Comments: Papal visit: Church Times reports

"Religion is not ‘a problem to be solved’, says Benedict"

Yes, but religion UNDER Benedict, IS (and sadly, not only for Roman Catholics---as any person w/ a uterus and/or an LGBT orientation can attest)

Posted by JCF at Friday, 17 September 2010 at 11:30pm BST

Ed Thornton's article contained the following serious glitch. One hopes it will be corrected by the Church Times - before too many people read it and are misled about the mission of Jesus:

'The Rt Revd John Christie, read from the Gospel of St Mark, chapter 10, verses 35-45, which included Christ's declaration that "the Son of Man came NOT TO SERVE but to be served" (my caps)

Was this read from any particular conservative version of the Bible? one wonders!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 17 September 2010 at 11:31pm BST

Authoritarian understandings and presentations of religion are problematic. Especially when backed-up with repression and aggression, as it has been throughout history.

The Churches have a terrible history in this regard.

Individuals struggle to be free to think, live and pray as they need to or wish to. Sometimes peoples or nations also struggle for self-determination.

Both Joseph Ratzinger and Rowan Williams could have used their intelligence and influence to reform their denominations in the light of modern needs and thinking; and new understandings emerging all the time, in all fields of study and endeavour.

Their nerve has failed them.

But for those abused by the Churches, religion is a problem to be survived, if not solved.

Their self-congratulatory tone this week will not help.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Saturday, 18 September 2010 at 12:04am BST

"Both Joseph Ratzinger and Rowan Williams could have used their intelligence and influence to reform their denominations in the light of modern needs and thinking; and new understandings emerging all the time, in all fields of study and endeavour." - Laurence Roberts, on Saturday -

re Rowan Williams: His predecessor did just that, and look where it got us - GAFCON & Lambeth 1.10.

re Pope Benedict: he is a child of the Roman Magisterium. When his predecessor Pope John XXIII actually broke the mould and used his native intelligence and authority to bring about reform of his Church, via Vatican II; his successor, Pope John Paul VI, did actually finally suffer a classic 'failure of Nerve', allowing the Curia to regain the upper hand against the Concilium.

Rowan's 'failure of nerve' might well have been the Jeffrey John debacle; but then he was over-ruled by the Conservative Bishops. Paul VI's was in bowing to Ottiavani and the Curia at Vatican II's Second Phase - Good Pope John's momentum was then, sadly, lost.

The ABC is definitely not Infallible.

The Pope is, but in name only. The Curia rules!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 18 September 2010 at 11:05am BST

Just loved this percope from the report on the Pope's and the ABC's visit to the tomb of St. Edward the Confessor after Solemn Evensong in the Abbey:
"Benedict XVI shook incense towards the tomb of the monarch, who is regarded as a saint by both churches"

It would seem that the ABC also 'shook' incense toward the tomb - whatever that might mean. I do hope the Holy Office does not take that ritual and publish it in their Ritual Notes. Remember, we saw it in the Abbey first!

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Saturday, 18 September 2010 at 11:36am BST

The Rt Revd John Christie, read from the Gospel of St Mark, chapter 10, verses 35-45, which included Christ's declaration that "the Son of Man came NOT TO SERVE but to be served" (my caps)Rev Ron Smith

Well spotted !


This slip seems to me, nicely to demonstrate the way Josef Ratzinger and his hierarchy see the matter. They wish us to serve them. Their expensive hotels show this. Ratzinger apart- yet he is not staying with ordinary UK RC families at all, is he ? This 'serve me' obey me mindset is getting into anglican bishops around the world, too, it seems.

Posted by Laurence Roberts at Saturday, 18 September 2010 at 11:58am BST

Very well put LR>

Posted by bobinswpa at Saturday, 18 September 2010 at 9:35pm BST

Ron, the curia do advise the Pope.. only when the Pope exercises his ministry definitively on faith and morals are they infallible.

Pope's can make pastoral mistakes..or wrong individual ones. Like the Pope who requested the assassination of Elizabeth the first.

The Pope can pick a duff bishop or be lax in his discipline.A Pope, like each one of us, will give account before God.

Catholics do not regard the Pope as some cultists regard their leadership..i.e that he can do no wrong or that he is directly directed by God in every action.


Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Sunday, 19 September 2010 at 7:08am BST

As a convert from the Anglican Church, some thirty years ago. Some of the above comments make me very sad.
I do not decry my former Church, as it taught me a lot, and started my spiritual formation.
I suggest some of the above contributers search their own souls, and take the planks out of their own eyes.

Posted by Tiggy at Sunday, 19 September 2010 at 7:59am BST

As a convert from Roman Catholicism, some thirty-three years ago, the arrogance of most of the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church -- but thankfully not from most of those down in the proverbial trenches, actually doing the good work of the Lord -- nauseates me.

Moreover, the mote/eye analogy plays in both directions, Tiggy.

And, like you, my foundation in my former church -- which established my faith, which was then strengthened and nurtured by the Episcopal Church -- was the beginning of my spiritual formation.

Posted by Jerry Hannon at Sunday, 19 September 2010 at 10:01pm BST

As you asked nicely Tiggy, I will take that under advisement.

Blessings on your journey, AND your church. May we both find unity in Christ, in God's Time.

Posted by JCF at Monday, 20 September 2010 at 12:03am BST

Fr Smith,
The quote from the Gospel of Mark has been corrected on the Church Times website. It wasn't an attempt to mislead people about the mission of Jesus, just an error made while writing in a hurry to file copy after the service. Thanks for pointing it out!
Ed

Posted by Ed Thornton at Wednesday, 22 September 2010 at 3:55pm BST
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