Sunday, September 4, 2016

Cat Among the Pigeons? [Updated 2x]

So while at our Synod I idly looked at Twitter and saw news about the coming out of the Bishop of Grantham (i.e. a bishop within the C of E). So, Thinking Anglicans reports. Now the key matter re the current polity of the C of E regarding bishops and their relationships is that +Nicholas Chamberlain is celibate within his loving partnership (see also the TA article for the Bishop of Lincoln's statement about that).

Wesley Hill has a considered reflection offered here.

I can see that between this news moving out of England and into the wider Anglican Communion it is quite possible that things will get "lost in translation": the celibate bit will recede and the "in a relationship" bit of the news will be magnified. There will be a to do about this.There will be sound and fury about a perception that the episcopal cat has been set loose among the C of E pigeons. In the same week as the news of the "shadow synod" I see little peace and much ruffling of feathers.

UPDATE (After about 10 or so comments below)
1. At our just completed Diocese of Christchurch Synod we heard a range of views on homosexuality and the blessing of same sex relationships from the "it's wrong" through to the "it's right and let's get on with it" ends of the spectrum.
2. This is the Anglican church in the West: it is a church with a range of views. Most commenters below are very, very wary of +Nicholas's news. I suspect there are non-commenting readers here who are reading his news and saying "Yay. Bless him. Why DOES he have to be celibate?"
3. (As I comment below) I was yet heartened in this expression of a range of views: I found as the views were being expressed a glimmer of hope because no-one (let me re-phrase that, NO-ONE) wanted anyone present in the Synod to leave or to change their views. The motion we agreed to was intentionally moved and seconded by clergy from each end of the spectrum.
4. I do not know where this ends up!

SECOND UPDATE It looks like my own considerations are not way out of conservative line (well, one of them) as Ian Paul writing at Psephizo offers his careful and caring reflection here.

107 comments:

Brian Kelly said...

This was a bad move by Welby and it will only further reduce the confidence that African and Asian Anglicans have in him - already badly damaged after the ACC mess.

For a Christian leader to say he has a "committed relationship" with a man he describes as his "partner" and to whom he is sexually attracted could only cause confusion and perturbation - and not a little suspicion over the lack of candour and the secrecy that surrounded this.

Christians - especially Christian leaders - should avoid what Catholic moral theology calls "the occasions of sin": circumstances that could easily play upon their moral frailty (like an alcoholic taking a job in a bottle store).

All of this looks like a stalking horse, or creating 'facts on the ground'. Welby is hastening the break-up on the Anglican Communion - and the C of E.

danielj said...

hastening the breakup... well, bro this is way bigger than the actions of a single person or single group of persons, or a single incident one way or the other If the COE or the AC breaks up theyll break up regardless of personal action, be it meager or great. We have watched this play...persons trying to push their point,one way or the other...and the whole synphony just ignors the interuptions, and just plays on.

this is a signature reign of God movement of the current time... one of several I imagine
the point is that when the Kingdom of God manifests, division occurs
This division will play itself out in the differences between book religion, reality, culture, science, and mostly...the hard long road toward compassion regarding the other.

Glen Young said...

Hi Peter,

Cat among the Pigeons???????? Sounds more like WOLVES IN SHEEP'S
clothing.Or what about someone with a TRUCK LOAD OF TARE SEED TO SCATTER IN CHRIST'S WHEAT FIELDS??????

The Thinking Anglican?????? response was symptomatic of all that is wrong in the C of E.They are biased by their blinkered theological understanding and their wholehearted acceptance of POST CHRISTIAN LIBERAL MODERNISM,"PROGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY".

What a WEAK KNEED AND PATHETIC response from Wesley Hill.No wonder the liberals are riding rough shod over the ORTHODOX.Even if there is any justification in the Bishop's relationship being non-sexual;this man accepted a prestigious position in the Church and his example will be seen by many.St.Paul wrote:"But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak."1 Cor.8/9.

Jesus said:"Unto whomsoever much is given,of him shall much be required."

