Saturday, 4 December 2010


Bishop Andrew Burnham gave this homily at St John the Evangelist, New Hinksey, Oxford, at a Solemn Mass of St Andrew on Saturday 27 November 2010: Bishop Andrew Burnham’s Final Sermon as Bishop of Ebbsfleet.
Damian Thompson reprinted the sermon in The Telegraph: Anglican bishop lays his mitre and crozier at the feet of Our Lady as he leaves for Rome.

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about Colin Slee, fighter, RIP.

Christopher Howse in The Telegraph writes that There’s no shame in not wearing a cross. “Christianity’s trappings require no special pleading,” he suggests.
He also writes about A hatred of Turks, Jews and papists. “Luther thought he had a sound reason for his strong antipathies.”

Adam Thomas writes for the Daily Episcopalian about The pews in the north transept: a remembrance.

David Bryant writes in The Guardian about The loose ends of justice. “Meeting a murderer and rapist on a prison visit reinforced my need to believe in life after death.”

Dame Mary Tanner preached at the inaugural eucharist for the General Synod in Westminster Abbey last week. The text of her sermon is now available, courtesy of Alastair Cutting.

This week’s The Question at Comment is free belief is How should Christians think about sex? There are answers from Steve Tomkins, Roz Kaveney and John Richardson

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 4 December 2010 at 10:38am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

I certainly didn't notice anyone wearing a 'not ashamed' t-shirt. But then it was rather cold. Perhaps they were all under their overcoats?

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Saturday, 4 December 2010 at 12:43pm GMT

When can be finally take leave of the endless reports of Anglican bishops leaving for Rome? Their statements, sermons, and activities have been so over-reported that one would think that we were reliving the Reformation in reverse. I am tired of their self-serving prattle and what seems to be the uncritical and often far too admiring reports in the church and secular press. Their meanness and narrow-mindedness, along with the self centered behaviour and sense of entitlement we see on display say nothing good about them or the Church they are so anxious to join. We seem to have ceased saying anything critical about the Roman Church and are being led to think that they have the momentum and these bishops are principled visionaries. The Papal visit certainly achieved its objective if we are now afraid to point out the problems of Rome and the real reasons why these "men" have left-to express their revulsion re. the ministry of women (gay issues are not so prominent, which speaks volumes) and their desire not to deal with anyone unlike themselves. Can we please move on?

Posted by: Adam Armstrong on Saturday, 4 December 2010 at 4:02pm GMT

Thank you, Simon, for the link to Christopher Howse's column about Martin Luther's hatred of "Turks, Jews, and papists". As a young Jew attending religious school, I once had a chance to read some of Luther's thoughts about the Jews, and they were blood-curdling.
And Mr. Howse should be praised for stating "On to its personalised hatred we cannot help projecting the unspeakable treatment of the Jews by Germans in the 20th century." Bravo! I think a strong case can be made that the Nazi persecution and execution of Jews are a direct consequence of centuries of virulent religious anti-Semitism., including Luther’s
I especially like Mr. Howse's final comment: "The strength of his [Luther’s] conviction that he had found forgiveness through faith made him a good hater."
I believe people can be given a revelation, what I call The Truth (64-pt font, Gothic Bold). That Truth absolutely and profoundly transforms these people, and so infuses them with new insights, that they want to share it with others. So far, so good.
But then, the Truth that has been revealed to them becomes The Only Truth. Period. For themselves and for all others. And when those others reject that Truth, these people feel compelled to force those others to accept it, or they reject the others. Utterly and completely. “Convert or die.” Either because they feel that "God is on their side” and the others have rejected God, or because the others' rejection is perceived as a rejection of themselves.
My understanding is that Martin Luther preached his new revelation, his new Truth, to the Jews. When the Jews were unimpressed, Martin Luther violently rejected them in numerous written works. With dire consequences many centuries later.

Posted by: peterpi on Saturday, 4 December 2010 at 5:05pm GMT

David Bryant's piece was very good. Belief in 'life-after-death' (or something - doesn't much matter which permutation) is absolutely necessary for anyone who asserts God's justice, or even anyone who believes in justice as some sort of absolute. Funny how often this point eludes allegedly sophisticated people. Doesn't make it true, of course, but it is logically necessary.

Posted by: john on Saturday, 4 December 2010 at 6:52pm GMT

". But I shall always remember my wife, Cathy, telling the students at St Stephen’s House on the Leavers’ Course, that it is vital to leave properly, to say your goodbyes, and move on"

- Bishop Andrew Burnham - retirement sermon -

If only the ACNA prelates and clergy could hear this call of the wife of a future Catholic priest - to leave the furniture and fittings behind now that they have departed TEC and the A.C.of C., there be be fewer rich lawyers, less heartache and more good will in the respective churches that share/have shared their ministries in the USA and Canada.

