but he is basically saying the same thing as I was Yesterday.

30 April 2011 at 13:31  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

English Viking said...
"His Grace has so much more elegance in his speech than I, but he is basically saying the same thing as I was Yesterday."

We all know you think highly of yourself but, I doubt the author of this blog (who you call "Your Grace"!) would agree with you entirely on this.

Yes he has more eloquence and uses fine words, which can be deceptive and misleading. However, I'm sure he wasn't saying the same same as you. He's slightly more intelligent and considered!

And thank goodness others are exercising the right of silence.

30 April 2011 at 14:07  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

Even if there was such an epidemic, one wonders what inferences E.V would like us to draw about the Roman Church.

It seems a pretty end to 500 years of Protestant apologetics, to be left with accusing(without much back up.) Roman Catholics clergy of abusing slightly more child than Protestant ones.

30 April 2011 at 14:15  
Anonymous graham wood said...

"The Roman Catholic Church is not ‘making’ John Paul II ‘blessed’: in Roman Catholic theology, they are affirming what has already occurred in heaven."

Correction: What Roman Catholic dogma may teach about "what has already occurred in heaven" is yet another example of speculative theology without a shred of biblical support.

Which Pope or cardinal knows what goes on in heaven?

30 April 2011 at 14:24  
Blogger English Viking said...


It's not an inference, it's a plain statement. Popey dirtiness has insisted on celibate clergy, which has resulted in pædo-priests. Cat-lick ones. There is not a slight difference between denominations, there is a vast over-representation within the whore.


I think a quick perusal of the latest post by His Grace shows that he thinks there was an epidemic of child abuse amongst your lot and that it was covered up, involving those at the very highest levels. Just the same as I think, we just say it differently.

30 April 2011 at 14:26  
Blogger English Viking said...

Ughhh, dirty.

30 April 2011 at 14:28  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

One wonders if Graham Wood realises how philosophically and theologically constructed is the Protestant position, how influential 'speculative' theological and philosophical tendencies like nominalism, scholasticism, humanism and so forth.

E.V; aside from the lack of evidence and somewhat irrational nature of the comment(why on earth would celibacy produce more paedophiles?), it doesn't seem much of a fundamental attack on the church.

If celibacy produces paedophiles then does chastity put one at greater risk? Are you suggesting promiscuity to be on the safe side? Are you aiming to get dubious celibates, like Jesus and St.Paul, removed from the core of Christianity?

30 April 2011 at 14:36  
Blogger English Viking said...


Paul teaches that it is better to marry than to burn (with lust, I assume).

Christ teaches that it is not given to most men to be celibate, and that marriage is a jolly good thing.

Enforced (and that is the crucial point) celibacy is unscriptural (as are most things with cat-licks) and it leads to the suppression of the natural sexual urge, which can, in some, lead to unnatural sexual urges, some of which are acted on. With children.

PS Probably best if you don't refer to Christ as 'dubious', you're in enough trouble as it is.

30 April 2011 at 14:54  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

English Viking said...

You really are a disgrace and the unthinking, bigoted poison you spew has nothing to do with the christian message.

Go figure where all your hate comes from and do something about it before it's too late.

30 April 2011 at 15:07  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

30 April 2011 at 15:10  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

I didn't refer to Christ as dubious if you follow my comments. I half-jokingly suggested your argument implied that. Looks like your in trouble now then.

Scripture does not, of course, fully contain the Christian revelation. Not even the Koran in Islam is the full revelation of God. This is doubly so if one only approaches scripture with a literalist and rationalist mentality. It is basically idolatry.

I do not support priestly celibacy, it needlessly repeats the sacrifice of the monks and creates an unnecessary distance between the clergy and the laity. That said your argument against it is weak. The clergy are not all men and that celibacy can be a noble sacrifice goes back to the earliest church. There are natural urges and there are natural urges; there are corporeal and material urges to be controlled, infernal urges to be combated and spiritual urges to be gratified.

30 April 2011 at 15:11  
Anonymous Bede said...

I stand to be corrected, but I understand that the Roman Church enforced celibacy (only in 1215) solely as a matter of discipline in the Church, not for any theological reason, and it is in full communion with Churches which do have married priests. There are both pros and cons: it is cheaper, priests can be moved around more quickly, and in theory they will not be 'distracted' by having a family. But there are, of course, serious drawbacks, including drastically cutting the number of would-be priests, and the increased liklihood of sexual perversions. In the early Church even bishops could marry (and were restricted to only one wife! 1 Tim 3:2).

