Friday, October 26, 2012

Parliament warns the Church of England on women bishops

Sir Tony Baldry MP, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked this week in Parliament a number of questions relating to the structure and mission of the Church of England. Philip Davies MP enquired about the reorganisation scheme for the dioceses of Bradford, Ripon and Leeds and Wakefield (Bradford is to be abolished and incorporated into a larger Leeds diocese). His Grace finds it a little odd, in an era increasingly typified by devolution and localism, that the distinct communities across the Bradford district will be subsumed to an identity with which they have no natural affiliation.

But Sir Tony urged Mr Davies to discuss his concerns with the Bishop of Bradford. He continued to explain: "One of the greatest threats to the Church’s mission in his constituency is the continuing theft of lead from churches. No fewer than six churches in his constituency have had lead stolen from their roofs — St Peter’s church in Shipley has had lead stolen on four separate occasions, notwithstanding protections such as SmartWater. So may I take this opportunity to entreat my hon Friend, as I know the Bishop of Bradford and the Archbishop of York will, not to frustrate the Third Reading of the Scrap Metal Dealers Bill when it comes before the House soon?"

His Grace is (respectfully) of the view that this is bollocks. The continuing theft of lead from churches is not 'one of the greatest threats to the Church’s mission'. Certainly it is a material inconvenience and diabolical irritation, but the greatest threats to the Church’s mission may be identified severally as weak leadership, ignorance of Scripture and the XXXIX Articles, lukewarm commitment, disrespect for history and tradition, disloyalty to the Supreme Governor, and the preaching of a gospel of perpetual accommodation. Faced with this tsunami of Laodicean indifference, a bit of lead on a roof is utterly inconsequential to the Church's mission.

On women bishops, Simon Hughes MP asked what assessment the Church Commissioners have made of the likelihood of the Church of England making a decision on women bishops in 2012. and Ben Bradshaw MP asked what recent discussions the Church Commissioners have had with Church of England bishops on the Women Bishops Measure.

Sir Tony informed Parliament that the General Synod will resume on 20th November the final approval debate on the legislation to enable women to become bishops. He declared that he will be voting for the Measure, hoping and praying that at least two thirds of the members of every house of the General Synod will join him.

Simon Hughes agreed with Sir Tony, expressing the desire that women bishops might be 'a legacy of the outgoing archbishop and as a tribute to his work', and also because 'we need the Church of England to catch up into the 21st century if it is to do a good job for everybody'. He hoped 'there is no more shilly-shallying, that the Synod gets on with it and that we get a clear decision so that we can move to having women bishops'.

No more shilly-shallying? Does Mr Hughes not realise that the very raison d'être of the Church of England is to shilly-shally in perpetual via media in order that it may unite the nation and offend no-one?

But Ben Bradshaw pushed the point of women bishops: "In his conversations with the bishops, will the Hon. Gentleman tell them that just because House of Lords reform has been abandoned they should not feel any less pressure to do this and that a failure to agree a Measure that gives women bishops equal status with male bishops would still lead to a severe constitutional crisis between Church and state?

To which Sir Tony replied: "In fairness, I think that the House of Bishops recognises that, and when it met last it amended the Measure in a way that should commend support. Indeed, the bishops took a lead on that from the Archbishop of Canterbury, who, in the same article, made it clear that he thought the ordination or consecration of women as bishops was good for the whole world. He said:
“It is good news for the world we live in, which needs the unequivocal affirmation of a dignity given equally to all by God in creation and redemption—and can now, we hope, see more clearly that the Church is not speaking a language completely remote from its own most generous and just instincts.”
There is clear leadership from the House of Bishops and from the archbishops that the Church of England must consecrate women bishops. Should Synod decide to the contrary, Sir Tony warned: "I think that the consequences for the Church of England will be very grim indeed. I hope that the General Synod, and those who might be tempted to vote against this Measure in it, will reflect on that point."

Very grim indeed?

One can almost hear, a decade hence, when same-sex marriages are legal and routinely celebrated in the land, calls in Parliament for 'the Church of England to catch up into the 21st century', and warnings, should it fail to do so, that the consequences will be 'very grim indeed'. We will doubtless hear Chris Bryant (and one or two others with an agenda) threaten that the failure to agree a Measure that gives homosexuals equal marriage status with heterosexuals will lead 'to a severe constitutional crisis between Church and state'.

Yes, very grim indeed.


Blogger William said...


"... the greatest threats to the Church’s mission may be identified severally as weak leadership, ignorance of Scripture and the XXXIX Articles, lukewarm commitment, disrespect for history and tradition, disloyalty to the Supreme Governor, and the preaching of a gospel of perpetual accommodation. Faced with this tsunami of Laodicean indifference, a bit of lead on a roof is utterly inconsequential to the Church's mission.

I'm afraid that this unnecessary attack on the CoE just confirms your bigoted prejudice.

Further to your musings on the future, one wonders if the CoE will be required to move with the times and dispense with one of God's assignations as a father. Perhaps starting the Lord's prayer with "Our Parent A in Heaven .." would be more appropriate. We are lucky indeed to have MPs to guide (threaten) us in these matters.

26 October 2012 at 10:29  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

It is interesting that the Archbishop of Canterbury recommends following' just instincts' rather than scripture with regard to the ordination of women Bishops. Inevitably the 'just instincts' will apply to ssm as well as other things.

As both of these changes will almost certainly occur I wonder what plans conservative Anglicans have for resisting this state of affairs. I am going to assume the conservative Anglicans will be small in number.Will the Bishops who vote against the proposal form their own break away group insisting on observing scripture?

Or, will the Bishops who object , be permitted by the Synod to carry on conservatively as before according to their consciences, regardless of the changes imposed.

Of course if the changes through the equal opportunity and anti discrimination act become enshrined in law, then I do not understand how any Anglican Bishop could refuse to ordain a female Bishop or any pastor could refuse to celebrate a ssm in a Church if it is Church policy permitting this.

Incidentally why are Catholics, Jews, Islamics and Hindus exempt from discriminatory behaviour based on gender practised in their respective religions?Is their a
freedom of religion act that covers this?

26 October 2012 at 10:30  
Blogger John Knox's lovechild said...

"Doctrine of perpetual accommodation"

Kicking off with the perpetual accommodation of Henry VIII's lust.

26 October 2012 at 10:51  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

26 October 2012 at 11:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,

Grand, beautiful and wonderful as our great Christian buildings are, lead off a roof can be replaced and in any event the Church are the community of believers and not the building itself.

There is a 'disconnect' between the Bishops, the Synod and those of us at the parish level. If you look at the Bishops and the Synod it is packed full of extreme liberals, career women Vicars and gay rights activists, but the Parishes that are flourishing are the 'happy clappy' Bible believing Evangelicals, the Orthodox Traditionalists and the Anglo-Catholics.

The liberal or secular parts of the Church are frankly dying away and too busy playing politics to look after and grow their own churches (relying instead on the good will and cash of the groups they are trying to smash).

The liberals do, however, have all the political power as the Bishops are appointed by a what is by and large a secular and liberal state and the general synods are elected by rural deaneries, not by church membership as a whole, which means that the liberals have an inbuilt electoral advantage.

The traditionalists groups I've mentioned are, however, normally less concerned with playing politics and get on the job of working at the coal face (so to speak) of Parish life.

If the Parliament or Synod goes around allowing gay vicars and women bishops, I think a lot of Parishes will rebel and not pay into the central funds- that happened when Bliar tried to foist a liberal gay chap who was in a civil partnership (albeit an apparently celibate one)- as the Bishop of Reading.

Perhaps also, Anglicans or Christians generally need to accept that our period of dominance is over and that we will revert to (in an allegorical sense) hiding away in catacombs and being thrown to the lions.

The early Church survived that and we are in this country fortunately sparred that treatment (unlike other Christians elsewhere). It might be bad, but it could be a lot worse.

26 October 2012 at 11:35  
Blogger Flossie said...

Sadly most of the C of E hierarchy are throwbacks to the 1960s, or their heirs. At one time around 23 bishops were associated with 'Affirming Catholicism', the liberal pro-women's ordination and pro-gay Anglo Catholic pressure group set up by Rowan Williams, Jeffery John, former Episcopal Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold, et al. Episcopal appointments from the more conservative sector were thin on the ground, and once Wallace Benn retires there will be no conservative evangelical bishops.

Ordained women have a considerably lower 'belief quotient' than their male counterparts, as evidenced by the 'Mind of Anglicans' survey. WATCH has been affiliated to Inclusive Church for years. Once we have women bishops we will have openly practising homosexual bishops, unless something drastic happens in between.

More attention to the 'Heilegegeist' and less to the 'zeitgeist' is what is needed.

26 October 2012 at 11:45  
Blogger Nicodemus said...

"Very grim indeed?"

in fact it could be that disestablishment be the best thing which could happen to the CofE, separating out the sheep from the goats.

