Monday, 11 March 2013

Blue shirts and Maria Monk - comment round-up

The BBC's coverage of 'religion' once again plumbed the depths yesterday in the Sunday programme's pre-conclave edition with a grotesque plug for a novel by Sarah Dunant on the subject of the election of "the notorious Rodrigo Borgia as Pope Alexander VI."
Does the BBC's animus against the Roman Catholic Church (actually against Christian orthodoxy generally, which is what concerns me most) have no limits? When will someone remind this bloated, public-funded institution (not immune from scandals itself) that it exists to inform, not to plug a heterodox agenda of its own? On that subject, there was a particularly fawning and not exactly forensic interview with Dr Hans Küng on Today this morning.
Yesterday's Sunday 'fig-leaf ' was an open letter to the new Archbishop of Canterbury from Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali; good: but it doesn't fool anyone, chaps... 
Having done its (very effective) best to promote the liberal agenda in the Church of England, and to destroy at least a serviceable 'breakwater' (in Newman's phrase)  of Christian truth, clearly the existence of traditional orthodoxy in Rome is an lasting offence and reproach to the denizens of Portland Place (or is it Salford these days?) Providentially, the Latin Church is truly international, and its main language is not English. 
Listen here - at your own risk, and pray - hard - that the cardinals' choice will not be a candidate approved by the BBC.

Cranmer [here] reports the latest episode of uncritical islamophilia from western academe... clear evidence of the same culturally suicidal double standard displayed by our national broadcaster.

The Vicar of Purgstall has an very interesting reflection on a recent episcopal appointment in the Church of England: 
"There is an interesting conflict between posts filled through election or appointment by peers, and posts filled by bodies such as the Crown Nominations Commission: such a conflict will always come to bear upon the successful candidates. Diocesan vs. Royal or CNC appointments will always embody complications, and it fascinates me that a candidate who would have convinced Synod of his detachment from the House of Bishops is now to enter that house himself. That isn't to criticise the bishop-designate of Blackburn, for I don't know him and I have little to go on apart from the fact that his publicity photo shows him wearing a blue clerical shirt. That isn't important either, apart from the fact that, as a boy, the only blue-shirters I knew were Methodists - therefore they continue (in my reactionary head) to be inextricably linked...
"...The news, and the reason for this post, is that the bishop-designate of Blackburn will be the first to occupy that see who will ordain women. This marks an important watershed for Blackburn Diocese: while I know the new bishop takes an admirable approach to the whole issue (and I hope that persists), there will be many who will be disappointed. I suspect that, of the few historically conservative sees (London, Europe, Chichester, Blackburn...) it was inevitable that change would eventually be seen in at least one of these dioceses, and so long as change might move both ways that isn't such a problem.
What I think is an issue is the principle that it is now impossible for a conservative candidate to be appointed to an institutional see: it was a problem I flagged after Father Philip North's withdrawal from the Suffragan See of Whitby, it is one I observe (rather than flag) here, and it is something we will need to observe as further appointments are made. I am aware that some will feel that it is a very good thing that conservative candidates can't realistically be appointed to institutional sees. They say, as Jean Mayland did a few weeks ago on 'Thinking Anglicans' (sic), that "they have the PEVs, what more do they need?" (I paraphrase.) This, also, is fine - but if the only conservative bishops we have are at Fulham or in the PEV sees, then (for those who hate the idea of structural solutions) we have, by definition, created a 'church with a church'. Perhaps the additional dioceses option won't, in the end, be too hard to forge ahead with..."
The Way Out There reproduces a sermon by John Colet, the great reformist and humanist (in its correct sense) Dean of St Paul's before the great tragedy which was to shatter the faith and unity of the Church in the sixteenth century:
"...Fourthly, the laity themselves are scandalized and driven to ruin, when those whose duty it is to draw men from this world, teach men to love this world by their own devotion to worldly things, and by their own love of this world are themselves carried down headlong into hell. Besides, when priests themselves are thus entangled, it must end in hypocrisy: for, mixed up and confused with the laity, they lead, under a priestly exterior, the mere life of a layman. Also their spiritual weakness and servile fear, when enervated by the waters of this world, makes them dare neither to do nor to say anything but what they know will be grateful and pleasing to their princes. ...
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1 comment:

  1. All of this reads like a repeat performance of what happened in the Church of Sweden from ca. 1960 to 1994 (when the ordination of persons opposed to the pretended ordination of women, as well as the promotion to the episcopate of clergy opposed to WO, was banned).


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