Saturday, 31 October 2009

Reality bites!

Bad manners!

A Welsh bishop who is also a “player” in international Anglican terms (the Bishop of St Asaph) has gone on record saying that the Pope is guilty of “ecumenical bad manners” in his offer of refuge for Anglican Catholics. Unwittingly, he has summed up the situation wonderfully well: for the Anglican establishment, ecumenism has become a matter of “good manners” rather than anything of real theological substance. Speaking the truth in love (something for which Pope Benedict is particularly noted) is obviously an enormous ecumenical faux pas.
At the same time as trying to give the Holy Father (this Pope!) a lesson in cosmopolitan urbanity, the same prelate let the cat out of the bag as regards Welsh traditionalists: despite recent discussions and a promise to reconsider our requests there will, in fact, be no renewal of episcopal provision for those opposed to women’s ordination. I really wish I could say I am surprised.
So – the Pope is criticised for offering assistance to those who have appealed for it, yet the Welsh Bench persist in refusing the one thing they know traditionalists actually need in order to stay and occupy that “honoured place” the bishops say we are accorded. Obviously It would be less ecumenically ill mannered of us to accept our fate and die out gracefully, but thankfully not all bishops see things that way. "Tu es Petrus, et hanc super Petram aedificabo Ecclesiam meam. et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversus eam."
Frankly, I’m puzzled – more than puzzled – in reality I’m deeply saddened: this is the way the power structures of the world operate. Aren’t we supposed to do things differently? Perhaps I’m being naïve. I know I'm being naive. Yet I didn’t expect this from those we have hitherto regarded as our fathers in God and our brothers and sisters in Christ.

"And if one asks him, `What are these wounds on your back?' he will say, `The wounds I received in the house of my friends.'" Zechariah 13.6

UPDATE: These comments from the Midwest Conservative Journal are worth reading as they say everything that needs to be said on the comments reported above.

All Hallows Eve?

I used to regard Hallowe’en as a harmless bit of fun. Perhaps when it was confined to bobbing for apples and a few small-scale children’s parties it was fairly innocuous.
But now I’m not so sure. Having returned from the local town centre and supermarket I noticed that virtually every shop front had its own Hallowe’en display; the tawdry masks and other merchandise seem to be becoming big business – almost every young child and every shop assistant was dressed up as something scary. For business it’s just something to tuck in between the summer and Christmas in a desperately competitive retail sector. In terms of faith and values, the free market is quite blind – amoral in the strict sense; society’s ethics have to come from another source altogether.
Everything contributes to setting the moral tone and ethos of a society. What are we to make of a revived “pagan” festival of ghosts and ghouls and spookiness? Whatever else Hallowe’en is, it isn’t the hispanic Day of the Dead or a kind of popular protestant alternative to All Souls Day; conspicuously lacking are the serried rows of chrysanthemums one sees in such vast numbers in French supermarkets and florists, graves remain unflowered. This isn’t about honouring and remembering the dead or a way of mourning them, this is commercially driven neo-paganism as mass entertainment. It is a curious commentary on the state of our culture that Hallowe’en has become so popular whereas “Christmas” (in its religious sense) is fast becoming the great unmentionable - not, of course, among people of other faiths themselves, but among the semi-literate apparatchiks of multi-culturalism and those who follow like sheep.

1 comment:

  1. 'semi-literate apparatchiks of multi-culturalism and those who follow like sheep' - nicely put. You'll have to forgive me if i quote you on that.



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