Friday, November 23, 2012

Women Bishops - Sir Tony Baldry responds to parliamentary questions

Sir Tony Baldry MP, Second Church Estates Commissioner, has answered questions about women bishops in the Church of England. Full text of questions and Sir Tony’s answers are here in context:
  

Diana Johnson (Kingston upon Hull North) (Lab) (Urgent Question): Will the Second Church Estates Commissioner make a statement on this week’s decision by the General Synod on women bishops?

The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Sir Tony Baldry): Yesterday, the Archbishop of Canterbury made it clear at the General Synod of the Church of England that the Church of England could not afford to “hang about” over the issue of women bishops and observed starkly that

“every day that we fail to resolve this issue…is a day when our credibility in the public eye is likely to diminish”.
Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham and the next Archbishop of Canterbury, said:
“The Church has voted overwhelmingly in favour of the principle. It is a question of finding a way that…is the right way forward.”
It is important for the House to recognise that there is overwhelming support in the Church of England for women bishops to be consecrated. The draft Measure rejected earlier this week was supported by clear majorities in 42 of the 44 dioceses in England. As I have repeatedly said, it is impossible for me to explain to parliamentary colleagues how a Measure that has had the clear support of 42 out of 44 dioceses failed to pass in the General Synod. Let us take all the votes passed in the General Synod: 324 members voted for women bishops, and 122 against; 94% of the bishops who voted on Tuesday supported the Measure, as did 77% of the House of Clergy; and even in the House of Laity, 64% were in favour. The Measure was lost by a handful of votes among the laity, because for the Measure to pass it had to clear the hurdle of a two-thirds majority in each House of the General Synod.
Speaking for the whole House, I am sure, my right hon. Friend and fellow Church Commissioner, the Prime Minister, made it clear to the House yesterday that the
“Church needs to get on with it, as it were, and get with the programme”—[Official Report, 21 November 2012; Vol. 553, c. 579.]
He observed that the Church of England needed a “sharp prod”.
I appreciate that frustrations exist in the House on this matter—a frustration that I share—and I think that the following needs to be understood. First, this is not an issue that can in any way be parked for the next couple of years or so, while we await another round of Synod elections. It must be understood that this issue needs to be resolved as soon as possible. I hope that it will be convenient for the House if I seek to arrange a meeting in the near future for concerned Members, together with the Bishop of Durham, the archbishop-designate, to explore how this matter can be resolved as speedily as possible.
There have been some suggestions in the press that it is impossible for the Church of England or General Synod to return to this issue until after a new General Synod has been elected in 2015. That is not correct: the rules prevent the same Measure from being reconsidered by the General Synod without a special procedure. It is perfectly possible for a different and amended Measure to consecrate women bishops to be considered by the General Synod. Although this is for the Church of England to resolve, as the Prime Minister made clear yesterday, I suspect that there will also be those in the Church of England who will wish to consider whether the election process to the General Synod is sufficiently representative, particularly of the laity of the Church of England, as Tuesday’s vote clearly did not reflect the overall and clear consensus of dioceses across England in support of women bishops.
It is my earnest hope that during the time I serve the Queen—whose appointment I am—this House and the Church of England as Second Church Estates Commissioner it will prove possible for me to bring before this House a Measure that will enable women to be consecrated bishops in the Church of England.
Diana Johnson: I thank the hon. Gentleman for his response to the urgent question, and I know that he is as disappointed as I am at having to speak on this matter today. May I also thank you, Mr Speaker, for the opportunity to raise this important matter on the Floor of the House today?
It appears to me and many others that the theological arguments over women priests—and therefore their position in roles of authority—were settled 20 years ago in the Church of England. The next natural step, on which I think there is agreement across the House, is to see some of the excellent ordained women priests now move into positions of leadership in our Church as bishops. Just as discrimination in the wider community is wrong, as it keeps the talents and abilities of all from flourishing, so it is important in the established Church that the talents, experience and skills of both men and women are used and that the Church is led by the very best, not just those who happen to be male. There should be no stained glass ceiling for women in our Church.
The Church of England now stands to be left behind by the society it seeks to serve and made to look outdated, irrelevant and frankly eccentric by this decision. It appears that a broad Church is being held to ransom by a few narrow minds, but as the hon. Gentleman said, the vast majority of members of the Church want to see women bishops. He set out clearly the votes that were cast at both diocesan and General Synod level. I was pleased to hear him say that there are questions to be asked about the convoluted decision-making structure in the Church, and in particular about the representative nature of the House of Laity, and whether an overhaul of the electoral system needs to be considered. The decision made by an unrepresentative minority in the House of Laity means that this essential modernisation of the Church of England has potentially been put back for another five years or more, with no guarantee of progress even then.
In fact, I think positions will become even more difficult. Many campaigners felt that they had offered concessions to accommodate those of different views and will perhaps now take a much less conciliatory approach, as they feel that the concessions have been ignored, with no willingness to compromise. As the Church of England is part of the constitutional settlement of this country, it is important that Parliament has regard to what the decision means for the country and the Church’s role in law making. With the decision made, we now see the entrenchment of the discriminatory nature of the 26 places in the upper House reserved for Bishops, who can only be male. Does the hon. Gentleman agree that this cannot be right, and that Parliament and the Government have to consider what we should do, especially in light of the Government’s decision to abandon any wider reform of the Lords? Does he further agree that we must also consider whether the exemption from equalities legislation for the Church of England now needs to be re-examined?
Finally, I am pleased to hear the hon. Gentleman’s resolve on the need to sort this out as soon as possible, as well as what the Archbishop of Canterbury said. I understand that there will be moves by the Church to spend some time thinking about how to proceed, but it is imperative that those in the all-male group of bishops do not talk just to one another, but work with and alongside senior women in the Church to find a way forward. Unlike the Prime Minister, I think Parliament has a role to play and should now look at doing all it can to support the Church at this time. I hope that the hon. Gentleman agrees.
Sir Tony Baldry: I agree with almost all that the hon. Lady said. The really important point is that the whole House wants the Church of England to get on with this matter. It cannot be parked, and work needs to be done urgently to try to ensure that it is resolved as quickly as possible. In fairness, the House of Bishops gave the greatest possible leadership in the General Synod. However, as I sat there, the analogy that struck me was that it was a bit like Government Whips trying to talk to the Eurosceptics; there were those in the General Synod who, whatever the bishops said to them, were just not going to listen. So, in fairness, the House of Bishops in an episcopal-led Church was very clear about the need to make change. Those bishops work every day with women clergy in their dioceses and see the fantastic work that they are doing in the Church of England. That work must be valued and cherished, and we need to ensure that any changes do not square the circle by bringing forth proposals for women bishops who would be second-class bishops. I have made it clear to the General Synod on a number of occasions that Parliament simply would not approve any Measure that introduced women bishops as second-class bishops.
Mrs Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest) (Con): I am sure that the hon. Gentleman will appreciate that the whole House has sympathy with his position and great respect for the hard work that he has done in trying to resolve this matter. Does he agree that when the decision-making body of the established Church deliberately sets itself against the general principles of the society that it represents, its position as the established Church must be called into question?
Sir Tony Baldry: The hon. Lady makes a perfectly good point, and it is one that I have repeatedly made. As a consequence of the decision by the General Synod, the Church of England no longer looks like a national Church; it simply looks like a sect, like any other sect. If it wishes to be a national Church that reflects the nation, it has to reflect the values of the nation.
Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): I thank the hon. Gentleman for doing a wonderful, and rather thankless, job on this issue over the years on behalf of parliamentarians. He was at the very stormy meeting yesterday between parliamentarians and the bishops. Peers and MPs of all parties were saying with one voice that if the Church does not get on and do this, Parliament will. Will he therefore convene an emergency meeting of the Ecclesiastical Committee, so that we can take legal advice as to what Parliament can do to help the Church to achieve the will of the people in the Church?
Sir Tony Baldry: It was because of yesterday’s meeting, and because I am conscious of the concerns being expressed on both sides of the House, that I would like to convene a meeting with the archbishop-designate. Justin Welby has great leadership skills, and it is he who will have to lead the Church of England in this matter. He needs to hear the voices from the House of Lords and the House of Commons that were heard in that meeting yesterday. We need to funnel our energies into helping him to resolve the matter.
Simon Hughes (Bermondsey and Old Southwark) (LD): Thank you for granting the urgent question, Mr Speaker.
Can we all send our support, love and concern to all women who are ordained or hope to be ordained in the Church—including your chaplain, Mr Speaker, and all others? They must feel even more frustrated than we do, but we are not going to let them down. Given that, over the past 20 years, the Church has managed to sort out how parishes that did not want women priests could be looked after, does the Second Church Estates Commissioner not agree that it must be possible to resolve this issue? Will he invite the Minister for Women and Equalities to offer the services of the Government, not to tell the Church what to do but to offer it professional advice on how to deliver what the majority want, as soon as possible?
Sir Tony Baldry: I am sure that it must be possible to resolve this issue. The important thing is to continue to work at it until it is resolved. An increasing number of ordinands coming into the Church are women, and we need to have a Church in which everyone is valued. I am sure that the right hon. Gentleman is correct is saying that, at present, a number of women out there in the clergy are feeling undervalued. That is wrong; they are very much valued and cherished, and there needs to be a full place for them in our national Church.
Chris Bryant (Rhondda) (Lab): Since I was ordained as a priest in the Church of England 25 years ago, women have become vicars, rectors, deans, rural deans and even archdeacons, so it is ludicrous that they cannot now become bishops. The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to say that we will have no truck with more concessions to the hard-liners who want to make women second-rate bishops. We need to speed this up. Would it not make sense to have a moratorium on the appointment of any more male bishops until there could also be women bishops—no nomination without feminisation?
Sir Tony Baldry: Of course, we could have done that if the Prime Minister still had control over the appointment of bishops.
Mr Bradshaw: Take it back then.
Sir Tony Baldry: It was of course the right hon. Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath (Mr Brown) as Prime Minister who, without any proper consultation, renounced the ability of Downing street to have any influence over the control of bishops. I am encouraged by the suggestions from Labour Members that the Prime Minister should take back the power to appoint bishops, but I suspect that might create a few problems. I think everyone will have heard the point made by the hon. Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant).
Mr Peter Bone (Wellingborough) (Con): I think my hon. Friend was wrong in what he said about the Eurosceptics, because the Eurosceptics happen to be right. The important point, which I hope he will accept, is that it is not for this House to say how the established Church is run. We may well have our own opinion, but it is a very dangerous thing for the House of Commons to tell the established Church how to run itself.
Sir Tony Baldry: I say, in all friendship to my hon. Friend, that as I sat through the debates in General Synod, it struck me that the Eurosceptics and the conservative evangelicals had quite a lot in common in their approach. Nevertheless, he makes a serious point on which the House should reflect. Since 1919, it has been the convention that although Parliament has the ultimate control over the Church of England—it is an established Church, after all, and the Book of Common Prayer is but an annexe to the Act of Uniformity—the Church of England comes forward with its Measures, and if they are passed by the Church of England they will be approved or otherwise by Parliament. I am sure my hon. Friend will understand that if the Church of England is a national Church and an established Church, it is right and proper for Parliament to make clear its views and opinions to the Church of England and for the Church of England to hear what Parliament is saying.
Mr David Winnick (Walsall North) (Lab): I am not involved with the Church of England and I am a lifelong non-believer, but I want to say to the hon. Gentleman, whom I greatly admire for the stance he has taken, that it is simply impossible to understand how on earth it can be argued that if women are considered appropriate to be deacons and priests, as they have been in the last 20 years, they are not worthy to be bishops. It is simply impossible to understand that. Will the hon. Gentleman also accept that, for many of us, this opposition to women bishops bears comparison with the opposition 100 years ago to women having the right to vote and to sit in the House of Commons? It is an anti-women attitude—a feeling that women have no place in public life, in religion or in politics—that I find contemptible.
Sir Tony Baldry: I agree with the hon. Gentleman. In fairness, if he reads the comments made by the Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday, he will find that the archbishop said exactly the same as him—that it is intolerable to have a situation where women can be priests, deacons, archdeacons and deans, yet not be bishops. In his own way, the hon. Gentleman is saying almost exactly the same as the Archbishop of Canterbury about this intolerable situation.
Claire Perry (Devizes) (Con): Probably not for the first time, I find myself in agreement with the hon. Member for Rhondda (Chris Bryant) and in disagreement with my hon. Friend the Member for Wellingborough (Mr Bone). I think that we are elected on a far more democratic basis than the House of Laity.
I believe that there is very strong support for this Measure both in my constituency and in that of my hon. Friend the Member for Salisbury (John Glen). We share the most extraordinary Dean of Salisbury Cathedral, in the shape of the Rev. June Osborne. May we please urge the bishops to adopt the suggestion made by the hon. Member for Rhondda of a moratorium? It is in their control. They could do it themselves. I know that it would be a complicated process, but it would be less complicated than the fiendish voting structure that we saw yesterday.
If you will forgive me, Mr. Speaker, may I add that my heart goes out to those women who will be standing up on Sunday and doing, in many cases, a superior job of bringing people to God and bringing the comfort of Christianity to their constituents? This is disgraceful. Please could we all share in some sort of message of support? There will be change. We are behind this change. It has to happen.
Sir Tony Baldry: I am sure that women throughout the Church will have heard the encouraging comments of my hon. Friend, and those of, I think, every other Member who has spoken so far.
Helen Goodman (Bishop Auckland) (Lab): I joined the Movement for the Ordination of Women in 1976, and I find it incredible that we are still having this argument 36 years later. I am very pleased that the Second Church Estates Commissioner understands our feelings about the urgent need for this Measure.
May I suggest that too many concessions have been made to those who are opposed to women priests? That is what has given them hope, and it is why they have continued to fight. It is simply unjust to do that at the expense of women in the Church.
Sir Tony Baldry: The hon. Lady’s comments demonstrate the difficulty of striking a balance between various groups in the Church of England, and trying to ensure that everyone feels that there is a continuing place for them in the Church. It has always been a broad Church, and as far as possible we want to keep everyone in that broad Church. However, I assure the hon. Lady that I know, and the House has made very clear, that Parliament simply would not pass a Measure that discriminated against women, squaring the circle by trying to make them bishops but second-class bishops. Everyone has to understand that.
David Tredinnick (Bosworth) (Con): I think it important for Parliament to express a view, but I also think that it would be better for us to pass a short Bill requiring female bishops. We need to put the Church out of its agony, and to end the antiquated voting system to which my hon. Friend has referred.
Is my hon. Friend aware that there is nothing new about female bishops? There is a ninth-century mosaic in a Roman basilica showing two saints, who are named, the Virgin Mary, and a fourth woman who is clearly described as Bishop Theodora: Theodora Episcopa. She was a female bishop. The Church has had them in the past.
Sir Tony Baldry: The occasions in the past when Parliament and the Church of England have gone head to head on matters of worship and doctrine—there were disputes about the prayer book in the late 1920s, for instance—are not happy precedents. I think it important for the Church of England to listen very carefully to what Parliament is saying. Although, in my view, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister was absolutely right to say yesterday that the Church needed a “sharp prod”, I hope and believe that Parliament will give it time to sort itself out and get on with the issue, and I assure the House that we will do so as speedily as possible.
Dr Eilidh Whiteford (Banff and Buchan) (SNP): Speaking as one who is part of the wider Anglican communion, I am profoundly saddened and disappointed by the Church of England’s failure to make progress on the role of women in spiritual and public life. It leaves us with the continuing anomaly that seats for bishops in the other place are available exclusively to men. I simply do not believe that that is sustainable in a modern democracy. Does the Commissioner believe that we might, in fact, be doing the Church a favour by seeking to review its constitutional status?
Sir Tony Baldry: The hon. Lady is absolutely right to remind us that the Church of England is part of a wider Anglican communion, and that the whole of the Anglican communion will be looking at how the Church of England conducts itself. I agree with the comments that have been made about the Church reflecting, and I think that everyone in it needs to reflect on how out of touch it now appears to Parliament—to every part and every corner of the House of Commons.
Tessa Munt (Wells) (LD): I pay tribute to the many women in my constituency who take part in the formal and informal structures of the Church. They are very important to rural life, and I know that my bishop—Peter Price, the Bishop of Bath and Wells—deeply appreciates the contribution of his large female work force.
I agree with what has been said about women on boards. Might the hon. Gentleman be able to explain to newer Members why this particular Church does not have to observe equalities legislation?
Sir Tony Baldry: May I correct a point that seems to be getting some coinage? The Church of England does not enjoy any particular exemption from sex equality legislation. Obviously, equalities legislation is entirely a matter for this House, but the legislation that applies to the Church of England applies to all faith groups in this country. If Parliament were to seek to change the legislation, it would apply to every faith group. That is clearly a matter for the House.
Ann Coffey (Stockport) (Lab): The bishops sit in the House of Lords on the basis of a moral authority, and they vote on a range of issues, including equalities legislation. It is now clear that the views of the established Church do not reflect the views of the British people, so is it not time that the bishops left the House of Lords? Is not the real problem that the Church of England is entitled, by right, to places in an unreformed, unaccountable and unelected House of Lords?
Sir Tony Baldry: I think it is rather tough that a number of people are taking out their frustration on the bishops, because the bishops gave clear leadership, with almost every single bishop who spoke and voted indicating that they want to have women bishops. They, too, are very keen to ensure that they are joined in the House of Lords by women bishops. There could be no clearer leadership in the Church than that given by the bishops of the Church of England on the fact that they want to have women bishops.
Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes) (Con): I welcome my hon. Friend’s statement and agree wholly with what he was saying, and I particularly welcome the opportunity of parliamentarians meeting the archbishop-designate. May I link two points that my hon. Friend made? Speaking as a Eurosceptic and as someone who has stood, unsuccessfully, for election to the House of Laity, may I suggest to him that the House of Laity is about as representative of opinion in the pews as the European Parliament is of constituents? May I also urge him to move forward as quickly as possible with a review of the electoral arrangements for the House of Laity?
Sir Tony Baldry: It was my mistake for wandering down the route of commenting about Eurosceptics. One thing that we were enjoined to do in the General Synod was live in amity with all our colleagues, so I hope that I can always do that. My hon. Friend is correct in saying that a number of questions will continue to be asked about the arrangements for electing the General Synod, because we simply cannot have a situation where 42 out of 44 dioceses vote overwhelmingly for women bishops and that simply is not reflected in the vote in the General Synod and the House of Laity—that is simply unsustainable.
Seema Malhotra (Feltham and Heston) (Lab/Co-op): I congratulate the hon. Gentleman on all his work on this matter and thank him for it. I also wish to echo the sentiments that so many hon. Members have expressed about the contribution that women in the Church make in all our constituencies. Does he agree that the reaction that this has caused in the population as a whole, including on Twitter and in social media, has shown how important this issue is to the nation and how important it is that Parliament acts? I include in that the petition that has been started to raise the question as to whether there should be an automatic right for bishops to sit in the House of Lords if there are no women bishops.
Sir Tony Baldry: The hon. Lady clearly demonstrates that the Church of England has to be a national Church. It is the Church of the Remembrance day services, it is the Church of the coronation and it is the Church of which the Queen is head as Head of State and Head of the Church. One of the first things the Queen did during her jubilee celebrations was attend a meeting at Lambeth palace that was attended by all faith groups. What was very moving was that all those faith groups said that they felt confident in freedom of religion for them because of the role of the Church of England as the national Church. So the Church of England, as a national Church, is failing the whole nation and other faith groups if it does not reflect our national character.
Jane Ellison (Battersea) (Con): May I say, Mr Speaker, how much many of us supported the robust comments your Chaplain made in the media after this announcement was made? My oldest friend is due to be ordained in 2014, and the Church will be lucky to have her, as she is someone of huge talent. But surely the Church sees that it will not attract women of that calibre if they see that they will not be able to pursue the full extent of their talents.
Sir Tony Baldry: My hon. Friend makes an extremely good point. We are very fortunate to have attracted into the Church over the past 20 years many women of extraordinary talent, leadership, skill and commitment. Indeed, the Church of England would not manage without their skill, leadership and commitment. We need to be able to continue to recruit people of that high calibre and I hope that we will continue to do so.
Mr Speaker: We are also all extremely fortunate in our Chaplain and I am most grateful to the hon. Member for Battersea (Jane Ellison) for what she said.
Jonathan Ashworth (Leicester South) (Lab): I entirely agree with the hon. Gentleman’s remarks and many people will appreciate the way in which he has put them. It is clearly unsustainable for us to have an all-male episcopate. Does he agree that the decision sadly risks damaging the reputation of the Church in the eyes of many of our constituents? Will he consider working with the business managers to find a way for this House to express its will and send a clear, unanimous and courteous message to the General Synod that it needs to think again?
Sir Tony Baldry: I shall certainly reflect on that interesting suggestion with the business managers and the Clerks.
James Duddridge (Rochford and Southend East) (Con): Given that a significant minority in the House of Laity have spoken and said that women are not competent to be bishops, will my hon. Friend, alongside me, call on that significant minority to launch an urgent review into the competence of its own head of the Church of England?
Sir Tony Baldry: Those who voted against women bishops at General Synod did so because of their own particular theological convictions. While acknowledging those theological convictions, the Church now needs to find a way to move forward as speedily as possible to ensure that women can be consecrated as bishops in the Church of England.
Nic Dakin (Scunthorpe) (Lab): Does the hon. Gentleman share my sadness and that of many other people that the Church has made itself appear so out of touch and anachronistic in its decision making? The head of the Church of England is a woman, but in the 21st century we cannot have women bishops.
Sir Tony Baldry: I agree. It is a great sadness. I suspect that every right hon. and hon. Member has recently had representations from Church members on same-sex marriage. If the Church of England thinks that Parliament will listen to it with considerable attention on moral issues such as same-sex marriage and so on when the Church of England seems to be so out of step on other issues of concern to Parliament, it is simply deluding itself.
Oliver Colvile (Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport) (Con): I must declare an interest in that my sister is a vicar in the Church of England in your constituency, Mr Speaker, and I personally own the living of a parish in Oxfordshire. Does my hon. Friend think that if Mrs Proudie had been the bishop rather than her husband, Obadiah Slope would have had a rather different career path?
Sir Tony Baldry: I suspect, Mr Speaker, that that is true. It is reassuring to discover that there are still Members of this House who own livings of parishes in the Church of England.
Bob Blackman (Harrow East) (Con): I caution my hon. Friend about comparisons between the EU and the Church of England, as the EU forces people to vote and vote again until it gets the result it wants. Clearly, the Church of England has shown itself to be completely out of touch with the views not only of Parliament but of the country at large. Is it not time now for the General Synod to review its whole decision-making process so that it can reflect the wishes of its members?
Sir Tony Baldry: The General Synod will have to reflect on the comments made by my hon. Friend and others about its effectiveness, about how it is elected and about whether it represents members of the Church of England, the broader community and society as a whole. Historically and even today, church wardens have been elected by the whole community because there is recognition that in every parish church wardens represent the community as a whole. We will have to consider how the laity elected to the General Synod can reflect the broadest range of society—certainly among those who are members of the Church of England and perhaps among the community as a whole. I am quite sure that will be reviewed in the coming months.
Charlie Elphicke (Dover) (Con): As a Church of England believer, I have never understood how a woman can be head of the Church yet somehow women cannot be bishops. I urge that we consider bringing in a short Bill ordering that women should be able to be bishops in the Church of England.
Sir Tony Baldry: In the General Synod debate, part of which I sat through, there were some who argued that it was impossible for women to have headship, and I just could not understand how they sought to reconcile that with the fact that Parliament has made the Queen defender of the faith and that we are fortunate enough to have her not only as Head of State, but as head of the Church.
Duncan Hames (Chippenham) (LD): This week’s decision reflects very badly on the Church, but also very unfairly; the Church, after all, is all the people who are part of it, not just one legislative committee. Does my hon. Friend therefore agree that, given that a large majority of them have shown that they are as keen to have women bishops as we in this House are, the problem lies not with the members of the Church of England, but with the paralysis of its decision-making structures?
Sir Tony Baldry: My hon. Friend is right to remind us at the end of these questions that the overwhelming majority of members of the Church of England want women bishops. It is now beholden on us all, whether in the Church of England or outside, to try to ensure that happens as speedily as possible.

