Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Where are the women cardinals?


Women are the pinnacle of creation; a wonder of the universe. Their intelligence, wisdom, compassion and spirituality belie the pervasive religious assertion that man is the master; that patriarchy is intrinsic to the natural order. While he is fiddling about with tools and splashing testosterone in the sunlight, she is the real provider; the nurturing oracle; the spiritual constant. According to God, she was made for man as a 'help meet', but this sounds awfully utilitarian. The function of woman is not to help man; it is to realise in partnership and to love.

In this age of equality, Roman Catholicism, like Islam, has a slight perception problem when it comes to the status and role of women. We will hear time and again that God created male and female different but equal; that both are worthy of honour and that God loves both. But the world only sees prejudice, inequality, misogyny and oppression. The woman cooks, cleans, bears children and arranges the flowers. If she's lucky, she might be a bishop's secretary or PA. But leadership, by tradition, is exclusively male: holy orders are gender-restricted; the priesthood belongs to manhood.

This is not the place to rehearse Anglican divisions over this matter: they are well-known and well-trodden. Catholic-minded Anglicans will adhere to the theology of Aquinas, believing that women are unfitted by nature to bear authority. For others, such a theology carries unacceptable consequences for the authority of women in the state and wider civil society. One must be respectful of both perspectives, for both are worthy of serious reflection. But the Anglican does not absolutise tradition, for tradition is to be balanced with reason and the Word of God.

For the Church of Rome, the ordination of women is an open and shut case. Actually, the Vatican door is very firmly shut; bolted by antiquity and sealed with unanimity. The gates of social change will not prevail: rights and justice are confronted by authoritative assertions of gender complementarity. The official position remains that the Roman Catholic Church does not believe that priestly or episcopal ordination can be validly conferred on women. They believe the constitution of the Church to be in accordance with the divine blueprint laid down by Christ.

Tradition is not only the Church remembering, but also the Church interpreting. When it comes to the role of women in the Church, Christendom is deeply divided. Rome believes that women may not be priests, and that is the immutable, infallible assertion of the Magisterium. But there is no bar to their becoming cardinals, so why are there none?

The fact that there are none simply reinforces the perception of Roman Catholic misogyny; that it is an exclusively male and aggressively patriarchal manifestation of masculine monotheism. Cardinals need not be priests. Historically, laymen have been appointed, and if laymen, why not lay women? There is nothing in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis which reserves this office to men, since there is no mandatory sacerdotal function and so no prerequisite to be a bishop, priest or deacon in holy orders. Cardinals are part of the bureaucracy of leadership, but there would be no offence against tradition (or Scripture, since they don't exist in the NT) if a bit of papal housekeeping were carried out by a few women. Why should there be no female perspective on the appointment of a new pope? Just as Rome invented the College of Cardinals, she is free to reinvent it.

The last cardinal who was not a priest was Giacomo Cardinal Antonelli (1806-1876). Cardinals who were not bishops include Cardinal Pavan (1983), Cardinal deLubac (1985) and, most recently, Cardinal Avery Dulles (2001). Rules that are made by man may be unmade by man. The next pope must create women cardinals.

Such a move would, overnight, confront the global mindset that the Roman Catholic Church denies equality and justice to women. By permitting women to serve as cardinals, the obsessions over male priesthood and episcopacy would be dispelled. This is not some superficial feminist revolution: it is Catholic theology incrementally adapting. The Holy See would be seen to acknowledge complementarity with authority. At the same time, accountability would be improved as women would become serving pastors to bishops and priests everywhere. What's not to like?

162 Comments:

Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5 March 2013 at 09:09  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Please, cut the ad hominem, and debate the issues. If you cannot, please leave.

5 March 2013 at 09:11  
Blogger David B said...

Somehow I can't see this happening, though I think the Catholic Church would benefit if it were to come to pass.

Some, of course, might argue that what brings benefit to the Catholic Church is not, on the whole, a good thing. Carl and me, in our individual ways, for two, perhaps,

But 'absolutise'?!

I can see my father cringing were he to see that in print.

David

5 March 2013 at 09:18  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5 March 2013 at 09:25  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Ad hominem: argument made personally against an opponent instead of against their argument.

It's really very simple.

5 March 2013 at 09:27  
Blogger David B said...

I hope I can be indulged with something a little off-topic, but O'Brien has dropped off the front page, and this story from the Scotsman should bring him right back to the headlines, if true. It has the ring of verisimilitude to me.

Threatening abused people who report abusive priests with the police, for blackmail strikes me as beyond the pale.

I quote from today's 'Scotsman'.

"CARDINAL Keith O’Brien threatened to report a victim of clerical sexual abuse to the police as a “blackmailer”, according to the man who had been abused.

“Michael X”, who received £42,000 granted by the Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh in 1990 following his traumatic experiences, said yesterday that when he insisted Father Desmond Lynagh, who had abused him while he was a 14-year-old junior seminarian at Blairs in Aberdeen in the 1970s, should be sent away for counselling and no longer minister to children and young people, the archbishop had threatened him with the police.

In an exclusive interview with The Scotsman, Mr X said: “He then stood up. I remember he was wearing a black soutane with his pectoral cross and he said, ‘Do you know who I am? Nobody tells me what to do. If you go to the police then I will tell then that you are trying to blackmail me’.”

He went on: “I said that if I went to the police then I’d be frightened, but I would tell them that I was trying to force him to keep a sex offender out of circulation. I would tell them what I was doing and I would be ready to go to prison if I had to.”

If this is true, abd there is more in the article, let no-me else defend O'Brien. It has already been established that he is a poor apology for a human being, but this, if true, takes the cake.

It wouldn't be the first time that the abused get nothing but threats from senior people in the RCC though.

David

5 March 2013 at 09:36  
Blogger David B said...

I see Your Grace has, yet again, made the National Secular Society media feed with today's piece.

Congratulations!

David

5 March 2013 at 09:40  
Blogger E.xtra S.ensory Blofeld + Tiddles said...

Your Grace

The argument against women as cardinals seems to be based on the position/status given to the role especially as king/pope maker in the RCC. A normal bishop, which is a high role, does not have the authority to establish this top post.

The argument against women ministers/priests (even though there is no sacerdotal role in the NT anymore after Christ and the cross) seems biblical to Ernst but the cardinal appears to be something quite different, power wise, alluding more to governance, like a board of directorship.
Even though it appears you do not have to be ordained to be a cardinal, one can see by the choices in place, it is a rare occurrence...much better to have someone ordained (must be male and celibate) rather than a loose canon, theologically and politically in the role.

However to allow women to this role would mean having to then have women empowered with the ecclessia top down, which would never be allowed...thin end of the wedge etc.

It has all been a mess since 350 AD onwards and only appears to be getting more muddled by the day, does it not?

Blofeld

5 March 2013 at 09:58  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

How can it be that a woman may be a Saint but not a priest? It doesn't even start to make any sense to me.

5 March 2013 at 10:09  
Blogger IanCad said...

Following that logic Dreadnaught then why not a female Pope?
Prior to his/her election, as I understand, the candidate does not have to be ordained.
Did not Peter set a precedent?

5 March 2013 at 10:20  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Ad hominem: argument made personally against an opponent instead of against their argument.

It's really very simple.


Perhaps you're unaware that ad hominem is not always a fallacy; if it were, lawyers in court would not be allowed to impeach witnesses.

The reasons why the Catholic Church does not ordain women are well known and we're not about to "change with the times". That's more a Church of England thing (and by the way, how's that working out for you?). That' being the case, I don't think that questioning Cranmer's motives is at all inappropriate here, especially as he has a history of snidey stabs at the Church.

5 March 2013 at 10:37  
Blogger Emlyn Uwch Cych said...

Interesting point IanCad makes: prior to his election the only qualifications are that the pope be a baptised celibate Catholic male. The Holy Spirit may guide the cardinal electors to choose whomsoever they discern.

So once he assents to become pope, I suppose he must be confirmed, ordained, consecrated and enthroned/crowned in short order thereafter? Cool.

As to His (temporary) Holiness's point, the presence of female cardinal electors would very quickly lead to the logical consequence that women should be ordained and consecrated to all Catholic Holy Orders. And rightly so.

After all, how could a woman elect a pope if she could not be one herself? No need then to check whether duos habet et bene pendentes, as myth would have it. The seal of the Spirit is the only habet she or he would need.

In today's world of increasingly militant Islam, a cry of "Habemus mater" (forgive any errors in declension!) around St. Peter's square would give me the greatest joy. A woman at the head of the world's most numerous Christian church. Priceless!

5 March 2013 at 10:44  
Blogger bluedog said...

Predictably, Ernst has nailed it @ 09.58.

Above all, the RCC faces a crisis of governance. As currently configured, the Pope is both Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, a famously dangerous combination of executive and supervisory functions in one individual. Of course, with 142 cardinals, 90 of whom have been appointed by Benedict, there is no effective scrutiny of the actions of the Chairman/CEO, and as Ernst says, no Board. What astounds this communicant is that Benedict could overturn 600 years of precedent on 14 days notice. Most large corporations go to great lengths to organise a succession plan, but not the RCC. Benedict just threw his arms in the air and said 'I'm outta here'!

With the exception of His Grace's locum, presumably on the basis of references from both ex ++ Williams and ++ Welby, the Roman Church is a ship adrift. Quite extraordinary.

Given the instability that Benedict has introduced into the leadership of the RCC, it seems inevitable that the Conclave will be protracted, there is so much to discuss. The longer the period of interregnum before the election of a new Pope, the greater the risk to the institutional fabric of the RCC. At some point there may be mutterings in the ranks, particularly among the non-European diocese.

So how long will the central authority of the RCC hold?

5 March 2013 at 10:48  
Blogger Aaron Lopez said...

"Such a move would, overnight, confront the global mindset that the Roman Catholic Church denies equality and justice to women. By permitting women to serve as cardinals, the obsessions over male priesthood and episcopacy would be dispelled. This is not some superficial feminist revolution: it is Catholic theology incrementally adapting."