26 October 2012 at 12:03  
Blogger Roger Pearse said...

Thank you for this useful post. It does make plain the arm-twisting that is going on, and doubtless goes on all the time. The unbelieving establishment controls the funds of the CofE and it appoints the bishops; but evidently the church is not proving subservient enough -- impossible as that is to imagine -- in changing its teaching.

It's like a rotten old nationalised industry back in the 70's, where the needs of the business were always subsumed to some temporary political decision, made for short-term advantage, with consequent ruin to the business.

Denationalisation would be a nice idea; except that it would leave the potemkin bishops in charge. Reform of the whole rotten system seems very necessary.

26 October 2012 at 12:15  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

"If the Parliament or Synod goes around allowing gay vicars and women bishops, I think a lot of Parishes will rebel and not pay into the central funds- that happened when Bliar tried to foist a liberal gay chap who was in a civil partnership (albeit an apparently celibate one)- as the Bishop of Reading."

It's worth mentioning that the sticking point for many parishes on that particular appointment was not that he was gay - or that they didn't know he was celibate - but that he advocated and argued for the validity of same-sex sexual activity (and indeed, continues to do so), even though he stated he was not engaging in it at that time. What was sought, and what he could not in conscience give, was a clarification that his past sexual activity was incompatible with Biblical teaching on sexual activity. I have a measure of respect for him on that basis - he stuck to his position I suspect in the clear knowledge it would cost him the bishopric. (The maneuvrings of the Church hierarchy are a very different matter). But on the other hand, I have no respect for his theology, and regard the outcome as positive.

"Perhaps also, Anglicans or Christians generally need to accept that our period of dominance is over and that we will revert to (in an allegorical sense) hiding away in catacombs and being thrown to the lions."

Couldn't agree more. Personally, I'd rather "go out with a bang" and tell the likes of Simon Hughes that the Church is under the Sovereign Lord. As with so much of the CofE's history, though, the greatest bond with establishment remains through the Crown: to break faith with our present Monarch, who, constitutional arguments aside, has been steadfast in both devotion and rule, would be little to the Church's credit. I suspect the death knells will sound with the next Coronation bells.

26 October 2012 at 12:39  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace said; weak leadership, ignorance of Scripture and the XXXIX Articles, lukewarm commitment, disrespect for history and tradition, disloyalty to the Supreme Governor, and the preaching of a gospel of perpetual accommodation. This is no attack on the CofE but a call to action. One of the most accurate statements Your Grace has made about the CofEE.

26 October 2012 at 13:02  
Blogger John Henson said...

Flossie said...

Ordained women have a considerably lower 'belief quotient' ...

What on earth is a 'belief quotient'?

26 October 2012 at 13:28  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...


You've just tweeted William's original post with a "<..sigh..>" but I wonder if you might just have hoisted yourself by a petard that others frequently hang from in criticising your more ironic posts.

I took William to be making a sarcastic comment rather than an accusation when his initial sentence is read in the context of those succeeding it.

26 October 2012 at 13:33  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The Inspector humbly submits the following modernisations to bring the church into the 21st century...

1st Sunday of the month. Divine service replaced by coffee morning.
2nd Sunday of the month. Divine service replaced by bring and buy sale
3rd Sunday of month. Divine service replaced by live music. Courtesy Parishioners maudlin teenage sons with guitars.
4th Sunday of month. Divine service service replaced by everyone on the roof, nailing the lead down.
5th Sunday of month (if there is one). Divine service

26 October 2012 at 13:34  
Blogger William said...


Too subtle perhaps. I fear that sarcasm (apart from being the lowest form of wit) does not travel well in cyber space. Still, at least I made it on to Twitter!

26 October 2012 at 13:53  
Blogger Flossie said...

John Henson - 'belief quotient' - a slightly clumsy way of condensing a long and even clumsier explanation. In 2002 Christian Research surveyed Church of England clergy on the prevailing attitudes, practices and theology.

The questions were wide-ranging, but it was interesting to note that on most of the theological as well as the moral issues women's beliefs were considerably more liberal.

If you have the stamina you can read the whole thing, plus press reports and summaries, here:

26 October 2012 at 13:55  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Man (at least we think it will be a man) to occupy position of ++Canterbury.

Chief Duties. To offer leadership to the CoE and have it thrown back at him, and cower under table while traditionalists and modernisers throw brass candlesticks and collection plates at each other. Previous employment working for the Official Receiver an advantage, as would any ideas of what to do with empty churches.

This an equal opportunities positions (by the time the feminists have finished) and applications are invited from LBGT, atheists, and people in a permanent vegetative state. If you are all three, just sign on the dotted...

26 October 2012 at 13:59  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

William, old fellow, one did think you had lost it...

26 October 2012 at 14:00  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"Office of Inspector General said...

William, old fellow, one did think you had lost it..."

Old Ernsty never believed it for one second but as yours truly is a master of sarcasm, it was easy to spot however as His Gracious Nibs is constantly criticised by the Tiberians on the slightest perceived sleight, it seems only fair to put the *sigh* down to an 'Et Tu, Brute? moment.


26 October 2012 at 14:23  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

It makes perfect sense that female clergy as a group should skew to the Left. The more orthodox the woman in her theology, the more likely she is to remove herself from the pool of female candidates due to the clear scriptural imperatives against her participation. Female clergy draw disproportionately from a heterodox population, and it shows.

This is also why Liberals are so anxious to install WO. It pulls leadership to the Left, and involves an implicit diminution of Scriptural authority in the process. This leaves the field open for other sources of authority to hold sway in the church. It is this act of norming Scripture by an external norm that is so damaging, and therefore so desired by Liberal religionists.


26 October 2012 at 14:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Fellows, it was Jesus who decided against involving women directly as his disciples. Please no guff about Mary Magdalene being better than the whole lot put together...

26 October 2012 at 14:35  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

So ladies, and effetes, modernise THAT !

26 October 2012 at 14:37  
Blogger William said...

Indeed Ernst. I see that there is life in the old dog (sorry cat) yet!

26 October 2012 at 14:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Inspector

you said below :

"Of course, when Anglicanism eventually falls in on itself, USSR style, we, the RCs, are ready and waiting to re-assert our influence on the nation. It is merely a matter of time.."

Are you perhaps trying to provoke people into claiming a papist conspiracy?

The problem you will have is that the Anglican Church is more likely to splinter into the four various fractions it roughly made up of. For example, I can't see the likes of Holy Trinity Brompton (a large Anglican Evangelical 'mega Church' of 'Alpha Course' fame) crossing the Tiber, only the Anglo-Catholic brigade (a lot of whom have already gone).

And besides which after reviewing the threads below and the exchanges and treatment of Darter Noster, who had confessed to being a former Anglican, I would certainly not want to go to Rome (having toyed with the idea for a while).

It seems that in the Anglican Church I'm a fundamentalist- conservative-orthodox,evangelical- traditionalist; by contrast in the Church of Rome I'd be an apostate, heretical, raving liberal lunatic, who'd be put in the Inquisition's Iron Maiden in no time at all...

26 October 2012 at 15:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Belfast,

Indeed, we are perhaps seeing the last hurrah of the C of E- but will it be a bang or a whisper?

26 October 2012 at 15:31  
Blogger John Magee said...

John Knox

Wasn't it the height of hypocrisy when the C of E and others in the establishment in 1936 did backward somersaults over the possibility of King-Emperor Edward VIII marrying a twice divorced American trollop? Did the establishment back then forget their national church was founded by a King wanting a divorce from his first wife because of his obsession with a male heir? The founder of their national church later had a few marriages annulled. Not to mention the two wives he had beheaded.

How many people today remember the love story of divorced Battle of Britain hero RAF Group Captain Peter Townsend and his ill-fated romance with Princess Margaret. He had met the Princess in his role as an equerry to her father, King George VI. Despite his distinguished career, in the social atmosphere of the time, when divorced people suffered severe disapproval and could not remarry in the Church of England.

Princess Margaret's life was ruined over the issue of divorce and her broken heart being denied marrying her beloved Peter Townsend most likely was the cause of her drinking and emotional problems.

Henry VIII's lust was just fine but later generations of Royality had to atcually obey the national church's divorce laws... until recently.

@ Inspector

There have been tremors for years among those those sympathetic with homosexuality in the liberal churches that Jesus was Gay and He most likely had a homosexual relationship with the "Beloved Apostle". I am waiting for a movie to be made about the lie that Jesus and the Apostle John had a Gay relationship.

Bishopettes already exist in the C
of E's American branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion. One of them, "Bishop" of Nevada Katherine Schori, supports the blessing of Gay marriage and the ordination of openly Gay priests and bishops (and bishopettes).

26 October 2012 at 16:16  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Lavendon, dear chap. The logical end of the Church of England is thus. When the time comes when Anglicanism is whatever each individual priest of priestess in charge says it is. When bishops ASK their subordinates whether they can visit. So what you’ll have are the Churches in England, possibly with some loose affiliation between likeminded intellectuals, these being what used to be called priests. It then depends on how strong the will of the parishioners.

