Thinking Anglicans

Midsummer opinions

Geoffrey Rowell writes in The Times that Christians read the handwritten word differently.

Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about The bare and desolate SPCK bookshops.

Chris Hardwick writes in the Guardian that It’s healthy for Christians to disagree, but we really must learn to ‘quarrel peacefully’.

Also in the Guardian this week:

Rowan Williams wrote about Henry Chadwick.

Riazat Butt wrote about The ‘pope’ of hope.

Giles Fraser wrote about Me and the secular police.

And over in the Church Times he wrote about Saying ‘no’ to distant government.

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Göran Koch-SwahneErika BakerAlan HarrisonFord ElmsCheryl Va. Recent comment authors
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Pluralist
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“The Anglican church no longer shows so clearly the same combination of rootedness in the early Christian tradition and unfussy, prayerful pragmatism…”

Interesting thought from the Archbishop of Canterbury – again a “church” and what it now lacks.

L Roberts
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L Roberts

Is that mid-summer or midsommer ? …….

Hugh of Lincoln
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Hugh of Lincoln

The difference between the EU and the Anglican “Church” is that the former has the principles of human rights, democracy and freedom enshrined in its constitution.

The proposed Covenant not only removes the close involvement of the laity in the national issues of importance, it also guarantees that topics such as civil partnership ceremonies and the removal of exemptions from gay equality legislation are kept firmly off the agenda at General Synod, for fear of invoking cumbersome “procedures for the resolution of Covenant disagreements” if GAFCON objects. This is the last thing the C of E needs right now.

Treebeard
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Treebeard

The pope of hope article is hopeful and inspiring. Real gospel work that.

Cheryl Va.
Guest

Giles Fraser’s article left me reeling. I had no idea things were that bad. It is ridiculous that God cannot be spoken of in civil weddings. God can and should be spoken of any and everywhere, after all, God is any and everywhere. In a previous church I heard a few sermons where the preacher espoused that God could only be found in church and that if we didn’t top ourselves up every week, we would become sinful heathens unprotected as we would be outside of grace. I knew these preachers and knew they were a bit off the planet,… Read more »

Alan Harrison
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Alan Harrison

Cheryl writes: “The priests who have allowed this misjustice of civil services are the ones who are the sinners.” Sorry, but I just don’t understand this. What element of a civil wedding ceremony is a “misjustice” (not a word I’ve previously encountered)? How could “priests” either “allow” or not allow any element of an entirely secular ceremony conducted under laws enacted by Parliament? Turning to the sad story of the SPCK bookshops, I wish Mr Howse had dug deeper into this disaster. Under the previous regime, the Birmingham bookshop did pretty well, with a wide range of books, maybe with… Read more »

Michael Thompson
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Michael Thompson

Cheryl writes: “The priests who have allowed this misjustice of civil services are the ones who are the sinners.”

Sorry, but I just don’t understand this. What element of a civil wedding ceremony is a “misjustice” (not a word I’ve previously encountered)? How could “priests” either “allow” or not allow any element of an entirely secular ceremony conducted under laws enacted by Parliament?

READ THE ARTICLE and see how the fort was betrayed by those who should have known better

Cheryl Va.
Guest

It’s a misjustice to deny a marrying couple acknowledgement of God and their faith in God.

Sorry, I’m a Protestant.

That means that no soul or priest can or should stand between me and God.

I don’t have a problem with any church or a particular minister of a particular parish refusing to acknowledge me or my partner or our relationship with God. But I do have a problem with a priesthood engineering society such that no one else is allowed to acknowledge souls or their relationship with God.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Riazat’s interview with Bartholomew I is indeed hopeful and inspiring. I know he is much respected around here.

Alan Harrison
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Alan Harrison

Michael Thompson wrote “READ THE ARTICLE and see how the fort was betrayed by those who should have known better” I’d read it in the Guardian and just re-read it. OK, some representations were made by faith leaders, who perhaps not unreasonably believed that a civil ceremony should be clearly distinct from a religious one, but decisions about the content of civil weddings are a matter for Parliament. Cheryl writes: “It’s a misjustice to deny a marrying couple acknowledgement of God and their faith in God.” Nobody’s doing that. Anglicans wishing for acknowledgment of their faith can get married in… Read more »

Cheryl Va.
Guest

Alan I think my concern is with “religious” = “church”. Civil = “non-religious”. There are some souls who want a civil ceremony with no hint of religious overtones. There are some souls who want a religious ceremony with all the religious trappings, rituals and blessings that entails. There are some souls who want a divine content to their ceremony but do not necessarily want the formal churched versions with all the obligations that go with that. In some dioceses “divine” blessings from priests are with-held from some parishioners until they “pass” the bar. For example my then-husband and I went… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

“There are some souls who want a divine content to their ceremony but do not necessarily want the formal churched versions with all the obligations that go with that.” And then there are those who would love God to be a full part of their relationship but whom the church has declared unclean sinners and therefore not allowed even to speak his name when they make their promises to each other. In the AC that applies largely to lgbt couples, in the RC it also applies to the divorced. In many churches it applies to interfaith couples. So, yes, there… Read more »

Ford Elms
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Ford Elms

Erika, I think the conservative response to this would be that LGBT people want God to be a part of their relationships only if He conforms to their will. If God says that He doesn’t believe our relationships are good for us, and I’m not claiming that’s what He is saying, then we don’t want Him in our lives. The response that we experience our relationships as good is not an argument, since who are we to tell God what’s best for us? Rightly or wrongly, they perceive this as unbelievable arrogance: we actually, they think, presume to tell God,… Read more »

Alan Harrison
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Alan Harrison

Cheryl, I can’t speak to the problems that you encountered over the baptism of your children, since I can’t envisage exactly the same situation arising in the C of E, where parishioners, irrespective of their own religion, have the _right_ to have their chilkdren baptised. I think I take your point about some people wanting a servce with some religious element but without full-on commitment. Where I have some difficulty is fitting this with the situation described in Giles Fraser’s article. Dr Fraser is a robust and articulate advocate of liberal theology. I am sure that he could have come… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Ford
But this goes beyond conservatives. This is an arrogance that affects all organised Christianity. If Giles Fraser is right, the impetus for banning all religion from civil ceremonies came from the Catholic church.

Interestingly, I discussed this with a priest over dinner the other day and she was sure that the root of the problem was money – once you allow anyone to express religion, fewer and fewer will opt for an organised religious service.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Erika (and Alan),

It is interesting though, that the front-lines seem to be constantly on the move…

60 years ago, the Pope tried to stop King Michael of Rumania (who was Orthodox) from marrying his fiancée Princess Ann of Parma (who was Roman). Their mothers went to the Vatican to plead their children’s cause. To no avail.

But what the Pope tried to hinder is OK nowadays…

And a couple of days ago, the pair celebrated their 60 years as married.

A couple of days ago, the pair celebrated their 60 years as a married couple.