It is a good thing, then, that the Roman Catholic Church does not care what the world thinks of it. In fact, in the words of Our Blessed Lord, they will hate the Church because they hated Him first. Christ did not care for his perception, and died because of it. I mean, that's Christianity 101 (Or maybe it's 304 now. It seems people think Jesus was a hippie peace-and-love figure who, through some ambiguous logic, volunteered himself for the Cross).

So we care not for perception. Which is good, because we do have a history of venerating women who strove to perfect their Christian virtue. The Blessed Virgin would be the first one, and ironically, the one every non-Catholic faith has trouble with us exalting. Next in line, Mary Magdalene, who we do not distinguish from Mary of Bethany nor the anointer of Jesus, and so venerate her incredible repentance and devotion to Our Lord and His Mother.

Then there is the Medieval Era, from which saints such as Hildegard von Bingen, Catherine of Siena, Joan of Arc, and Teresa of Avila hail from. That would be the same Hildegard von Bingen who could rival even the most learned male theologians, Catherine of Siena who even commanded the Pope's respect, Joan of Arc who shaped France through her zeal for Christ, and Teresa of Avila, the monastic reformer.

And then there's also that poor case of Catherine of Aragon, who was cast aside by Henry VIII, but not before he and his English diocese decided to "reform" the Church in England so he could do so. It really didn't matter if she couldn't produce an heir, the Catholic Church could not annul the marriage based on her physical conditions (and/or the King's infidelity). It would have been, y'know, against God's will, precisely because it's pretty sexist.

Now, come to think of it, the 15th century "reforms" had a lot to do with how reformers viewed women, and they weren't for good either. Martin Luther could not keep it in his pants, and neither could the King of England. Hence married priests in Lutheranism. Hence divorce and remarriage in Anglicanism. The seeds for misogyny and sexism were engendered in the period of the Reformation, not Roman Catholicism.

So again, we're not entirely concerned with our perception. The world will always distort the One True Faith. When Christ set out to appoint only men for administrative positions in the Church, it was probably for a reason. Surely if women were perfectly fine he would've chosen his Mother and Mary Magdalene, who were as zealous as even Paul and Peter for the love of God. Instead, he chose the twelve apostles to govern his Church. One man would betray him, and another ten deserted him at his Passion. When they regrouped at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit inspired them to chose Barnabas to replace their ranks. Maybe they should have sought a Barbarella instead.

Perhaps Cranmer, it was another case of where Our Blessed Lord had some silly ideals about how to live a Christian life. Already the reformers thought Christ's command of the Sacrament of Marriage was naive, and then to hand down his Church to foolhardy men, and men only?

How silly the Son of God could be.

-

Cranmer, you are popular because you are a brilliant conservative political commentator, with a witty and sharp insight into a lot of the issues facing the world today. But if there was ever proof that the Catholic Church contained the Truth, your mental gymnastics in criticising her ways - far more bizarre than any of your other opinions - are certainly a good showcase.

I only hope that you pray as fervently as you blog.

In Christ.

5 March 2013 at 11:00  
Blogger Aaron Lopez said...

Sorry, I meant Matthias as the Apostle who replaced Judas. My bad.

5 March 2013 at 11:03  
Blogger Flossie said...

I am mortified that my earlier comment was taken as ‘ad hom’ – it was certainly not intended as such – merely a riposte – especially after the events of yesterday - while I gathered my thoughts (which can take some time!). I apologise, Your Grace.

As to the content – I have nagging thoughts that the whole idea is based on the assumption that women are the same as men. If we are to be opposed to gay marriage on the basis that men and women are different, and fulfil different roles, why does that go out of the window when women’s ordination is mentioned? Putting women in positions over the heads of men will almost certainly lead to a clamour for ordination, especially with current popularity of ‘equality’.

I don’t see anything wrong with women being helpmeets. We are good at it. (Without giving away too many secrets, we have our own methods of getting our own way.) We have different priorities. I don’t think we are unfitted by nature to bear authority, as many high flying women have proved, but to institutionalise this in the Church – the last bastion against fleeting fads and fashions – doesn’t seem like a good idea is it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to reverse if it all went wrong.

I think we are all going to see sooner or later – some of us sooner than others – the effect of WO in the C of E no matter how effective some women can be in the role, with the emasculation of Holy Orders and the effect on decline. A feminized church is not a strong church. A bevy of lady cardinals would surely present just such an image.

I have to quote Mother Theresa once more – ‘women have other things to do’.

5 March 2013 at 11:09  
Blogger bradypus said...

I can see the headlines now "Benedict's Babes" as opposed to Blair's babes. Of course other, newer churches have no problem with women not only in minisrty but also in higher leadership. A certain William Booth was quoted as saying "Some of my best men are women".

5 March 2013 at 11:18  
Blogger gentlemind said...

Our Gracious Host said, "For the Church of Rome, the ordination of women is an open and shut case. Actually, the Vatican door is very firmly shut; bolted by antiquity and sealed with unanimity."

Analogies serve a limited point. Your analogy serves the point of illustrating "shutness". So, i will use the same analogy.

In order for something to be shuttable, it must first be openable. A legal case can be "opened" and then "shut".It can also be "opened" and then "never shut". It can never be "never opened" and then "never shut". Openness is an action independent of shutness. Shutness is an action dependent of openness.

Where there is no door, there is no openness, and can be no shutness. The door is not shut, because the door is not open. The door is not open because there is no door :)

5 March 2013 at 11:45  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

I would like also to apologise to His Grace for saying that he had lost his marbles and for calling him 'sweetie' I blame the secular modern influence on me for this appalling lack of good manners and for the familiar tone which I uncharacteristically adopted.
Mea maxima culpa.

5 March 2013 at 11:54  
Blogger Preacher said...

How heavy, burdened & cumbersome the Church has become with tradition, power & custom.
No wonder the lost are going to Hell in droves while we squabble & fight in patriotic fervour over who's got it right & which denomination is the top dog.
This introspective attitude has done terrible damage. We look to Popes & bishops to guide & lead, but neglect the Lord's command to reach the lost. (Unless of course it makes us look better than the other team, or puts more in the collection).
The Pharisees in high Office are still tying religious burdens on men's backs that they themselves are unable to carry.
Women have so much to give, their role should be dependant on ability without reference to gender. To use them just to be seen as progressive would be wrong.
Personally I view the whole Church system as in dire need of reform, at present it is top heavy with bureaucracy & suffocates the abilities & gifts of many members. Spiritual corpulence will kill us off by producing a fatal coronary if we continue in the present mode. Time for a diet I feel, then once more we will be the lean, mean fighting machine that God meant us to be & the Devil will tremble at the approach of Christ's Church.

5 March 2013 at 12:14  
Blogger Paul Burgin said...

I think it can and will happen, after all if many across the Christian denominations believe that women should be priests then why not Cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church! The sad thing is, taking as example the struggle for women Bishops within the C of E, this change within the Roman Catholic Church will take a very long while to come and possibly not within our lifetimes

5 March 2013 at 12:21  
Blogger Paul Burgin said...

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5 March 2013 at 12:21  
Blogger Moderate Fundamentalist said...

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5 March 2013 at 12:23  
Blogger Matthew said...

By permitting women to serve as cardinals, the obsessions over male priesthood and episcopacy would be dispelled.

No, they wouldn't. It would just encourage the liberals and progressives to obsess about them some more in the hope of gaining ever more concessions.

Theoretically, there is no bar in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to female deacons either, but that's not going to happen for exactly the same reasons: i.e., there are those who, in calling for such things, treat them as a Trojan horse, a way of infiltration and ultimately revolution through incremental changes.

My predictions: 1) there will only ever be female cardinals when all accept the Church's teaching on Holy Orders; 2) if a woman is ever elevated to the cardinalate, it will be long, long after this 29-year-old is dead and buried.

(Not that it can happen under current Catholic canon law anyway: see c. 351 §1. And even previously, "lay" cardinals were actually clerics, since they received tonsure and minor orders - ipso facto excluding women.)

5 March 2013 at 12:25  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5 March 2013 at 13:03  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

When it comes to the role of women in the Church, Christendom is deeply divided.

Well, no it's not, really. And especially not if we account for Chesterton's 'democracy of the dead.' That portion of the church found in the Western world in the last 50 years or so is deeply divided from the rest. Western culture makes certain assumptions about autonomy and justice and rights. It swims within its egalitarian presuppositions and so hardly even notices them. It imposes these egalitarian assumptions onto Scripture and ... voila ... "rights and justice [confront] authoritative assertions of gender complementarity."

Every age has its blind spots. That is why we should consider the judgments of those who have gone before us. They will allow us to observe our biases, for they will have not presumed that which we can hardly see. It is only the conceit of western man that drives him to assume his judgments are more enlightened, more pure. He hides within himself the opinion that he has 'progressed' and so has risen above his forebears. And his only evidence for this conceit is that he was born later in time. We have all heard it. "This is the 21st century!"

Can you comprehend the vacuity of this argument?

Mr X: "Why is this good and right and true?"

Mr Y: "Because it's Wednesday! People may have believed that otherwise on Monday last, but now it is Wednesday!"

Count me unimpressed.

carl

5 March 2013 at 13:05  
Blogger AncientBriton said...

Experience shows that revisionists are not to be trusted - deaconess to deacon, deacon to priest, priest to bishop, each a small step, allegedly, but a huge jump in reality now being mirrored by calls for same sex couples to be allowed to marry after being given equal rights under the civil partnerships legislation.
The implication that the RC church denies women equality and justice is a familiar feminist charge not shared by all women. There are serious injustices against women in the world but tearing the church apart does nothing to resolve the position of women in India and elsewhere.
What we are left with is the Anglican Church becoming increasingly feminised along with primary school teaching leaving the male role marginalised. So much for calls for parity!

5 March 2013 at 13:08  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

IanCad
Following that logic Dreadnaught then why not a female Pope?

Why not indeed; I thought your religion claims that God made men and women equal.