Regards,Glen

Peter Carrell said...

To be quite clear, I am with Wesley Hill on this one.

Father Ron said...

Peter, your conservative link from Wesley Hill has statements in it that are not too surprising, considering the fact that he gives us this pericope:

" People like Erik… are not a tiny minority in terms of all homosexuals in the church…. I wish their voices could be heard saying that “We believe our homosexuality is part of our value and giftedness to the church, but homosexual sex is a sin.” What a difference this would make to the life, witness, and future of the body of Christ."

I wonder if it has ever occurred to Wesley how this would sound if it were applied to the majority of heterosexuals in the Church: "I wish their voices could be heard saying that 'We believe our heterosexuality is part of our value and giftedness to the Church, but heterosexual sex - outside of its purpose in marriage for procreation - IS A SIN.

All expression of sexuality is part of God's giftedness not just to the Church but to all of God's children - irrespective of their given gender.
Creation exists outside of the Church. Is God not involved in that? Are not all people 'children of God'? If not, whose children are they?

The Bishop of Grantham was ordained with the full knowledge of his Ordinary and the Archbishop of Canterbury that he is intrinsically homosexual. We need to cease gossip about whether his celibacy is real or a smokescreen, That is not for us to judge, but the task of his ordaining Bishops, who have graciously accepted his assurances. That should end any tendency to gossip.

Brendan McNeill said...

Peter

There is much about the testimony and appointment of the gay Bishop of Grantham that tests our credulity.

Has he ever been in a sexual relationship with his live in gay partner?

Never? – Really? Never, not even just once?

If the relationship was once sexual, when exactly did he become celibate? Last week, last month, last year?

Being fully human just like the rest of us, does he consider it wise to place himself constantly in a place of temptation? How would he council other gay men who find themselves in similar circumstances? Could he in good conscience encourage others to follow his example?

Was he ever subjected to this kind of scrutiny by those who appointed him?

Do they even care?

Father Ron said...

Why are heterosexual conservative Christian males so very interested in the suspected sex-lives of intrinsically gay people. Is this really just prurience? Do they think they might be missing out on something? I'm intrigued by the heightened interest! Is it really pathological? Something more than simplistic moral concern seems to be going on here. Control yourselves, chaps!

Brian Kelly said...

Wesley Hill is confused - and, in quoting Alan Jacobs and in his other remarks, displays a degree of naivete and obsequiousness toward Anglican bishops that is surprising in someone involved in ministerial training. How many bishops has he actually met? And in Tec, for goodness' sake!
To put it simply: there are a lot of single men in ministry who do *not involve themselves in an erotically-based "relationship" with another man in which there is mutual sexual attraction (among other things).
Old school folks called this 'playing with fire', Catholic moral theology calls this 'frequenting the occasions of sin'. It is very bad that a bishop should live this way: his life is meant to be an example of holiness and wisdom in ordering its affections.

Let us be clear on this. Christians do NOT have "relationships" - which is a modern code word for romantic/erotic bonds with another. Christians have marriage - and friendships. Friendships are not (or should not be) exclusive and erotically-based. Welby has made a serious error here.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occasion_of_sin

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Glen
I am not going to publish your latest comment.
I do not think it fair to homosexuals to write of them (a) as though they are one homogenous group or (b) as though that hypothetical homogenous group is "pushing" one viewpoint.
My own experience of homosexuals is of individuals anxious and desperate to know whether they will be accepted as human beings by fellow human beings.
Far from "pushing" something I have found these individuals to be "wondering" about their acceptance in society and in the church.
In the case of the Bishop of Grantham he appears to have pushed no viewpoint and made no public display of his homosexuality until threatened by a newspaper.

Andrei said...

"Why are heterosexual conservative Christian males so very interested in the suspected sex-lives of intrinsically gay people. Is this really just prurience?"

We are not!

