Sunday, April 06, 2014

Pope Francis asks the Queen to pray for him

These are not joke captions, but real excerpts from the conversation this week between the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and the Bishop of Rome.

It is good when Christians pray for one another, and especially humbling when that request is made specifically and personally rather than vaguely and generally. Roman Catholics appear to be divided as to whether Pope Francis is most humble and a great reformer, or encouraging "moral laxity and doctrinal indifference" and "the most subversive Pope in history".

The Queen, however, seems to enjoy universal praise and acclamation for her resolute Christian faith - and it comes from Christians of all denominations and from people of all faiths and none.

By asking the Supreme Governor of the Church of England to pray for him, Pope Francis is acknowledging their mutual solidarity with God, and affirming that the Queen is trying to live out her life faithfully. In New Testament terms, the intercessor lives in solidarity with Jesus: "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all" (1Tim 2:5f). Through belief, baptism and living a life of faith, the believer is reconciled to God, and intercession on behalf of others is intrinsic to the lived faith.

But in this modern era, we associate requests for prayer with some human need or inadequacy - sickness, suffering, trouble, lack of faith, etc. Or with a wider objective - peace, justice, reconciliation, etc. By granting Pope Francis's prayer request, and assuring him that she will not forget, the Queen has consented to work for him with God - effectively, to care about his person and ministry. We intercede for others because of what we believe about God as loving Father, who works directly, but also through men and women, using their cooperation.

The Queen's intercessions for the Bishop of Rome depend on her life of faith, not of words. For possibly the first time since the Reformation, England's monarch has agreed to be a channel for bringing Rome's pope closer to God; to become more sensitive to his needs, desires and struggles. Of course, neither the Queen nor the Pope may see or know the results in this life, for doubtless Her Majesty prays "Not my will, but thine, be done" (Lk 22:42).

And the Pope will be mindful that Her Majesty is a faithful Protestant, who prays to none other than God or Christ. Her prayer is communion directly with God, as her own heart inclines toward mercy, love and generosity. And Jesus promised that God would do all that we ask in Christ's name, but this means more than appending "through Jesus Christ" to the end of every prayer: it means praying as Christ himself would pray.

The Bishop of Rome trusts the Supreme Governor of the Church of England to do that: that she will abide in Christ as He does in her; that she may ask what she wills and it shall be given.

His Grace just can't help wondering what that might be.


Blogger John Thomas said...

"The Queen, however, seems to enjoy universal praise and acclamation for her resolute Christian faith ..." - yes, but surely the Queen could have done something to halt, or at least slow, the C of E's decline into relativism and post-Christianity, such as we have seen, and are seeing, particularly now ... 'No real power - but surely lot's of covert power', if "covert"'s not the wrong word ...

6 April 2014 at 11:11  
Blogger Martin said...

Since the bishop of Rome gives no indication of being a Christian but instead teaches salvation by works I doubt that his request to be prayed for has much value.

The Queen recently broke her coronation vows & gave her assent to the fake marriage bill so it is questionable if she is a Christian either.

So all in all, they both need our prayers that they might come to know our Saviour, that God might save them.

6 April 2014 at 13:16  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

“La presidenta” Cristina Kirchner, when she went to offer her congratulations to the newly-elected Pope Francis in March last year, is said to have made it clear to him, in no uncertain terms, that it was his patriotic duty to use his papal authority to further the cause of the transfer of the Falkland Islands to Argentina. In your Grace’s snapshot up at the top there, the Pope and the Queen look very chummy, don’t they? Very matey. It rather looks as though la presidenta’s reminder may have slipped his memory altogether, and he may have neglected to mention the word “islands” in his chat with HM. How galling for poor dear Cristina.

6 April 2014 at 13:25  
Blogger IanCad said...

I most sincerely hope that Her Majesty, in her prayers, will be mindful of the duties required as head of the Protestant Church of England; And, in such a role, will prove a bulwark against the blandishments and sophistries of this new Jesuit Pope.

He, who but a few weeks ago asserted that the countless martyrs who died in the cause of liberty and truth were as culpable as those who consigned them to the flames.
Who also then compared himself to Joseph, whose brothers bowed down to him, as the one to whom all the seperated bretheren shall acknowledge as supreme.

