Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Chris Huhne will convert to Roman Catholicism

 All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Some sin more; others fall further. Or at least that's how we console ourselves in our personal quests for salvation. "I'm not as bad as he is," we whisper to our souls. "I have served you like a slave, never once disobeying your commandments," pleaded the older brother in the parable of the Prodigal Son. Heaven is a place for the righteous and moderate sinners, but not him. Good God, not him.

Lord Taylor of Warwick gives Chris Huhne some sound advice as he begins his eight-month prison sentence today: "I do not know if Huhne is a religious man, but I would advise him to seek out the prison chaplaincy. I will always be grateful to the chaplains at Wandsworth and Standford Hill prisons, who showed me such kindness and prayer support."

Human beings have always been in quest of salvation - the making whole of what is a broken existence. This salvation is multifaceted, from personal healing to conserving the natural world. Chris Huhne has spent much of his professional life obsessed with the salvation of the natural world, battling against the evil of 'climate change'; now it is time for him to be authentic, or to seek authenticity. It is time for him to atone; to restore his relationship with his fellow men; to reconcile himself to God.

The profound experience of forgiveness yields divine acceptance: it is not merely the issuing of a legal pardon, as in much popular evangelistic preaching; it is a painful, relational process, which touches a person deeply. It may be an event, but for many it is a process. No-one is good enough; no-one deserves eternal life. It is God and God alone who liberates us from the curse of chaos; it is His own suffering through the crucified Christ which disturbs us, draws us, demands the response of laying down all the securities by which we live and all the achievements by which we justify ourselves and the status which gives us esteem. God 'puts down the mighty from their seats,' Mary sings. Salvation is not a contract: it is a traumatic transformation which re-orders the whole of our existence.

Today, Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce will be lonely, disorientated, perhaps even contemplating suicide. Some are crowing about this turn of affairs; a few will be praying for them. Huhne's failure is displayed for all to see; his fall is great indeed. Certainly, he has no-one to blame but himself, but who has not 'lied and lied again' in order to save face? Who has not schemed and deceived in order to advance a pesonal cause? Who has not hurt those they love in the selfish pursuit of duplicitous justification?

The people of God are commanded to love: we are commanded to be compassionate, kind and caring. His Grace will not be praying for Huhne's salvation, but neither will he be gloating over his downfall. At least Chris Huhne tried to do something to ameliorate the lives of the poor and push the borders of freedom. We may differ profoundly with his philosophy, but political action can be a vehicle through which the liberating and reconciling work of God can be made manifest in our world. Prison should not end Huhne's zeal; it could, like Saul to Paul, transform it into an inexhaustible life of good works.

Why Roman Catholicism? Well.. Myra Hindley, Oscar Wilde, Tony Blair.. Public revulsion and widespread shame seem to evoke the need for a 'great salvation' and sometimes a very public show of it. It is not some shady Protestant cult or soteriologically-ineffectual obscure sect: it calls itself Catholic and claims to hold the keys of heaven. The ritual of penance deals with the guilt; asceticism, self-flagellation - spiritual or literal - are perpetual demonstrations of piety. The focus on the crucifix prompts reflection of all those elements of imitatio Christi; disclosure, community and divine experience. Roman Catholicism brings order, pattern, sequence and meaning to the lost, lonely, destitute and directionless.

So, to those who think him an odious, ambition-crazed backstabber. For those who loathe his Olympian self-regard, his utterly unscrupulous lies, or his malign and slimy policy agenda. Please meditate upon the potential of his conversion; of the rejoicing in heaven as you turn to him, look into his eyes with love, and share the Peace of Christ with your brother who was lost and is now found.


Blogger Corrigan said...

Why Roman Catholicism? Well (in no particular order), Myra Hindley, Jonathan Aitken, Tony Blair

Er...well, thanks for that, somewhat backhanded, compliment, Cranmer. I guess if we have room for Myra Hindley, we'd even be prepared to take you. Not len, of course, but maybe Carl Jacobs too.

