|Photograph: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters|
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Friday, 29 June 2012
Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Sunday, 24 June 2012
|Photograph: Tim Ireland/PA|
Rowan Williams, said Colin Thubron, introducing him at a Royal Society of Literature event on Wednesday, is not only perhaps "the most distinguished occupant of his seat since St Anselm", but a scholar, a historian, a theologian, a linguist fluent in "ancient and modern Greek, and even Syriac, and a poet and a translator. "God gave you all these gifts," Thubron went on turning to him and paraphrasing the words of Richard Harries, "and as a punishment made you archbishop".
Saturday, 16 June 2012
Thursday, 14 June 2012
Has the Church in Wales been ignored or overlooked? Not a mention in the gay marriage saga despite their Archbishop being so decidedly pro-gay. This must have come as a severe blow to His Grace as he hopes to impress the Crown Nominations Commission with his liberal credentials, unless of course his nomination was simply a ploy to send nobody of any standing to the Commission. After all he represents only 1% of the people of Wales - oddly the same percentage as the people claiming to be gay or lesbian - but surely that would be too cruel even for someone who has been so divisive in his church and improbable since he represents the views of the ruling elite of liberal extremism.
Could it be then that the Church in Wales was thought to have no place in the consultation? After all, one of the complaints of the Church of England about gay marriage is that it could lead to disestablishment, the position of the Church in Wales. Perhaps they have a point! But do I detect a split in the Welsh bench? Their response to the gay marriage consultation makes some valid points, particularly so on the Scope of the Consultation, a welcome change from the usual tub-thumping by the Archbishop about gay rights which have been relegated to an oblique reference to pastoral care and support in the final paragraph, something he refuses to grant to congregations in his own church who do not follow his liberal agenda. Perhaps the other Welsh diocesan bishops have finally realised what a mess the Archbishop and his liberal chums have made of the Anglican Church.
Tuesday, 12 June 2012
At the day and time appointed for solemnization of Matrimony, the persons to be married shall come into the body of the Church with their friends and neighbours: and there standing together, the Man on the right hand, and the Woman on the left, the Priest shall say,
DEARLY beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation, to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate, instituted of God in the time of man's innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee; and is commended of Saint Paul to be honourable among all men: and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly, lightly, or wantonly, to satisfy men's carnal lusts and appetites, like brute beasts that have no understanding; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God; duly considering the causes for which Matrimony was ordained.
First, It was ordained for the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy Name.
Secondly, It was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication; that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ's body.
Thirdly, It was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity. Into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined. Therefore if any man can shew any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace.
Government assertions that churches will not be forced into conducting same-sex unions have already been dismissed. There is a cautionary warning from Canada here.
The Rt Rev Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester, summed up the position in this piece in the Guardian: the CofE had been supportive of civil partnerships when the legislation was introduced eight years ago. But he added: "I think the difficulty we have here is the substitution of equality for uniformity, that is to say that there can be no distinction at all between men and women. The government is seeking to meet what it perceives to be the needs of the gay community. I would say that the Church of England is sympathetic to those needs, we want to see a society in which gay people are fully included and their needs are fully provided for.""But this does not amount to a basis for introducing a complete redefinition of the concept of marriage based on a consultation process which is at the very least rapid
"From a standing start within three months to arrive at a fully considered, weighed and articulated redefinition of a fundamental social institution which has been thought about in one particular way for centuries and which is broadly accepted as a social institution in the same way internationally - to change all that on the basis of a consultation like this seems to be at the very least unwise and ill considered."
What I find remarkable about this debate (which seems to have arrived from nowhere and has become such a divisive issue when there has been no mandate for change) is the supposed drive for justice for a tiny minority view which confuses equality with uniformity. Why is it that those in the Church of England who now see themselves in the majority do not have the same regard for those of us who, through synodical procedure, find ourselves in a minority as we seek to uphold our traditional belief in the priesthood in common with the wider Apostolic church? The Church of England at last sees the writing on the wall with the threat of exclusion. Many of us already know what that means!
Saturday, 9 June 2012
A Water Works update in April detailed how the International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell MP announced that the UK is to double its targets on water and sanitation. An extra 30 Million people will now be reached by 2015 through UK aid – at least 60 million in total.
Friday, 8 June 2012
"Many bishops are deeply committed to supporting women’s ministry. Yet collectively, the House of Bishops has given the appearance of being most concerned about protecting, as far as possible, the consciences and feelings of the minority who strongly object to women bishops. Meanwhile, less attention has been paid to everyone else’s consciences and feelings, the practicalities of administering a very complicated system and the impact on mission.
- Part of the text from a new piece for Ekklesia by Savi Hensman of the 'care and equalities sector'. I commented on a previous piece here. She assumes not only that women have a God given right to be bishops but that the Church of England must get round to full acceptance of same-sex unions:
"When the Church of England eventually gets round to full acceptance of same-sex unions, if priests and congregations are allowed not only to opt out but also to be overseen by a bishop with similar views on gender and sexuality, the number of alternative bishops could multiply. Church leaders would be well advised to review the principle before then."
Peppered with supposedly supportive quotations from the Bible, like many who hold similar views Savi Hensman writes of the consciences and feelings of the minority who strongly object to women bishops while showing no concept of the of the wider catholic church in which her view is the minority. In her penchant for quoting scripture I note, perhaps unsurprisingly, that she made no reference to Matthew 7:15 or to Ephesians 6:11. But of course, not every part of the Bible suits her case. While scripture is open to interpretation and counter quote, Christ's example and the tradition of the Apostolic church, the rock on which she was built, is not. Is it any wonder that Anglicanism is falling apart!
Tuesday, 5 June 2012
Click here to listen a beautiful new anthem, The Call of Wisdom, written by British composer Will Todd and performed for the Queen at the Diamond Jubilee service of thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral today by a choir made up of children selected from around the country. The Queen's face says it all as she listens intently to the repeated words 'I am here' which have much resonance for people of faith and recall Her Majesty's Coronation Oath. The Queen has 'been here' reigning for sixty years in a remarkable act of service and devotion to duty, demonstrating what a promise means, an example well captured by His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury in his sermon, contrary to the carping criticism in the Mail Online.
Having said that, if only our Bishops and Clergy likewise would seek to "maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof":
God Save The Queen.