The same who, through his spokesman at a Pentecostal convention, "Father"Anglican Bishop Tony Palmer, declared Protestantism as finished. The Reformation over. Its teachings reduced to an acronym:


False. Evidence. Appearing. Real.

Its truths diminshed to mere "Propaganda"

We are all Catholics again.

We now preach the same gospel!!??

That he is the new Elijah.

All those "Born Again" are Catholic.

Diversity is divine, division is diabolical.

Denominations are spiritual "Racism"

Dissembly, equivocation? Ring a bell?

Her Majesty is obliged to honour the heritage of Wycliffe, Tyndale, Cranmer, Whitfield, Wesley and all the other men of God, who, within the light they were granted, taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Don't fail us Ma'am.

6 April 2014 at 13:44  
Blogger Integrity said...

Your Grace,
I am very sad to advise, if you did not already know, that John Richardson, The Ugley Vicar, has passed away. He last posted at the beginning of March and I read elsewhere about his short illness.
This is a great loss to the Evangelical Anglican world and the blogosphere of sensible intellectual analysis.
I was in Dubai once and he replied to me asking if I was there for the cricket. He obviously did not know me.
For those who regularly read his Blog, this is indeed a great loss and our prayers are with his family.

6 April 2014 at 15:51  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Hopefully, the Pope will have asked Her Majesty to pray that he receives wisdom in these difficult and contentious times. Like all Christians, he needs to discern God' will in the particular situation in which he finds himself. Then, receive the necessary grace to fulfil his purpose in God's plan.

6 April 2014 at 16:14  
Blogger Elby the Beserk said...

Hmmm. What is it about "Constitutional Monarchy" that people do not understand?

6 April 2014 at 16:39  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Well with the Pope and The Queen we have a meeting of two different but true Christians both of whom I can respect.

I am sure that she strongly disliked signing the redefinition of marriage Bill into an Act, but as a constitutional monarch she had no choice I believe.

6 April 2014 at 17:13  
Blogger Pétrus said...

I thought His Grace was of the opinion that Anglicans were NOT protestants?

6 April 2014 at 17:26  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Martin said:

"The Queen recently broke her coronation vows & gave her assent to the fake marriage bill so it is questionable if she is a Christian either."

Serious charges for which there is little, if any, evidence.

The Coronation Oath 1688, as taken by Her Majesty on 2 June 1953:

"Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the Peoples of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon, and of your Possessions and the other Territories to any of them belonging or pertaining, according to their respective laws and customs?

"Will you to your power cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your judgements?"

"Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel?"

"Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law?"

"Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England?"

"And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?"

Queen Elizabeth is bound by the above oath but she is a Constitutional Monarch in a parliamentary democracy with universal suffrage.

If the law of the land, as enacted by Parliament, compromises the Christian faith, and/or the Act of Settlement, responsibility for this cannot be laid at Queen Elizabeth's door.
And we do not know how she discharged her solemn oath - essentially to do the utmost of her power to defend Christianity and the constitution.

6 April 2014 at 18:31  
Blogger non mouse said...

Your Grace - certainly, we are enjoined to pray for our enemies. One trusts that HM is so minded.

Thanks to Mr. Ian Cad for a useful post; and also to Mr. Hussell for his sensitivity to HM's position. Much as my gratitude for her early fortitude remains, I am saddened by the apparent necessity which constrains her to accept that the puppets/placemen presently in 'government' represent the will of her people.
And who is this Petrus person with the foreign accent - he who pretends not to know the meaning or causes of "protest" against papaseetos? ... Or the difference between a "c," and a "C" or an "RC"?

Why so many Catholics are obsessed with us here, I don't know; nothing could drag me near their blogs or churches. Further, am I wrong in understanding that they are forbidden from taking communion from other denominations? Is it, though, that they are: Licensed to Harass? Thank Goodness for Mr. Blofeld and his cat ....

6 April 2014 at 18:59  
Blogger Owl said...

non mouse,

I think the excellence of HG's posts would account for it. Plus, of course, the often very interesting comments from the communicants.

HG seems very well able to keep dead birds in line.

Please don't think ill of all of us.

6 April 2014 at 20:19  
Blogger Яша said...

that stupid moron will be the end of Christiantiy.

