on Saturday, 7 March 2020 at 11.00 am by Peter Owen
categorised as Opinion
Rosie Harper ViaMedia.News The Whitewashing of Spiritual Leaders – Is Vanier Like Weinstein?
Jeffrey John St Albans Review Loving and remembering
Nick Bundock ViaMedia.News Uganda’s Unholy Trinity & the Forgotten Martyrs
I am very impressed by the Jeffrey John piece although I suspect it will be too esoteric for some to appreciate.
Thank you Jeffrey for the message from our Creator God. On we all need to remember, and live by. We priests need to teach this message by the sick bed, and at a funeral. Rather than some of the rubbish we hear at times. God Bless you Jeffrey.
Fr John Emlyn
Kate’s comment puts me in mind of a story concerning Pope John XXIII. He was about to give the Host to a child with a disability (I can’t remember what) and was chided by a pompous flunkey that the child wouldn’t know what s/he was receiving. So Il Papa asked the child and received the answer “the body of Christ”. The great man turned to the flunkey and said something to the effect that the child knew well enough. I am a bear of shrinking brain, but JJ’s piece gave me something to ponder and digest, and reminds me that… Read more »
I just love that hymn and it’s wonderful tune ‘Bangor’ including the ‘door knocker’ notes. Not sung often enough, especially suitable for Maundy Thursday. The attitude that anything written before 1950 cannot be sung denies the rich patrimony of the Church of England and reduces it to the status of a contemporary sect, dependent on superficially charismatic leaders and the infantilisation of its adherents.
I think the ‘1950’ deadline misguidedly refers to hymns. One assumes that the recently-ordained presbyter knows that the Creed and Gloria in Excelsis pre-date 1950, but perhaps they are not sung in his particular church tradition.
Stan, watching Songs of Praise yesterday with my elderly mother I was struck by how much of the modern hymnody is doggerel verse. We had some dreary crooning that Jesus’ name is a powerful name repeated endlessly by a young lady who was clearly in a state of rapture; not justified I felt by the lyrics much less the tune. And in response to Jeffrey’s wonderful piece: I am struck by how much my mother has become invisible in church now that she has dementia. Some smile benevolently but most ignore her; even in the midst of her confusion she… Read more »
Dean thanks. In her novel “A passionate man” Joanna Trollope has a character describe the modern church as being little more than doggerel hymns and playschool prayers. In many churches the general atmosphere seems to be one of infantilisation. Whether this results from the lack of spiritual maturity and groundedness in what was once called the prayer book tradition is a matter of opinion. But I know what I think. The demise of traditional hymns and music in ordinary churches is multifactorial in terms of church, music education, and society. But it’s the ideological political posturing of those who like… Read more »
Perhaps Canon Rosie Harper’s frustration with the C of E to which she belongs accounts for her somewhat potpourri treatment of her subject matter. “We still resist truly independent scrutiny. L’Arche, to their credit, did not mark their own homework.” Bit of an understatement. Canon Harper’s comments are best evaluated by reading the summary report (link) from L’arche on the Vanier matter. One hopes that Vanier’s abusive behavior will not create a second wave of victims by jeopardizing the future of disabled members of L’Arche communities. There is more at stake than reputation. Note the following from an Anglican Journal… Read more »
Thank you, Rosie Harper, for articulating why I feel uncomfortable at so much of the reaction to the revelations about Jean Vanier. And appalled at the lack of any comment at all from +Justin, who so recently extoled his virtues.
I found The Rev Dr Bundock’s article informative, moving, and disturbing. What is happening to GLBT people in Uganda is tragic and frightening and an example of what some American conservative Christians would do in the USA if they could. But, I have no idea what native Ugandan society’s attitudes towards homosexuality was like before European colonization, and I have to wonder whether, besides the usual hypocrisy/inflexibility/sanctimony around issues of sex and (Western?) religion, there is also a feeling on the part of all areas of the Ugandan establishment of “You imposed a certain attitude towards homosexuality on us, we… Read more »
My daughter has lived and worked in a deeply deprived neighbourhood of a Ugandan town for the past 6 years, and sends back pitiful weekly prayer requests concerning, in particular, gravely malnourished infants and babies, mothers who have been abandoned, pregnant young teenagers, and the problems when people try to ‘escape’ the hardship of their lives through alcoholism. She does this in the context of her Christian faith, and I know that she finds that a platform of Christianity can offer a place of acceptance where very deprived people can try to find starting points, dignity, value and hope. But… Read more »
Your daughter, and others like her, are practicing Jesus of Nazareth’s command in Matthew 25:34-40.
People like your daughter are not who I’m concerned about.
Peter, you are right that Nick Bundock’s article on LGBT+ Christians and their fate is moving and disturbing, but it seems that in the realpolitic of Anglican Communion relationships these people are to be thrown under a bus in order to keep the senior hierarchy onside. Reference your comment “I have no idea what native Ugandan society’s attitudes towards homosexuality was like before European colonization”, I think you are quite close to the mark in your analysis. People have been studying the history of gay spirituality (to use its traditional title) for over 100 years now. And there is a… Read more »
Continued from Previous Similarly I suspect that the story of the Ugandan king and his “courtiers” is a distorted story from a culture where a king would have his group of page boys, and sexual relationship between the king and the boys would be accepted and seen as a normal part of the of the military culture of the time, and fealty and homage to the king. Sadly, as Christianity spread across the world it found all these examples of a positive sexual culture that clashed with Christian negativity towards sex in general and homosexuality in particular. And so it… Read more »
Simon, Thank you for your comments. Regarding Native American peoples of either continent, I have also read reports of cross-dressing peoples in North American tribes being accepted with some tribes accepting those people as spiritual leaders, but several US-based Native American tribes say that’s too simple an explanation of the wide variety of tribes with a wide variety of cultures, and some tribes resent what they see as “cultural appropriation”. How much of that reaction is based on the tribes’ own ancient culture, and how much is based on the tribes’ desire to “fit in” to the modern European-based American… Read more »
Peter, Thanks for your comments, which I agree with. The North American Native people are an interesting case. Most of the Christian destruction of the varied cultures described by Carpenter happened in distant historical times. Often the only records available to us are from the Christian missionaries themselves, which gives us some difficulty in interpreting what actually happened, and in realising the detail of how these cultures worked. However the attack on Native American peoples (and also in fact Australian Aboriginals) happened much more recently, almost in living memory. One the one hand this gives us a much better chance… Read more »