Saturday, 24 November 2012

O Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem:

This is appropriate in more ways than one: Herbert Howells' anthem, sung here by the Sheffield Chamber Choir directed by Robert Webb, organist: Jem Stephenson


That prayers for the peace of the Church are needed urgently is nowhere more evident than in this morning's op-ed piece in The Guardian by Canon Giles Fraser [here] If there is a peaceful solution to Anglicanism's current problems this is certainly not the way to bring it about.
What he writes is a sour piece of poisonous invective against conservative evangelicals. It's disturbing for all kinds of reasons, perhaps mostly for the indications it gives about the likely spiritual state of its author. 
Having read his column, frankly it makes me feel in need of a shower. If he can bring himself to believe in such outmoded sacramental remedies, he should most certainly book some time in the confessional. 
Clearly, for uber-liberal, Canon Fraser, evangelicals are just the wrong kind of 'puritan' - those who haven't 'updated' their list of prohibitions in the way he has done so successfully.
He also plays the card of authoritarians the world over, but particularly that form of leftist, neo-Marxist, authoritarian whose world view was formed by someone else's experiences on the barricades of '68: if the rules don't produce the 'right' result, then change them in order to engineer the desired outcome: simple.

The problem with playing to the gallery in the way he does, is that those in the gallery - in this particular case most Guardian readers - don't care whether the church of which he is a member lives or dies - No, I'll correct that: they would much prefer its extinction, but only after the ordination of women bishops, of course - how's that for 'reaching out to reality?.' 

Yet by far the most illuminating passage in his article comes near the beginning, when, after offering us a picture of a Christian Union type he knew at school, says, "Actually I have made this person up..."
Yes, Giles; but that's the whole problem, isn't it?
The reason Anglo-Catholics have got together with the evangelicals you despise so much, is that we think you - and those like you - are in grave danger of making up a gross caricature of another Person, too, and trying to pass it off as the real thing.


  1. Exquisite!

    Let us forever treasure our traditional sacred music. It is the universal language of the Spirit and food for the soul.

    Thankyou Fr Michael.We will find a way. I believe it implicitly.

    Helen R

  2. Well said, Father. By the way, next time Canon Fraser seeks moral authority in the Grauniad for his ministry in his first parish in "the Black Country", you might find it interesting to look him up in Crockford, and do a little research into the social geography of Walsall, especially Foley Road East, Streetly....


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