Thinking Anglicans

Pope: Tuesday

Update
Photos of Rowan Williams and other Anglicans at yesterday’s Westminster Cathedral service can be found here

Press release from Lambeth Palace: Archbishop of Canterbury to attend Pope’s funeral

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has accepted an official invitation to attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II in Rome on Friday. He will be the first serving Archbishop of Canterbury to attend a Pope’s funeral.

An invitation was received through the Papal Nuncio; Dr Williams said he was ‘pleased and honoured’ to accept.

Dr Williams has confirmed that he will be wearing the ring presented to his predecessor, Archbishop Michael Ramsey, by Pope Paul VI.

Dr Williams will travel to Rome on Thursday; he will be accompanied by the Revd Andrew Norman, Archbishop’s Secretary for International and Ecumenical Affairs and by Mr Jeremy Harris, Archbishop’s Secretary for Public Affairs.

The Archbishop will return to the UK on Friday evening.

British Newspapers

Telegraph
Jonathan Petre and Bruce Johnson Rumours sweep Vatican of plot to hide Friday death and Royalty and world’s political elite join river of pilgrims for the final farewell
Christopher Howse Cherie Blair strikes note of formality with lace mantilla

Guardian
another leader The limits of autocracy
Stephen Bates Vatican grottoes to be final resting place of John Paul II
Mark Almond The strange death of Protestant England
Martin Kettle It’s as if the Reformation had never happened

The Times
Andrew Pierce and Ruth Gledhill Prince chose to postpone the wedding after VIPs pulled out to go to Rome
Mary Ann Sieghart The Pope was not pro-life
another leader Time and place

Independent
Peter Popham It was like an antechamber to the afterlife, as if directed by Fellini

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Alan Harrison
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Alan Harrison

I had already read Almond’s piece in the Guardian and had dispatched my e-mail about its inaccuracy to the readers’ editor before seeing today’s TA update. Why are the news media (and professors of modern history) so clueless about religion? Almond attributes to “Paisleyite Protestants” a tenderness towards adultery which I’m sure that they would condemn as woolly-minded liberalism. He also claims that the late Pope would not have blessed Chazza’s nuptials with Camilla, like +Rowan. Last year the Prince of Asturias married the divorced Letizia Ortiz, not with a “blessing after a civil marriage” but with Pontifical Nuptial Mass… Read more »

Graham Kings
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For a trenchant, translated article by Hans Kung in Der Spiegel, before the Pope died, 26 March 2005, see: http://service.spiegel.de/cache/international/spiegel/0,1518,348471,00.html

Rodney McInnes
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Rodney McInnes

I’ll bet the Princess of Asturias’s first marriage had been annulled before his Eminence of Madrid committed matrimony on the heir to Franco’s throne. I don’t think the future Duchess’s has, but maybe I’m wrong about that.

Alan Harrison
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Alan Harrison

Rodney may be right, but I suspect that more probably His Eminence (after consultation with his boss) decided that the civil ceremony under which Dr Ortiz had contracted her first marriage was not holy matrimony in the eyes of the Church.

Mrs P-B’s case is quite interesting. The C of E has no way of granting an ecclesiastical annulment. However, Colonel P-B is, I believe, a Roman Catholic and the first marriage may have taken place in a Roman church. Now, what would be the situation if either Colonel or Mrs P-B acquired a Roman Catholic annulment?

stephen bates
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stephen bates

What a malicious pleasure to see Mr Harrison nodding. Always so keen to lecture us poor journalists on our faults from his lofty perch in that acme of academe, Brunel University, he seems not to have noticed that Parker Bowles does not have a hyphen…Tut,tut: pull your socks up Harrison!

