Saturday, 22 May 2010

opinion for Pentecost

Theo Hobson in The Guardian writes about A new recipe for Christianity. Pete Rollins, frustrated with institutional Christianity, has used poetry, song and performance art to rethink religion.

Andrew Brown in The Guardian asks Is Henry VIII in hell? Rowan Williams wonders whether Henry VIII is in hell now, and talks about the Christian reaction to the triumphs of tyranny.

Christopher Howse asks a similar question in the Telegraph: Has Rowan Williams damned Henry VIII to hell? King Henry VIII might be in hell, the Archbishop of Canterbury suggested the other day in a sermon.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church times about Teasing out the morality of coalition.

Diarmaid MacCulloch writes in The Guardian Vatican II: Benedict rewrites history. At a speech in Portugal Pope Benedict gave us a rare insight into his feelings about the second Vatican council.

Graham Kings has written this Pentecost article for the Times: Picturing the Spirit. [also online at Fulcrum]

Rebecca Paveley writes in the Times that The bishops won’t go quietly in the struggle over Lords’ reform. The campaign for a fully elected Upper House would mean an end to their presence. So is Parliament still accountable to God or have clergymen in politics become an anachronism?

This week’s The Question at The Guardian’s Comment is free Belief is Who can claim Newman? Cardinal Newman was the greatest English Catholic of the Victorian age. But whose side would he be on today?
Here are the responses.
Monday: Hugh O’Shaughnessy An example for reform. Newman said ‘To live is to change’. A timely reminder to those churchmen who love power and the status quo.
Tuesday: Luke Coppen Newman’s universal message. Gandhi’s love of Newman’s hymn ‘Lead, kindly Light’ proves that the cardinal is not just for Catholics.
Thursday: Martin Pendergast Newman’s democratic church. Newman’s legacy is an inclusive, diverse church, with a theology rooted in the practices of the community.
Friday: Francis Davis A distracting debate. Catholics often fight their present battles using scripts from the past. But this pretence is a waste of time.

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 22 May 2010 at 11:42am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

The link to Diarmaid MacCulloch's piece is set up as an e-mail link as opposed to a hyperlink.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Saturday, 22 May 2010 at 11:51am BST

The bad link, and another similar one, have been corrected.

Posted by: Peter Owen on Saturday, 22 May 2010 at 12:52pm BST

Make no mistake about Joe Ratzinger and his views on Vatican II. He, like his predecessor set the clock back to the imperial days of triumphalism prior to the Council. Ratzinger has especially revived the imperial attire worn by popes prior to the council and his reinstatement of the Tridentine Mass has locked in his backward thinking and wounded the Church in profound ways. John Paul II and Benedict will go down in history as men who were afraid of reforms and this has set the Latin Rite Church back about five centuries. Hans Kung is the kind of man the Church of Rome needs in the chair of Peter. He would move the Church forward in the true spirit of Vatican II. He is not afraid. The Holy Spirit will play a role in the continuation of the spirit of the council. The hierarchy has real problems with the vast majority of the People of God. They have lost their respect and authority, not just because of the way they handled the sexual abuse of children by clergy, but because they double-crossed the People of God on issues such as women's ordination, mandatory clerical celibacy and decentralization of power. We look to Anglicans for the light on the path to the future, especially the American Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada. These two national churches have given us a blueprint for how things should be. We hope the Church of England will move in the same directions as these two branches of the Anglican Communion. This is what Vatican II was really about. This "spirit" was squashed by John Paul II because of his fears. It was carried to more drastic extremes by Benedict. It was and is a betrayal. The Anglicans hold the real spirit of Vatican II by their inclusive examples of ordination of women to the priesthood and episcopate and their inclusion of glbt people in these positions of leadership. Vatican II is not really dead, it is in a state of suspension due to the fears of the people like John Paul II and Benedict. I have always felt welcomed in Anglican Churches in spite of the fact that I am a Roman Catholic. This is how I experience the reaches of the Second Vatican Council. The Holy Spirit is very much alive in both the Roman and Anglican traditions. We should not fear the future.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Saturday, 22 May 2010 at 4:49pm BST

"Is Henry VIII in hell?"

