Friday, September 13, 2013

Church in Wales approves women bishops


From Rev'd Dr Peter Mullen:

Where Wales leads can England fail to follow? The Church in Wales has just voted in favour of the consecration of women as bishops. What I found interesting about this was the remark earlier this week by the Archbishop of Wales saying, “The consecration of women bishops is obviously theologically right.” Interesting because if it is so obvious why didn’t it occur to the church for the first two thousand years of its history?

The integrity which opposes the ordination of women to the priesthood as well as to the episcopacy is no mere misogynist whim. Despite what the Archbishop of Wales says, it is a theological integrity and it was outlined as long ago as the 1940s by the great Christian apologist C.S. Lewis. He said:
Suppose the reformer begins to say that God is like a good woman. Suppose she says that we might just as well pray to Our Mother which art in heaven as to Our Father. Suppose that the Incarnation might just as well have taken a female form. Suppose the Second Person of the Trinity be as well called Daughter of God as Son of God. Suppose finally that the mystical marriage betwixt ‘Christ and his Church’ were reversed, that the Church became the Bridegroom and Christ the Bride. All this is involved in the claim that a woman can represent God as priest.
Lewis concludes devastatingly but incontrovertibly: If all those supposals were ever carried into effect, we should be embarked on a different religion.

Well Mr Lewis, they have been and we are.

There is a profound shift in original mystical theology, in the psychology of ritual and in our beliefs concerning the Divine ontology when a female stands at the altar and declares, "This is my body." These things are not trivial: they go to the heart of Christian apprehension where they actually make the relationship between God and humankind a matter for experimentation.

After agonised prayer, Our Lord appointed twelve male apostles. The Gospel says he ordained them (Mk 3:14). He had warm and close relations with women, and was even accused on occasions of being too friendly with them. But he did not ordain any of them – not even Mary Magdalene, the first witness to his resurrection. We are not at liberty to think that this decision of Our Lord’s was just a matter of cultural relativism: as if Jesus were merely primitive and reactionary and stood in need of correction by the militant feminists of our day. He did not ordain any women and so we must assume that there was a reason for his decision.

Those who favour the ordination of women and the consecration of women bishops generally cite the example of the other professions. They say, "We have women doctors, women judges, women astronauts – why not women priests and bishops?" The question simply misses the point by substituting secular standards of judgement for legitimate Church order based on biblical and patristic authority.

I am an old-fashioned liberal. By this I mean that I do not expect everyone to agree with me, but I do believe strongly that allowances must be made for people who beg to differ. Even such a dyed-in-the-wool liberal as John Stuart Mill understood that democracy is about more than counting heads: it is about ensuring that dissenting minorities have their views represented. Twenty-one years ago, such allowances were made for those who could not conscientiously accept women as priests. The same sort of provision should have been made for the significant minority who cannot accept women bishops. That it was not made amounts to the criminal dispossession of traditional Christians.

There is a female ascendancy in the church and it has a certain character. It is broadly feminist, left-wing in politics and obsessed with environmental issues. Let me give some examples.

The church will become dominated by a single party – the politically-correct party. There will be demands for equality between traditional views of marriage and same-sex partnerships. We are already hearing a lot more about light bulbs and carbon footprints. There will be a corresponding dearth of doctrine and theology. For many of the people who will assume control of the church are generally uneducated: they attended dumbed-down theological colleges where little was taught except about diversity, feminism, environmentalism, institutional racism and the evils of English history. Really we are seeing the growth of a paganised, feminised, secularised and trivialised church in which those who profess traditional faith are ridiculed and marginalised.

Rev'd Dr Peter Mullen is an author and former rector of St Michael's, Cornhill in the City of London.

316 Comments:

Blogger Albert said...

We are not at liberty to think that this decision of Our Lord’s was just a matter of cultural relativism: as if Jesus were merely primitive and reactionary and stood in need of correction by the militant feminists of our day.

Well quite. Christians are followers of Jesus, not correctors of Jesus. Thus, it is questionable whether those who think to correct Jesus on such matters, are really Christians. Similarly, it is questionable, whether organisations who make such "corrections" are really Christian. Where does that leave genuine Christians in such organisations? Leaving, presumably.

13 September 2013 at 09:26  
Blogger Guy Jones said...

Yes Albert what does one do? Stay and fight some kind of guerrilla/stay-behind war or leave? I think the former is an act of rebellion against a God-ordained authority. Better to leave and not look back.

13 September 2013 at 09:34  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Our Lord appointed twelve male apostles. The Gospel says he ordained them (Mk 3:14).

Defenders of religion perpetually seek to airbrush by time-line contextuality, some pretty absurd if not outright vile events and actions that of necessity, demand to be interpreted as being 'of the time'. The prevailing attitude towards women of the time and in many parts of the world still today, would surely explain why there are only men recorded as being called.

If the same situation arose today, no doubt the suspicions or accusations would be of a homosexual tendency. From an outsiders perspective, the Christian Church needs to employ all the women it can gather to get away as far as possible from the iniquitous legacy of the male dominated environment.

Islam is a 'male only' cult which all but demonises women for simply being women - do Christians really want to remain in such close alliance with the logic of the barbarian?

13 September 2013 at 09:39  
Blogger Revsimmy said...

Or perhaps the Church is simply waking up to the truth expressed by the Puritan, John Robinson: "The Lord hath yet more light and truth to break forth from His Word."

13 September 2013 at 09:44  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Albert, there's something I've wondered for a long time. Whether the whole argument could be side tracked by leaving men in charge of the priesthood in Christian religions, and women in charge of the temporal authority.

Take the Roman Catholic Church for example. What sort of place do you think it would be, if there was no dispute about the idea that only men could be priests, but women controlled all the finances? Ran the Vatican Bank, controlled the property portfolio (even were responsible for dealing with priests who broke the secular law?) Different, certainly. Terrifying - possibly. But to my half the problem has always been the fact that spiritual and temporal power are too closely linked in most Christian churches.

Or do you think it would be more like Kipling?

“If you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
And the women come out to cut up the remains,
Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
And go to your God like a soldier.”

13 September 2013 at 10:22  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

"Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

All I can say is that speaking as a woman who is not and has no present intention to become ordained, Dr. Mullen's article makes a chill go down my spine, because he doesn't think that I, or people like me, are as fully human as he is. I feel like reading Shylock's speech out of "The Merchant Of Venice" to him, and saying much of that is how we feel.

Milton wrote of those "thoughts that wander through eternity." You know we have them too. "God is Spirit and those who worship him must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth" we are told and yet here we are focusing on the body, and more specifically on one part of the body. It feels far from wholesome.

The ridiculous concept that the Godhead is male, and thus excludes the female is theologically and philosophically abject in its poverty of thought.

The idea that the priest represents Christ doesn't touch the ground. At its worst we are asked to accept that a fat indolent child molester has represented Christ. To which you get the answer that it is not the worthiness of the priest that matters, he is just there as a channel, though apparently that argument doesn't apply if the priest has something so unacceptable and horrid as a female body.

Dress it up which way you will this is what it boils down to, and it is nothing short of offensive, and not the way that I see Jesus treating his band of followers, which included women, nor the way I see St Paul treating women, when he can upon a band of women praising God when he was looking for a quorum of men at the synagogue he stayed with the women, and shared the gospel: both revolutionary for the time.

THe Church led the vanguard for women's education. How sad to see some people trailing behind now.

I suppose some people thank God daily that they are not women; I do not expect this of clergy of the C of E. And mostly they are gentle moderate souls.

13 September 2013 at 10:23  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

I think also that it is deeply improper to leap to the assumption that all female priests are on some wacky pagan ultra-liberal feminist bandwagon. Some are, but most are not.

Furthermore, some theological colleges have had difficulty placing candidates of a more conservative tendency at either end of the spectrum. Does this have a knock on effect? Of course it does. BUT, and this is a big but, as attitudes have changed, and I could name you churches where they now happily accept change where 10 years ago they didn't, what do you know, more women with more traditional theology are being placed.

It's important not to confuse cause and effect- as ever.

13 September 2013 at 10:34  
Blogger non mouse said...

Well I can't stand women who want to be as men - or to do men's jobs. And no, they're not more sensitive and understanding than men just because they're female: quite the opposite in my experience. And when they receive preference simply because they're female - ignorance and ego tend to render them power-hungry and ruthless, especially when it comes to dealing with other women. In short, feminism is guff - and its postmodern manifestation is as virulent as any other divisive, poisonous, marxist doctrine.

I could never respect priestesses (a pagan notion if there ever was one), and I would leave any church where they held sway.

So thank you for another very sensible article, Dr. Mullen. I agree with you.

13 September 2013 at 10:41  
Blogger Albert said...

Lucy,

I don't have time to argue this now, unfortunately, however, I would say you haven't actually addressed Dr Mullen's argument. Where does he say:

The ridiculous concept that the Godhead is male, and thus excludes the female ?

It just isn't there. It is not entailed by what he says. What he says is not based on that. You are picking fault with him on something he doesn't say while failing to address what he does say:

We are not at liberty to think that this decision of Our Lord’s was just a matter of cultural relativism: as if Jesus were merely primitive and reactionary and stood in need of correction by the militant feminists of our day.

Of course women were among his followers. Of course women are important and have important roles in the Church. But Jesus did not include them among the apostles. Do you know better than he? If you don't, you will presumably wish to carry on what he did. If you think you do, the question of ordination does not logically arise, for you have ceased to be a follower of Christ.

13 September 2013 at 10:52  
Blogger The Explorer said...

I fully take Lewis' point about the danger of embarking on another religion. (Our mother etc.)

I also take his point, in the same essay, that either we are in possession of a revelation or we aren't. If we aren't, that's not an argument for women priests; that's an argument for getting rid of priests of whatever description.

I believe we have revelation; the problem is with its interpretation. (Which seems to be required of us by divine will: or there would not be disagreement between sincere adherents of the Faith.)

Two things trouble me, and I welcome the insights of others.

1. Does twelve disciples necessarily signify a male priesthood; or is it a symbolic replacement of the Twelve Tribes?

2. In the OT, a priest would anoint a king with oil. Before his death, Christ is anointed with oil by a woman. Is she performing a priestly function, which Christ accepts as such? I don't know: which is why I'm asking.

13 September 2013 at 10:58  
Blogger Albert said...

Explorer,

1. The symbol is actually eschatological - and thus not something we can leave in the OT.
2. It is not a priestly function, but a burial one. Christ needs no human anointing for his priestly role.

13 September 2013 at 11:03  
Blogger Flossie said...

Bravo, Dr Mullen! Very well articulated.

I have said many times in the past that I cannot understand why women want to be men. It is letting the side down. What is wrong with womanhood?

Women cannot be priests in the same way that they cannot be fathers, but women can be all sorts of things that men cannot (such as mothers!) And thank God for that!

It is very sad for us in the Church of England who await the same fate as those in Wales. It is bound to happen. There is nowhere for us to go. The Ordinariate doesn't appeal to everybody.

And look who is left in charge once all the orthodox have departed. The liberals. Heaven help us.



13 September 2013 at 11:07  
Blogger Patrick Cox said...

I find myself in disagreement with the Rev'd Doctor, who will, I am sure, concede that in the New Testament there is a great deal that is omitted from all the Gospels for the simple reason that everyone of the original audience would have known certain things and 'read them into' the text. We in the West, have suffered 2,000 years of separation from that 'base knowledge' it was assumed we 'know'.

The accounts of the Last Supper all mention "the twelve" - what is not said is that in a Jewish household you cannot have a meal on a Friday, let alone on the eve of the Passover, without women, children, servants and perhaps the odd dog being present. Ergo, the Last Supper would have been a family affair with the wives (we know Peter was married - we are told that in the Gospels) and children. It is a very ritual affair, with the women bringing the lights to the table and saying prayers over them, then the food is brought, bread is broken and shared, and at the end of the meal a cup of wine (seriously alcoholic in those days) is brought, blessed and shared. The literal interpretation that there were no women and children present post dates Nicea. Mark's gospel specifically tells us that Mark, then a "youth" and not one of the twelve, was there!

The present view that excludes women comes from the monastics and aesthetics of the 3rd to 10th Centuries. As the Rev'd Doctor knows, to understand the Gospels, the Acts and the Letters one MUST understand the society in which they arose. Simplistic and literalist interpretation does not honour Christ nor does it help in promoting His Peace! There is, for those who seek it, a great deal of evidence that the Church prior to Nicea had both women priests and bishops. The Egyptian Coptic Church, until the 7th Century, acknowledged Mary Magdalen as the "Apostle to Egypt".

It is most unfortunate that so many today refuse to look at the culture the writers of the New and Old Testament expected the reader to know. Why is it not there? Simple, papyrus cost money, you didn't waste it and you didn't waste it explaining what your reader already knew. We really do need to stop hiding behind "but its not in the Bible", as an excuse it fails on every level.

13 September 2013 at 11:23  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

I am sorry that the Rev Dr Peter Mullen feels this way. Is it really so threatening to the Church of Wales to have women bishops, assuming that they are going to be devout, humble bishops and not self-serving ideologues?
Mullen protests "There is a profound shift in original mystical theology, in the psychology of ritual and in our beliefs concerning the Divine ontology when a female stands at the altar and declares, "This is my body." But why? the priest who stands at the altar and says "This is my body," is quoting the words of Jesus, not referring to his or her own body. I really cannot see any problem.
It is surely better to have a woman bishop or priest talking good sense than one of the so-numerous male clergy who talk a lot of piffle.

13 September 2013 at 11:30  
Blogger Guy Jones said...

Well said Flossie.

It is a disaster that women feels ashamed of their God-given function and seek to be as men. This is a disaster for our future. God gave Eve a womb and from that moment her path would be very different from Adam's, but ultimately gave Adam a future beyond his own life.

Women should be praised and edified as women and no more so when they bear and raise children.

13 September 2013 at 11:34  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Albert @ 11:03

Thanks for the response. The women bringing spices (Mark' 16:1) would tally with burial preparation.

In 'Revelation' 20 the names of the Tribes are on the gates and of the Apostles are on the pillars. Is that the eschatalogical significance you were referring to?

13 September 2013 at 11:45  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Peter,
those who profess traditional faith are ridiculed and marginalised.
I have not been able to find in the scriptures, justification for a 'modernising spirit'. How can Christians be so blind to the rights of women in the priesthood if it was so obvious?
I am not against change providing it is confirmed by the Spirit and the scriptures. I have great reservations regarding majority votes to bring such a change about. You are right that the Church is becoming dominated by liberal thinking which will result in a national church, no more spiritual than the WI.

13 September 2013 at 11:45  
Blogger Flossie said...

Julia, and Lucy Mullen (no relation, presumably!) women priests by their own admission are weaker on many matters of doctrine and moral issues. I do feel a bit like an old gramaphone record, as I have brought this up on numerous occasions, but do read the Mind of Anglicans survey. Women have differen priorities, and passing the faith 'as received' to the next generation, which is the proper role of bishops, is not one of them. This is not in any way demeaning to women.

http://trushare.com/SURVEY/New%20Survey%20Page%20241003.htm

There is also the question of the huge numbers of women now being ordained. Once we reach the tipping point where there are more women ordinands than men, I think we can expect to see men drawing back once they perceive it as a female role. A feminised church is not attractive to either sex.

In fifty years' time, or probably less, I think the Church of England will be in the same state as the Episcopal Church in the USA, and people will look back and wonder where they went wrong - and, as many in TEC are now - realising that they shouldn't have ordained women.





13 September 2013 at 11:46  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Flossie @ 11:46

Are you confident the C of E will EXIST in fifty years time?