Did not Peter set a precedent

I'd have thought that Jesus'(God's) rules would have trumped Peter's every time. After all the early Roman influenced Christians have altered the 'rules' to suit the prevailing circumstances since whenever.

Any way the question was - is the status of a woman (or man for that matter) in the Sainthood, higher than that of a Priest?


Aaron Lopez
...the Roman Catholic Church does not care what the world thinks of it...

Neither does any despot or despotic regieme as far as I know. Rather arrogant isn't it do dismiss the rest of you fellow Christians?

5 March 2013 at 13:30  
Blogger Matt A said...

I can't wait for the Inspector's response to this one!

5 March 2013 at 14:42  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Guilt by association. Hitler was a vegetarian, therefore vegetarianism is wrong. Curious, is it not, that our muscular Christian host has recently suddenly developed an aversion to ad hominem; he appears to have an open door policy in the other logical fallacies, such as the Bad Company fallacy.

5 March 2013 at 14:58  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Corrigan
Guilt by association. Hitler was a vegetarian, therefore vegetarianism is wrong

If you say so MrC - I was aware he farted a lot when he got animated - but I can't believe half the world go to war to stop that.

5 March 2013 at 15:48  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Corrigan, it ain't rocket science. Think of a private blog not as a student council where everyone is supposed to be equal, but as a home where the owner is the host and you the guest. It's one thing to insult other guests, another thing to trash the host. He can be as sensitive or carefree as his mood or quality of his breakfast seats him and is not obligated to be "fair" and if a guest annoys him for whatever reason, heisven a bad one, he is free toand in his rights to toss his arse without apologies. Now doesn't this analogy make things so much simpler?

5 March 2013 at 16:34  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Bloody autocorrect again...

5 March 2013 at 16:36  
Blogger Ollie Owl said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5 March 2013 at 17:34  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Exactly, Avi.

5 March 2013 at 17:36  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



“Where are the woman Cardinals ?” asks our man.

Hopefully, in the same place where the pregnant men are. In the minds of some deranged cultural Marxist equalizers, and hopefully going no further. “Saming of the sexes” is the biggest divisive force going. Not even the pathetic homosexual lobby come anywhere near causing the kind of damage the emasculated sandal wearers and screaming dungaree wimmin have managed in 45 years.

Let men be our spiritual guides in Christ’s shadow. He would approve of that. And let women be our nurturers and comforters behind the scenes. He would approve of that too.

Besides, you do realise if you get just ONE woman cardinal, it won’t end until there is a woman pope. The same business is going on in the CoE. Do you REALLY think it’s all going to stop at women bishops ? Let’s forecast - ah here we are…

“True equality will never be here until the next Archbishop of Canterbury is a woman” beams sexy bishop Julie, 38-24-36, in her body hugging spray-on cassock / cat suit.

Equality ? More like a feminist victory to this man, and years under the stiletto to come from women who want to be as men, while their darling toddlers develop autism and behavioural and learning difficulties from only seeing mummy an hour and a half in the day..





5 March 2013 at 17:49  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

OIG

develop autism and behavioural and learning difficulties from only seeing mummy an hour and a half in the day

I don't know whether this is half-serious or not, but you should understand that there are places in the world (Japan, for instance) where mothers are actually blamed for their children developing autism. Note that I didn't say 'working mothers.' Just mothers. Even hyperbole can go too far.

carl

5 March 2013 at 18:20  
Blogger Flossie said...

OIG often makes me giggle, but there is plenty of truth in what he says. I wouldn't go so far as blaming mothers for autism but there is no doubt that small children suffer from being parted from their mothers for many hours a day.

The thing is, real women don't need to be told they are as good as men. We know we are. In some areas we are better than men. It is patronising for men to pat us on our heads and tell us that we are as good as they are. Real women will do the work of women without feeling diminished; they don't need to do the work of men. Men can do that. The bullying feminists in the Church of England (hello, WATCH) who would unchurch people rather than step back from their ambitions give women a bad name. They terrify men (hello, Church of England Bishops) into going along with them with their fake claim of equality, and misrepresentation of their opponents' position, to bolster their own inflated egos.

Please RC Church, don't go down that road.




5 March 2013 at 18:33  
Blogger Flossie said...

OIG often makes me giggle, but there is plenty of truth in what he says. I wouldn't go so far as blaming mothers for autism but there is no doubt that small children suffer from being parted from their mothers for many hours a day.

The thing is, real women don't need to be told they are as good as men. We know we are. In some areas we are better than men. It is patronising for men to pat us on our heads and tell us that we are as good as they are. Real women will do the work of women without feeling diminished; they don't need to do the work of men. Men can do that. The bullying feminists in the Church of England (hello, WATCH) who would unchurch people rather than step back from their ambitions give women a bad name. They terrify men (hello, Church of England Bishops) into going along with them with their fake claim of equality, and misrepresentation of their opponents' position, to bolster their own inflated egos.

Please RC Church, don't go down that road.




5 March 2013 at 18:33  
Blogger Flossie said...

Oops, sorry, double post.

5 March 2013 at 18:34  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

“It took me years to produce him, including the IVF time because my essential career makes so many demands on me that I'm no longer naturally fertile. And just look at him. Sitting in the corner facing the wall. How could he do that to me. He knows our time together is precious. He’s spoiling MY idea of motherhood for ME ! How damn selfish can a young child be...”

5 March 2013 at 18:37  
Blogger Matt A said...

Thankfully Inspector, the "pregnant man" remains an urban myth, apart from the occasional "man" that upon further investigation is actually a confused woman. But who knows what crazy scenes are around the corner?

5 March 2013 at 18:44  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

There's so many things wrong with OIG's last post I don't even want to start.

Other than to hope that any parent of an autistic child reading this does continue to read and doesn't think that OIG speaks for all Catholics on this blog...

5 March 2013 at 18:46  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

David B

Carl and me, in our individual ways, for two, perhaps

I am conflicted by the RCC. It is my natural ally on many temporal issues, and it does stand as a bulwark against post-modernism. The scandals have gravely weakened its ability to perform that task. It would be a civilzational catastrophe if the RCC were to be 'Episcopalianized.'

On the other hand, it is a massive assemblage of festering, secretive, bureaucratic corruption. It teaches a dangerous collage of truth and falsehood, and in general leads people away from God. Romanism is really an Old Testament
sacerdotal system dressed up in New Testament clothes. From my point of view, it would be best if the RCC was reformed in the 16th Century understanding of the word.

Hence my confliction. I don't want Rome to become a device of post-modern corruption. I want it to remain on the parapets. Yet I want it to abandon all the things that currently allow it remain a bulwark aganist the onrush of dead materialism. If Rome was to reform the wrong way, the reforms could spin out of control like reform in the Soviet Union. That would be disastrous. Really I want my cake and to eat it, too.

This is the conflict that produced Evangelicals and Catholics Together. People on both sides of the doctrinal conflict found themselves on the same side in the culture war. A common trenchline creates bonds beyond doctrine. That is both a good and bad thing. Good, because the temporal fight is worth waging. Bad, because the doctrines in question are ultimately more important then the issues of the temporal fight.

I just want Catholics to become Protestant. They think the same of me. It's a tough issue.

carl

5 March 2013 at 18:46  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

That’s the spirit Flossie, when it comes to home grown sense, you can’t beat a confident in herself woman’s wisdom...

And not every girl looks good in red. Though red stilettos are rather fetching on some. “Strippers shoes” one understands they are referred to in the trade {AHEM}

I say, a chap is getting somewhat hot under the collar !


5 March 2013 at 18:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Tiberia, not sure if you are old enough to remember housewives arguing in the street, but if you are, you will no doubt recall such staples as “You can say what you like about me, but don’t you dare accuse me of being unable to bring up children”. Interestingly, we didn’t have autistic kids then. It was a kinder society that refused to label a child a failing pain-in-the-arse at such a young age. After all, they might go through life thinking they are next to useless...


5 March 2013 at 19:04  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

OIG, they clearly didn't argue loud enough for me to overhear the conversations (and my grandmother would have had a lot to say to me about the rudeness of listening in to other people's conversations, which probably dates me in itself)

But my mother, who was a GP for over 40 years, remembers the now discredited theories about autism being put down to maternal inability to bond with the child, and the grave distress caused to women already struggling to cope with their autistic child and made to feel like it was their fault. It wasn't a kinder society, just one where the cruelties were better hidden.

5 March 2013 at 19:15  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

heh heh !

Matt A, never, ever suggest to a career woman that her desire to succeed in her chosen career may have an adverse on her wretched child. It’s just asking for trouble...

5 March 2013 at 19:21  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Carl,

Whatever about the scandals of the Church and the failings of its prelates, as a body it is preserved from teaching falsehood, even as part of a "dangerous collage" with the truth. Have you considered that if you are conflicted about us it is because, like all Protestants, you have only part of the truth?

5 March 2013 at 19:24  
Blogger Matt A said...

So Corrigan, please elaborate; what part of the truth are Protestants missing?

5 March 2013 at 20:13  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Your Grace,

Or is that Holy Father now, you are the temporarily new Pope?

Getting back to your article, I have to admit I didn't realise Cardinals didn't have to be ordained to be Cardinals. I have to confess I saw this (as explained to me, by a Christian friend) as being :

1. Admiral of the Fleet- Pope
2. Admiral - Cardinal
3. Vice Admiral -Archbishop
4. Rear Admiral - Bishop
5. Commodore - Archdeacon
6. Captain-Priest
7. Lieutenant - Curate
8. Sub Lieutenant - Deacon

But these ranks are apparently not mentioned in the New Testament? I did cross check with my Baptist friend and he gloated that the only orders of 'ministers' (not Priests) are Overseer and Deacon, or as he said Minister or Pastor and Deacon.

So if there isn't any reference in the New Testament to Cardinals, Bishops and Priests, does that mean that the Roman Catholics and The Eastern Orthodox AND the Anglican Church should abolish the title of Bishop (as my Baptist friend suggested) and Priest in favour of the title Overseer and Deacon?