As for the present Pope, for whom I have a high regard, it must be remembered that before he became Pope he was widely regarded as a black reactionary, even by many RCs (I heard liberal catholics practically swearing about him). I think he was then widely misunderstood.

30 April 2011 at 15:28  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Viking: "Enforced (and that is the crucial point) celibacy is unscriptural (as are most things with cat-licks) and it leads to the suppression of the natural sexual urge, which can, in some, lead to unnatural sexual urges, some of which are acted on."

Phew. So we exclusively gay people really ought to be setting up home as couples and following our natural and harmless sexual urges afterall. Better that than bottling it all up from our teenage years as celibate people simply to keep Christians happy and risk harming children if we fail eh?

One thing though ... if the celibate clergy fail to suppress their sexual urges then why does it manifest unnaturally towards children rather than more naturally towards, say, bored housewives or even prostitutes where one might expect it to go?

30 April 2011 at 15:34  
Blogger English Viking said...


You are on the right track.

The main reason for the ban on marriage (which the Bible STRICTLY forbids) was to prevent the wife inheriting an estate on the death of a 'priest'. Guess who did inherit? Papa.


that you think that the koran could contain ANY wisdom from God is further evidence that you do not know which end of the stick you are holding.


If you can't win the argument, you could always resort to abuse... oh, you just did.


You're a naughty boy.

BTW It does manifest itself (these 'urges', I mean) in the traditional way as well. Why so many 'housekeepers' of the female variety required?
Live-in a prerequisite, obviously.

If it's not that, then there's always the Rector. Or (as is already well known) the choir-boy.

30 April 2011 at 16:02  
Blogger English Viking said...


You said 'the clergy are not all men'.

That's true. We mustn't forget the role that lesbian nuns have played in this horror as well.

30 April 2011 at 16:07  
Anonymous not a machine said...

Your grace does a good job of some of the issues and considerations in this matter.
I perhaps concur with bluedog , although many demoninations are suffering from a reduced intake of those whishing to become ministers or priests.

I know many find the whole process a little ghoulish and unsure about what such artefacts signify or if they have powers.

I will always find pope Benedicts words on the care that was adminsterd to Pope John Paul II in his declining years as greatly moving and a true friend in christ. I can quite understand why this beatification is happening. Not only did pope John Paul II understand the ending of communism , but he had lived so many of its persecutions and failings.
There are perhaps other aspects of his span over eras , that humility that occured in everyday meetings ,a sort of love that was the same no matter what status. His services very much reflected this need for personal humility and the story of him holding hardly any posessions ,even giving a raincoat gifted to someone else ,when a cardinal.

The pedrasts , I would think were lurking in other areas of life ,posing the same PR dilemmas ,but as you say he did not think enough about the future harm it was storing and I am sure he was quite baffled by how such people did not love god as he did.

He was also of that age that was innocent of the internet ,and it is that personal humility and simple faith he showed to all he met ,that I wonder is so much missing in todays self addicted society. It would be nice to think of him as a gentle and good shepherd who the wolves dare not devour as he could transform them ,by his simple abundance of love of christ.

Whilst I may disgree with some aspects of Roman Catholicism ,I have no doubt that men and women of true christian quality and values reside in its communion, who could fail to look upon pope John Pauls II life and not see the christ at work.

30 April 2011 at 16:47  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

English Viking said ...

If you can't win the argument, you could always resort to abuse... oh, you just did."

Yep, quess so. That's what you do all the time.

Is it really about 'winning' and losing'? I'd have thought it should be about an informed and open conversation.

No point in attempting to have a rational discussion with a bigot, now is there?

30 April 2011 at 16:52  
Blogger English Viking said...


Obviously not.

30 April 2011 at 17:07  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

As all tyrants know, you keep your REAL friends seemingly distant, and your enemies or potential ones as close as possible.

The Establishment has chosen to appear to distance itself from two of its greatest friends, and allies which are indeed Tony Blair,and Gordon Brown, for all of the reason you mentioned, and a fair few more important ones you failed to.