13 September 2013 at 11:49  
Blogger Julia Gasper said...

Well Flossie, dear, I agree that the job of any priest or bishop is to pass on the faith as received. That assumption went without saying. What about the men in the priesthood who are very conspicuously not doing that?

13 September 2013 at 11:51  
Blogger A S Grey said...

I agree with the point in the blog about accepting dissenting voices. I cannot agree with anything else in it.

I'm not entirely sure where the concept that Anglican priests represent Christ as part of their role comes from, but it's nowhere to be found in the Archbishops' Council's statement on the office of a priest.

As for Jesus being male and having male apostles, it is perfectly conceivable that it made sense in the 1st century for this to be a practical decision.

Finally, the assumption that this is part of the "dumbing-down" of the church is entirely unfounded. Some of the advocates of your hated progressive causes are some of the profoundest theologians I have come across, educated at highly reputable institutions: one thinks of Rowan Williams' Oxford DPhil and professorships at both Oxford and Cambridge, or the Bishop of Buckingham's Alan Wilson's Oxford DPhil. Don't assume that their promotion of a cause which does not seem important to you means that these people do not have a grasp of the central tenets of the Christian faith. They simply understand them to demand more of them than to preach abstract theological ideas, but to actually translate them into ethical arguments and practical action for the good of God's creation.

13 September 2013 at 11:56  
Blogger john lee said...

Offence is taken as well as given. Stating a theological truth is not offensive.

13 September 2013 at 12:06  
Blogger Albert said...

Explorer,

In 'Revelation' 20 the names of the Tribes are on the gates and of the Apostles are on the pillars. Is that the eschatalogical significance you were referring to?

Yes, exactly. The 12 Apostles are eschatological, the imagery is not time dependent. They are, if you a permanent fixture in the Church, not something that be dismissed as a "practical decision" for the 1st Century. This point surely follows from serious reflection on the incarnation: the Word was made flesh full of grace and truth. Christ only does what he sees his Father doing. We have his word for it! The only reason I can see why this issue even arises is because:

(i) People do not believe in apostolic succession (clearly not all Protestants do)
(ii) People do not believe in the incarnation.

13 September 2013 at 12:12  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! I noticed in one of the press releases that the 16 year old daughter of a woman priest responded to the news from Wales with a declaration that she would now consider a career in the church. No vocation, just a career. Also note Ms Gasper implies 'All women priest good, all male priest bad' which is how this innovation is going to roll out... This is about equality not theology of course, and the former has to trump the latter in those o so modern times...

13 September 2013 at 12:32  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

AS Grey

"..but I do not suffer a woman to teach nor to exercise authority over man, but to be in quietness;
for Adam was formed first, then Eve"

I'm afraid I'm not too impressed with Rowan Williams' academic ability. My tutors will be the fishermen and taxmen of the New Testament, plus one tent-maker. Francis Newman had undoubted education (double first), but was unfortunately wrong in Phases of Faith. Richard Dawkins is a Professor, but he is wrong in my view. One can be very highly educated and yet miss the point - I'm not sure I'd use the word 'dumb' for that, but it's certainly upsetting to watch. I've heard the arguments for more than 20 years and haven't yet found one that stands up.

For God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and the weak, to put to shame the strong.

Voting and academia indicates I am foolish and weak, so I shall pipe down.

13 September 2013 at 12:33  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

13 September 2013 at 12:33  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

'indicate', not 'indicates' - before some smart alec gets there first.

13 September 2013 at 12:36  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Flossie

It is very sad for us in the Church of England who await the same fate as those in Wales. It is bound to happen. There is nowhere for us to go. The Ordinariate doesn't appeal to everybody.

When the Ordinariates were introduced in 2009 under Pope Benedict, the rule was that married clergy coming from the C of E were to be accepted but that only unmarried men would qualify for ordination in the future:

the Ordinary may also petition the Roman Pontiff, on a case by case basis, to admit married men to the priesthood, [. . .] although the general norm of the Ordinariate will be to admit only celibate men. (See link below)

I suspect that, rubbing his hands at the prospect of a second influx of former Anglican clergy, the present Pope may be inclined to ease the restrictions, with a view to making Tiber-swimming a more popular sport.

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20091104_article-fr-ghirlanda_en.html

13 September 2013 at 12:47  
Blogger Flossie said...

A S Grey - oh dear oh dear - Bishop Alan Wilson - Rowan Williams ...! Well, I may not have a brain the size of Australia but I can see the practical fallout from this innovation, and it is not a happy picture.

I have to smile when I see pro-women arguments as Jesus choosing only men as being cultural. God is not bound by time or space or culture, he could have sent his Son into the world at any time - perhaps in the US or UK today, when he could have chosen lots of women and homosexual men as his disciples. So why didn't he?

Julia, you are quite right - and some of the women priests I know personally do a far better job than some of the men! That is not the point, though. It is notable that male clergy opposing WO have been left behind in the preferment stakes for a couple of decades at least, which explains why there are so few at the top. Not that the priesthood is a career ladder - it is not, and 'equality' does not apply at all. They are different roles within the priesthood, just as there are different roles for women.


13 September 2013 at 12:51  
Blogger Flossie said...

Thank you, Uncle Brian.

13 September 2013 at 12:53  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

I described myself as "a woman who is not and has no present intention of becoming ordained" so hardly a woman priest "by [my]own admission!!

Incidentally Jesus did not "ordain" anyone. I am sure s.o. here will know the Greek term used, the societal context, and other contexts in which the same word was used. As with the word "church" which is used to translate "ekklesia" we run the danger of going from exegesis to eisegesis, which is reading into the text assumptions we make in the present.

Scripture, reason, and tradition- so let me go on to reason from everyday life. I think that I can state that I know no woman with a similar education to my own- single sex public school followed by good university- who does not feel the same as me. We are not radicals; the vast majority of us are Conservative voters, and mothers of children. But we ALL think that these arguments are nonsense. Because of who we know we are.

The first time my church had a woman preside at communion was about 20 years ago. We waited to see what the reaction would be afterwards. She was very professional, intelligent, a mother, softly spoken, and invited because she was a good preacher. What struck us forcefully afterwards was the number of people who admitted that it seemed so natural that they thought "What was all the fuss about?" or only realised that it was unusual to see a woman celebrating two thirds of the way through, or even at the end! One or two who thought it was an issue decided it wasn't, and it was all decidedly- well- just quietly fine, in the best traditions of the moderate C Of E.

I will behave myself and not talk too much of tradition, Pope Joan and that....

The only credible argument against Women Bishops (and it does not work against women priests) is that our energies work a bit differently and men get a boost to their drive from testosterone, while women have to source their energy and courage a bit differently. However i am unsure quite how that works out.

With the kind of dross that Bishops and Archdeacons have to cope with I am not sure why any sane person would actively want to do that work, which is sacrificial and costly anyway, but the Lord should be free to call whomever he desires, no questions asked.

What on earth is this mythical "feminised" church, anyway? I have yet to see one anywhere.

13 September 2013 at 12:58  
Blogger LEN said...

Some of the comments here can only be made by unmarried men?.

I don`t think I will(any time soon) be telling 'her indoors 'that her rightful position is bearing children and cooking the tea.

The Jewish religion seems a little more enlightened than the Christian one.... female Rabbis and all!.

There is a belief that the Apostle Paul might have been misunderstood on his instructions for females to be 'silent in Church'.
When one was delivering a sermon)or whatever it was in those days) there apparently was a discussion going on at the same time with females asking there husbands(no 'partners' then)what the preacher was saying or the meaning of what the sermon was about(My wife constantly does this when listening to a tv programme and the plot can easily be lost)not mine the movies)

So for men to flee from the Church at the appearance of a Woman daring to speak to the men seems a tad excessive to me.


13 September 2013 at 12:58  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Julia Gasper

the priest who stands at the altar and says "This is my body," is quoting the words of Jesus, not referring to his or her own body.

Yes, Julia, I was surprised to see that Dr Mullen doesn't seem to share this interpretation.

13 September 2013 at 13:01  
Blogger meema said...

God is, was, and always will be–He doesn’t change and evolve along with us. It seems that we not only move away from Him as we modernize, we then justify ourselves by reinterpretation of Scripture to align better our newly enlightened view. God designed and established a perfect system that humans chooses to reinvent to suit ourselves–emphasis on SELF. We want what we want and then we demand God approves of it.

But God is, was, and always will be. We are not entitled to make Him come round to our thinking, no matter how egalitarian, how modern, how politically, socially correct.

1 Timothy
(3:2) The bishop therefore must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, orderly, given to hospitality, apt to teach; (3:3) no brawler, no striker; but gentle, not contentious, no lover of money; (3:4) one that ruleth well his own house, having [his] children in subjection with all gravity; (3:5) (but if a man knoweth not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) (3:6) not a novice, lest being puffed up he fall into the condemnation of the devil. (3:7) Moreover he must have good testimony from them that are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (3:8) Deacons in like manner [must be] grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; (3:9) holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. (3:10) And let these also first be proved; then let them serve as deacons, if they be blameless. (3:11) Women in like manner [must be] grave, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. (3:12) Let deacons be husbands of one wife, ruling [their] children and their own houses well. (3:13) For they that have served well as deacons gain to themselves a good standing, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

13 September 2013 at 13:02  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Len.

Good point about women speaking in Church. NT scholars who know their Greek say the word used is "lalentein" which they have compared in its use against other contexts and come up with the meaning "gossip". To which "Amen". No one should gossip in Church, and it is a sin to which women are, then as now, particularly prone.

It is so important to get back down to the right meaning of the right text!!

13 September 2013 at 13:10  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

According to Scripture, a woman is not permitted to be an elder in a church. This restriction is rooted not in first century culture but in the created order. The idea of woman elder is therefore predicated upon rebellion. It is an inherently liberal doctrine because it applies an external norm to Scripture in order to get around it. Specifically we think our modern understanding of egalitarianism trumps Paul. That's why all arguments for female eldership eventually must explain "why Paul was wrong."

Female eldership is a tremendous predictor of emerging liberalism. Once you start applying external norms to Scripture, it's difficult to stop.

carl

13 September 2013 at 13:27  
Blogger Flossie said...

Lucy Mullen: 'What on earth is this mythical "feminised" church, anyway? I have yet to see one anywhere'.

Oh, you will, Lucy, you will! In the meantime, try this one for size:

http://www.herchurch.org/


13 September 2013 at 13:36  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Carl.

So you have issues with Priscilla and Aquila presumably?

Oh, and as for "why Paul was wrong" are you not "hoist" on your "own petard" when you contemplate the verse "In Christ there is neither man nor woman" as it seems to me you are very much manning the barricades saying, "there is very much man and woman, keep the women down in their proper subordinate place," which would shock St. Paul.

And it is a very difficult verse to argue with as there is neither man nor woman harnessed together with there being neither slave nor free, nor Jew nor Greek. And just as the abolition of slavery took a time for the Christian Church to grapple with, so it has taken a while for the freeing of women from some of the shackles worn to take place. Two centuries ago the women in my family tree, and yours, would have had no vote, and other than those near the highest echelons of society, next to no education. People would have used similar justifications to the ones you are using now. Doesn't that give you pause?

13 September 2013 at 14:03  
Blogger Albert said...

I think I am yet to find an argument in favour here that actually addresses the arguments against. I'm just wondering if that bothers those in favour of the innovation.

13 September 2013 at 14:03  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

You'll be telling us that Paul does not condemn homosexual acts, next.

13 September 2013 at 14:04  
Blogger Peter D said...

The most important reasons given for a male priesthood are first, a determination to remain faithful to its constant tradition; second, fidelity to Christ's will, and third, the idea of male representation due to the "sacramental nature" of the priesthood.

Now if you don't accept the "sacramental nature" of the priesthood, nor do you respect constant tradition, and believe the Bible is culturally relative, then there's no problem. And that's precisely what the liberal-feminist modernisers do and have always sought to do. The trouble is today they are in the ascendency.

There can be 'via media' in this - or "deal" to satisfy the traditionalists. The issues are central to the nature of the Church and the mandate from Christ upon which it is based.

Sister Tiberia
You do understand this is a closed question in the Catholic Church? In 1994, Pope John Paul II declared it so when in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis he stated:
"Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance ... I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful."

13 September 2013 at 14:14  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Albert

We have gone all over the well known arguments against, from Scripture, reason and tradition. We have quoted the Bible, we have mused on personal experience, we have looked at reasons pro and contra, we have exhumed and examined traditions, both deadly and life-giving. Did you sleep through it all? Perhaps you already know what you think and are bored to the state of doziness with it all?

As for herchurch "hard cases make bad law" meaning do not make the law from exceptional cases or you end up with nonsense. California is a well known hotbed of every weird sect known under the sun, and really quite different from your average English church! Not that some Californians are not super people, but some are just notably wacky. Takes a certain type to live in St. Franscico in particular, slap bang on the San Andreas fault, which we all know is going to go one day....

13 September 2013 at 14:21  
Blogger Albert said...

We have gone all over the well known arguments against, from Scripture, reason and tradition. We have quoted the Bible, we have mused on personal experience, we have looked at reasons pro and contra, we have exhumed and examined traditions, both deadly and life-giving. Did you sleep through it all? Perhaps you already know what you think and are bored to the state of doziness with it all?

There's no need to rude, Lucy. I'm just observing that people in favour of the innovation - like atheists and God - misrepresent the arguments against them. If you want an example, look at my response @1052 to your first post. You're building castles in the sky.

13 September 2013 at 14:24  
Blogger Peter D said...

Len
"The Jewish religion seems a little more enlightened than the Christian one.... female Rabbis and all!"

Except it isn't is it - unless you're one of those dual-covenant types? "Enlightenment" (how modern of you) shouldn't be about gender equality; it should be about faithfulness to the words and actions of Christ.

Should the Temple be rebuilt, I can't see there ever being a female High Priest, can you? What about female membership of a reinstituted Sanhedrin? Will the ng awaited "King of the Jews", descended through partial lineage from David, be a woman?

That's the comparison which you and Carl are avoiding by citing Saint Paul. It goes much deeper than teaching or staying silent in Church.

Ms Gasper
An understanding of the words of the priest depend upon your understanding of the words of consecration spoken - symbolic or actual change of substance into the Body and Blood of Christ.

13 September 2013 at 14:24  
Blogger David B said...

I've read these comments as an outsider with some interest.

I've never really understood why Christians place so much reliance on the views of Paul, whose own meetings with Jesus are, by biblical account, visionary and come only from his own account.

As far as correcting, Jesus goes, it does seem that a lot of what Jesus is biblically reported to have said is either ignored or somehow, and with not inconsiderable mental gymnastics, explained away.

The parties of Luke 14 12-14, for instance.

The hating of parents in Luke 14 26-27

The giving no heed for the morrow and selling everything from various sources.

It seems to an outsider like me that ignoring stuff like that is more important than anything said about the role of women. Is there, I ask because I don't know, anything attributed to Jesus in the four Gospels that specifically excludes women from some or any role in a church?

I understand that the gnostic Gospels contain what appears to be a power struggle between some men and Mary Magdelene and those who venerated her. Is that not the case.

And then someone brought up Adam being created before Eve. I am often told by some that the Genesis stuff is not taken literally by sensible Christians, and I accept that.

So it comes as something as a surprise to me that someone can claim that the creation of people story, which plainly is not historical, has anything to do with how men and women should be regarded, and how such an assertion can pass without comment.

Just a few random observations about impressions gained reading the comments to date, rather than a thoroughly argued case, but still as an outsider - to this outsider anyway - it really seems that rather bizarre arguments are used to what amounts to justifying male superiority.

