Friday, March 22, 2013

The ecumenical heart of Archbishop Justin Welby

From the four corners of the earth they came to feel the spirit of Anglicanism; to hear the heartbeat of the Church of England; to watch the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury installed in both the Diocesan Throne and the very marble Cathedral Chair once occupied by such luminaries as Augustine, Anselm, Thomas Becket and, indeed, His Grace, along with a host of relative obscurities since and in between.

You can listen to the commentary on iPlayer, or read the reviews online or the printed press. Some are cynical, some ignorant, some well-meaning. A few are thoughtful and respectful, but they won’t be very widely read for want of a mention of gay marriage or women bishops. Myopic critics bemoan the Archbishop’s single mention of the NHS, oblivious to the fact that he is probably the first primate since Frederick Temple to acknowledge the revolutionary Factory Acts of Sir Robert Peel, Benjamin Disraeli and Lord Shafestbury. Yes, indeed, Archbishop Justin gave a nod to ‘One-Nation’ Conservatism, but it was lost on those who ungraciously leap to judgment; who lack tenderness, seeking to find fault or look to the worst in everyone.

The moment the great oak doors of Canterbury Cathedral were flung open, the fanfare seemed to blow away an entire age of theological aloofness and stuffy ecclesiology. We had a new and vibrant liturgical dialogue, written by the Archbishop himself, explaining the whole meaning of the day to a nation that no longer knows or cares. The interrogation by the Christian child, Evangeline Kanagasooriam, was brief. But its illumination could not have been brighter.
“Who are you and why do you request entry?”

“I am Justin, a servant of Jesus Christ, and I come as one seeking the grace of God, to travel with you in his service together.”
It was redolent of the ancient Easter liturgy Quem quaeritis?, in which the inspiration of the gospel mission is encapsulated in a four-line question and answer. When you wade through the liturgical splendour and look past the trumpets, drums, robes and royalty, this is just Justin – a Christian pilgrim simply come to worship and love Jesus Christ with all his heart and soul, mind and strength. And he will travel with you in this journey; you will walk together.

This theme of ‘togetherness’ was the golden thread woven throughout the whole service. And where we are not yet quite together; where our communion is imperfect or non-existent, there was a hope, a plea for reconciliation. The Dean reminded us;
On this day we remember the anniversaries of the death of Benedict, Abbot of Monte Cassino and patron saint of Europe, whose Rule continues to influence the life of the Church, and Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, whose Book of Common Prayer shaped the worship of the Church of England.

 And then we had this juxtaposition:
The Collect for St Benedict
Eternal God,
who made Benedict a wise master in the school of your service and a guide to
many called into community to follow the rule of Christ:
grant that we may put your love before all else
and seek with joy the way of your commandments;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever

The Collect for Thomas Cranmer
Father of all mercies,
who through the work of your servant Thomas Cranmer
renewed the worship of your Church and through his death
revealed your strength in human weakness:
by your grace strengthen us to worship you in spirit and in
truth and so to come to the joys of your everlasting kingdom:
through Jesus Christ our Mediator and Advocate,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.
His Grace’s ashes were content to say a hearty ‘Amen’ to both collects, for together they are symbolic of true catholicity. It was not possible to see whether certain others could bring themselves to acknowledge His Grace’s ‘renewed’ worship, or say ‘Amen’ in acknowledgement of the price he paid for helping to reform the liturgy, theology and ecclesiology of the Church.

The Archbishop of York then affirmed:
The Church of England is part of the one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church worshipping the one true God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It professes the faith uniquely revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds; which faith the Church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation. Led by the Holy Spirit, it has borne witness to Christian truth in its historic formularies, the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion, the Book of Common Prayer and the Ordering of Bishops, Priests and Deacons. In the declaration you are about to make will you affirm your loyalty to this inheritance of faith as your inspiration and guidance under God in bringing the grace and truth of Christ to this generation and making him known to those in your care?
To which the Archbishop of Canterbury replied:
I, Justin Portal Welby, do so affirm, and accordingly declare my belief in the faith which is revealed in the Holy Scriptures and set forth in the catholic creeds and to which the historic formularies of the Church of England bear witness; and in public prayer and administration of the sacraments, I will use only the forms of service which are authorised or allowed by Canon.
Whatever creed you may believe, intone or recite, this is the essence of the Anglican Christian Faith, of which the Queen is Supreme Governor and Defender. Some of you may demur, but please do so with grace, tenderness and humility, for you, too, may be in error, at least partially. For now we see but in a mirror dimly: not until the Wedding Feast of the Lamb will we see face-to-face, and not until then will everything will be made perfectly known.