6 April 2014 at 20:24  
Blogger Guy Jones said...

Happy Jack

The judge of Her Majesty will not not be you or I or anyone else except the Almighty. Since, she swore before Almighty God and draws her authority from such, then His judgment of her is all that matters. She has a terrible obligation.

Personally I do not believe she can hide behind her 'constitutional' constraints on such a matter as SSM, which is an abomination. Especially as she knows that the situation will move far beyond stated intentions as she will have observed with abortion and the legalisation of homosexuality in the first place.

6 April 2014 at 21:06  
Blogger bluedog said...

non mouse says, 'Why so many Catholics are obsessed with us here, I don't know;'.

Good question n m. This communicant presumes that for all their loudly trumpeted piety and submission to the Magisterium, His Grace's Catholic communicants are suffocated by Rome. They come to His Grace's blog to try and regain their sanity.

Off topic, thank God for Eric Pickles. A fine figure of a man and a true Briton who has declared the nation to be Christian.

Let's hear it from Cameron too.

6 April 2014 at 21:20  
Blogger richardhj said...

My answer is that this is advertised as a political and religious blog. I originally discovered it on a political blog that I used to go on.
Although I am currently following and indeed commenting on one religious thread, in the unlikely event that you care, and you were to look back you will see that nearly all my posts are on political issues.
A large number of the posters on this thread are former Conservative party supporters who have moved away. It is these people that I come on here to converse with.
It is the politico bit of the politico-religious description of this blog that is its attraction.
I also comment on a Catholic Blog.

6 April 2014 at 21:37  
Blogger richardhj said...

And just to prove my comment above about my political interest , bluedog, are you aware that Pickles voted in favour of the "gay marriage bill"

6 April 2014 at 21:41  
Blogger bluedog said...

richardhj @ 21.41, one can only reply, 'Urrgh!'.

Group-think and/or peer pressure at its worst. Cameron is a deeply corrosive and corrupting influence on the nation, but has now run his race.

6 April 2014 at 21:47  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Guy Jones, as you say:

"The judge of Her Majesty will not not be you or I or anyone else except the Almighty."

Agreed. She is a role model of Christian virtue.

Did you read the terms of oath before God she actually took and appreciate the extent of her actual authority?

As I read it, the 1660 Coronation Oath recognised laws as being the preserve of the Monarch. For good or ill, this was amended by Parliament in 1668. It bound her to rule according to laws agreed in Parliament.

What would you have had her do? Say there was no mandate from the electorate for such a change in the law? The change had wide cross party support and there wasn't mass protestations against it. Abdicate? Then what? Would Charles have given Royal Assent?

Responsibility for our laws, moral and political, rests not with the Monarch but with our government, Parliament and the electorate. We cannot expect the Queen to fight a battle the public appear unwilling to.

6 April 2014 at 21:52  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

The public were rallied up, duped, blinded and brainwashed to feel sorry for the 'underdog' homosexuals and lesbians of society by those in parliament telling us it simply wasn't fair that marriage could only be between one man and one woman.

I hope Her Majesty and The Pope each pray to God for common sense to prevail.

I read that there is another scandal brewing involving homosexuals in parliament spending taxpayers money on sex parties organised via Grindr in expensive hotels and harassing others. They're unstoppable.

6 April 2014 at 22:52  
Blogger Guy Jones said...

Happy Jack

As the nation slides into apostasy and abominable practices by your reckoning there is no recourse if the will of the people is not against the slide downwards. The monarch is bound to do nothing. You may be right and in any case God is dealing with us. Judgement is all around for those who have eyes to see.

Maybe Her Majesty could plead as Aaron did before Moses: Do not let the anger of my lord become hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil .

I take it you agree that Her Majesty's authority comes from on high and ultimately answers to him alone. A prophet must speak the things of God, but what of a King? He must rule.

6 April 2014 at 22:58  
Blogger Integrity said...

Blue Dog said @21:20
thank God for Eric Pickles. A fine figure of a man and a true Briton who has declared the nation to be Christian.
Yes he did, but no he's not. He is a blithering idiot who declared on Question Time that he was coming out in support of SSM and wrote patronising letters to me on why he should support it.
He is the nodding donkey of the Government.

6 April 2014 at 23:00  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Guy Jones, the age of the Divine Right (and responsibility) of Kings has passed. It had its own difficulties too.

