Sunday, July 14, 2013

Archbishops pledge ‘committed solidarity’ with Christian leaders in Egypt

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have joined the call for prayers for unity, reconciliation and an end to violence in Egypt.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu wrote to the Coptic and Anglican leaders in Egypt pledging their 'committed solidarity' amid the recent turmoil in the country.

Writing to His Holiness Pope Tawadros II, Head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, and to the Most Rev'd Mouneer Anis, the President-Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and the Middle East, the Archbishops said they had been 'very mindful of recent developments taking place in Egypt' as they presided over the Church of England's General Synod in York.

They added that they were 'very grateful' for the presence at Synod of Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of The Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, who attended as an ecumenical observer and spoke powerfully of the present situation in Egypt and his hopes for reconciliation.

The Archbishops wrote: 'As Presidents of the General Synod, we are sending this message of committed solidarity with you at this time. We join in the call to pray for Egypt for unity and reconciliation and the ending to all violence, praying that all parties may be able to work together for a common future.'

They added: 'May the Lord grant you grace and strength in this ministry of reconciliation.'

All of which is well and good, if circumspect and a tad prolix.

In Egypt there has been a considerable increase in the persecution of Christians, and of the Copts in particular. Only last week a man and his nephew were beaten senseless with clubs and sliced with axes by Islamist hordes. The boy survived (just): his uncle died. And in that same week a six-year-old Coptic Christian boy, Cyril Yusuf Sa’ad, was kidnapped and held for ransom. After his family paid the ransom, the Muslim kidnapper killed the boy and threw his body in the sewer of his house.

A few weeks ago, 10-year-old Sameh George, an altar boy at the Coptic church of St Abdul Masih (Servant of Christ) in Minya, Egypt, was kidnapped by 'unknown persons' (but you can guess the professed faith). His parents and family reported it was his custom to go to church and worship in the evening, but when he did not return they received an anonymous phone call from the kidnappers, saying that they had the boy in their possession and would execute him unless they received 250,000 Egyptian pounds (c£25,000) in ransom money.

Abduction, entrapment, sexual harassment, rape, and the forced conversion of Christians are becoming more commonplace in Egypt.

What a pity that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York did not use this declaration to highlight succinctly and directly our persecuted brothers and sisters in Egypt and throughout the region, where Christians are being systematically 'cleansed'. If one part of the body suffers, every part suffers with it (1 Cor 12:26).


Blogger carl jacobs said...

I suspect this thread will not get much play because there is so little that can be done. There is so little that can be said that is in any sense meaningful. We have nothing upon which to fall except the providence of God and His ability to extract good from even the most appalling evil. It is humbling to live in the safe and secure West where 'persecution' still amounts to being told to remove a piece of jewelry at work. We whine about nothing.

When we read these stories, however, we should remember the calls to purge the West of Muslims. This is where it will lead.


14 July 2013 at 15:44  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

A religion that propagates itself by the sword can probably only be stopped by a bigger and sharper sword.

14 July 2013 at 15:46  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Full agreement with most of what the two earlier posters say, except I don't recall anyone, anywhere calling for purging the West of Muslims.

14 July 2013 at 16:15  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! This is dreadful of course, and not a subject for humour. Something must be done...but what? It is only a matter of time, and demographics, before the experience of Egyptian Copts becomes commonplace here - exactly what the EDL are warning about. It's all very well for the Archbishops to express solidarity - what about outright condemnation and vilification, backed up by our politicians? I despair...

14 July 2013 at 16:43  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

The British Empire would have sent in the gunboats. Too much to ask, one imagines, for an economic embargo unless these brutes are caught and executed. Yes, executed !

14 July 2013 at 16:47  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

...and can we finally put in the bin that twee middle class chattering classes asinine idea of democracy in the muslim middle east. Really don’t think the Copts can survive another dose of it. Not if they are going to remain at six million.

With this in mind, a letter thanking the Egyptian Army High Command for their intervention from the two archbishops wouldn’t go amiss.

14 July 2013 at 17:02  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

Apart from a few Buddhists, no religions, or even militant secularists, are capable of getting their act together to stop the barbaric expansionist onslaught of Islam. Everyone seems completely mesmerized, like rabbits caught in the headlights.

What is it about Islam that makes it seem so invincible?

Or have we just become too nice in the West to take unpleasant actions, even while we are still powerful enough?

14 July 2013 at 17:04  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Sean, if we can’t even stop homosexual expansion, then what, etc...

14 July 2013 at 17:17  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Faith can be a force for great good or evil. Those of us who have faith, know and to an extent, understand something of its power. We try in our clumsy, human ways to use our faiths for good, and often succeed, but sometimes fail.
In times past the west was run by those who either had faith, to some degree, or at least respected the faith professed in their nation; but nowadays there are few running the nations of the west, including ours, who have a personal faith, or any respect for the traditional faith of their country. As a result they dream, vainly imagining that any culture and faith can act as the birthing pool for a fully fledged democracy, because this is what they want. But they are profoundly wrong for they do not understand the religious context in which their democracy was formed.
The circumstances that gave rise to western democracy were a particular, not general set of circumstances, and are unlikely to be replicated in very different cultural contexts.
When will the BBC admit that their naive "Arab Spring" was a nonsense. We are seeing a Christian middle eastern winter.
God have mercy upon them.

