Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 23 November 2019

Rosie Harper ViaMedia.News The Challenge of Faith in the Quantum Era

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Using our imagination – What could the Church become?
A Prince and an Abuser

Bosco Peters Liturgy Laying on Hands

Women and the Church The Open Wound of Mutual Flourishing

Two Church Times articles by Madeleine Davies about the Church of England’s Strategic Development Fund
The ‘magic money tree’: SDF, a progress report
“As £136 million is allocated to dioceses for projects designed to turn around numerical decline, Madeleine Davies explores what evaluation is under way”
Revitalising mission — but at what cost?
“In the second part of a series on SDF funding, Madeleine Davies looks at the impact of resource churches”

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Susannah Clark
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Susannah Clark

Really interesting article about Gabby Thomas’s findings and suggestions: the challenge of ‘mutual flourishing’ becoming a sharing of friendship, rather than a buffering into separate camps. These are really tricky issues, but it seems obvious that we should be praying for one another, even with our differing views; we should be challenging ourselves to seek grace in our relationships with people that we disagree with; that we should constructively try to share life and callings together as individuals and diverse church communities. In short, ‘mutual flourishing’ is not just legalese for balkanising the Church into different enclaves, but extends beyond… Read more »

Jill Armstead
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Jill Armstead

As an orthodox traditional Catholic Anglican, I cannot accept the sacramental ministry of women, but I don’t object to the ministry of women in the Church of England. If I did I would have to leave. We tend to keep to our own rather rather than get involved in arguments, often from lay people, about equality, bigotry, misogyny and so on – so much ignorance out there! I have heard third-hand offensive stuff, but most women priests in my experience are extremely nice people and accept our differences with good grace. I think Women and the Church would like to… Read more »

Kate
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Kate

Actually, if we are being strictly Biblical, if a priest lies with a menstruating woman (including his wife) he will be unclean and unfit for sacramental ministry for s week. As unfit as any woman. If I still believed that women cannot be ordained then personally I also couldn’t accept the ministry of a male priest if he was married.

Kieran
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Kieran

“As an orthodox traditional Catholic Anglican…” I gladly accept the sacramental ministry of all priests. What perplexes me is the suggestion that it is somehow not orthodox, traditional, Catholic, or Anglican to accept that priests can be women and men (and possibly people who identify in more complex ways) whose calling has been tested and affirmed by the Church.

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

What would swing it for me, if it needed swinging, is the (extremely remote) possibility that a male priest might think he was male and look externally male, yet have or not have other bits and pieces that meant he was intersex. Or the fact that penile congenital anomalies such as hypospadias (surprisingly common) are in a sense a reversion towards the basic female state (some people do this to themselves – there are websites, though NSFW – you see everything when you’ve worked in A&E departments). Bishops Advisory Panels – could deal with that one with a pants down… Read more »

Cynthia Katsarelis
Guest

“Mutual flourishing” is simply a concept that can’t really support mutual flourishing. It means that women and girls, clergy and lay, are still exposed to the message that they/we are inherently less than, and that undermines our very being. It allows for discrimination based on our inherent being. Basically, it demands that women suck it up and demands little of the misogynists. The amount of hate mail and bad experiences that clergywomen are experiencing, from other clergy, speaks volumes; it certainly illustrates bad faith on the part of many from the old status quo. Inherent is the problem that CoE… Read more »

Charles Read
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Charles Read

In the C of E, cases of abuse levelled at female clergy ought helpfully to be notified to WATCH, which is the only body really monitoring this . There is a sense in many places that now we ordain women as bishops everything is ok on the gender front. It isn’t.

Rod Gillis
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Rod Gillis

Rosie Harper writes, “When something goes viral [it touches] people’s hearts more than their reason. … elusive truth now resides in emotion not fact… life on the internet is egalitarian – the powerless can feel empowered.” Seriously? The author may wish to read Sacha Baron Cohen’s blistering criticism of Facebook and other internet platforms in his address to the Anti-Defamation League. See yesterday’s online Guardian or the ADL website (link).

https://www.adl.org/news/article/sacha-baron-cohens-keynote-address-at-adls-2019-never-is-now-summit-on-anti-semitism

Charles Clapham
Guest

Thank you Rod. Great piece by Sacha Baron Cohen!

Father Ron Smith
Guest

I am doihg my best to interpret Bosco’s piece. What point is it trying to make? I have a problem mixing and matching Twitter with blog content.

Richard
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Richard

It seems to me that Peter Carrell asked Bosco (via Twitter, but really of no importance) if laying on of hands is ever appropriate outside of Ordination or Confirmation. The question could as easily have been posed in a handwritten letter delivered by a messenger. I like Bosco’s response that laying on of hands is a time-honored tradition that was used before we began ordaining and confirming. I think that touch can be a valid expression in our liturgy, like sight, hearing, speech and smell.

