Thinking Anglicans

opinion

William Rees-Mogg writes for the Mail Online about Cardinal John Newman, a hero who restored our faith in truth.
Christopher Howse writes in the Telegraph about Cardinal Newman: The Victorian celebrity intellectual who brought Benedict to Britain.

The New Statesman has profiled Christianity’s top 11 most controversial figures.

Alan Wilson continues his series in The Guardian with The Book of Common Prayer, part 3: An excellent mystery of coupling. “With the Book of Common Prayer, marriage takes its place at the heart of domestic and civil society.”

Robin G Jordan at Anglicans Ablaze asks How really Anglican is the ACNA?

Christopher Howse asks in the Telegraph What’s the point of St Sebastian?

Madeleine Bunting writes in The Guardian that The Catholic church is in crisis, but it is still able to influence and inspire. “The pope’s visit to Britain will prompt some noisy protests, but despite that opposition he deserves to be heard.”

Rupert Shortt writes in The Tablet So far and yet so near, a comparison of Pope Benedict and Archbishop Rowan Williams. [Shortt has written biographies of both men.]

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times that Repentance is like going home.

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William Moorhead
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William Moorhead

I’d be interested to hear how Robin G Jordan explains “how really Anglican” is the Reformed Episcopal Church, which seems to be where he is coming from. (That the REC does not feel comfortable with ACNA should come as no surprise — that was obviously an odd coupling.) I’d like to hear his thoughts on “how really Anglican” the Diocese of Sydney is.

Being an Anglican presumably includes the right to be a late-sixteenth-century Anglican. Have a good trip! Send a postcard!

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

This section of M. Bunting’s piece caught my attention, “All the debates that have torn the Anglican communion apart in recent years have gone underground in the Catholic church: it’s a moot point which is the most effective way for a religious institution to deal with challenge. Both carry a punishingly high cost in terms of authority, credibility and, most important, the affection and loyalty that sustains an institution’s life.” The Anglican Communion, it may be observed, seems to be opting via the so called Covenant, for a similar battening down of the hatches. Here in Canada the wind seems… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

I quite enjoyed Howse’s piece . . . until I got to this: “His choice to be buried in the same grave as his friend at the Birmingham Oratory, Ambrose St John, has encouraged campaigners to claim Newman as a crypto gay. He wouldn’t have understood. Newman was an exponent of friendship, but being friends didn’t mean going to bed together.” First of all: Hello, Euphemism! What JHN “wouldn’t have understood” is close friends, sharing quarters, NOT “going to bed together.” What Howse means, of course, is whether Newman and St. John shared erotic stimulation (in a bed they certainly… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“we should respect the bonds of their monogamous union—and leave whatever happened/happens in the dark, “to conscience first”.
– JCF on Saturday –

Indeed, JCF. This would be quite in keeping with the opinion of a once-celebrated Roman Catholic theologian – Hans Kung. In his recently published autobiography, he reveals that this primacy of one’s own concsience, which JHN certainly would have upheld, was not popular with most of the R.C. hierarchy, but it informed his own decision to challenge the validity of the Magisterium.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Newman was not, as has been suggested, the grandfather of modernism. But he certainly was a powerful intellectual influence on the Second Vatican Council, when Pope John XXIII, elected in 1958, led the way for the Catholic Church to be more receptive to new ideas.” – William Rees-Mogg, Daily Mail – So what went wrong? And why is Pope Benedict coming to Newman’s home territory to advance his posthumous preferment – when Neman’s ideas of *aggiornamento*, like those of Pope John XXIII, have been rejected by the new Magisterium? If he were still there, no doubt this good man’s body… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

“A wise priest advised me a long time ago never to go near the engine room – the Vatican. Keep well away, he warned.” So you don’t, Ms Bunting, notice what a CRAZY analogy this?! [Oh dear: I fear it will be extremely difficult to take the essay seriously, after this.] The “engine room” of the RCC is, of course, the billion or so faithful *Roman Catholics*. The laity, predominantly (as well as those hard-working priests, and harder-working religious—esp. sisters). That’s the *source* of the power, the fuel. The Vatican is *the bridge* (of the badly-listing ship): that extremely small… Read more »

Charlotte
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Charlotte

For TEC, on the other hand, battening down the hatches would have no effect, as the Covenant is intended to scapegoat us, and will provide the means to expel us from the Anglican Communion. That is what the Covenant is for. When there was some talk of TEC’s willingness to sign it, the then Bishop of Durham proclaimed that it would make no difference whether or not TEC signed — we would be out in either case. I can only hope that this symbolic violence against the Communion’s chosen scapegoat will have the desired effect. Surely once the evil TEC… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