By signing the Ecumenical Covenant, Archbishop Justin pledged to work toward unity with other Christian denominations. Some may baulk at that, but it was the will of the Lord that His disciples be one. Wherever there is schism or division, it is the name of Jesus that is dragged through the mud.

It was moving to hear His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain address Archbishop Justin as ‘Dear brother in Christ’, and the Reverend Michael Heaney, Moderator of the Free Churches Group, affirm that it was Augustine, the first Archbishop, who brought the gospel to England ‘to renew the Church in this land’.

There was here a glimmer of a new ecumenical age of ARCIC dialogue and Churches Together. Archbishop Justin pledge himself ‘to strive for the full and visible unity of Christ’s Church in truth and love’.

His challenge – as it is for all church leaders – will be striving for unity while managing human diversity. But at least he makes no pretence at perfect harmony: his strategy is to reconcile man to man whilst avoiding the destructive inclinations of the human heart to crush opposition and stifle dissent. It is ‘Christ who reconciles us to God and breaks down the walls that divide us’.

In his sermon – prefaced ‘Commemoration of Thomas Cranmer, Feast of St Benedict’ – Archbishop Justin again emphasised his favoured themes of togetherness and reconciliation. “Fear imprisons us and stops us being fully human,” he observed. But ‘love liberates holy courage’. And, in the presence of David Cameron and Ed Miliband, he reminded the priests of secularity that:
For more than a thousand years this country has to one degree or another sought to recognise that Jesus is the Son of God; by the ordering of its society, by its laws, by its sense of community. Sometimes we have done better, sometimes worse. When we do better we make space for our own courage to be liberated, for God to act among us and for human beings to flourish. Slaves were freed, Factory Acts passed, and the NHS and social care established through Christ-liberated courage. The present challenges of environment and economy, of human development and global poverty, can only be faced with extraordinary courage.

…Today we may properly differ on the degrees of state and private responsibility in a healthy society. But if we sever our roots in Christ we abandon the stability which enables good decision making. There can be no final justice, or security, or love, or hope in our society if it is not finally based on rootedness in Christ. Jesus calls to us over the wind and storms, heed his words and we will have the courage to build society in stability.
And then he returned to the leitmotif of Benedict and Cranmer:
All the life of our diverse churches finds renewal and unity when we are reconciled afresh to God and so are able to reconcile others. A Christ-heeding life changes the church and a Christ-heeding church changes the world: St Benedict set out to create a school for prayer, and incidentally created a monastic order that saved European civilisation.

The more the Church is authentically heeding Jesus’ call, leaving its securities, speaking and acting clearly and taking risks, the more the Church suffers. Thomas Cranmer faced death with Christ-given courage, leaving a legacy of worship, of holding to the truth of the gospel, on which we still draw.
On which we still draw?

This doesn’t sound like an archbishop who will obligingly bow to the gods of this age or meekly roll over when Parliament asserts its immutable creed of uniformity. Transformation, renewal and reconciliation precede the confident declaration of the good news of Jesus Christ. You may not agree with every word Archbishop Justin utters or every pragmatic decision he takes in the service of the Church, but don’t ever judge the man’s heart or motives. For he has declared himself to be, like St Benedict, a man of prayer and contemplation; possessing the courage, like Archbishop Cranmer, to take risks in defence of the Truth.

He needs our prayers


Blogger Pete said...


22 March 2013 at 11:10  
Blogger Jon said...

I've never heard of "Portal" as a name before... How very appropriate for the internet age!

22 March 2013 at 11:10  
Blogger David said...

It might be worth adding the words of the Pope and Pope Emeritus, since they also reflect the hopeful ecumenical spirit:

Although they may not be so pleased with the absence of the Filioque :)

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

Jon, no doubt the excellent English tradition of including the mothers maiden name as part of the childs. The unity of family, what !