We have it shoved in our faces on a daily basis

Our whole culture has been poisoned by this garbage

The Anglican Church is not talking preparing young people Holy Matrimony and raising Christian Families - I'll bet discussion on material for this purpose never came up at the synod Peter just attended.

You know what I'm interested in Fr Ron - seeing my as yet unborn Grandchildren Baptised and raised in the Christian Faith and being taught to live Christian lives in service of the Lord

.....

"O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere and fillest all things; Treasury of Blessings, and Giver of Life - come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity, and save our souls"

Glen Young said...

Peter,

I was actually responding to Ron's HIGHLY OFFENSIVE suggestion that as a heterosexual conservative Christian male ,I have some perverse interest in the suspected sex-lives of intrinsically gay people.So I ask you,are heterosexual,conservative Christian males; a homogenous group and as though that hypothetical group all have this perverse interest.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Brendan
At some point trust is required in all relationships: ++Justin to +Nicholas; +Nicholas to many readers of his news around the Anglican Communion.

I do not ask you to share my level of trust ... but I do think some trust is possible in this situation, not least because I think ++Justin is trustworthy.

Brian Kelly said...

Brendan writes:

"Being fully human just like the rest of us, does he consider it wise to place himself constantly in a place of temptation? How would he council other gay men who find themselves in similar circumstances? Could he in good conscience encourage others to follow his example?"

That's exactly the point I've been making about Catholic moral theology and the 'occasions of sin'. Many a heterosexual Christian man - clergy included - has fallen into sexual sin because he hasn't keep a right (physical and emotional) distance from a woman he is attracted to. "Assurances" about a "committed relationship" raise only a snort of amusement in the secular press.

Paul makes it clear that a Christian's life must be beyond reproach. There are numerous Anglican clergy who admit to same-sex attraction. They do *not talk about their "partners" or "committed relationships". How did Welby get this so wrong? Or was this a deliberate stratagem?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Glen
By all means object directly to what Ron says (as you do now) but not in the way you did which I did not publish.

Ron's point is pretty well exemplified I think in comments here and around the internet: heterosexual males are taking a keen interest in the hypothetical sexual life of a gay English bishop. I think Ron asks the wrong question (it is not about prurience but about what standards Anglican say they hold to and whether they do in fact hold to them) but the response to him is to say that he is asking the wrong question.

Brian Kelly said...

" ....but the response to him is to say that he is asking the wrong question."

But I'm afraid this is what he frequently does: he questions the motives or charitableness of those he disagrees with instead of engaging with the substance of the question.
In other words, if you can't answer the objection, attack the objector as 'mean-spirited, unloving' etc.
You don't need a degree in logic to know this is the fallacy of 'argumentum ad hominem;, one for which he is regularly taken to task.

Brendan McNeill said...

Except that it beggars belief that the Bishop's relationship with his gay partner has never been sexual.

Therefore my questions are legitimate and remain unanswered.

Therefore ++Justin's credibility is also tainted by these unanswered questions.

We are not talking about some esoteric theological construct but rather how recently the Bishop may have engaged in Gay sex. (Or not as the case may be).

Given the seriousness of the matter a much greater level of transparency was called for. I'm afraid 'just trust me' is simply not good enough.

Men of God are still just men after all.

Father Ron said...

Dear Brethren - just been to Solemn Evensong and Benediction at SMAA, featuring a Sermon by th Precentor of Christ Church, Oxford. His sermon was on The Catholic and Apostolic Church - with emphasis on the Apostolic - being sent. I'm going to publish his sermon on 'kiwianglo' shortly - with his permission.

Commenting now on the comments following mine at 17.58 today, might I ask my detractors whether they think that the use of contraceptives by Christisn couples is a legitimate way of following the conservative theological understanding that says sexual activuity - even between married heterosexual couples is limited to the procreation of children? Or has the Anglican Church now accepted the fact that couples might engage in sexual activity "For their mutual comfort" ?- as mentioned in one of the marriage services?