177 Comments:

Blogger Gary said...

Democracy in action - NOT!

23 November 2012 at 13:53  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

"Charlie Elphicke (Dover) (Con): As a Church of England believer, I have never understood how a woman can be head of the Church yet somehow women cannot be bishops. I urge that we consider bringing in a short Bill ordering that women should be able to be bishops in the Church of England."

What exactly is a Church of England believer? Someone who believes what he wants to believe? I would suggest Mr Elphicke and others ask some more questions of the proper provision issue before they descend into uninformed soundbites.

And the Queen is not head of the church but supreme governor. Something else entirely.

23 November 2012 at 13:57  
Blogger Preacher said...

Too much spin. The Church does not exist to serve the community or the government or to 'fit in' with the wishes of society. It's answerable only to God. It's commission is to preach the gospel & make disciples of all nations. If it can't or won't, it is redundant & no longer worthy of the God it purports to represent.

23 November 2012 at 14:09  
Blogger Flossie said...

What a shower!

Is there nobody in Parliament who understands what this vote was actually about? Or seeks to understand why the Measure did not pass, before pontificating upon the result?

The Church of England, in its unwisdom, has already voted for women bishops. Did they not know that?

If they understood that if the women proponents had been a little less greedy, and had given a lifeline to their opponents enabling them to remain within the C of E, the Measure would have passed, perhaps they would not have been so vociferous in their condemnation.

I repeat - what a shower!



23 November 2012 at 14:10  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

Oh Flossie, care to pay a visit to enlighten them in their darkness?

23 November 2012 at 14:12  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Arden Foster,

Re, the Queen and Bishops.

One of the Telegraph wags said :

"I would like to point out that while it might be unjust that Elizabeth Windsor cannot be a bishop … a bishop cannot be a Queen either".

23 November 2012 at 14:18  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

Mrs Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest) (Con): ‘Does he agree that when the decision-making body of the established Church deliberately sets itself against the general principles of the society that it represents, its position as the established Church must be called into question?’.

It is written: ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.’

Romans 12:2

23 November 2012 at 14:21  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

Sir Tony Baldry: May I correct a point that seems to be getting some coinage? The Church of England does not enjoy any particular exemption from sex equality legislation. Obviously, equalities legislation is entirely a matter for this House, but the legislation that applies to the Church of England applies to all faith groups in this country. If Parliament were to seek to change the legislation, it would apply to every faith group. That is clearly a matter for the House.

And so the Roman Catholic church is also in their sights.

Is it not time for Roman Catholics to become co-belligerents with us conservative CofE Christians?

23 November 2012 at 14:42  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

I have to admit that I gave up listening two-thirds of the way through the recording but I doubt that I missed anything of significance since all members appeared to have been briefed by 'Women and the Church' (WATCH), as did the bishops in the Synod debate.

It is frightening that these people are responsible for legislating when at least in this instance they didn't know what they were talking about.
Twice I heard Sir Toby Baldry remark that Parliament would not approve any Measure that introduced women bishops as second-class bishops. That is the position WATCH put themselves in by constantly squeezing orthodox Anglicans so the obvious solution is a Third Province where each side can either wither or flourish happily alongside each other. If that had been accepted at the outset we would not be where we are today. It was rejected on the grounds that the church would be divided! It is the best and possibly only way forward. I commend it to the House.

23 November 2012 at 14:51  
Blogger Nowhere man said...

Sir Tony Baldry should know that people should walk the walk if they wish to talk the talk.

http://bit.ly/Tkmw3G

VERY POOR choice of tie...

23 November 2012 at 14:53  
Blogger Anglican said...

Archbishop Rowan Williams said that that the issue has to be solved. But that was what the vote was for. Now the supporters of women bishops want to change the rules.

Incidentally, if parliament legislates to enforce women 'leaders' on all faiths in this country, I await with interest their attempts with the muslims.

23 November 2012 at 15:05  
Blogger D. Singh said...

The liberals in the church are leading us towards totalitarianism:

'It won’t do to say, then, as David Cameron did, that the Church of England should “get with the programme” over women bishops. And Parliament must not try to force the Church’s hand, on this or anything else. That threat of political interference, of naked Erastianism in which the State rules supreme in Church matters, would be angrily resisted if it attempted to block reform; it is shameful for “liberals” in the Church to invite it in their own cause. The Church that forgets to say “we must obey God rather than human authorities” has forgotten what it means to be the Church. The spirit of the age is in any case notoriously fickle. You might as well, walking in the mist, take a compass bearing on a mountain goat.'

Prof Tom Wright

23 November 2012 at 15:16  
Blogger Preacher said...

To cut to the chase, I suppose the real question is; irrespective of gender, why does anyone WANT to become a Bishop? Is it to serve the body, or is it a to appear in some way superior to the laity. Service or self importance.
In the days of our host, a Bishop or even an Archbishop had to prove worthy of the title. It should never be reduced to a grace & favour political appointment to appease any section of the community.

23 November 2012 at 15:27  
Blogger David B said...

It's about time the CoE was left to its own devices, within the law of course.

Then perhaps parliament could devote more time to matters of more importance, like.....well, just about everything.

For that to happen, of course, it would have to be disestablished, and the Bishops booted from the Lords.

The sooner the better.

David B

23 November 2012 at 15:43  
Blogger Enemyof the State said...

ICHABOD

23 November 2012 at 15:47  
Blogger Roy said...

There are many denominations that function quite well without any "bishops" at all. Perhaps one of the commentators on this blog (or even His Grace himself) could enlighten me as to what exactly the word translated as "bishop" in the Bible actually means and whether or not there are any other equally good English words for the same concept?