Departing clergy from the C.of E. who move into the 'Ordinariates' should note their need to be 're-ordained' into the catholic priesthood - and not merely 'conditionally'. That should make some of them who value their heritage in the catholicity of the Church of England, and who have rejoiced in their present ministry therein, pause and think just what they are accomplishing by their move. Are they renouncing their present share in the catholicity of the Church universal?

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 4 December 2010 at 11:49pm GMT

"Protestantism has escaped from much of the sex phobia of Catholicism, but not from the obsessive policing of private relationships, and putting sexual rules at the centre of right living."

- Steve Tomkins - Guardian C.i.F. -

Sterve Tomkins' take on "How should Christians thing about sex?" seems very apposite - in some ways, except that Protestants are more likely to use the Bible as proscriptive of any sort of sexual activity outside of the marriage of a man and a woman. The Pope would probably agree with them on this one, but probably would not exclude the 'Song of Songs' from the mix of God's provision of sexual appetite.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 5 December 2010 at 12:05am GMT

Is he Mr Burnham now?

This is quite confusing .....

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Sunday, 5 December 2010 at 12:24pm GMT

Christopher Howse has a sane attitude towards Lord Carey's apparently reflexive and repeated cry of "Church in Danger!" Here in the states this is manifested in letters to the editor and editorials decrying the 'war on Christmas,' as exemplified by store clerks saying 'Happy Holidays' rather than 'Merry Christmas,' and battles over creche scenes on public property. If these folks would devote the same energy to helping their neighbors who are cold, or hungry, or homeles, or all three ... well it would be nice, wouldn't it?

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Sunday, 5 December 2010 at 1:30pm GMT

I don't think so. He has, it seems, resigned his see (wef the end of the month?) but not his orders. Thus, from an Anglican perspective, he remains a bishop indefinitely.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 5 December 2010 at 3:55pm GMT

To add to Simon's comment above the resignation is wef the end of this month. There is a notice in this week's church press from the Archbishops' Secretary for Appointments stating, "Following the announcement of the resignations of The Rt Revd Andrew Burnham and The Rt Revd Keith Newton, the Sees of Ebbsfleet and Richborough will fall vacant on the 31st December."

The notice goes on to invite people to comment on the needs of the role and to propose candidates.

Posted by: Peter Owen on Sunday, 5 December 2010 at 4:31pm GMT

So there is. More precisely it says that (excuse the caps, but I'm just cutting and pasting from the advert):

Any person wishing to comment on the needs of the role or who wishes to propose candidates, should write by the 31st December to: CAROLINE BODDINGTON, ARCHBISHOPS’ SECRETARY FOR APPOINTMENTS THE WASH HOUSE, LAMBETH PALACE, LONDON SE1 7JU

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 5 December 2010 at 4:53pm GMT

Is that a 'White' WASH, or just the common or garden Laundry, I wonder. Such purification as makes one wonder what the bishop's role is now becoming.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 5 December 2010 at 9:57pm GMT

Perhaps catholic traditionalists (ie, those who reject the bizarre innovation of "flying" bishops) should write saying that there is no need at all to restaff these positions which should never have been created in the first place.

Posted by: Malcolm+ on Tuesday, 7 December 2010 at 3:18am GMT

Well, these people took a good forty years to finally go to Rome, all the while threatening "I'll leave! I really will!"

Now, it's going to be *years* of melodrama:

"You'll ALL be sorry!"

"I'm so much happier now, so I'll keep coming back to tell you how much happier I am! That's not because I'm not happy unless you're unhappy, but because I'm just . . . sooooo happy."

"I'm sacrificing everything, but just so long as *you're* happy."

"STILL HAPPY! Why haven't you noticed how happy I am?! Why are you happy?!"

They keep getting coverage because you keep saying they're news. They're not. They're gone. That's all.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Tuesday, 7 December 2010 at 5:10am GMT

What Malcolm+ said (ditto MarkBrunson) -- surely the Achilles Heel of Anglo-Papalism has always been uncertainty of its own legitimacy.

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Tuesday, 7 December 2010 at 2:26pm GMT

Let's try to ignore the CofE drama queens, and wish those departing the same blessings which God has bestowed on those of us who took the trip across the Tiber - in the opposite direction - many years ago.

As a London colleague of mine once said,"there are horses for courses," only in this case it seems to be the reverse of that.

But, please, go quickly, and remember that you will be welcomed home.

Posted by: Jerry Hannon on Wednesday, 8 December 2010 at 12:00am GMT
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