12 March 2013 at 12:17  
Blogger AndrewWS said...

Er, iirc, Aitken became an Anglican. But the Catholic church is the one True Church of Jesus Christ, the perfect home for sinners, and it is where Chris Huhne, if he repents, will save his soul.

12 March 2013 at 12:19  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Indeed, corrected.

12 March 2013 at 12:25  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 March 2013 at 12:34  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Julia Gasper,

What has your embedded link to your blog have to do with the subject matter at hand? You're not just spamming for traffic, are you?

12 March 2013 at 12:37  
Blogger GGAANN said...

I have been a long time visitor to this blog and have welcomed the more recent move to twitter for @His_Grace.

I have to say that while I am Catholic I have regretted and been saddened by the inexorable, ineluctable, gravitational massing of some humourless, charmless, Catholics in the comments section

I credit @His_Grace with taking some time to craft his epistles, many of which I find fault with and some I find infuriating, but always thought provoking. Would that all commentators take time!

Corrigan dear chap, your comment, not your worst, came just 10 minutes after the article was posted, give it a bit more thought and let us know what you think, (NB: not what others think) - better still give it a break for a few weeks and then come back, or start your own blog where you can develop your argument more fully and we can all then visit, or not.

For I find that the patience of this blog owner appears to be wearing thin and he was at his best when not being annoyed by the annoying.

12 March 2013 at 13:21  
Blogger David B said...

After the recent exposure of the Catholic church is it really feasible that many criminals would wish to be associated with it?

After all, covering up a speeding offence is one thing, covering up the rape of kids something else again. I suppose that even criminals - most of them, anyway - are not without some standards, hence the necessity of keeping child abusers in solitary for their own protection.


12 March 2013 at 13:24  
Blogger William said...

A wonderful sermon and beautifully put Your Grace.

12 March 2013 at 14:01  
Blogger John Henson said...


I've come to the conclusion that there's a Gresham's Law of Blogging, i.e. bad comments force out the good.

There was a time when sensible threads would develop here, but now it seems to be dominated by a handful of crackpots who think they're comedians, and a female who shall remain nameless who cuts and pastes vast tracts of waffle about gay marriage regardless of the topic under discussion.

12 March 2013 at 14:03  
Blogger Angharad said...

I must say Your Grace has excelled himself with this well crafted post. I took it as the 'norm' that prisoners found God in order to impress the Parole Board, or am I just being cynical?

12 March 2013 at 15:23  
Blogger Henry Reilly said...

I am an Ulster Protestant, am I allowed to comment ?

12 March 2013 at 15:37  
Blogger Shacklefree said...

Amen and I'd also like to endorse GGAANN's comments. I sometimes wonder where His Grace stands with regard to Catholicism. He gives short shrift at times and recognition of some of the good points of Catholicism at others. He also allows a good deal of argumentation some of it not very wholesome but the debate is not stifled by him. Ulster Protestants therefore, I am sure, will be very welcome to pontificate. On the whole he does a very good job.

12 March 2013 at 15:57  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
I am beginning to wonder where you stand these days. First siding with gays against genuine brothers and sisters, despite their over enthusiasm. Now you seem pro Catholic.
It would be good for Huhne to convert to Christianity albeit it was Roman Catholic, but it would better if he became convinced through the power of God without the RC trappings.
Have all your protestant/Anglicans deserted you?

12 March 2013 at 16:15  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

All of this over a speeding ticket for 69 mph in a 50 mph zone? Why would someone risk a charge of obstruction over a speeding ticket? To describe the underlying offense as trivial does not do justice to the word 'trivial.' But there is this statement from the NY Times.

From a wider perspective, [Vicky Pryce's] actions were an important expression of the deep hurt caused by marital betrayal and abandonment, suffered by many women after years of devotion.

Yes. The actual story of note is that divorce has become a punishment-free offense. Who vindicates the betrayal and abandonment? The tragedy is that the triviality of a speeding ticket lead to prison while the betrayal of infidelity and divorce is considered normal life in these post-modern times.