Once the chosen scapegoat of TEC has been driven out, the communion will be living hand-to-mouth, for the scapegoat is also the golden goose.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“ACNA leaders are taking advantage of the evangelical and African avoidance of any criticism of the ACNA and the seeming unqualified evangelical and African support of whatever direction in which they lead the ACNA to pursue their own agenda. While the Africans see themselves as the future of world Anglicanism, the ACNA leaders harbor a different vision.” – Robin G. Jordan – And herein lies the rub. Do either ACNA or the African/Evangelical alliance fully appreciate the danger behind an uncritical acceptance of ACNA at this point in time? Is it because their mutual hatred of Gays (and maybe Women)… Read more »

BillyD
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The weird thing about depictions of St Sebastian isn’t the eroticization of the martyr so much as the fact that they do *not* represent his martyrdom.

bobinswpa
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bobinswpa

The ACNA will be the golden goose 🙂 Anglo-Catholics and Reformed Episcopalians in the same church? Not for long. Duncan still ordains women. The ACNA is united in its opposition to TEC. Not a good thing to build a church on IMHO. The ACNA and Duncan have their own agenda, use the Africans. I can’t believe Duncan’s ego would allow him to be subservient to anyone!!! This is a man who thinks he’s the next Martin Luther. The funny thing is when Duncan was bishop of Pittsburgh he openly licensed a gay priest to practice in the diocese. He doesn’t… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

” no one really knows what happens to a church whose rituals and structure are premised on plenty of priests when the supply dries up.” – Madelein Bunting – As an ex-Roman Catholic, Madeleine Bunting gives us a sorry picture of the future of her former Church community. Apart from the crisis of the Magisterium – in not being able to ‘control’, for instance, the massive disregard of its members for its rules on contraception – there really is a lack of men coming forward with a vocation to the priesthood. Maybe this visit of Pope Benedict may help to… Read more »

rick allen
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” no one really knows what happens to a church whose rituals and structure are premised on plenty of priests when the supply dries up.” I think it has been a common situation throughout the history of the Church. Here in New Mexico, I understand, the country people were lucky to have a priest come through once a year. If your faith goes deep, you make the most of what’s possible. If not, an army of clergy won’t make a difference. The clergy, the episcopate, the papacy, are necessary to the life of the Church. But the faith of the… Read more »

Hector
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Hector

Re: Indeed, like civilly-partnered clergy today (who can be HONEST about preferring a “single-sex society”—within the privacy&intimacy of their own home!), we should respect the bonds of their monogamous union—and leave whatever happened/happens in the dark, “to conscience first”. I can hardly agree with that. Regardless of your views on whether homosexual sex is morally OK (I believe that it can be, just the same as straight sex can be), the fact is that Ambrose St. John and Cardinal Newman were vowed to celibacy, and so they had a moral obligation not to sleep with anyone, man or woman. We… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

I’d certainly be disappointed if I heard that he was in a relationship with a man or woman. Posted by: Hector on Monday, 13 September 2010 at 4:11pm Why so disappointed I wonder ? Are you expecting this man to carry something for yourself perhaps ? An impossible ideal maybe. None of us are too comfy with the thought of parental coitus, and it can be hard to accept that parental figures are sexual beings (mammals) whether ‘vowed’ to celibacy or not. Even ‘celibates’ may be led to new courage, new understand, new openness in an encounter with another. Which… Read more »

JCF
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JCF

And I suppose, Hector, that you’re “disappointed” when a hostage gives into Stockholm Syndrome (or a POW signs a confession)? [This doesn’t even begin to unpack the (varying) definitions of “celibacy” or “chastity”!] IMHO, definitions of vows only really matter to those making them. I can understand why Newman’s and St.John’s bishop(s)/religious superior(s) would have a interest . . . but that’s not *my* concern. [Otherwise, you’re peering into bedrooms, checking to see if every couple measures up to YOUR definition of “forsaking all others”, for example!] Nope, don’t go there. Let *their* consciences be *their* guide. Or rather, *I*… Read more »

drdanfee
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drdanfee

Shortt’s article is oddly enlightening, as he draws into focus what Canterbury and the Vatican have in common, as well as some distinctives. Two well-read minds of alleged keen and inquiring reputation, sealed off in functionally and presumptively closed revelation bubbles loudly claiming to be otherwise open and capable of fully engaged listening and critical thought, no holds barred – all the way off on Planet Conservative – in a distant galaxy, far far away. Their stodgy, stubborn mis-readings of both science and modernity (such as these variously are, and likely, will be) tilt at windmills of their own life… Read more »

BillyD
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“…but if one takes a vow of celibacy then they should try to honour it (which I certainly believe that Newman and St. John did). Or else, if honouring it is too difficult and painful, then do the honest thing and leave the priesthood. “

You mean, like Cranmer did?