14 July 2013 at 17:27  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

Two years ago, Raymond Ibrahim wrote about Christians in Egypt being kidnapped and ransomed:

‘For instance, who could forget Egyptian preacher Abu Ishaq al-Huwaini’s recent lament that Muslims would alleviate their economic woes if only they would return to the good old days of Islam, when abducting and selling or ransoming infidels was a great way of making a living.’

What a pity that the Archbishop of Canterbury did not say more at his enthronement about the persecution of Christians. There was a mention of martyrs towards the end of his sermon before he quickly got back onto safe ground with food banks and debt counselling. Perhaps he thought that speaking about the Muslim persecution of Christians would (a) provoke Muslim anger and (b) lay himself open to accusations of racism. In seanrobsville’s words, Christian niceness once again capitulated to Islamic invincibility.

14 July 2013 at 18:12  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

The ABC looks as though he is for the last time visiting a man in the condemned cell; powerless to win a reprieve or do anything other than offer words of resignation and acceptance of the inevitable.

14 July 2013 at 18:32  
Blogger Nick said...

"What a pity that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York did not use this declaration to highlight succinctly and directly our persecuted brothers and sisters in Egypt and throughout the region"

I feel I am one of a growing number of Anglicans who feel a profound sense of disappointment with our new ABC. I wish justin Welby could learn to recognise a spade and call it so. This isn't a nice world at all, and British politeness is looking increasingly ridiculous in the context of all that is happening.

Carl ..."the safe and secure West where 'persecution' still amounts to being told to remove a piece of jewelry at work..." I don't think the relatives of Lee Rigby would agree with you. I know we have covered that incident in another thread, but it is a warning to us of what could happen on a bigger scale if things don't change here in Britain. It was interesting to compare the media covereage of the recent funeral where everybody except the BBC managed to refer to his death as "murder". The BBC, in all its glorious political correctness referred to the "soldier who was killed". Shame on the beeb for it's lack of respect.

David Hussell

"As a result they dream, vainly imagining that any culture and faith can act as the birthing pool for a fully fledged democracy". Indeed, Western politicians and the media plainly show their ignorance of Islamic religion, and their contempt of Christianity, when they think some murderous and blood-thirsty group of Islamists is going to be voting for abortion rights and gay marriage as it espouses Western "values". Democracy means different things to different nations. To many, it probably means allowing an Islamist theocracy to rule. Democracy, which is essntially a voting system, should not be confused with Liberalism wich is more a culture, and is very unlikey to be adopted by any Islamist nation.

14 July 2013 at 18:35  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Johnny Rottenborough,

I agree with you.
This is the problem. Most Christians now alive in our country, and many countries in the west, have been brought up in fairly pleasant, well regulated democratic countries of plenty. Until recently their faith was the normative one, and accepted as such by those who were not believers. Even now, with hostility mounting, and attempts to silence us in the public square, no one is trying to kill us or drive us out, not physically anyway.
The there is the effect of the whole politically correct brainwashing that we have suffered, backed up by the secular belief system that says all cultures and faiths are of equal value, EXCEPT Christianity which is constantly attacked and harried in the left leaning liberal press and media. We have been saturated with this stuff, everywhere you look.
It is not easy to leap from that polite, reasonable, only recently turned inhospitable, world to deal with one which is the exact opposite. Christians and other well meaning people of our society are not, yet at least anyway, emotionally equipped to face up to outright persecution and hatred. Therefore we do not make effective advocates for our fellow Christians in the Middle East .
We need stronger outspoken leaders, like...... Jesus.

Although many Christians will disagree with me, I am one who believes that we have the right to defend ourselves, and the duty to defend the weak, in any way that the situation necessitates. But then I am not a liberal, theologically or politically.

14 July 2013 at 18:37  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

May all Muslims who persecute Christians or anybody else from other religions suffer the same fate that they dish out.

One can hope that Archbishop Welby is building up steam before he speaks out and takes positive actions. Or could it be that he'll end up teetering on the edges of important issues too weak and insipid to speak out enough to really make much difference? I hope not.

14 July 2013 at 18:42  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Marie, if ++Welby is building himself, let’s hope it doesn’t amount to a mere prayer-in.

14 July 2013 at 18:52  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


Rigby was killed because he was a soldier. And there is a whole nation waiting to avenge his fate. It was not persecution because it could not be done with impunity. It was murder. It was a political act. But it is nothing like the fate of a minority Christian in a Muslim country.


14 July 2013 at 19:04  
Blogger seanrobsville said...

It's worrying that the pattern of Islamic abduction and murder of kuffar children, which is commonplace in Egypt,Pakistan etc, is already becoming established in Britain, where Muslims are still nowhere near a majority.

In addition to the recently reported Islamic pedophile network in Oxford (described as 'Asian' by the BBC even though two of the rapists were from Africa), there were the earlier cases of Charlene Downes, Kriss Donald and Paige Chivers, all initially hushed up by the BBC.

14 July 2013 at 19:07  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Nick: "It was interesting to compare the media covereage of the recent funeral where everybody except the BBC managed to refer to his death as "murder". The BBC, in all its glorious political correctness referred to the "soldier who was killed". Shame on the beeb for it's lack of respect."