Er, proper families that is, not pretend ones...

22 March 2013 at 12:40  
Blogger David Hussell said...

What a splendid service and address, to us all, Christian and non- Christian alike. It contained, succinctly, continuity with the past, realism for the present and hope and encouragement for the future, for all.
To lapse into the Devonshire speak of my ancestors, " it fair warmed me heart".
Courage now man. Stick to The Truth. Hold the helm steady, through these storms. They will pass. Fear not, He is with us, always, unto the end of time. Amen.

22 March 2013 at 13:18  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

One would suggest the most obvious source of encouragement for the new AoC is that of Beckett. A man who similarly came recently to the church and surprised them all !

22 March 2013 at 13:34  
Blogger Jon said...

Inspector, nice little dig there. In Dodo's absence, you're a lone banshee, and easily laughed off.

It does appear that you're right though (sheer statistics suggest that it had to happen eventually...) His mother and father divorced, but his middle name is his mother's maiden name.

I've not seen many people adopt that "tradition", but it must lead to some odd middle names!

22 March 2013 at 14:27  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you, Your Grace. You describe a ceremony and sermon that bring a rare ray of hope into a dark world. I'm so glad they had the wit to invite you ... and to incorporate your earlier work!
(One wonders btw --- about Milipede and Camoron. They must have casings thicker than the marble chair: to attend events like this and yet remain set on their courses.)

22 March 2013 at 14:44  
Blogger JohnPD said...

I wish Archbishop Welby all the best.


22 March 2013 at 14:47  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

History and division aside, one prays Justin Welby is the man he appears to be. God has called many saints unexpectedly from the world so that may might perform his work. As Archbishop of a Church which aims to 'manage differences', I hope Justin discerns those differences that cannot be reconciled and acts accordingly.

The stress on simplicity and humility by a Pope and an Archbishop from the different churches should not make them forget the authority vested in their positions and the true source of that power.

May God guide Archbishop Welby.

22 March 2013 at 14:48  
Blogger JohnPD said...

You Grace, some reasons why our govt wants a press gag & must never get one.

Child stealing & child abuse in the UK, by our NHS,SS (Social Services)
local authority, & legal system.
One terrifying example among thousands.1 hr 9 mins.

Common purpose has infected our civil service & govt to the highest levels. NWO.Banksters. 1 hr 37 mins.

Common Purpose exposed.

22 March 2013 at 14:57  
Blogger Flossie said...

TWO mentions of YG!! Then they went and ignored the 1549 and 1662 and used a modern language version. D'uh!

I'm so glad YG enjoyed the service. I did too, much more than expected. Wonderful hymns (mostly!) and superb music - although I think William Walton's glorious setting of the Te Deum - written for the Queen's coronation - is far superior to Britten's and would have been more fitting. I liked the new anthem. Not sure about African dancers in an English Cathedral (did I see Camilla giggle?) but that's just me being picky. I suppose one has to do these things.

I detect more than a hint of steel behind the gentle smile of our new Archbishop. I see he has responded to Peter Tatchell's insolent demand to dump God and worship at the altar of the Great God Gay, but I don't think Tatchell will get an easy ride.

It is regrettable that he is so keen on women bishops, but I suppose there is no chance he would have got the appointment if he hadn't been. Let's hope that he is as robust on proper provision for opponents.

Whatever is thrown at him he will need our prayers.

22 March 2013 at 15:25  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

What a terrific service, and a superb start to his onerous mission in a difficult time to be AB of C. I like his steely but gentle insistence, and think he will lead us well. The C of E did well on this occasion and great to see the BBC sympathetic. Sensitive interviewing from Huw.

22 March 2013 at 15:38  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Service was a very welcome focus on Christ as being the heart of Christ-ianity - couldn't go wrong there, as the clue is in the title. All the best to you lovely Anglican fancy-dressers.

As Peter Ould pointed out - great hymns.