The first deacons were all men but I don't think anyone uses that as an argument against women being deacons. The deacons did not simply "serve at tables." Stephen, the first martyr, was a much more effective preacher than most people in the CoE or any other denomination in Britain.

Although Paul appeared to rule out female leadership in one well-known verse (I've never really understood why) many people think that he used the word "apostle" for at least one woman in his epistles. Furthermore there were evidently women with the gift of prophecy in the early church and there is no indication anywhere in the Bible that any of the gifts of the Spirit were for men only.

If it is accepted that God is willing to call women to be ministers and if He blesses their ministry, then I fail to see how there can be any possible argument against them assuming any office in the Church.

However it should not be up to politicians to tell the CoE or any other religious organisation how to run its affairs.

23 November 2012 at 16:02  
Blogger Nowhere man said...

I am beginning to dwell upon the reason for scripture requiring male headship within Christianity.

The Bible was not written by idiots , nor was it the work of a few months - but the setting down of revelation and wisdom over thousands of years.

They knew human nature and knew that women should not lead.

Why?

Well just look at the state of the CofE and the country....

23 November 2012 at 16:03  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

Does anyone know who got Tony Baldry in as Second Church Estates Commissioner? He appears to be peddling half-truths to those who want to hear them.

Could he not have explained things as they actually were rather than promoting his own ideas and doctrines?

23 November 2012 at 16:04  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Inspector read the transcript with mouth agape...

Gentlemen, the gods of equality are damn furious, and we await as the new state religion is born. Of course, to be a bishop in the new religion, you have to be a card carrying liberal. Talk the talk, walk the walk.

So there you have it, a state that not only looks after you from cradle to grave, but also tells you what to think and most sinister of all, how to worship.

RC Faith schools. How long can they hold out before they go the same way as RC adoption agencies.

Our servants have indeed become our masters Archbishop.

23 November 2012 at 16:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The State Church of England

The English State Church

The Official Church

Cleansed Church of England (hmmm, I like that one)

Comrades Church

Church of Equality

Births, Deaths and Marriages thingy (this one needs more work I think)

LGBT endorsed Equality for all Church (rainbow flag with large black cross superimposed)

Come on chaps, help a fellow out. only one rule, and that is not to have ‘Christian’ in the title. Might upset people you see - muslims, gay types, gypsies, eskimoes, liberals....


23 November 2012 at 16:32  
Blogger Philip said...

As for the idea that Parliament would not listen to the CofE on same sex 'marriage' due to its failure to agree to women bishops, who thinks that even if the church does (I expect it will) agree to women bishops, Parliament will then listen to the church on SSM? Me neither.

23 November 2012 at 16:42  
Blogger Philip said...

Sir Tony Baldry’s remark that Parliament would not approve any Measure that introduced women bishops as second-class bishops, must be significant. It probably means that any compromise that adequately provides for traditionalists won’t be allowed. And so presumably Parliament will enforce its will, thus leading to an exit of traditionalists from the church, leaving only liberals of various flavours. Perhaps that's an outcome the liberals want so that, without conservatives and traditionalists, they can more easily impose the other aspects of their agenda HG alluded to yesterday.

As for Tony Baldry’s extreme remarks and hectoring and bullying of the church for failing to comply to his satisfaction with current secular ideas of equality, today’s Telegraph’s “sketch” by Michael Deacon points out Mr Baldry is a member of that male bastion the Garrick Club whose female membership is, um, nil. During the debate he even wore the Garrick tie! Also his remarks about EU-sceptics (and evangelicals) shows what type of “Conservative” he is. An EU-phile as well as a supporter of the current secular, and socialist, idea of equality.

23 November 2012 at 16:46  
Blogger Philip said...

Surely, being "established" cannot mean the CofE is there to obey the demands of society, in effect telling God how He must change His views to conform to our current secular whims. Rather it means it’s in a uniquely privileged position to be able to represent and speak God's unchanging truth (even things we don't like) to the nation. The CofE’s Canon A5 commits the CofE to be grounded in Scripture. Perhaps that the church is there to obey God, not man, means disestablishment. Parliament having a role didn’t matter so much in the past when Christian beliefs and morality were more generally accepted as the norm in society as well as in the church. Now with the increasing hostility to Christianity being generated by the political elite classes, disestablishment would presumably be inevitable at some point anyway

23 November 2012 at 16:49  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

That cross logo will have to go. Smiley Face, anyone ?

The kids would like that...



23 November 2012 at 16:51  
Blogger Nowhere man said...

Is it not spooky that the CofE came about through political/secular interference in church matters and now will be brought low by the same forces?

To see Williams spinning like a top and crying, angry, feminists is their reward for forcing their views upon traditional Christians.

Now we will see compulsion in religion from Parliament.

How did it come to this....http://bit.ly/TTxmK2

Now we will all be assimilated, pasteurised,conformed......

..unless this is the point at which people begin to wake up to the vile forces at work in our society.

For me I have never felt more strongly about my religion, culture and race as now; now that they face destruction.

23 November 2012 at 16:59  
Blogger William said...

Inspector

Once the state church has been rebranded there will need to be proper scrutiny to make sure this kind of abberration does not happen again. I propose the formation of the regulator OfGod, to be chaired by Chris Bryant MP (he was a vicar once you know).

23 November 2012 at 17:04  
Blogger John Magee said...

How will Western liberal Christianity rebuilt after nearly 100 years of it's own spiritual demolition?

23 November 2012 at 17:11  
Blogger Roger Pearse said...

A truly disgusting display of religious intolerance and bullying.

I enjoyed the crude lie, "the overwhelming majority of members of the Church of England want women bishops" we are told.

I don't remember any of us being asked.

23 November 2012 at 17:28  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Arden Foster,

"Does anyone know who got Tony Baldry in as Second Church Estates Commissioner?"

'Dunno mate' [as my Valet said to me when I asked for a sherry and received a Coors Light instead- reserved ,of course, only for the occasional Canadian visitor!]

However I do know that Lord Mandelson was another venerable chap who was (is?) a Church Commissar?

23 November 2012 at 17:36  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Chaps, should those of us who are Orthodox Anglicans jump ship somewhere else? Greek Orthodox? Rome?Judaism ? Where is one to find any Orthodox Christian sanity?

23 November 2012 at 17:38  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Speaking as an outsider it appears to me that the CoE is drawing attention to itself in the most unseemly and ridiculous manner. Not only does it seem to defy its own logic in having women Officiates - acceptable to a certain level but no further. It seeks to blame secularism and just about anything or anyone other than itself for its ever diminishing appeal as an essential component of 21st Century living. Has anyone considered that had there been women bishops, priest or cardinals the amount of child abuse by a perverted clergy would in all likelyhood have be positively addressed long before now? The CoE has become the living embodiment of its own impotent Spitting Image puppet of declining relevance and credibility; falling apart at the seams. It has missed a great opportunity to modernise, revitalise and set itself above (in this Country at least) and apart from the many dwindling protestant factions and the rest of the more recently arrived apparitions of monotheism in this island.
Masculine monotheistic religion in an historiographical context is a comparatively ‘modern’ innovation in as much as the role and status of women in these religions is one of normalised even ‘ordained’ subservience. This is in direct contrast to some of the major ancient religions who worshipped through priestesses, Goddesses; not simply as fertility and nurturing conduits, but deities and Celebrants equal in status to priests and male warrior Gods. It is through these ancient roots at home and abroad, that they all they share various elements of antecedence.
I contend that those who deem that women are not ‘fit’ enough to administer their comparative functional roles either in society or religion, or seen in some way as being undeserving of the opportunity to being the equal to that of men , are rooted in a disproved and outdated philosophy. I believe that all Religions and Cults, especially those enforced by theocratically sanctioned state ‘justice’, mob violence or both, are at last being steadily unravelled and proven to be nothing more than pervasive forms of Wizard of Ozery.
This is not to say that I deny that there are not millions of people for whom belief in the supernatural serves as a personally essential and comforting construct, or that in time of conflict such group belief once loosely bound the people of colonial and colonised nations together, but the rapidly widening expansion of shared scientific explanation of natural phenomena and ease of communication, is rightly undermining religion's stranglehold on wealth and power through the restriction of knowledge, and the patronage of states or monarchs.
It’s the missing voluntary bums on seats that counts and that’s no one’s fault but the Church that believes that it can function without regard to changes in Society. Catholicism, Judaism, Islam and the rest will all go the same way eventually, but things will get much worse before they get better.
No skin off my nose- just sayin’.

23 November 2012 at 17:50  
Blogger Zauq said...

@Lord Lavendon

So Aunty Pastrami was a Church Commissar? Good gracious.

I think the sensible remnant of the CofE should take a clue from the Free Church of Scotland, and go the way of disestablishment.

By the way, does anyone know the number of privately-possessed livings?

23 November 2012 at 17:54  
Blogger Irene's Daughter said...

Your Grace,
It would appear that the CofE has become nothing more than a business - much like any other - with career structures and people with voting rights.

No mention of Scripture!
No mention of God!
No mention of Divine calling!
Just another job!

Surely those called by God into ministry are first to serve Him and then to shepherd the flock.

Career structures are for secular businesses. If God wants an individual woman in leadership - He will raise her up and all oppostion will be as nothing.

23 November 2012 at 17:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

William. You have it there boy. The new Church to be under constant review by an on going select committee. That way, future whims of fashion can be emailed to everyone who needs to know same day.

One has been musing about the idea of dropping the cross image which brings up connotations of state sponsored execution. The idea of a murderer receiving earthly justice is, as far as the liberals are concerned, more repellent than making those who will not work, work. A smiley face might get more children interested in religion at an early age. Of course, once they’ve grown up, and want the real thing, they become papists !

Final thought. One used to think you had a religion to get to know God. Looks like under the new improved CoE, He gets the chance to get to know us. What a turn up, I bet he didn’t see that coming. (...Yes pedants, I know, God sees and knows all, past, present and future. Just a figure of speech...)

23 November 2012 at 18:24  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

I doubt their credibilty will be effected, even though the public are struggling to feed their families and pay the bills

They don't even consider this position to be a real job

23 November 2012 at 18:31  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dreadnaught mentions the priestly abuse of children. Of course, it our homosexual brethren responsible for that, but don’t say it TOO LOUDLY as the homos are will in fashion. Once the ladies get in, no stopping gay men rushing in behind them. Before you know it, you won’t be able to find a cathedral choir boy in the realm able to sit...

23 November 2012 at 18:32  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

23 November 2012 at 18:35  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Zauq

As a clarification on my previous post :

I am merely pointing out that because the Church of England is by law established, that Parliament (the government) has the right to appoint Church Commissioners... So Tony Baldry is therefore the appointed Parliamentary representative between the Church of England and Parliament.

In respect to Lord Mandelson being a Church Commissioner, His Grace covered this fact a while ago here :

http://archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.co.uk/2010/03/church-commisioner-mandelson.html

I have no idea what you refer to when you write of an 'Aunty Pastrami' and I wholeheartedly condemn personal slurs and insults against Lord Mandelson... I merely pointed out that he is or was appointed to said office in the same way as Tony Baldry, which is a consequence of the established nature of the Church of England.

I trust that this clarifies matters.

23 November 2012 at 18:39  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Women are great nurturers. To be a nurturer is to be inclusive. To be inclusive means accepting that which you rather wouldn’t but still do.

To be a true leader, you need to be an exclusive. You need to keep out that which is not right.

Now, of the sexes, who generally makes the better leaders ?

23 November 2012 at 18:53  
Blogger William said...

Dreadnaught

"It’s the missing voluntary bums on seats that counts and that’s no one’s fault but the Church that believes that it can function without regard to changes in Society."

That's not the problem. The church can quite happily function without regard to changes in Society (in fact the church has often been the main driver of changes in society). What it can't do very well is function without God.

23 November 2012 at 18:53  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Breaking news...Satan speaks out on women bishops

The Prince of Darkness has thrown his weight behind the ladies. He has held meetings with potential woman bishops and expressed his disquiet over the anti Satan nature of church services. A form of discrimination, and in breach of the equalities act. The woman have been supportive and have promised on becoming girl bishops, to make services more ‘Satan friendly’. The fallen angel is said to be delighted with the outcome, and has in returned promised to put more demons up as potential parliamentary candidates as if there are not enough of them in the commons already.


23 November 2012 at 19:04  
Blogger Galant said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

23 November 2012 at 19:24  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

What it can't do very well is function without God.

It isn't functioning very well is it? - and according to you - you have given the answer.

23 November 2012 at 19:26  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Satan to stay at chequers

Your man will be back for an earthly holiday in 2013. He was last on the planet in 2011 when he visited North Korea, which he described as a bloody awful place. Understandably, he was in no mood to return here in 2012. It is Same Sex Marriage which brings him to meet our PM. Quite a surprise for Satan watchers. They thought he’d visit an Arab spring dictatorship.

Well done England !

Well done Prime Minister !

23 November 2012 at 19:35  
Blogger John Magee said...

Lord Lavendon

Christian orthodoxy?

Here's a hint. What Church existd as the only Church in England for just over 1,000 years in full union with The Holy See before Henry VIII broke from Rome in the early 1530's? Didn't this break happen because of his inability to convince the pope to give him a divorce or get an annulment from his lawful wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, because of her physical inability give him a male heir?

You know the answer.

Isn't it also interesting the C of E hasn't had a cardinal or canonized a saint since it broke with Rome yet it claims to be "catholic"? Before Henry VIII's split with the Catholic Church IN England it had these things given to it by Rome. There were at least five Medieval English Catholic Archbishops of Canterbury who were made Cardinals by the pope in Rome. After the the first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury, Cranmer, who died in 1555 Catholic Queen Mary I appointed Cardinal Reginald Pole the last RC Archbishop of Canterbury in 1556. After him there were no more cardinals or canonized saints canonized by Rome permitted in this supposedly "catholic" English National Church. Yet the C of E still recognizes saints canonized by Rome and of course, because it's a fact of history, lists those cardinals who were appointed by Rome as Archbishops of Canterbury before the Reformation.

One of the Great English Saints was St Thomas Becket (also known as St Thomas of Canterbury) killed by friends of King Henry II in Canterbury Cathedral because he dared engage in conflict with his King over the rights and privileges of the Church. St Thomas Becket was canonized by Pope Alexander III. Becket's tomb and shrine was destryed in 1538, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, on orders from King Henry VIII. The king also destroyed Becket's bones and ordered that all mention of his name be obliterated. This is what the founder of the C of E did to one of the great English saints because Henry VIII wanted no memory of an English Archbishop who defied the king and was killed for his defiance to physically exist in Canterbury Cathedral.