Having met a few High Church types, they WILL survive. The central churches and Cathedrals in town will still be CoE. As for the outliers, who knows ? Go High Church, walk to Rome, become Methodists or muddle on. Leaving a smaller fitter church.

By the by, being an “apostate, heretical, raving liberal lunatic” is certainly no bar to becoming a Catholic, one thinks. It is just your opinions would have no influence whatsoever. No a jot, absolutely nothing. You would be totally ignored. Best way really, not just for you personally, but anyone who tried to rock the boat, this man included. We are relieved of the responsibility of trying to change things in the RCC. That’s for sure !

26 October 2012 at 16:34  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

John, one can imagine notices in CoE churches to the effect...

“Would anyone not in favour of women priests and bishops, homosexual marriage, the possibility of Jesus being Gay, or that of God being primarily a woman, please stand at the back of the church”

26 October 2012 at 16:41  
Blogger Edward Spalton said...

Your Grace,

By complete coincidence I was posting to the Libertarian Alliance blog today on the subject of the (Eastern) Orthodox Church.

The spell checker on my Ipad works automatically and I did not spot that
that I had inadvertently referred to the
NICENESS CREED instead of the Nicene one.

It struck me that a Niceness Creed would be very much in line with modern Anglicanism.

26 October 2012 at 16:47  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace, re your sigh and William...

In light of "Cranmer's Law," and the fact that your Twitter quote necessarily removes William's remark from its context, I'm with Mr. B in describing your feather-ruffling as "an et tu Brute moment --- an ironic moment, though. I also hope that your sigh encourages a few more to read and comment on your article.

Though, William, on the rest of your comment on Our Parent A in Heaven ... Oh, dear. How elistist and hierarchical can a person get? We did away with all that 'A' stuff in abandoning grammar schools. Remember? In any case, the government handbook, BNW, doesn't show that we will allow individuals to be parents, not once we get properly "into" the 21st century after the birth of Christ. The State Hatcheries rear donors' progeny. "Suffer the little children to go unto . . ." who was it? Oh yes. ". . . Mustapha Mond."

26 October 2012 at 16:58  
Blogger Concerned said...

Difficult times indeed. One must despair for the church if it must submit to the shifting sands and currents of cultural and political accomodation. One mus wonder just who or what is to be worshipped; God or man!

26 October 2012 at 17:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Anglicanism started with tears, and look, it’s ending with them too !

26 October 2012 at 17:19  
Blogger Galant said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

26 October 2012 at 17:23  
Blogger Galant said...

Strike the rock twice. After all, it's what comes naturally, we've decided it sends a strong message and besides, the most important thing is to remember that God understands where we're coming from.

Right Moses? ... Moses?

26 October 2012 at 17:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The use of the term "tradition" is of interest, as we have tradition as Ethnological Law or tradition as Economical Law

Our cultural taditions tend to be seen as having ethological origins, yet marxists promote economics as the original basis of society, so using the term tradition in order to instil precedance of their ideological beliefs

Therefore we have a conflict between Ethnology and Economics for precedance and England is commonly said to be the Folk Land

26 October 2012 at 17:35  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

bone, don’t think your stance is ever lost on the Inspector. The idea of a country being of it’s people and not it’s masters and their damned ideas is extremely attractive, and getting prettier by the day...

26 October 2012 at 17:43  
Blogger William said...

non mouse

"I'm with Mr. B in describing your feather-ruffling as "an et tu Brute moment --- an ironic moment, though."

If so, then Cranmer's ironic "sigh" to my ironic accusation seems to have fooled everyone (including me). Oh the irony!

26 October 2012 at 17:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Church adopts the morals of this 'current World system'then it becomes an enemy of God.
It really is as simple as that.

The Church needs to be' salt and light' to a dying World if it is not that then the church becomes part of the problem not the solution.In fact if the Church incorporates' Worldly values' into its belief system it becomes worse than the secular World because it gives 'its blessing' to these corrupt Worldly values.

The Church must separate from the State otherwise it will become totally corrupted by the State.

26 October 2012 at 18:00  
Blogger IanCad said...

Len wrote:

"The Church must separate from the State otherwise it will become totally corrupted by the State."

Exactly so!

It goes a long way to explain why the church is so vibrant in the USA.

Good old First Amendment.

We need one over here.

26 October 2012 at 18:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Inspector it is a Biblically sound notion as exhibited in the Genesis of Nations

26 October 2012 at 18:26  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace... Further to today's strand.

As I indicated on your blog recently, I was already disquieted about the Bradford/Leeds/Wakefield situation on which, Bishop Baines has indicated, the dioceses themselves will vote in Spring, 2013; with the intention that the General Synod would be invited to debate the scheme in July. The earliest any of the proposals could be implemented would be in the autumn of 2013 ("West Yorkshire Diocese Proposals"**).
That the issue should now turn up in Parliament is surprisingly promising -- so long as people take an interest. Thank you for highlighting it.

I forget exactly why I bothered, last month, to turn to the blog of poor Bradford's bishop.** Prompted by your post today, I've just re-visited that site and note that, on October 11, Baines claimed that said merger was not about money. Baines is, of course, the Bishop of Bradford to whom the aristocratic MP (Baldry) refers us all.

I've also taken time to read Baines's Meissen post more carefully. He seems to spend a bit of time in germany; he occasionally posts in german, and on September 28, he described the decision made about this merger: in Eisenach and by the Meissen Commission [they're worth googling, too.]

Here is part of the Commission's statement that he published: The current diocesan map in the region owes more to history than the way these communities are now shaped. The Commission received overwhelming evidence that the Church's structures no longer reflect current social, economic and demographic realities on the ground, and that the Church needs a single diocese to engage effectively in mission with the people and communities of West Yorkshire and the Dales. (qtd. on nickbaines blog; 4 Meissen Commission Statement).

Uh-huh. So the ground in the Dales (especially Bradford) is now best known in discussion with/in the nation that so often flew over my wonderful homeland and now behaves as if it bombed us into submission during the last century.

As may be obvious from my posts, I am no fan of Baines's. He has, in another context, been extraordinarily unpleasant to me while misreading, mis-interpreting, and generally mis-representing my opinions. Yet, now ... I have to wonder how much of his bile projected something about the CoE context. He also said in the Meissen post: Forget the fate of bishops. Two will retire. I took on Bradford knowing that acceptance of the proposals would mean me losing my post.

Co-incidentally, our argument had been about ordination of women in the CoE. I don't like 'priestesses' and say so. In his world, I'm not even allowed to use that feminine term though, because it doesn't exist. Actually, Chambers indicates that priestess is "non Christian" -- and I indeed used the word because the concept reeks of paganism. So do priests of ... well, are we still allowed to use the words "women" and "female," or even "gender"? Where will all this re-inscription nonsense end? Oh, I know really. They tie us up in ravelled skeins of claptrap terminology so, in the end, we lose our ability to speak our opinions, let alone think.
It's about depriving the people of their voices. And that, dear all, seems to me to be contrary to the Will of the Word.

Anyway, if I don't want female priests, I certainly don't like the idea of being run around by women bishops.


his name is nickbaines, and his is a "" site.

26 October 2012 at 18:43  
Blogger Edward Spalton said...


Several of the American states had Churches "by law established" which persisted after independence and the adoption of the US constitution. All the constitution said was that CONGRESS should not legislate in the matter.

In Connecticut the establishment was Congregationalist in character but the Minister and vestry exercised much the same functions of local government as the Vicar and Church Wardens in a Church of England parish at the time.

In Connecticut the establishment continued until the 1830s and might have gone on longer if they had been more flexible about things like university funding and admissions.

I expect that the federal authorities would try to interfere now if a state were to set up an established Church - but they did not do so then. The constitution has been much degraded by the growth of federal power a the expense of states' rights.

26 October 2012 at 18:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The money changers will make the genealogy of Christ an ambiguos term

26 October 2012 at 19:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reformation was one of the best things to happen to Christianity!

Men began to search for the Truth of the Scriptures and made determined efforts to disentangle the Truth from the many errors deposited on the Truth by Catholic theologians.

There have been consistent attempts to overturn the Truths revealed by the Reformers and none so sucsessful as the pressures put upon the church by sucsessive Governments.It was a big mistake of the Church to have 'got into bed ' with different rulers and Governments.Power corrupts and this can be seen in those religions who have gained the World but lost their corporate souls.

What is needed ia 'another Reformation' to strip away all the unscriptural , un-biblical 'additions'that men have piled upon the Church, to sever all links with the State and for the Church to 'stand on its own feet'and this will have the full support of God."Return to me and I will return to you" says the Lord.
Otherwise the Church of England will be trampled underfoot by the secular(and the opposing religious) forces who desire to see it disappear!.

26 October 2012 at 19:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len, your well known disdain of organised religion visited upon Anglicanism ? Surely not, what would your admirers on this site think as you briefly turn your disdain away from Rome...