Finally in respect of the celibacy. I just cannot grasp that concept. I did look up the quotes you gave us in the previous thread and it is quite clear that Peter was married. I don't think he abandoned his wife; if he did he wasn't Jewish, so why do Catholics insist upon a celibate male Ministry?

In my own faith Rabbis are usually married and the wife of a Rabbi has a special title and obligations; Rebbetzin and in Modern Orthodox circles the Rabbis wife is considered to be part of the "ministry" of her husband (and a cracking job they do, btw).

I would also note that I was surprised that when I read the New Testament (at the behest of Christian friends) that Jesus was not married. I was convinced that he would have been, but sure enough, when I re-read the text it mentions Jesus has brothers and cousins, but no wife. That did confuse me.

Although I was confused when Christian friends said I should read "Matthew", because it is a "Jewish" Gospel or as I discovered a good 'tick box' exercise from the "Old Testament". In fact I did read Matthew, but was naughty and read the other 3 Gospels; Mark and Luke came across as more Jewish and John was on an anti-semitic rant throughout his writings.

But there you go, just my humble view.

5 March 2013 at 20:31  
Blogger Mike Stallard said...

I used to be an Anglican Rector.
Now I am a Catholic.
It cost me my house and my job and ten years on the dole.
So, please don't assume that the Catholics are going to become Anglican in a hurry! We (how proud I am to be able to say that!) are a truly world Church. We are historic. We really do represent Christ in the world in Thailand, Singapore, England, even Australia.
I love it because we are the Church of the world, not the debating society of the English white middle class and the Church of Radio 4.

5 March 2013 at 20:36  
Blogger bluedog said...

Carl @ 18.46 says, 'If Rome was to reform the wrong way, the reforms could spin out of control like reform in the Soviet Union. That would be disastrous'.

Precisely, and that is the risk inherent in Benedict's decision to simply walk out the door. A more responsible attitude would have been for Benedict to announce his intention to resign say, 12 months before the event, giving time for a Conclave to be called to vote on his replacement. In effect, Benedict faked his own death by giving 14 days notice.

The manner of Benedict's departure has shattered the equilibrium of the Roman Church. All other issues now become secondary to whether this complex system can adapt in order to establish a new equilibrium. The alternative is for the whole structure to go critical and enter a transition phase that pressages an existential crisis. We may be looking at the early stages of just such a development unless the Conclave acts quickly.

The analogy with the Soviet Union is entirely appropriate in so many ways. And the USSR took just two years to disintegrate.

5 March 2013 at 20:39  
Blogger David Anderson said...

The question of whether women "should" be cardinals in the Roman Catholic church is a non-question for a Bible-believer. The Bible contains neither the Roman Catholic church, nor its cardinals. Therefore the question of what kind of people "should" be found amongst their ranks is completely moot.

5 March 2013 at 20:39  
Blogger David Anderson said...

The question of whether women "should" be cardinals in the Roman Catholic church is a non-question for a Bible-believer. The Bible contains neither the Roman Catholic church, nor its cardinals. Therefore the question of what kind of people "should" be found amongst their ranks is completely moot.

5 March 2013 at 20:40  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

David: "4. Rear Admiral - Bishop"

There's probably a joke in there but I can't quite make the leap.

5 March 2013 at 20:57  
Blogger bluedog said...

DanJO @ 20.57

Vice-Pope?

5 March 2013 at 21:10  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5 March 2013 at 21:11  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Chief Inspector Clouseau said:

"beams sexy bishop Julie, 38-24-36, in her body hugging spray-on cassock / cat suit."

Please, do we need to read about your fantasises?

5 March 2013 at 21:14  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


Ah David, allow this man to save you the trouble of typing out your family's next post to this thread...

“Hi Inspector. Just to remind you that you are an old and lonely sad bastard. Hope this helps”


5 March 2013 at 21:17  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Inspector Clouseau,

Given that you have neither had children or are unlikely to be responsible for bringing up children, with autism or otherwise, I find your comments to be offensive and disgusting.

You have no idea about bringing up children with learning difficulties or not, so please keep your views in that respect to yourself.

5 March 2013 at 21:17  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Inspector Clouseau,

Wrong as ever.

5 March 2013 at 21:18  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Mike Stallard,

I'll give you credit for upholding your sincere belief, even if it cost you ten years of unemployment. Better than some of the other "cultural Catholics" we have posting here. Inspector Clouseau, springs to mind.

5 March 2013 at 21:19  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Inspector Clouseau,

As His Holiness said at the start of this thread ad hominem is not welcome here, so I would not contemplate using the phrases you've just used. Bur if you are, as you are in real life here, you simply won't get a woman (or a man). We try and help you for your own benefit, if you wish to throw that back in our faces, then that is your affair.

5 March 2013 at 21:22  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Danjo,

We are either on the same humour wavelength or I was actually not intending to put a small subtle joke in there (the kind of Joke our friend Clouseau doesn't get because it is beyond him).

You decide.

5 March 2013 at 21:26  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

5 March 2013 at 21:29  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Any more of that, and His Grace will be booting someone else off.

5 March 2013 at 21:35  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Inspector,

Calm down please. I was still online when you posted that comment, which is now been deleted.

It is up to you if you wish to comment like that, but I am surprised by it. Whilst we have always had a robust exchange of views, I would like to think that this is of benefit to the both of us. Sadly it does not appear that way and for that I am genuinely sad.

I have Anglican relatives, so have a deep respect for their faith and their theology, which having gone into more depth this week,I understand appreciate more than some of the Roman Catholic dogma posters pronounce here.

I think that His Grace feels under siege here and frankly I do not blame him. This is an Anglican Blog, which is welcoming to all, but also, one must respect and understand the worldview of the author here and that we are 'guests' on his diary or wot Avi Barzel said above.

5 March 2013 at 21:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Deary me ! Someone doesn’t know the extent of the Inspector’s humour...

The Inspector calls witness A, Avi Barzel no less. Avi is of the same age, and most importantly of all, similar intellect, to the accused. The Inspector is proud to call him his brother. Now, jury, consider this, when putting down a smart arsed young Semite arse like David K, let no sensitivity get in an honourable man’s way...

And at this early stage, the prisoner rests his case.



5 March 2013 at 21:46  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

OIG,

The derogatory use of ethnicity isn't really humour. Or it isn't to His Grace, at least.

His Grace has reached the tipping point. He spends more time monitoring and tweaking Blogger's auto-delete than he does writing his daily homilies. His ashes arise every morning to anywhere between 50-150 emails - mostly spam; many abusive; a few pleasurably enlightening. His ministry to the blogosphere is indeed under seige, and it may be time for drastic action.

5 March 2013 at 21:54  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...


David K, this man is a Christian. You can call him a Christian until you are blue in the face, he won’t mind. You are a Jew. Apparently, we have to walk around on eggshells when referring to your Jewishness. We know why this is, but this man was born in 1959 and has never been a member of any fascist group in his life.

Now listen, you post your criticism of the Inspector until you are rolling around on the floor, barely able to speak. What do you expect him to do. Head down and remember Auschwitz ?

5 March 2013 at 21:55  
Blogger bluedog said...

OIG @ 21.46, what you posted wasn't remotely funny.

Please take some well meant advice. If somebody or some situation really annoys you, lie doggo.

Reacting as you did is a sign of weakness and a lack of self-control.

5 March 2013 at 21:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

AC

The Inspector salutes you. He regrets you have been troubled by him this fine night...

5 March 2013 at 21:57  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Inspector,

I've spend some time trying to reply to your post at 21.46.

"Someone doesn’t know the extent of the Inspector’s humour..."

I think that there is a time and a place for humour. I could come on this blog and give you many a gag or serious comment about the Catholic Church, or go on (as some of your fellows do about how awful the Anglican Church was towards Catholics with Henry 8th) but I do not, because I seek, on the whole a fruitful and mature dialogue with people who I do not share a faith with.

The you write :

"putting down a smart arsed young Semite arse like David K, let no sensitivity get in an honourable man’s way..."

If you were an "honourable man", then we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Secondly, I think you are insulting Avi by saying you have the same intelligence as him and need not drag him into this conversation.

Thirdly in respect of me being young. I guess as I am in my mid forties, with 7 children to look after* one of whom is disabled (hence my comment to you earlier) and married to a woman in her mid to late 30s, I am indeed young.

*With another possible life in the making.

5 March 2013 at 22:01  
Blogger Martin said...

I think it's technically possible that a woman could be named a cardinal, although it would also require a change to to canon 351 §1 which states "The Roman Pontiff freely selects men to be promoted as cardinals, who have been ordained at least into the order of the presbyterate and are especially outstanding in doctrine, morals, piety, and prudence in action; those who are not yet bishops must receive episcopal consecration."

Also, if you'll forgive me being pedantic, the picture which accompanies this post is inaccurate, as a woman named a cardinal in the terms you laid out would not be ordained and would not, therefore, be vested in a chasuble, as they are in the picture.

5 March 2013 at 22:03  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

...youse boys is jess lookin' for a whuppin' ain't ya all? . HG is itching to mount another trophy head on his refectory wall. Govern yourselves accordingly, as they say.

5 March 2013 at 22:05  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Avi,

I agree with your sentiments, however, I doubt if the comments were directed at you- I am not sure if you picked up the deleted comment- you would not put up with it.

5 March 2013 at 22:09  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

David K, Secondly, I think you are insulting Avi by saying you have the same intelligence as him,,

Your arrogance is breath taking. Listen up here. This man never wants you or your family to mention him again on this blog again EVER. Is that completely understood by you ?


5 March 2013 at 22:11  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Inspector :

"this man is a Christian"

Having read the gospels, could you at least pretend to be like that Christ of yours?

And then :

" What do you expect him to do. Head down and remember Auschwitz ? "

I remember a couple of months ago you compared Cromwell to Hitler, so perhaps I should ask of you, "what do you expect me to do, head down and remember Drogheda?