Of course cardinals and canonized saints are not necessary to be Catholic but they are part of the Church's traditions and indicate the validity of the authority the Universal Church in Rome has had since the time of the first pope, the Apostle Peter, the first Bishop of Rome. Why hasn't the Anglican Church, which is supposed to be "catholic", ever created a cardinal or canonized a saint? The National Church knows its limits and lack of universal authority which of course Rome has had and always will have. Yet today, in 2012, this National Church knows no limits when it comes to defying it's own Church traditions and morals by ordaining priestesses, openly gay priests (and a bishop in two in the USA and other countries), and now has the temerity to waste time on debating the concept of female Bishops something the Medieval Catholic Church in England in full union with Rome, which the C of E slavishly copies outwardly, could have ever believed possible someday.

True Christian Orthodoxy can be found in the Latin Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches where it has always existed from the time of the Apostle's. Not in the National Churches invented at the time of the Reformation.

23 November 2012 at 19:46  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Satan to anoint first CoE woman bishop in 2015

Lambeth palace is expected to offer the dark one the honour in the near future. The Prince of Flies is said to be ecstatic...


23 November 2012 at 20:18  
Blogger len said...

It would seem the 'Great Apostasy'is advancing in the Church of England.

Catholics have a head start on this so if the Cof E cannot learn from them they are bound to repeat the same mistakes.

It would seem 'the Church' has left or is in the process of leaving the UK and is re- appearing elsewhere in the World almost anywhere people are prepared to accept the Word of God without the corruptions of the secular World.

(Mr Magee Constantine was the first Pope and the only 'authority' the Roman Church has is of Caesar)

23 November 2012 at 20:22  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Satan declines to meet Len in 2013

Two of Christianity’s greatest detractors will not after all meet next year when Satan makes his first appearance in England since he brought fellatio happy Anne Boleyn over from France. No one has actually seen Satan and Len together, which has spread rumour far and wide that they are one and the same...

23 November 2012 at 20:32  
Blogger bluedog said...

'If the Church of England thinks that Parliament will listen to it with considerable attention on moral issues such as same-sex marriage and so on when the Church of England seems to be so out of step on other issues of concern to Parliament, it is simply deluding itself.' quoth Baldry. Baldry had previously disparaged the Eurosceptics.

An interesting debate that clearly delineates and conflates the points of contention as Eurosceptism, opposition to SSM and opposition to wimmin bishops.

Whilst the political elite are in favour of all three issues, the vox pop sends a different message. At some point this will translate in to popular action, as Mr Carl has pointed out. In fact the blending of the three issues, Euroscepticism, SSM and female bishops could easily become electorally significant very quickly if UKIP are awake. In addition, the blending of the three issues could easily become a catalyst for a reversal of acceptance for women priests within the community. The performance of priestesses after the vote hardly displayed dignity or gravitas.

A point completely ignored in the debate, which did touch on the wider Anglican communion, is that some provinces do not permit women priests at all, the Anglican diocese of Sydney, for example. So there is at least one precedent for an Anglican province deciding to go its own way and stick to traditional values.

Why not more, within the CofE?

23 November 2012 at 20:32  
Blogger Preacher said...

As Irene's daughter pointed out, once a church, IMO any church, becomes a business it has lost contact with its reason of existence, resulting in a powerless, Godless, direction less state of confusion. A rudderless vessel, blown about by the winds of an unredeemed & Godless society, represented by a pathetic, weak self serving government, whose only wish is to cling to power at any cost.
The siren voices of equality wail & the breakers beckon. It's time to choose your skipper, God or man!.

23 November 2012 at 20:50  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

23 November 2012 at 21:20  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! I now look forward to parliament requiring women bishops in the Church of Rome and female imans ...but i won't hold my breath...

23 November 2012 at 21:23  
Blogger non mouse said...

As I keep saying, none of this is new. The saga presently puts me in mind of an earlier man of principle, and of what happened to him. You can read the full translation at http://faculty.virginia.edu/OldEnglish/aelfric/edmund.html

Here's the gist of some bits that I see as parallels with the present. What fascinates me is that I've long seen Shameron as a late descendant of Ivar the Boneless ---the invader who not only sacked York, but who also motivated the Martyrdom of King Edmund (somewhere in Essex, probably).

Edmund the Blessed, King of the East Angles, was wise and honourable and by his noble behaviour he always honoured Almighty God. He was humble and devout, and continued so steadfastly that he would not practice shameful vices, neither did he deviate from his habits in any direction, but he was always mindful of the true doctrine.

So the messenger came to King Edmund and quickly announced to him Ivar's message: "Ivar our king, brave and victorious on sea and on land, has rule over many people, and has now landed here suddenly with an army, intending to occupy winter-quarters here with his host. He now commands you, if you want to live, to provide your hidden treasures and your ancestors' wealth for him, promptly; and you shall be his sub-king, because you do not have the strength to withstand him."

King Edmund called the bishop who was nearest to him at that time, and consulted with him how he should answer the fierce Ivar. Then the bishop feared for this sudden misfortune and for the king's life, and said that it seemed best to him that he should bow to what Ivar demanded of him. Then the king kept silence and looked at the ground, and then replied to him as a his king to him: "Oh bishop, see how the poor people of this land are shamefully treated; and I would rather die in battle: in order that my people might keep their native-land."


cont'd....

23 November 2012 at 21:23  
Blogger OldJim said...

Well, there we have it. The Church of England exists as the outcome of a series of policies determined by a popular vote. If that popular vote is not sufficiently "reflective of the national spirit" then the voting processes of the church need to be gerrymandered or parliament has to impose naked force.

Tradition? God? "Quod semper, quod ubique, quod ab omnibus"?

All very well and good, old chap, but they're not primarily what the church is about are they?

Nota bene: No-one in that transcript says that the theological arguments for women bishops are strong. No one says that Anglo-Catholics and Evangelicals are misreading the bible.

No one feels the need to try.

The only arguments necessary are the secular principles of Equality, Democracy and Competency.

I'm sorry, everyone, but, despite many good and honest men throughout its history, despite a storied past of transcendent liturgy and song, despite many attempts at independent institutions, despite the integrity and goodwill of many present-day Anglicans, the Church of England was conceived of, has always historically been, and always will be, an erastian creature.

Come out of her my people.

23 November 2012 at 21:24  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Somebody tell Ma Proudie there will be female imams centuries before a female RC priest...

23 November 2012 at 21:26  
Blogger Galant said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

23 November 2012 at 21:33  
Blogger Galant said...

Having read that I can understand where they're coming from. Quite frankly, what should we expect from non-believers talking about Christian beliefs? What standard are they supposed to use? The Church's business is, or should be, God's business. Their business, well, it's their business.

The battle lines here are drawn rather late. Having women priest but not bishops is a contradiction. Either they will have to move forward or backward. They cannot stay where they are.

As for the talking here along sexist lines, it hardly does any favours for the defense of male headship. I find it telling that so many people, in commenting on this issue, state in one way or another, "I don't really understand the case for male headship".

More and more I believe that male headship is a doctrine standing upon the shoulders of many other doctrines. When those are changed or removed the foundations for it fall.

The only way it can stand - if it is in fact a Scriptural truth - is with a solid reworking - and teaching - of the doctrines of church, church leadership, servant-hood, responsibility, brotherhood and symbolism.

Those who simply want to stand around and shout louder, or just moan, rather than dig and plant and teach and lay out a true and solid path that all may understand and rejoice and act(which is what should always happen with the revelation of God's ways)- in all humility - are destined to failure.

I challenge everyone who doesn't understand (and even those who think they do) to do some hard work in digging down and trying to figure out what, from Scripture, this all means. To fail to do that, no matter what position one might espouse, is to fail as students and teachers of God's Word and Way, and to risk throwing away a priceless treasure within the Kingdom. God, His Word and His Way deserve far better than politics and bickering and building on shallow foundations; this is the blood bought plan of God's redemption of eternal human souls we're talking about - England be damned.

I would think the majority (but who knows what the real figure is) of people who support women's leadership aren't doing so to be rebellious. They are recognising a truth of the gifts evident in women, and the equal stature and value of both a man and a woman before God. Truths too often ignored or shot down. There are many wonderful women of God who desire to serve and use great gifts. If a case if to be made for male leadership then it must be made in a way that includes those truths, it cannot deny them or else it will fail Scripture. In the end, this truth must be beautiful, it must be encouraging and it must be edifying. The time for 'not understanding' is over, no excuses.

"Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel,
For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land,
Because there is no faithfulness or kindness
Or knowledge of God in the land... My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge... So the people without understanding are ruined."

'Pro' or 'Contra' Women Bishops understanding must prevail and God glorified for we must all either understand or perish.

23 November 2012 at 21:43  
Blogger Flossie said...

Bluedog @ 20.32 - apropos some provinces not ordaining women. You might be interested to read this, from Ancient Briton's blog (he occasionally posts here, so forgive me for pinching your material, AB).

http://www.ancientbritonpetros.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/a-sense-of-proportion.html

The pie chart shows that only 2% of what could be called Christendom actually ordain women.

So the politicians, bishops and others who try to convince us that 'everybody does it, therefore it must be right' need challenging.

23 November 2012 at 21:54  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

And there's me thinking all this time it is the Holy Spirit who guides the Church and the appointment of Archbishops and Bishops and the calling of Priests and Deacons.

A church founded on political expediance to serve the ambitions of men, with a structure of contradictory theologies, cannot survive. The only strange thing is that it has lasted so long.

23 November 2012 at 22:26  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

23 November 2012 at 22:33  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

When the ordination of women as priests was permitted it was understood that women could become Bishops.Too late to backtrack now.
The C of E will continue as it started.A travesty of Christianity.
The spirit of Henry V111 will be forever present in his creation.


23 November 2012 at 23:16  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

A church founded on political expediance to serve the ambitions of men, with a structure of contradictory theologies, cannot survive

And Constantine wasn't at all interested in preserving what was left of the Western Roman Empire? Ha!

23 November 2012 at 23:21  
Blogger John Magee said...

len

Sorry. You need to do your research. The pagan Roman Emperor Constantine who granted tolerance to all religions in the Roman Empire including Christianity, the Edict of Milan, in 313 AD was never a pope. Contantine did have a deep sympathy for Christianity all of his adult life after seeing a vision of the Cross in the sky before the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in Rome which his army won and he was free to consolidate his hold over the Western Roman Empire. He was baptized a Catholic shortly before his death in 337 AD.

Here are the four pope's, Bishops of Rome, during Constantine's adult life: Miltiades, Silvester I, Marcus, and Julius I.

Remember the Council of Nicea in held 325 AD which gave us the Nicean Creed? That was the Emperor Constantine's idea too.

23 November 2012 at 23:42  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

23 November 2012 at 23:46  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

23 November 2012 at 23:47  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

John Magee, Dodo, Cressida De Nova,

Your posts on this thread show self satisfaction and smugness regarding Christianity and the Church of Rome.

There is an old adage that generals have a tendency to fight the last war. And this is happening here; it is perhaps inevitable with such strong willed characters as you all are.

But this is my peace, so to speak :

I will say to you all that whatever the ills and wrongs (and there are many and I think I have spoken of them quite often here) of the Church of England, I am actually afraid of what happens when finally the Anglican Church of England dies.

I really doubt- I try to be objective here- that the Church of Rome shall simply hoover up what is left of Christianity in England. I also doubt that you will find what replaces the Church of England to be in any way shape or form as benevolent as the current situation. I did see, however, the terrible vitriolic campaign, anti-catholic sentiment and protests against Pope Benedict, when he visited our country.

I suspect that Henry VII will be seen as a walk in the park for Catholics or any Christians for what comes next.

I am sure that when we are all fed to the lions, be that a metaphor or literal, that they will make no distinction between Catholic or Anglican, Protestant or Orthodox.

So please continue to disparage the Church of England as sham Christianity. But when Canterbury topples you will not benefit and we shall all suffer the consequences.

Yours in love and in him

Lavendon

23 November 2012 at 23:48  
Blogger John Magee said...

Dodo

I's no surprise the C of E has lasted so long. After all, it IS the establsihed church, isn't it?
With 500 years of power, privilidge, and money to keep it afloat. Take away it's sovereignty and it's bishops will fall flat on their faces with miters, croziers, copes, and rings scattered all over the place.

23 November 2012 at 23:49  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

My dear Lord Lavendon

I feal no smugness at all as Anglo-Catholicism is attacked and stramgled within the Church of England. There are many fine men and women of God in that church and we are bothers and sisters in Christ.

My position is that the secular and political compromise that resulted in the Church of England could never survive. Its divergent theologies can not withstand an assault. Scripture alone and Faith alone render it vulnerable to all manner of error.

The Bible tells us a great trial will come upon the Church - the men and women who make up Christ's Body on earth - before Our Lord's return.

"And the devil led him into a high mountain, and shewed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time;

And he said to him: To thee will I give all this power, and the glory of them; for to me they are delivered, and to whom I will, I give them. If thou therefore wilt adore before me, all shall be thine.

And Jesus answering said to him: It is written: Thou shalt adore the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."


God Bless

24 November 2012 at 00:15  
Blogger John Magee said...

Lord Lavendon

It pains me to be critical of the C of E as my Episcopalian roots are Church of Ireland.

It also saddens me to see a church that had so much potential for Christian unity throw its long held beliefs and tradititons to the four winds in the name of passing fads and trendiness over the past almost 50 years.

I am well aware Lord Lavendon that the curses afflicting the C of E are at work trying to eat away at the beleifs and doctrines of the RC Church but the RC Church thinks in terms of centuries and of a great Civilization and is willing to take the flak for doing the right thing and not the popular thing and endure the consequences. Even if this means loss of membership or schism.

In modern times, unlike the C of E, the RC Church has suffered painful periods of persecution most recently under the Nazi's and in Eastern Europe, China, and Vietnam, Cuba under Communism. The RC knows what suffering and persecution is. Pope John Paul II and the Present Pope, both from working class families, lived under the Nazi's and Communism.

The C of E with it's choice of chic theology and caving into the demands of groups it really has nothing in common with just to appear tolerant has destroyed itself amd lost all credibility. It's almost a death wish. Can a church be psychoalalyzed?

I think the C of E needs to see a shrink and try and understand it's obsession to self destruct in the name of trying to please everyone and pretending they did it.

24 November 2012 at 00:17  
Blogger non mouse said...

Cont'd... Resuming King Edmund's story (r. In the Year of the Lord, 855 (c) - 20 Nov. 869.

And the bishop replied, "Alas, Dear King, your people lie slaughtered, and you have not the forces with which you may fight. And these Vikings will come and fetter you alive unless you preserve your life by fleeing, or otherwise save yourself by submitting." Then said King Edmund, brave as he was: "This I will and wish in my heart: that I should not survive alone after my dear thanes: who have been slaughtered suddenly in their beds, likewise their children and their wives, by these freebooters. For me, it was never customary that I should be disposed to flight and, if I must, I would rather die for my own native-land; and Almighty God knows that I will never turn from His observances, or from His True Love, whether I die or live."

