Comments: weekend columns

"Archbishop Desmond Tutu preached about inclusion here at Calvary Church recently. Bishop Duncan squirmed through the sermon with a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp." Giles Fraser

Oh my, but he wasn't making faces just for Bishop Tutu's speech...the "scrunched-up, turned-down, wiggle wiggle and twitch" is because that's how he looks/acts normally when "recognizing" ANYTHING he's not in CONTROL of...that would be, most EVERYTHING at TEC, Thanks Be To God!

Posted by Leonardo Ricardo at Saturday, 24 November 2007 at 7:53pm GMT

"All the world's religions have dangerous and arrogant people who think they are the only ones with the truth."-Giles Fraser

That about sums it up.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Saturday, 24 November 2007 at 8:11pm GMT

'All the world’s religions have dangerous and arrogant people who think they are the only ones with the truth. Anglicanism has generally had a more modest and generous view, allowing various viewpoints to co-exist. But these new puritans have taken advantage of Anglican theological hospitality to mount a raid on the soul of the Church. They want to close down the very openness that allowed them space to flourish in the beginning.'

I hope Giles will utter these words to his various friends who would abolish the Act of Synod and allow no room for conscience in the matter of women bishops in the CofE!

Posted by Neil at Saturday, 24 November 2007 at 8:30pm GMT

I wish Giles Fraser wouldn't beat about the bush and instead could say things more clearly...

My weak attempt to be funny. It's actually a classic by Giles Fraser: well put and straight to the point, especially the remarks about the bishop and not being one in the Episcopal Church for very much longer.

Posted by Pluralist at Saturday, 24 November 2007 at 8:58pm GMT

On an entirely unrelated matter, I see from yesterday's Guardian that everyone's favourite ex-religious reporter, the scrumptious Stephen Bates, has filed a report on the 2007 London Sex Expo. This can, I think, only be viewed as a promotion. Congratulations, Stephen.

Posted by MRG at Sunday, 25 November 2007 at 1:15am GMT

Is the Christian tradition in good shape? Yes. It has weathered successfully the onslaught of eighteenth century scepticism and nineteenth century materialism and can present itself with intellectual candour and integrity in the public forum. Its spiritual traditions remain accessible and widely practiced. Its doctrines have found credible, modern expression. Its basic ethical values are widely recognized, and the world feels more and more how much they are needed.

The reactionary movements within Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism and the virulent fundamentalism in other quarters are deconstructing themselves and reminding people of how precious the hard-won biblical common sense of the mainstream, of the ecumenical movement, and of Vatican II was and is.

Christianity enters its third millennium as a purified and dialogal religion, one that will bring Christ's light and help to humankind more effectively in this millennium than in the previous one.

Posted by Joseph O'Leary at Sunday, 25 November 2007 at 5:39am GMT

Oh God, not another retired bishop? Or are they going to defrock this one.

Have to admit I love dogs, and some dogs faces are just plain ugly, but you love them anyway. I had a boxer a few years ago that we needed to keep anti-histamines on hand as he was allergic to bee and wasp sting and would break out in lumps all over his body. Poor thing. Beautiful temperament though, he was friendly to all who visited us and never bit a human. Although there was one bad scene in a chicken coop with a pack-mate, but that was exacerbated by the defunct chickens' owner playing fetch with a tennis ball - and this dog was a ball junky.

Thanks also to Giles for affirming that aggressively oriented theological colleges with a predatory bent can do a lot of damage. I'm sure there are other examples if souls go looking.

Personally, I think complacent aggressive Christians would still incur Blake's contempt today as they did back then. What was that term Rowland used? "Infatuation with habits of thought" that prevent humans from flourishing. It's not just the secular that need a mirror held up to highlight the blemishes and dark-side - the faiths need a good dollop of truth and light every so often too. Otherwise they just become vain selfish preeners.

Posted by Cheryl Va. Clough at Sunday, 25 November 2007 at 7:17am GMT

Appreciate Giles Fraser's explanation of the role that the "reactionary Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry" has played in the hostile takeover of the Pittsburgh diocese and his apparent view that there is a lesson to be learned on the motives of those behind the ongoing Wycliffe Hall putsch.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Monday, 26 November 2007 at 5:27pm GMT

Some one out there must know where the financial backing for the establishment of the Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry came from. Would be interested in any information that anyone can share. Thanks.

Posted by Lapinbizarre at Monday, 26 November 2007 at 7:57pm GMT

Many years ago when I had a gig at a suburban parish near the capitol city of the state I still live, the Dean of Ambridge came to the wealthy low church establishment and did a shake down. This was in the early 1980's and formative years for Trinity. I think this ploy was repeated many times, and they suckered many into their scheme.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Tuesday, 27 November 2007 at 12:15am GMT

As an addendum to the demographics of Western Pennsylvania, there is a town near the intersection of the two main interstate expressways that has two very large and very conservative Presbyterian churches, and a related college that is incredibly right-winged. The denomination of the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church got it's start there breaking away from the powerful Presbyterian presence there. The region was largely settled by the folks that built the railroads there, namely protestant Irish. To say that W. PA. had it's roots as a bastion of Calvinism is an understatement.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Tuesday, 27 November 2007 at 2:21pm GMT
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