26 October 2012 at 19:14  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...


If the Church adopts the morals of this 'current World system'then it becomes an enemy of God.

len, you're coming along nicely,son. Next step, a good Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults course followed by your first confession (I'll put you in touch with my cousin; he's a Redemptorist - they'll absolve anyone) and you'll be ready to share communion with us. But you'll still need to work on your analytic skills. If the CofE "severs all links with the State", then it's logical place is back in Rome; it was only ever created to validate the power of the state. Once it stops doing that, it has no purpose.

26 October 2012 at 19:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

26 October 2012 at 19:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to admit that I am now feeling the guilt of tribalism, but some of the people here, be they Roman Catholics (Corrigan, Inspector) or extreme protestants (such as len and Carl Jacobs) appear to be intent upon gloating on the C of E's fate. This reaction to me makes me want to stick two fingers up at the lot of you, quite frankly. It is painful enough to see my denomination being destroyed within, let alone watching the smug satisfaction of other Christians as to its fate.

26 October 2012 at 19:53  
Blogger non mouse said...


Oh well, William; except for His Grace, who knows? Btw: Apologies to both you and Mr. B for my misplacement of quotation marks.


Your Grace,
In the first half of this, I mentioned "poor Bradford" -referring, of course, to its present demographic condition. To align with post-modern requirements, the city should no longer have an English name, let alone house a Christian Church.

I've seen other churches in the area too, so many of them under threat not only from loss of lead, but from broken windows (all that lovely stained glass, some of it quite ancient), and from absent congregations. Their beautiful old church bells no longer ring out the hours over their villages. But say, Your Grace: If the foreigners are offended our buildings and traditions, why don't they just go somewhere else? And why does the CoE encourage them to destroy us?

Now the last time I went to a cathedral associated with the dioceses mentioned, I went in love: full of memories of the relative who had first taken me there and who had, within the hour, died in that city. I was also full of admiration for the cathedral's beauty, and it's place in literature and our culture. I walked out of the service in disgust at the message of whoever was preaching--though I forget the details, they were probably marxist.

On my way out I stopped at the rather large shop in the back corner, where the temple continued business as a shop, regardless of the 'service.' Upset by this at first, I then decided to buy a cross to keep as a souvenir of the basic occasion and place. They offered me several: all made of foreign woods and metal, from foreign places. Considering the long Christian and artistic heritage of that place, I asked for an English cross, preferably from the area. The shop assistants sneered and waved me towards a crude, roughly cut (mis-shapen) piece of oak. It had been hewn from ancient seats taken from our churches. Presumably the seats were no longer needed but, do you know what? I keep that cross by me every day; it's here now, I love it.

Your Grace, I think a major reason why the CoE no longer attracts congregations is that it fails either to respect or cater to the people's needs and beliefs. It also no longer practices Christianity sufficiently. So long as church "leaders" insist on foisting women and lesbian priests on us; so long as they force us to accept ssm; so long as they replace our traditional music with noise that retrogresses to a pre-Celtic-Anglo-Saxon oral tradition; and so long as their "praxis"** is marxist rather than Christian --- so long will we stay away.

I'm glad you bring these issues to a larger audience than Parliament: which has also ceased to represent the People of our islands.

** As Freire defines it in (my very red copy of) Pedagogy of the Oppressed, "praxis" involves both "reflection and action" (125 et al).

26 October 2012 at 20:01  
Blogger Corrigan1 said...

Lord Lavendon,

Your demonination is not "being destroyed from within"; it is merely returning to its natural state - Rome. This was inevitable once Anglican clergy stopped automatically parrotting the party line of whatever British government was in power, and is not to be feared or greeted with sadness. There is no place in the world for the Church of England except as a kind of non-executive director on the board of the UK. Without that function, can you honestly say there is any reason why you shouldn't go home to Rome?

26 October 2012 at 20:16  
Blogger OldJim said...

Lord Lavendon,
Could I say that I for one do not and will not gloat at the faltering of the institution that gave us the nonnjurors, the Caroline Divines,the Tractarian movement; the institution that preserved the genius of the Sarum Use in the lilting tones of an authoritative and edifying English; an institution that preserved the highest level of scholarship and excellence not only in Theology, but in Classics, in Language, in Modern History, in the Sciences. An institution that promoted a unique and beautiful Christian temperament, one of irony, warmth, one of moral seriousness but kindly latitude. May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, O CofE, were I ever to forget you.

When the Ordinariate came into existence, I was overjoyed. I was not overjoyed at the thought of what it would do to the Anglican Communion, or with any kind of schadenfreude, but simply at the thought of being allowed to appropriate and assist in preserving this legacy. I hope you understand that last thought aright. I am left in awe. I am brought to tears. I do not gloat.

26 October 2012 at 20:25  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I'd be willing to make a case that long before the Reformation the English Church was not naturally Roman. When one takes into account the broader British Isles, with a strong native Celtic Christian tradition, there is no reason to assume that Rome must be the destination.

Cranmer has a nice little logo a fair bit down the page which reads "Loving Jesus with a slight air of superiority since AD 597" - and it's about true. Rome found the English Church unsettlingly independent long before Henry VIII came along (though I'd not perhaps want to suggest that Henry VIII was a defender of anything other than his own perogative).

26 October 2012 at 20:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Lavendon old fellow, perish the thought that the Inspector gloats at the CoE’s imminent demise. You see, it is no longer fit for purpose. As a vehicle to worship God, it is now infiltrated with those who worship their own agenda first, and God second.

CoE has but a brief time on this earth. It riseth in the morning and is cut down at the eve. It is going the same way as all flesh, or intuitions born of the sins of the flesh, even kings.

The Inspector has no wish to annoy you. Believe that....

26 October 2012 at 20:26  
Blogger non mouse said...

That's the other thing. So long as the CoE turns more and more to RCism, the further away people like me will stay. I refuse to be ruled by a foreigner power, and that's what the RCC is.

I also don't accept the RCC's version of doctrine.

26 October 2012 at 20:27  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Belfast, the Inspector has made your very point, earlier in this thread or on ones before it. Catholicism has a flavour depending on which country you are in. When the pope sent Augustine to England, he came not to convert the population to Christianity, but to guide it to the Roman way of thinking. Now that the country is no longer barbaric, just think of what British Catholicism can achieve...

26 October 2012 at 20:31  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

mouse, Rome is not a foreign power. It is the continuing spirit of Jesus wherever you live...

26 October 2012 at 20:33  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Mr Cranmer said ...

"Does Mr Hughes not realise that the very raison d'être of the Church of England is to shilly-shally in perpetual via media in order that it may unite the nation and offend no-one?"

Irony ... sarcasm ...? Whatever!

It just happens to be an accurate summation of the politics behind the eventually ratified 39 Articles. A desire to keep Catholics and different protestants sects 'united'.

Lord Lavendon

Darter Noster was given a testing time by some very resonable bloggers - AIB and Old Jim - as well as some you may see as less welcoming.

The reason? He set himself up as an authority - a 'theologian' and future Deacon - and demonstrated a lack of understanding of Catholic teaching and an avoidance of straight answers. It had nothing to do with his conversion from Anglicanism. The first Apostles were 'converts' from Judaism.

Given your traditional and orthodox views, you would be very warmly welcomed by the Roman Catholic Church. And I do not mean by the flames of a bonfire!

26 October 2012 at 20:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again I find myself on common ground with the Inspector, there has to come a time when Anglicans who propose Christ cannot be found within Roman Catholisism have to admit Christ is no longer within the CofE

Or at the very least question why there are desparities between what you do and what Christ taught

Lord Lavendens fear of tribalism is misplaced, when tribalism is a common ground and not the pride and place of the few, as Micah said we shall all come together neath our tree and vine

Micah also promoted the idea of hammering swords into plough shares which the marxist kind of made a mockery of

26 October 2012 at 21:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I rest my blathering boneheaded case in summing and saying:

If devolution and localism is just another word for centralization then I look to the hearth as my focal point and reclaim an Englishmans home his castle"

26 October 2012 at 21:52  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lord Lavendon..Far from 'gloating at the fate of the C of E' I pray that the C of E will come to its senses before it is too late!.

A 'wake up call' is what is needed to try and revive life into a dying Institution!.

26 October 2012 at 22:09  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Powerful words from you bone. One does not wish the official Christ’s church in England, protestant as it is, to go down without tears being shed. But let us imagine what the
Christian church in England to be in the future. Gone will be the compromise sanctioned by Henry VIII and his fallatio delivering queen, the lovely Anne Boleyn, and instead the Western anchor of Christ's word to be re-established. The reestablishment of Northern Catholicism in these Isles, no less...

Imagine that, no more feminist women wanting to be bishops or priests, no more sodomists demanding their sad condition be celebrated. Just the worship of God.

The Inspector General commends this post to you all...

