Monday, 1 November 2010

pre-General Synod press briefing

Here are some press reports following today’s release of papers for this month’s General Synod and a press briefing this morning.

Riazat Butt in The Guardian: Church of England eyes £5m of state funds to combat extremism

Tim Ross in the Telegraph: Anglicans who defect to Rome ‘could share CofE churches’
and Religiously ‘illiterate’ politicians treat all faiths with suspicion, says CofE

Posted by Peter Owen on Monday, 1 November 2010 at 6:16pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod
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'treating believers as “sub rational” elements that must be contained.'

Perish the thought.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Monday, 1 November 2010 at 7:26pm GMT

Tim Ross in the Telegraph: Anglicans who defect to Rome ‘could share CofE churches’

FYI: link doesn't work. (Suspect Mr Ross's logic doesn't either. ;-/)

ED NOTE: Sorry, link now fixed. Form your opinion about the logic :-)

Posted by: JCF on Monday, 1 November 2010 at 8:23pm GMT

"Nevertheless, we do have a rather important contribution to make in relation to how people of different faiths get along with each other".

Riazat Butt in 'The Guardian' draws our attention to this statement made by a 'Church of England official' to the British Government, in support of the request for just five million UK Pounds to help with religious/race relations in Britain.

This would be small enough a price to pay provided all members of the Church of England were willing to engage in the dialogue that would need to happen to secure the best outcome.

Sadly, many fundamentalist Christians seem unable to understand that people of other religious faith are actually children of, and precious to the same God as themselves. This reluctance to accept people of other faiths can lead to an unholy attitude towards those, generally, of another race or culture who live alongside.

The ABC, in his conversations with people of other faiths in Britain has provided a goodly example of what might be achieved in concerted moves towards understanding one another's faith principles, which generally are undergirded by peaceful co-existence and not enmity.

Any movement on the part of the Churches to allay fears of a mutually hostile religious battle-ground, by the application of the Gospel charism of loving acceptance of all who are made in the image and likeness of God (all humanity) must be helpful towards the goal of peace in the community. Therefore, any exclusiveness seen to be practised by the Church - such as that to be experienced against women ansd gays - must also be seen as an ongoing problem for the local communities.

Discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, sexual difference and religious belief should be condemned by all, as an affront to the God we worship and believe in.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Monday, 1 November 2010 at 10:04pm GMT

Regarding "Church of England eyes £5m of state funds to combat extremism," one excellent way to spend some of that money to combat extremism would be to send Carey, Nazir-Ali, and Scott-Joynt on a very long vacation in some faraway place with no Internet access.

Posted by: JPM on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 at 1:06am GMT

As usual the Church of England shows a spirit of flexibility and compromise; I wonder if the RCC has offered such hospitality to other Christian churches? And will those accepting the Roman offer be happy to continue worshipping in the same building as their former fellow-Anglicans? Is the offer of the church buildings a sort of Solomonic response to Rome's original offer. Rome: "You can belong to us while retaining all your Anglican customs." CofE: "We go one better, you can belong to Rome without even leaving your church!"

Posted by: Spirit of Vatican II on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 at 6:42am GMT

Surely, it is not that Politicians are religiously "illiterate" that makes them suspicious of self acclaimed "Christians", but the excursions of the latter into Politics: Misogyny, Homophobia, Racism...

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 at 7:27am GMT

'the Church of England shows a spirit of flexibility and compromise'

Really where was this in Synod?

My reading would be that buildings are expensive and that the C of E is trying to save face given that it has treated its Catholic members appallingly. All rather embarrassing now that the Pope offers what synod continues to refuse!

Still it is welcome and I am grateful. If true.

Posted by: Ed Tomlinson on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 at 8:48am GMT

aS far as I am aware, while Mr. Fittall might be speaking out of personal belief and opinion, he is not a voting member of Synod, nor of the Archbishop's Council, nor of the House of Bishops etc etc. He may be saying what others believe, but....

Graeme Buttery

Posted by: Graeme Buttery on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 at 9:14am GMT

If Anglicans and Ordinariate RCs are sharing a church, I envisage two situations which could be problematic:

1) The Anglicans end up with a woman priest, or a visiting woman priest celebrates the Eucharist in that church - how would the Ordinariate priest feel about 'sharing' the same altar?

2) Both the remaining Anglicans and the Ordinariate RCs are likely to want to keep the Blessed Sacrament in an aumbry or tabernacle. Obviously the RCs wouldn't accept that our Sacrament is anything more than a wafer. How would that problem be resolved? A side chapel for the Ordinariate parish to reserve the Sacrament?

These are serious questions - I'm not trying to be controversial! I'd be interested to know what others think.

Posted by: Fr James on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 at 9:46am GMT

Ed:

Apparently, your definition of "compromise" is similar to that of the Republican party here in the US: "Give me whatever I want."

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 at 10:15am GMT

“better enable Mr and Mrs Smith, Mr and Mrs Patel, and Mr and Mrs Hussain”

When the CoE also includes single Miss Jones and her 3 children, Mr and Mr Davies, and Mrs and Mrs Williams as equal partners in these conversations it might even no longer be considered as a sub-rational force in society that has to be contained.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 at 10:53am GMT

Bravo, Mr Fittall! Surely as Christians we should try to walk the extra mile with our brothers and sisters in Christ with whom we disagree. But when they choose to journey apart from us, let us bless them on their way and give them a present for the journey!

Posted by: Joc Sanders on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 at 11:27am GMT

As we discovered in 1992/4 congregations, led to Rome by clergy zealous for their own 'reading of the runes', if allowed to stay in their own buildings soon return to the Church of England when the dynamic of the RCC church takes over i.e. priest moves on, new priest arrives, 'changes' are introduced and/or a new vicar arrives who is not fixated upon 'that' issue.