Probably more of a legal formality thing:

14 July 2013 at 19:15  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ David Hussell (18:37)—Several European countries have politicians who speak up for Christianity and speak out against Islam. It’s easy to spot them—they’re the ones who are universally condemned by the ruling classes, Church leaders and the media as Nazis and racist thugs. In spite of the vilification they receive, interspersed now and again with attempts to imprison them, they refuse to be silent. I hope and pray that the electoral success of Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders, for example, will be replicated throughout Europe. It’s ironic that Christianity’s salvation in Europe lies in the hands of those who are despised by the Churches.

14 July 2013 at 19:28  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Oh, come come, Johnny. Surely there can be no free speech for Nazis? And, of course, as we all know, a "Nazi" is anyone who doesn't see things the Guardian's way. By the way, is it just a co-incidence that the Guardian's forum (titled, without a hint of irony, "Comment is Free") is the most heavily censored on the net? There's kind of a lesson there, isn't there?

14 July 2013 at 19:36  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

This man remembers the BBC referring to the ‘muslim abuse ring' and wondered how long that would last.

Later, he saw a BBC interview with an imam who denied it was a muslim problem. Made the point you don’t refer to Christian crime. We know the BBC changes colour to fit, but it’s interesting to nail down the precise incident to which they so ably react...

14 July 2013 at 19:39  
Blogger Corrigan said...

On the subject of the Copts, yes, it will take more than solidarity to protect them. Even as they are persecuted in Egypt, Orthodox Christians are being systematically driven out of supposedly "secular" Turkey. I suspect that rather than hindering that country's application for membership of the EU, the eurocrats are hoping to take some lessons from the Turks.

14 July 2013 at 19:39  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

seanrobsville (17:04) asked: What is it about Islam that makes it seem so invincible?

1. It's got the West over a barrel. An oil barrel to be precise.
2. Reliance on a continuous convoy of Natural Gas tankers to help keep the lights on now that we are being forced to shut down coal fired power stations.
3. Massive inward capital investment from Middle East riches to shore up our economies and the global banking system.
It has us by the short and curlys. That is why its appetite is fed, its outrages are appeased and its demographic implications ignored.

14 July 2013 at 20:03  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

...forgot to mention. If there is at least one imam who doesn’t consider muslim abuse of children a muslim problem, there’s going to more. So we can forget about the mosques being used as the first line of confrontation in stamping the thing out in the UK.

14 July 2013 at 20:28  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ OoIG (20:28)—we can forget about the mosques being used as the first line of confrontation in stamping the thing out

It seems to be too entrenched to stamp out.

‘The boy was horrifically injured in an acid attack after he rebuffed the Muslim cleric’s sexual advances. Now, he has alarmed Pakistan’s powerful religious establishment by pressing charges against his alleged assailants. It is the first such case to be brought against a Muslim cleric and threatens to expose a scandal of sex abuse within Pakistan’s secretive Islamic schools.’—Daily Telegraph

‘British forces were advised by a military study that paedophilia is widespread and culturally accepted in southern Afghanistan.’—Daily Telegraph

‘A Muslim cleric has been found guilty of sexually assaulting two boys at a mosque in Stoke-on-Trent.’—BBC

14 July 2013 at 20:57  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Just as in the 30s, when the establishment were merely irritated by Churchill's prescient predictions and warnings, so now, the self styled cultural leaders and politicians cravenly flee from the reality of the threats to our society.
As the first, University educated, generation descended from hundreds of years of farm owners of the, do the work yourselves variety, and craftsmen/ business owners, I instinctively put more trust in the gut feelings and reasoning of the yeoman types of England than the silly, culturally unanchored, fashionable prejudices of the liberal media and politician types.
England will be free, but I fear that turbulent waters are ahead. May we be granted good judgement and steely resolution.

14 July 2013 at 21:06  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Ok so...we are all pissed off with the way things are going...there isn't going to be a lead from the politicians or church leaders... so let's do something...

14 July 2013 at 21:23  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

vote UKIP, dear lady. That will learn them, as the riff raff say around here...

14 July 2013 at 21:40  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

[GASP!} What did you say Mrs Proudie ???

Standards, madam, standards...

14 July 2013 at 21:49  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The Inspector is right, Mrs Proudie,

I hate to be predicable ( is that true?) , as a party member and erstwhile candidate, but Ukip is the only party that supports traditional, commonsense British values and has a very good chance of achieving significant political success. It is not liberal, PC or sometimes even, polished, yet.

It is not particularly right wing, certainly not as right wing as its opponents will have you believe. For example it supports the National Health Service, for the British that is, hard work, achievement, a strong defense policy ( but not foolishly invading countries where we have no interest) and our return to becoming a politically sovereign, successful trading nation once more, trading with the economically expanding world. It is " happy to be the flag bearer for the Judaeo-Christian heritage", and whilst supporting Civil Partnerships it opposes the redefinition of marriage. It is drawing new members from across much of the political spectrum including , refreshingly, many who had given up hope and ceased voting years ago. It has folk ranging from the seriously posh, landed that is, to those in the traditional professions, to the basic, but sensible. Most members have been or still are, grafters. There are young as well as , not so young. I could go on. Have a read of the website. Party membership is rocketing skywards, having just passed 30,000. Your sense of humour, Mrs Proudie would be most appreciated, if not your dress sense !