26 October 2012 at 22:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Catholics have the mistaken idea that the Reformation was created purely for the benefit of Henry VIII of England.
Of course this will satisfy Catholics unbalanced (or should I say biased) view of the Reformation.
It seems inconceivable to Catholics that they could have 'got it wrong'as regards the interpretation (or perhaps its should be the invention) of Scripture.

However 'Rome' is not the answer for disaffected Anglicans why go back to
what is clearly an unscriptural religion in many respects far worse than the situation the church of England finds itself in?

The Church that Jesus Christ founded the' Ekklesia', the Body of Christ opens its arms to receive all true believers.It has no buildings, although it has a True Foundation( which is Christ Himself),it has a Teacher (the Holy Spirit), and this Church receives its Life from God Himself.

Of courser it will be very scary for those to leave their 'steeple buildings'and their religious hierarchies and to place their trust entirely in the Risen Lord Jesus Christ but it will be the most wonderful liberating thing they have ever done....true freedom is only found in Christ not in dead religious organisations.

26 October 2012 at 22:42  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Lord lavendon

[S]ome of the people here, be they Roman Catholics (Corrigan, Inspector) or extreme protestants (such as len and Carl Jacobs) appear to be intent upon gloating on the C of E's fate.

I don't know what an 'extreme Protestant' is. I suspect any definition you might provide would reduce to one word - 'consistent.' And where have I gloated on this thread about the demise of the CoE? I have made one post that dealt the the practical implications of women's ordination. I haven't addressed the CoE on this thread at all.

I try to give dispassionate and objective analysis as I see it - whether for good or ill. If you want to know my opinion of the CoE, I believe it to be mortally wounded. I believe it beyond recall because it is an hierarchical church and the hierarchy is shot through with corruption. Others may disagree but I have never seen then produce any tangible plan whereby the church could be reclaimed for orthodoxy.

The problem of unbelief cannot be addressed by a weak vacillating church that feels obliged to chase after every modern spirit that happens by. The church needs to know what it believes before it can proclaim those beliefs. It can't be a church of three mutually exclusive faces whose real purpose is to unite the United Kingdom.


26 October 2012 at 22:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see the Catholics' siren voices' are starting up again(rather like circling vultures sensing prey)

But Anglican be warned 'The gates of hell swing open
Wide invitin' you to step inside'

Plug you ears and sail a course true and straight(past their doors)

26 October 2012 at 22:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Inspector indeed I look forwards to a time when we all sing together "London Bridge is falling down!"

Now't like a christian for spending money on ale and women, given the chance

Goodness, England seems to be close to those lines now but never the less, the time has come to Rebuild and Rebridge

Before we sell it to the Americans

26 October 2012 at 23:03  
Blogger non mouse said...

Sorry, OiG @20:33--- and about my typos too. I don't believe that the Vatican is what you say, though; it's not true historically (esp. after they supported Billy Bastard, Charles I, etc).

I also don't like their services (I love His Grace's contributions); I don't like their songs; I prefer KJV to Douay-Rheims; I don't accept transubstantiation, confession, and teaching catechism (RC doctrine) by rote, et al.

Basically, I love the Greek and indigenous British conventions encouraged by Theodore and Hadrian; however, the Romans had already endowed us with pragmatic literacy, possibly even leaving us some Anglo-Saxons who'd served in the Scottish and Welsh Marches. We were not all savages when, at Aethelberht's invitation, Gregory sent us Augustine.

Post-Conquest, I think the reason we have our English versions of anything Christian is because the Reformation enabled the people who wanted them.

In the present world, my experience has been that RCs are frequently arrogant and authoritarian (but I'm also grateful to the exceptions). More than other denominations, many also tend to assume a right to be 'judge-jury-executioners' of non-group members. In any case, the Vatican is a state and the head honcho is its king. So, considering that I owe RCs on this blog no explanation about anything, I also reject RC advancement in my life. Nothing will make me RC; indeed, if I go again to Rome, I may be unable to force myself to visit the Papa's seato even to look again on that ceiling, or the Pieta.

On today's issues, I agree with BitB, with Len (@19:10); and also with AiB ---though I lean to notions that H VIII was concerned with Tudor continuity and Tudor commitment to avoidance of further Civil War (his grandmother, Margaret Beaufort, had a hand in his education); and to continued independence from Spanish-allied rule ... (Italian too, mayhap).

Further though, I think Mr. Integrity @13:02 is right in saying of His Grace's post: This is no attack on the CofE but a call to action . Action is what we must take if we are to survive the 20th century invasions we have suffered: one is outrageously obvious, but it stemmed from another that has been despicably stealthy.

We already know that British Christians can 'live and let live' without further Parliamentary enforcement of euro requirements; and here I appreciate His Grace himself, AiB and Old Jim, for their measured examples of how to do that.

Despite our differences, then, I say we should move forward to consider what we must do for survival, and for preservation of what really matters.

26 October 2012 at 23:04  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

len said ...

"However 'Rome' is not the answer for disaffected Anglicans why go back to
what is clearly an unscriptural religion in many respects far worse than the situation the church of England finds itself in?"

To coin a phrase, and one I may use again unless it is subject to copyright:

Dodo is "(respectfully) of the view that this is bollocks."

The same goes for this?Blofeld

"His Gracious Nibs is constantly criticised by the Tiberians on the slightest perceived sleight,"

"His Nibs", again an expression I might borrow, enjoys provoking through innuendo, irony, sacarasm and ambiguity. His words, like his historical character's, all depend on the perceptions of the reader - aided, or not, by the Holy Spirit.

I mean, he doesn't really mean what he writes - well, not all of the time. Heavens, it's all in the tone of voice and tilt of the head, isn't it?

26 October 2012 at 23:06  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...


"I believe it (The C of E) to be mortally wounded. I believe it beyond recall because it is a hierarchical church and the hierarchy is shot through with corruption. Others may disagree but I have never seen then produce any tangible plan whereby the church could be reclaimed for orthodoxy."

20 or so weeks ago I would agree with you. My wife and three other women in their late 30s and early 40s started to pray for the Church in the local Army base. Fantastic things have happened in just 6 months. Kids clubs (nearly 100 kids) Alpha, marriage course, praise evenings. Around 200 now come to Church on a Sunday, many who have not been to Church before--- all in a "dead" church (previously 10 at most on a Sunday). None of the women are ordained, or have any form of training or see themselves as leaders of change. All they did at the beginning was pray. My comment to my wife at the start was that you are wasting your efforts on that Church, but I was wrong; and also wrong to say it.

The model that you ask for to regenerate the CofE perhaps, is not big changes at the top (You are probably right they will not happen) but prayer and openness to God at the bottom.


26 October 2012 at 23:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah yes the Alpha course, it is always inteesting when a system which seems to be failing, provides the solution to their failings

Cannot wait for their Omega version

27 October 2012 at 01:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old Jim, Dodo and Inspector

Thank you for your kind words of appreciation and clarifications. I doubt that I will be ready to swim across to Rome, but the thought is always there.

Bred - tribalism is rife on this blog and I have to admit I didn't realize how tribal I actually am.

Corrigan - I would disagree with your post, the Church of England is slightly greater than being a board of directors of UK Plc (more specifically England, because I am sure you know Norther Ireland and Wales don't have established Anglican Churches and Scotland has a Presbyterian Church).

Carl - Well perhaps I was a tad harsh with you, old boy, although you come across as a chap who has zero doubts or self reflection about his own actions, perhaps reflecting your roots as a straight talking, no nonsense, mid westerner. Extreme Protestant simply means exactly what you are- a Bible believing Calvinist by conviction. Anglicans by contrast use Bible, Tradition and reason as one in faith.

I am not sure what the problem is regarding the C of E being used to keep the UK together, a religious/national identity can be found in majority catholic countries such as Ireland or even France. Your America is predominately Christian (of thousands of different types) and you always have your President saying God bless your country/ swearing on the Bible to execute his office properly.

Len- if it a desire to revive the Church you want, then fair enough.

Phil Roberts (Len/Carl take note)- basically what I was saying above about how at the Parish level it is the theological traditionalists who are working at the coal face of Parishes, rather than the C of E Bishops and Synod which count more. Although I would quibble as to the merits of the Alpha Course, but no one is perfect eh?

27 October 2012 at 01:31  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I was going to make a reply regarding Carl's analysis of the CofE hierarchy (which is, I think, spot on), but Phil Roberts pretty much sums it up perfectly:

"The model that you ask for to regenerate the CofE perhaps, is not big changes at the top (You are probably right they will not happen) but prayer and openness to God at the bottom."

27 October 2012 at 02:24  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

Bred in the bone said...

"Ah yes the Alpha course, it is always interesting when a system which seems to be failing, provides the solution to their failings"

My thoughts exactly 20 weeks ago. But for me it was just an excuse to do nothing and not get involved. I thought when "they" come up with a better course that ticked all my boxes then I would get involved. Until that which would never happen occurred, I was free to stay on the edge, very comfortable in my superiority and pride.