Since Madame Curie and others, it seems to me that claims of inherent male superiority in the field of science have been exploded.

Perhaps the church should learn from science in this regard, as well as learning from science that the literal Creation and Flood myths should not be taken as literal truths.

David

13 September 2013 at 14:27  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Peter D

Ms Gasper
An understanding of the words of the priest depend upon your understanding of the words of consecration spoken - symbolic or actual change of substance into the Body and Blood of Christ.


I don’t think so. It’s a false distinction. Even if the priest is a believer in transubtantiation, the body and blood he is speaking about –- and that he is holding in his hands -- are still Christ’s, not his own.

As for your remarks about Judaism, I note that they refer to a hypothetical future, ”Should the Temple be rebuilt,”, not to the Jewish religion as it is practised here and now in the synagogues.

13 September 2013 at 14:48  
Blogger Anglican said...

Environmentalism: I agree wholeheartedly with Lewis when he condemns ‘Christianity and…..’ which he makes in one of his essays. ‘Christianity and….’ has become far too prevalent among liberal church circles. But this does not mean that many of these issues – the environment, social issues, justice, are not of great concern to Christians or the Church, provided that we are able to discern which aspects of them are really important and congruous with the Church’s mission. The Church does not and cannot exist in a theological vacuum, detached from issues which affect every one of us.

13 September 2013 at 14:51  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Peter

I am not avoiding it. I am denying it. I reject the whole concept of Altar Christus in the Priesthood, and the sacramental theology that undergirds it.

carl

13 September 2013 at 14:56  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

David B

You are right to question us about our attitudes to some of the hard sayings. As for "hating your parents" I think Hannah would remind us of the Rabbinical tradition of overstating. It is, I think, said to provoke debate, and meant to tell us that unless we are willing, if necessary, to go against all our parents stand for, we are unworthy of the Kingdom. i hope that doesn't sound like gymnastics!

You are right about the apocryphal accounts of a power struggle between Mary Magdalene and Peter. None of the disciples were perfect people and their petty power struggles are documented, when they squabbled for precedence and were told that the least amongst them was the greatest, and to take up the cross.

Apparently when Peter was asked whether he loved Jesus, Jesus asked whether he had agape love twice, and Peter answered twice that he had friendship love, then the third time Jesus asked if he had friendship love, to which Peter assented, then he said "feed my sheep"; our translation somewhat whitewash Peter, as he gained precedence in the West. The orthodox tend to emphasize John and Paul more.

As for the Creation story, you are right. Somewhere between history, myth, oral tradition and allegory, and there are TWO and they are mutually contradictory if taken literally. Some people struggle with different types of literature, and there are at least 4 or 5 different types in Scripture depending on how many categories you wish to find!

13 September 2013 at 15:08  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Albert
The quoting of that passage from C.S.Lewis (who is in many instances but not this one, excellent) explicitly expresses shock that God might be equally seen as female to male, thereby excluding the female from God.

Of course God is both and neither, being above and beyond gender, so either is imagery, and perfectly addeptable and indeed God as Mother is found in the Bible. I can think of two examples right away- the mother hen image that Jesus uses, and one of Israel as a baby from church readings a few weeks back.

So no issue there!!

13 September 2013 at 15:20  
Blogger Anglican said...

David B 14.27

The hating of parents in Luke 14 26-27. I will take just this one of the points you have raised. Some Christians I know – and also others - seem unable to grasp anything beyond simple literalism.

The above passage is immediately followed by ‘whoever does not bear his own cross and follow me, cannot be my disciple’. Then follow two passages about the man who needs to count the cost before building a tower, and the king who needs to calculate whether he can take on a force twice as large as his own.

Jesus is here emphasising the need to calculate carefully before any great undertaking, and (in the case of ’hating parents’) using traditional Jewish hyperbole. He is warning potential followers that they have to fully understand the immensity of the decision to follow him – not hatred of family, but to love our neighbours as ourselves, to choose Christ before anything else.

13 September 2013 at 15:24  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Peter D,

Just to remind you (Jewish authority that you are), Rabbis are not Priests. So the comparison of Jewish Rabbis and Christian Priests isn't applicable.

We've already discussed the rebuilding of the Temple, so no need for you worry about that. Oh and yes, Orthodox congregations do not have female Rabbis, but other traditions do.

I cannot recall if there is anything against lady Rabbis, specifically in Jews law. I think done gradually it could happen within parts of the Orthodox Community. But these things take time as most changes do. And I think we've already discussed how Judaism gives women a minimum of 3 basic rights, which if are not fulfilled can be grounds of divorce.

Jewish women- married and not married- have also always been allowed to own property. Something that didn't happen in Britain until 1880ish I think (Married women's Property act, so I understand from my Cousin, Louise).

13 September 2013 at 15:34  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Anyway, got to go now. Tonight is the start of Yom Kippur, Judaism's most holy festival. We'll be seein' you all later !

13 September 2013 at 15:34  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

David B -

Vine gives 3 meanings to the English word 'hate', a transalation of Miseo:

1) Malicious & unjustifiable feelings towards others

2)a right feeling of aversion from what is evil

3) a relative preference for ne thing over another (i.e. parents v. following Christ)

You will find the three most delightfully blended by the Archbeako and all the media in one word, which I hate.

You will also find three Greek words translated as 'love' (Agape, Phileo and Eros) conveniently fitted to parliamentary circumstances, by people called Yvonne and Chris, and 400 of their number at once, and never once distinguished by a single bishop.

That some non-Christians navigate their way through this horrific mess to eternal life is always a living testament to me that God's power is real.

13 September 2013 at 15:47  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

May I crave Your Grace’s indulgence to go off topic for a moment. This just in from Vatican Insider:

Syrian bishop says rebels have not sent one reassuring sign to Christians

Boutros Maryayati has said that if there is another ceasefire in Syria all Christians will think about is fleeing. “Christians have not received one reassuring sign from the various groups that make up the rebel militia or from Islamist fundamentalists."

This is how the Armenian Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Boutros Maryayati described the prevailing fears and sentiment among the Christians of Aleppo, the northern Syrian city which has been isolated for months as anti-Assad forces have been holding the city under siege.
(more)

http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/world-news/detail/articolo/siria-syria-siria-27824/

13 September 2013 at 15:50  
Blogger adrian said...

Gosh. It's quite extraordinary how much cultural baggage can be mustered together into a delusional justification that dressing up 1,800 years or so catholic and protestant misogyny and patriarchy makes good theology and ecclesiology.

How can anyone who holds these views about a particular calling of men by Jesus speak credibly against the violence perpetrated upon women around the world every day of our lives? Female circumcision, rape, the use of rape as a weapon of terror and retribution in war, the denial of education to women, the stoning of women who have been raped and so on and so on. How can one say in the same breath that these things are wrong and then justify a claim that Jesus did not women include in his call?

Please pause for just a moment and ask yourself "Am I sure there is no inherited bias in my views about this; no possibility that this denial of part of women's humanity is itself a symptom of all the sin that Jesus came to save." And even if you can not do that, then please think about the damage, discrimination and hurt - physical and emotional - that is caused every single day to women around the world who can not turn to the church for comfort and refuge because the church validates the view that women are a paler representation of God's image than men.

13 September 2013 at 16:05  
Blogger Albert said...

Lucy,

I think there are some problems here. You claimed the post said:

The ridiculous concept that the Godhead is male

It does not say that. It does not imply that, or require that. Now you have refined your claim to say:

explicitly expresses shock that God might be equally seen as female to male, thereby excluding the female from God.

Although this is an improvement, it still isn't a fair representation. God is not "seen" as male or female. Rather he is "seen" as being neither. However, although scripture provides some female images for God, the "subject" of God is always male - even when the image is female! He is only ever addressed as Father and never Mother, and he is always He, never she.

There are perfectly good reasons why this should be so. It is not that God is more male than female, it is that the relationship we have with our fathers is more analogous to the relationship we have have with God than that with our mothers. Motherhood implies biological connection - and thus pantheism - the function such language had in paganism. Fatherhood implies intimacy, without pantheism. It has nothing to do with the gender of God. This is why the innovation either undermines the sacramental imminence of God in our language and worship, or it tends towards paganism and pantheism. It is why it has resulted in gender confusion in the CofE - regarding matters of sexuality. This is why we should stick with what Jesus gave us. He understands us and God and the relationship in between better than any one.

13 September 2013 at 16:15  
Blogger Albert said...

Adrian,

the church validates the view that women are a paler representation of God's image than men.

Please see my previous post. You haven't begun to understand the objections. So I put your point back to you:

Please pause for just a moment and ask yourself "Am I sure there is no inherited bias in my views about this

13 September 2013 at 16:17  
Blogger LEN said...

Interesting Article and interesting comments too.

Of course the whole concepts of a 'Priest' is one that needs clarifying in the light of the New Covenant.

Catholic and Anglican Priests seem to wish to function as 'mediators' between man and God and that function I believe has been made redundant by Christ

'There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.'
(Galatians 3:28)




13 September 2013 at 16:44  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Adrian @ 16:05

I just don't get the logic of your second paragraph. To argue that a woman is not suitable for a particular post (whether that particular opinion is right or wrong) does not mean that it is therefore justifiable to rape her, stone her, circumcise her, or deny her education. I just don't see how the one conclusion follows from the other.

13 September 2013 at 16:50  
Blogger LEN said...

Peter D,
you seem keen to pin a label on me must be very confusing for you as to which label to use(one that you can put on this blog anyway!)

Albert seems to think I am 'pro gay too' don`t know from what murky depths he dredged that one up?.

Anyway 'Women Bishops'(I believe there are one or two Catholic Priests or Bishops whatever they call them in the Catholic religion already )....whatever next a female Pope?.

13 September 2013 at 16:51  
Blogger grumpyoldcl said...

Hear, hear,

However one has to sympathise with the view that political correctness is now abusively enforcing its view.

To understand Mark 3:14 as saying that Jesus ordained the 12 as priests or bishops is a step too far when translating the verse. Ordained meaning appointed is ok, but its not comfortable to translate it as priested.

13 September 2013 at 17:07  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

Albert seems to think I am 'pro gay too' don`t know from what murky depths he dredged that one up?.

My point is that in your post you appeared to have applied historical criticism to make the text politically correct. The same technique is used to show that the Bible does not condemn same-sex acts.

13 September 2013 at 17:12  
Blogger grumpyoldcl said...

Funnily enough, Julia, your final paragraph fits closely to what might be the purpose behind the gospel of Mary Magdalene.
We are, of course, missing half of the manuscript mow (we know how much we've lost because we had one complete manuscript up until WWII when it was destroyed in an air raid that hit the library) so I acknowledge a healthy degree of uncertainty.

13 September 2013 at 17:13  
Blogger Peter D said...

Uncle Brian said ...

"Even if the priest is a believer in transubtantiation, (sic) the body and blood he is speaking about –- and that he is holding in his hands -- are still Christ’s, not his own."

Interesting you refer to the beliefs of a particular priest and not the beliefs of his Church.

Now, onto your main point. Catholics are clear - because we have a clear theological position on the role of priests.

For Catholics, the Mass is the Sacrifice of the Mystical Body of Christ, and is in union with Calvary, the Sacrifice of the Physical Body of Christ.

Not a re-sacrifice, as some misrepresent it, claiming Catholics don't believe Calvary was complete. Rather, we are there, in the moment, in spirit, not in time. It is as if we are at Calvary every time we celebrate Holy Mass.

This sacrifice only happens because of one person present - the priest. A priest is "Altus Christus", another Christ. Christ is truly present at each Mass acting in the place of the priest. Please note, the priest is not usurping Christ's place, as some misrepresent it.

So when the priest says "This is my body..." it is Christ who is truly present and only a man can act as "Altus Christus".

In the Old Law, only men from the tribe of Levi could be God's priests. Twelve male apostles were no accident. With the coming of Jesus, His sacrifice and the institution of the Eucharist, Jesus is our High Priest, and at the Last Supper he instituted His priesthood - also male.

Carl
But of course you reject Catholic teaching and Anglican-Catholic teachings - you're a Calvinist.

Len
Don't be ridiculous. There are no Catholic priestesses. Some may claim this however, anyone performing or participating in such an illicit act is immediately excommunicated.

13 September 2013 at 17:38  
Blogger grumpyoldcl said...

Hear, hear,

However one has to sympathise with the view that political correctness is now abusively enforcing its view.

To understand Mark 3:14 as saying that Jesus ordained the 12 as priests or bishops is a step too far when translating the verse. Ordained meaning appointed is ok, but its not comfortable to translate it as priested.

13 September 2013 at 17:42  
Blogger Albert said...

Peter D,

Well put!

Clearly, if one believes in the Alter Christus doctrine, and that the priest acts in persona Christi Capitis then women plainly cannot be priests or bishops. Similarly, if one believes in apostolic succession, women cannot be priests or bishops. If one doesn't believe either of these doctrines, then the discussion doesn't arise, because the minister is not a bishop or a priest.

13 September 2013 at 17:48  
Blogger Peter D said...

David K
"Just to remind you (Jewish authority that you are), Rabbis are not Priests. So the comparison of Jewish Rabbis and Christian Priests isn't applicable."

I claim no particular authority with regard to Judaism - just asking questions based on my grandfather's (an Orthodox Rabbi) reaction to my father's conversion to Christianity. As you know, this made him a "kofer ba-ikkar" and, according to Jewish law, consigned him to Gehinnom to suffer for all eternity along with every other Jewish convert to Christianity for denying the Torah.

And I was making the very same point to Len - Rabbis and High Priests are not a comparable class, if you had but read my response.

13 September 2013 at 17:57  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

There actually isn't much remaining of the Church in Wales. Women rush forward to become bishops just as the encroaching water reaches the forward deck. I assume they will be developing Raisin Cake Liturgies before too long. But the question is this. Will anyone notice?

carl

13 September 2013 at 18:28  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Peter D, I find your argument interesting but, I have to say, unconvincing, though I remain open to persuasion. Inasmuch as we’re discussing Catholic doctrine, I would refer you to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part Two, Section Two, Chapter One, Article 3, The Sacrament of the Eucharist. I’ve just been taking a look at this article, which in printed editions runs to around twenty pages, and I find that the paragraphs having the closest bearing on the subject are Nos. 1333, 1348, 1353, 1377, and 1396. I need to say that I find nothing here to back up your argument, but – as I said earlier – I am more than willing to continue our exchange of views. My mind is open.

Links:
Nos. 1333-1344:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P3Z.HTM

Nos. 1345-1355:
http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P40.HTM

and so on, just keep clicking on “Next”.

As far as other churches are concerned, I have no documentary evidence at my fingertips, but I believe that my assertion about the body and blood holds true for all mainstream denominations. You queried my mention of what the celebrating priest believes rather than what the church believes, but it is my understanding that in the C of E, for example, some priests believe in transubstantiation and some don’t. And, of course, even in the Catholic Church, a priest may be an atheist in private but as long as he performs the ceremony of the Mass correctly, it will still be valid. This, at least, is what an Irish priest once told me, who had lost his faith many years previously but went on doing his job all the same, because he believed it was the right thing to do.

13 September 2013 at 19:27  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

There was audible glee when the result was announced. The fulmination on completing Christ’s plans for his church, or for a feminist battle won ?

One doubts whether the gospel message will get through in the future. The ladies are very good at compromise and understanding, you see, as of course are emasculated men of the type that helped make the vote a winner. It’s takes a proper man to tell people how it is. But under the new regime, not upsetting anyone comes out on top.

Feeling left out would be gay bishops ? Well, chin up. No doubt you’re next for the wish bag. Just ask, and it will be yours. Eventually the vote will go your way too. All you have to do is to keep voting year after year after year. Absolutely no doubt at all.