14 July 2013 at 22:18  
Blogger Nick said...

If UKIP can avoid being polluted by the liberal hypocrisy and falseness of the other parties, if it can hold its nerve while under fire from it's prejudiced and bigoted accusers, if it will stand by its principals rather than populism, if it seeks the good of the nation above the success of the party, then it is a party worth voting for, and will get my support.

The current political system is well overdue for the dustbin. It does not serve anybody except its false gods. It's demise cannot come too soon. As a Christian, I do not believe in having total faith in any political party. But UKIP policies seem closer to the values I espouse than any of the others, and is therefore most likely to get my vote next time round

14 July 2013 at 23:04  
Blogger Peter D said...

Short of calling for a Christian Crusade to the Middle East, what can we reasonably expect from Archbishop Welby? Remember the eruption of Muslim violence in the region following Pope Benedict's academic comments years ago about Islam?

Imagine if Welby had launched an outright condemnation of Islamist violence. How many deaths would follow? And this would galvanise Islamist action. Before launching such a condemnation, and I agree one is long over due, the safety of those Christians must be taken into account.

It's not for us sitting here at our laptops to offer up others as martyrs. Who amongst us would be prepared to leave home and family to go the aid of our Christian brothers and sisters? And if not, would we support the deaths of British and American serviceman on a campaign to stamp out extreme Islamism? And what would the chances of success be?

14 July 2013 at 23:12  
Blogger ardenjm said...

I think this intervention by the Anglican hierarchy is very welcome indeed and should be encouraged.
It's such a novelty, after all.

Back in the days when Europe was fighting for its survival against the Ottomans the English were nowhere to be seen. At Lepanto - and later on at Vienna.

However, Elizabeth I did find time to make an alliance with the Ottomans in order to tie up Spanish forces and hinder the full weight of Spanish might attacking England.

She wrote a thank you note after the failed Armada.
Which was very polite of her.
Ever the middle way pragmatist, Good Queen Bess...
Rather be in an alliance with Islam than with Catholicism...

I wonder if the Egyptian Copts are aware that when the chips are down...
oh well. I'm sure they found the sentiments very worthy. Well done Justin.

The Dutch also, fought the same war against Spain - and they even had an expression which said:
Liever Turks dan Paaps ("Rather Turkish than Papist").

At one point, a letter was sent from Suleiman the Magnificent to the "Lutherans" in Flanders, claiming that he felt close to them, "since they did not worship idols, believed in one God and fought against the Pope and Emperor".

Well - the Protestant Dutch have certainly been heard by the Almighty and taken at their word, haven't they... and they are, indeed, rather Muslim than Catholic now. So I suspect the same will happen to the UK in time.
But at least there'll be No Popery in the UK.
I wonder if the Iain Paisley memorial Mosque in Belfast will be able to tag that bit on to the end after the Call to Prayer?

So then folks - what were Isabella and Ferdinand supposed to do back in the 15th century?

We are already vexed by a 5% presence of Muslims in the UK. What will it be like at 10% or 15%?
In reconquered Spain - the proportion was much higher....

One thing's for sure, though:
We won't be able to count on the Anglican Church for moral guidance and leadership when the time comes....

14 July 2013 at 23:38  
Blogger Manfarang said...

"The British Empire would have sent in the gunboats."
I remember the last time they did that in 1956. It didn't turn out too well.

15 July 2013 at 04:21  
Blogger Manfarang said...

"What is it about Islam that makes it seem so invincible?"
Not so invincible amongst the many who have worked in the Middle East.

15 July 2013 at 04:46  
Blogger Ivan said...

While every other religious tradition has exemplars who were most praiseworthy in their lives and conduct, men such as Buddha, Jesus and Guru Nanak, the Muslims have in Mohamet, a man who managed to combine all the characteristics of a brutal sex-maniac, murderer and intriguer. A man who advised lying as a tactic: taqquiya, which Muslim clerics have honed to a fine art. There is nothing to be done about Islam except to keep it away from your shores.

15 July 2013 at 04:52  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Manafrang my chap,

The Suez campaign was a military success, for it's failure you can thank the Americans, whom I guess would with the ability of hindsight much prefer the British Empire to the Mad Madhi!*

And I note that Seanrobsville quotes Bhuddists as fighting against Jihad. A contrast to the liberal western hippie types who portray that religion as peace, sex, love and rock and roll!

*[Carl Jacobs, does of course enter the fray here to give us the apologetic version of why US policy was nothing less than saintly].

15 July 2013 at 06:26  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...


A realist notes that when your country is under attack sometimes the unlikely foe is your friend, in the same way that Russia was our ally during the war.

Alas your anti-Anglican mindset has distorted your worldview.

The English and Dutch were fighting for their freedom against the rule of the Habsburg Empire, whose inbred rulers were so ultra militant in their defence of Roman Catholicism at all costs, which meant invasions of England, Holland & Germany, the expulsion and mistreatment of Jews, whilst also sometimes engaging their own forays into Italy and the Vatican, whilst at the same time conquering the New World, plundering its resources and slaughtering the natives, they make the cyber swiss guard here look like Cafeteria Catholic liberals..dare I say even Corrigan would get only 5/10 compared to these chaps.