The thing is it is working for people. Not perfect perhaps no. But God seems to be able to use imperfect things. Take you and me for example!


27 October 2012 at 06:06  
Blogger William said...

Totally agree with Phil Roberts on this. Prayer is the key and that involves everyone. Also, the Alpha Course is not an example of a failing system trying to find a solution to its problems, but an example of God taking an imperfect (like everything else) initiative from a single church and using it to expand His Kingdom. God will use whom He will and tends not to give a fig what denomination they may or may not call themselves.

27 October 2012 at 08:38  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

"One can almost hear, a decade hence, when same-sex marriages are legal and routinely celebrated in the land, calls in Parliament for 'the Church of England to catch up into the 21st century', and warnings, should it fail to do so, that the consequences will be 'very grim indeed'."

A decade?

It already is grim for many Christians in America in states where same sex marriage is legal.

e.g. A father handcuffed and jailed for daring to try to talk to the school about the same sex materials being used in the school with his 7 year old son.

When the case went to court take a note of what the judge said!


27 October 2012 at 08:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dodo'(26 October 2012 23:06) 'bollocks('to quote a much hackneyed phrase) is what you will require if you want to discover the truth about your[universal, paganised version of christianity] religion and to face the facts about it.
The said physical attributes are essential for change and you would be well advised[to use common parlance] to 'grow a pair]

Sometimes it is much easier to' go with the flow'rather than to dig and to discover Biblical Truths for yourself with illumination from the Holy Spirit.He will not 'spoon feed you' but will respond to a genuine ernest desire to know the Truth even if it means exposing 'sacred cows' as doctrines of men or even exposing 'doctrines of demons 'posing as' biblical theologies' and' traditions'.

27 October 2012 at 09:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes the Alpha course does have wide ranging appeal, it is important to cast your nets ever wider and become all the more appealing

Each to their own, I always did wonder if God had a plan for me, then rejoice at the wise way God has taken advantage of my vulgar flaws

Imperfect almost to the point of being unrecognisable as Christian I spring on the unwary!

27 October 2012 at 09:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lord Lavendon tribalism in a healthy sence is charcter preserving

Take for example the way christians allowed the converted Norse to have crosses in the churchyards with pagan desisgns

Then later desecrated them, to destroy cultural roots is a sacrilage and something christianity needs to atone for

Jews revel in their ancient heritage why we shun it, quite morbidly, I fear the the church despises such a heritage because it exposes deeper metaphysical concepts than christianity offers

But the main enemy of christians today is the new age movement and the only way to offset that is in our own true cultural origins

That balance has to be met, it is no good opening a bible which speaks of a tree of life, without providing the reader with a metaphysical concept of said tree

27 October 2012 at 09:59  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl.The problem of unbelief cannot be addressed by a weak vacillating church that feels obliged to chase after every modern spirit that happens by.

Probably the most telling of all the criticism on this thread. This man does not wish to see the CoE go down the tube, and would not lift a finger to help it on it’s way. But until the protesters within that protestant church see sense, it does no harm to point out death awaits us all, even, in it’s present form, the CoE.

27 October 2012 at 12:19  
Blogger Edward Spalton said...


According to traditional Catholics of my acquaintance, that is exactly what the Roman Church went in for in the wake of Vatican II.

The rock of Peter became decidedly shaky and the decline in membership, I believe, is in not dissimilar proportion to that of the poor old
C of E.

Anglicans jumping ship to the Ordinariate may soon find that the Ark of Salvation needs the pumps, if not quite the lifeboats yet.

Of course, this is masked by the huge influx of mostly Roman Catholic Polish and other immigrants.

27 October 2012 at 12:33  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

You are not wrong there Edward. One views Vatican II as being heavily influenced by the rebuilding of Europe after the second world war. Of course, we now see what was the ruined cities of Germany rebuilt as they were, predominantly. Rather a shame the spirit of renewal affected the RCC. It didn’t need it.

One remembers when woman were required to cover their hair in church. Now, this man occasionally finds himself standing behind a mane of golden blonde hair. Well, that’s his mind off that service then, one is only flesh and blood you know. Thank you Vatican II for that ‘modernisation’ ...

27 October 2012 at 12:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Of course, a difference between the RCC and the CoE is that no one will be actively making a nuisance of themselves to pressure the rock that is the church to get women to cover up again. So undignified a process, don’t you think. We just have to hope the powers that be recognise the condition needs changing...

27 October 2012 at 13:00  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len.Of course it will be very scary for those to leave their 'steeple buildings'and their religious hierarchies and to place their trust entirely in the Risen Lord Jesus Christ but it will be the most wonderful liberating thing they have ever done....true freedom is only found in Christ not in dead religious organisations.

Now, this is a good of example of the man’s slavish following of his Born Again rot. He’s always had it in for Church buildings. It’s one thing to hear the word outside in the middle east, but in the British clime ?

27 October 2012 at 13:15  
Blogger John Knox's lovechild said...

But surely protestantism and stripping churches of anything of value are completey compatible.

My Dad thought so.

27 October 2012 at 13:59  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...


Without wasting time and energy responding to your 'stuck record' thesis, which we have repeated covered, I'll just say:

"Dodo is "(respectfully) of the view that this is bollocks."

By the way, shouldn't you be in the local High Street with your placard?

27 October 2012 at 15:22  
Blogger non mouse said...

Len @ 09:05 ... :)

27 October 2012 at 15:36  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The peculiar Len has a bit of a following on this site, from the protestant boys and girls. Yet your man would cheerfully boot them out of their places of worship. Why ? Not sure. Twisted dogma probably.

Len, you are a loon. And upon this loon, I will build my church”.

27 October 2012 at 15:48  
Blogger non mouse said...

Meanwhile, the vile rump person has the audacity to visit Britain where our fake representative has entertained him at a Downing Street luncheon -- and presumably we've paid for it. I doubt if any plebs knew the execrable object was coming here ... but if they did, perhaps some of us managed to register some objection somewhere along the itinerary. Not that communicants on this blog will notice, repetitions of the age-old sectarian argument are far more important.

Mind you, I think I read that ol' rumpy is RC; so, on this blog there's no point objecting to paying for him, his office, or his presence. Ours is just to pay the 15bn or so a year and dance to to the alien tune.

Now, once upon a time, this was a country where people could and would have gathered, outside that place called Downing Street, and objected to the presence of foreign potentates who are here to push us around and take our money under threat of punishment. But hey, that was before the foreign potentates had taken over while we weren't looking -- because we were too busy to notice. We were attending to the priority calling each other names.

At the present time, though, all plebs must gather outside the the iron gates of that Puppets' Alley---but only if the special plebs who are rich enough to have become police commissioners will let them.

Now what is this strand supposed to be about? Oh yes. The recognition of Foreign rule in Bradford and the Dales; and (the foreign) Parliament's Rule over the Battle of the Genders. And how grim it will be if we don't do as we're told.

Grim is as grim will be, then.

27 October 2012 at 16:50  
Blogger John Knox's lovechild said...

Non Mouse

So do your guests pay for lunch?

27 October 2012 at 17:16  
Blogger John Magee said...

Edward Spalton

Let's not forget Thomas Jefferson, a subject of King George III, and the primary author of the American Declaration of Independence lived in Virginia where the Anglican Church was the established Church before the Revolution. Although he was baptized an Anglican he became a deist as an adult and his loathing of any sort of an established church with it's privilidges were a direct result of the abuse of state church privilidges he saw by the Anglican in Virginia and later as United States Minister to France 1784 -1789 by the RC that country and later on visits to Great Britain by the C of E there. Those abuses as well as other examples from history were the primary reasons the USA's Constitution prohibits the formation of a state church or discrimination of non believers by the same government.
The popular belief that the words "separation of church and state" are in Constitution isn't true. Those words are from a letter to a group of Baptist's by Jefferson he wrote in a letter to them in the 1820s before his death.

@ IanCad

Few here are as perceptive about the USA Constution's 1st Amendmentment written 223 years ago by men of British stock as you are. Those first ten amendments of the USA Constitution protect the people FROM their government.

What an amazing concept then and now don't you think? To guarantee the people the right as individuals or a group to stand up to their government if it wrongs ot threatens them and do this without fear of retribution.

The European Union needs to look at the founding documents of the USA Republic to rediscover the meaning of Europe's highest ideals of the rights of the individual based on the great thinkers and religious values of the past 3,000 years of European Civilization.
The EU is a structure imposed on the nations by technocrats from above, and, in my opinion, this structure sooner or later will crash down. The citizens less and less identify themselves with that bureaucratic antidemocratic and centralist monster.

You are correct. The European Union must look at the USA's 1st Amendment in it's Constitution and apply these simple guarantees of basic freedoms for the individual European or the light of individual rights and freedom will be lost in Europe possible forever.

You are also correct about about the essential weakness of established state churches in the minds of the people. The population comes to dispise them for their special status and arrogance.

