Saturday, 19 May 2012

Flaming Torches & the State: weekend round up - or is it 'Highlights?'

Highlights (the report of the Church in Wales' Governing Body) arrived on my doormat today. We've pretty well exhausted, one way or another, the subject of Archbishop Barry's presidential address, but one thing particularly struck me - because it's where the shoe pinches - and that concerns the incompatibility of modern Anglican liberal and traditionalist views of what the Church is and in what way she can be said to represent Christ himself. This has little or nothing to do with arguments about human sexuality; yet again (as with the lost battles over ordination and apostolicity)  it's ultimately about the nature of the presence of the Lord with his Church:
"...This follows on from the Bench of Bishops’ Statement in 2005 which acknowledged the variety of viewpoints held by Christians within the Church in Wales, with integrity. These ranged from the view that the only proper context for sexual activity is marriage between a man and a woman in lifelong union, so that homosexual practice of any kind is rejected, to the view that, in the light of a developing understanding of the nature of humanity and sexuality, the time had arrived for the Church to affirm committed homosexual relationships..."  [Full text here]
Here we have it - Church as representative focus group of existing opinion or as the faithful teacher and guarantor of a revealed and authentic Christian tradition, "the pillar and bulwark of the truth?"  We all have to make a choice (personally, it would now seem) as to which 'model' we are theologically , philosophically, and ethically or morally able or willing to accept.
In itself, that says it all - iacta alea est

The SSPX (or at least the part of it represented by Bishop Fellay) appears to edging towards a welcome restoration of unity with Rome [here] There is one thing we all know - that moves towards unity sadly but inevitably tend to involve an element of fragmentation in the separated body. The alternative..? 
More on the divisions within the TAC here

LSP here reprints some words of Pope Benedict:
"...This kind of objectivity is quite simply denied to man. He cannot ask and exist as a mere observer. He who tries to be a mere observer experiences nothing. Even the reality “God” can only impinge on the vision of him who enters in the experiment with God – the experiment that we call faith. Only by entering does one experience; only by cooperating in the experiment does one ask at all; and only he who asks receives an answer...”

The complications of the conflict in Syria - not always as it's portrayed in the Western media. If the Assad regime falls the main casualties of 'democracy' could end up being the - until now in Syria - tolerated and protected Christian minority.
Thanks to Fr Smuts - here

Fr Hans Kung won't be celebrating Vatican II's fiftieth anniversary: [from Father Z]
 “In my opinion there is no reason for a festive Council Gala but rather for an honest service of penance or a funeral service...” 
So It's not all bad news out there.. something has to be going right...

The "Olympic flame" arrives in Britain [here]  - by plane.
Let's just shut up about its somewhat less than classically ancient origins in equally pagan1936 Berlin, shall we? [here]  All right, the Nazi's didn't invent it exactly, but they certainly excavated the 'tradition' and gave it an interesting make-over it for the modern world. And that is what is still with us in post-Christian London 2012. 
Some archive footage:

At least it may be possible to leave the country before it's over!

And for those who want the State even more involved than it already is in regulating the detail of our lives and our thoughts, here's food for reflection : 


Thanks to A Conservative Blog for Peace for the photo

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