13 September 2013 at 19:42  
Blogger The Explorer said...

Uncle Brian:

I think Article 26 of the C of E has the same idea as your Irish priest example. ".. the Sacraments... which be effectual, because of Christ's institution and promise, although they be ministered by evil men."

I can see a line of argument developing from those last two words. If the Sacrament is efficacious even if the priest is not good, why should the Sacrament not be efficacious if the priest is not a man? (I'm not sure it's a logical argument, because of what else it omits, but I think it's the point that's being made.)

13 September 2013 at 19:49  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Peter D,

David has responded to you in the thread below on behalf of all of us.

I suspected your antipathy and hate towards Judaism is because of the family history, not because of Christian belief and that post does indeed confirm this suspicion.

Attacking a faith due to a personal vendetta is not a wise course of action. Now you are not the only 'Jew-convert in the village'. Man up and get over it old chap, for hate and bitterness can consume all until you only have, well you are cleverer than me to work that out...

As for the rot you posted to me, I may or man not respond. I am thinking of not 'casting my pearls before swine' as scripture notes. I am praying on this at present.

13 September 2013 at 20:01  
Blogger Peter D said...

Uncle Brain
You need to research the Holy Mass.

The relationship of priest, altar, and victim in every Holy Mass is basic, 101, Catholicism.

You cite the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

You need to start with Part Two, Section One, Chapter Two, Article 1 (section 1142):

" .... Certain members are called by God, in and through the Church, to a special service of the community. These servants are chosen and consecrated by the sacrament of Holy Orders, by which the Holy Spirit enables them to act in the person of Christ the head, for the service of all the members of the Church. The ordained minister is, as it were, an "icon" of Christ the priest. Since it is in the Eucharist that the sacrament of the Church is made fully visible, it is in his presiding at the Eucharist that the bishop's ministry is most evident, as well as, in communion with him, the ministry of priests and deacons.

And 1188:
"In a liturgical celebration, the whole assembly is leitourgos, each member according to his own function. The baptismal priesthood is that of the whole Body of Christ. But some of the faithful are ordained through the sacrament of Holy Orders to represent Christ as head of the Body."

And Article 3, section 1330 goes o:

"The Holy Sacrifice, because it makes present the one sacrifice of Christ the Saviour and includes the Church's offering."

Who makes Christ present and who offers the Sacrifice but Christ Himself?

You make an interesting point:
" ... it is my understanding that in the C of E, for example, some priests believe in transubstantiation and some don’t."

Because their Church has an ambiguous position and both the priest and community are free to believe what they want?

"And, of course, even in the Catholic Church, a priest may be an atheist in private but as long as he performs the ceremony of the Mass correctly, it will still be valid."

Correct, because the Catholic Church is clear that ordination confers the status of "Altus Christus" on its priests and they act on Christ's authority in the Sacraments and have the powers conferred by Him on His Church.

13 September 2013 at 20:26  
Blogger Peter D said...

Lord Lavendon
Sure, I accept it would be easier to believe I have personal antipathy towards Judaism than accept and face the implications of the law I referred to. Easier pushed to the back of one's mind, eh?

My personal experience has left me with no bitterness at all. I just get fed up with your Jewish relatives, and one in particular, banging on constantly about Catholics condemning people to Hell and then conveniently staying silent on one of their own laws concerning heresy. Touch dishonest and hypocritical, I'd say.

13 September 2013 at 20:39  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Peter D,

You are a curious chap, you want answers, yet have not read our response below? . I shall smoke a cigar and douse a double of brandy. Then respond to you on your latest information. I have re-read your postings. I see the problem or the misunderstanding and I shall seek to educate you old chap...

13 September 2013 at 20:56  
Blogger Peter D said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

13 September 2013 at 21:01  
Blogger Albert said...

Peter & Uncle Brian,

And, of course, even in the Catholic Church, a priest may be an atheist in private but as long as he performs the ceremony of the Mass correctly, it will still be valid.

Although he would still have to have the intention of celebrating Mass (as opposed to just going through the motions), and one might wonder how an atheist can have that.

13 September 2013 at 21:21  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Peter D, thank you for taking the trouble to reply to my comment in detail. First of all, let us go back to the sentence in Dr Mulllen’s post that gave rise to this discussion. I quote:

There is a profound shift in original mystical theology, in the psychology of ritual and in our beliefs concerning the Divine ontology when a female stands at the altar and declares, "This is my body."

Julia Gasper raised an objection to this assertion. Her comment posted at 11:30 reads:

But why? the priest who stands at the altar and says "This is my body," is quoting the words of Jesus, not referring to his or her own body. I really cannot see any problem.

And then, at 14:24, you wrote: Ms Gasper
An understanding of the words of the priest depend upon your understanding of the words of consecration spoken - symbolic or actual change of substance into the Body and Blood of Christ.


To which I replied, at 14:48:

I don’t think so. It’s a false distinction. Even if the priest is a believer in transubtantiation, the body and blood he is speaking about –- and that he is holding in his hands -- are still Christ’s, not his own.

Rereading the excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church which you have just quoted, Nos. 1142, 1188, and 1330, I have done my best to find in them a refutation of my view that (repeating my exact words) “the body and blood he is speaking about — and that he is holding in his hands — are still Christ’s, not his own.” But as far as I can tell, there is no such refutation there. I conclude, therefore, that my assertion, however inelegantly expressed, is nevertheless in full compliance with Catholic doctrtine.

One final point. That quote from Dr Mullen’s OP includes the interesting phrase, “the psychology of ritual”. The expression is a new one to me, but it looks as though he may be making a point, not so much about Christian doctrine in the narrow sense as about the danger of conveying a false impression by the use of the words “my body”: the congregation might misunderstand her, thinking that she is talking about her own body, although in fact she isn’t.

13 September 2013 at 21:22  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

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13 September 2013 at 21:54  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

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13 September 2013 at 21:57  
Blogger Lord Lavendon said...

Peter D,

Now fully fortified with a brandy and a cigar one can turn to the explanation that seems to have weighed you down. I have consulted my Jewish family as well as my own conscience and my Granddaughter Louise types this message for me.

It would seem that your main issue at present is that of hypocrisy.That Hannah was accusing Roman Catholics of saying that non-Roman Catholics go to hell, but that as you see it non-Jews go to hell as well (as per your Grandfather Rabbi).

I have asked Hannah about this idea and she says that it came from your fellow Roman Catholic Thomas Wood.

And in addition (as you said to David) Carl 'as it is' Jacobs also confirmed this to him as apparently he did to Avi in a recent thread.

Now to Hannah's mind 'hell' in the Christian sense is this place of eternal torment for those who do not know Christ, which is the traditional Christian view of hell. To her that is a disturbing concept. How can a 'good' person go to this hell, whilst 'bad' people who are 'christian' go to the Christian view of heaven.

Now, you need to put aside what the reality is -as you note and as Old Jim has said the situation is somewhat more complicated. And I [and me Lou!] would agree. But that is somewhat different to someone who is a homosexual [Gay Grandad!] and has encountered nothing but pain from Christians in her spiritual journey.

As for the rest of my Jewish family, alas 2,000 years of what they consider to be persecution is a difficult matter to simply brush aside with a few choice words…

Now getting onto the matter of the Jewish 'Gehinnom'; alas it turns out that this translation of Hebrew is She'ol or Sheol. This is where the misunderstanding lies. To Christians Sheol is another world for 'Hell', in other words the 'hell' which I have described above.

In Judaism, I am told that in fact Sheol or Gehinom is a place of "purification", akin to your Roman Catholic idea of 'purgotery'. My Jewish relatives believe that the really 'pious' go to a place called Gad Eden, but most of us - including Jews- in Gehinnom.

Gehinnom to some of their 'Mystical' or Kabbalah traditions is akin to our Christian 'hell', although my relatives believe that Gehinnom is a place to review our actions and reflect on them and to be sorry for any wrongdoings. After 12 months people go to the Gad Eden and the life of the world to come. Only -and it has to me noted- only the most evil and wicked people are destroyed and to my relatives that would mean God awful chaps such as Hitler.

So my Jewish relatives and one in particular deny the accusations of hypocrisy. They have told me 'as it is'. And one in particular says 'big hugs and kisses from me to you, Carl, inspector, explorer, belfast, Avi and the other fab Cranmer people'. Her words not my own.

Yours as ever in Jesus,

Lavendon [& Cousin Lou and the rest of us (: ]

13 September 2013 at 22:01  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Part of me just wishes they would hurry up and adopt the whole John Shelby Spong agenda and get it over with so I can jump ship without feeling guilty about it.

I am vacillating over which of the local reformed Bible churches to join when I finally decide I've had enough. I regularly listen to their podcast sermons as there's hardly any biblical content in the 'thought for the day' style sermons in the thproighly feminised Amglican church O still attend. For now.

13 September 2013 at 22:13  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Sorry 4 spelign miskates. Uncontrollable dialogue box on much delayed train. To be blunt I wouldn't mind lady preachers and teachers if they were any good. But they aren't. Something too do with analytical thinking versus mothering. Mars and Venus. Both are good in their place but they aren't interchangeable.

13 September 2013 at 22:22  
Blogger Pétrus said...

I agree with the Archbishop of Wales. There is no theological argument against the Church of England creating female bishops.

There are very sound theological reasons against the ordination of women at all. However once that has been ignored anyone who opposes female bishops doesn't have a leg to stand on.

Time for many to swim the tiber I think. Come on over, it is lovely on this side. :)

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

Chaps, a feminised church isn’t going to work. How can it ? Women do not do antagonism. So, anything goes so long as you turn up and put your shilling in the plate. Why, a queer fellow might even want to plant a full one on his beloved lips and that would be fine in her eyes. Can you imagine that !

13 September 2013 at 22:32  
Blogger Peter D said...

Lord Lavendon
Let me be clear. I don't believe Jews teach non-Jews go to Hell. Judaism does teach Jewish heretics (and other sinners) go there.

Maybe your Jewish relatives are mistaken about Gehennan and not being hypocritical, Sir.

"In the Hebrew Bible, the site was initially where apostate Israelites and followers of various Ba'als and Caananite gods, including Moloch, sacrificed their children by fire (2 Chr. 28:3, 33:6). Thereafter it was deemed to be cursed (Jer. 7:31, 19:2-6).

In Jewish, Christian and Islamic scripture, Gehenna is a destination of the wicked. This is different from the more neutral Sheol/Hades, the abode of the dead, though the King James version of the Bible translates both with the Anglo-Saxon word Hell."

(Wiki)

Catholic Encyclopedia: Hell: "However, in the New Testament the term Gehenna is used more frequently in preference to hades, as a name for the place of punishment of the damned. ... held in abomination by the Jews, who, accordingly, used the name of this valley to designate the abode of the damned (Targ. Jon., Gen., iii, 24; Henoch, c. xxvi). And Christ adopted this usage of the term."

Jewish Encyclopedia:
Gehenna: Sin and Merit: "It is frequently said that certain sins will lead man into Gehenna. The name "Gehenna" itself is explained to mean that unchastity will lead to Gehenna (; 'Er. 19a); so also will adultery, idolatry, pride, mockery, hypocrisy, anger, etc. (Soṭah 4b, 41b; Ta'an. 5a; B. B. 10b, 78b; 'Ab. Zarah 18b; Ned. 22a)."

And Maimonides certainly regarded as a permanent abode of eternal suffering for the wicked, including heretics.

13 September 2013 at 23:06  
Blogger David B said...

Inspector

"Women do not do antagonism."

Do you actually know any women? In real life?

David

13 September 2013 at 23:09  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

Reminds me of St John, preaching the sermon repeatedly "little children love one another", and when asked why he continually repeated the same sermon he replied, "Because it is a commandment of the Lord, and if it be done it suffices".

May it be so amongst the genders, as gender rancour isn't nice.


13 September 2013 at 23:18  
Blogger Peter D said...

Now let's kick these suppositions about my personal *issues* into touch.

The letter to my father from his father was loving, compassionate and very measured. It was written by a man grief stricken with the prospect of losing his son in this life and in the next. It is a moving letter and ends with a fervent plea that he continue studying Judaism and return one day to his community.

It was a lengthy teaching on Jewish law regarding those who abandon Judaism and references to Christianity and to Jesus of Nazareth.

Throughout there are references to the Torah and to the Talmud. It is full of them! I had the letter translated. At my father's request I disposed of his Talmud. However, before doing so, I photo-copied the references in the letter. It took me weeks too. There are pages and pages and each has lengthy notes written by my father at different times in his life. I have these still but have never had them translated. Why? I really don't know if I should and whether they are something I should read. Perhaps when I retire.

In part of the letter. inferences can be drawn about my father's conversion. He was a 'Red Cap' in Palestine and Jerusalem. There is comment about the "Three Oaths" and again references to various Midrashim on these. I think my father and his father were in accord over these matters though it seems to have triggered initial doubts in his mind about Judaism and, combined with his military experiences, prompted his conversion. Again, I have never had these references translated.

So please do not insult my intelligence by suggesting I am motivated against Judaism. At times I can sense the word 'anti-Semite' wanting to be thrown at me.

13 September 2013 at 23:25  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Indeed Lucy. But John wrote many other things too. Love AND truth.

13 September 2013 at 23:28  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your Grace, one notes that smaller countries on the periphery of a hegemon tend to be hyper-competitive in certain fields of endeavour, usually sport.

Thus it is that Ireland, Wales and Scotland invariably define their relationship with England on the rugby or soccer field. The same applies in other parts of the Anglosphere. The US/Canadian relationship is defined, by the Canadians, on the hockey pitch (and that's the ice hockey pitch). Woe betide the Canadian team manager who allows the US to triumph over Canada at ice-hockey in the Olympics. The Australian relationship with New Zealand is similarly defined, by NZ, on the rugby field.

This rather tortuous analogy leads to the possibility that the Church of Wales is merely showing its progressive street cred vis-à-vis the CofE by jumping the gun on female bishops. It's just a game of one-upmanship played by the junior party on terms where it thinks it can win at minimal risk and cost.

We recently saw similar shlock and awe from the Church of Scotland, who came out with an particularly unpleasant pro-Pally and anti-Israeli position.

Now we know what Corrigan does when he wants to get away from the in-laws.

13 September 2013 at 23:31  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

David B. In a spiritually caring role, women do not do antagonism. They do not have it in them to do so. That is an end to it...

13 September 2013 at 23:52  
Blogger LEN said...

I am somewhat bemused at the Catholic aversion to female Bishops whilst the Catholic 'Mary' seem to have a far higher position in the Church hierarchy than a mere 'Bishop'(male or female).

14 September 2013 at 00:13  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len. Having priced yourself outside of mainstream Christianity to indulge in some kind of human-god merging imagination which enables you to piss down on the rest of us, you can bloody well choke on your bemusement for all this man cares...

14 September 2013 at 00:20  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

OIG

Re: 'In a spiritually caring role, women do not do antagonism.'

Let me introduce you to Katherine Jefferts Schori.

carl

14 September 2013 at 00:25  
Blogger LEN said...

Is that your thought for today then Inspector?.

Ever though of having therapy for that disposition of yours?.

14 September 2013 at 00:33  
Blogger Peter D said...

Lennie said...
"I am somewhat bemused at the Catholic aversion to female Bishops whilst the Catholic 'Mary' seem to have a far higher position in the Church hierarchy than a mere 'Bishop'(male or female)."

You are amusing.

Catholics have no "aversion" to women. Equal but different, is our understanding. Ever read Saint Paul on the Body of Christ and the different roles and gifts in the Church? We base our position on women priests on the actions of Jesus, the writings of the Gospel, and the tradition of the Church over 2000 years.