In all the Popefesterie recently, it's worth adding the comments of Pope Gregory, brought to us by Sellars & Yeatman:

(in Latin), 'What are those?' and on being told that they were Angels, made the memorable joke – ' Non Angli, sed Angeli ' (' not Angels, but Anglicans ') and commanded one of his saints called St Augustine to go and convert the rest.

22 March 2013 at 15:49  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Jon, the practice of incorporating the mothers maiden name is rather widespread old son. An interesting Irish version is that baby boys were / still are ? given as a second name the name of the pope at their births. This man was no exception, with John XXIII in place at the time. Victims of the disgraceful Bloody Sunday murders in 1972 had many of their second names as Pius.

In Fenian times, and with the anti Marian stance of the protestant hegemony, Irish Catholic girls were given the name Mary, either first or second, and in some families Mary is given to boys as well. Now that IS a custom that still continues among families including Irish American. It has been suggested that this is what inspired the Johnny Cash song “A boy named Sioux”.

22 March 2013 at 16:08  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Office of Inspector General,

An interesting point there about the use of the maiden name of the mother. I had no idea, but I think I rather like that way of showing respect for ones maternal forbears. It helps to balance out the patrimony of the surname tradition, somewhat.

None of these practices apply to my Scandinavian, Lutheran friends of course, as married couples there have totally different names. Indeed that's the way we are going too, amongst a certain element of the minority who actually marry. Indeed my wife retained her family surname when we married, to protect her hard won professional reputation and avoid any ambiguity. However, amusingly, that introduces another ambiguity, socially, at least until they get to know as a little.
Interesting how customs change. Indeed, such changing customs do not concern me in the least, but the lack of commitment to being a family, and the resulting drop in social cohesion, with its implications for raising the young, is a deep problem, I fear.

22 March 2013 at 16:57  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

On becoming patron of the Christian Muslim Forum, Archbishop Justin said: ‘Christian-Muslim relations is a key global issue which it is vital to get right—and can have tragic consequences if we don’t.’

So far, getting it right has involved Muslim demands and Christian capitulation or Muslim violence and Christian deaths—the martyrdom the Archbishop mentioned in his sermon. It’s difficult to share his optimistic outlook for Christianity ‘in our world and in this country’ unless it is based on an expectation that Christianity will flourish as an anti-Islam rallying point in the turbulent years ahead.

22 March 2013 at 18:49  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Christian-Muslim forum ?

Chilling stuff, what !

Rather like coming to accommodation with Hitler.

22 March 2013 at 19:27  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Cast your mind back 80 years fellows, and think what a Christian-NAZI forum could have achieved. Why, there’s even the same hatred of Jewry there too !

22 March 2013 at 19:38  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

David Hussell. One has been considering your last post. All that can be agreed is that the stock is weak, in a society where it is encouraged to be weak...

22 March 2013 at 20:18  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...


"Not sure about African dancers in an English Cathedral (did I see Camilla giggle?) but that's just me being picky. I suppose one has to do these things."

I must agree Flossie. What have African dancer got to do with the Church of England? Oh I grant you it is all very modern, multi-kulti and inclusive, but I can't connect with it at all. Yes, Canterbury is the primus of the Anglican communion, which is indeed spread out across the glob thanks to the Empire and all that, but he is first and formost the primate of England, not Swaziland, Lesotho or Liberia. I deplore the cultural erosion of my own country, that's all, and what's more, I depl

22 March 2013 at 20:37  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

ore the political correctness which hounds people who say so.

22 March 2013 at 20:38  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Oh dear - spelling - I did hit the keys but sometimes this wretched keyboard doesn't
globe, foremost and deplore (which somehow got cut in two)

22 March 2013 at 20:41  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

It will not surprise you Mrs Proudie, as your fourteen year old is a drummer boy in the 95th regiment of foot, that such African dancing as was witnessed in Canterbury cathedral, was oft the start of a livestock raid on the village up the track in the dark continent. Ah, the blessings of ethnic diversity, what !

22 March 2013 at 20:58  
Blogger bluedog said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

22 March 2013 at 21:23  
Blogger John M Ward said...

'Portal' is indeed an unusual name, as others have commented. The only time I encountered is was in the early Star Trek: Next Generation episode "The Last Outpost".