That is why those "simple minded" Yankees many supposedly sophisticated Europeans sneer at and mock still have a strong religious faith. Religion was never allowed special state privilidges there. Christianty in Europe has been almost destroyed by privildge and arrogance.

27 October 2012 at 17:41  
Blogger non mouse said...

On further reflection ...
How interesting that the very people who might have organised protests against the evil Rumpy thing... The ones who might have helped us line the route with flaming blue/yellow rags ... the EDL ...

Oh my. Large numbers of them are conveniently in prison.

Mind you, I'd rather pay for their lunch than keep on feeding the enemy. The least the puppets should have done was send the so-and-so to Bradfordistan and let its supporters feed it.

But hey. What really matters is who around here can be nastier to whom.

27 October 2012 at 18:36  
Blogger IanCad said...

Edward Spalton @ 18:56,

When power is gained it is always an uphill struggle to dispossess those who yield it from their privilege.
That it was but only a few decades before established state religions were no more is, perhaps, evidence that rather than the Bill of Rights being percieved then (and now by some) as regarding, in general, only to congressional matters, is in fact not the case.

Based on the Virginia Charter, and adopted so very soon after the Constitutional Convention of 1787 I find the argument that the Tenth Amendment confines the application of the First to federal matters only, weak, to say the least.

The vigour with which most religions have attempted to attain power over the state is chronicled by the histories of the world.

Today we still see it. Certainly more in Europe than in the US.

Blue Laws, still on the books in some states, but not enforced are relics of the times when narrow-minded men, full of zeal for their own self-righteousness would deign to dictate to their fellow man the course of their journey with God.

Strange, that in Germany and Croatia they are being re-established.
The EU needs the First Amendment.

27 October 2012 at 19:43  
Blogger IanCad said...

John Magee @ 17:41

Thanks for the kind words.

Being a long time married man any form of praise is very welcome.

Yes, the men who developed the US Constitution were indeed mainly of the stock of the liberty loving British.

How times have changed.

27 October 2012 at 20:20  
Blogger John Magee said...

IanCad & Edward Spalton

Well said.

Organized religion like economics thrives best when it is left to either blossom or wither on it's own in a free society.

27 October 2012 at 21:15  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

"Darter Noster was given a testing time by some very resonable bloggers - AIB and Old Jim - as well as some you may see as less welcoming"

"The reason? He set himself up as an authority - a 'theologian' and future Deacon - and demonstrated a lack of understanding of Catholic teaching and an avoidance of straight answers. It had nothing to do with his conversion from Anglicanism. "

Remind me, Dodo, what the term is for someone who studies, teaches and writes about theology for a living? Unless you're accusing me of lying about what my job is, and how the hell would you know?

And I didn't demonstrate a lack of understanding of Catholic teaching; I simply failed to convince you of that fact, which is an entirely different thing. Who's setting themselves up for an authority now? Not to mention being patronising and so far up themselves they can see their own teeth.

27 October 2012 at 22:56  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Darter Noster

Well! Hardly the words or attitude of a humble servant of God.

Whether I was right or wrong in my assessment, I speak as a Catholic with 50+ years of experience in the faith and a passing knowledge of the Church's doctrines and teachings.

For example, if I understood correctly, you implied no one could possibly lead a sinless life, else what would be the point of Christ's sacrifice. Correct?

Do you appreciate the difference between the need for Baptism and personal sin and culpability? The Church teaches that Saints enter the Beatific Vision because they attain perfection prior to death. For the rest of us, purgatory purifies us before we can meet God. Do you accept this teaching of Sainthood and that of purgatory?

Maybe I misunderstood you - and so did others.

28 October 2012 at 00:33  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...


I notice you haven't answered cressida's very reasonable question:

"You dishonestly continue to use this (homosexuality) as an issue to avoid your heretical views on repentance according to the Catholic faith .You stated that man was in a perpetual state of sin.That was the issue as far as I am concerned."

Care to do so? As a lay Dominican and an aspiring Deacon? Oh, and as someone with a Theology Phd who teaches.

28 October 2012 at 00:59  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

I said that no one could lead a sinless life on the basis of their own merits - our salvation is brought about by our participation in the Sacrifice of Christ, which paid the debt which humanity could not on its own do, and by the Grace of God, without which we are lost.

Canon III of the Council of Trent on Justification: "If anyone shall say that, without the preventing inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and his help, man can believe, hope, love or be penitent, as he ought, so that the grace of justification may be conferred upon him; let him be anathema."

I further said that, bearing that in mind, being unpleasant to gay people (which I wasn't accusing you of, and as completely distinct from expressing the teaching of God and the Church on sexuality) smacks of an unjustified assumption of self-righteousness, because we are only justified with the life-long assistance (note, assistance) of God's Grace and Love, and that a more appropriate attitude would be to humbly acknowledge our common failings.

To state that the nature of man is sinful, and that we are all inclined to sin, is not the same as stating belief in either Justification by Faith Alone or its inevitable corollaries Unconditional Election and Total Depravity, which are very different kettles of fish. It was precisely because I reject the Protestant understanding of Justification, Predestination and Sin that I left the Church of England, where they are written into the 39 Articles.

I get frustrated, Dodo, because I'm only human. I don't think you've misunderstood Catholic teaching; I think you've misunderstood Protestant teaching, because what I have said is not it. I don't think I've ever tried so hard to agree with someone and failed.

28 October 2012 at 01:07  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

And as to your subsequent post:

1) You call that reasonable? She's accused me of being a liar and a heretic.

2) I'm not using homosexuality to avoid anything; the blog post and comment thread was about homosexuality to start with. At some point along the line, various people decided to take my plea to Christians not to be judgemental as an assertion of Protestantism, a decision as patently ludicrous as it was incorrect.

3) I do not have heretical views on repentance according to the Catholic faith; I believe it to be both possible and essential, as I stated repeatedly. I'm at a loss to figure out what more you two want of me.

4) On the evidence of that thread, I'm fairly sure Cressida's issues will never be resolved without medical intervention.

28 October 2012 at 01:19  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

"I get frustrated, Dodo, because I'm only human (*Tear welling up in Ernst's eye*). I don't think you've misunderstood Catholic teaching; I think you've misunderstood Protestant teaching, because what I have said is not it.(OOOOOOOOOOh) I don't think I've ever tried so hard to agree with someone and failed(Gulping back down a likkle bit of sick that arose in Ernst's mouth..Aaargh)."

Oh crumbs!

Dr Dred Dodo, master of the Organisation of Generally Rotten Endeavors (OGRE): There, there. There, there. Sush, sush, Dater Noster. Dater Noster, sush. It's not that bad, it's only Roman Catholicism, isn't it?

"Bad toad, Bad toad!" says the daster-ly toad whacking himself on the noggin a few times. profusely apologising to his master and pleading misunderstanding and muttering the same thing because he knows his master was about to.




We await with bated breath the means of penance to be announced and if your required contrition was met to the satisfaction of Dr Dred Dood. Cue dramatic 'until next time' music!

28 October 2012 at 01:22  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Put the sick bag away, Ernst - I'm only trying to get it through to Dodo et al. that I'm not a heretic.

That's hardly the love story of the year, is it? :o)

28 October 2012 at 01:37  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

What is your evidence from that thread that makes you consider me a lunatic Dater Noster?


1. That you make my fresh crawl?Your namby pamby pathetic cowardice and wimpering makes Blofeld want to puke as well.

2.That I called you a heretic because you do not understand the basic concept of repentance. It is erroneous and if you teach it accordingly then it is not a privately held view thus heretical.

3. That I called you deceitful ..well you have already proved yourself to be that because you kept the focus on the debate around homosexuality so you would not have to address my question.

4.That you are a coward because you cannot weasel out of your original statement so you revert to defamatory statements of me confident of support because of my considerable unpopularity on this site.

Your emotifs in your posts to me suggested that you were joking...Always the ploy of a liar whose excuse is 'I was only joking' .I do believe heretics like you are dangerous to the Church and ultimately will not be saved. I am pleased that you have brought to everyone's
attention that correspondence course converted theologians may need some special investigative attention by the Church authorities.

28 October 2012 at 02:18  
Blogger OldJim said...

Darter Noster seems to be Orthodox in belief and I think that, as amusing as this parlour game has been, we must now reluctantly put away bell, book and candle for the evening and, pouting and stomping as we go, march up to bed.

For my part, Darter Noster, I would say sorry for any hostility you might have felt was directed at you.

But I would continue to maintain that some of the language that you were using did seem to deliberately elide perfectly objective and salient moral and theological distinctions.

So that whilst I would largely support your emphases on retaining an awareness of our own sin, avoiding casting judgement on others, not confusing narratives which scapegoat sections of society for Christian teaching and so on, I think that a discourse that evades a language of sinful acts in favour of a language of sinful people to further this end (it does help avoid people taking judgemental attitudes...but at the expense of theological clarity!), or seeks a recasting of the understanding of resolution in confession in the name of pastoral expediency (that priests can spot homosexual couples but not heterosexual premarital sex does not mean the lesson we should draw must be "we cannot avoid absolving the latter, so why the former?".. which, for one thing, could be an occasion of scandal) goes too far the other way, and lacks the sort of theological "teeth" I should like in a deacon.