The Queen is answerable before God for the way she lived her life, kept her oath and how she acted as Monarch within the constraints placed upon her.

We in the West live in different times with different challenges to times past. These require a considered approach from all Christians of whatever estate.

6 April 2014 at 23:11  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Marie, agreed but that's a weakness of representative democracy based on universal suffrage. Public opinion will be swayed by opinion formers.

Alas, the Church appears to be losing influence in the cultural sphere. The issue for Christians is how we act within a society that is becoming increasingly secular, and theologically and culturally liberal.

6 April 2014 at 23:20  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Greetings all. Inspector here, just got back, slightly damp and the worse for drink, as they say.

Off topic, but necessary to be said. His Grace’s site is unashamedly Anglican. Damn good show, you know. A fellow should be proud of his religious adherence, and it’s all very much thoroughly English. One salutes him for that.

Now, we come to that dastardly bird that frequents this site. He is about to be strung up because he has become an anti Anglican pain. Well, if that is the case, one suggests another two anti Anglican pains that might hang alongside him. To wit, Len and Martin. You can’t get away from the fact that both aforementioned jihadis are not on side. One can say this as although being a mere taig, he recognises dissent when he sees it. But crafty blighters, they don’t make a song and dance out of it.

Well there you go. It’s been said. Goodnight...

6 April 2014 at 23:33  
Blogger Avi Barzel said...

Ah, the Inspector is in a rumbling mood. I'll take the sidewalk on the other side of the street, methinks.

Яша (Yasha), hopefully you know a few more words in English if you'll be hanging around. And hopefully you don't have Putin's poodle, the black market cigarette KGB patriarch in mind as the paragon of Christianity?

7 April 2014 at 00:25  
Blogger Ivan said...

It is Cranmer's blog, if he does not want Catholics posting here, let him say so. I can move on. Rodents and cads be damned.

7 April 2014 at 00:48  
Blogger non mouse said...

This communicant presumes that for all their loudly trumpeted piety and submission to the Magisterium, His Grace's Catholic communicants are suffocated by Rome. They come to His Grace's blog to try and regain their sanity. Ah, Mr. bluedog - now it falls into place!

There's nothing to beat the effects of academic freedom (thought, and its expression). Thank you, Your Grace :)

7 April 2014 at 01:25  
Blogger AnonymousInBelfast said...

I suspect a substantial part of the queen's universal acclaim has to do with the fact that she is, constitutionally and perhaps even personally, a cypher for a "theologically diverse" church and a "spiritually eclectic" nation. In many ways the only figurehead the CofE (and indeed the only spiritual guider the nation) could accept was one who could not teach with authority.

Having listened to many Christmas speeches, I am sure she is a God-fearing woman, but I grow more and more uncertain of just what that is supposed to mean in the context of an established and increasingly compromised church.

7 April 2014 at 02:36  
Blogger Len said...

I think if the Pope intends to bring about any sort of change to the Catholic religion he will need the prayers of H M and everyone who is concerned about the path the RCC has taken.
With the Vatican Bank scandal, the abuse by priests the attempts to cover up corruption in the Vatican 'a clean up 'operation is needed.
The last Pope who attempted' a clean up' was Pope John Paul I.
Discrepancies in the Vatican's account of the events surrounding John Paul I's death — its inaccurate statements about who found the body, what he had been reading, when and where and whether an autopsy could be carried out produced a number of conspiracy theories, many associated with the Vatican Bank, which owned many shares in Banco Ambrosiano.

7 April 2014 at 07:58  
Blogger Martin said...


The Queen may be a constitutional monarch but she can still say no. Such evil law is good grounds for doing so, even if it produces a constitutional crisis.

Equally if the ABC & others in the CoE were truly concerned with the cause of Christ they would be prepared to face the wrath of the government even if it meant disestablishment.

7 April 2014 at 08:04  
Blogger Len said...

I feel truly sorry for H M the Queen and her role a governor of the Anglican faith.
The Queen is a godly woman and it must surely grieve her to see the direction the Anglican Church has taken.
But like King Canute she seems powerless to stop the tide of secularism flooding into the church.

7 April 2014 at 08:04  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Is her majesty a Christian monarch or thectitular head of a secularist/pagan State? I suspect that like Anglicanism itself she, or rather her office, is a compromise that sort of works providing enough people are reasonably well disposed towards it.

