Comments: opinions before Passiontide

If I may suggest to Giles Fraser, that only by "snubbing the Pope" (respectfully) can we ADVANCE ecumenical relationships w/ our separated RC kin.

For too long (since Vat2 at least), Anglicans and RCs have lingered in a state that the late Scott Peck called "False Community."

It's only by definitely BREAKING that False Community, can we *move on* to the real, HARD work of building True Community.

As Anglicans, to do that work, we should expect more anathemas, more encyclicals of "you'll rot in hell" as part of that process...

...it's only AFTER the Vatican turns on its heels and stomps away, that we can make actual progress towards unity.

But only if we're in it for the long haul.

Many would say "Why bother?" However, what would Jesus (have us) do?

Come, Spirit of Reconciliation!

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 8 March 2008 at 6:43pm GMT

Thanks Giles. Catholics never cease to amuse me, they talk about wanting reconciliation and unity, and then when it looks like reconciliation might happen they put up barriers in an attempt to revert progress.

I liked Pete Tobias' piece and contemplate that many of the tensions around Moses and the burning bush would apply to Peter, James and John when they witnessed the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13 or Matthew 9:1-13).

It appears that Christians have forgotten about the voice from the cloud that said it was well pleased with Jesus.

As a result many have failed to link the two events. e.g. Exodus 13:22 "Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people." Nehemiah 9:19 Deuteronomy 1:33 Numbers 14:14 or Isaiah 4:5 "Then the LORD will create over all of Mount Zion and over those who assemble there a cloud of smoke by day and a glow of flaming fire by night; over all the glory will be a canopy."

As Tobias concluded in his article "...we all have a duty to recognise the injustice of slavery and to do whatever is in our power to work for the liberation of those who are enslaved. Any story that has this as its message is worth telling and retelling, no matter how improbable and incredible the means by which the message is imparted."

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Saturday, 8 March 2008 at 8:08pm GMT

Oh I am so looking forward to Archbishop Akinola's take on "human rights" as applied to GLBT people. Not looking forward enough to send them one thin dime, however. And is there a reason they all need their wives present?

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Saturday, 8 March 2008 at 8:32pm GMT

Folk might also be interested in Peter Hitchen's opinion piece in the Mail on Sunday, entitled "Is the Church of England finished? Should it be?"

http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2008/02/is-the-church-o.html

Posted by Margaret at Sunday, 9 March 2008 at 1:07am GMT

Perhaps the high profile presence/attendance of bona fide wives is code for demonstrating good old bona fide traditional heterosexuality - that is, after all, supposed to be the single gold standard for humanity, and used to be presumptively the gold standard in Nature until the facts told us otherwise in so many species we have sort of lost count of that alternative empirical tally.

I would also wonder if the wives were also required code for that special biblical concept which I believe many conservatives believers call, Male Headship. So obedient wives are present to witness as a special sacred audience the superb and lofty abilities of their especially godly bishop husbands.

Just wondering. If these two types of coding are part of the GAFCON business then I hardly think the rest of the planet will draw the proper penal atonement conclusions, or understand the superficial, wondrously, self-importantly nothing but heterosexual gold standard messages, in favor of decoding the real business - male supremacy over/above any and all target people, and special divine authority to be punitive, aggressive role models for all the rest of us?

A worldwide show of ostentatious, fabulous, uncontaminated GAFCON manhood, then? Just as God created that manhood? So much, much, much better than the rest of us, who should be so lucky.

Posted by drdanfee at Sunday, 9 March 2008 at 1:09am GMT

One of the few ecumencal breakthroughs of the century was the emphasis on baptism in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as a sign of unity among Christians of the various communions. How ironic it is that the pope's attempt to retain that shred of commonality has been treated as some sort of Roman despotism.
What we held in common in the past is now so "yesterday."

Posted by rick allen at Sunday, 9 March 2008 at 4:35am GMT

From time to time, it is embarrassing and creepy to see Anglican bishops and archbishops in Rome pretending to be feudal vassals. The time has come to strip the pope and bishops down to deeper fundamentals, and pursue the real oecumene that has already grown on the ground amongst the faithful and others. I do not have much time for the Roman Pope and I admire Giles Frazer; but, living in Turkey - the land of Ecumenical Councils - I admire the Roman Pope for holding on to the accepted common designation of the Holy Trinity.