And of course any Saint who has achieved the Beatific vision is greater than mere mortals with sinful natures. Our Lady, the mother of Jesus, indivisibly God and man, is accorded a very special place in our hearts too. Yet, despite her significance in our salvation, her Son didn't appoint her to be an Apostle; nor Mary Magdalene, the first to meet the risen Christ. Ever wondered why?

Tell us, do you agree with women bishops and elders in the Church? If so, in your 'wisdom' and with those 'special powers of interpretation', how is this supported by Scripture?

14 September 2013 at 00:47  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

In an English rural setting. The rectory...

Man: “The wife sent me. We’re having problems with our marriage and I admit I slapped her”

Priestess: “Go away, you horrible man”

14 September 2013 at 00:47  
Blogger Peter D said...

Oh, forgot. You don't actually believe in an organised church - even though Saint Paul teaches about this. Sorry, how silly of me. You're a 'free-lancer' who makes it up as you go along.

14 September 2013 at 00:49  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Len, It’s whenever this man sees the postings of the shameless arrogant arse you are.

One hopes this news does not disappoint too much...

14 September 2013 at 00:51  
Blogger LEN said...

We could take this a bit further and be even more controversial than the ordaining of women Bishops.
Should we have 'ordained Priests' or Bishops in the Church at all?.

Matthew 23:8 “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. “And do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 “And do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.

Also; today, many churches have priests, persons who in the old Catholic manner pretend to be some kind of “mediatory agents” between humans and God. But among the saints, first century, things were different. They had neither churches, temples, church buildings nor altars or “priests”. They had elders, but those elders did not act as priests. The only mediator (or “priest”, if you please) that the saints had, was the resurrected Jesus.

14 September 2013 at 00:52  
Blogger LEN said...

Inspector.. Nurse will be looking for you with your meds run along now don`t keep her waiting.

14 September 2013 at 00:53  
Blogger Peter D said...

Uncle Brian
In truth, I can't point to a specific document elaborating the view I hold. However, sometimes you just know something to be true.

I've always regarded the Mass as an event 'out of time'. That at the moment of consecration and thereafter somehow we at one in time with the events of Calvary. That Jesus is present as both priest and victim in the sacrifice - He says the words and He offers Himself to His Father. For me, He chose men to represent Him on earth in this role as High Priest and so it should be.

Albert
I understand your point but think of the alternative.

Baptisms, confessions and the Eucharist all meaningless. No, whatever the moral or spiritual condition of the priest, Christ is present whilst the Sacraments are performed according to the form of the Church.

14 September 2013 at 01:41  
Blogger OldJim said...

Anyone seeking the Catholic position should note that JPII wrote the following in 1994 at the conclusion of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis:

"Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful."

The full piece is available online. I also enclose a link to "Inter Insigniores", a declaration and a full consideration on the subject made by Paul VI in 1976

http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfinsig.htm

The long and short of it is that Jesus did not ordain women, though He had many opportunities to do so, and nor did the early Church. Jesus and the early Church markedly deviated from established custom in favour of women on many points. Therefore, had they wished to ordain women, they would have done so, and the culture in which they lived be damned. Their omission to do so therefore forms a precedent from which the Church of the present day is not free to demur.

This inability to ordain women does not and cannot indicate any inequality of worth between the sexes: the theology of many other doctrines contained within the New Testament precludes that conclusion; rather, it only indicates that roles of the sexes are not interchangeable.

14 September 2013 at 05:01  
Blogger Flossie said...

If we are to bandy bible verses about, what about 1 Corinthians 14:34: Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

I think selection of individual texts misses the point. The whole bible narrative points to the difference between the two sexes and their relationship with each other - both within the family, as husband and wife, and the Church, with Christ and his Church.

It is often said that men are the head and women are the heart of the family. What use are two heads and no heart? I think this is what we are getting in the Church, with ambitious women clamouring to be at the head and trampling on those with different views. Many of us will be forced to leave once we no longer have sacramental assurance of the validity of our clergy. Do they care? Anyone who reads the WATCH website will see that they do not. (WATCH is Women and the Church, for those who don't know.)

While on the subject of WATCH, I have pointed out before that some years ago they threw in their lot with the Inclusive Church movement, on a 'you scratch our back, we'll scratch yours' basis. Inclusive Church are campaigning for acceptance of openly practising homosexual ordination. So anyone who thinks they can support women bishops and then pull up the drawbridge are doomed to disappointment.

(This can also be seen from the Mind of Anglicans survey I mentioned in an earlier post - women are far softer than men on homosexuality.)

14 September 2013 at 06:19  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Peter D

I've yet to meet a Catholic who (a) cares whether it's a closed question, it's still talked about (b) actually wants to be one (woman or man)

The point I made is that if you tie temporal as well as spiritual power to the priesthood, then you will never stop the argument, because those who wish to say it has nothing to do with the Word of God will still say it is an attempt by the men to retain all power in their hands as has been done in so many other fields, secular and religious in history.

But frankly the last laugh (or tears) is with the women. We mother the next generation. If the Faith is not learned at the mother's knee, then the chances of it being learned later in life are poor. My son makes his First Communion next year. He also has a very good mind, and is already asking a lot of awkward questions. And "pay, pray and obey" is not the answer I give him to any of them. I tell him God gave him a mind. Use it. Read, learn, question. And if someone says you can't even ask a question - then start thinking about why they don't want the question asked.

It's a training that will serve him well in a lot more areas than his faith.

14 September 2013 at 07:31  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

And before anyone asks - I do not and have never wanted to be a priest, my vocation was to be a parent. And as a parent, I could have told His Holiness that the single best way to get all your children talking about something you don't want them to talk about - is to tell them you don't want it talked about. Parenting 101.

14 September 2013 at 07:33  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I have to say the subject of why priests are all men came up once. I told him it was because the Twelve Apostles were all men. He accepted that, then came back a few days later with "but weren't they all Jewish as well? So don't all priests have to be Jewish?" I told him that our parish priest (who taught theology) would love to have this discussion with him so he trotted off to ask the question there. Fr Raf informed me I was educating a very good infant theologian and to keep up the good work :)

14 September 2013 at 07:47  
Blogger David B said...

@Sister Tiberia

" If the Faith is not learned at the mother's knee, then the chances of it being learned later in life are poor."

Does this not apply equally to Baptists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Sunnis, Shias, Buddhists, Mormons, Hindus......?

Does this not lead you to consider insofar as they are mutually inconsistent, then most of these must necessarily be wrong, while logically there is no guarantee that any are right?

So are not millions upon millions of mothers bringing up their children to believe what is not true?

David

14 September 2013 at 08:17  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Millions upon millions of mothers are (hopefully) bringing up their children to seek the Truth. My strongest belief is that those who wholeheartedly seek it will find it, and that by God's mercy many will find their way to Him by paths none of us ever saw. It's why I have a huge problem with any religion (including my own) whose command is "Thou shalt not question" because that way lies despotism.

I believe in God, Who is not constrained by the boxes we in our well meaning faith try to put him in, who smiles at what His children go through in the fight to work their way back to him, and who is infinitely merciful and infinitely forgiving of the multitude of mistakes we all make in seeking him. Hopefully my son will grow up to find Him too, by whatever path, and with whatever tools I can equip him with for the journey. I think most mothers would hope for the same for their child.

14 September 2013 at 08:25  
Blogger The Explorer said...

I agree with Old Jim (05:01) about the prevailing culture be damned, and that First-Century cultural conditions should not determine our conclusions.

Just look at Matthew's genealogy of Jesus.

a) It includes women.

b) It includes Rahab (a prostitute), and Ruth (a foreigner).

Something radical at work there?

14 September 2013 at 09:15  
Blogger The Explorer said...

I should perhaps have added, for the sake of clarity, that if the Early Church chose not to ordain women then something other than anti-female prejudice seems to have been a determinant.

14 September 2013 at 09:21  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ OIG

Your remark is straight out of a bad 1950s movie, where the woman got "hysterical" and the man brought her round by a good slap.

Thank God those days are long past, and I think it shows Hollywood actually had a disturbing number of misogynists who had no idea about women, and often no physical attraction towards them either. Of course Hollywood still depicts women in its films overall as doing 29% of the talking, so like real life.... 29%?? More like 69%!!

If a man is a gentleman he does not hit a woman. Full stop. In my experience most male priests have little sympathy with the scenario you painted. But any trained C of E pastor would never treat any situation in that unprofessional way you depict. They are on average far far superior to that, and have some pretty gruesome cases to handle: you depict one of the milder ones.

A heartening note. I have known two couples with strong marriages where they used to be against the ordination of women. In both cases the wives have since become ordained and both husbands have changed their minds and are really proud of what their wives have achieved. And yes, they are both still happily married, and the husbands are still noticeably male!!

Really it is a matter for calmness not rabid fantasising- well for the C of E of course, and this is our internal matter, really. What the Pope says is neither here nor there as he has no jurisdiction in the C of E any more than in the Baptists, the Quakers, or the house churches.

14 September 2013 at 09:57  
Blogger Albert said...

Peter,

The necessity of the right intention of the minister is not my private opinion, but the teaching of the Church. From the Catechism:

1128 This is the meaning of the Church's affirmation49 that the sacraments act ex opere operato (literally: "by the very fact of the action's being performed"), i.e., by virtue of the saving work of Christ, accomplished once for all. It follows that "the sacrament is not wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient, but by the power of God."50 From the moment that a sacrament is celebrated in accordance with the intention of the Church, the power of Christ and his Spirit acts in and through it, independently of the personal holiness of the minister. Nevertheless, the fruits of the sacraments also depend on the disposition of the one who receives them.

The intention required "is to will to do what the Church does". This is why there is a question over Anglican orders. Did they intend to continue the Catholic priesthood?

14 September 2013 at 10:30  
Blogger Albert said...

Sr T,

I think the disentangling of the temporal and spiritual powers is a good idea, where possible. It is clear jobs are done by men in the Church, not because they need to be, but because they are done by priests, ergo.

As far as the Jewishness of the apostles is concerned, it needs to be remembered that they were called at a time when only Jews were part of the covenant, so it was inevitable that only Jews could be apostles. The covenant having now been opened up to Gentiles, means Gentiles can be part of the covenant and can therefore be its ministers. But women were always part of the covenant, so, if it were possible for women to be included in the apostolic ministry, they ought to have been. So the cases are not parallel.

14 September 2013 at 10:35  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

it seems to me this is an Anglican blog talking about an internal Anglican issue. Cross reference and input from other denominations and faiths is great, BUT we don't need it being taken over by people on the same thread talking about the internal doings of the Pope and the RCs, which has little to no relevance to the topic. Besides which all you do is restate the official line. I have known quite a number of RC priests who are far more open to debate and honest inquiry than RCs on here, and who openly admit that it is only a matter of time before more women's ministry happens there as well, or that married priests happen, and who express enormous reservations about us exporting our misogynists to them. "We have enough of our own" is the frequent wry sentiment! I can see what they mean.

14 September 2013 at 10:45  
Blogger David B said...

Well, Sister Tiberia, I must say that compared with many sorts of religious indoctrination I have become aware of yours is very much among the more enlightened and civilised.

Seeking the truth, no matter where it might lead, I see as one of the most noble human attributes.

David

14 September 2013 at 10:49  
Blogger Peter D said...

Sister Tiberia
When Blessed John Paul declared this matter a closed question this didn't mean it could not be discussed. It means there is an infallible answer which the faithful need to understand and, as a parent, teach to their children.

How do you approach other doctrinal and dogmatic issues? Is the question of the Virgin Birth, the Crucifixion as God's Will, the Resurrection and the Ascension open to question? The Trinity? The dogma of Our Lady's Assumption?

These are all more demanding to explain than Jesus, in His Wisdom, selecting a male only priesthood. Really, the question is not an important one in the grand scheme of things. It is being given prominence by modernisers and feminists who challenge other more significant issues. These include definitive Church teaching on contraception, abortion, divorce and remarriage, open Communion and, last but not least, Papal and Magisterium infallibility.

Once one infallible teaching falls the whole of Catholicism falls. The protestants know this; I'm surprised you don't see it.

Encourage questioning and discussion. It's how answers are found. However, remember there are answers to certain questions. One and one does equal two; the Sun does rise in the East; and the world does revolve the Sun. A parents role is to steer one's child towards these answers by explaining the evidence.

That's a part of parenting 101 too. There is a narrow path and only one voice calling us. We all stray from the path and have a degree of deafness, children and adults alike, but knowing the path is there and being able to recognise the voice, is what ultimately counts.

14 September 2013 at 10:55  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Peter D

"One and one does equal two; the Sun does rise in the East; and the world does revolve the Sun."

Bad example when the conversation is about the Catholic Church. Just ask Galileo :)


14 September 2013 at 11:00  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

And I think that you've got a finger on something here.

"Once one infallible teaching falls the whole of Catholicism falls. The protestants know this; I'm surprised you don't see it."

I consider the Church greater than the fallible people within it. And I firmly agree with Fr Thomas Doyle that "the Church needs infalliblity like a fish needs a bicycle"

We have one promise from Christ with regard to the Church, and one only. "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Cardinal Ratzinger put it more pointedly in an interview with the German Press before his election - that we have been promised that no Pope will ever have it in his power to destroy the Church. I have faith in that promise. He never promised the Church would not make mistakes - indeed in the same chapter of Matthew he addresses the first Pope in stinging words

"22 Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”

23 Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”"

I don't need infallibility to believe in the Church of God. Only love and faith.

14 September 2013 at 11:05  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

He, being Christ, not Cardinal Ratzinger of course :) He will oversee His Church, and He will bring good out of it no matter what we in our human fallibility manage to cock up. :)

14 September 2013 at 11:07  
Blogger Peter D said...

Albert
You've raised a complicated question, indeed!

As I understand it, Pope Leo XIII, declared Anglican ordinations to be "absolutely null and utterly void" in the late 1890's because the ordination ceremony reflected a different theology to the traditional Apostolic one. The objection being was the deficiency of intention and of the form of the Anglican ordination rites. The rites expressed an intention to create a priesthood different from the sacrificing priesthood of the Church and reduced ordination to a church institution, an appointment or blessing, instead of a sacramental conferral of actual grace by the action itself.

So, to the intention of individual priests. If the "sacraments act ex opere operato (literally: "by the very fact of the action's being performed"), i.e., by virtue of the saving work of Christ, accomplished once for all. It follows that "the sacrament is not wrought by the righteousness of either the celebrant or the recipient, but by the power of God."

Once ordained, the priests particular intention appears not to be relevant.

"From the moment that a sacrament is celebrated in accordance with the intention of the Church, the power of Christ and his Spirit acts in and through it, independently of the personal holiness of the minister."

As I read this, provided the rite is followed according to the intention of the Church, (not the priest's) then the Sacrament is valid. Now if a priest were to wilfully omit the words of consecration or deliberately change them, that would be a different matter.

I am sure there have been many atheist priests down the years - and bishops, perhaps even popes. This doesn't render Apostolic succession or the unbroken celebration of the Mass for 2000 years, null and void.

14 September 2013 at 11:29  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I misquoted Fr Doyle, the whole interview is here

http://www.sbs.com.au/dateline/story/transcript/id/600432/n/Interview-with-Father-Tom-Doyle

The actual quote was - FATHER TOM DOYLE: We need infallibility about as much as a duck hunter needs an accordion.

The principle stands :)

14 September 2013 at 11:32  
Blogger Peter D said...

Sister Tiberia
"I consider the Church greater than the fallible people within it. And I firmly agree with Fr Thomas Doyle that "the Church needs infalliblity like a fish needs a bicycle"

Oh dear ....