Such is the world we have long since existed in.

Up is down, right is left, left is right, liberalism is fascism, common sense is nothing of the kind, and certainly not at all common, an so on and so forth.

If you seek to make logical that which can not afford to be, you will always be asking highly sensible sounding questions, but never coming up with logical sensible sounding answers.

This world is not at all what it seems to be. Therefore it can not make logical sense. Otherwise the powers that be would finally get found out for what they really are. Which is not nice people, to say the very least.

If you believe you can make sense of this utterly insane world, you either you have not been paying any kind of proper attention, or you are as crazy as the world itself.

30 April 2011 at 17:10  
Anonymous Atlas shrugged said...

Your Grace with reference to the rest of your well thought out and thought provoking essay, I have this to say, in the sure and safe knowledge that hardly anyone will understand, or agree with it.

The Roman Catholic Church is the embodiment of The establishment, and has been for the best part of 2000 years. (The CofE is as independent of The Vatican as most single mothers are of the benefits system.)

In this time it has accumulated many if not all of the worst habits usually attributed to all powerful institutions. Incredibly nasty habits which are simply well tried and tested methods by which people are controlled, in this case its own clergy, and therefore higher and middle ranking administrators.

In common with all extremely powerful entities it has become complacent, and utterly corrupted from the very top, down to all but its lowest levels, which are of course the great mass of Roman Catholics, who are to the main part blissfully unaware of this long standing state of affairs.

Thus all of the things you state, and a whole lot worse ones, it is best none of us go anywhere near.

30 April 2011 at 17:34  
Anonymous Gordo said...

Rome lets their African priests marry. Any RCs want to explain the doctrinal reasons for that?

30 April 2011 at 18:08  
Anonymous Ed Butt said...

Blair and JP2 might have a lot in common when it comes to turning blinds etys (to pervy priests or lack of WMD) but I think Cherie's selective religiosity might have worked againt Tony.
A conservative senior Catholic like the late Pope would not have been impressed with all that new age stuff stuff involving crystals and chanting mantras etc.

30 April 2011 at 18:48  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

They defeated Communism, I am sure Mugabe will be relieved to hear that.

30 April 2011 at 18:48  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

Gordo said...
"Rome lets their African priests marry. Any RCs want to explain the doctrinal reasons for that?"

Not so!

Excommunicated Archbishop Milingo 'ordains' married priests and 'consecrates' dissident bishops. These priests and bishops cannot legitimately claim to be ministers of the Roman Catholic Church. They should be honest enough to admit and declare their separation it.

Celibacy is not a 'doctrinal' matter but a church discipline.

Modern scholars trace the beginnings of this tradition to the Apostolic Church.

The Council of Carthage (390 A.D.), said: "It was fitting that those who were at the service of the divine sacraments be perfectly continent, so that what the Apostles taught and antiquity itself maintained, we too may observe." The Church saw this especially as an imitation of the celibate Christ who remained unmarried for the "sake of the kingdom". It is true that Jesus called people like Peter from married life to be part of the Twelve, but tradition confirms that he did not live that form of life later. According to tradition Apostle John was an unmarried man.

Saint Paul, presented celibacy and virginity as the way "to please God" without divided interests (cf. 1 Cor. 7:32-33)

From the fourth century bishops were chosen only from the unmarried clergy. Noting the immense benefit of this life-style for the Church, and following the example of Christ and many of his disciples later, in 1139, at the Second Lateran Council, Pope Gregory VII promulgated celibacy, making it a mandatory requirement for priesthood within the Catholic Church.

It is not strictly correct to say that Roman-rite priests are "not allowed" to marry, if this is seen as some form of external prohibition. Rather, the Roman tradition sees the gift and charism of celibacy as accompanying the call to the priesthood.

Priestly celibacy can best be understood as a consequence of accepting Christ's invitation to share his mission of saving souls through the priesthood. It is a response of total love to the invitation of him who gave all for us and has loved us even more than we can love ourselves.

Under certain circumstances, as with all matters of internal discipline and canon law, exceptions can be made e.g. clergy from other denominations who are married and want to join the Catholic Church as priests.

30 April 2011 at 20:02  
Blogger English Viking said...


So much for your theory of apostolic celibacy.

