Saturday, 22 January 2011


Jane Williams continues her Comment is free belief series: The Book of Genesis, part 6: Patriarchs and others. “What is to be made, theologically, of the unabashedly male-dominated, hierarchical world of Genesis?”

Derek Olsen writes a three-part article for Episcopal Café about Communion without Baptism.
Part I Part II Part III

Giles Fraser writes in the Church Times about Seeking out unity in the wilderness

Baroness Warsi delivered a lecture about Islamophobia on Thursday this week: University of Leicester Sir Sigmund Sternberg lecture. The Guardian has published these three responses to the lecture.

Giles Fraser: Islamophobia is the moral blind spot of modern Britain
Andrew Brown: Lady Warsi and the concept of extremism
Ghaffar Hussain: Lady Warsi is right to confront anti-Muslim prejudice

At the beginning of her lecture Lady Warsi refers to an earlier speech to the College of Bishops; we linked to that here.

Ralph McMichael writes for The Living Church about God’s Mission is the Eucharist.

Posted by Peter Owen on Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 11:00am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Opinion

"Unity for the Roman Church seems to be on her terms, and hers alone."

Yes, Giles...and when hasn't this been the case?

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 11:57am GMT

Giles Fraser preaching at Westminster Cathedral is as ill suited and judged as Ian Paisley preaching at St Peters in Rome.

Christian unity indeed! What a farrago of nonsense this has become.

Posted by: Robert Ian Williams on Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 2:24pm GMT

Yes, RIW, because heaven forfend a Roman Catholic should hear something that didn't originate in the Vatican.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 4:46pm GMT

The speech by Baroness Warsi has provoked a lot of criticism, not least in the Telegraph. But two people have also written in support of her at the Telegraph:

George Pitcher

Peter Oborne

I also wish to express my support for her.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 22 January 2011 at 11:49pm GMT

Ian Paisley would never be invited to preach at St. Peter's. Giles Fraser was obviously invited to Westminster Cathedral. Such ecumenical gestures are still an important witness.

Posted by: Old Father William on Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 12:13am GMT

Mrs Williams' piece strangely accepts the definitely late Modern Heresy (post 1955) that the Sodom story (sexualised by the philosophers of Alexandria, as DS Bailey showed) is about rape. No it isn't! It is about the Command to Hospitality, essential to pre Modern Societies.

And incidentally, Lots permission makes the (hinted at) rape of his daughters Permitted!!! cf Gen 12:14ff, Gen 20:2ff, 26:7ff and contrast alias John 8:1-11 (originally Luke 21:39ff), where it is not permitted.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 7:43am GMT

Well said, Simon.
I also support everything she says.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 9:06am GMT

"Christian unity indeed! What a farrago of nonsense this has become." - Robert I.Williams -

Yes, Robert! And while you continue your raging like this on the web, there will be no prospect of ever fulfilling the prayer of Christ: "That all may be one". If you think you've done your bit towards it by jumping the Tiber, think again. Your rhetoric does nothing for the ecumene. Your longing for your own 'safety' from perdition has soured your outlook on the task of ecumenism.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 9:31am GMT

The patriarchy of Genesis is no more obnoxious than that of the Iliad, the Odyssey or the Aeneid, or of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. I taught it as literature last year and found it not only a great, gigantic work, but one pervaded by the deepest humanity throughout I simply skipped the Sodom story, which clearly embarrassed the redactors themselves, for they invent a wonderful dialogue between Abraham and God where God agrees to spare Sodom if a handful of righteous can be found; I also skipped Dinah. In the rest of the book there is almost no violence, in contrast to Joshua, Judges, 1-2 Samuel. Israel was not then a warlike nation. Within the patriarchal framework one meets magnificent, characterful, lovable women Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and there is a tender compassion for the mistreated or abandoned ones Hagar Leah etc. The forgiveness between brothers (Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers) is given climactic emphasis and still spells a lesson for humanity today.

Posted by: Spirit of Vatican II on Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 10:44am GMT

Christ's prayer has been answered and the Church is one under the successor of Peter.Have you not read the Pope's Encyclical where he affirms this...the Church is one..but sadly because of unfaithful Catholics like Luther, Calvin , Cranmer etc Christian people are divided..and there were faults ( non theological though) on our part as well.

Posted by: Robert ian Williams on Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 7:58pm GMT

RIW 'Christ's prayer has been answered and the Church is one under the successor of Peter.'

Blimey? And what do the Orthodox Patriarchs have to say about THAT one???

Glad to hear that Rome is without theological blemish, though. Only leaves moral, philosophical, sociological, anthropological.........

Oh! Am I right in thinking that Aquinas was agin the Immaculate Conception btw? Just checking whether he was a good catholic, or whether he was theologically in error.... You know how it is, church history is SO inconvenient.

Posted by: david rowett on Sunday, 23 January 2011 at 11:04pm GMT

R. I. Williams, please understand that Catholic theologians today respect the great theological wisdom of Luther and Calvin; and ecumenical catholics who are fighting to overcome sectarian reflexes love and respect the Lutheran and Calvinist churches, so we are united with them at the very deep level of love and shared mutually enlightening faith in Jesus; in this sense Christ's prayer (Jn 17) is indeed being answered -- and this sense may be enough. Unity need not mean bureaucratic uniformity.

Posted by: Spirit of Vatican II on Monday, 24 January 2011 at 1:24pm GMT

Unfortunately, in her unsuccessful 2005 bid to be elected to Parliament, Warsi published alarmist anti-gay statements (in leaflet form) which would be illegal today.

Imagine my reluctance to be lectured at and chivvied by her. She has done nothing for the standing of Islam in Britain.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Monday, 24 January 2011 at 8:33pm GMT

The Church *is* one - there is only one Christ, we are all called to Him. It's only the people like popes and preachers who make money off the illusion of "many churches" who make the illusory difference.

All this nonsense about ecclesial law prohibiting one or another - even worse that such law is *FROM GOD* - is a blight on the Faith.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Tuesday, 25 January 2011 at 6:40am GMT

'Christ's prayer has been answered and the Church is one under the successor of Peter.Have you not read the Pope's Encyclical where he affirms this...the Church is one,' - Robert I Williams -

Robert, throughout much of the history of Christianity we have been deluged with a great deal of Papal Bull - most of which has not even survived the ground is was emptied out on to. What really does provide the only effective nurturing of the soul is that which comes from God in Chris, not the Pope, not the magisterium, but from the Body of Christ Himself in the Eucharist. It cannot be ground-fenced or bartered with, and is only available through submission of the individual soul to God - the only Mediator being the Word who was made flesh and dwelt among us - the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth - not the Pope. He is merely a servant of the servants of God - by his own admission. "He who has ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church."

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 29 January 2011 at 10:20am GMT
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