I hope that this makes you think about what you post and to whom.

5 March 2013 at 22:13  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Inspector,

"Your arrogance is breath taking. Listen up here. This man never wants you or your family to mention him again on this blog again EVER. Is that completely understood by you ?"

Sorry, I am not going to be bullied or intimidated. Your requested is noted, but I think that everyone here should feel free to 'speak up' if they find what some-one else is saying is not right to them. If I read something I do not agree with, then I shall respond to you, in a pleasant, intellectual way, which challenges your world view.

5 March 2013 at 22:20  
Blogger GG said...

As a reader of the blog of Your Grace for several years now - and a [Roman] Catholic - I would like to thank Your Grace for the time you have spent drawing the attention of your communicants to the Roman church.

Clearly, there are some who think the whole idea of faith is absurd / damaging. But they still turn up to post!

There are also those who think you are anti-[Roman] Catholic. But ditto!

Then there are the non-[Roman] Catholics .. But they still turn up!

I would like to know if anyone else has this kind of following today on [Christian] faith matters.

For myself I think you are doing an excellent job and whether I agree or not, whether I feel provoked, or buttressed, or offended, or whatever it might be I pretty regularly "tune in".

So thank you for bothering to put together something obviously compelling, and possibly, important.

5 March 2013 at 22:21  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Your Grace,

I personally cannot see why women cannot be Cardinals or Bishops or Vicars. Indeed in my own faith, I do not think that there is anything specific in saying that women cannot be Rabbis and the reform Jewish do have women Rabbis, many of whom are brilliant at their job.

Rabbis are supposed to be good teachers and have an in depth knowledge of our law and also be 'pastors' to their people. As David notes, there is a special role for the wives of Rabbis.

I think if the concept of women Rabbis were gradually introduced, over at least 200 to 300 years, into the Orthodox faith, then it wouldn't be such an earthquake.

But it has to be done with sensitivity, prayer and understanding of our traditions and for those who would find it difficult to accept women Rabbis.

Just my personal view.

5 March 2013 at 22:50  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Inspector,

You are such a silly oaf sometimes you know and even worse, have managed to set off an approximate cause, which potentially derailed this thread. Shame on you!

And yes, David was correct in rebuking you for your comments on autism (I guess you'd prefer, as a Catholic, such life be aborted?!) and the sexism displayed over talking about women Bishop's bra sizes.

Not very intelligent of you (as you think you are as witty,
Suave and sophisticated as Avi.

5 March 2013 at 22:59  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Your Grace,

Please don't allow some of the crazies here to derail this blog, because I actually like and appreciate the posts and the comments. It is quite a community of people here and I hope that you aren't put off by whatever horrid stuff comes your way.

I used to get that when I had my e-mail address on public display, but I still get lots of spam, which has to be deleted. And I only get about 50 plus individuals a day looking at my blog, not 500,000.

5 March 2013 at 23:12  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Alright, listen up everyone, I appoint myself chief of blog security by virtue of being the first to think of it. This sort of stuff happens on many a blog. The blog owner gets overwhelmed by too much crap, lashes out, someone gets cooked and folks scurry. But only for a little while; then they start probing the bloggers levels of tolerance and patience and engage in pishing contests among themselves as they jockey for a perch in the freshly disturbed body politic. Not good from a security perspective.

What say we all chill, get on our best behaviour and give our host a breather? Or we can all go to sleep...sleep, the miracle gift from the Almighty, whose main function seems to be to keep our sorry bee-hinds out of trouble for a few hours. A good night and a great sunny morning to y'all!

5 March 2013 at 23:37  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Avi,

I am as chilled as a polar bear in the Arctic circle. My Baptist friend has written to me a lengthy apologetic and rebuke of Inspector. I am 'chilled'.

PS- remember the pink frilly handcuffs are for Mrs Barzel, not the posters here!

And Inspector says I don't have a sense of humour....

5 March 2013 at 23:45  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Security Chief Avi,

I just love it when you assess a situation.

I've just spoken to Head of homeland affairs, "Mr Garibaldi", who agrees with your assessment of the security situation here, but he thinks it is worse and that 'martial law' needs to be declared....

6 March 2013 at 00:12  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Dash it all, who the devil is Mr Garibaldi? I thought they were biscuits?

And Avi cannot just proclaim himself as Chief of Security here.

Why, we need a bit of English flair here, as this isn't the bally 'wild west'. NO, we need at least a ceremony for him to be appointed as such.

And a rank of authority.

Perhaps :

"Lord Sir Avi Barzel, BA Hons, Lord Lieutenant of the Cranmer blog, Loyal Subject of Her Majesty The Queen, Knight of the realm, Earl of North Hendon , Marquis of Golder's Green, Baronet of Brighton and Hove"?

6 March 2013 at 00:28  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Lord Lavendon,

Mr Garibaldi was a tough, no-nonsense security chief on a sci-fi tv show a couple of years ago.

And I would add that Avi needs to gather up his posse, or at least have t the Mounties for backup!

6 March 2013 at 01:02  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 March 2013 at 01:28  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

Aaron Lopez says "The seeds for misogyny and sexism were engendered in the period of the Reformation, not Roman Catholicism."
He is colossally wrong and has not read the Fathers of the Church. All of them were highly misogynist and sexist, as indeed were Plato and Socrates before them.
A good starting-point for the study of mediaeval Christian sexism is Christine de Pisan's Book of the City of Ladies.

6 March 2013 at 01:32  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Corrigan

... as a body it is preserved from teaching falsehood ...

Aye, there's the rub. It all depends upon the standard. To what do you compare the declared dogmas of the RCC in order to establish their truth? Well, a RC compares them to nothing. He begins with the presupposition that the RCC is preserved from teaching error. And if I point out contradiction after contradiction between RC dogma and Scripture, he will tell me "There is no contradiction. You haven't the authority or the ability to understand Scripture in the absence of the Magisterium." Thus does he place the church above Scripture. He has (fallibly) chosen his infallible interpreter, and then he commits himself to following the Interpreter no matter where he leads.

You say the RCC is perspicuous. I say the Scripture is perspicuous. Sola Ecclesia vs Sola Scriptura. That is the foundation of the difference between us.

Have you considered that if you are conflicted about us it is because, like all Protestants, you have only part of the truth?

The truth is there for all to see. It's not a matter of considering whether Protestants or Catholics are right. It's a matter of comparing Protestant claims to Scripture. It's a matter of comparing RC claims to Scripture. But that returns us to my first point. What is the source of ultimate authority? What is the Norm that cannot be Normed? The answer to that question determines the outcome of the comparisons even before they are made.

carl

6 March 2013 at 01:55  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Mike Stallard is a breath of fresh air on this blog. Someone who has sacrificed for a belief. I hope your years of suffering have only strengthened your faith and you have found peace. I do hope you will participate more on this blog - you will need to limber up for the onslaught. There are some very pushy people here.

6 March 2013 at 02:27  
Blogger A. said...

But there is no bar to their becoming cardinals, so why are there none?

Canon 351 does create such a bar, indeed strictly speaking it creates two:

"Those to be promoted Cardinals are men freely selected by the Roman Pontiff, who are at least in the order of priesthood and are truly outstanding in doctrine, virtue, piety and prudence in practical matters; those who are not already Bishops must receive episcopal consecration.

Yes, Canon Law could be rewritten, but that I think undermines the argument you're trying to make.

6 March 2013 at 07:38  
Blogger David B said...

Isn't the idea that the Catholic Church "as a body it is preserved from teaching falsehood" consigned to Limbo?

Limbo itself being one of the most cruel concepts ever developed for explaining the death of an infant to bereaved parents.

Worse by far than the more realistic 'that is the way the cookie crumbles, but at least your late child is not suffering'.

David

David

6 March 2013 at 08:10  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

I don't know about female cardinals - and I'm unsure what they will add to the RCC.

I do know that since we introduced women priests into our local CofE church, last year, the electoral roll has decreased by 25% and regular church attendance has decreased by 25%.

We are having difficulty finding men, their numbers have dwindled, to volunteer for tasks that involve heavy lifting; garden maintenance; climbing ladders to replace light bulbs.

As the men leave; the remaining men cannot find the time to give up more Saturdays (each month) for such tasks.

Women priests (through their preaching especially) don't connect or inspire men.

In the church's tool cupboard there are plenty of shovels, screwdrivers, ladders, pitchforks, brushes: but, oddly, the women don't avail themselves of such tools.

I can now clearly see that within three years our female priests will be preaching to a few old female pensioners, sitting amongst empty pews, under dim light.

Yes. The light is receding and the darkness comes closer.

6 March 2013 at 08:30  
Blogger Flossie said...

Well said, Avi @23.37. I do wonder at people who come onto other people's blogs just to insult. Those of us who treasure His Grace's blog would be heartbroken if he decided to jack it all in because it was too much hassle.

D Singh @08.30 - this is not an unusual picture. I overheard a conversation recently where one person boasted that 'only 8 people left' when their new woman vicar was appointed. But their congregation is not huge anyhow, one of those 8 was a churchwarden, and if this is replicated countrywide it has to be huge.

I have posted this item many times before but will post it again for the benefit of doubters - the importance of men in churches. When men leave, children will not remain once they are adults.

http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=16-05-024-v

6 March 2013 at 08:56  
Blogger MFH said...

Your grace seems unusually concerned about how things look in the eyes often world rather than Gods eyes.
Men and women are equal - but different. Both created in Gods image yes, but as suitable foils for one another.
Man ( pre the fall) was given headship - but he could not do it alone - he needed a suitable helper. He needed back bone!!
Remember that Jesus tells his disciples not to look to sit in high places in his kingdom but in the lowly. The most important jobs like giving the cup of cold water, clothing others visiting etc are those which we should strive after.
As we do these tasks we are doing them to Him.
Nowhere does the Word use that sort of language for Church leaders.
So which is the greatest role in the kingdom of God, In Gods eyes???