Personally, I'm more a supporter of Fr Gerald Fitzgerald (may he rest in peace) .... and do wish Pope ("Who I am I to judge?") Francis would heed his writings based on vast experience. One detects something of the uncompromising spirit of Saint Peter Damian in him.

Thomas Doyle - the darling of the liberals and the anti-Catholics. Wherever traditional Catholicism is challenged you're sure to find a reference to him. He is aflame with anger about child abuse within the Church. He is right to be. However, he has lost all sense of perspective. He is a 'one issue' priest who has a particular viewpoint and, as a result, his analysis of the situation and his solutions are, in my opinion, deeply flawed.

Doyle's desire to seek justice and compassion for victims of Catholic clergy abuse is commendable. However, his open disdain for the Catholic Church and most of its teachings is so over the top one wonders why he still remains a priest.

14 September 2013 at 12:09  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Perhaps you'd prefer my old parish priest's attitude.

"If whatever it is about the Church has wound you up to the point where you want to kick the Pope, try 5 decades of the Rosary and then look at it again. If you still can't deal with it, commend the whole mess to God and let it go, secure in the knowledge that God will indeed sort it all out - but in His time, not yours."

Very pragmatic man, Fr Paul was :)

14 September 2013 at 12:21  
Blogger Albert said...

Peter,

I think it is a general principle of sacraments that the minister needs to have the intention (at least virtually) to celebrate the sacrament.

14 September 2013 at 12:48  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Lucy Mullen at 09:57

One must disappoint your smug middle class take of marriage. The incidence of domestic violence therein runs at around 25%. For homosexual couples it is around 50%, and for those poor unfortunates, the transgender, we have 80%.

Agreed. No gentleman would hit a woman, so in the sober light of day, they might consider the counsel of a priest. You think a twenty something career gal armed with a sociology degree is what he is hoping to find in the rectory ? Perhaps she’ll fire off the latest ideas she’s read about. Gender equality, cave man throwback, male arrogance, as he sits meekly crossed legged on the floor before her, hanging on her every word...

14 September 2013 at 12:50  
Blogger Albert said...

Lucy,

1. Catholic issues have come up because they overlap with Anglican ones. I don't think that there is a single issue being discussed here that, in some form or other, couldn't be applicable to Anglicanism.

2. I have known quite a number of RC priests who are far more open to debate and honest inquiry than RCs on here, and who openly admit that it is only a matter of time before more women's ministry happens there as well A Catholic priest's role is to expound the teaching of the Church. The teaching of the Church is that this matter is settled - the Church has no authority to ordain women to the priesthood. Therefore, a Catholic priest who says what you say he says lacks integrity.

3. us exporting our misogynists to them This is just very confused, if not ignorant and very unpleasant. Please accept that people have principled objections to women's ordination. Most of the opponents of the ordination of women are themselves women. Before 1992 there was an organisation in the CofE called "Women Against the Ordination of Women." Are all those women misogynists? Are all the arguments put forward here misogynistic? Is it misogynistic to do what Jesus did? Was Jesus a misogynist?

But the most confusing element is that you fail to see that the true misogynists stay in the Church of England. Those who have true objections to women's ordination find they have to leave. Those who don't can stay - they just avoid women clergy as much as they can.

So I find you comment difficult. At best it is almost entirely factually wrong and unfair, and at worst downright nasty.

14 September 2013 at 12:58  
Blogger Peter D said...

Sster Tiberia
Yes, I think would. Certainly more Catholic and not pragmatic. It's faith in God watching over His Church and keeping His promise in Matthew 16:18.

I'd probably recommend attendance at Confession, Mass and reception of Communion, on every first Saturday of the month, along with reciting the Rosary, for at least a 5 month period. Our Lady of Fatima is a great source of intercession with Jesus.

A very traditional Catholic approach too.

Albert
Then what answer is there to the possibility of an atheist 'priest', 'bishop' or 'pope'?

14 September 2013 at 13:01  
Blogger Peter D said...

Inspector
And don't forget domestic violence of women on men - a growing issue, long neglected. This throws the feminazi into great confusion.

14 September 2013 at 13:04  
Blogger Albert said...

Sr T,

I firmly agree with Fr Thomas Doyle that "the Church needs infalliblity like a fish needs a bicycle"

Well, the Catholic Church teaches she is able to speak infallibly on certain matters. If you believe this, then you must believe infallibility is given by God and it is his intention that the Church should have it, and I suggest that will lead you think the quotation is wrong.

Peter writes,

the darling of the liberals and the anti-Catholics. Wherever traditional Catholicism is challenged you're sure to find a reference to him. He is aflame with anger about child abuse within the Church. He is right to be. However, he has lost all sense of perspective.

He's also spectacularly anti-evidential. We know that the best evidence suggests the rise of child abuse in the Church was because of liberal attitudes to sexuality creeping in to the Church. We also know that where bishops did not deal with the problem, it was because the violated Canon Law. Why did they do that? Because punishing is a nasty tradition thing to do, something no good-minded liberal would dream, especially not in a matter of sexuality...

So why does he take the position that he does? An obvious conclusion is that he's actually wanting to knock the Church and her tradition for some other reason. It's a bit like the "Women Priests" website. It claims to be about women's ordination. But stay on the site long enough and you see it is trying to change church teaching on homosexuality.

14 September 2013 at 13:07  
Blogger Albert said...

Inspector,

The incidence of domestic violence therein runs at around 25%. For homosexual couples it is around 50%, and for those poor unfortunates, the transgender, we have 80%.

Do you have a source for that, please?

14 September 2013 at 13:08  
Blogger Albert said...

Peter,

Then what answer is there to the possibility of an atheist 'priest', 'bishop' or 'pope'?

The intention thing only governs sacraments. But clearly such a member of the clergy ought to resign (I'm not talking about someone who is struggling with their faith and is doing their best as it were, they've still got the right intention). In the event that a sacrament is valid, then, I think, provided the recipients of the sacrament do not know it, then they still benefit from the full fruit of the sacrament.

14 September 2013 at 13:10  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

I believe that under certain very specific circumstances, the Pope is granted the power to speak infallibly. I consider the "creeping infallibility" of the ordinary magisterium to be one of the most dangerous things that has happened to the Church in my lifetime, and I will not discuss it here, because my ability to keep my temper through the discussion is likely to be poor and I'll end up saying something I'll be sorry for later.

Leaving the conversation here.

14 September 2013 at 13:12  
Blogger Albert said...

Sr T,

the "creeping infallibility" of the ordinary magisterium to be one of the most dangerous things that has happened to the Church in my lifetime,

It is indeed a danger, but I think that if you look at the state of the Church, and the things that have gone badly wrong, the real problem has been magisterial minimalism - ie. people only believing what the Church decrees infallibly. These are the people who adopted liberal attitudes to sexuality with all the suffering and squalor that has ensued.

14 September 2013 at 13:19  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Lucy Mullen, forgot to say, the way forward is to stop the rot.

We are on course for a childless lady bishop ordaining a childless lady priest who then ‘marries’ a male homosexual couple, one of which is implanted with an artificial womb to carry some anonymous donated egg fertilised in a laboratory.

To stop this disgusting scenario from materialising further, we need women to come back on side, and to stop wrecking the natural order !!!


14 September 2013 at 13:21  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Albert, the 25% is all over the internet, and easily verified. For the homosexuals, that comes from the site ‘Broken Rainbow’, a support group set up by these bruised fellows.

14 September 2013 at 13:24  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Peter D, today at 01:41


Uncle Brian
In truth, I can't point to a specific document elaborating the view I hold. However, sometimes you just know something to be true.


That's OK by me, Peter. No quarrel wih that. As far as I'm concerned, we have a deal.

However, I wouldn't be surprised if the ever-vigilant Albert were to chip in at this point with a warning about private judgment.

14 September 2013 at 13:28  
Blogger LEN said...

I think it might be wise to perhaps read 'the Revelation of Jesus Christ given to John' regarding the state of the Churches rather than consulting our own particular dogmas and traditions passed by 'infallible' human beings (a bit of a misnomer in itself)

Female bishops/ gay clergy/are perhaps slightly like rearranging the seating arrangements on the Titanic whilst we should perhaps be looking at who is actually steering the ship and under whose orders?.

14 September 2013 at 13:36  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ IOG
Yes, I am middle class, if you're determined to argue by social stereotype. However it really doesn't get you very far, especially as 80% of the population is middle class, and middle class values are what many more aspire to.

Morality is not done by statistics, and even if 99% of people were sometimes violent towards their spouse it would not make it right.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch anyone who has gone through ordination training is trained in pastoral care, one of the basic rules of which is not to evince disgust, but deal objectively with the situation and as far as possible use non-directive counselling. I can assure you this goes across both genders. If over-identification is a problem because of unhealed wounds or another issue, you either deal objectively with it and then have reparative counselling yourself, or you pass it on. This too will be done by both men and women.

Somehow I don't think the RC Bishops will be borrowing this singularly ill advised argument against women in ministry!!

14 September 2013 at 14:12  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

lucy Mullen


"A heartening note. I have known two couples with strong marriages where they used to be against the ordination of women. In both cases the wives have since become ordained and both husbands have changed their minds and are really proud of what their wives have achieved. And yes, they are both still happily married, and the husbands are still noticeably male!!"

This proves what exactly?

Women can be ordained and have a role teaching women and children within the Church.

Men would welcome that and be really proud of them. e.g. Joyce Meyer has done fantastic things and has a strong woemen's minsitry.

Joyce is an excellent role model for women in ministry.

Most women who see themselves "in power" in the Cof E, hate Joyce, why? Because she is sucessful and has done wonderful things?

Or is it that Joyce believes the message of the Bible and honours her husband and God beofre herself.

Phil


14 September 2013 at 14:14  
Blogger Albert said...

Thank you, Inspector.

14 September 2013 at 14:18  
Blogger Albert said...

Uncle Brian,

I wouldn't be surprised if the ever-vigilant Albert were to chip in at this point with a warning about private judgment.

Sorry, I can't oblige you here. Peter is simply saying (I think) that he knows something to be Catholic teaching. That would not be because he judges it to be right (private judgement) but because he has heard it taught (ordinary magisterium). Thus the fact that he just knows, reflects the fact that he rejects private judgement.

14 September 2013 at 14:21  
Blogger Peter D said...

Albert
"The intention thing only governs sacraments .... In the event that a sacrament is valid ...."

But is it if the priest doesn't actually believe in what he's doing? Not struggling with doubts but only staying for other reasons?

Uncle Brian
If Albert does chip in, I'm sure he'll be able to provide sources that back-up my Catholic instincts on this.

14 September 2013 at 14:24  
Blogger Albert said...

Len,

'infallible' human beings (a bit of a misnomer in itself)

Well quite. But I can't think of any form of Christianity that believe in infallible human beings.

14 September 2013 at 14:24  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

There was a situation not long ago where it was discovered after the death of a priest in Spain that he had never been validly ordained. This would have invalidated every Sacrament of his ministry over about 50 years (with the exception of the Sacrament of Baptism which can be conferred by any baptised person).

The Church quite sensibly simply declared all the sacraments he had conferred valid based on the fact that it would be simply impossible even to trace them all. Of course, that then begs the question of just how he managed 50 years in ministry with nobody picking up on the problem :)

14 September 2013 at 14:29  
Blogger Albert said...

Peter,

I think it's quite a complicated error. However, I notice Aquinas addresses it:

http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4064.htm#article8

Scroll down and read article 9 as well. I bet Catholic teaching hasn't moved significantly from Aquinas here.

As for chipping in on your side with Uncle Brian, I'm not actually sure what the position is you are arguing over. But I am sure you are not using private judgement!

14 September 2013 at 14:31  
Blogger Peter D said...

Uncle Brian
There you go ....

I should say I underwent pre-seminary training for 3 to 4 years in my adolescence. Whilst I never entered a seminary (hormones, I'm afraid), I do remember reading about and discussing these issues.

14 September 2013 at 14:31  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Albert
I am particularly confused by your posts which suggests we are biologically linked to our mothers but not our fathers. While this may be sadly true for some it is not usual.

Indeed the language actually- rather unjustly- goes the other way, so that the meaning of fathering is just biological, whereas mothering means nurturing.

How you then make the theological leap to pantheism just eluded me.

14 September 2013 at 14:39  
Blogger Peter D said...

Albert
This, I think, represents what I was trying to say:

"But if his faith be defective in regard to the very sacrament that he confers, although he believe that no inward effect is caused by the thing done outwardly, yet he does know that the Catholic Church intends to confer a sacrament by that which is outwardly done. Wherefore, his unbelief notwithstanding, he can intend to do what the Church does, albeit he esteem it to be nothing. And such an intention suffices for a sacrament: because as stated above (8, ad 2) the minister of a sacrament acts in the person of the Church by whose faith any defect in the minister's faith is made good."

14 September 2013 at 14:51  
Blogger Albert said...

Lucy,

How you then make the theological leap to pantheism just eluded me.

Yes, this is clear from your previous paragraphs. I'm not talking about what happens once a child is born, but about how the child is generated. A child is physically attached to his or her mother. He emerges from her body. This is not the case with the father. Thus, by analogy, if God is our mother, that implies pantheism. We are born from "god's body". The biblical emphasis on the transcendence of God (surely one of the most important themes of the OT) has been subsumed by immanence.

Scripture is consistent and clear on language that applies to God. It is clear on how this then pans out into ministry and Jesus sets a clear example. Why change it, when (a) Scripture is inspired (b) Jesus is the truth (c) there is good - and entirely non-sexist - reason for why this is so?

14 September 2013 at 15:08  
Blogger Albert said...

Peter,

I agree with Aquinas. I never said such a priest couldn't have such an intention.

14 September 2013 at 15:11  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Thank you, Albert.

14 September 2013 at 15:18  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

And thank you, too, Peter D.

14 September 2013 at 15:19  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Lucy Mullen
t seems to me this is an Anglican blog talking about an internal Anglican issue. Cross reference and input from other denominations and faiths is great, BUT we don't need it being taken over by people on the same thread talking about the internal doings of the Pope and the RCs, which has little to no relevance to the topic.

This is such a good blog, Lucy, that I can understand why you Anglicans would want to keep it all to yourselves. If I were still an Anglican I'm sure I would feel the same way.

Please be assured, however, that nobody is trying to take it over. Long may it remain under its present ownership.

And thank you for putting up with the interference so patiently.

14 September 2013 at 16:15  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Albert
You mistake the vehicle and the image. It is not necessary for an image to work that the image touches the vehicle at all points. When Burns writes "my love is like a red red rose/ that's newly sprung in June" he does not mean she is literally red, has thorns down her side and itching powder generating in the rosehip. Similarly when we speak of God as Father we do not imagine Him as possessing many male attributes, such as male biologically reproductive physical assets for God set the whole creation in motion, and has no need nor use for same!! The same for biologically female reproductive assets. That is altogether too physical altogether, and an absolute red herring!!

No need for pantheism or demi-urges or whatever pagan entities you fear!!

14 September 2013 at 16:30  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Brian

Thanks for a gracious response. It is lovely when we have our RC brothers and sisters, but just a bit tedious when they get into encyclical this and encyclical that and the minutiae of instructions to the faithful which we are not bound by so unless they have interesting arguments attached, frankly just yawn and scroll through. If we keep to Scripture Reason and Tradition we can discuss but as for immutable truths from the magisterium that are just right and infallible and anyone who disagrees is an idiot and a heretic, that is not on.