The representative of the now-defunct Tkon Empire was named 'Portal'...

22 March 2013 at 21:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

' Ecumenicalism'a good thing or a bad thing?.
I suppose it depends on which particular 'rock' you are standing on?.
There can be no going back from the Reformation for which so many people were martyred.The problem will be that' unity 'will be seen as such a' good thing' that compromise might be contemplated to present a 'united christian front' to a increasingly secular world.
There can be no compromise with the Word of God truth is truth and a 'compromised truth' is no truth at all.

There is a way that seems' to be right' but will lead to further disintegration much as what has happened in the UK.50Yrs ago 'Britishness' would have been easily defined but would be very hard to define today due to multiculturism , Political Correctness and the liberalisation of attitudes and lifestyles which have been considered detrimental to Society as a whole for Centuries.
Is this progress?.I do not think so because if we are progressing things should be getting better...which they obviously are not!.

So the christian Church should welcome all into its portals but should not compromise to accomodate anything which cannot be verified by the Written Word of God.

And of course the 'Rock' is Christ the true foundation of His Church.

22 March 2013 at 22:08  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len, thought you born againer didn’t do ‘church’. Well not the RC kind as you regularly remind us. What about ++Welby then. Is he born again ? if not, why aren’t you on his case as much as you are on this man’s...

22 March 2013 at 22:44  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! Well... having read the above and having reflected, feeling duly chastened and wanting to move with the spirit of the age, I have suggested Mr. Harding sets tomorrow's anthems ('tis the Feast of St. Peter of Tatchell) to the accompanyment of steel drums and nose flutes, replacing the choir with the cast of Ipi Tombi dressed in loin cloths and bead necklaces and asking our local mullah to intone the responses. To my surprise he asked if he should 'go the whole hog' and include the Puddington Pagans, the Barchester Yogic Flyers and the Moonies. 'Why not?' I asked, glad to have found a fellow traveller amidst the cloisters but slightly disturbed by the reference to pork. He then told me to go forth and multiply. Oh dear...perhaps I went too far, but that too seems to be in keeping with the times.

22 March 2013 at 22:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Mrs Proudie, what you are alluding to is that any old shit is now acceptable in Church of England buildings of worship. Trying his utmost, and with generosity to the ‘other beliefs’ aplenty, then madam, the Inspector concedes you may indeed be right...

22 March 2013 at 23:10  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

A series of bold statements.

"Ecumenicalism'a good thing or a bad thing?

Between Christians it is surely a good thing if, through reason, discussion, prayer, and guided by the Holy Spirit, we are moved to resolve differences? And the same process of reasoned dialogue with other faith groups is better than suspicion, abuse and hatred.

"There can be no going back from the Reformation for which so many people were martyred."

Not a terribly ecumenical statement! You yourself preach a version of Christianity that many reformers would violently dispute - salvation without the need for Baptism by water.

"The problem will be that' unity 'will be seen as such a' good thing' that compromise might be contemplated to present a 'united christian front' to a increasingly secular world."

Has to be better than presenting a disorganised, acrimonious front.

"There can be no compromise with the Word of God truth is truth and a 'compromised truth' is no truth at all."

Totally agree but what is Truth? Do you appreciate that the Anglican Church is built on a series of theological compromises?

"So the christian Church should welcome all into its portals but should not compromise to accomodate anything which cannot be verified by the Written Word of God.

A good old fashioned Protestant observation, if you don't mind my saying so! Is all Truth contained exclusively in the written Gospels when Jesus said:

"But the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind, whatsoever I shall have said to you."

And John concluded his own Gospel with these words:

"But there are also many other things which Jesus did; which, if they were written every one, the world itself, I think, would not be able to contain the books that should be written."

"And of course the 'Rock' is Christ the true foundation of His Church."

Of course! Who dares say otherwise?

22 March 2013 at 23:39  
Blogger Flossie said...

ARCIC is dead. Archbishop Justin must understand that he cannot promote doctrines which are contrary to the Roman and Anglo Catholic understanding of the priesthood (women's ordination) and expect them to be reconciled.