Peter was married.

Mark 1 vv 29-39.

Have you ever read the Bible, or do you just take other people's word for it?

30 April 2011 at 20:41  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Dodo @ 20.52, I understand your points and the history, taken as read.

As an Anglican I can recognise the Roman church as the 'mother-ship' of my particular form of Christian belief. What concerns me now is that despite the undoubted good intentions and work of Benedict, the Cathoilc brand is severely damaged. This damage is likely to inhibit vocations for many years to come. Quite apart from the child abuse scandal, I perceive a rapidly ageing priesthood with no indigenous replacements within the developed world.

Importing Keralans and Africans may not work for you.

30 April 2011 at 21:46  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

English Viking said...
So much for your theory of apostolic celibacy.
Peter was married.
Mark 1 vv 29-39.
Have you ever read the Bible, or do you just take other people's word for it?"

Oh do please give me the common curtesy of reading my posts before leaping in with your ill-considered replies.

I quote (for others as much as you):

"It is true that Jesus called people like Peter from married life to be part of the Twelve, but tradition confirms that he did not live that form of life later. According to tradition Apostle John was an unmarried man."

But as it's not in the Bible you probably don't accept tradition or the teaching authority of the church or its Councils.

30 April 2011 at 22:04  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

bluedog said ...

Sadly recruitment to all forms of Ministry in the established churches appear to be in decline, certainly in the Northern hemishere.

Pentecostal and evangelical churches grow apace where after limited formation anyone can set themselves up as a Pastor so long as they have the necessary finances.

Is it the 'brand' of orthodox christianity, Catholicism included, or something about the modern age?

Self sacrifice, duty to others, service and devotion are attributes more and more out of sync with the times. Add the onslaugth of secularism and attacks on all forms of christianity and the decline in vocations becomes understandable.

I don't know the answer to these problems. It's in the Hands of God and His servants on earth. However, Jesus did promise to stay with His church through all the attacks it would face. And assurred by that promise that has held good for 2000 years who can be pessimistic?!

30 April 2011 at 22:18  
Anonymous Arkon said...

"Mugabe, a Catholic, also attended John Paul's funeral in 2005 -- where he shook hands with Britain's Prince Charles"

Your grace - nothing to brag about

at least to our knowledge our head of Church did not shake hands with this tyrant - unlike your future head of the Church of England (an Islamist cum green weirdo)

between Benedict, JPII or Prince Charles there's little for the sane man to even bother to think about. it's self evident...

Defender of the Faith - ha ha ha - good joke

30 April 2011 at 22:41  
Blogger English Viking said...


For tradition read bullshit.

What God has joined together, let no man cast asunder.

Christ NEVER called Peter to leave his wife in the name of service.

30 April 2011 at 23:08  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Defender of the Faith - ha ha ha - good joke 30 April 2011 22:41

Or Defender of Faiths, as he would prefer it, now the fuss of the wedding is done, lets return to the truth of the traitors.

30 April 2011 at 23:38  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

'that you think that the koran could contain ANY wisdom from God is further evidence that you do not know which end of the stick you are holding.'

If I were you I'd pay better attention to what people write. I made no comment as to the absolute value of the Islam or the Koran, I simply cited the fact that even in Islam the physical Koran is not considered to contain the full revelation.

This bibolatry of yours is nonsense. It was not the attitude of the early Church, the Fathers or Councils. It is almost entirely the product of late-medieval and early modern nominalism, rationalism and humanism.

Christ is the Christian revelation, not the bible, the bible is but his prolongation. There is no reason historically or intellectually to think it is the only prolongation, indeed it would be absurd to say that he were limited to a literalist and rationalist interpretation of scripture and a sentimental faith in what it says. This is basically idolatry, worse than anything in the Roman Church.

1 May 2011 at 01:15  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

English Vikingh said ...
"For tradition read bullshit.
"What God has joined together, let no man cast asunder.
"Christ NEVER called Peter to leave his wife in the name of service."

Now, now. Resorting to abuse?

Are you now saying Christ was not God and had no right to call Peter to leave his home and family?

Christ DID call Peter to service and I'm sure if his wife accompanied him there would be some record of this. So we have to rely on traditional accounts.