After these words he turned to the messenger that Ivar sent to him and, fearless, he said to him: "Undoubtedly, you are now deserving of death, but I will not defile my clean hands with your vile blood- seeing that I follow Christ, who set us such an example; but I will gladly be murdered by you, if God so foreshows it. Go at once now, quickly, and tell your terrible lord: 'Never, in his life, will King Edmund submit to Ivar, the heathen commander, unless he first bows in belief to the Saviour Christ, for this land.' "


Of course, they humiliated him, beat him up, and separated his head from his body --all pronto like-- and the usual RC relic cult developed once they found the pieces. One quite sees why, though.

And it all ties in with King Alfred's philosophy (871-99), which took precedence after the treaty with Guthrum: leaders and people can work together if all acknowledge one Lord of All: the Almighty God of Truth. It's never worked otherwise, and today's evidence does not suggest that it will in future.

__________________________

An Old English version is viewable at http://www.english.ox.ac.uk/oecoursepack/edmund/index.html

24 November 2012 at 00:18  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Dodo,

Thank you for your kind remarks. I believe I used the wrong word by writing 'smugness'. On reflection I would substitute 'complacency'. For, with regret, Orthodox Anglicans have been complacent whilst the rot set in. And I fear that the rest of Christendom is being far too complacent. What is happening to Anglicanism is a foretaste of what liberal governments will try to do to the rest.

Carl Jacobs noted the other day that paganism will overthrown secularism (which will overthrown Christendom). I think he was onto something there, but I would welcome a further explanation as to what he meant by that phrase.

24 November 2012 at 00:21  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

As a jolly good fellow, who is interested in our common roots, rather than Romano-Protestant divisions

I have often wondered, what became of the Light of Britannia and our British Isles as a Motherland

I understand there to be a statue depicting the Roman defeat of Goddess Britannia which means she existed in these Isles prior to Romano influence

Christian Britain has never lost its appetite for the Goddess, so pagan christian influence is better than secular

24 November 2012 at 00:39  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

John Magee

I understand your position and like you Church of Ireland is my own roots (being a Kavanagh).

And to misquote Churchill after the fall of France, I fear that the battle for the Church of England has been lost and the battle for Christendom is about to begin. I pray with all sincerity that the others have more staying power than we have.

You traced British Christianity about 1,000 years ago and I do not disagree with you. The Church in England, as far as I am concerned was founded by St Augustine in 597 AD, rather than the time of Henry VII and indeed the C of E did not dispute this fact, which is why we did not start from 'year zero' and the current Archbishop of Canterbury is therefore the 104th Archbishop.

In respect of the persecuted Church world wide, this is another matter which has me sick. My Church throws a hissy fit (read the Guardian website if you dare, with its hip and trendy vicars and bishops- one of which reads this blog, in a recent article was extremely disparaging of us traditionalist Anglicans) when we do not get women bishops, but seems totally oblivious to the sufferings and penalties that my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ endure across the world.

One final matter. I am quite fed up at present. I have given much time, effort, knowledge, commitment and money to the Church of England; this is not to blow one's own trumpet or whatnot, but simply to say one is aghast at the backlash from fellow Christians following the Synod vote.

Reading the backlash, I feel that it has been a waste of time... well everything, including my life.

I can take the criticisms of the atheist guardian reader on the chin. But not those of my fellows in the Church. I ponder if my tithe would have been put to better use with other charities and companies than give it to pontificating liberals who see us as a sect or from the planet zog.

24 November 2012 at 00:41  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

My post shows neither self satisfaction or smugness.Just stating the facts. As Anglicanism is a man made religion the majority of its followers' wishes should count. If the greater majority want women bishops,ssm,homosexual bishops living with their partners etc then so be it.

The C of E will continue and thrive as a modern religion. It is based on mimicry and has only ever been a pastiche of Catholicism which only leads to confusion.

It is a more honest realisation of the institution to allow some development into pagan cult and interfaith aspects.After all the previous Archbishop was a Druid as well as a Christian and this is indicative of the quasi Christian nature of the institution.


24 November 2012 at 00:54  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Cressida,

How good of you to be generous in your reply in the same way as Dodo and John Magee.

If I may ask,"man made religion" is a strange way for a Christian to describe Christianity?

I do not think I was suggesting Christian Anglicanism was a shadow form of Christian Roman Catholicism, for as you say it will never be thus, it could never be and shall not be.

Anglicanism in England will not survive on current demographics. And indeed the other Christian denominations, including your own are struggling too.

I do wonder what shall replace all of this when I am gone.

24 November 2012 at 01:06  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Cressida the CofE is based upon mimicry but only so much as the King should never have accepted a Parsonage

Because that is when the Masquerade began

24 November 2012 at 01:11  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Poor Lavendon is almost dead and still has not addressed the fact that his religion was founded by a promiscuous serial killer who created his own Church of England religion based on aspects of Catholicism to suit his own desires.A masquerade and a pastiche of the Church of Christ.
When you are gone Lavendon your church will survive and be what it was always meant to be.

A Christian is a follower of Christ
and Christ's Church.How does one follow Christ and yet reject his Church?

24 November 2012 at 01:33  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 November 2012 at 01:49  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Cressida,

As usual your posts are a treasure to read. You know I do sometimes think you are a tad bigoted towards non-Catholics, but I was reading about French Protestants the other day and I realise that this is just in your culture, so it cannot be helped and only excused.

I understand that the general theme of the period you mention, that is the 16th century was
"Cuius regio, eius religio"...

In any regard, thank you as usual for your input and erudite contribution to this Anglican "man made" blog. It would not be as colourful without your valued insight into these spiritual and ecumenical matters.

I am sure that this illuminating and erudite discourse will continue, but for me it will have to be at another time, as I am about to start a holiday.

Finally, in respect of my death :I am suspecting that death is the model of equality legislation- s/he comes for everyone eventually.

24 November 2012 at 01:54  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

John Magee

A sad, but potential outcome for our civilisation. I pray that it will not happen. But as we on this blog seem cursed to follow old war wounds, perhaps it is inevitable.

24 November 2012 at 01:56  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Lord Lavendon

I feel no complacency at all about the advance of Satan in this world.

Secularism is the enemy and I know many good souls who are Muslim, Jews and Christians who have the same sense of foreboding about the future that you do.

Your support of Anglo-Catholicism has not been in vain at all. We are called to serve God whether the earthly battle be lost or won in our brief time on earth. There is a bigger prize!

Liberal governments will, of course, marginalise Christianity. Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict have warned of this, as have other Popes.

I agree with Carl Jacobs that paganism will overthrown secularism. Liberalism cannot hold a society together. People need a set of values that bind them them together. Look at National Socialism in Nazi Germany - perhaps a foretaste of the future.

I've said this before to you, the history of man is in the Hands of God. All we can do is follow His message as we understand it in our hearts and meet the challenges He puts in our path as best we can. That's what the Saints have done since Pentecost.

24 November 2012 at 01:59  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Dodo,

"I've said this before to you, the history of man is in the Hands of God. All we can do is follow His message as we understand it in our hearts and meet the challenges He puts in our path as best we can. That's what the Saints have done since Pentecost."

Can't disagree with you there old chap. Have a good one...

24 November 2012 at 02:02  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 November 2012 at 02:07  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

One final point, the founder of my religion-Christianity- is Jesus Christ, who was not "a promiscuous serial killer", but died on a cross for the sins of mankind and then rose again. Hope this clarifies my religious adherence.

24 November 2012 at 02:11  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

You may not be able to see it - enlage it if you can - but this image broke my heart a number of years ago and, truthfully, made me cry.

(And, I did of , of course mean Roman Catholic Saints!)

24 November 2012 at 02:12  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Dodo,

Sorry. Eyes are not very good.Can you point out what we are supposed to look at?

24 November 2012 at 02:17  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

It did not make me cry ..it made me outraged...all this schmoozing to Lavendon, Dodo, will never change the fact that his religion is bogus. Christ is not present in his church.It does not make you a bigot for daring to say so.
PS
Lavendon your founder repented on his death bed. Let's hope you follow his example. Enjoy your holiday...make it a long one.

24 November 2012 at 03:01  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Lord Lavendon

Secularism is a luxury indulged by the rich man. He trades meaning for freedom and then presumes to find meaning in the things (broadly defined) that he can freely purchase with his money. The problem is that this exchange only works when you have money. So what happens when poverty and suffering and deprivation impact the life of a man who has staked the meaning of his life of riches and happiness and plenty? Secularism suddenly has no answer.

The man who believes in nothing will reach for anything to satisfy his desires when he no longer has the money to satisfy himself. He is by nature a pagan and so in the vacuum that remains after the implosion of secularism he will reach back to paganism. And Hitler's Germany is the exact model that should come to mind. I greatly fear that this is the future of the West - a judgment imposed for its many crimes.

carl

24 November 2012 at 03:37  
Blogger Dr.D said...

All of this really brings into sharp focus the dilemma facing the CoE.

On the one hand, it can remain the Established Church, completely under the thumb of Parliament, and therefore at the whim of many who are atheist or other non-Christians. This allows it to continue to be the symbolic focus of occasions of State, things such as royal weddings, funerals, etc. It also means that the theology of this "church" is determined not by theologians, but by parliamentarians, many with no faith at all (God help us!)!

The alternative would be to accept disestablishment, and return to the true mission of Christ's Church, the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the world. This would no doubt be jarring as it would mean an huge loss of status, loss of funding, loss of privileged. It would mean having to function like a true Church in the world, rather than as an arm of government. (shock!!)

Didn't Jesus say something about not being able to serve two masters?

I say all of this as an Anglican priest in America, a part of the Continuing Church movement that has made the choice about which master we will serve. We have chosen Christ, but we still believe that Anglicanism has much to say to the world. But it must be true to the Gospel, not answerable to Parliament.

24 November 2012 at 05:00  
Blogger John Magee said...

carl jacobs

The word nihilism scares me more than anything mentioned above.

A future generation of nihilists will reject all morals and believe and do anything without having a conscience.

Today in 2012 it's safe to say that few young people ever go to church and most have only a vague idea about who Jesus Christ is and what He did for us. It's also safe to say they have no idea their grandparents and most certainly that their grandparents were devout Christians.

Revived paganism and hedonism are the religions of our pop culture and they have of course been paving the way for nihilism for over two generations. After this cataclysm rages and destroys our civilization young people will turn to Islam because it will be there for them. Christianity will have faded away into an obscure group of quarreling sects.

The article above about bishopettes is apart of this ongoing self destruction process and self murder of Christianty by many of those given authority by God to guide our churches who have betrayed their flocks either by vanity or a some weird concept of self loathing.

24 November 2012 at 06:34  
Blogger len said...

For those Catholics who claim Christ is present[only] in their Church I have some somewhat upsetting[to you] news for you.Christ is not a Catholic 'possession'and in fact God does not dwell in 'Temples made by the Hands of Men'.
Christ dwells in the Hearts of all True believers not in dry dusty halls of empty dead religions.

24 November 2012 at 10:48  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Len you are bigoted against the Catholic Church. You have already said apart from numerous other insults that Catholics walk around in a demonic trance. I assume you mean the one billion of them. No one can take your comments seriously.Catholicism is not a dead religion.It is alive with ever increasing numbers.A true believer is one that follows the teachings of Christ. You refuse to recognise the truth of St Peter and the Church even though it has been explained to you umpteenth times.It is your prerogative to believe what you wish. Your mind has always been closed to anything Catholic.

24 November 2012 at 11:18  
Blogger Nowhere man said...

Cressida, do not waste your time on the likes of len - he is "hard wired" in his ignorance and bigotry.

It is his punishment & only he can save himself by casting it off and opening his heart.

24 November 2012 at 11:28  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

carl jacobs, it is important to remember that National Socialism was a reaction to Socialism

It is mans attempt to rectify what man has done wrong, which is go contrary to the Natural Order

In that sence I would not consider the Nazi agenda pagan, as paganism is intrinsically born of animistic beliefs, which where self evident within stoicism and brought us much law, reason and philosophy for freedom, compatable with a natural order of things

Christianity sees nature as a fallen condition and has therefore rejected the natural order, it is now buying into a social engineered order, that will be it's undoing

24 November 2012 at 11:35  
Blogger Kinderling said...

"A future generation of nihilists will reject all morals and believe and do anything without having a conscience."

In other words, people without the In-Filling of the priests of any religion - with go astray.

Psst. Knowing you know nothing means you are led by no one but yourself. 'Call no man teacher'. These people, like Christopher Hitchens (RIP) cast their own light for all to see.

There you go. You didn't know every person had their own batteries. You soon spot those who live off someone elses.

24 November 2012 at 11:36  
Blogger len said...

Cressida .
Unless you have a love of the truth you will get the lie(and believe it!.

I am truly sorry for Catholics and anyone who has been deceived into following a false relgion.

The Catholic Church is built on a false assumption.Jesus also rebuked Peter' as Satan' will you be claiming that as well?.

24 November 2012 at 12:01  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Lord Lavendon

This is not the right time to jump ship - but to fight.

What we need is an organisation like Anglican Mainstream to instruct us on how to take offices within our local churches.

24 November 2012 at 12:09  
Blogger len said...

Cressida

I have said in the past (if you have read my posts)there is much 'good' in Catholicism.
However this' good' is mixed with an equal amount of 'bad'. which makes it a toxic mix far more dangerous than any other religion.
Whatever satan cannot destroy or kill outright(Christianity )he corrupts .Look at how he has done this with people and to a larger extent with religion.Some religions ar so outrageously bad that they can only fool the most undiscerning but the nearer to the truth but still corrupted with fool all but those guided and filled with the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit bears witness with the human spirit to the Truth of God`s Word.

Don`t believe a word I say but get a Bible pray and ask God to show you the Truth of His Word.

24 November 2012 at 12:10  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Cressida

There is no harm in schmoozing with someone genuinely in search of answers to questions of faith. Intimate conversations are better in some circumstances than direct insults.

Christ is present where all men and women seek to know Him. The tragedy of Henry VIII, a man obsessed by providing a male heir for the future security of England, was that he appointed an Archbishop without the backbone of a Thomas Beckett and was surrounded was surrounded by Wormtongues.

Remember the teaching of our Church on other Christians from the Second Vatican Council on the status of non-Catholic Christians - "separated brethren":

" ... it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ's body, and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church.

Moreover, some and even very many of the significant elements and endowments which together go to build up and give life to the Church itself, can exist outside the visible boundaries of the Catholic Church: the written word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, and visible elements too.

All of these, which come from Christ and lead back to Christ, belong by right to the one Church of Christ. The brethren divided from us also use many liturgical actions of the Christian religion. These most certainly can truly engender a life of grace in ways that vary according to the condition of each Church or Community.

These liturgical actions must be regarded as capable of giving access to the community of salvation. It follows that the separated Churches and Communities as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation.

For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as instruments of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church.

Nevertheless, our separated brethren, whether considered as individuals or as communities and Churches, are not blessed with that unity which Jesus Christ wished to bestow on all those to whom He has given new birth into one body, and whom He has quickened to newness of life - that unity which the Holy Scriptures and the ancient Tradition of the Church proclaim.