Part of that is of course taste, and we perhaps should not be terribly surprised that on a conservative religious blog the Catholic denizens' tastes are conservative. We should also, of course, not conflate matters of taste with matters of Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy.

But I think some of it is equally not a matter of taste. This is not about Ad Orientem worship, or provision for the Extraordinary Form, or maintaining the Hail Mary at the end of the Intercessions, or beginning Mass with the Angelus. It is about application of doctrine.

The question with you, and I think the reason for the fervency of most of the people questioning you, certainly me, was where exactly the liberal, pastoral emphases ended, and where actual doctrine (or its denial) began.

You will note that once you had rendered a few points explicit, I was quite happy to affirm your orthodoxy, and certainly avoided endorsing Cressida's continued hostility.

I still have some reservations in wondering how you would conduct yourself as a deacon, but am happy, considering in matters of doctrine the soft latitudinarian flesh once parted revealed good doctrinal bone, to entertain the notion that you are quite as orthodox as all of us underneath, but certainly more appealing to the modern world and perhaps, at times, less judgemental.

Which is often a good thing. Because really, it's about maintaining a balance between not casting stones and "Go and sin no more". I admit that sometimes I may risk sounding judgemental and even (mea culpa, mea maxima culpa) being more judgemental, for the sake of making known that imperative "Go and sin no more".

All I would ask, though I have no right to do so and you are not obliged to listen, is that as a deacon you occasionally wonder whether in what you are doing you are avoiding making that imperative for the sake of not being, or, horror of horrors, appearing to be, judgemental.

Aside from that, it is clear that you are an Orthodox Catholic and I suspect that you will make a very good deacon. Apologies for the grilling.

28 October 2012 at 02:26  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

For someone who is so eager to please, old jim it is surprisingly unkind of you to suggest that DN is a pouting witch.

28 October 2012 at 02:40  
Blogger OldJim said...


you are a very mischievous young lady

and you will go far

28 October 2012 at 03:12  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Ah, Sunday morning forum reading. :)

28 October 2012 at 06:54  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Like Spongebob and cereals :oD

28 October 2012 at 11:53  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Phil & AIB

I agree that renewal must begin from the bottom, but I believe that renewal will occur outside the confines of the CoE. Unless God strikes the CoE's leadership en masse as it were on the road to Damascus, that leadership will block any effective renewal within the CoE. It after all controls who is allowed into leadership. Only the strongest parishes will be capable of resisting, and those only by becoming effectively congregationalist churches. This is why I think the CoE is mortally wounded. It will deliberately strangle growth and drive it beyond its borders. Orthodoxy is going to be deliberately expelled to make room for the neo-Gnostic liberal Christian counterfeit now regnant in the West.

Soon women will be bishops in the CoE and that will pull the leadership markedly to the Left. Some conservatives will leave. Others will hold out for a while. The drain on conservatives will make the revisionist agenda easier to push, thus increasing the outward flow of conservatives. Within a few years, the CoE will be openly pushing the legitimization of homosexuality. It quickly becomes a self-feeding process. Liberals advance, causing conservatives to leave, which makes further liberal advance inevitable. Short of a miracle, there will be no renewal of the CoE. And miracles are not equally distributed in the Scripture. God can work his will with quite ordinary means.

Like disestablished churches. Who will from a distance watch that whole CoE infrastructure collapse upon itself just like the Tower of Siloam. And great will be the destruction thereof.


28 October 2012 at 14:26  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Interesting Carl. From Wiki...

In 1982 the United Reformed Church voted in favour of a covenant with the Church of England, the Methodist Church and the Moravian Church, which would have meant remodelling its moderators as bishops and incorporating its ministry into the apostolic succession. However, the Church of England rejected the covenant.[

That was then, and further damage in the last thirty years to the CoE must make a revisit to this interesting movement a possibility. Except this time, the URC might be calling the shots.

And the URC do women clergy.

Of course, it such a merger goes through, it will be as a rescue package. One can’t see the progressive liberal CoE clergy surviving in their present posts of influence...

28 October 2012 at 14:53  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


I would not be at all surprised to see a broad convergence of these liberal counterfeit Christian denominations into one large ... well, "large" ... collective. Liberal clergyman is a wonderful job for those individuals who fancy a career as a "social activist." It holds out the prospect of a reasonable income (plus benefits) for easy work that consists mostly of haranguing people about social causes. Plus a little bit of religion on the side to justify your existence.

The problem of course is that the supply of potential candidates vastly outstrips the demand for their services. The modern world finds God epistemologically expendable. Unbelief finds its justification in materialist explanations, and men remainder God to the place oif philosophical curiosity. What then does it need modern religion for? Well, nothing. And that is the problem for liberal clergy. They are activists looking for a (well-paid) soapbox, but their natural market isn't interested in forking over the cash.

The natural market for liberal religion thus being so small ... after all, do you really need a church to tell you "God, who may or may not exist, loves you just the way you are, and isn't angry at anyone expect those crazy fundamentalists" ... it is only natural that the market would consolidate through merger. But it will be problematic, of course. Both sides in the merger are looking to get access to the other sides' laity, and the cash they provide. It's still a zero-sum game, although there is some efficiency to be purchased. If it's just a covenant, and no one gets disemployed, than it can't work.


28 October 2012 at 15:28  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Carl. One wonders in the modern world where murder is merely a more serious form of grievous bodily harm, and people in general know how to suck the benefits system dry whether our softened people can actually stomach the idea of a strong God. A strong God who expects his creation to be active and self reliant as much as they are physically and mentally possible to be. Hence the RC and indeed Calvinist stance we see contrasting to the weak or godless views of liberals.

But we are here today to bury the CoE inside the URC. It must be thorough, and complete, the name to disappear. CoE is a tainted brand name, a taint continued by the wets who run the show. If our mouse is typical of the North British no nonsense believer, we can expect these rascals to be held at bay, by the influence of the no nonsense clergy of the north.

28 October 2012 at 15:49  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 October 2012 at 19:33  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

John Magee

The "Seven Sisters" are not the Reformation. They are the detritus of the liberal infestation of seminaries.


28 October 2012 at 19:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Reformation is the unveiling of the truth from under the centuries of rubbish deposited on it by Catholic pagan doctrines!.

28 October 2012 at 19:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For the Catholic Church to attempt to take the' moral high ground' would be laughable but this would be an insult for all the victims of the Catholic religious system past and present.

The Catholic Church is soaked in the blood of the Martyrs.

28 October 2012 at 19:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Magee and Carl Jacobs,

Just been watching the BBC news; our prayers are with you re hurricane sandy.

28 October 2012 at 20:09  
Blogger John Magee said...

lord lavendon

Thank you for your kindness.

@carl jacobs

It breaks my heart to have lived long enough to see the Ivy League Schools and other great universities in the USA (a large number were founded by Protestants. Many were founded by Catholics) taken over by far left ideology and the lowering of education standards since WW II. Only their math, science departments, and medical schools have so far escaped far left political correctness domination.

There are voices in the wilderness. These are the many small traditional Protestant and Catholic colleges and universities who have not abandoned their educational standards, principles or traditional values.

29 October 2012 at 03:17  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

John Magee

So is that an admission that the Reformation isn't dead? The churches to which you referred are a dead branch cut from the vine. They aren't even recognizably Christian. More of a reborn Gnostic heresy. They no more represent the Reformation that Hans Kung represents Trent.


29 October 2012 at 04:06  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

29 October 2012 at 23:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is a big mistake to consider the Reformation dead(more like wishful thinking on the part of Catholics)

The Reformation was necessary to untangle true Christianity from Catholicism.Anglicanism has been infected by its connection with the State and that has been one of the reasons for its decline.
Anglicans could revive their Church by returning to Biblical principles. The True church of Jesus Christ has never been very big or very popular just look at how many followers Jesus Christ had.Christianity is not a 'numbers game' but a willingness to pick up ones Cross and follow Jesus.... not many wish to do that!.Many will take up religion as an 'insurance policy' to save themselves... to preserve themselves... without changing themselves.
When the whole 'church' fails and turns apostate God will work through a remnant true to Him we see this throughout History.

Christianity is spreading (outside the Uk)amongst the communist countries and Islamic countries and it is vital that this Christianity is not contaminated by paganism or New Age philosophies although the corrupter.... the adversary of God will endeavor to corrupt the Truth as he had done throughout history.

30 October 2012 at 20:49  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

31 October 2012 at 03:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

John Magee I agree with your comments in general.

The Reformation has gone astray in some respects and needs' a firm shove' to get it back on course.I believe the church must separate from the state if it is to survive otherwise it will be 'trampled underfoot'.

31 October 2012 at 21:02  

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