"And he said to them: "Come after me, and I will make you to be fishers of men." And they immediately leaving their nets, followed him." (Mat 4:19)

Did Peter return? There is no Biblical reference so of course we must defer to early church traditions.

1 May 2011 at 01:24  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I would think the news from Tripoli will be on tommorow ,as tragic as it is , these are how these things end .I doubt you could believe that gadaffi would run an election where he lost power. I just hope it is short and the free libyans can stabilise it.
With news of troop defections in Syria it appears Assad has made the same error in resorting to opression ,although his course seemed set the moment his troops gunned down a funeral.
Let us hope the new governments can walk the talk on bringing round these corrupt states and there people it will certainly be whole new way of running countries for some and may need thoughtful help.

I think I will wait and see what Mr Pickles comes up with rather than the hearsay , given the contribution to a families food costs an allotment can make ,in times of a squeeze ,let alone the urban nature reserves. If there role can be properly protected and yet private at low cost to user may be a better choice. I can see though that some councils get into land assetts in often very unusual and troubling ways ,I appreciate that some highly questionable things regarding council land assetts happens , so I dont mind an examination of the situation.
nighty night con home graphics seems have discovered time travel and gone for xmas feel??? or is that a cool look:)

1 May 2011 at 01:41  
Anonymous len said...

I think I am beginning to understand,if Roman or Anglican Catholics accept Scripture as being the inerrant Word of God they are in trouble!
This is the reason for the 'fudging 'put up by the proponents of Catholicism and her lesser 'sister'.
They have accepted the lie and put up all sorts of 'reasons' to defend the lie.
If you make a list of all the Catholic 'practices and Traditions'and compare them to Scripture the lie becomes obvious!!

Hence the 'ecclesiastical 'gymnastics to conceal the lie.

Would it not be more honourable to accept the TRUTH and reject the Lie? .
(Of course this would be admitting you were wrong and might be a blow to your pride.But the Apostle Paul cast away his religion and gave up all to follow Christ and Him alone.
Jesus commanded His apostles to teach others exactly what He had taught—"teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:20, NIV). He condemned the replacing of God's commandments with traditions and human reason. Speaking to the Pharisees, Jewish religious leaders of His day, He said: "For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men...All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition" (Mark 7:8-9).

1 May 2011 at 07:33  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1 May 2011 at 07:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spot on, your Grace.

I suppose JP2 gets kudos for his anti-Soviet stance but his dogged Polish conservatism stymied ecumenical progress begun under his predecessors.

I'd have also thought a church leader who was truly blessed/blest and a blessing to others would have made serious enquiry of evil Ministers involved in the abuse of children and deposed them (as Article 26 demands of criminal clergy). Under JP2 the rights of Christian children were trampled underfoot by the sacerdotal boot.

Rome stages stunts like this to polish (excuse pun) its fading prestige. It has little to do with the Gospel and more to do with institutional aggrandisement.

That its ranks of canonised saints include few laity and even fewer women, suggests that this is just a post-humous self-congratulatory celibate boys'club which exercises socio-political coersion over the Roman laity by means of the promotion of the 'cult' of saints.

I'm looking forward to the canonisation of Pacelli known as Pius XII - the so-called Nazi Pope. Ratzinger will surely move to do this under his 'reign'. Maybe then the whole edifice will be seen as the shameful sham it is!

How wise of the Anglican communion to only use St for Saint before the names of those who witnessed the presence of the Risen Christ in the spring days of the Christian movement - the New Testament disciples and apostles of renown.

The Vatican Saint factory has more to do with the souvenir trade and relic sales than following the Beatitudes where the Lord teaches us what true blessed entails.

1 May 2011 at 07:49  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

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1 May 2011 at 07:53  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

The Scripture is the inherent word of God, or rather it could be said to be the inspired word of the Word of God, or Christ. Scripture is not Christ though, it does not utterly contain him, any more than all the world or the Eucharist, which are his revelations also, utterly contains him. Nor do any of these constitute him, in the sense that they can take anything away from him or change him, though he constitutes them.

Your error is not having a great faith in Scripture. Your error is to hold up Scripture as the only prolongation of Christ's revelation, indeed to hold it up as his revelation. Not even the Muslims do this with the physical Koran.