6 March 2013 at 09:19  
Blogger Solent Rambler said...

David B

Limbo is not part of the official teaching of the (Roman) Catholic Church. My source is the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

There has certainly been much debate and speculation in the past about where unbaptised children go after death. I learnt about it myself as a child.

However, it was not used to “explain the death of an infant to bereaved parents”. It was actually an attempt to find some comfort. Hope that helps.

I can add to D Singh’s (@8.30) and Flossie’s observations (@8.36) about men standing back. My informal observation is that parishes with altar girls have a deficit of boys.

6 March 2013 at 09:43  
Blogger TigerO said...

His grace said in his opening paragraph;
"Women are the pinnacle of creation; a wonder of the universe. Their intelligence, wisdom, compassion and spirituality belie the pervasive religious assertion that man is the master; that patriarchy is intrinsic to the natural order. While he is fiddling about with tools and splashing testosterone in the sunlight, she is the real provider; the nurturing oracle; the spiritual constant. According to God, she was made for man as a 'help meet', but this sounds awfully utilitarian. The function of woman is not to help man; it is to realise in partnership and to love."

There are numerous statements here that are not consistent with the Holy Book which most Judeo Christians believe to be the word of God.

Firstly woman was created as a companion to man. This is one of the primary reasons why we see the importance if women in the family and we cannot envisage same sex unions as a viable substitute. A woman provides the essential balance within the home. They provide softness against hardness, tolerance against intransigence, etc.

Against this background your assertion of superiority to male creation is somewhat flawed. God's creation of woman is balance and both were created equal.

Now we come to another factor seldom recognised in this crazy World of sexual equality. The role of hormones and their affect on behaviour. You mention "splashing testosterone in the sunlight". The testosterone cycle of the male is balanced, its peaks and troughs vary little in comparison with most other mammals. This hormone imparts his hunting and protective strengths but importantly a balanced consistency in decision.

The female on the other hand has hormone pathway intended for conception and pregnancy. The 2 different hormones responsible for the process have markedly different effects. Oestrogen, is responsible for the calm loving nature of the female. Progesterone for the sustenance of pregnancy. Progesterone degradation also results in the production of testosterone (=the same effects as the male). Lastly we have zero hormones for several days in each cycle.

The many psychological effects of these hormones within each cycle to do not make for a balanced process of decision making in per-menopausal women. This fact is apparent to any man who has been married for any length of time.

It is not my intention to be sexist merely a realist. God in his wisdom has provided the best balance through the union of a man and woman. Through this balance man's decisions are often balanced through the softer outlook of his mate, a woman.

So whilst you suggest that woman Cardinals might provide balance might it not be better to have married male Cardinals.

6 March 2013 at 10:02  
Blogger D. Singh said...

TigerO

I read His Grace's article yesterday and did not comment as I felt that I no longer had the energy to confront this 'genderless' world that we are making.

Thank you so much, thank you. And many thanks to Flossie and David B.

6 March 2013 at 10:08  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

TigerO: "The testosterone cycle of the male is balanced, its peaks and troughs vary little in comparison with most other mammals. This hormone imparts his hunting and protective strengths but importantly a balanced consistency in decision."

And a stronger desire and drive for sex, I expect.

6 March 2013 at 10:09  
Blogger Chantry Priest said...

Yr Grace is being somewhat ingenuous.
There are three orders in the Cardinalate-Card.Deacon; Card.Priest and Card. Bishop.
Cardinal Antonelli was ordered Deacon in 1840, becoming Card.Deacon in 1847.
True, in the past, there have been dodgy appointments [Cardinal Cesare Borgia anyone?]but they were dodgy precisely because the norm required the recipient to be ordained to one of the major Holy Orders.
Ergo, women cannot be admitted to the Cardinalate.

6 March 2013 at 10:17  
Blogger TigerO said...

DanJO said;

And a stronger desire and drive for sex, I expect.

DanJO do you have a problem with comprehension or only read words that suit you?

What part "peaks and troughs vary little" do you not understand?

Testosterone provides the fundamental sex drive of all males, in every species, as it does at ovulation time in the female.

6 March 2013 at 10:54  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

As has been pointed out at various times, this is an Anglican blog and, with the greatest of respect to Anglo-Catholics from the early 19th century onwards, Anglicanism has a fundamentally Protestant view of ministry, in which Priesthood is shared by all believers and the Ordained ministry is the setting aside of one such believer over a congregation to lead worship and teaching. In contemporary society, it is very difficult to argue that women cannot undertake this role - though I respect those who do maintain the Pauline 'headship' argument.

Catholic sacramental priesthood is very different, based on the mystical union between Christ and his Church. The language of fatherhood used in Scripture is not accidental, and is not like contemporary social discourse in which fatherhood and motherhood have become effectively interchangeable. The fact that society has, for better or worse, decided to remove most distinctions between genders, does not mean that the Catholic Churches should follow suit in the sacramental priesthood, which if it is not based upon a mystical and timeless revelation becomes pointless and mundane.

Perhaps the greatest argument against women priests in the Catholic Churches is its very rationality - if the sacramental priesthood loses its mystical difference, and becomes just another job, it loses everything, as C. S. Lewis, an Anglo-Catholic, understood:

"The point is that unless "equal" means "interchangeable", equality makes nothing for the priesthood of women. And the kind of equality which implies that the equals are interchangeable (like counters or identical machines) is, among humans, a legal fiction. It may be a useful legal fiction. But in church we turn our back on fictions. One of the ends for which sex was created was to symbolize to us the hidden things of God. One of the functions of human marriage is to express the nature of the union between Christ and the Church. We have no authority to take the living and semitive figures which God has painted on the canvas of our nature and shift them about as if they were mere geometrical figures."

"This is what common sense will call "mystical". Exactly. The Church claims to be the bearer of a revelation. If that claim is false then we want not to make priestesses but to abolish priests. If it is true, then we should expect to find in the Church an element which unbelievers will call irrational and which believers will call supra-rational. There ought to be something in it opaque to our reason though not contrary to it - as the facts of sex and sense on the natural level are opaque. And that is the real issue. The Church of England can remain a church only if she retains this opaque element. If we abandon that, if we retain only what can be justified by standards of prudence and convenience at the bar of enlightened common sense, then we exchange revelation for that old wraith Natural Religion."

Having said all this, of course, if Canon Law were to be changed to allow people not ordained priest to become Cardinals, I would be very happy to see a Catherine of Siena, Therese of Lisieux or Hildegard of Bingen admitted to the College of Cardinals. It would do them no end of good.

6 March 2013 at 10:55  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

It would do the Cardinals no end of good, that is - though I doubt many of the current crop of Cardinals would enjoy hearing what someone like Catherine of Siena had to say to them.

6 March 2013 at 11:05  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

TigerO: "DanJO do you have a problem with comprehension or only read words that suit you?"

Time of the month for you? Sheesh.

6 March 2013 at 11:21  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

^ My little joke there of course, I know you claim to be male. ;)

6 March 2013 at 11:22  
Blogger non mouse said...

Catherine of Siena was sick. Very sick.

Christine de Pisan wasn't all she's cracked up to be either. It's surely a mark of feminist decadence that these euro icons are being touted as authorities on YG's blog.

6 March 2013 at 12:46  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Catherine of Siena was only sick if you interpret the depth of her devotion as madness, which if you're an atheist is fair enough, but from a religious point of view is not.

She became an icon in her own lifetime for her piety and her charity, and she exercised what was probably a greater influence over the Church and the Papacy during her own lifetime than most of the Cardinals.

Euro-icon? What tosh; she may be patron saint of Europe, but she is also patron saint of nurses. She was and is an icon of spirituality and devotion, and rightly recognised as a Doctor of the Church. If we're going to tout any authority in a discussion of the Catholic Church, I'd take hers over Thomas Cranmer, original or new incarnation, any day of the week.

6 March 2013 at 13:10  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Mr Darter, views on sanity go to the very heart of theology, actually, as the religious mind is always straining to distinguish religious truths from clinical episodes. It's kind of an analytical algorithm, a background app the theist must run; is this divine holiness or is this nutty heresy. Catherine of Siena wasn't the ordinary girl living a humdrum life with her family and so it's perfectly legitimate for anyone to question her overall mental health, be they atheist, Protestant or even a Catholic. There may be an argument for divine madness, but with millions of troubled minds everywhere claiming special insight, a little bit of the jaundiced eye, of some mild and healthy skepticism is understandble, no?

But how your St Catherine compares to His Grace in your mind is a sublime mystery to me. But as His Grace rightly observed, his blog and his character appear to be under siege as of late, so my guess is that you wanted to get in a gratuitous shot at him. It wasn't your best, but hopefully it worked for you and you're done for now.

6 March 2013 at 14:58  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Avi,

Healthy skepticism - absolutely; but the matter of extreme religious asceticism is far too complex to simply write off as 'sickness', which, at risk of a pun, is unhealthy skepticism. Catherine of Siena's actions undoubtedly made her ill, but in terms of her own religious experience and Christian theology they served a specific purpose for her; her actions caused her illness, but cannot just be written off as being caused BY it - unless one does not believe in the possibility of a profound human encounter with the divine, in which case it's difficult to see what other conclusion one could reach as to the cause of her actions except a medical or psychological one.

And I reject your assertion that I was having a gratuitous shot at HG; that a practising Catholic should see a Doctor of the Church and Saint as more of an authority ON THE CATHOLIC CHURCH than either a Protestant Archbishop or an Anglican Blogger should hardly come as a surprise. Non mouse complained about such authorities being touted on HG's blog, but when the topic under discussion is the Catholic Church I fail to see why that should be a cause of controversy. A Doctor of the Church is, for a Catholic, by definition an authority.

