Thinking Anglicans

opinions in the snow

Although he is now Hunkering down in the snow? Alan Wilson wrote last Sunday about the Rule of St Benedict, see It’s not what you say….

Giles Fraser wrote in the Church Times about Football in the wilds of Yemen.

John Cottingham writes in The Times that Our restless quest for God is a search for home.

David Bryant writes in the Guardian that A religion that is based on a code of moral injunctions should be approached warily.

Cif belief asked What are you frightened of this year? to which David Walker replied Spiders and authoritarianism and Mark Dowd replied The Pope’s visit.

Fulcrum published a sermon by Graham Kings on The Holy Spirit and the Magi.

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Peter of WestminsterBillyDRichard AshbyLois KeenFather Ron Smith Recent comment authors
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Pluralist
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I wonder what percentage (moderate) churchgoing has to be of the population before David Walker considers religion marginal, and if it is not measured this way then how is it measured? For example, is it measured by its ready acceptance in the political sphere? I’m all in favour of the broadest possible measure of religiosity, but I’d like to know in what way it is not marginal to either how we explain things or the functions of society.

peterpi
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peterpi

Regarding Mark Dowd and the upcoming visit by Pope Benedict to England: I’m reminded of an article that appeared years ago in “The New Yorker” magazine about a visit by then-Pope John Paul II to France. The left was alarmed that the Pope would use the occasion to attack the French secular state. The right was equally expectant that the Pope would confer some honor on the ancient French king Clovis I and restore Roman Catholicism to its rightful place in France. In the end, the pope blessed some French soil, said a few masses, preached against materialism, blessed some… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“The intention behind defensive living, like that behind righteous words, can be defective or even evil. If our purposes are anger, self-righteousness, spite or destruction, we are falling short of all we are called to be. Blessing comes from nothing less than nonviolence as an active pursuit.” – Alan Wilson – The good Bishop of Buckingham once again hits the target of what the pursuit of the Gospel is all about. Self-righteousness, spite and destruction seem to have been on the minds of several of our different sodalities in the Anglican Communion over the last few years. We are reminded… Read more »

Lois Keen
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Lois Keen

Amen, peterpi – concise, to the point, and true.

BillyD
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On the other hand, Peter, I thought that Fr. Bryant’s column was simply awful (although I agree with him about taking responsibility for one’s own moral decisions). His apparent and inexcusable ignorance about the possibility of adoption aside, the young woman went to him for advice and got – nothing. Religious professionals ought to be able to do something more than shrug their shoulders when approached by people needing help. Full disclosure: I am not a neutral party when it comes to abortion. I probably owe my life to my biological mother mistaking her pregnancy for the beginning of menopause… Read more »

Peter of Westminster
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Peter of Westminster

“Awful” describes Fr. Bryant’s column for me, too. Moral quandaries are painful, and people often turn to religious ethical traditions as vehicles of moral decision-making. Fr. Bryant would not have been “decid[ing] the fate of her foetus for her” if he had just led her into a consideration of the relative moral weightings of even the surprisingly limited range of arguments for and against abortion he discussed with her. I agree with his assertion of a need to engage in an “inward dialogue of moral reasoning” and to not just accept unthinkingly church tradition and scripture. But if that is… Read more »

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

My reading of Fr Bryant’s column is that he dealt with the his visitor’s problem sensitively and with compassion. There is no indication that he didn’t offer adoption as a possible solution and he certainly gave her plenty of space to consider the options and what they had discussed since she was coming back the next day. The only possible advice to be given in cases such as this, surely, is to lay out the options and let the individual take responsibility for their own actions. I entirely agree with Fr Bryant about the dubiousness of a religion based on… Read more »

BillyD
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Richard wrote, “There is no indication that he didn’t offer adoption as a possible solution and he certainly gave her plenty of space to consider the options and what they had discussed since she was coming back the next day.” On the contrary. His reasons for aborting were “The child would be fatherless. There was no family in the wings to give support. She had a career to follow and a mound of bills. Motherhood would mean homelessness and penury. On top of that it seemed unfair to bring a child into the world whose father had taken his own… Read more »

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

I wonder if we should ask Fr Bryant whether or nor he did discuss adoption with his visitor?

BillyD
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“I wonder if we should ask Fr Bryant whether or nor he did discuss adoption with his visitor?”

That sounds like a great idea! (And if he did, I’d like to know why he neglected to include it in the column.)

Do you know him? Does he read TA?

BillyD
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I looked for contact information on his Guardian profile but didn’t see any…

Peter of Westminster
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Peter of Westminster

“I wonder if we should ask Fr Bryant whether or nor he did discuss adoption with his visitor?” Yes! It would be interesting to know that, Richard. And he may not have included it, or a fuller description of his counseling session and his planned follow-up, because the column was really about the inappropriate use of moral precepts in religion to rob people of their independence of thought and action. The abortion counseling example was the most extended of several such examples, all presented in the service of his larger point. Your reading of the column could possibly be correct,… Read more »