Most Anglicans here don't bore us with the minutiae of General Synod or the finer details of the Canons of the C of E. That is also how it should be!!

14 September 2013 at 16:45  
Blogger OldJim said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 September 2013 at 17:45  
Blogger OldJim said...

Lucy

I think that I must be the Catholic with the encyclical references to whom you refer. If you found that exasperating, then allow me to apologise, I didn't do it with the intention of annoying anyone.

It will not come as a surprise to you, I am sure, to learn that us Catholics on this website can be quite vocal. Therefore, I thought that, given there'd be a lot of "Women can't be priests because of X" and "I've not been convinced by argument X because Y", it would more closely circumscribe the terms in which we addressed the issue if Catholics and Protestants alike had ready access to the documents from which these Catholic arguments originate, and in which they are expressed with the greatest conceptual clarity and care.

Likewise, I thought it could only benefit both Catholics and Protestants to remind them that regardless of the content of the arguments thrown one way or the other, a Catholics' position is ultimately determined by the judgment that the Church has reached.

As for the relevance of that judgment for Anglicanism, it very much depends on what one thinks the Church of England is.

If the Church of England believes itself to be a Church in the apostolic succession, to be one of the three "branches" of the Church along with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, and to validly confect the Sacraments as those Churches hold one confects them, then the judgment of the RCC and the practice of the Eastern Orthodox cannot count for nothing.


Remember, the Church of England was professing to be and to do precisely that throughout ARCIC, and even earlier, when it began from 1933 consecrating its bishops using the "Dutch Touch", that is, schismatic Old Catholic Bishops whose Apostolic Succession was not in question consecrating according to the formulas of the Roman Canon, in the hope of making right any deficiencies in Anglican Orders.

On the other hand, if the Church of England is a reformed church without a sacramental theology in which "Ministry" refers exhaustively to the preaching of the word and to pastoral care, then of course the judgment of the RCC is entirely irrelevant. When the CoE joined the Porvoo Communion in 1992, for example, it seemed to indicate it cared not a jot about apostolic succession.

What bothers us Romanists, of course, is that you first play hot and then cold.

Incidentally, if it were Protestant Ministry we were talking about, I don't know that I would object women's ordination; I strongly suspect that I would find myself in favour of it, and I confess (mea culpa, mea maxima culpa) that I would find it difficult myself not to accuse those who weren't of sexism. It is rather because I esteem sacramental theology, tradition, and apostolic succession as well as the judgments of the See of Peter that I regard the ordination of women as unsound, and standing on this side of the Tiber, brought by that circumstance to oppose WO, it is much easier for me to feel imaginative sympathy for those evangelical stick-in-the-muds than it would otherwise be.

14 September 2013 at 18:02  
Blogger Peter D said...

Lucy
"Most Anglicans here don't bore us with the minutiae of General Synod or the finer details of the Canons of the C of E. That is also how it should be!!"

If one wanted to be really naughty, one could say that's because most Anglicans don't know the outcome of their General Synods or Canon Law or, worse, don't really care. Why should they matter when one can effectively believe what one chooses?

14 September 2013 at 18:06  
Blogger Albert said...

Lucy,

You mistake the vehicle and the image

No. You've mistaken what I've said.

Similarly when we speak of God as Father we do not imagine Him as possessing many male attributes, such as male biologically reproductive physical assets for God set the whole creation in motion, and has no need nor use for same!!

Read through my posts. I have never said anything of sort. It is not entailed by what I have said. I have explicitly denied such things! So why attribute them to me?

I have said it is not that God is masculine, but that our relationship with him is analogous to our relationship with our fathers in a way that it is not analogous to our relationship with our mothers.

Masculine and feminine language, especially when put in the context of parents and the deity, is very powerful, it is deeply rooted in us. It has a psychological effect even when we cannot articulate what and how. Scripture is aware of this and always calls God "He". The argument I have put explains why God became a male human being and taught us to call God "Father", never once are we taught to address God as mother. It explains why God made man chose only men as his apostles. It explains why scripture commands this to be continued (it is "A command of the Lord" St Paul says).

How can you be so sure that you are right to disregard all that, when you keep misrepresenting the arguments I am giving you?

The ancient world was full of female deities, as well as male ones. It was full of priestesses as well as priests. One culture stands out against this: it is the culture of scripture, the culture of Jesus, the culture founded by of the Word made flesh, full of grace and truth. How can you be so confident that you are right to depart from that tradition, when all you do is misrepresent the arguments put here. misrepresenting my argument.

Most Anglicans here don't bore us with the minutiae of General Synod or the finer details of the Canons of the C of E. That is also how it should be

General Synod gets debated here in good detail. No one bothers to discuss Anglican Canon Law because it is almost entirely about property law and right. It has almost no theological significance.

14 September 2013 at 19:42  
Blogger Albert said...

OldJim/Lucy,

If the Church of England believes itself to be a Church in the apostolic succession, to be one of the three "branches" of the Church along with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, and to validly confect the Sacraments as those Churches hold one confects them, then the judgment of the RCC and the practice of the Eastern Orthodox cannot count for nothing.

Lo and behold, what does the CofE say? It says:

No time limit has been set for the process of the reception of
the decision to ordain women priests to be concluded, because the fact
that reception is a dynamic and open-ended process means that it
cannot be arbitrarily halted on a given date. What is clear, however,
is that while there is still substantial opposition to or hesitation about
the ordination of women both within the Church of England and
ecumenically
the process of reception is not complete.


So the CinW moves towards making women bishops before it can be known if it is God's will. Bizarre or what!

14 September 2013 at 19:51  
Blogger bluedog said...

Old Jim @ 18.02 says, 'If the Church of England believes itself to be a Church in the apostolic succession, to be one of the three "branches" of the Church along with the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, and to validly confect the Sacraments as those Churches hold one confects them, then the judgment of the RCC and the practice of the Eastern Orthodox cannot count for nothing.'

And yet the Eastern Orthodox ignores the judgement of the RCC, so isn't that a valid precedent for the Anglican Church to follow? If the Eastern Orthodox are regarded as compliant with Apostolic Succession there would appear to be nothing other than the conceit of the Roman Church to prevent Anglicans being seen as compliant.

14 September 2013 at 22:02  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 September 2013 at 22:20  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 September 2013 at 22:22  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Bluedog,

You gave me a piece of advise way back in February, which I and others foolishly didn't listen to.

I hope that you will have more sense and listen to me when I clearly say, just don't bother trying to argue with Old Jim, Peter D and Albert. There is no point. Roman Catholics are clearly 'correct' in anything that comes out of their lips.

One of them, Peter D, even thinks that by cutting and pasting quotes from various websites, that he knows far more about another faith that is not his own.

Despite someone from that other faith attempting to live and breath it for all of the years he has had on this planet, our Roman Catholic friend naturally knows more 'about it' that some one like me- afterall his grandfather was a Rabbi, his father was almost a Rabbi and he was almost a Priest in the one True Church of god.

To me the arrogance is breathtaking & makes me want to vomit in a bucket, but that is probably just me.

But please don't bother. It does not matter what you say, be it reasonable or not, there will always be a Wiki article to correct you.

Just don't bother. Bashing your head against a steel wall is more profitable them even trying to argue with these guys. They are just beyond correction and beyond being incorrect... infallible, know more about whatever faith you hold than you and can change the goal posts whenever you want.

Best of luck to you. I have frankly given up trying to argue. Afterall I know nought about my own faith and I need to be correct by someone who doesn't follow it... that seems to be the Roman Catholic way?

14 September 2013 at 22:24  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Peter D,

No, we were not laughing at the quote you gave us from one of our learned Rabbis; we were all laughing at your latest cut an paste attempts to win an argument... Incidentally I have had one of the most uplifting Yom Kippurs and spiritual experiences in my life. I won't bother to share it with you. I am sure you will find a good article on some website which tells me that as a Jew I 'shouldn't have a spiritual experience'.

14 September 2013 at 22:28  
Blogger LEN said...

If one is beyond being corrected by the Word of God then one is truly lost..
I believe this is the position many Catholics are in.
One can only hope that the Holy Spirit will be able to break through the wall of resistance that they have erected around themselves.

14 September 2013 at 22:56  
Blogger Peter D said...

David K
Personal abuse and avoidance? Is that all you've got to my perfectly reasonable enquiry?

And still you have not answered the question about Judaic belief in the eternal destiny of those who abandon the Torah.

So what if I 'cut and pasted' Maimonides from Wiki? His 'Hichot Teshuva' is available on numerous Jewish websites. And this learned Rabbi, acknowledged as one of the foremost Jewish scholars, clearly teaches that any Jew (and one assumes this must include Christ and the Apostles and early Christians), who lead others astray and abandon the Torah go to Gehenna for eternal suffering due to their wickedness.

Really what's the issue in admitting this or correcting me if I'm wrong?

A revealing response, indeed.

14 September 2013 at 23:18  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Peter D,

You have not been reasonable. You at every turn have tried to put my faith in the most negative of light... which is fine to a certain degree, until one realises that the reason for this is that you seemingly cannot have confidence in your own, until others are brought down low. In actual fact I am not even sure about that. I suspect this is really about 'winning an argument'. I've seem that with the other people you engage with here. Winning an argument, whatever the cost and whatever the consequences.

You can only 'raise' your faith up, by putting everyone else's down. You are arrogant beyond belief. You are not a Jew. Yet you seem to think that you have a god given right to tell me, who is a Jew what, where, how and why I should believe in my own faith. It is one thing to argue and believe you are correct in your own version of Christianity, but it is another to try and correct a belief, sincerely and dearly held by someone of a different faith...

As for this letter you pluck out of thin air, in one thread it is so bad it it cannot be published for the horrors it says about Jewish view on Jesus Christ, in this one it becomes a 'tender letter'; it is also revealed you have only have select parts of said letter translated. Odd that.

I have no intention of bothering to respond to any of your demands. The days of the inquisition are over. I will not engage or debate with someone who has nothing but bordering on the contempt for my beliefs and faith. I do not care what parts of the internet you trawl to back up whatever drivel you are trying to argue. The days of Torquemada and your faith telling Jews what they can and cannot do are long over. Do you not understand that yet?

Another thing you should understand. You have in the past couple of days crossed a lot of lines. To think that I almost got booted from this blog because I supported you (as did Hannah) and it was even suggested that I was you. I see what a prat I was then. It is interesting that after you have got your way back into this blog, that you show your true self. Your contempt for anything or anyone who does not adhere to your world view and your craving for argument and conflict.

Have you ever heard of Loki a Norse deity? Right now that is the best description of you I can think of.

14 September 2013 at 23:37  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

14 September 2013 at 23:56  
Blogger Peter D said...

David K
I take it you do, in fact, accept Maimonides' teachings concerning heretics - the kofer ba-ikkar - just feel disinclined to state this publically.

15 September 2013 at 00:25  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 September 2013 at 00:29  
Blogger Peter D said...

Hannah
Really, what is there to "debate"?

It either is or is not a part of your faith that heretics, and this must include Jesus of Nazareth and His early Jewish followers, suffered the consequences taught by Maimonides or not.

What's the big deal?

15 September 2013 at 01:02  
Blogger OldJim said...

Bluedog,

"And yet the Eastern Orthodox ignores the judgement of the RCC, so isn't that a valid precedent for the Anglican Church to follow? If the Eastern Orthodox are regarded as compliant with Apostolic Succession there would appear to be nothing other than the conceit of the Roman Church to prevent Anglicans being seen as compliant."

Please first note that I did not just say that Anglicans should consider themselves bound to the
judgments of the Roman Church. I noted that if Anglicans believed in a High Church, Branch Theory, Sacramental Ecclesiology, then consistency would demand that the judgments of the Roman See were not of no account. Nor did I even say precisely that; I paired the Judgments of the Roman see with the traditions and practices of the Eastern Churches themselves, like so:

"If ...[the CoE affects a High Church Ecclesiology]... then the judgment of the RCC and the practice of the Eastern Orthodox [the "other Churches" of the "Branch Theory"] cannot count for nothing."

That still strikes me as being an eminently balanced statement, and not one I am minded to retract.

So in this case, I do not see that you can play off Eastern quibbles with the scope of Petrine authority against the contents of the judgments of that authority; rather, I am instead appealing to the Universal judgments of the ancient Churches, taken as a whole.

Of course, there is no single living authority for Orthodoxy, but I can direct you to the views of the Moscow Patriarchate:

http://cathcon.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/russian-orthodox-warning-for-new.html

the Coptic Pope:

http://tasbeha.org/content/hh_books/ordofwom/index.html

the Patriarchate of Constantinople:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=lTdri3St6hAC&lpg=PA441&ots=nKhEy33PpO&dq=ecumenical%20patriarch%20%22bartholomew%20i%22%20%22ordination%20of%20women%22&pg=PA386#v=onepage&q&f=false


This is not a uniquely Roman scruple; it is the considered position of the wider small-c catholic world.

As I say, that's irrelevant to the Church of England if it is a theologically reformed community. But it doesn't seem willing to make its mind up on that matter.

15 September 2013 at 01:17  
Blogger OldJim said...

David K

I do not believe that my saying something is sufficient to make it correct. I am sorry that you see no point in anyone arguing with me. I do not believe that I have treated you with anything less than civility, but I am sorry if you think that I have.

For what it's worth, I do not believe that Peter D is likely to know more about what you believe than you do.

But I do have to say that if I discovered that some schools of Jewish thought held that Jewish converts to Christianity were in for a particularly rough deal in the World to Come, I would neither be shocked or offended. If Christianity were not true, then the Doctrine of the Incarnation would after all be incredibly blasphemous.

But I take your point that from what I know of modern Jewish teaching, (which is almost nothing, unfortunately) Gehinnom seems to have softened almost universally to Purgatory.

15 September 2013 at 01:37  
Blogger bluedog said...

Old Jim @ 01.17, thank you for your courteous (as always) and well referenced response.

Returning to yours @ 18.02, nowhere does one find the comment, 'I noted that if Anglicans believed in a High Church, Branch Theory, Sacramental Ecclesiology, then consistency would demand that the judgments of the Roman See were not of no account. Nor did I even say precisely that; I paired the Judgments of the Roman see with the traditions and practices of the Eastern Churches themselves, like so:

"If ...[the CoE affects a High Church Ecclesiology]... then the judgment of the RCC and the practice of the Eastern Orthodox [the "other Churches" of the "Branch Theory"] cannot count for nothing."'

But this is becoming a very long thread and it maybe these thoughts are found much earlier.

Writing as an Anglican about Apostolic Succession, I well remember the instruction that preceded my confirmation and first communion. It was made explicitly clear to me that the laying on of hands by a bishop (Lincoln in this case) was a direct link through the Apostles to Christ. Nothing that I read about the 'chain of title' of Anglican bishops persuades me that this is not the case, despite the Break with Rome. The continuity is clear. Other Protestant denominations who do not administer the sacraments seem to be on very weak ground where they claim that continuing ministry is itself a form of Apostolic Succession. Many of them have no bishops, so there is no laying on of hands, and there is certainly no sacrament of the Eucharist.

Let's consider 'If ...[the CoE affects a High Church Ecclesiology]... then the judgment of the RCC and the practice of the Eastern Orthodox [the "other Churches" of the "Branch Theory"] cannot count for nothing."'

Why not? The bishop of Rome hath declared Anglican orders null and void. How can he now expect the Anglican church to submit, however tentatively, to his Magisterium. Isn't this wanting an each way bet - heads you lose, tails we win?Would the Anglican church be in breach of Roman practice if it snap-froze its rites as at 1536? We would be mocked by the RCC for being archaic and stuck in a time warp. It didn't happen of course, Cranmer wrote the BCP in English, an innovation recently adopted by the RCC on those lovely plastic order of service cards. It is historically accurate to say that the Anglican Church derives from the See of St Peter, but not from the See of St Andrew, which brings us to the Orthodox.