The answer to this question might clarify your idea of the validity of sexual activity that is not necessarily limited to the procreation of children. And, if this is true for 'straight' Christians, why should it not be allowed for Gay Christians? And please do not automatically assume (if that is possible for you) that all sexual intimacy is limited to intercourse! This reality is as true of homosexual people as for heterosexuals.

Peter Carrell said...

Beggars belief", Brendan, is not the same as incontrovertible evidence!

Brendan McNeill said...

Peter,

We don't require "incontrovertible evidence"; any gay Bishop with a 'live in partner' fails the duck test:

"If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck."

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
I cannot publish all your comment. Issues not commenters to be commented on, please.

"Ah, ye of little faith, Brendan.

It may be that certain homosexual clergy are not like certain heterosexuals - who marry only for sex. There is such a thing - in Scripture - as a same-sex 'Special Friendship'; like that of Jesus and the 'Beloved Disciple', John; and David and Jonathon. (Come to think of it, Jesus had no intention of procreating either). []"

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Brendan
I once came across a heterosexual couple who lived together but did not sleep together while being engaged to be married.
I had no reason then as I have no reason now with +Nicholas not to trust the word given on this matter by a brother/sister in Christ.

Andrei said...

Peter;

Have you ever heard the phrase "In politics perception is everything"?

Alas the optics of this are terrible no matter how it is spun

People will believe or not believe these assurances depending upon where they stand on this issue - though only God will know the truth, neither you, I or any other commenter here can

But what is even worse is that it appears a Homosexual Bishop has been surreptitiously appointed perhaps to "break a glass ceiling" while avoiding controversy until well after the deal has been sealed.

Mere mortals such as you and I will never know the truth of this matter but what is certain is the Anglican Church has become further distanced from mainstream Christianity and your ecumenical dreams recede and fade away

Brendan McNeill said...

It is never wise to create a rule from an exception.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Brendan
I am not sure what 'rule' you are talking about.
It is not (e.g.) an exception to trust people!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Andrei
I quite agree with you that the optics are not good, that perceptions matter and that this permission of the CofE does nothing for ecumenism.
My response above is largely about whether we may or may not trust certain persons and their expressed word in this situation.
But if the question is whether church prelates declaring their love for a partner they are not in Christian marriage with and whether that sets back ecumenical relations, both intra-Communion and extra-Communion then I see this as a set back.
The heading is "Cat among the Pigeons?" :)

Brendan McNeill said...

Peter

You wrote: "Hi Brendan
I am not sure what 'rule' you are talking about.
It is not (e.g.) an exception to trust people!"

The 'exception' (you referenced) is partnered couples living together and observing celibacy. The 'rule' that is being suggested by ++Justin et.al. is that gay partnered couples living together is just fine with the Church.

I can assure you that celibacy will soon be lost in the translation, and the observance of such a rule.

Glen Young said...

Peter,

Re---your comments addressed to me on 4/9/2016 @ 8.33 PM.

I find it interesting that in the 2nd paragraph,you appear to refer to "heterosexual males" as though we are "one homogenous group" taking a keen interest in the hypothetical sexual life of a gay English Bishop.I HAVE NO INTEREST WHATSOEVER in That aspect of his life.My concern is that,following on from the Pilling Report,the ABC has not followed out,what was previously agreed at Lambert.

I don't give three pence worth of liquorice all sorts for this argument as to whether anybody in any relationship is celibate or not and whether Paul knew about modern committed same-sex attractions.It is all just red herrings to distract us while the Trojan Horse is pulled through the doors of the Church.

Instead of looking at man from a neo-Darwinian perspective and asking whether there is Biological (genetic) basis to same-sex attractions; lets look at what God has revealed to us about man,in the Scriptures which form the legitimate DOCTRINE of the ACANZP.

Man is more than just a body and mental processes,responding to enviromental stimuli via instinctive reactions.

Solomon the Wise said:"Keep the heart with all diligence;for out of it are the issues of life." Pro.4/23
Jesus said:"But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart and they defile a man.For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts,murders,adulteries,fornications...."Matt 15/18&19.
Jesus said:"But I say unto you,That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."Matt 5/28.