In a way, I guess it was here own fault though. Vicky Pryce just shouldn't have gotten old. It's an unforgivable offense in the eyes of successful middle-aged men who want a younger woman with whom to share the fantasy of youth reborn.



12 March 2013 at 18:04  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

You are right,Archbishop, Roman Catholicism is de rigueur for those who find themselves inside and are truly repentant. (Is Blair truly repentant and why isn’t he inside too ??) You see, Christian lite, or Anglicanism as you would call it, just doesn’t cut it with the sinner. Can you imagine it if Hindley had become an Anglican ? Not sure about anyone else, but this man would have a feeling that something was missing…

Neither will the Inspector be praying for Huhne’s spiritual salvation. That’s Huhne’s work if he cares to get down on his knees, and sweat for it. Instead, he will continue, as he did last night, to mock the man. And why not ? The man did wrong, very wrong. How do we educate the young as to what is wrong and what is right if we reward the sinner with underserved compassion. After all, come the man’s judgement day, his rejection by God isn’t going to be mitigated by all the compassion in divine creation, wouldn’t you say ? Let Huhne experience rejection and confinement somewhere horrible in this life. It will be as nothing if he gets it wrong with eternity spread before him.

12 March 2013 at 18:13  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I'm not at all sure at this point that Huhne isn't just sorry about getting caught as far as the criminal bit is concerned. Sorry for the collaterial damage to his ex-wife and son may be a different matter.

12 March 2013 at 18:17  
Blogger Corrigan said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 March 2013 at 18:59  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Humourless and charmless, GGAANN? That's fighting talk, and I'm afraid that your kind of Catholic (a few years ago, I would have said our kind of Catholic) doesn't do fighting, do they? Your kind of Catholic bangs a tambourine at folk Masses and doesn't bother with confession anymore because, hey, God will overlook it, won't He? Your kind of Catholic probably doesn't know the what the second sin against hope is without googling it, and would be hard pressed to name the first. Your kind of Catholic used to be my kind of Catholic until I realized I'd been cheated for decades by the collapse in Catholic catechesis brought about by your kind of Catholic back in the 1960s when everybody was actually stupid enough to believe that all you needed was love. So I stopped being your kind of Catholic and became just a Catholic.

If there has been an "inexorable, ineluctable, gravitational massing" of my kind of Catholic on this site, it's because my kind of Catholics are the ones who actually defend The Church when a certain type of Protestant smoothly buries the hobnail at any opportunity. Perhaps you hadn't noticed Cranmer's propensity for said activity. As it happens, I don't actually hold any malice against him for this. He generally stands up for what he holds true, not withstanding his recent bout of thin skin when others do the same. In short, he is what he is. What are you?

12 March 2013 at 19:01  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

Well they had better try something better as their protestant upbringing and education, at places like Westminster School,didn't provide the moral backbone they needed.

As they say, when all else fails - Read the Instructions.

12 March 2013 at 19:01  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Good for you Corrigan. Let ‘em have it !

We’ll send the passionless faint hearts to the back.

Watch out though, it was Dodo’s immediate condemnation of a considered post by His temporary Holiness that resulted in the fatal head shot from the virtual grass knoll...

12 March 2013 at 19:12  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

Any idea who John Henson is referring to when he says the blog is "dominated by a handful of crackpots who think they're comedians"?

I just haven't been here long enough to form a view and thought you might be able to assist.

12 March 2013 at 19:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Very Droll Peter D. Step forward this man, who enjoys garnishing his contribution with comedic effect. It’s the way you tell it, you know.

12 March 2013 at 19:56  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

... and who might the other "crackpots" be?

12 March 2013 at 20:07  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Now now Peter Damien, we’ll leave that to the man himself to say J’accuse

12 March 2013 at 20:12  
Blogger John Knox's lovechild said...

The Catholic church is for sinners.

So all aboard.