Posted by Canon Ian Sherwood at Sunday, 9 March 2008 at 7:42am GMT

I don't have a problem with the Holy Trinity, but I am so tired of seeing that this generation has chosen to do in their own right the continuing attempts to culturally genocide the feminine aspects of God.

Lucky for them that Jesus is the complete fulfillment of God and doesn't have a feminine soul mate. At least this way he doesn't have to worry about any of those protective patriarchial traits and manifestations that are meant to be demonstrated on behalf of their matriarchial counterpart.

Nor does he have to worry about convincing any soul (particularly a soul mate) that he recognises that he is meant to have a soul mate, that he has remembered that he has a soul mate, or that he wants to have a soul mate, or acknowledge any vessel containing his soul mate.

Of course, he could be opportunistic like David and hang back to see if the Shekina is in God's good books. If she is, bring her back from wherever she was dumped, if not, leave her there and deny its his responsibility. (2 Samuel 6:6-12) Mind you, I don't see why David was upset to be cast into the wilderness in his end years. He didn't have a problem leaving Michal barren and without a legacy, even though she'd saved his life and been turned into nothing more than a court prostitute by her vengeful father.

How great is men's thanks to each other and how dismissive of the feminine contributions.

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Sunday, 9 March 2008 at 3:01pm GMT

I know of no authorised formularies in the Church of England, Church of Ireland, Church in Wales or Episcopal Church of Scotland which recognises the propriety of Christian Baptism other than by pure flowing water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit/Ghost. Not only does Giles Frazer lack the competence to alter this formula, no baptism so performed is acceptable. The Pope speaks the truth on this and should be heard even in the midst of the adolescence of our present Anglican attitudes

Posted by Michael Thompson at Monday, 10 March 2008 at 8:41am GMT

Ooops. Meant to have my snarky comment about Akinola and huuman rights on the gafcon appeal for cash thread. Where was my brain?

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Monday, 10 March 2008 at 11:51am GMT

Here we have a perfect example of the Pope confirming the brethren, as promised by Our Blessed Lord to ST Peter.

Peter has spoken through Benedict as clearly as he spoke through Leo.

Contrast that with Canterbury, trying to please all sides, and re-invent " authority" with a tin pot covenant.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Monday, 10 March 2008 at 9:23pm GMT

Yeah R.I.W., the Pope's doing a great job here in this part of Ohio (USA), last I heard, seven parishes were closed last year alone, with three parochial schools in my suburb alone. St. Peter's rock is surely coming down hard. Makes you proud.

Makes Lord Beeching seem insignificant in what he did to the British Railways fifty years ago.

Perhaps the RCC can get an emergency loan from Howie and Roberta for their celebate (excuse me, unmarried) guys only divinium mysterium klub.

Posted by choirboyfromhell at Tuesday, 11 March 2008 at 4:11am GMT

"Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer" are not dangerous feminist propaganda, rather theologically faulty modalist propaganda that misses the very basis of Incarnation. The traditional formula defines the hypostases in terms of themselves: God exists in some sense as a result of the relationship between the persons. CRS language defines the Trinity in terms of what it does for us, as though God must be doing something for us in order to have definition. Gee, that's ever so humble of us, to think the Godhead can only be defined in terms of Its relationship to us! God would still BE if He had created nothing, if there was nothing to redeem or sustain. Second, it does to God what the world does to human beings. It defines God not in terms of what He IS, but rather by what He DOES. So, if God's being is defined by what He does, so must our being be defined in the same fashion. Thus, we are valuable, we have definition, because of what we do. So the person with severe CP, or the elderly person, or whatever, doesn't have much value, then, not being able to do much. This opens a very wide door to issues of inherent human value, not to mention justification by works, and a whole lot more. This is not at the basis of CRS language, of course, it's all about making people feel included, but the implications are there, and are disturbing. After all, if the things God does define God, how could we be held to a different definition? Third, it is modalist. Implicit in it is that the Father creates, the Son redeems, and the Spirit sustains. Yet this is not true. God creates, redeems, and sustains. God does not simply wear different masks in His dealings with us. God does not appear as the Spirit, in some sense, when there's a bit of sustaining to be done. Sorry, but this liberal rejects CRS language, not out of any fear or hatred of feminism, but simply because it is severely flawed and distorts some of the basic and most edifying principles of the faith.

Posted by Ford Elms at Tuesday, 18 March 2008 at 2:44pm GMT
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