For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help towards salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one body of Christ into which all those must be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God ... "

24 November 2012 at 12:12  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Lord Lavendon

The picture was of a small, run down Catholic Church in a hostile neighbourhood. The Church notice board, titled 'Catholic Church of the Sacrd Heart', protected by wire, had been smashed and broken and its notices defaced and removed.

However, the hope was inside. A beautiful church adorned with uplifting sacred images and a splendid choir, with a thriving body of worshippers many of whom were Polish men, women and their children. It was a traditional church with an elderly Monsignor, appointed directly by Pope John Paul, at the helm. No female alter servers and no Eucharist Ministers.

24 November 2012 at 12:14  
Blogger len said...

Dodo,24 November 2012 12:12

Can you illustrate your point with Scriptures?.

(What the Catholic Church says about itself can hardly be considered as 'evidence' of God`s intentions for Humanity?.)

24 November 2012 at 12:27  
Blogger len said...

My local Catholic Church is in an state of disarray as the Priest has been sent to prison.(numerous charges of having sex with minor)

24 November 2012 at 12:42  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

DODO

Vatican 2 document you have quoted is cleverly abstruse.It doesn't say anything much except that the Catholic Church is the true church and hope for salvation and some " separated brethren" ( not specified LOL) may be "instruments of salvation"
in special circumstances.

Is this document ex cathedra?



24 November 2012 at 14:01  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 November 2012 at 14:14  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Carl Jacobs

You hit the nail on the head there. In many ways this is happening now- today we woke up to the scandal of a local council taking away fostered children from parents on the basis that the belong to the UKIP party. Welcome to the socialist Republic of Britain.

Another interesting take is the link you make between material wealth and religion. This seems to be proven by the fact that in the increasingly secular west (which include low birth rates) that religion is being sidelined and is in decline.

Contrast this with the colossal growth of religion (islam/christianity- be it protestant or catholic) in the poorer areas of the world.

24 November 2012 at 14:31  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Dodo

Thank you for the explanation. It is a sad state of affairs that Church buildings are increasingly suffering from crime and in many churches now the stained glass has to be protected by wire fences. Such is life, but as you note there is always hope.

24 November 2012 at 14:33  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

len

Do your own 'home work'!

The Vatican website is freely available and contains all the documents you need with many, many scriptural passages. You will find it more illuminating than the faux christian and anti-catholoc sites you visit and repeatedly cut and paste from.

Cressida

The documents from Vatican II do require careful consideration.

They are not new doctrinal statements but a restating of Church teaching following events since Vatican I. Some Catholic traditionalists regard them as heresy. Others sought to use them to introduce 'modernisation' into the Church.

The Catholic Catechism teaches that "all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body."

The Roman Catholic Church does not teach that everyone who is not visibly within the Church is necessarily damned.

The Catechism states:

"'Outside the Church there is no salvation' - How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?

Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through the Church which is his Body:

'Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, a pilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and the way of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himself explicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at the same time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through a door. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it' (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 14).

This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not know Christ and His Church:

'Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience — those too may achieve eternal salvation' (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 16).

'Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of their own, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him (Hebrews 11:6), the Church still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men' (Second Vatican Council, Ad Gentes, 1).


It's complex - it's simple!

I like this teaching from an Eastern Orhodox Bishop:

"'Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus'. All the categorical strength and point of this aphorism lies in its tautology. Outside the Church there is no salvation, because salvation is the Church' (G.Florovsky, Sobornost)

Does it therefore follow that anyone who is not visibly within the Church is necessarily damned? Of course not; still less does it follow that everyone who is visibly within the Church is necessarily saved.

As Augustine wisely remarked: 'How many sheep there are without, how many wolves within!'

While there is no division between a "visible" and an "invisible Church", yet there may be members of the Church who are not visibly such, but whose membership is known to God alone. If anyone is saved, he must in some sense be a member of the Church; in what sense, we cannot always say."

(Kallistos Ware)

24 November 2012 at 14:38  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Cressida

I honestly do not think I would make a good convert and you would doubtless be having to correct me all of the time.

Hell it is then...?

Or perhaps God will have a sense of humour and put our two clouds next to each other, when death calls us.

24 November 2012 at 14:51  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Cressida,

I did not actually say you were a bigot. You are clearly an intelligent and strong willed woman.

I have heard the arguments you put forward before- extra Ecclesiam nulla salus and how the C of E was founded in Henry VII's balls etc. What is novel is the tone of how you are communicating these views to me and the wider readership here.

It would help your cause no end if you were more careful with the choice of your English words and how you use them to articulate your view. There are times and moments to use words aggressively, but not all of the time.

I hope that this helps.

Anyway, back to my suite case packing. Cherry Pip!

24 November 2012 at 15:05  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Dodo,

A stimulating and interesting couple of posts. Much to think about on my time off.

24 November 2012 at 15:11  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Humour? I think not..unadulterated torture more like.If our two clouds are put together Lavendon..this will mean we are already in Hell.

You would have to change so much about yourself ( and this will be the only time I agree with you) that it would be difficult for you to convert particularly at your advanced age.

Dodo will pray for you.You may get a vision, a road to Dasmascus moment,divest yourself of all your worldly goods and run (oops) stumble off into the jungle to help the poor natives. The local priest will convert you. And when you contract malaria or some other hideous tropical disease in the monsoon season you will die and your soul will go straight to Heaven and all the angels will surround you.Of course after the reading of the will your relatives will curse you because what little remained of your fortune has been left to the Catholic Church.
THE END

24 November 2012 at 15:33  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 November 2012 at 15:43  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Cressida,

I would concur that you have a fluency in English, given that it is not your first language. The point I was attempting to make is demonstrated by yourself in the last post you have made above. Silly and cutting personal insults take away from what you are trying to say, it adds nothing to your argument.

PS- I very much doubt your earlier post. Hey ho.

24 November 2012 at 15:49  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 November 2012 at 16:34  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Ah Cressida

Bravo for you,I am pleased that you think my niece's blog is a worthy intellectual pursuit.

Well as pleasant as our discussions have been and as usual I have learned much from it this is where I disengage for a couple of weeks. I am sure that you will miss me greatly and forcibly try to hold back the tears.

Cherry pip.

24 November 2012 at 16:44  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

Cressida I like it, I am terrible at firing off mispelled words and vulgar comments

I sat and watched a judge smirk and and ridicule my bad spelling last year, rather than deal with the evidence before him, nobody was smirking when he gave his judgement and everyone stood up for him to leave but me

Oi! I shouted, when is you reasoning to be available

All eyes on little old bone!

24 November 2012 at 16:48  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...



Dodo 14:38
I prefer Second Vatican Council Lumen Gentium 14. It is very clear.
Not good news for those who misinterpret the scriptures to suit their own ends.
Very depressing outcome for them.

24 November 2012 at 16:54  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
PUTTING THE CART BEFORE THE HORSE.
My views on women Bishops are somewhat irrelevant but I am very concerned with Parliamentarians believing they know how to manage the Church of England. I have fisked the debate as reported by you today what I considered to be relevant comments.
Diana Johnson) (Lab) The Church of England now stands to be left behind by the society it seeks to serve and made to look outdated, irrelevant and frankly eccentric by this decision
The Church is left behind, outdate and irrelevant but not through this.
Many campaigners felt that they had offered concessions to accommodate those of different views and will perhaps now take a much less conciliatory approach, as they feel that the concessions have been ignored, with no willingness to compromise.
What kind of language is this? Revenge! Blackmail! Are these gifts of God?
The Second Church Estates Commissioner (Sir Tony Baldry): ...the Prime Minister, made it clear to the House yesterday that the....“Church needs to get on with it, as it were, and get with the programme”. He observed that the Church of England needed a “sharp prod”
Which programme would that be Mr. Cameron? The one where society is molded to conform to the views of a few?
Mrs Eleanor Laing (Con): ....when the decision-making body of the established Church deliberately sets itself against the general principles of the society that it represents, its position as the established Church must be called into question?
When god speaks, is he called into question when we don’t like it?
Mr Ben Bradshaw (Lab): .....Peers and MPs of all parties were saying with one voice that if the Church does not get on and do this, Parliament will.
Yeah! Have we heard this kind of rhetoric from other parts of Europe?
Sir Tony Baldry: .....the Church of England no longer looks like a national Church; it simply looks like a sect, like any other sect. If it wishes to be a national Church that reflects the nation, it has to reflect the values of the nation.
Watch what you say about sects. The other churches in the UK are growing. Is the C of E? And what are those values? If the Church followed society rather than God, the buildings would be dance halls, casinos and commercial outlets.

24 November 2012 at 16:56  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Cart before the horse continued;
Mr Peter Bone (Con):He was wrong..... what he said about the Eurosceptics, because the Eurosceptics happen to be right. The important point,...., is that it is not for this House to say how the established Church is run. We may well have our own opinion, but it is a very dangerous thing for the House of Commons to tell the established Church how to run itself.
Hear Hear, Hear Hear.
Mr David Winnick (Lab): I am not involved with the Church of England and I am a lifelong non-believer, but I want to say ...it is simply impossible to understand how on earth it can be argued that if women are considered appropriate to be deacons and priests...they are not worthy to be bishops...It is an anti-women attitude—a feeling that women have no place in public life, in religion or in politics—that I find contemptible.
As a self declared unbeliever he is unable to understand any of the things of God or whether something is the will of God or not.
Claire Perry (Con): My heart goes out to those women who will be standing up on Sunday and doing,...a superior job of bringing people to God and bringing the comfort of Christianity to their constituents? This is disgraceful
Maybe but maybe not. God calls us to all sorts of situations but our desire should be to do the appointed task with gladness and to do it as unto God.
Dr Eilidh Whiteford (SNP): ....It leaves us with the continuing anomaly that seats for bishops in the other place are available exclusively to men.
No. They are exclusively for Bishops.
Ann Coffey (Lab): Is not the real problem that the Church of England is entitled, by right, to places in an unreformed, unaccountable and unelected House of Lords?
Is that really the big issue? On what basis does every other member of the House of Lords sit?
Sir Tony Baldry: ... We are very fortunate to have attracted into the Church.... many women of extraordinary talent, leadership, skill and commitment. ....We need to be able to continue to recruit people of that high caliber and I hope that we will continue to do so.
If the Church is to be seen as a career path, then it will have lost its way in yet another area. The Church needs talented people in all areas but their promotion should be by others and not from self seeking egotistics.
I would always caution rejecting the word of God in these times when so many of our traditional beliefs are being questioned.

24 November 2012 at 16:56  
Blogger William said...

Len

We have had a couple of Catholics trying to re-engage with Christianity come to us after their priest was found abusing children. Their sense of betrayal is palpable.

Dodo

Here's what the Bible says:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him."

Now what should I believe, Bible or Catechism? That's a tough one. Let me think about it.

24 November 2012 at 17:30  
Blogger William said...

I've decided.

24 November 2012 at 17:30  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 November 2012 at 17:31  
Blogger John Magee said...

Bred

Let's not forget some of the top leadership, like Himmler and Heydrich, were not only Nordic pagans but were deeply into the occult and their warped ideals of the "purity" of the Nordic race. The SS, which they headed, was dedicated to idiotic pagan fatasies and mass murder based on race, ethnicity,and even the extermination mentally ill in Germany.

The Nazi's were nationalist's AND socialists. Hilter hated capitalists. He did of course use them at the beginning to get finances and loans for his "revolution" because bankers and factory owners tend to be traditionalist's and nationalist. The full name of the Nazi Party was "The National Socialist German Worker's Party". Nazi Germany ran a fantastic welfare state but ONLY for Aryans. It gave all Aryan Germans cradle to grave free medical and other welfare benefits. Even free vacations for workers on cruise ships and at resort hotels the Nazi government confiscated from private owners. All those wonderful benefits and government work projects like building the autobahn's, dams, schools, factories, etc which the Nazi's gave the Germans in the 1930's and put them back to work is why the popularity of the Nazi Party went from about 35% in 1933, when the Nazi's won by a coalition of parties, to almost 90% in 1939 just before the War started. The German people sold their souls to the government for the benefits of the welfare state and a life of total security. When you sell your soul to the government by voting for it in order to receive benefits sooner or later the government will want something from you. Your life and your mind.

What the Germans got in return for all of the government make work projects and a promise of a life of guaranteed security paid for by the Nazi government was a War which killed over 5 million German soldiers and civilians by 1945.

24 November 2012 at 18:10  
Blogger Nick said...

The Church should not let itself be bullied on this issue by Westminster or Labour's Political Correctness Nazis. It is a theological issue and the atheists on QT spouting their "equal rights" cant clearly have no grasp of Christianity but clearly would like to reduce it to nothing more than an extension of their artificial "humanity". This would actually be a good opportunity for the Church to assert itself as having an alternative set of values to the current wave of humanism, and give the two-fingered salute to secular values.

I personally have no strong view either way on the issue of women bishops, but I do feel 100% against the secularisation of religion. For those of us who are believers, the value of religion lies in its non-secularity.

24 November 2012 at 18:41  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

John Hagee 24 November 2012 18:10

I could not agree more with the views you express, the fascist attempt to impose a State based pseudo-paganism had nothing natural about it

This is why I oppose social engineering and believe the Church ought to do the same

In a recent common sence decision, coloured children have been removed from a UKIP Family and replaced with white children befiting the culture

UKIP MEPs are not happy with this common sence attitude and are interfering in English affairs

MEPs belong in Brussels not England, we all knew coloured children being placed with English parents was Marxist social engineering crap, now MEPs are supporting social engineering against common sence decitions

Is it only I who sees through the deceit being played out here

24 November 2012 at 21:06  
Blogger Che Yeoh said...

Dreadnaught said;

Has anyone considered that had there been women bishops, priest or cardinals the amount of child abuse by a perverted clergy would in all likelyhood have be positively addressed long before now?

No, actually it hasn't, Dreadnaught. The presence of women in the NHS, the BBC, Haut de la Guarenne and in the situation where most child abuse occurs - the home, has not led to child abuse being addressed and as long as people like you attempt to blame religion for it, it will remain unaddressed.

24 November 2012 at 21:58  
Blogger non mouse said...

Anyone who thinks that Flaming Females don't go in for child-abuse needs to check the records.

All those nunneries, nurseries and girls' schools would make a good start.

Beyond that, I could tell you at least one academically respected lezzo who is well-known for her sexual-harassment techniques. The other Flaming Females like to keep her around though, so the victims either do as they're told or leave.

24 November 2012 at 22:12  
Blogger John Magee said...

Bred

Social engineering and political correctness should be the enemy of anyone who loves freedom and the rights of the individual. Instead our spineless politicians, pop culture, and even many of our religious leaders have caved into these "acceptable" leftist versions of class hatred,reverse racism, and mind control. They are too scared to question what they are doing because they know they will feel the wrath of the left wing media.