15 July 2013 at 06:51  
Blogger David Hussell said...


I agree with you. Ukip is still developing, as I suppose are all parties, but especially young ones. It needs to keep its values right, but I believe that it probably will, as its members loathe political correctness.

I also agree that, as first and foremost a Christian, I expect relatively little from governments and politics, because are not all of us tainted and fallen, and does not our hope lie elsewhere, ultimately? Ukip are far from perfect but will act as a essential tool, or vehicle, to hopefully help deliver us from the within the body that continues to impose deeply anti-Christian laws, amongst other things, upon us. So I see my work for Ukip as Christian service, but like you I place my faith elsewhere. There is a significant group of traditional Christians within the party producing their own modest internal publication. By all means do consider joining, we need more people serving the political life of the nation, from a faith perspective, we really do. There are too many Christians who moan but keep their precious hands off the levers of democracy that, ultimately, frame our laws.

15 July 2013 at 08:30  
Blogger ardenjm said...

Lord Lavendon

For sure, for sure.
Real-politik and all that. Pragmatism. All very British.
The (nominally) Catholic French were even worse:
They actually helped the Turks at Lepanto!

I think you could call that a betrayal.

But my point wasn't primarily to be anti Anglican - although it is fun to remind high-horsed Anglicans about some uncomfortable home truths (far more Catholics martyred in Oxford, for example than the three Protestants who had that ugly neo-gothic memorlal put up to them.. And the ructions when a tiny commemorative plaque was to be placed in St Mary the Virgin Church in recent years. Well!)

And did The "Virgin" Queen REALLY have to write a thank you note to the Sultan?

Maybe that explains why Conservatives are in favour of allowing Turkey into the EU...

My point was really to say how our prejudiced short-sightedness makes us prefer short term gains over long-term losses.
Which is crazy.

Quite a number of people here would be just as suspicious of the Catholic Pope as they are of Abu Qatada.

And that's just nuts, I'm afraid.

But not only is it nuts - it's also because of a residual guilty conscience and a very well maintained false consciousness:
England was Catholic for 1000 years. The fratricidal top-down imposition of Reformation has been spun into the story of a brave little nation wresting its liberty and self-determination from the maws of Papal Tyranny. This is just bonkers.
But since that's the cartoon version of British history - it needs a villain, right? And here they are:
The nasty Spanish Catholics are wheeled out, pantomime character-like as proof of what Papal Tyranny looks like.

Where to start in all that deliberate caricaturing?
Isabella and Ferdinand were amongst the last (and most reluctant) to expel the Jews from their lands. The English had done it centuries before them! The Catholic Poles never did it...
The Papacy resisted the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition. Didn't want it.
When the Spanish Royals did establish it, however - it was one of the most scrupulous legal bodies of its day. No Witch-hunting in Catholic Inquisitorial Spain, for example - not in the way we see it in parts of Northern Europe - both Catholic and Protestant.
But Spain can't be understood - the Conquistador mentality can't be understood - without realising they fought against Islam for 700 years to recapture ancient lands.
And we in these islands should think long and hard about that.

It's amazing that such a bellicose people were ever able to produce the Music, Literature, Art and Architecture that counts amongst the glories of European civilisation - when you think about it - or when you read your version of the Habsburgs...

So, all in all, I'll stick by what I said - even though I accept that I dressed it up with a lot of rhetorical flummery.

These words from the Archbishop & Co mean exactly NOTHING.
I think the Egyptian Copts have suffered for long enough to know mealy-mouthed hot air when they hear it.

Does that make me anti-Anglican?
Let it join the long list of proofs.
Guilty as accused!

But at the top, please let there be my foaming at the mouth hatred for that smug self-satisfied, "we're a third way, balanced and integral and avoiding extremes" that is regularly trotted out.
Butter wouldn't melt.
It's as if Francis Walsingham and Thomas Cromwell had never existed. Let alone that vacillating bully-boy coward who declared the rightful Queen of England to be nothing but a cast off and her daughter a bastard, forbidden to see her Mother...

But that's for another day!

15 July 2013 at 11:33  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Lord Lavendon,

I suspect Arenjm is to Corrigan what Emperor Palaptine was to Darth Vader... OK I stopped reading when I got to the point of 'the inquisition was a scrupulous legal body'.

15 July 2013 at 12:00  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 July 2013 at 12:13  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...


A bit of a contradiction in attempting to justify the Spanish Inquistion, old chap, whilst bleeding your heart about the evils of the Protestant English reformation, but in the same breath call said Church of England 'hot air'.

I think this is where you types get unstuck. You want to have is the cake and eat it.

For example the Pope and his Bishops tell you plebs the lowdown on your faith... but don't like Vatican II for being 'liberal'.

The same goes with the hostility towards Anglicanism. One the one hand, thread after thread, the Anglicans are portrayed by some as liberal wishy washy people, but in the same breath are the body responsible for turning England away from Rome, evil money grubbers who stole Church property , ruthless etc. How do those opposed descriptions make any sense?