12 March 2013 at 21:44  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

You disappoint. I thought you a man who freely expressed his opinion of others without fear or favour.

12 March 2013 at 22:20  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Peter Damian,

(19.45) Inspector..
I just haven't been here long enough to form a view..

(22.20) Inspector..
I thought you a man who freely expressed his opinion of others without fear or favour..

How to explain this apparent disparity..

12 March 2013 at 22:26  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

I was being droll. In the few threads from Benjamin Cohen upwards, it is clear this gentlleman expresses strong opinions.

12 March 2013 at 22:43  
Blogger William said...

How to explain this apparent disparity

Amnesia or just a bird brain?

12 March 2013 at 22:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Oh Lord, one thought he’d turned this contraption off for tonight. But checking on it what does he find...

Peter Damian. Now look, if you have something to say, just damn well say it. What’s the bloody point hiding in the long grass – you’re not a politician are you ?

The tired Inspector bids you a good night sir...

12 March 2013 at 23:00  
Blogger len said...

If Christ Huhne desires salvation he will find it in Jesus Christ the author of our salvation not in any particular religious organisation.

There are many seated in Churches who have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is an appalling fact.

Take the Inspector now......on second thoughts.....perhaps not.

12 March 2013 at 23:16  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Cheery bye Corrigan!

12 March 2013 at 23:20  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


but maybe Carl Jacobs too.

Umm. Thanks for that. I guess. In fact I actually already have a volunteer (named John) to act as my sponsor for RCIA. Not sure he would be Roman Catholic enough for you, but he is a legitimate RC in my eyes. Not a Buddhist RC, or an Atheist RC. (Real people, btw. George and Paul respectively.) John is one of those 'separated brother' RCs. Nice guy.

Of course, there isn't a snowball's chance in Hell I would ever take him up on it.


12 March 2013 at 23:51  
Blogger Manfarang said...

One thing I am sure about is that Chris Huhne won't be converting to the Greek Orthodox Church.

13 March 2013 at 03:00  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

William: "Amnesia or just a bird brain?"

Heh. V good.

13 March 2013 at 06:15  
Blogger John Thomas said...

David B: It's not "exposure of the Catholic church" it's the exposure of gay abusers and hebephiles in the Catholic Church, and maybe a "gay mafia" (intentionally?) undermining the Catholic Church.
Great piece, your grace - though one might have got the impression, from this, that Huhne had got 20+ years ... 8 months!. Still, conversion can happen in minutes ...

13 March 2013 at 08:49  
Blogger Preacher said...

Many people have found salvation in prison. Some are truly redeemed & others are working their ticket to freedom. I pray that Chris Huhne & Vicky Price will find true redemption through the sacrifice of Christ while they have the time to consider their respective futures.
For many the road to salvation has begun in prison, or at least run through it.
Most of the first disciples had the same temporary cross to bear, as did the more contemporary Charles 'Chuck' Colson & hosts of others, who can agree with Lovelace that "Stone walls do not a prison make, nor Iron bars a cage".
Many of our brethren suffer great persecution, imprisonment & torture in other countries just for being believers, But find great strength in Christ to bear the burden. They know that to focus on the present can be destructive. The answer lies in the future, & that MUST be the focus for life & hope.

13 March 2013 at 09:16  
Blogger David Anderson said...

In actual salvation, a person receives a new, humbled heart, which is not compatible with a desire to make a "great", "public" show of one's change. True salvation involves becoming nothing before Jesus Christ.

If either Huhne or Cranmer think that a great show of one's new religion to the world is important, then we should fear for both their souls, and urge them to seek out a deeper understanding of what gospel repentance is.

13 March 2013 at 09:47  
Blogger GGAANN said...

Dear Corrigan,

I understand where you are coming from,truly I do. I can't stand the guitars, love the extraordinary form, agree we must take regular confession, and I love praying the divine office.

Let's overlook that you have made my point about being humourless and charmless, bless you nonetheless.