23 March 2013 at 08:49  
Blogger Minnie said...

Lovely post, YG - thank you.
Had the pleasure of witnessing Archbishop Justin during his pilgrimage of prayer, when he spent a day at our local cathedral. From the straightforward, direct and natural way he interacted with a variety of people (me included) and his relaxed but always clear - and just as clearly intelligent - responses to tough, media questions, he impressed me far more than I'd expected. He presents as humble, strong and dedicated; a very clever man, without any hint of pretension - and definitely no pushover (hooray)! And, yes, he needs our prayers.

23 March 2013 at 09:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must say I was somwhat concerned at some of the goings on at Justin Welbys 'installation' as the A B of C.

'Spirit drummers' indeed !.I believe these are used to summon up demons(I hope I am wrong)

All must be welcomed into the church but they must leave their pagan practices at the door.The Church must be' a yardstick' of the Truth as revealed by the Written Word of God and God`s Word is confirmed by the Holy Spirit.(as Jesus promised).

IF we 'go out on our own' and make up doctrines because they 'seem good'or are 'inclusive'of others beliefs and this seems to be' the right thing to do' then we do violence to the Word of God.

The Word of God IS devisive (sharper than a two edged sword ) and it will cut and sever doctrines which are(not to put too fine a point on it)doctrines of demons.

We need to be very discerning and to listen to the voice of the Spirit(Holy spirit only)because deception is rife and the pull towards' unity 'might seem to be the best option but God`s Truth must take precedence above and beyond all else!.
The ONLY way we can discern truth is through the Spirit of Jesus Christ(if we have been born of the Spirit) and' warning bells' will start ringing when we are encountering false doctrines.

Inspector.... I do not know if Justin Welby is 'born again'only Christ will know that but we can look for fruits of the spirit which is a great indicator of whether this event has happened or not.
I do not doubt that many Catholics are' born again'not because of the Catholic Church but despite it.God can and will work wherever he is honestly sought.

These are very dangerous times for Christians because the pressure to make them conform to 'World systems' is enormous but we must continue to run the race and to keep the faith even if we are on a completely contrary course to' the World'.Jesus never promised us an 'easy journey ' through life but He will walk through it with us.

23 March 2013 at 09:47  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Inspector General,

Goodness! These are strange times indeed - one tries to move with them but in my heart of hearts I fear I am merely going through the motions...but that could be the fish I had last night. I suggested to my Lord that, with your experience of general inspections, you might consider a position as Vicar General within the diocese of Barchester. No need to be ordained (or so Lambeth now informs us) or indeed to believe anything at all, just a strong commitment to multi-kulti and jumping up an down waving tambourines and assegais. I know I know, not exactly what we were brought up with, eh Inspector, but as Dr. Spacely-Trellis opined in his Tweet for St. Burchill's Day, one has to 'Get down wiv der kidz, innit?'

23 March 2013 at 11:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

My dear Mrs Proudie, you almost had the Inspector reaching for his opium. Vicar General indeed ! A papist position in a papist diocese, this man will have you know. How can this be, when the CoE has been going out of it’s way to do the entire opposite of Rome for decades now ?

Dean Pugh-Critchley, who has not spoken a single word since the SSM bill went through, scribbled down that he suspects there was chicken sacrificing at the cathedral’s high alter last night. A direct consequence of the African dancing he fears. And this on top of the new Archdeaconess abolishing Saturday evensong and replacing it with cat veneration.

23 March 2013 at 12:36  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear dear Inspector,

If Vicar General does not suit I am sure we can come up with something to tempt you to live in the Cathedral Close here in Barchester. I fear Mr. Slope has just finished his inclusive re-wording of Sir Hubert Parry's great anthem, so now it reads 'I was Glad to be Gay.' He presented it to Mr. Harding, who unfortunately turned an unfortunate shade of ecclesiastical purple before shouting the sort of Anglo-Saxon you don't find in the pages of the Venerable Bede. I must invite poor Dean Pugh-Critchley to spend some time with us at The Palace this coming Krishnafest (another Lambeth innovation - they do keep coming, don't they?)

23 March 2013 at 13:34  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Please please Mrs Proudie take the Inspector into your bosom of the C of E as Vicar General or anything.Much better fit for him over there with his expansive personality and innovative theological experimentations!