Alan Harrison
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Alan Harrison

I don’t begrudge Stephen Bates his “malicious pleasure” at my aberrant hyphen, although I suspect that in the present context he could learn something about malice from his colleague Polly Toynbee, to whose piece of egregious nastiness about the late Pope you refrain from linking. I also erred in failing to spot that the gallant and unhyphenated officer to whom Mrs P B had previously been married had been kicked upstairs to Brigadier. For the benefit of those ill-attuned to sarcasm, Brunel University, where I work, is a middle-ranking institution which does a great job in helping ordinary kids from… Read more »

stephen bates
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stephen bates

Perhaps Mr Harrison should have spent more time on his research and less in scanning websites for others’ error. Had he spent less time pointing out the mistakes of his evident intellectual inferiors he might perhaps have had more time to spot his own shortcomings. As it happens, I did not like Ms Toynbee’s rant any more than I presume he did. I thought it tasteless, erroneous and bigoted: but then she didn’t seem to like her colleagues’ coverage either. I am not sure what we were supposed to do about it: ignore the events in Rome altogether, or the… Read more »

Alan Harrison
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Alan Harrison

Hmm, I do seem to have rattled Stephen Bates’ cage. I’m pleased that at least I can agree with him about Polly Toynbee’s article. As she attacks a range of targets from the late Pope to Bob Crow, maybe Mr Bates could use his inside knowledge to tell us if there is anyone the woman actually likes! Mr Bates writes, “Perhaps Mr Harrison should have spent more time on his research and less in scanning websites for others’ error.” Err, not quite. Nowhere on this thread have I referred to a website, and no “scanning” was needed. The articles by… Read more »

Andrew Conway
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Andrew Conway

It can’t be easy being the Guardian’s religious affairs editor — like being the chaplain of an Oxbridge college where half the fellows are militant atheists .. I would have expected Stephen Bates to remain tight-lipped about his disagreements with his colleagues (tales out of school and all that ..), so I am surprised and impressed to find him publicly chastising his paper’s best-known columnist for anti-Catholic bigotry. I hope he won’t suffer for his frankness! (Now, if Bishop A attacked the writings of Bishop B as ‘tasteless, erroneous and bigoted’, Mr Bates would doubtless be writing a piece on… Read more »

Alan Harrison
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Alan Harrison

Andrew Conway wrote: “It can’t be easy being the Guardian’s religious affairs editor — like being the chaplain of an Oxbridge college where half the fellows are militant atheists .. “ Glad you’ve joined us, Andrew. This thread was beginning to look very much like Harrison versus Bates. While I don’t always agree with Stephen Bates, I think he makes valiant efforts to dispel the common feeling that the Grauniad “doesn’t do religion very well”. I’m not so sure about “We all know that the Guardian is a left/liberal paper — that is its great strength.” While I’m a cross-grained… Read more »

Andrew Conway
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Andrew Conway

I didn’t know there was a ‘common feeling’ that the Guardian ‘doesn’t do religion very well’. If so, it’s not a feeling I share. I think the Guardian’s religious coverage is very impressive — and I don’t object to pieces like Polly Toynbee’s, because it is clear she is only expressing her own opinion rather than the editorial line of the paper as a whole. But in religion as in other areas, I think the Guardian sometimes tends to over-estimate the popularity of the liberal position. A non-Catholic, reading the Guardian, might well get the impression that the current of… Read more »

Alan Harrison
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Alan Harrison

Andrew Conway wrote: “A non-Catholic, reading the Guardian, might well get the impression that the current of opinion in the Catholic Church was moving strongly in a liberal direction, and was only being held back by a few reactionary cardinals. Whether this is true remains to be seen. But to me it is the classic liberal illusion — believing that all thoughtful and intelligent people must necessarily share your point of view.” I suppose this is part of what I meant by “not doing religion very well”. Another aspect is that I find it really difficult to get from the… Read more »

Robert Sieger
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Robert Sieger

Are there any “pure” English, Scottish and Welsh Roman Catholics who are not converts? It seems to me that the R.C. community in Britain is almost exclusively Irish or of other foreign extraction, and as such of dubious loyalty.