6 March 2013 at 15:44  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Far be it from me to offer advice on how another faith should determine what is sacred and what is a sickness. I myself take the view that St Catherine was cerainly sane and orthodox enough to satisfy the offices of the Inquisition, perhaps by wisely choosing to associate with one of the "safest" orders in an age of rampant heresies; the Dominicans. Others with similar levels of enthusiasm but lack of theological correctness and political astuteness did not fare as well. So, I'm inclined to view Catherine's condition as a "political madness." This is not a critique of Catholicism; I'm far harsher on "divine madness" in my own theological neck of the woods, probably because I understand it better, but the point is that such rejections of miraculous claims are profoundly theological in substance as well.

I do not expect you to prefer His Grace over your own authorities, Mr Darter. But you weren't challenged to choose between him and Catherine and the comparison seemed to me out of context. I am indeed His Grace's loyal guard hound, "Lord Sir Avi Barzel (all hear my name and tremble), Lord Lieutenant of the Cranmer blog, Loyal Subject of Her Majesty The Queen, Knight of the realm, Earl of North Hendon , Marquis of Golder's Green, Baronet of Brighton and Hove" as appointed by Lord Lavendon, bit I am a mortal and have been known to be wrong on the very rare occasion.

6 March 2013 at 16:45  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Avi/Darter,

Sorry who are we talking about here? I have to admit I'm not clued up when it comes to christian saints- mad or not . I did Wiki this Catherine of Siena, but after a long day, it is too much to read. Can you spill the beans?

6 March 2013 at 17:37  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



Hannah Kavanagh.David was correct in rebuking you for your comments on autism (I guess you'd prefer, as a Catholic, such life be aborted?!)

You guess, do you ? Well you guess wrong. This man has no desire to see ANYONE aborted. For your clarification, and probably for no one else’s as you would have to be particularly dull not to have got it, his post on severely mentally and physically handicapped babies is thus. They destroy marriages. They do not hinder, or make them difficult, or set them back, they DESTROY them. So, if you value your marriage, give the child up on day one. There are institutions to care for them. If you take the baby home, plan ahead now, and expect to be separated in a decade or two and still have the responsibility for the aforementioned child, who is heading for an institution anyway. That is how it is.





6 March 2013 at 17:42  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Kavanagh. one of whom is disabled (hence my comment to you earlier)

One is curious. And no, this is not a point scoring exercise. Answering a post about autism, you register your disgust and introduce a child of yours you say is ‘disabled’. One hopes to his Christ that you are not using that tag to label an autistic, behavioral or learning difficulty affected child. If you are, how on earth do you expect them to make their way independently in the world with that hanging over them ? In other words, don’t expect too much, you are not up to it. How damn defeatist that would be…





6 March 2013 at 17:43  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 March 2013 at 17:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Jolly good then Kavanagh. One too believes that no good will come of us crossing staves in the future. So can one assume we have an arrangement then..





6 March 2013 at 17:52  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Inspector,

Your aggression and anger is best worked out on someone else here; this is a civilised place of erudite comment, not mindless confrontation.

I think our host does not like that approach and he has spelled out matters time and time again. Yet you still wish to push things.

I can appreciate you probably argue with the face that stares you back in the mirror and that like to argue for no good reason, with other people here on this blog and now me and Hannah, but sadly for you, your attention seeking confrontations will have to be someone else other than me or my sister.

As for the other parts of your post, well it is not your business how my family is looked after and raised.

6 March 2013 at 17:54  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Inspector,

Go and pick a fight, if that is what you want to do, with someone else and take whatever consequence comes your way. I am a fleeting presence here only...

6 March 2013 at 17:56  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

I say, it looks like we really do have that understanding. How thrilling.

Goodbye !

6 March 2013 at 18:07  
Blogger Darter Noster said...

Hello David,

Catherine of Siena (aka Caterina Benincasa) is a 14th century Italian mystic and saint, who became famous during her lifetime for her extreme piety, devotion to charity, and fasting. She corresponded extensively with the Pope and other notables across Europe, including Monarchs; this correspondence, and her mystical work The Dialogue of Divine Providence, has survived and been hugely influential in Catholic theology and spirituality. Her extreme asceticism and fasting caused her death at the age of only 33 - for such a young woman to have achieved such prominence in Mediaeval Europe was little short of astonishing. She was declared a Saint in 1461 and a Doctor of the Church in 1970.

6 March 2013 at 19:07  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 March 2013 at 21:12  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Darter N,

Thank you for the explanation- quite a woman.

By the way, Judaism also has its mystical/Kabbalah 'tradition', but I'm quite happy to leave that to Madonna...

6 March 2013 at 21:14  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 March 2013 at 21:17  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Julia,

Our host has made his views on the subject of the Avian poster, quite clear and the matter is final. Those of us who petitioned for Dodo to stay need to move on and respect His Grace's decision in that regard. I think Avi explained this above, or His Grace's blog, His Grace's rules, His Grace's decisions MUST be final.

6 March 2013 at 21:18  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

While Banjo is allowed to post tasteless PMT jokes to sneer at women...

6 March 2013 at 21:22  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

21:12

Good point Julia and I support your suggestion of bringing back Dodo.

14:58
Yes Avi it is obvious that HG is becoming unpopular amongst communicants of late which is something that has never occured before.There might be a good reason for that. Also,the aggressive jewish mafia are only aggravating the situation.I am surprised at your attack on Darter Noster. There was no gratuitous shot in his post.
Besides you are making HG appear as some sort of neurotic precious pansy type which he is not at all.He does not need a guard hound and consistent back up with every utterance he makes. You may be confusing his needs with one in your group.


6 March 2013 at 21:50  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

In our Anglican church those who have been against the ordination of women have mellowed and changed when presented with competent and quietly erudite women priests, and few if any men have gone off in a hissy fit. Furthermore our women are well capable of wielding screwdrivers and spanners when necessary as large quantities of testosterone-induced muscle are not perceived as necessary in their use. As for lifting, I am afraid I have been in church settings where some men paid by the Church (not gentlemen, I fear) have lounged around talking while women not paid by the Church to be there have lifted chairs by the dozen onto trolleys, despite the average 65 yr old man being stronger than the average 25 yr old woman.

As for being a cleric it is largely about understanding, listening and talking, all of which women are thoroughly good at. I have known Churches where women were not even allowed to read the lesson. And then you read that the Lord can talk through even a donkey!! (Balaam's Ass).

Unless things make sense as they hit the ground they make no sense. It is the SPIRIT that gives life, not the law. It is the pure spirit that makes a good minister, and not the middle area of a person. This is so immensely obvious.

Thank you for running the blog, and for your delightfully literate prose, your Grace/ Holiness!!

God Bless us all.

6 March 2013 at 21:53  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6 March 2013 at 22:09  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Julia

Your are addressing your concerns to the wrong person. His Grace has an email if you wish to contact him directly. No one owns this blog, but the writer here. We can argue about these things, but it is his decision. If you look at the thread below, I did ask His Grace to think again and he said no. That is his decision to call.

6 March 2013 at 22:10  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Lucy Mullen. Your testimony is so sweet. Rather a shame Jesus did not entrust his legacy to women, don’t you find...

6 March 2013 at 22:27  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Hi Cressida. Thank you for your candor. No, it's not obvious to me that HG is becoming unpopular. What I do see is a tendency to a familiarity that is spilling towards contempt and outright rudeness towards our host.

My "guardian" role is tongue in cheek... partially. All of us are guests here and it's our duty to treat HG with courtesy and even to help deflect some of the pettiness and trivia he's being showered with. No, I do not think him a pansy, but as a busy man overwhelmed by shenanigans and outright attacks which leave him with little time to generate new posts. He said this himself and I have no reason to doubt him. And I'm not sure what you mean by me confusing HG with someone in "my group." I didn't know I had a "group"...that sort of stuff I was glad to leave behind in the high school cafeteria.

I didn't "attack" Mr Darter; I rightly or wrongly criticised what I saw as a gratuitous comment at the wrong time. Mr Darter is gentleman and I take his word that I was mistaken in my assumptions.

And finally onto Dodo. Yes, we have lost a brilliant poster who is, as the inspector said, "family." Yet he clashed with HG and was asked to leave. He then sealed the judgement by repeatedly attempting to post here and by leaving churlish comments on another blog. On what grounds can or should we try to "bring Dodo back" under these circumstances?

I also cannot help thinking that had we played our role as appreciative guests, had leaned on Dodo a little, had we "guarded" some and policed our own, Dodo might still be here.

6 March 2013 at 22:57  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Inspector General.
What part of it being women who were the first witnesses to the Resurrection passed you by?

But my point was emphatically not gender warfare. When did Jesus Christ propose that? Men and women were intended to find mutual love and respect. not to indulge in petty gender rancour.

Jesus was never greatly taken with the petty wranglings for power and "authority" amongst his disciples. With the recent troubles and misuses of power and authority not least for sexual molestation, I doubt that he has changed his view.

I completely concur with his view that it is better to mutilate oneself (and a foot was a common euphemism in those days for a male organ) than to damage little ones. And these molesters have been sometimes allowed free range while decent and holy women were muzzled. No sense at all.

I am too old, have been through too much and come out smiling to be told what I say is "sweet" by the way. I long ago found out not to call men " sweet" as they regard it as meaning "gormless and ineffectual and vapid", whereas women generally mean "polite, thoughtful and considerate" !! So I will welcome it from the ladies but not the gentlemen!

6 March 2013 at 23:21  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 March 2013 at 00:27  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 March 2013 at 00:35  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 March 2013 at 00:41  
Blogger non mouse said...

Oh, and On cardinals.

As Your Grace knows, this communicant seldom disagrees with your viewpoint. Indeed, on this occasion more than ever, she sees YG as most gracious. However, while your chivalry is greatly valued, she must demur in response to: Women are the pinnacle of creation; a wonder of the universe.

I mean, isn’t that a bit of an over-generalisation? Surely it is axiomatic that, on occasion, the female of the species is more deadly… etc? And is it not true that good men, like good women, are equally possessed of ... intelligence, wisdom, compassion and spirituality ... --- thus matriarchy is no more power-balanced than patriarchy?