23 March 2013 at 13:44  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

"Am I now seeking the favour of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ."
(Galatians 1:10)

“We can walk all we want, we can build many things, but if we don't proclaim Jesus Christ, something is wrong. We would become a compassionate NGO and not a Church which is the Bride of Christ.”
(Pope Francis - First Homily)

"A Christ-heeding life changes the church and a Christ-heeding church changes the world: St Benedict set out to create a school for prayer, and incidentally created a monastic order that saved European civilisation."
(Archbishop Welby - First Sermon)

23 March 2013 at 14:01  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Just think of what we could achieve with half a dozen Cressidae de Nova...

23 March 2013 at 14:16  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Mrs Proudie, Dean Pugh-Critchley is rather tied up for the foreseeable future. He is rather hoping to be in on the meeting between ++Welby and Peter Tatchell, though has expressed reservations that his bottom may not be quite up to it...

23 March 2013 at 14:32  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

23 March 2013 at 14:33  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! Dear Signora de Nova...How lovely to hear from a beneficiary of the EU open door - I asked Signora Neroni if she knew you but alas her Italian escapade was limited to just a few of the finer palazzos along the expeditions into the back streets of Naples for her. Can't chat for too long, alas, as I'm giving a seminar for fallen women at Hiram's Hospital...we always have a few seats spare if you'd care to join us?

23 March 2013 at 14:36  
Blogger Ian G said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

23 March 2013 at 16:15  
Blogger Ian G said...

It's amazing what people hear in a sermon. I thought that I heard a clear statement of the Church's historic position in our society as a society whose political structure was based on Christianity. I heard a clear warning to governmental secularists to desist from dechristianising society as that isn't good for society and a clear reminder that the Church knows all about martyrdom and standing up to tyrannical regimes. I don't think that the PM or HRH were very comfortable at times.

Going off piste - everyone else does it and it's an appropriate metaphor in the current climate - can we pray for Spring to arrive and stay? The elderly and infirm, the poor, the farmer and God's wild creation are all suffering at the moment. Palm Sunday could be snowed in and do we really want Easter to be a washout?

23 March 2013 at 16:18  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

Ian G
I agree spring sunshine would be good but Easter can never be a "washout".

Back on theme, here's what Pope Francis preached in 2007 whilst an Archbishop:

"The Church is called to a deep and profound rethinking of its mission ... It cannot retreat in response to those who see only confusion, dangers, and threats ... What is required is confirming, renewing, and revitalizing the newness of the Gospel ... out of a personal and community encounter with Jesus Christ that raises up disciples and missionaries ..."

And his opinion on cultural Catholics:

"A Catholic faith reduced to mere baggage, to a collection of rules and prohibitions, to fragmented devotional practices, to selective and partial adherence to the truths of faith, to occasional participation in some sacraments, to the repetition of doctrinal principles, to bland or nervous moralising, that does not convert the life of the baptised would not withstand the trials of time ... We must all start again from Christ, recognising that being Christian is ... the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction."

Strong meat, indeed.

23 March 2013 at 17:18  
Blogger Flame Radio said...

I was delighted that the hymn “In Christ alone” was selected to be sung. One of its phrases says this – “from life’s first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny”.

What a testimony!

This hymn, although at the top of the list of most-sung hymns in this country, is unlikely to be heard or sung by the Opposition party leader, the PM or HRH. I hope they took note of this testimony in relation to pro-life rather than pro-death issues.

Beryl Polden, Wirral

23 March 2013 at 20:58  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Oh dear...Mrs Proudie I see you have retained your much vaunted vulgarity but have become even more vicious and declasse in your very old age possibly due to the unreasonable demands made on your disintegrating body by the viagra abusive Bishop.I join Mr Slope in his parting words to you
" May you live together forever!"

23 March 2013 at 23:19  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Almost forgot...I am in a Mystery Play which is taking place at Gloucester Cathedral at the beginning of April.
The Inspector is cordially invited.You can throw cabbages at me during my performance.

23 March 2013 at 23:46  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

It is rumoured that at the beginning of April Justin Welby will acknowledge Pope Francis as the legimate successor of the Apostle Peter. The ownership of Gloucester Cthedral might, therefore, be in dispute at this time.