They don't, but it seems the standard reaction from Cyber Swiss guards.

15 July 2013 at 12:24  
Blogger ardenjm said...

david kavanagh

not trying to "justify" the spanish inquisition at all.
But it wasn't the Black Legend, that's all.

There were Inquisitors who did terrible things. Unjustifiable things. Evil things.
And I can understand why the Pope of the day didn't want the Inquisition in Spain established. He knew the Spanish, I guess.
When you've fought to reconquer your country against Islam it's going to have had an effect on your national character...

But every legal body in Europe did things that we'd consider barbaric today - and things much worse, unjust and evil than the Spanish Inquisition.
But then, the people of the 15th and 16th centuries would probably look at our industrial abortion factories, our drone-bombing and our NHS deaths and say: they think they are better than us because they hide their barbarity... and they'd have a point.

Modern scholarship requires us to re-examine some of our inherited notions about the Spanish Inquisition. Historians Bartolomé Bennassar in French and Henry Kamen in English aren't apologists for the Inquisition: they're just doing the spade work and looking at the documents and records - often for the very first time, ironically enough, since the Inquisition were more scrupulous (there's that word again) about noting down EVERYTHING.

I'm just poking sticks in the ants' nest.
But since you're British/Anglican/Liberal ? You've got that innate sense of fair play, tolerance and liberality that, I'm sure, will make you take a look at the historians I mentioned and start considering things from another perspective.
What could be more Broad Church, after all.

Mind how you go.

15 July 2013 at 12:37  
Blogger ardenjm said...

Lord Lavendon

"the Anglicans are portrayed by some as liberal wishy washy people, but in the same breath are the body responsible for turning England away from Rome, evil money grubbers who stole Church property , ruthless etc. How do those opposed descriptions make any sense"

Oh, I'm sorry. Let me explain:
The paternalistic money-grabbing fratricidal Reform of the 16th century took a few centuries to become the Fair Trade Stall that it is today.

I'm more than happy to list the sins done by Catholics down the centuries. It needs to be done.
Which is exactly why Pope John Paul II made that acknowledgement and that asking for pardon a part of the Jubilee of the Year 2000.

I'm wondering, though, what you made of Her Majesty's and the Archbishop of Canterbury's acknowledgement of the evils done against Catholics in Great Britain and Ireland down the centuries ?

Not an apology, mind. The Royal Family doesn't apologise. Though the ABC could, I guess, no? Even it isn't a sacrament... However, an acknowledgement would be nice.

At some point.

Like I said: a guilty conscience and false consciousness.

Let me make a start:
Queen Mary did some terrible and wicked things against heretics during her reign. It was against the spirit of the Gospel and is a stain on the history of the Catholic Church in England.

Your turn.

15 July 2013 at 12:45  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...


I have no guilty conscience. I doubt if most English people do and as for false conscience, Marxism is a dish not served at my table!

And if you think Catholics are so badly treated here and it too much of a burden, then feel free to go to Egypt. Given your description of England, how terrible it is, then you must be wanting to get away...

15 July 2013 at 13:45  
Blogger ardenjm said...

Lord Lavendon

Well then you are in denial about the history of Britain.

And, on balance, I'd say I'm looking at it much more squarely in the eye.

Is it REALLY that hard to say, "Francis Walsingham was a nasty piece of work" and to acknowledge that the instruments of torture that were displayed as coming from the Spanish Inquisition were, in fact, the instruments he had used on Catholic Priests?
And that the Spanish Inquisition tortured people for 15 minutes at a time and only ever twice, at most, whereas Walsingham and his cronies tortured for hours and days on end...

I tell you what - I'll make it even easier for you:

Oliver Cromwell in Ireland.
There you go.
That's an EASY one to acknowledge as a stain on the history of England.
Cromwell wasn't even an Anglican...

This historical stuff lies all around us.
You seem to have a hard time acknowledging that.
Here's the finest (Anglican!) poet of the 20th century to help you:

"A people without history
Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern
Of timeless moments. So, while the light fails
On a winter's afternoon, in a secluded chapel
History is now and England"

15 July 2013 at 14:22  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...


I have no desire to feed your anti-anglican, anti-English rant machine any further. I see Cromwell is being wheeled out as the example of last resort of how bad the English are. Except that an historical figure should be judged by the context of the time. No better or worse than the slaughtering of French Protestants, by French Kings.

15 July 2013 at 15:00  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Each to his own entertainment I suppose, and no doubt we all gain from occasionally examining the uncomfortable facts of history. But isn't one of the key teachings of Christianity that, all born of woman are marred and imperfect, and that reality of imperfection has always seeped into the various earth bound components of the universal Church ?

My prejudice is that the other Trinitarian institutional Churches are, as imperfect as my own, some more so, and some less, a pattern which ebbs and flows with history. But none are ever perfect.

Now I am no liberal and certainly up for the fight with the enemies of Christianity, but I don't recognize any within the Trinitarian Churches. Am I wrong ?

Have a good summer.

15 July 2013 at 15:02  
Blogger ardenjm said...

Lord Lavendon

You make the mistake of equating English with Anglican.

No surprise there.