Paul's condemnation in Romans 1/24 was not only against the acts but also against the very desires."Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts."

Therefore,it is hard to envisage a Scriptural justification for any sexual desires outside of Matt 19.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
Once again ...
P

"Why, in this extended converation, am I reminded of the more pernicious side of the 'Hermeneutic of Suspicion'? You don't have to be intrinsically heterosexual to be trustworthy. []."

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Glen
I refer you to Ian Paul's post (at link just added to the post above).
I do not think desire is as simple as you make out above.

Andrei said...

Talk about missing the point

What matters here is the damage that is being done to the Church - not whether we believe this gentleman's assurances of his celibacy matters not an iota

I'd never heard of the man before this post and I wonder if any of you had either - there is no reason to trust or distrust his assurances

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0L44AFY9hE0

If you look at his announcement you see an effete middle aged man lounging in a comfortable arm chair speaking earnestly like a bad caricature of an Oxford Don - a man totally out of touch with the realities of every day lives of every day people who have to work for a living

For the young mum whose baby has just been born without retinas and whose partners¹ job is on the line because the company he works for has just been taken over by a multi national this man is from another world and he has nothing to offer them - NOT A THING! He is another over privileged goofball

And thus does Anglicanism become irrelevant

(1) These are people I know and the reason she has a partner not a is because the Church is too busy arguing about total nonsense to figure out how evangelize them and include them into the life of the Church

Glen Young said...

Peter,

Read Ian Paul's article,Thank you;but still fundamentally disagree with him.

Twenty years of ministering in the field of addictions,I do not accept that such desires were part of the perfect creation;but are part of fallen man.As such I am in the Andy Comiskey camp, who believe they can be healed in Christ and through Christ.I still believe that St. Paul was stating that "the lusts of their own hearts" led to the dishonouring of their own bodies.I also believe that such was the legitimate reading of that passage until the so called "enlightened" interpretation was placed on it.

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Peter

To continue with Andrei’s point – I suspect that too many Anglian clergy live within an ecclesiastical bubble. Within popular culture ‘celibacy’ is a word with as much meaning as ‘redemption’ and ‘sanctification’.

Consequently, when the Church of England endorses the gay Bishop of Grantham it has endorsed all things LGBT. While you might argue this was never the intention, for those of us who live outside of the bubble this is simply stating the obvious.

Aside from the theological questions this appointment raises, it sends entirely the wrong message to those Christians who are struggling with same sex attraction, to heterosexual Christian singles whom we expect to be celibate (and not to be living with their ‘partner’), and to those outside the Church who now rightly view us as being five minutes behind popular culture.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Andrei, Glen and Brendan
Robust comments!
Not sure, Andrei, whether a better bishop would yet have something to say about the situation you mention.
In the end, your comments v +Nicholas' comments highlight the great difficulty if not impossibility of one church vessel being able to contain two divergent streams of conviction.

Glen Young said...

Peter,
The two divergent streams of people could quite happily live together in one Church,if it proclaimed the pure Word of God and teaches how seriously we ought to take St.Paul's advise in 2 Cor 10:4/7.

However the two divergent streams of "CONVICTION" cannot live together in one Church;one teaching that all of "broken man" must and can be healed in Christ and through Christ;while the other believes that same-sex desires are something in which God rejoices,(see Auckland Diocese magazine-June 2012 pages 11-16).

A CHURCH PROCLAIMING THE LATER CONVICTION, CANNOT SERIOUSLY MINISTER TO PEOPLE OF ALL SEXUAL ORIENTATIONS,HELPING THEM BRING INTO CAPTIVITY, EVERY THOUGHT, TO THE OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST.

Father Ron said...

Interestingly, I have not yet had a response from a single heterosexual male commenting on this thread - challenging them to comment on contraceptive sexual intimacy. My question, of them specifically is this: Is the use of contraception in heterosexual marriage sinful, or not? It impacts on my perception of your understanding of non-procreationl sexual activity - of any kind.