Simon Dawson
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Simon Dawson

I liked Bosco’s piece, coming to it as a nurse, not an ordained minister. I have long been aware of the origins of nursing within traditions of healing by monks and especially nuns. I have also long been aware that one of the delights of my profession is the way that we are authorised – even expected – to use touch as part of our work. In these days when physical intimacy and touch is often suspect and risky, for a nurse to be authorised to touch other people, for therapeutic reasons, or simply to offer emotional support, is a… Read more »

Kurt Hill
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Kurt Hill

I think Father Bosco makes a lot of sense.

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Apologies to you, Bosco. I was confused by all the ads that interspersed with your article. (Did they come with the article? Or is it just my computer. I wonder?). In any event, I have re-read the article and agree with its content. We use the ‘Laying on of hands’ and Anointing at SMAA, here in Christchurch (Bosco’s home city) and are careful about whose head we lay hands upon, bearing in mind the Pacific Islanders’ problem with touching the head. At a recent wedding in our church, a visiting bishop anointed the newly-married couple! How’s that for sacramental enablement?

Richard
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Richard

Many years ago, I attended a weekday Eucharist where a lay member of the congregation gave the homily. The congregation was seated in a semicircle of chairs near the altar. As she began her homily, she asked that everyone join hands with the person seated to their left and right… and to remain joined for the duration of her (five-minute) homily. It sounded a bit weird at first, but after two or three minutes the effect was wonderful.

Interested Observer
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Interested Observer

I usually enjoy Rosie Harper’s columns. But I can’t help thinking that it doesn’t say good things about Anglican philosophy that she talking about “mov[ing] into the Quantum Era”, as though it’s a new thing. Quantum mechanics has strong roots in the 19th century, formed a core part of Einstein’s annus mirabilis 114 years ago and has been the standard model for physics since the 1930s. Rosie writes like it’s something new: the transistor radio, to take one of the more obvious products of quantum mechanics, is surely not something the CofE is still agonising over?

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

IO asks if the CofE is agonising over something from the 1930s. No surprise if so. Much of the churches’ (not just CofE) attitude to male masturbation and – still – birth control is stuck 2.5K years ago in ignorance of the reality of semen, and the maternal role. Aristotle was a great guy and all, but he wasn’t quite right about that. Hindus in 7th century BC knew better. That’s the trouble with Christians – they won’t learn from others.

And – pedant alert – a quantum is the smallest possible amount that makes a dfference. It’s tiny, not huge.

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Stanley, check out the article linked in my previous post, author Michael Fuller. I’d be interested in your views on the same.

Stanley Monkhouse
Guest

I’m not a philosopher of science, so I don’t really know what to make of he Fuller article. I have some understanding of Popper, but I don’t find it altogether convincing. There are other philosophers of science like Imre Lakatos and Paul Feyerabend who on my superficial reading appeal more. It is easy to for theology to engage with chemistry, physics, cosmology and the like. These topics are concerned with ideas, concepts, theories, rather than things you can touch or hold. For example, nobody has seen an electron. Newtonian physics gets us to and from neighbouring planets, but doesn’t work… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Thanks for the rejoinder Stanley. I see incarnation as The Divine in solidarity with the human condition in all its messines. Beyond a beautiful Caravaggio painting of the crucifixion is the stark reality— nakedness, blood, excrement and brutality. The story of the virgin birth, for example, is in a section of the Gospel that is clearly constructed as mythology. Why can’t we except it as a story without trying to rationalize it in a way that is at odds with what we know about procreation and offspring? The ancients of the biblical world may have been comfortable messy biological reality.… Read more »

Rod Gillis
Guest
Rod Gillis

Ah, for the days of my youth when I could tune in to big American NYC a.m. stations on my transistor, fading in and out on bounce. Now, radio from just about anywhere is available with a few key taps ( or via satellite). I don’t disagree with Canon Rosie Harper’s thesis about failed communication; but the matter is one of some complexity. I’ve attached a link to an article from Thinking Faith titled, Theology and Science: Flashpoints. (author Dr. Michael Fuller is Anglican). There are embedded links to the others in the series, all courtesy of a Jesuit brain… Read more »

James Byron
Guest
James Byron

“… the transistor radio, to take one of the more obvious products of quantum mechanics, is surely not something the CofE is still agonising over?”

Transistors? Don’t be absurd: it’s still waiting on the Tenth Tubes Commission to report back.

David Rowett
Guest
David Rowett

Talk of the quantum universe leaves me feeling as thick as two short Plancks…… Some people will go to any lengths (probably 10x-32)

Apologies, it’s been a long day.

Kennedy Fraser
Guest
Kennedy Fraser

>> it’s still waiting on the Tenth Tubes Commission to report back.

Surely the correct term (according the teaching on the Triode from the Pentode as found in the BCP) is the Valve Commission.

jpm
Guest
jpm