15 September 2013 at 09:42  
Blogger bluedog said...

Old Jim contd,

The Apostolic Succession is one thing and other sacramental practice is another, the latter not being conditional on the former. Now if the various Orthodox metropolitans want to give advice to the Anglicans about potential deficiencies through the ordination of women or the consecration of female bishops, so what. Moscow spent 70 years under the communist yoke, Constantinople continues in dhimmitude. Have we ever berated them for the compromises they have made with the regime, or declared them persona non-grata for some ecclesiological breach? No, of course not. By what right do they now seek to judge us? Regrettably your google-link to His All Holiness generated an error message, but visiting his website one notes that he proudly describes himself as 'the Green Patriarch'. Peter Mullen is appropriately eloquent on environmentalist prelates. One could make an unkind comment about old women of both sexes.

My own position on female bishops is that they could be a potential disaster, just as they have been for TEC. The risk is too great and the precedent is there. But this is a debate for Anglicans. Threats of higher degrees of ex-communication from the RCC and mutterings from the East are simply irrelevant while the debate continues.

One notes that Pope Francis' reform commission recommends a greater role for women in the RCC. Given that the average age of white priests in the RCC seems to be about 85, it would not surprise if the RCC were to be forced to ordain women soon in order to maintain its ministry.

Thank you too for your excellent reply following David B's grossly offensive comments about Christian martyrs in the Middle East. One notes that there is not the merest hint of contrition in any of his subsequent posts.

15 September 2013 at 09:43  
Blogger Albert said...

David K,

I'm sorry you've been upset. I would hope that, for myself, I can be judged by the strength of my arguments, rather than simply the fact that I am a Catholic.

15 September 2013 at 09:53  
Blogger LEN said...

There is no point in arguing with Catholics because they are bound to the' Catholic religious system' not to the Truth of the Word of God.

The Catholic religious system is a cleverly created' House of Cards' and if those within this house of cards question any part of it the whole edifice will collapse.
So Truth cannot enter this house of Cards and must be rejected at all costs by those inside.That is why Albert,Peter and co leap on the Truth as it stands at the door and attempt to bar it entry.

Truth is a Person.

As John Macarthur has said ' Oh, they've got a clever system. How to preserve error. How to perpetuate error. Make heresy infallible. And the arch heretic unassailable, ir-reformable and absolutely authoritative'(The Popes and the Papacy John Macarthur GTY)

Jesus stands at the Door (of the Church!)and knocks waiting to see IF they will let Him in.

15 September 2013 at 10:00  
Blogger bluedog said...

Hi david k @ 22.24,you will be frustrated to see that your advice has been ignored. I know, I know. Some Catholics you really should avoid if possible, meaning Peter D. Albert is infuriating too, as an Anglican turn-coat using an Anglican website to trash the Anglican Church, has he no shame? Obviously not, and we're probably well rid of him. The price in Hail Marys must be horrific. O wait, it wouldn't be a sin to get stuck in to the Anglicans, more likely 'mentioned in Vatican dispatches'.

15 September 2013 at 10:00  
Blogger Albert said...

Bluedog,

And yet the Eastern Orthodox ignores the judgement of the RCC, so isn't that a valid precedent for the Anglican Church to follow? If the Eastern Orthodox are regarded as compliant with Apostolic Succession there would appear to be nothing other than the conceit of the Roman Church to prevent Anglicans being seen as compliant.

Two things here. Firstly, the cases are not parallel. The Eastern Orthodox claim to be the whole Catholic Church, sufficient unto themselves. They therefore have no need of acceptance from other Christian communities. The CofE claims only to be part of the Catholic Church. Thus, the CofE is reliant on other Christian communities. Consequently, far from it being the case that there would appear to be nothing other than the conceit of the Roman Church to prevent Anglicans being seen as compliant the CofE's own documents on this matter (which I cited in the post before yours) show the CofE recognises her reliance on others.

Secondly, although the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church regard themselves as sufficient unto themselves, they do take account of other Christians. For example, the position of the Catholic Church since the 60s has been that we would be happy to have a fixed date for Easter. However, we will not make such a fixed date by ourselves, but only with our ecumenical partners. Now the date of Easter is a much lesser issue than the apostolic ministry. There is no doctrine concerned, there is no need to worry about getting it wrong (if women's ordination is wrong, presumably their orders are invalid, for example), and Easter isn't shared anyway! Our being the Catholic Church does not rest on sharing the date of Easter with others, whereas, Anglican claims to Catholicity do rest on sharing the apostolic orders.

So I think your argument fails. For a community to claim Catholic orders, is to submit to the shared judgement of the Catholic Church. We Catholics do that. The Orthodox do that. The CofE even says it should do that. That is to say, the CofE, in what it says, agrees with OldJim.

15 September 2013 at 10:05  
Blogger Albert said...

Bluedog,

Albert is infuriating too, as an Anglican turn-coat using an Anglican website to trash the Anglican Church, has he no shame? Obviously not, and we're probably well rid of him. The price in Hail Marys must be horrific. O wait, it wouldn't be a sin to get stuck in to the Anglicans, more likely 'mentioned in Vatican dispatches'.

Such unpleasantness on a Sunday morning! For what it's worth: I started posting here because I noticed Cranmer making unfair and sometimes untrue attacks on Catholicism. I find people down here making similar attacks on Catholicism. As a former Protestant, I find that irksome because often there is a failure to grasp the similar problems in those communities. Does the fact that I was once an Anglican mean I am not allowed to defend my own Church? That it is wrong to do so? Surely not! After all, presumably you do not think that the fact that Luther and Cranmer were once Catholic priests meant they could not attack Catholicism.

15 September 2013 at 10:09  
Blogger bluedog said...

Lighten up, Albert.

Luther never intended to break from Rome, he was trying to reform Rome. Rome chucked him out. Same old, same old. It will be interesting to see how conciliatory, or not, the RCC will be as we approach a number of 500th anniversaries of Luther's life and times.

As for Cranmer, he was all over the place and I sometimes wonder why His Grace venerates him to the degree that he does. Why, in 1538 Cranmer even gave the odious Henry VIII a house built for his use by my late great uncle, a previous Archbishop of Canterbury. Needless to say, the offering didn't save Cranmer's neck.

15 September 2013 at 10:27  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Bluedog,

Heaven forbid that I should be telling you what you can and cannot do. Enjoy it. I'm sure Hannah will be happy to provide bandages after whatever time you tire of willingly putting yourself on the rack. Damnable heretic that you are!

15 September 2013 at 11:00  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 September 2013 at 11:16  
Blogger bluedog said...

Thanks david @ 11.00, I'm sure Hannah will do a fine job of mopping my brow and dabbing on a dash or two of cyber-cologne as men in pointy black hats try to extract a confession from me. I'm rehearsing the dialogue right now.

Actually I was a bit unkind about Cranmer, who Albert denigrates for attacking the RCC. With Henry VIII as your boss, was there any other option?

So there we have it, Luther thrown out, Cranmer anticipating His Master's Voice and jumping before being pushed. Very different to a voluntary defection and subsequent attack.

Was that a knock at the door?

15 September 2013 at 11:19  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Old Jim/Albert,

Very well, I do apologise,since the focus of my ire is not actually Roman Catholicism, but someone who is a devout follower of that same faith.

As I have apologised, I believe you also deserve and explanation for our collective upset. The immediate upset is not because Peter D thinks he knows more about our faith than we do, but that he has taken it upon himself to find a particular Jewish viewpoint on a topic in which the viewpoints within Judaism are broad (because Judaism's focus is what to do and what is going on in THIS world) and present that to me and Hannah and the readership here as being holy writ, mistaking Maimonides and his writings as a magesterium and ex-cathedra dogma of Judaism in one. That is not how Judaism works and should Peter D be in doubt I have actually disagreed with Maimonides writings on another topic.

If you do not quite understand this, I'll say to Old Jim, your posts on Catholicism and non-Catholics/non-Christians and the Christian after life. I have found various websites (not anti-catholic ones, btw) which clearly hold to a view that there is 'no salvation outside of the church', backed up with this and that evidence.

Now how would you feel if I told you that your posts were wrong and that in actually fact there was no debate, because you were wrong, because I had spent 15 minutes on the net finding this info out. That despite the fact I have never set foot inside a Catholic Church, have a limited grasp of that faith and have never been a Catholic, but because I've found a few good quotes from Popes, Vicars and Priests.

Now do you not think that might be a tad arrogant of me? Would it be right for me to make such assertions ?And should you not naturally be slightly peeved at that?

And in the longer term, how would you both feel that was being repeated in discussion after discussion, with assertion and assertion and what I would consider to be thought out arguments in response, it does make one feel a brick wall is being battered...

15 September 2013 at 11:27  
Blogger bluedog said...

Albert @ 10.05 says, ' For a community to claim Catholic orders, is to submit to the shared judgement of the Catholic Church. We Catholics do that.'

But you have already thrown us out and declared our orders null and void! You can't now claim that we should submit to your judgement. Although you do with totally unconscious irony. As I said @ 09.42 to OldJim, this is just an each way bet on your terms: Heads you win, tales we lose. So we shouldn't play that game.

Having been initiated a break with Rome and been simultaneously expelled by Rome, the Anglican Church has become a Catholic Church entire unto itself.

At present women bishops are a hypothetical. But note the inconsistencies regarding priestly celibacy between the RCC and the Orthodox. Shouldn't that be schismatic? Or was it just a case of let's agree to differ?

Why shouldn't that be a precedent?

15 September 2013 at 11:38  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 September 2013 at 12:31  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 September 2013 at 12:38  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

Hannah, there are certain areas of the Catholic faith where my views differ very widely from Peter D (he can probably work out what they are). I've found that the only way to deal with it is to refuse to even discuss them - if the debate goes there I back away, state that I am doing so, and stop posting on the topic. There are aspects of my faith which are between myself and my confessor only.

That is not a criticism of Peter D, merely a recognition that if an area of your faith touches you that deeply, then that is between you and God until the pair of you work it out. It's nobody else's business, nobody else has the right to stand in judgement over you, and least of all someone on an internet blog. Period.

Now when the argument is intellectual and doesn't hit as deeply, I'll cheerfully wade in with the best of them and enjoy the tussle. But nobody has authority over your own conscience other than God and you. If someone else presumes to judge you, then that's their problem. And only their problem. Not yours.

The Lord bless and keep you, the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you, the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Shalom

15 September 2013 at 13:03  
Blogger Albert said...

Bluedog,

Lighten up, Albert.

What do you mean? I'm not supposed to take anything you say seriously? Not even when you reply defending it?

Actually I was a bit unkind about Cranmer, who Albert denigrates for attacking the RCC.

I didn't denigrate Cranmer - you did. All I did was appeal to him as an authority for what I do. As for Luther, he plainly nailed 95 theses on a Catholic Church door, attacking the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church. He then tore a huge number of people from the Catholic Church. If I'm a shameless turncoat, so is he, and so is Cranmer. But the words are yours, not mine.

But you have already thrown us out and declared our orders null and void! You can't now claim that we should submit to your judgement. Although you do with totally unconscious irony.

Sorry, you are misunderstanding. The Church of England claims to be part of the one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. She claims her orders to be the orders of that Church. Old Jim and I are saying that certain things follow from that. I have twice now referred to Anglican documents saying that too.

But I don't think the CofE is part of the one holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I don't think that her orders are the orders of that Church. Therefore, I do not think the CofE needs to submit to the judgement of that Church. But the CofE claims it, and therefore, as her own documents show, to be consistent with her own beliefs and claims, she should behave as Old Jim said. That she doesn't leaves doubt in her own mind as to rightness of ordaining women, and that in turn, logically ought to entail doubt about the validity of women's ordination. If that then is extended to the episcopate, then her whole ministry is turned into doubt on her own terms. In observing this, I don't expect I am saying anything anything Dr Mullen would disagree with.

Having been initiated a break with Rome and been simultaneously expelled by Rome, the Anglican Church has become a Catholic Church entire unto itself.

That is simply not true. That is not the claim that the CofE makes. The CofE claims to be part, not the whole. That is the point.

But note the inconsistencies regarding priestly celibacy between the RCC and the Orthodox. Shouldn't that be schismatic?

There's no inconsistency. It would be schismatic if it were done without authority. But the East has always had married clergy, and this has always been in the gift of her bishops. Whatever problems there are between the two Churches, this is not one of them. Moreover, the ordination of women is not in the same category (that of discipline) but of doctrine. The ordination of women is an error, not an irregularity.

15 September 2013 at 13:09  
Blogger Albert said...

David K,

No problem. To be honest, I don't read the discussions you have with Peter. I don't know enough about Judaism to join in. I have a high regard for Judaism, which clearly shines out as a light among world religions. I have always felt at home among Jews and in synagogues on the odd occasion I have been there. I have a strong sense that you gave us a large portion of our scriptures, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus, and the apostles. But I'm not able to debate Jewish matters on the whole, and so I tend not to read the posts on the subject.

15 September 2013 at 13:13  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Hi Sister Tiberia,

Thank you for that advice and kind words. That's me backing away. Back to women vicars and stuff.

15 September 2013 at 13:28  
Blogger bluedog said...

Albert @ 13.09 says, 'I didn't denigrate Cranmer - you did. All I did was appeal to him as an authority for what I do.'
A fair point, but my subsequent point @ 11.19 was that your circumstances are voluntary whereas Cranmer's were slightly less so. In your instance your defection from Canterbury and embrace of Rome are not a capital offence. Cranmer would have been aware that as his master aged he was becoming increasingly murderous.
All the evidence suggests that Luther never expected to be ex-communicated. You say, 'As for Luther, he plainly nailed 95 theses on a Catholic Church door, attacking the teachings and practices of the Catholic Church.'
Was he wrong in what he said?
Given the state of communications technology c1520, what alternative methods would you suggest that Luther should have employed?
You say, 'Old Jim and I are saying that certain things follow from that.' I say that if you ex-communicate a Church you have no right to determine the actions of that Church. If Anglican orders are null and void it is unconvincing to argue that the Anglican Church's statements about itself are not null and void too. To be consistent should you not ignore the Anglican Church in all regards?
What I don't understand about the Eastern Church is how it has married priests but bachelor bishops. But that is beside the point. A number of very senior Catholic clergy now seem to be openly canvassing the idea of a non-celibate priesthood. We have exchanged views on the merits and de-merits of this possibility before.
As a matter of interest, do you see that the new Pope brings the married priesthood nearer?

15 September 2013 at 13:42  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Albert,

No worries. I believe trying to understand and follow one's own faith is enough-without worrying what others do spiritually (unless it directly affects you in a temporal sense).

15 September 2013 at 14:00  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Sister Tibs,

Thank you for that thoughtful post to Hannah. It means much to both of us. So thank you for that.

15 September 2013 at 14:02  
Blogger Sister Tiberia said...

You're very welcome, David (and Hannah)

Bear in mind that Pope John Paul II called you of the Jewish faith our brothers - and indeed our elder brothers.

(http://www.nytimes.com/1986/04/14/world/text-of-pope-s-speech-at-rome-synagogue-you-are-our-elder-brothers.html)

So you and Hannah as our elder siblings, you must think of us Catholics as those annoying younger siblings who can't quite shut up, who you love to death anyway, and who as we both get older and grow hopefully in wisdom occasionally come out with something surprisingly good! The world has become too small for the sibling squabbles.

God bless both of you.

15 September 2013 at 14:08  

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