Cranmer is not a lost cause and his return to the fold, may not be too far away, the Church does not need defending from him. He kicks out periodically to incite and inflame, I see it as test of the waters.

Secular society however would be my target de jour.

You were right I had to Google the 1st & 2nd sins against hope - food for reflection thank you.

13 March 2013 at 11:48  
Blogger len said...

I think Cranmer is far too wise to be tempted to swim the Tiber he has had his fingers(and the rest) burned once before by Rome.

Once having escaped the bondage of the Catholic religion why on Earth would anyone want to return?.. true freedom is found in the liberty which only Christ can give us.
I suppose in some sense Catholicism must give those within it a sense of security being' spoon fed' with 'infallible doctrines(no need to think or study scripture someone else has done it for you)Sins are confessed to a Priest so...no need to bother God at all its all been worked out for one.
Of course true Christianity is nothing like that at all it is a seeking, a searching, desiring truth above all else,religious perceptions shattered, brought down to utter humility and the awareness that one can do nothing to save oneself.Until that position is reached Jesus cannot save you.It is only when ones own' righteousness' is totally rejected that the mystery of salvation is revealed by the author of that salvation.
As Paul said;
'It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.'(Galatians 5:1)

13 March 2013 at 12:13  
Blogger David B said...

No, John Thomas, as well as the abusers themselves it is the cover ups, the evasion of responsibility, the mental reservations, the lies, the continued attempts to hide the paperwork, right from the top.

Rotten from the top.


13 March 2013 at 13:44  
Blogger Jack Sprat said...

I found this disgusting notice on the board at work, telling us there will be a Rally for Real Marriage at Trafalgar Square London on Sunday 24th March at 2pm.
Real Marriage meaning, yes you've guessed it, between a man and a woman yeeeugh.
How dare they? Whoever put it there obviously doesn't realize that it's against our Equality and Perversity policy. You can't just make any announcement without getting the approval of Stonewall.
Of course I tore it down and I hope nobody here dares to mention it to any one at all.

13 March 2013 at 13:45  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Once having escaped the bondage of the Catholic religion why on Earth would anyone want to return?.. true freedom is found in the liberty which only Christ can give us.

For newcomers, that's len's way of saying, "God'll sanction whatever I do". Sola scriptura? Solum me.

13 March 2013 at 14:29  
Blogger David B said...

"For newcomers, that's len's way of saying, "God'll sanction whatever I do""

Pretty much like the Catholic Church, then.

But without so much mutual reinforcement and dressing up.


13 March 2013 at 16:20  
Blogger Corrigan said...

No, the Catholic Church has a very long, very strict legal code which, despite appearances to the contrary, Catholics do not rationalize away. We often sin, but we do not rationalize. We leave that to Evangelical Protestants and Nietzschean atheists.

13 March 2013 at 16:35  
Blogger len said...

David B" For newcomers, that's len's way of saying, "God'll sanction whatever I do "(end of quote)

You are totally absolutely wrong!.This is exactly the problem Paul encountered whenever he preached the Gospel.Please read 'Galatians' where Paul deals with this subject in depth.

13 March 2013 at 19:35  
Blogger len said...

There seems to be a very real fear in Catholics in trusting the Holy Spirit to lead them in paths of righteousness.This is partly why Catholicism cannot be a religion ordained by God.
If you [Catholics ]cannot trust God perhaps this is why your faith is placed in your Church system instead?.

13 March 2013 at 19:39  
Blogger len said...

Catholicism is 'a crutch'for those who will not trust God alone to make them righteous.I suppose fear is involved that God will not honour His Word and you must rely on a sacramental system instead.

Nice if Catholics came up with some real dialogue rather than mindless insults?.

13 March 2013 at 19:44  
Blogger Corrigan said...

If you [Catholics ]cannot trust God perhaps this is why your faith is placed in your Church system instead?

We don't distinguish between the two.

13 March 2013 at 22:27  
Blogger len said...

Corrigan... that then is your problem.

14 March 2013 at 13:35  

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