24 March 2013 at 00:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Peter Damien ' It is rumoured that at the beginning of April Justin Welby will acknowledge Pope Francis as the legimate successor of the Apostle Peter.'(end of quote)

This event(if it happens) will be the final nail driven firmly home in the coffin of the Anglican Church.It will only be fit for burial then.
IF any Catholics are interested Jesus Christ started a Church(well not actually' a Church'He never called it that He referred to it as an Ekklesia(not many Bible translators are allowed to call it that because it implies that 'the Ekklesia' are independant of the Political/religious system that goes under the name of 'the church'.)

Only problem(for the religious)is you cannot just 'join' the ekklesia as you can' the church' you must be born into it!.

Be interested what course Justin Welby takes the broad path which involves' compromise with 'the World'Political/religious/ system or the 'narrow path' leading to Life.

24 March 2013 at 09:24  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! Dear, dear Signora de Nova, do forgive me! Lashings of mea culpa...

24 March 2013 at 10:40  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Saints preserve us ! Cressida in a mystery play at Gloucester ! Has to be the part of Mary Magdalene...

Should you find you have any time spare, do make your way to the towns Barton Street, and join the council organised official tour: ‘Gloucester Riots 2011 Celebration Walk’. We are especially proud of our negro heritage (...apparently...) and are committed to multicultural this and that...

24 March 2013 at 13:26  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

Mary Magdalene, a great saint, would be a much sought after part. What role do you think might suit your talents in a Mystery Play?

25 March 2013 at 16:49  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Alas Peter Damian, but we both know the answer. The Roman who nails Christ to the cross. Let us both pray for the unknowing souls who followed orders, lest they be executed themselves...

25 March 2013 at 19:20  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

I misjudged you. I had a more out-spoken, judgmental role in mind - J.C. (i.e. Joseph Caiaphas). Apologies. Maybe you would be suited to the part of the Centurion.

25 March 2013 at 20:32  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Understandable Peter Damian, but this man wants to do what is right. As he interpreted rightness from his Christian education years. The Inspector is no one’s real enemy you see – maybe just their sternest critic.

A fellow just wants what is best, you know. He’s of the opinion we must go with God’s plan, to avoid disappointment...

25 March 2013 at 20:57  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

Inspector, then perhaps the part of the Centurion is ideal. Remember, a child's Christian education must be developed, matured and grown.

25 March 2013 at 21:08  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

Now Inspector, just think if you replaced that spirit of iracibility and negative anger with joy and hope.

Think how you could act in defence of the faith of our fathers. That incisiveness, wit, charm and with direct commentary, could be powerful weapons for the Lord.

Catholicism 101 - it was us all who scourged and nailed Christ to His Cross and we continue doing so when we act contrary to His will.

26 March 2013 at 00:55  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Charm? You jest Peter. The only possibility the inspector has of developing a charm component would be to be shipwrecked on a tropical desert island with a
member of the opposite sex!

26 March 2013 at 03:56  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

Are you offering yourself, Cressida de Nova? Who knows, you might both benefit from such an experience.

26 March 2013 at 12:17  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

You have not been here long Mr Damian. The inspector and I do not enjoy cordial relations.I do make a point of never travelling by oceanliner to avoid the possibility of shipwreck. Besides,
I am unavailable being in a long term relationship as cook, bottle washer, slave, business consultant and nursemaid to an Anglican.

26 March 2013 at 13:29  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Peter, back to mystery plays. Any biblical harridans come to mind ? One wishes to support his local Cathedral with his casting skills…

26 March 2013 at 17:27  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

Now, now Inspector that is most unkind! Herodias is the only example to spring to mind.

26 March 2013 at 19:51  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

We’ll leave the last word to the minxstress herself. For a quiet life you understand, old chap...

26 March 2013 at 20:45  
Blogger Peter Damian said...

Isn't that where Adam went wrong!

27 March 2013 at 00:26  
Blogger Mr. Mcgranor said...

Archbishop Welby, tell the Pope -- nope. For there is no hope in ecumenism with Rome.

1 April 2013 at 03:33  

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