I was musing (after this mornings protestant service for the departed which we call a Requiem) on the numbers of clergy who I knew then - how long they were in orders when they rattled their sabres about women's ordination, how long they remained in the RCC as communicants and how many churches (like my own) whose mission and ministry were seriously compromised by the obsessions of the early 90's have had a long haul back.

Finally I can't help wondering how even when the categories used in the debate about authority and hermeneutics should have moved on, simply (it seems) because of internal RCC dynamics, we are reduced to hearing the arguments reappear with an 'Alice in Wonderland' like insistence that actually these are 'ancient and yet new'?

Posted by: Mark Osborne on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 at 1:36pm GMT

Imagine a liberal Roman Catholic congregation defecting to Canterbury..would they be allowed to share their building?

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 at 4:59pm GMT

My apologies to Mr Ross: it is "Mr Fittall, secretary general of the General Synod", who seems to have taken leave of his senses! :-0

Well, wait a minute. It IS Mr Ross who writes "Many Anglican churches were originally built centuries ago as places of worship for Catholics": thank you for the agitprop, Voice of the Vatican!

"Tell-A-Lie" wishful-thinking, methinks (still).

Posted by: JCF on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 at 9:13pm GMT

This may be a very American, perhaps even more a very West Coast perspective, but Catholics sharing their buildings with other denominations doesn't seem a bit unusual or difficult to me.

But then the last Catholic Church I attended before joining the Episcopal Church shared their building with a local synagogue.

Posted by: Gene O'Grady on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 at 9:43pm GMT

"how would the Ordinariate priest feel about 'sharing' the same altar?" Fr. James

Interesting. An anecdote from the CofE retreat house where I work as treasurer may illustrate the potential problems. Last week a visiting Mired in Misogyny - sorry, Forward in Faith - priest was not prepared to worship in the cathedral some 50 yards away as it has been tainted by having a female Canon Precentor. He insisted that mass be held in the chapel in the retreat house. Unwittingly, he wore some of the Canon Precentor's vestments when celebrating - I await the breakout of a rash as a result of contact with girl cooties.

Posted by: Laurence on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 at 11:36pm GMT

" All rather embarrassing now that the Pope offers what synod continues to refuse!"

- Ed Tomlinson, on Tuesday -

What the pope is actually offering you, Ed, is the benefit of protection from women clergy - for the time being! There is no guarantee how long that situation will last. The pope certainly is not offering you the fairly comfortable life-style you have enjoyed as an Anglo-Catholic priest in the Church of England. Still, your choice!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Tuesday, 2 November 2010 at 11:47pm GMT

"Imagine a liberal Roman Catholic congregation defecting to Canterbury..would they be allowed to share their building?" -Robert Ian Williams

Wow! I actually find myself in agreement with Mr. Williams; that is a change.

It is also an astute observation on his part.

Posted by: Jerry Hannon on Wednesday, 3 November 2010 at 12:18am GMT

Well, me too, Gene O. Twenty years ago, my TEC parish in Portland, Oregon, shared worship space w/ Roman Catholics . . .

. . . but they were a group of dissident Romans (w/ a canonical, though extra-provincial, priest). NOT sharing our sanctuary w/ dissident Episcopalians who'd gone over to Rome! O_o

Posted by: JCF on Wednesday, 3 November 2010 at 4:13am GMT

"My reading would be that buildings are expensive and that the C of E is trying to save face given that it has treated its Catholic members appallingly."
Ed Tomlinson

Actually, it's the RCC who's engaging in appalling behavior if it doesn't make an effort to find a place of worship for those few who do join the Ordinariate. The CofE is under no obligation whatsoever to help set up the Ordinariates.

Your anger, like that of the handful of TAC members here in the states who've decided to take up the offer, is displaced.

By the way, if in ten year time the RCC were to decide to ordain women as priests, where would you go next?

Posted by: Doug on Wednesday, 3 November 2010 at 1:54pm GMT

'only a wafer'

now there is a thought

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Wednesday, 3 November 2010 at 4:40pm GMT

that our Sacrament is anything more than a wafer.

Surely, 'the sacrament' is an action.

Verb rather than mere noun ...

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Wednesday, 3 November 2010 at 4:42pm GMT

But then the last Catholic Church I attended before joining the Episcopal Church shared their building with a local synagogue.

Posted by: Gene O'Grady on Tuesday, 2 Nov 10.

How wonderful ! It should or could all be like this.

And MCC church soon, perhaps.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Wednesday, 3 November 2010 at 4:50pm GMT

The article in the Telegraph says:

"It emerged last month that an entire parish, St Peter’s in Folkestone, and the Bishop of Fulham, the Rt Rev John Broadhurst, would be among the first to join the ordinariate when it is established."

It's not true that the entire parish wants to move to the ordinariate.

I don't see a problem with sharing churches. Each group would have their own services. No women would share the altar in RC services.

Posted by: Grandmère Mimi on Thursday, 4 November 2010 at 3:44pm GMT

"I don't see a problem with sharing churches. Each group would have their own services. No women would share the altar in RC services."

- Grandmere Mimi -

The only trouble with this sentiment, in England, Mimi, is that the altar would be considered (by F.i.F. people) to have been profaned if, at any time, a woman had had the temerity to 'celebrate Eucharist' at it.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 4 November 2010 at 11:30pm GMT

I know of at least one altar near me which is regularly used - by women Anglican clergy, by Roman Catholic clergy, and by male FiF clergy. Given the use by the second listed, it would be quite hard for the third listed to object.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 4 November 2010 at 11:43pm GMT
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