I think I've been pretty fair-minded and even-handed in criticising the excesses and evils of the Spanish Inquisition and Mary Tudor.
I'm happy to do the same about the persecution of the Hugenots by French catholic monarchs. It was disgraceful.

When I invite you to do the same about Francis Walsingham, Thomas Cromwell and Oliver Cromwell however - you can't.
You go on the attack and accuse me of smearing the English.
Well, guess what, the Catholics and Puritans were English, too. And some of them did brave heroic beautiful things. And some of them did wicked and evil things.
Just like the Anglicans.
All of them were English.
None were more English than the others.

You're not "more English" because you are Anglican.
You don't have the monopoly on Englishness just because you appropriated everything the Catholic Church did here and called it your own and started calling Catholics 'foreigners'.

Go and ask the Duke of Norfolk if you don't believe me.

Goodness, me.
I'm not ranting.
But I'm clearly getting under your skin.

And good.
A jingoistic little Englander needs reminding that England was Catholic for 1000 years - and a great Catholic country it was, too.

Deal with it.

15 July 2013 at 15:26  
Blogger ardenjm said...

David Hussell

"I am no liberal and certainly up for the fight with the enemies of Christianity, but I don't recognize any within the Trinitarian Churches. Am I wrong?"

Which is what lies behind my initial comments about the informal alliances between the Sultan and the Protestants/Anglicans.
The Dutch even came up with "Calvino-Turcismus" to express the rapport!

You couldn't make it up.

So... will Welby be true to his word?
Of course not.
And neither will the Anglican Communion as a whole.
Although some individual Anglicans will, of course, be heroic and worth their weight in gold.

15 July 2013 at 15:31  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

*you're British/Anglican/Liberal *

In actual fact British/Jew/Orthodox...

15 July 2013 at 15:58  
Blogger ardenjm said...

david kavanagh

Allow me to correct a slight error in your representation of my remarks.
I think I asked this:
But since you're British/Anglican/Liberal ?

Rather than affirmed this:
*you're British/Anglican/Liberal *

But you'd already decided I'm on the Dark Side of the Force - so, in that sense - whatever means are at your disposal, I guess.

Concerning the Spanish Inquisition - your argument is less with me than it is with Kamen and Bennassar. But I appreciate that Bibi Netanyahu's father established another narrative...

What will be interesting to see is how Britain copes with an Islamic population that grows quickly.
And, for that matter, how Israel copes with Israeli Muslims too. When I went to Israel last year the thing which struck me the most were the number of minarets all over the place.
Go figure.

Personally, for national security reasons I can understand why Israel constructed the wall...
I wonder what 15th century Spaniards would have made of it...

15 July 2013 at 16:49  
Blogger Roy said...

ardenjm said...

But my point wasn't primarily to be anti Anglican - although it is fun to remind high-horsed Anglicans about some uncomfortable home truths (far more Catholics martyred in Oxford, for example than the three Protestants who had that ugly neo-gothic memorlal put up to them.. .

Oxford is just a tiny part of England. A more accurate comparison would be of the number of protestants martyred during the reign of Bloody Mary with the number of Catholics martyred during the reigns of her successors (all of them).

England was Catholic for 1000 years. The fratricidal top-down imposition of Reformation has been spun into the story of a brave little nation wresting its liberty and self-determination from the maws of Papal Tyranny. This is just bonkers.

England was not Catholic for 1000 years. Christianity was introduced to England by the Celtic Church in Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Later on, with the arrival of Augustine, Rome got involved and subsequently, with the aid of King Oswiu of Northumbria at the Synod of Whitby they launched a successful takeover bid.

The story of a brave little nation wresting its liberty and self-determination from the maws of Papal Tyranny is certainly not bonkers. If it were not for the defeat of the Spanish Armada, England would have come under Spanish domination at best if not outright Spanish rule. The Dutch also know something about Spanish rule.

Like it or not, democracy developed earlier in protestant countries that catholic ones.

15 July 2013 at 20:38  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...


I did not actually conflate Anglicanism with Englishness. You did that. I said you were both anti-English and Anti-Anglican.

You moaned about our Sovereign at the time allegedly seeking alliances with the Turks and fighting against Spain (I noted this was no different to being allied to Russia during the war).

Spain was trying to crush England. So if you supported Spain over England, that is anti-English.

The anti-Anglicanism is obvious and need not be repeated here.

Now as for me being 'A jingoistic little Englander', I think you will find I am nothing of the sort.

The rest Roy takes up.

Parting thought is that England has been Anglican Protestant for 500 years. Why can't the Papal party get over that?

15 July 2013 at 21:00  
Blogger Peter D said...


That's a rather simplistic, post-Reformation, *account* of the Synod of Whitby. The poor 'Celtic Church' over-powered by the wicked 'Roman Church'. More like propaganda for the Scottish Kirk than accurate history.

15 July 2013 at 21:02  
Blogger ardenjm said...

"Parting thought is that England has been Anglican Protestant for 500 years. Why can't the Papal party get over that?"

Oh I can accept a Protestant England much more easily than I can accept the central premiss of the owner of this blog: which is that somehow the Anglican Church is a continuation of the Catholic Church that it usurped and replaced.