24 November 2012 at 22:42  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

William said ...

"Now what should I believe, Bible or Catechism? That's a tough one. Let me think about it."

They are not contradictory. Have you read the Catechism? If not I suggest you spend a bit of time doing so as:

" ... they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it."
(Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 14)

You cannot claim ignorance and stubborness is not defence.

24 November 2012 at 22:52  
Blogger len said...

Should we follow the word of man or the Word of God?.

bit of a 'no brainer' for a Christian.

25 November 2012 at 09:26  
Blogger John Magee said...

len

We must obey the laws and respect the people who are in legitimate authority in our government because they represent God's authority on earth. Otherwise we would have total chaos. Religion should be a personal matter not a matter of state. We see what happens when church and state are linked and the problems this causes in the female bishop's story on this blog posted a few days ago.

Isn't this what Jesus tried to tell us when he was asked about the authority of the Romans in Palestine when His fellow Jews were planning war against their Roman occupiers when he took a Roman coin in his hand and pointed to who was on it and said in Mark 12:17 "give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God."?

25 November 2012 at 16:29  
Blogger William said...

Dodo

The muslims claim a similar end for the apostates of their religion too. Only they tend to hasten that end somewhat.

Here's what Jesus says (hint: you'll find it in the Bible)

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

You need the Spirit of Truth Dodo. He's waiting for you.

25 November 2012 at 17:55  
Blogger len said...

Mr Magee,
I have a bit of a problem with blindly following' authority.'

Should Christians have submitted to the' authority' of Hitler(many did)

Should Christians follow' authorities' which tell them to disobey the Word of God?.

25 November 2012 at 17:58  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len, Hitler’s success came from having the Prussian military on board. Protesters to a man !

25 November 2012 at 18:20  
Blogger John Magee said...

len

Scroll back. I said lawful authority given by God. The Nazi's may have won the majority by a coalition of parties (even so they only got about 33% of all votes cast)in the last free election held in Germany in January 1933 but they were NOT a lawful authority given by God. Satan was at work back then.

Protestant and Catholic Germans struggled with their love of Germany and living under an insane dictator. May I suggest you read about Protestant anti Nazi hero's and martyrs Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Adam Von Trott zu Soltz, and Helmut Von Moltke. Also Roman Catholics hero's and martyrs Bishop Von Galen of Munster and Cardinal Faulhaber of Munich who stood upto the Nazi's persecution of the Jews and their murder of the mentally ill. Father Alfred Delp who was hanged for high treason because he dared protest the deportation and killing of the Jews. Another was a devout Roman Catholic, Colonel Count Klaus Von Stauffenberg, was the man who volunteered to plant the bomb that almost killed Hitler on July 20, 1944.

Blessed Bernhard Lichtenberg, a priest at St Hedwig's RC Cathedral, prayed openly in the cathedral for deported German Jews and was overheard by a visitor to the cathedral. Tis evil woman turned him into the Gestapo. He died at their hands.

German clerics of both faiths and not a few Generals in the German military, the regular Germany Army not the SS, hated Hitler and the Nazi's. In the case of the German Army they tried on many occasions after 1938 to kill Hitler.

25 November 2012 at 18:58  
Blogger non mouse said...

Good Q&As, Len @ 17:58! And I would add to them: Who owns the vineyard wherein we labour, Caesar or God? And[the question is relevant to Christ's situation]: Who rightly owned Israel, Caesar or the Hebrews?

In answer, I like to contextualise the text that is so often considered carelessly:
And they sought to lay hold on him, but feared the people: for they knew that he had spoken the parable* against them: and they left him, and went their way.
And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees, and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.
And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not?
Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it.
And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's.
And Jesus answering said unto them,
"Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him
. (Mk. 12:12-17. KJV)

Thereafter, the Sadducees et al continued questioning Christ, trying to trap him. He took the opportunity to indicate: The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
(Mk. 12 29-30).

One quite sees why He didn't bother to re-iterate the Commandment about Graven Images :)

Furthermore ... there's another reason why we had a Reformation: we wanted to read the Bible in our own language instead of having passively to accept what 'Caesar's' minions tell us about it. When we think for ourselves, we threaten the power of authoritarians! [And that regardless of gender. Btw. I note that Mk. 12 ends with Christ's illustration of the last (a poor but humble WOMAN) becoming first.

___________________
*That was the parable of the workers in a vineyard who killed the messenger/revenue collector from the owner of the vineyard. [[Idiots like me might see the story as adumbrating what the Pharisees and Herodians would soon do to the Messenger from the Owner of the Big Vineyard]].
_________________

Ah well. The more things change, and all that.

25 November 2012 at 19:05  
Blogger John Magee said...

Inspector

Don't forget the great WW II German General who was enormously respected by the Allies, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, who joined the German Army resistance to Hitler (although late in the War)was a Protestant who served his country and NOT the Nazi Party. He was forced to commit suicide in October 1944 for his part in the plot to kill Hitler on July 20, 1944. He chose to kill himself after the Gestapo promised him that his wife and son would not be arrested and possibly killed if he was put on trial for high treason. He was not a Prussian but a South German. There was in fact a very high % of Prussian Protestants in the German Army envolved in the many plots to kill Hitler.

The Nazi movement started in Catholic Bavaria. But had NOTHING to do with the Catholic church. Pariotic Protestants and Catholics flocked to the Nazi party in the 1920's and early 1930's mostly because of their hatred of the Versailles Treaty and how it wrongly singled out Germany for punishment for causing WW I.

25 November 2012 at 19:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

John, ones admiration of the role German Army Officers played in the bomb plot should be tempered with the knowledge that before Stalingrad, you didn’t hear a peep from them. It was their terrible realisation they had a commander in chief who did not have withdrawal as a strategy that started the grumbling and scheming. They knew that in their skilled hands the German VI Army would have surely secured the Caucasus oil fields. And they lived with a shortage of fuel until the end...


25 November 2012 at 19:37  
Blogger John Magee said...

Inspector

That's true. However the German military was hamstrung by the personal oath of loyality every German officer and soldier had to swear to Hitler. As you must know those in the military takes oaths to very seriously.

The Germany Army had plans to arrest Hilter and company in late 1938 had the French and British not caved into his demands over the Sudetenland at Munich and ordered the invasion of Czechoslovakia. We know know these plans. Hitler was to be arrested and put in an insane asylum after he was examined by Germany's most famous psychiatrist, Karl Bonhoeffer, father of the Protestant Pastor and associate of those in the plot to kill Hitler in 1944 Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

"In Germany, the decision to appease Hitler at Munich in September 1938 preempted a potential revolt by senior Army officers against Hitler. Hitler's determination to go through with his plan for the invasion of all Czechoslovakia in 1938 had provoked a major crisis in the German command structure. The Chief of the General Staff, General Ludwig Beck, protested in a lengthy series of memos that it would start a world war that Germany would lose, and urged Hitler to put off the projected war. Hitler called Beck's arguments against war "kindische Kräfteberechnungen" ("childish force calculations"). On August 4, 1938, a secret Army meeting was held. Beck read his lengthy report to the assembled officers. They all agreed something had to be done to prevent certain disaster. Beck hoped they would all resign together but no one resigned except Beck. However his replacement, General Franz Halder, sympathised with Beck and they both conspired with several top generals, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris (Chief of German Intelligence), and Graf von Helldorf (Berlin's Police Chief) to arrest Hitler the moment he gave the invasion order. However, the plan would only work if both Britain and France made it known to the world that they would fight to preserve Czechoslovakia. This would help to convince the German people that certain defeat awaited Germany. Agents were therefore sent to England to tell Chamberlain that an attack on Czechoslovakia was planned and their intentions to overthrow Hitler if this occurred. However, the messengers were not taken seriously by the British. In September, Chamberlain and Daladier decided not to threaten a war over Czechoslovakia and so the planned removal of Hitler could not be justified. The Munich Agreement therefore preserved Hitler in power."

We came that close to not having WW II. The Germany Army would have arrested Hitler in 1938 and had him decalred legally insane and shot Goering, Goebbels, and Himmler. Hitler won at Munich and his approval ratings went sky high and the Germany Army had no choice but to not arrest him. Very very sad. Appeasement never works.

25 November 2012 at 21:14  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

William and len

So neither of you have read the Catholic Catechism and yet your such experts on Roman Catholicism.

Point out the passage in the New Testament where it says that all Truth about Christ?

Here's a clue. There's no such passage in scripture with the definitive meaning of New Covenant in Christ. Since Pentecost the Church has followed Christ's instruction to preach, teach, baptise and to lead in developing our understanding of His revelation. Examples are the Trinity and Christ's nature.

Do read the New Testament. It points to leadership and not scripture alone which is fundamentally unbiblical - and stop all this 'Biblidolatry'.

25 November 2012 at 22:29  
Blogger William said...

Dodo

I do not claim expertise in Roman Catholicism, but will respond to any snippets of the Catechism (which holds no jurisdiction here) that you happen to post.

"Since Pentecost the Church has followed Christ's instruction to preach, teach, baptise and to lead in developing our understanding of His revelation."

And the Roman Catholic church has erred in this time and again. Hence the need for reformation.

25 November 2012 at 23:35  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Yes William but within the Body of Christ - not by protestation outside.

You know as well as I do that the reformation was driven by political and social issues and not by theological matters. The Church was humanly corrupt at the time of the reformation, I agree. However, in matters of doctrine, dogma and teaching it did not err. How could it?

And you really ought to find out more about the teachings of the Catholic Church. I have spend considerable time attempting to understand your objections to it.

26 November 2012 at 01:33  
Blogger William said...

Dodo

"Yes William but within the Body of Christ - not by protestation outside."

No Dodo. The protesters were in the Body of Christ and they have remained in the Body of Christ. I am living proof of that.

The Reformation was used by God and its fruits are still being used by God to this day.

"The Church was humanly corrupt at the time of the reformation, I agree. However, in matters of doctrine, dogma and teaching it did not err. How could it?"

You answered your own question with the preceding sentence.

"And you really ought to find out more about the teachings of the Catholic Church"

God has seen fit to guide me into His redemption for us via the fruits of the Reformation. What need have I for the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church?

In the Bible Paul said:

"And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God."

Amen

26 November 2012 at 08:22  
Blogger Nowhere man said...

William, What are these "fruits of the Reformation".

Setting aside forced conversion of an entire nation, persecution, taxes, theft of land and property and the turning out of the old, sick and feeble you should just look at where you are now.

Falling attendance, openly homosexual and women "priests", failing influence, empty and crumbling churches, uproar over women Bishops, looming disestablishment, sharia law and now the swelling ranks of the Ordinariate.......

Need I go on?

These issues are the "fruits" of the break with Rome.

The CofE is a secular institution dressed up as a church. Get with the programme!

26 November 2012 at 09:36  
Blogger William said...

Nowere Man

"William, What are these "fruits of the Reformation".

Primarily the break with the corruptions of Rome.

"Setting aside forced conversion of an entire nation, persecution, taxes, theft of land and property and the turning out of the old, sick and feeble you should just look at where you are now."

The acts of the reformation involved blood letting on both sides and was 500 years ago. Get with the programme!

"Falling attendance, openly homosexual and women "priests", failing influence, empty and crumbling churches, uproar over women Bishops, looming disestablishment, sharia law and now the swelling ranks of the Ordinariate......."

And yet attendance of the evangelical parts of the Church, those who seek God's Word, is growing! Looming disestablishment may well be good thing. You see, this is the beauty of Protestantism. Its adherents do not have to be wed either to the corruptions of religion nor the demands of secularism! We've got over "20,000 sects" to choose from ;-)

"The CofE is a secular institution dressed up as a church. Get with the programme!"

To some extent and yet the Body of Christ still resides in it. I only hope that it also resides somewhere beneath all the religion of Rome.

26 November 2012 at 11:01  
Blogger len said...

Inspector(25 November 2012 18:20) you seem very selective in your condemnation of Christians who submitted to the 'authority' of Hitler.

Ever heard of the 'ratlines' which existed to help Nazi war criminals escape to South America?.
Do you know who ran these' ratlines'.I await your answer with interest.


26 November 2012 at 18:32  
Blogger len said...

I think it can only be a good thing to' protest' against those who would use the Word of God for their own purposes..In fact it is the duty of everyone who calls themselves 'Christian' to do so!.

Nowhere Man.... if you are trying to claim the'high Ground'all it does is make your errors more conspicious.

The errors of Catholicism are directly responsible for creating all the confusion and disorder in Christianity and contributed towards the creation of Islam as well.
You would do well to look at your own 'house'before pointing fingers at others.

The Reformation was the move of Catholic Priests who could no longer stay in a religion which they knew was false and these brave men were persecuted tortured and burned alive to try and silence them.But they persisted despite all this and we owe them much as their courage and persistance brought the Word of God to the 'common man' in a language he could understand so he could know the Truth for himself and not have to rely on a Priest 'interpreting' God`s Word for him.

26 November 2012 at 18:49  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The ODESSA organisation. The SS got them out, not the Pope...

26 November 2012 at 18:51  
Blogger John Magee said...

len

Catholic monasteries traditonally welcome anyone, with no questions asked, who needs a place to sleep, or is hungry. Isn't this what Jesus asks of us? Especially when strangers need a helping hand?

26 November 2012 at 19:44  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len, this man visited Dachau Concentration Camp in 1980.

When the US Army liberated the place, and saw the horror within, they sent a column to the nearby town. They took townsfolk at gunpoint to witness what was at the camp. The townsfolk were appalled at what was there. So appalled that they insisted that some of the dead be taken to the town and buried there, and not the mass graves the army were preparing....

Now, ask yourself this. If what went on at Dachau was kept from the townsfolk a few miles away, how in God’s name was any monastery to know what went on in 1945 and before ???




26 November 2012 at 19:50  
Blogger len said...

The 'Ratlines' are well documented anyone can find this information on the internet.

Back to the point in question..Women Bishops?.

There seems to be a 'force' pervading all aspects of Society and it has even entered the church.
It is' Humanism'.This may not seem 'a bad thing' to many people but it is intended to displace Christianity.

Humanism is "The denial of any power or moral value superior to that of Humanity;the rejection of religion in favour of a belief in the advancement of humanity by its own efforts".

Humanism is an affect an anti -religious religion.

Humanists assert that everything is 'relative', there are no legal or moral absolutes.Humanism has its roots in Greek Philosophy,the Greeks idiolised the human mind,'rational thought', even the human body in which the male seems to have preference?
So with this in mind we can see why and where our Society is heading and the reason why.Humanism is directly opposed to Christianity and is a lie as old as time itself "You can be as gods knowing good from evil".
The Church needs to return to its roots and resist any attempt by Humanists(inside or outside the Church) to dictate to them or enforce humanist policies on them.

26 November 2012 at 21:53  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

len said ...

"The 'Ratlines' are well documented anyone can find this information on the internet."