Either ALL the monarchs of the period (inc. the Bishops of Rome) are, or none of them are. [As Anglican universalist, I vote the latter]

Posted by: JCF on Saturday, 22 May 2010 at 11:47pm BST

"Make no mistake about Joe Ratzinger and his views on Vatican II. He, like his predecessor set the clock back to the imperial days of triumphalism prior to the Council."

Can anyone tell me in what respect Benedict has denied any teaching of Vatican II? I mean, of course, something the Council actually taught?

You can look at all of the concilar documents here, if it helps:

I would appreciate it.

"Hans Kung is the kind of man the Church of Rome needs in the chair of Peter. He would move the Church forward in the true spirit of Vatican II."

Father Kung's dissent from Vatican II is long-standing and deep. He has been calling for "Vatican III" for as long as I can remember, to undo what he finds unacceptable in the first two vatican councils. If you have any doubt, please read chapter three of Lumen Gentium.

Posted by: rick allen on Sunday, 23 May 2010 at 1:05am BST

Theo Hobson is not reporting on A new recipe for Christianity: it is an old recipe of long standing, on the one hand in the Quakers and the other the Unitarians.

Posted by: Pluralist on Sunday, 23 May 2010 at 2:54am BST

I don't know much about the Quakers and even less about Unitarians but my impression is that they have overcome the problems of "identity politics": when you are with or amongst Quakers, you get the feeling that you are there, and your individual personality is acknowledged - it is sufficient unto itself and needs no supporting justification. With Anglicanism, people's personalities are being caught up in quasi-doctrinal identities: male, female, heterosexual, homosexual, heterodox, orthodox, traditionalist, radical, High Church, Low Church, etc., etc., and it's the identity that people get all worked up about, not the person.

Posted by: Achilles on Sunday, 23 May 2010 at 8:05am BST

"Even so, coalitions raise fascinating questions about morality. Those who come together for some greater good — such as the national interest — are asked to swallow many of their principles in order to achieve that good. This is a real problem for those who think of morality as the having of strong and clear principles and sticking to them through thick and thin." - Giles Fraser -

Intentionally or not, Fr. Giles' identifies one of the problems for ACNA - the amalgam of different codes of churchmanship, and views on women's ministry that are contained within that North American entity - that can either be subsumed into the whole, or become the basis on which ACNA founders.

Some coalition partners - especially those in the 'political' sphere - gain credibility by their willingness to 'overlook' political differences. The only problem with ACNA's coalition partners, though, is that each of them has a particular view of the 'moral' aspects of being 'Church'. One big issue for them already is that Rwanda - one of the partners (AMiA) - is already distancing itself from full membership of the ACNA body - obviously not wanting to surrender its political/spiritual jurisdictional agenda.

Also, there is the problem of different views of women clergy. The question here is - will this particular 'coalition' that is ACNA have enough common interest (apart from views on women and gays, that seems to be their one uniting charism) that will enable them to continue in partnership?

On the other hand, if Provinces of the Anglican Communion could only bear to live together in the bonds of friendship - despite different views on peripheral matters like the ordination of women and the acceptance of the LGBT community within the fold - then this might just prove the benefit of a spiritual coalition that could defy schism.

(They'll know you're my disciples by your LOVE!)

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 23 May 2010 at 1:06pm BST

That's right. The bias is on individualism and towards optimism (against original sin) and that does lead to person first. It does not remove categories, and arguments about directions, but it does point out first that individuals who might be of this collective 'party' or that usually don't fit in that well when you actually listen.

Posted by: Pluralist on Monday, 24 May 2010 at 2:00am BST

That King created a hell on earth for individuals and society - esp his wives and the religous orders.

But in C21st what on earth does it mean to ask if he is ' in Hell now'?

Has Williams taken leave of his senses completely ?

Posted by: Rev L Roberts on Wednesday, 26 May 2010 at 6:16pm BST

""Is Henry VIII in hell?"

Either ALL the monarchs of the period (inc. the Bishops of Rome) are, or none of them are. [As Anglican universalist, I vote the latter]"

As usual JCF is right on. What the dear Archbishop of Canterbury seems to forget is that we are saved by God's mercy and grace, not by someone (however saintly) praying us out of hell or purgatory. Yes, tyrants may create hell for the world and themselves in their time, but the final victory always belongs to God.

Posted by: Edgar Wallace on Thursday, 27 May 2010 at 5:07pm BST
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