But things are coming to the crunch. I fear that when asked to sign that wicked Act into law, she put privilege and dynasty before right. Tatchell smiles and waits plotting the next stage.

If a Christian monarch and governor of the State church cannot draw the line at the sick two fingers up at God the 'SSM' law represented,,then what's the point? May as well go for disestablishment and a republic.

PS Len, you do know thst Canute staged his show to prove to his courtiers that he had no divine powers? The event took place about a mile from where I am working this morning, on Southampton Water

7 April 2014 at 09:41  
Blogger Len said...

Steve, We are eventually heading for a confrontation with 'organized religion' much as Elijah had with the prophets of Baal.

7 April 2014 at 10:05  
Blogger The Explorer said...

If I were to sum up the comments on this thread, they raise two issues:

1. The survival of the C of E as the established church.

2. The survival of the monarchy itself.

The end of the monarchy would, of course, see the end of the established church, but would disestablishment damage the status of the monarchy? That is what I am not clear about.

7 April 2014 at 10:13  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

You're not far wrong there Len, but who are the Baal priests today?

I feel that Anglicanism in Britain has become a cloak or comfort blanket that helps enable a nation of adulterers and idolaters to feel good about itself. A deceitful comfort.

I suspect that God had brought about this turn of events in order to rip that comfort blanket away. But I may be wrong.

7 April 2014 at 10:15  
Blogger Len said...

The Church is no longer fulfilling its function which is to promote the Word of God and to point people towards Jesus Christ..

The present 'Universal Church' is worse than no Church at all because it promotes worldly values and misrepresents God.
There will always be a remnant who hold true to God and there are pockets of such groups worldwide who get on with the job of spreading the Gospel despite persecution which involves everything from ridicule to beheading for their faith.
Jesus letters to the Churches in 'Revelation' points the way for the Church to examine itself in honesty to see where it lies in respect to the will and purposes of God.

7 April 2014 at 10:31  
Blogger Martin said...

Steve & Len

Entirely agree.

7 April 2014 at 11:12  
Blogger IanCad said...


"--but who are the Baal priests today?"

Permit me to intrude here.

The priests and pastors who teach that God's Holy Law is no longer binding.
Those same who claim that it has been changed.

7 April 2014 at 11:43  
Blogger bluedog said...

Mr Explorer @ 10.13. This communicant views dis-establishment with equanimity. There are many more Anglican provinces around the world where the church thrives on a dis-established basis than there are English provinces where the CofE increasingly struggles.

The problems would appear to arise within the context of the British constitution, given that the monarch is, inter alia, the Supreme Governor of the CofE under whose rites she is crowned, and the British monarch must be Protestant. If the Church dis-established or ceased to exist, under whose protestant rite would the monarch be crowned? Thus the established Church enables the state to keep control of the Protestantism of the Monarch.

At a guess, Cameron would not begin to understand the importance of these points. Similarly, the atheist Clegg would regard the CofE as an anachronistic irrelevance. Both gentlemen would probably be entirely unconvinced of the need for the monarch to be Protestant. Indeed, both gentlemen would probably think that there would be advantages within the EU if the UK dropped the CofE as a Protestant state church.

Here's a slightly different model for a Protestant state church:

7 April 2014 at 12:29  
Blogger The Explorer said...

bluedog @ 12:29

Thanks for that.

Multi culti I take to be anti monarchy. But if the monarchy were to survive under multi culti, then multi culti, presumably, would like the monarch to have the option of being an atheist, or a Muslim.

7 April 2014 at 12:59  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...


Your logic is flawless, as far as this communicant can see. My only quibble might be with your undiscriminating use of the term "gentleman". Though I suppose you're using the word in a Pickwickian sense.

7 April 2014 at 15:40  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Guy: "Especially as she knows that the situation will move far beyond stated intentions as she will have observed with abortion and the legalisation of homosexuality in the first place."

It was decriminalised rather than legalised.

7 April 2014 at 18:26  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

As SSM has been touched upon in this thread there is a gov. survey on creating 'marriage lite' by opening up civil partnerships to heterosexual couples which has to be completed by 17th April.

They now want to waste £billions they haven't got on causing even more confusion.

9 April 2014 at 03:36  

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