One of my main problems is, well --- with all the split loyalties about --- I think we shouldn’t dive overboard again into all that sick, dangerous, Affective Piety. We don’t need to be talking ourselves into hallucinations about ... err... ecstatic experiences.

Cont'd...

7 March 2013 at 00:51  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7 March 2013 at 00:56  
Blogger non mouse said...

...cont'd <

Anyway.

Your Grace: On a scale of Caritas, I say you’re rightly Charitable to bring us up to date on the mouldering “gender issues” in the RCC, and to raise their profile for those of us who could care more about what unholy Romans do. Christianity at large can only benefit from this reminder that we are “our brothers’ keeper.” Sisters’ too, I guess.

Of course the idea of Mamaseataship isn’t exactly revolutionary. There was the business of Pope (?Mome) Joan, somewhere around the 9th century and following. Though, of course, her story might have ended more cheerfully had she been supported by a sister ship of Cardinals. Or not.

After all, there were lots of sister-ships about at the time, most of which seem to have hit the rocks and sunk without trace. And that’s my point. Sisterships aren’t necessarily the way to go: especially if domination disorders woman the decks.

So no matter what boot fits the Mediterrranean peninsula, I’m glad we’re still at the ends of the earth. I don’t want to be told we have to put up with women bishops just because they have women cardinals.

Please do take care of yourself, over there by the Tiberical Miasma, YG. The river might just start to 'tremble underneath her banks to hear the replication of your sounds...'

Anxiously. nm

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



Lucy Mullen. Of the 12 disciples, one suspects there was one or maybe two who died peacefully in their beds in foreign lands spreading the word. (Fortunately, such is the calibre of the followers of this blog, we may well have a definite answer soon). Anyway, one is quite sure the danger of their soon to be missions was not lost on Jesus. Could he have sent women, who might have fared better in spreading the word ? Why didn’t he ? Why was he (…almost said ‘hell bent’ then …on) establishing a PATRIARCHAL church ?

There you go, a few questions you can ask yourself when next in church.

Please don’t fall into the trap that God’s wonderful church on this earth is invalid due to the nefarious activities of a really really small number of renegade priests who succumbed to their homosexual desires. That would be rather silly of you, wouldn’t it ?





7 March 2013 at 17:42  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...



Avi. …also cannot help thinking that had we played our role as appreciative guests, had leaned on Dodo a little…

Twas done, old friend, and by the Inspector among others. Your man here could see he was going to end up in the freezer and did his best to get him to desist. On each occasion, he seemed grateful, for a number of seconds, minutes even, but soon reverted. He is a loss, but an inevitable one. An inevitability born out by the bird seeking to discover the limit to Cranmer’s patience, while perversely, he must have unconsciously known that finding that limit would mean his own demise…







7 March 2013 at 17:43  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

We are left then, dear Inspector, with a lesson about not choosing monikers of unfortunate creatures. The Cerne Island Dodo was a fearless bird with a formidable beak and a nasty peck, but unwisely refused to yield the field to hungry Dutch sailors with big clubs.

7 March 2013 at 18:17  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi. One suspects it was newly introduced European rats eating the dodo eggs and undermining the order old chum. Same thing happening in the UK at the moment with maternity services, education and other benefits. Not rats this time though...



7 March 2013 at 18:50  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Inspector,

Neither rats,
Nor clever ship's cats,
Neither Dutch sailors,
Nor vampire bats.
If you ask me, methinks
That our beloved Bird
Slipped on his very own turd.

7 March 2013 at 20:15  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Avi, you must be the next poet laureate ! You have it to a tee Sir.

Your Majesty. One suspects you follow Cranmer avidly. One humbly commends the gifted colonial to your service...



7 March 2013 at 20:26  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

bugger, missed out “Ma’am”

7 March 2013 at 20:30  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

You flatter me unduly, Inspector. I dare say, though, given the cooky criteria for 21st century poets laureate I just might stand a chance, what with me longish tresses and a knack for scatological themes.

7 March 2013 at 20:58  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

I agree that most priests are innocent entirely of the child abuse scandal, and apparently we have our own bankrupt diocese in the C of E where safeguarding procedures were lax. Furthermore I fully accept that infiltration has taken place. At University such games were ubiquitous in political and religious spheres and though people grow up, not that much. Nevertheless was it Gabriele Amorth or s.o similar who lamented a full third had- like the Angels-fallen? And was he right? Certainly Jimmy Saville, Keith O' Brien. "Windswept House", the Pope resigning, amidst rumours that he did it so the whole Curia would have to go as well and people talking of a "lavender mafia": all these have made us wonder strongly what on earth is happening. And the Pope lamenting that amidst the internal politics it sometimes felt as if there was a lack of the Holy Spirit. Then we think back to the Pope who spoke of "the smoke of Satan" entering the vatican. And maybe the most admirable recent Pope, a patently gentle and good man who lasted only 33 days (symbolic?) with rumours of assassination.

All of which makes me wonder whether the present single sex system hasn't mucked it up somewhat. As in "failure to safeguard and prevent". A few women about might have helped in sorting the bad ones out; generally pretty good at noticing the bad apples, and many women are supersensitive to anyone messing with their children; useful gifts one might think!!

As for the original Apostles I think only John died a natural death, and that in a cramped prison, though with some beautiful views sometimes. But many women and men have since been called to martyrdom, and no one escapes that potentially anyway. Despotic governments in History made little to no distinction between killing Christian men or women; we expect that.

7 March 2013 at 23:14  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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

Am I allowed to say that I think that both the Inspector and Avi are being very unchristian by continuing to bag Dodo when he does not have the opportunity any longer to respond to these attacks?
Dodo has gone and the turd abuse poetry should take place on another
blog preferably Dodo's.

8 March 2013 at 00:38  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Oh and it is International Womens Day!Greetings to all the brave women who post here in the men's room.

Women, the pinnacle of wonderment.
If only men would quietly submit to directions given by women the world would be much closer to the paradise it was intended to be.
Signed
SWMBO

8 March 2013 at 00:50  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8 March 2013 at 00:50  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

For whatever it's worth, Miss Cressida, I'm fine with that, but it's HG's delete button. It's not another "attack". You see, we're guys and we don't do the touchy feely fuzzy thing too good. I'm quite sure too that a certain hovering bird is reading things in the spirit they are intended and is laughing his tail feathers off.

8 March 2013 at 01:08  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Avi you presented yourself as the renaissance man - hunky, macho, truckie stud /very much in touch with his feminine side,with the knitting,pussy cats,poetry thing ( turds aside)obviously to make yourself distinct from the cavemen clods on here and to cause a bit of chick swooning- Now you say you are not good at touchy feely or fuzzy.So that's it then.We are now stuck with cavemen clods brandishing clubs.
Gosh it's times like these a blog could use some laughing tail feathers.

8 March 2013 at 03:06  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Flaming purple avians, Miss Cressida! Is this truly the image of my humble self I have conjured here with my scribbles? An ageing Veronese gigolo? Say it is not so!

Yes, I will take my place with the club bearing cavemen.... as a Cromagnon shaman painter of the Lascaux caverns, finely attired in bleached, beaded and tasselled doeskins, with an intricately carved and well polished walnut war club and sharpest obsidian blades to brandish at my challengers. And for the swooning of the ladies, I shall weave alpine flowers through my hair and beard as I strum to ancient ballads on my single-stringed tortoise shell fiddle, cleverly tempting them with dripping combs of forest honey and even sweeter words adrip with cloying flattery. You get the picture.

Miss Cressida, could it be that you have been in the lands of the Franks too long a time? An unhealthy clime there that breeds melancholy and maudlin thoughts. Harken, you bold men of Albion! Assemble a possy of heroes and rescue your maiden sister who sits there by the Seine at a wrought iron table, sips little cups of coffee, munches on flakey croissants and dreams of the sight of the chalk cliffs of Dover and a tankard of good English ale with a full trencher of hearty and sensible bangers and beans.

8 March 2013 at 06:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Cressida old thing. To add to Avi’s excellent comment at 01:08 - What you have witnessed is a boys salute to a fallen fellow. And you are extremely privileged to see it. In the past, such doings would only take place during brandy and cigars whilst the ladies have retired to the drawing room to discuss, well, nothing.

8 March 2013 at 10:31  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Lucy Mullen, this brute of a man is now convinced the church should be run by women for women. Well done !


8 March 2013 at 10:45  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Not maudlin..just feeling a little existential. A posse of ageing purple prosed roues is the last thing I need thanks.I had no idea you were from Verona.

Woven garlands in tresses and beard and a tasselled loin loth does not do it for Catholic chicks.
Good material for a documentary though
"How to survive Canada - Trucker Goes Troppo " or The Rollicking Adventures of an orthodox Jew via an Anglican blog.

8 March 2013 at 10:47  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

You really are a quite surprisingly naive Inspector. Every important decision made in life germinates with the ladies in the drawing room and is finalised in the bedroom.But then a chap in your situation would not know and should not know of such matters,

8 March 2013 at 10:57  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ah, Miss Cressida, I'm not from Verona, one of the finest of cities I've been to, but crawling with gigolos preying on romantic American schoolmarms. And the Paleolithic fashions alluded to were real... no loin cloths, but finely tailored modern-looking trousers, jackets and hats for the gentlemen and long, elegant dresses for the ladies in an age that was perhaps more refined than any since then. Just thought your assumptions about "cavemen" were unkind. And you have my sympathies for the bout of existentialism...nasty French stuff that; I once read Camus' The Plague while down with a nasty flu, so I know all about it.

A happy Women's Day to you and all! Thanks for the reminder...a very neglected celebration in Canada and not even our CBC mentioned it this morning ...so I'll surprise my wife and daughters with a fancy, overpriced box of this seasons new Passover chocolates.

8 March 2013 at 12:55  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

No wish for the church to be predominantly male or female run!!! I believe in complementarity, and things run by adult men and women together. As few as possible single sex groupings please, as mixing the sexes civilises both usually, and provides the most balanced mixture of the Christian Virtues!!

10 March 2013 at 15:22  

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