I won't be so rude as to say it's still squatting in Catholic buildings for the last 500 years...
I found it interesting, though, when Pope Benedict came to Scotland that he, ahem, gently reminded everyone of the origins of the name and origins of Holyroodhouse...

No - I'm quite happy to acknowledge that England has had its variation of Protestantism for the past 500 years. Just as I'm happy to admit - and be ashamed of - the wicked things Catholics did both in the UK and abroad.

You, however, have made no such acknowledgement. Neither that England was Catholic for 1000 years prior to the Henry's Top Down Reform - endorsing as you do Roy's spurious version of English ecclesiastical history - nor, more importantly do you acknowledge the evils that were done in the name of Protestant anti-Catholicism.
I can only conclude it's because you believe Catholics deserved everything they got.

Here's the list, then, - you can peruse it at your leisure:
It's not complete. There are 300 in England.
Countless thousands in Ireland, of course.
And, for the umpteenth time I acknowledge the 300 who were burned under Queen Mary.

I'm not saying their deaths of the Catholics were worse crimes than those who were killed under Mary Tudor. I'm just asking you to acknowledge them. Something you have signally failed to do several times. I find that not only intellectually dishonest - but also a bit caddish, frankly.

15 July 2013 at 22:47  
Blogger ardenjm said...

Since you preferred to exonerate Cromwell and accuse me of repeating an old canard - I think it best to let Winston Churchill correct your churlishness:

"...Cromwell's record was a lasting bane. By an uncompleted process of terror, by an iniquitous land settlement, by the virtual proscription of the Catholic religion, by the bloody deeds already described, he cut new gulfs between the nations and the creeds. 'Hell or Connaught' were the terms he thrust upon the native inhabitants, and they for their part, across three hundred years, have used as their keenest expression of hatred 'The Curse of Cromwell on you.' ... Upon all of us there still lies 'the curse of Cromwell'."

A key surviving statement of Cromwell's own views on the conquest of Ireland is his "Declaration of the lord lieutenant of Ireland for the undeceiving of deluded and seduced people" of January 1650. In this he was scathing about Catholicism, saying that

"I shall not, where I have the power... suffer the exercise of the Mass."

His lieutenant, Henry Ireton, continued his work: crop burning, starvation, siege and blockade.
I know the Protestant work ethic is strong - but Cromwell's son in law was particularly zealous:
The population of Ireland went from 1,400,000 to 800,000. In the space of 3 years.

I make that 200,000 a year.

But, of course, Mary Tudor did kill 60 a year during her reign...

Mary Tudor died murmuring Calais.
Henry Ireton's last words included:
" blood! blood! I must have more blood!"

But of course - it's all just a detail in English history.
Nothing to see here.
Move along, folks.
Move along.

Shame on you Lavendon, shame on you.

15 July 2013 at 23:04  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

ardenjm. Powerful stuff from you, I’ll say.

This man visited Tewkesbury Abbey, this Saturday gone. Thankfully, the local population paid the regal thief off and saved the abbey church for use as their own parish church. As of result, the bones of the abbots laid to rest within the structure, among others, were not heaved out during the reformation. Interesting word that ‘reformation’ , suggesting reform, when of course, it was all done with a sword to the throat of anyone who objected. Perhaps the 'murder period' is more apt...

15 July 2013 at 23:07  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Well chaps as our Blog host said a while back :

'is sick to eye teeth of certain 'robust' Roman Catholics hijacking every thread with their infallible pontifications, spiritual superstitions and derision aimed at His Grace or the church to which he belongs'

Hear, hear that man!

PS- Ardenjm ,

You see fit to exonerate the murderous Inquisition and Catholic conquests of England & Holland.

Touche old bean.

Me a chad?

Do you and Inspector want satisfaction then? I may be old, but I could thrash the pair of your in a sword fight any day!

15 July 2013 at 23:20  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Now really, Lavendon, give the 16th century types some credit. They weren’t crying out for reform. One suspects an excellent chap as yourself would have lead them too...

15 July 2013 at 23:25  
Blogger ardenjm said...

Lavendon -
You're lying - and you know you are:

"You see fit to exonerate the murderous Inquisition and Catholic conquests of England & Holland."

No. I've been unsparing about wickedness done in the name of Catholicism in every post I've made - just scroll up and see.

I've asked you to reciprocate concerning wickedness done in the name of Protestantism and you've refused to. Blithely ignoring the 600,000 deaths caused by Henry Ireton and his cronies out of Puritan bigotry.

In response you have the gall to accuse me of showing derision and superstition.
I quote two great Anglicans - T.S. Eliot and Winston Churchill - and this is derision and superstition...

Lavendon - you've become a parody of yourself at this point.
So in that respect I'll leave the last word to you - it's only appropriate:

"I may be old, but I could thrash the pair of your in a sword fight any day!"

15 July 2013 at 23:42  
Blogger Peter D said...

Lord Lavendon

Come on now, you're a fair man.

There's been no "infallible pontifications" or the expression of "spiritual superstitions". Agreed, one blogger has had a pop at Anglicanism and our long suffering host. More a dispute over how history is recorded and shapes our modern consciousness, I'd say.

No need for pistols at dawn, old chap.

15 July 2013 at 23:46  
Blogger Peter D said...

.... or sword fights.

15 July 2013 at 23:47  

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