Lens it is you who remove a lot of the life from Christ's revelation by subduing it to be contained almost totally within a literalist and rationalist reading of Scripture and a sentimental faith in this view of Christ. You removes Christ's revelation through nature, through art, through society, through the Church visible and invisible and through our inner beings. You make nature, society and art alien and unimportant things and hence leave them to a Godless science and philosophy. To me this is a far more stale and lifeless approach to any of the 'religion' you despise. Indeed there seems to be me more of Christ in the smallest ritual of 'religion' than in a good section your view of Scripture(your view only mind you.).

1 May 2011 at 07:55  
Anonymous len said...


Many words but no substance!.

The Spirit (Holy) gives life indwelling the Believer.

Jesus said; The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.(John 6:63)

1 May 2011 at 08:06  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

Len, are you hoping to win me over by seeming inability to rationally argue or understand simple arguments?

Perhaps, for once, you may consider listening to others and trying to understand. Think about the presuppositions of your viewpoint. Think about where they come from. Read and immerse yourself in the early Church, the writings of the Fathers and the Councils. Above all ask Christ for his help. May he grant it you.\


1 May 2011 at 08:22  
Anonymous Burleighfan said...

Just shows that superstition is alive and well in the Roman church

1 May 2011 at 09:24  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Cranmer said

But beatification is not about endorsing political policy or every attribute of character. The Roman Catholic Church is not ‘making’ John Paul II ‘blessed’: in Roman Catholic theology, they are affirming what has already occurred in heaven.

So let me get this right “god” has already made John Paul II a saint? It seems that he (“God”) has chosen to ignore the documentary evidence that has now been exposed that this “saintly” man was well aware of and implicated in the cover-up of child rape during his reign.

What kind of religion is it that derides and insults morally concerned atheists but still claims its own moral authority despite the fact that it is demonstrably more concerned with protecting its own “reputation” than righting the monumental wrong that has been perpetrated by those within its ranks?

The Catholic Church stinks and those who follow it are guilty too, shame on those who do.

1 May 2011 at 11:06  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

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1 May 2011 at 11:54  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

Why would the followers of the Church be guilty too? It took too long but the Roman Church has certainly taken great steps to deal with this problem, for which the current Pope deserves praise. I fail to see then how this particular problem tars all members of the Roman Catholic Church forever onwards, any more than genuine wrongs done by the British government tar all Britons from then onwards.

One may wonder what kind of atheism is it that treats a Church as a spiritual, corporate body.

Stretching the point to try and score the greatest hit on your opponents is a bad idea. It usually doesn't work and makes you look most interested in partisan point-scoring.

1 May 2011 at 11:56  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

There's some slightly bemusing footage on the BBC of some women sobbing away in the crowd. What's that all about? I mean, I can barely watch Channel 4 news these days without filling up but that's in empathy with the suffering of real people in the news stories. What's going on here about the disinterred corpse of a man who died naturally of very old age? It's like mass hysteria or something.

1 May 2011 at 12:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

"One may wonder what kind of atheism is it that treats a Church as a spiritual, corporate body."

Erm, isn't that what it's followers actually claim? *confused*

1 May 2011 at 12:15  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

It isn't what atheists generally claim though. One would have thought they'd have been more loath to treat the Church as a spiritual, corporate body.

1 May 2011 at 12:18  
Blogger Graham Davis said...


Those who do nothing are also culpable. In N.Ireland for years there was tacit support for the IRA that enabled them to claim (with some justification) that their murderous deeds had the support of most of the nationalist community. It wasn’t until a few brave women put their heads above the parapet and said that murder was wrong regardless of the cause that the peace process began.

Catholics who flocked to the recent Pope’s visit and those who claim that the cardinals where unaware of the child rapes that had been perpetrated by their clergy are guilty in the same way as those N.Ireland nationalists. They continue to support a corrupt and hypocritical church because to renounce it means renouncing their faith too.

Religion invariably corrupts and enslaves its followers leaving them without the means to make real moral choices. This is evident from some who post here who simply cannot see the truth, their brainwashing having been absolute. Others are simply afraid even consider that the faith and the religion to which they have made such an irrevocable commitment may simply be a mirage.