Yes, indeed, one can find whatever one wants on the internet. Just be careful who guides your search on Google. The Ghost in your machine may not be Holy.

27 November 2012 at 14:00  
Blogger John Magee said...

Len

Please do your research. Look up Bishop Ludwig Muller, the head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church church in Germany after Hitler appointed him bishop of Berlin in 1933 and head of the Lutheran Church in Nazi Germany. The Lutheran Church (They called themselves "the German Christians") became the de facto state church after the Nazi's took over Germany in 1933. This German Lutheran State Church supported a revisionist view of "Christ the Aryan" (or a "heroic Jesus") as well as a plan of purifying Christianity of what he deemed "Jewish corruption," including purging large parts of the Old Testament. The Lutherans also joined their church youth groups with the Nazi Hitler Youth.

The Roman Catholic Church never caved in to the Nazi's in this way and did not gave up it's beliefs and standards to please them because it was and is the universal Church and an international Church. It is NOT a national Church as most, if not all, the major Protestant Churches were in the past at one time one or another. A few still are state churches.

27 November 2012 at 15:45  
Blogger len said...

John Magee with the greatest respect look again.

27 November 2012 at 19:58  
Blogger len said...

Bishop Alois Hudal was rector of the Pontificio Istituto Teutonico Santa Maria dell'Anima in Rome, a seminary for Austrian and German priests, and "Spiritual Director of the German People resident in Italy". After the end of the war in Italy, Hudal became active in ministering to German-speaking prisoners of war and internees then held in camps throughout Italy. In December 1944 the Vatican Secretariat of State received permission to appoint a representative to "visit the German-speaking civil internees in Italy", a job assigned to Hudal.
Hudal used this position to aid the escape of wanted Nazi war criminals, including Franz Stangl, commanding officer of Treblinka, Gustav Wagner, commanding officer of Sobibor, Alois Brunner, responsible for the Drancy internment camp near Paris and in charge of deportations in Slovakia to German concentration camps, and Adolf Eichmann— a fact about which he was later unashamedly open.

27 November 2012 at 20:17  
Blogger len said...

According to Aarons and Loftus, Hudal's private operation was small scale compared to what came later. The major Roman ratline was operated by a small, but influential network of Croatian priests, members of the Franciscan order, led by Father Krunoslav Draganović. Draganović organized a highly sophisticated chain with headquarters at the San Girolamo degli Illirici Seminary College in Rome, but with links from Austria to the final embarcation point in the port of Genoa. The ratline initially focused on aiding members of the Croatian Ustashe movement, most notably the Croat wartime dictator Ante Pavelić.
Priests active in the chain included: Fr. Vilim Cecelja, former Deputy Military Vicar to the Ustashe, based in Austria where many Ustashe and Nazi refugees remained in hiding; Fr. Dragutin Kamber, based at San Girolamo; Fr. Dominik Mandić, an official Vatican representative at San Girolamo and also "General Economist" or treasurer of the Franciscan order - who used this position to put the Franciscan press at the ratline's disposal; and Monsignor Karlo Petranović, based in Genoa. Vilim would make contact with those hiding in Austria and help them across the border to Italy; Kamber, Mandić and Draganović would find them lodgings, often in the monastery itself, while they arranged documentation; finally Draganović would phone Petranović in Genoa with the number of required berths on ships leaving for South America.(Wikipedia) I could find many many more but space prohibits while you are at it have a look at the 'Ustashe'.

27 November 2012 at 20:21  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len. You need to re-read the Inspector’s post of 26 November 2012 19:50

27 November 2012 at 20:28  
Blogger William said...

Talking of re-reading posts, I have beeen pondering Dodo's post of 24 November 2012 22:52 in which he claims (threatens) that unless I read and understand the Catechism then I will be going to Hell.

This is the Way of Dodo:

"Have you read the Catechism? If not I suggest you spend a bit of time doing so as:

" ... they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or to remain in it."
(Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 14)

You cannot claim ignorance and stubborness is not defence."


Frankly this is religious filth and brings shame on Christianity. Thank God for the Reformation.

There was, a while ago, a commentator here called English Viking who used to attack Catholics the whole time with choice adjectives. I took him to be some kind of Protestant fundamentalist, but the more I read of the Way of Dodo the more I see where he was coming from.

27 November 2012 at 21:28  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

William

Actually, I claimed no such thing.

Salvation may be available to those who through no fault of their own are ignorant of the teachings of the Church. You should take the time to reflect on the Church's teachings before describing them as religious filth! Are you so hard wired against Catholicism that you dismiss it so easily?

Maybe your conscience is troubling you?

And English Viking was an alcoholic, bigotred, anti-Catholic and anti-semite with a violent and troubled past. Not a good role model.

28 November 2012 at 01:56  
Blogger William said...

Dodo

It is your religious threats that I described as religious filth. You have already informed us that you are have not been enabled by the Spirit to teach! So why do you bother? Where the churches teachings are in accord with the salvation of Christ I will affirm them. Where they are used (by you) merely to promote your religion, I will disown them.

28 November 2012 at 06:47  
Blogger len said...

Oh I have been threated 'with hell' by various Catholics.
Its standard Catholic practice they learn it from their priests, its used by Catholic priests to keep Catholics in order and to stop them questioning any Catholic doctrines and 'traditions'which oppose God`s Word.. They are not allowed to torture and burn people any more so its all they have got left.


Dodo what was your Pope doing during the war?.

28 November 2012 at 08:15  
Blogger len said...

Dodo

Pointless quoting 'the Catechism' to people who beive it was created by people who actively oppose the Word of God.

Are you really that blind?.

The Word of God proclaims your religion to be false an invention of men.

English Viking was a troubled soul searching for the truth (which he didn`t find in your religion)

28 November 2012 at 08:26  
Blogger John Magee said...

len

Here are just a few quotes by Jews paying respect to Pope Pius XII during his life and also after his death in 1958 for the help and support he have to the Jews of Italy and Europe during WW II:

On April 22, 1945, Moshe Sharrett, the future Foreign Minister and Prime Minister of Israel sent a report of his meeting with the Pope to the Executive of the Jewish Agency. Sharrett wrote that "my first duty was to thank him, and through him, the Catholic Church, on behalf of the Jewish public, for all they had done in the various countries to rescue Jews, to save children, and Jews in general."

In 1955, the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, which was composed of Jewish refugees from many nations, toured Italy. The Orchestra performed a concert at the Vatican on May 26, 1955. According to the Jerusalem Post (May 29, 1955), "Conductor Paul Klecki had requested that the Orchestra on its first visit to Italy play for the Pope as a gesture of gratitude for the help his Church had given to all those persecuted by Nazi Fascism."

Pope Pius XII died on October 8, 1958. Many Jewish organizations and newspapers around the world mourned his passing, and recalled his wartime efforts to rescue Jews. At the United Nations, Golda Meir, Israel's Foreign Minister, said, "When fearful martyrdom came to our people in the decade of Nazi terror, the voice of the Pope was raised for the victims. The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out on the great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict." The Zionist Record (October 17) in South Africa published Meir's moving eulogy along with tributes from Jewish organizations to the late Pope.

"Adherents of all creeds and parties will recall how Pius XII faced the responsibilities of his exalted office with courage and devotion," declared the Jewish Chronicle in London on October 10. "Before, during, and after the Second World War, he constantly preached the message of peace. Confronted by the monstrous cruelties of Nazism, Fascism, and Communism, he repeatedly proclaimed the virtues of humanity and compassion."

28 November 2012 at 16:15  
Blogger len said...

John Magee ,

Historians point out that any support the Pope did give the Jews came after 1942, once U.S. officials told him that the allies wanted total victory, and it became likely that they would get it. Furthering the notion that any intervention by Pius XII was based on practical advantage rather than moral inclination is the fact that in late 1942, Pius XII began to advise the German and Hungarian bishops that it would be to their ultimate political advantage to go on record as speaking out against the massacre of the Jews.

28 November 2012 at 19:30  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

God above, len, you are beyond the pale! You nasty minded weasel.

28 November 2012 at 19:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

By Christ Len, you are a damned inadequate as it is. For a revisionist of history, you are equally piss poor. The fate of the Jews was only rumoured to be after 1942. Until then, it was assumed they were being shipped somewhere East to work camps. And that is a fair assumption. Not even allied command could imagine the ghastly truth. Sir Arthur Harris knew about the camps closer to Germany, and consideration was given to bombing them to allow the inmates to escape and to cause havoc for the NAZI administration in tracking them down. Alas, the camps were too far away for targeted bombing by a mosquito squadron, and there was no bombsite available to allow a conventional bomber squadron to achieve the same. The planes would have wiped everyone out, guards and inmates.

It was only the invasion of Europe which confirmed the worst possible tragedy had taken place.

Are you so hateful of Roman Catholicism and it’s adherents that you would blatantly lie about these things ?

28 November 2012 at 20:29  
Blogger John Magee said...

Inspector

For an interesting read look up the life of the Polish resistance member Jan Karski. He was a devout Roman Catholic who acted as a courier between occupied Poland and the Polish government in exile when it was in Paris before the Germans got there in June 1940. Later in 1942 he riked his life and gradually made it to England where he met PM Churchill and others and then he went on to Washington, DC and reported to Presidnet Roosevelt. He gave both Churchill and Roosevelt a full report of conditions in Poland for Catholic Poles and what was happeneing to the Jews in the camps including microfilm of those camps. He became an American citizen and taught at Georgetown RC University in Washington and died int he USA in 2000.

Jan Karski is a true hero.

He also tried to warn Churchill and Roosevelt about Stalin's intentions to not take the Red Army out of Estern Europe after "liberation" and not be taken in by him at Yalta. They ignored Karski's wise advice and sold out Eastern Europe to the Soviets at the Yalta Conference in early 1945. The KGB tried to kill Karski when he lived in the USA in the late 1940's.

28 November 2012 at 22:59  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

William said ...
"Where the churches teachings are in accord with the salvation of Christ I will affirm them. Where they are used (by you) merely to promote your religion, I will disown them."

That's fair enough but it means reading the teachings of the Church and not relying on accounts from hostile sources.

Speaking of which ...

len asked ...
"Dodo what was your Pope doing during the war?."

You are a disgrace.

28 November 2012 at 23:59  
Blogger William said...

The Way of Dodo

"That's fair enough but it means reading the teachings of the Church and not relying on accounts from hostile sources."

The only account from a hostile source that I have been "relying" on is yours!

By the way, you slandered English Viking as an anti-semite and yet he was a fervent Zionist. Is this another example of Catholic teaching (Zionism = anti-semitism)?

29 November 2012 at 09:15  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

William

Er, well stop relying on me!

29 November 2012 at 21:33  
Blogger len said...

'len asked ...
"Dodo what was your Pope doing during the war?."

You are a disgrace.'


No he was.

30 November 2012 at 19:00  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

len

As I said, you're an absolute disgrace.

And this from the *man* who gave a commitment to end sectarian posts!

30 November 2012 at 20:00  
Blogger len said...

Dodo... well' the truth will out'.The Vatican in one breath denied Benny was in the hitler Youth and in another breath said he joined but didn`t want to.

How can you rely on them to tell you the truth about anything?.

1 December 2012 at 15:45  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Len - and the point of all this is what exactly?

Pope Benedict has admitted in numerous interviews that he was drafted unwillingly into the Nazi youth movement towards the end of the war.

His spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, during the Pope's visit to Jerusalem to seek to bridge the divide between Catholicism and Judaism, got it wrong and withdrew his statement the next day.

Big deal! Do you spend your days looking to malign the Church?

From Wiki:

"Following his 14th birthday in 1941, Ratzinger was conscripted into the Hitler Youth as membership was required by law for all 14-year-old German boys after December 1939 — but was an unenthusiastic member who refused to attend meetings, according to his brother.

In 1941, one of Ratzinger's cousins, a 14-year-old boy with Down syndrome, was taken away by the Nazi regime and murdered during the Action T4 campaign of Nazi eugenics.

In 1943, while still in seminary, he was drafted into the German anti-aircraft corps as Luftwaffenhelfer (air force child soldier). Ratzinger then trained in the German infantry. As the Allied front drew closer to his post in 1945, he deserted back to his family's home in Traunstein after his unit had ceased to exist, just as American troops established their headquarters in the Ratzinger household. As a German soldier, he was put in a POW camp but was released a few months later at the end of the war in the summer of 1945. He reentered the seminary, along with his brother Georg, in November of that year."

1 December 2012 at 18:44  
Blogger len said...

Why then did the Vatican deny that Ratzinger was in the Hitler youth?.

1 December 2012 at 22:35  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

The 'Vatican' didn't.

I understand you're not that bright but do read what I've written; several if you must.

2 December 2012 at 02:52  
Blogger John Magee said...

Len

From everything I have read on RC web sites about the life of Cardinal Ratzinger there is no denial he was in the Hitler Youth. He was also a member of a flak battery outside of Munich that tried to bring down British and American bombers. BY 1939 all Catholic and Protestant youth groups in Germany had been closed by he Nazi's. All boys between 14 ans 18 had to belong to the HJ. There was no possibility to opt out other than health. He was never a member of the Nazi Party nor was any member of his immediate family.You had to be 18 to join the Nazi party and the boy Ratzinger was 17 in May 1945 when the war ended.

When you live in a dictatorship you do as you are told or else...

I'm reading an excellent book about the life of the Protestant Lutheran Pastor Dietreich Bonhoffer by an American named Eric Metaxas. Bonhoeffer was on the fringe of the Resistance Movement that tried to kill Hitler. Bonhoeffer was a also a brilliant man. His father was the most famous psychiatrist in Germany and one of his brothers, Karl Friederick Bonhoeffer, was a physicist who worked with Max Planck and Albert Einstein. Thyw worked together on splitting the atom. He was also the director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for physical and electrochemistry. The Bonhoeffers were indeed a distinguised German family and they all hated Hitler and the Nazi's. In 1943 Pastor Bonhoeffr was arrested on trivial matter but later it was discovered by the Gestapo that he had connections with the plotters against Hitler.

I suggest you look up the life of Diedrich Bonhoeffer and read what a wonderful man he was and the brilliant things he wrote about what being a Christian really means. He was shot at Flossenberg Concentration camp by the SS shortly before the Americans liberated that camp in April 1945.

Here are a few quotes by Protestant Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer:

“A God who let us prove his existence would be an idol”

“Christianity preaches the infinite worth of that which is seemingly worthless and the infinite worthlessness of that which is seemingly so valued.”

“We must learn to regard people less in light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”

“It is only because He became like us that we can become like Him.”

“If you do a good job for others, you heal yourself at the same time, because a dose of joy is a spiritual cure.”

Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.”

The Church is the Church only when it exists for others...not dominating, but helping and serving. It must tell men of every calling what it means to live for Christ, to exist for others

The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.”

“Destruction of the embryo in the mother's womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon this nascent life. To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue. The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent human being has been deliberately deprived of his life. And that is nothing but murder.”

2 December 2012 at 03:38  

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