Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Meeting of minds

The Chief Rabbi on meeting the Pope - 'an epiphany'  here
One of the reasons Pope Benedict's visit to the U.K. was such a resounding success was that people realised the complete  inaccuracy of the media's portrayal of him - not 'God's Rottweiler' or any of the other anti-German and anti-Catholic nonsense, but a gentle and intellectually compelling advocate of the Christian message.

Vaclav Havel denounces "atheist civilisation"
Clearly, not the sort of thing The Guardian expects playwrights to do.  Here
I suspect Andrew Brown mentions only Archbishop Rowan Williams (who undoubtedly deserves the accolade, but who has been for a long time, & for obvious reasons, the left-leaning luvvies' favourite churchman) because it just wouldn't do to quote............. ..someone else who has been saying these things more consistently and for rather longer.
But - Deo gratias - yet another instance of a coming together of serious minds.

Up to a point...
Stanley Hauerwas, John Gummer, Mary Warnock and Raymond Tallis on religion, politics and morality.
Fascinating, but better if they all spoke English - and I certainly don't mean Hauerwas! The last couple of minutes say it all.  The BBC is not all bad!

Or not.....
Alongside the genuine excitement and joy many people feel about the Ordinariates, there is a certain fear and trepidation concerning both the reception they might meet on the other side of the Tiber and the manner in which they are treated as they leave the church of their baptism.
There are those Catholics, understandably in the light of post-reformation British history, who are taking positive delight in reminding potential Anglican converts of the various implications of Apostolicae Curae and the undoubted inconsistencies of Anglicanism and its very chequered past.
However, it is precisely these things which lead some people to become converts. If Anglicanism were an ecclesial paradise on earth would anyone wish to leave it?

There are also critical Anglicans, themselves having no problems with the revisionist future but desperately hung up about the question of "validity,"  and with Rome's condemnation of Anglican Orders and with the unwillingness of the East to recognise them. That is, they seem to want their cake and eat it; they want to be free to depart at will from the apostolic deposit of faith, yet at the same time demand recognition as catholic priests from Rome and the Orthodox. There are even those who see a laughable contradiction between, for eaxmple, Bishop John Broadhurst's calling the General Synod 'fascist' and preparing to leave the C of E as being 'too liberal;' but this is a schoolboy debating point: as if the "liberal" agenda were not being imposed by extremely illiberal methods.

I'm sure we understand the impeccable logic of those bloggers who clearly take pleasure in referring to converting Anglican bishops as "Mister," (there are far worse appellations, of course) but one has to wonder about the psychological motivation behind the all-too-eager attempt at discourtesy and public humiliation.
Yet there is a world of difference in meaning between the phrase used by one conservative (cradle catholic?) commentator, "from Lie to Truth, not from one truth to another one" and Bl John Henry Newman's "Ex Umbris et Imaginibus in Veritatem." Even shadows and images (or 'phantasms') can contain enough of reality to impel someone in the direction of the truth, as Newman's life itself testifies.
Still, it was Bishop (later Mgr) Graham Leonard who described his and others' approach to Rome in the early 1990s by saying, "we come as supplicants." I don't know of anyone today considering the Ordinariates who would differ essentially from that view.
But in other respects times have changed.  Anglicanorum Coetibus is a "prophetic gesture" on the part of the Pope of Christian Unity, making provision "to maintain the liturgical, spiritual and pastoral traditions of the Anglican Communion within the Catholic Church, as a precious gift nourishing the faith of the members of the Ordinariate and as a treasure to be shared." Reading these words, it's hard to agree with those who on the one hand think the past should be completely discarded as utterly worthless, or on the other hand that this is merely a sectarian move, involving those who will take up the invitation abandoning all hope of real pastoral care or active evangelisation.

I can understand how this unprecedented response by the Holy Father to the request of traditional Anglicans could offend conservative Catholics with long historical memories. I can equally appreciate the concerns of those who think Pope Benedict is poaching clergy and laity from another "communion" (although how exactly one can steal something which has already been discarded as being surplus to requirements is another issue) but it would seem that the Pope, exercising his ministry of care for all the churches and (as he himself said in his address at Westminster Abbey)  "charged with a particular care for the unity of Christ's flock" is more concerned to "gather up the fragments which remain so that nothing is lost," rather than waste precious time in playing silly games of any sort.

Enough. Perhaps St James 1.20 ought to be inscribed over every blogger's computer screen, mine included.

Turkey: embracing capitalism isn't the same thing as accepting 'western' values, much less those of Christianity. Here   I would back Pope Benedict over Boris Johnson or even David Cameron any day. No surprises there, then.

And from the surprising & not so surprising to the positively bizarre:
One for Dr Williams & all Simpsons addicts everywhere.
Homer has already crossed the Tiber! Report here

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