1 May 2011 at 13:04  
Blogger English Viking said...


If Peter had left his wife, why did Christ heal her, and then eat with the family at Peter's house? Why would he cast asunder that which he had joined together? Why would he allow an apostle to set the example of abandoning his family? Face it, you're wrong, and instead of clinging to the filthy rags of your tradition, you would do well to abandon it and start again. You know, born again?

You may doubt the divinity of Christ, that's understandable as a cat-lick, most don't know their elbow from their armpit.

1 May 2011 at 14:17  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

You're still not differentiating between the Church and its past practices. The Church, for Catholics, is an institution that has a very deep foundation and role in their lives. It certainly had a problem but the current Pope has largely sorted this out.

If we consider the importance it has to the lives of its members, in Catholic theology, and reforms that have been made there is little reason to suggest that all followers of its faith are culpable. You might as well suggest we dissolve the British state for its past crimes. Indeed one might wonder why you do not live in the woods, cut off from society, because society has on going moral problems. Yet of course that would be nonsense, It is perfectly acceptable to a member of society and yet not be culpable for its crimes.

1 May 2011 at 14:33  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

One wonders if E.V really thinks that insulting and not seriously arguing with Roman Catholics is likely to win them over to his viewpoint and if not, why does he bother arguing with them?

1 May 2011 at 14:41  
Blogger English Viking said...


Just because the truth is insulting to some will not prevent me from speaking it.

BTW I am not trying to win cat-licks over to my viewpoint, I am stating biblical facts and people can take it or leave it.

1 May 2011 at 16:58  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Westcountryman said

It certainly had a problem but the current Pope has largely sorted this out.

You are deluded, far from “sorting them out” the current Pope is complicit in these atrocities.

1 May 2011 at 18:21  
Anonymous len said...

I must agree with Graham Davis here;

"Religion invariably corrupts and enslaves its followers leaving them without the means to make real moral choices"

Thank God that I found Christ and NOT religion.

BTW, I am not interested in 'point scoring', or gaining friends,or gaining the approval of anyone, or parading my intellect, only in the truth ,which seems to be evading you at this moment in time.

1 May 2011 at 20:13  
Anonymous len said...

len 20 :13,
intended for Westcountryman.

1 May 2011 at 20:15  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2 May 2011 at 00:55  
Blogger Westcountryman said...

You are deluded, far from “sorting them out” the current Pope is complicit in these atrocities.'

Nonsense, the current Pope, both before becoming Pope and after has worked tirelessly against this abuse.

E.V: One would think there was substance between your insults; there is not.

Len; I'm more than willing to discuss Truth with you. I have been trying to. The problem is it is not simply irrelevant 'intellectualising' to think about the true nature of the cosmos and of Christ. One reason the modern West is in such a poor shape is that thought, science, arts and politics have largely broken free of Christianity and have been drawn into quite hostile perspectives towards traditional Christianity. Yes on one level the most important thing is we truly Love, Know and Believe in Christ, but what I'm talking about does effect the obstacles in the way of the spiritual path.

2 May 2011 at 01:36  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

English Viking said...
If Peter had left his wife, why did Christ heal her, and then eat with the family at Peter's house? Why would he cast asunder that which he had joined together? Why would he allow an apostle to set the example of abandoning his family?"

To paraphraes:

Some men are born stupid;
Some are made stupid by the world; and
Some choose to be stupid.

Of course Peter responded to Christ's call to leave his home and family. He had a great mission to perform that required his complete attention. Your biblical 'evidence' for questioning this early tradition of the church is, frankly, non-existant!

2 May 2011 at 11:06  
Blogger English Viking said...


Your tradition stinks and is merely a catch-all for when the Bible stands in opposition to your fantasies. Which is almost always.

There is not one shred of evidence that Peter abandoned his family, and the Bible teaches that if we do not provide for own, particularly those of our own house, we are worse than infidels. 1 Tim 5 v 8.

BTW You've got the wrong Apostle to idolise; Peter never went to Rome. It was Paul.

2 May 2011 at 12:06  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

English Viking

How very reasonable of you. I'll give your comments my full and considered attention.

2 May 2011 at 12:35  
Blogger English Viking said...


I'm waiting...

2 May 2011 at 23:31  
Blogger The Last Dodo said...

English Viking said...
I'm waiting..."

Be patient I'm still considering your points.

3 May 2011 at 00:54  

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