MarkBrunson
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Okay, I think I see what Hector is arguing, and it is *NOT* the moral value of homosexual relationships, whether genital or non-genital, but the purely practical argument that *IF* one has taken a vow to a particular state – in this case celibacy – as a corollary to holding a particular position, then one must honor that vow or step down from the position. Aside from the possibility of dispensation, which is compassionate pragmatism that church institutions have exercised, I would absolutely agree! In the same way, one takes vow in marriage – if you can no longer uphold… Read more »

Hector
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Hector

Re: but the purely practical argument that *IF* one has taken a vow to a particular state – in this case celibacy – as a corollary to holding a particular position, then one must honor that vow or step down from the position. It’s a bit beyond a merely practical argument. I do think that priestly/monastic celibacy is a beautiful ideal, even though I don’t think most priests are called to it, and I don’t think it should be mandatory. It should be honoured, admired, and encouraged. Romantic relationships are a great and good thing, but they intrinsically mean loving… Read more »

MarkBrunson
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If celibacy is God’s gift, it should be encouraged, otherwise . . . no. Some of us have been gifted with the celibate life, others not. Frankly, I’m not impressed by “giving up” anything for God. You’re going to die, regardless of what you do or believe, so that’s not terribly impressive. Lots of people have died for lots of causes without improving the world or humanity one iota. As far as anything good or worthwhile, when compared with God – what would that be? Money, fame, family? None of those are good or worthwhile in comparison. “Sacrifice” is an… Read more »

BillyD
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“”Sacrifice” is an empty concept in Christianity. *The* Sacrifice was made, however you view the Crucifixion. What was incomplete in Christ’s sufferings that you think you, or anyone else, can complete?”

Not “complete,” Mark; “unite ourselves with,” rather.

Hector
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Hector

Re: “Sacrifice” is an empty concept in Christianity. *The* Sacrifice was made, however you view the Crucifixion. That’s a quintessentially Calvinistic way of looking at things, it reminds me of Zwingli and his infamous sausage luncheon during Lent. And like most things Calvinist, it’s wrong at its core. Christians are called to sacrifice, and to give up good things for the sake of the Kingdom. As Christ shared in our lives, we are supposed to share in his, and that involves, in some sense, uniting our little sacrifices to his big sacrifice. Our Lord said, after all, “Take up your… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

RE: completing Christ’s sacrifice

On the other hand, in Colossians 1:24 St Paul writes, “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church…” so the concept can’t be as foreign to Christianity as it might appear at first blush.

BillyD
Guest

Come to think of it, “And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice” would seem to suggest a role for the concept of sacrifice in Anglican Christianity after all.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“A corrupt clergy can be reformed; it’s been done many, many times. A corrupt, unbelieving people is a wholly different matter.” – Rick Allen –

And what, precisely, is the difference here – except that, with the clergy we’re dealing with just a few people compromising their priestly Vows? Your category of ‘an unbelieving people’ is made up, surely of individuals, created in the same image and likeness of God as the clergy?
Perhaps, though, those errant clergy’s behaviour could have something to do with the ‘unbelief’ of the unbelievers.

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“Here in New Mexico, I understand, the country people were lucky to have a priest come through once a year. “

The experience of the RCC in Japan after the expulsion of the missionaries would also seem to an example of this. And some of the Old Believer groups in Russia were left without the priesthood, too.

These are relatively small populations, though, and maybe cohesiveness was easier to keep in the absence of the clergy than it would be for entire countries.

MarkBrunson
Guest

You can argue it all you want to. It’s simply rationalizing. The Sacrifice was made. He came for us to have life, and have it abundantly. You use “sacrifice” as busywork so that you won’t have to realize how absolutely helpless, hopeless and completely unable to do anything of yourself you *really* are. You use “sacrifice” to act as if you had anything *to* sacrifice. Nothing is yours. Even the power you have comes to you from another. Your very existence is at the thought of God, and has no reliance on your own activity. It’s the same self-serving moral… Read more »

Bill Dilworth
Guest

Mark, as someone said on another thread, you’re entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. Your not finding sacrifice a meaningful concept is one thing; declaring ex cathedra that it has no place in Christianity and that those who embrace it don’t quite make the cut spiritually is another.