Brendan McNeill said...

Oh come on Ron,

I thought the Church had stopped trying to take the fun out of sex ages ago. ;-)

Andrei said...

"Interestingly, I have not yet had a response from a single heterosexual male commenting on this thread - challenging them to comment on contraceptive sexual intimacy"

Rather than allow myself to be diverted into your maze Fr Ron, I will point out that sexual activity outside the bounds of Holy Matrimony is considered sinful and then refer you to the Anglican Book of Common Prayer 1928 as to the purpose of Holy Matrimony.

"DEARLY beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God and in the face of this congregation, to join together this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate instituted of God himself, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church; which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence, and first miracle that he wrought, in Cana of Galilee, and is commended in Holy Writ to be honourable among all men; and therefore is not by any to be enterprised, nor taken in hand, unadvisedly lightly or wantonly; but reverently, discreetly, soberly, and in the fear of God, duly considering the causes for which matrimony was ordained.
First, It was ordained for the increase of mankind according to the will of God, and that children might be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy name.
Secondly, It was ordained in order that the natural instincts and affections, implanted by God, should be hallowed and directed aright; that those who are not called of God to remain unmarried, but by him are led to this holy estate, should continue therein in pureness of living.
Thirdly, It was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.
Into which holy estate these two persons present come now to be joined.
Therefore if any man can shew any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace."


Its not that hard

Andrei said...

And as a side note Fr Ron those were the exact words used for the Wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrated by the Archbishop of Canturbury

Bryden Black said...

To be sure Ron; I’ll take the bait! Nearly did previously but otherwise engaged.

I think you are committing a basic category mistake in your reasoning. How so?

When two men or two women engage in “sexual activity” for their “mutual comfort”, such behavior is intrinsically sterile. NEVER can it co-create life with the Creator. On the other hand, contraceptive actions between a man and a woman precisely presuppose the opposite: life is surely possible here; and we’ve decided (for the time being/whatever) not to grant this (although we all know ‘mistakes’ occur!).

A piece of grammar is helpful to illustrate the categoric nature of what is happening here. It is simply the case that any sexual activity between people of the same sex is indicatively infertile. On the other hand, sexual activity between a woman and a man might be subjunctively rendered infertile by certain means: contraception, deliberate ‘reading’ of the woman’s cervical secretions to abstain from intercourse during this narrow window (now a world-wide natural method used for avoiding pregnancy - and to assist fertilization), damage to her fallopian tubes, too high a temperature for male sperm, old age ... whatever. Yet all these means are just that—key means that have to occur, have to be the case. Otherwise, sexual activity would, subjunctively again, most probably result in conception, and so co-creation with the Creator.

The contrast between indicative and subjunctive moods reveals we are not dealing with the same realities here. Sure; superficially, it might seem to those who are wont to avoid careful inspection of how language works that we are being presented with similar ‘worlds’. Yet in point of fact, closer inspection proves the categoric error in judgment. But hey; let’s not permit such ‘small things’ to spoil our pleasure - wot!?!

PS Please note: I happen to be a heterosexual male; but a homosexual male can make the same point of logic - just as any woman can too ... Language and logic are universal Ron.

Father Ron said...

Just as I thought: conservative heterosexual fudge. However, Bryden's fudge was more colourful with longer words and more devious methods of evasion: 8/10
To be perfectly honest, I did not expect a validly straight Anglican answer.

However, I believe Nick, a Roman Catholic, might have one.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
Are the important questions not about what sex is "for" (that is pretty obvious, it is for procreation) but about what God orders for us as sexual beings?
I find it impossible (both as an Anglican, as a Christian and as an Anglican Christian reader of Scripture) to see - once we reach Jesus and Paul's teaching in the NT) where God orders sexual intercourse for contexts outside of marriage between a man and a woman (see above re 1928, "It was ordained ..."). In that context men and women have found love expressed sexually to be of mutual comfort and benefit.
That other couplings benefit from sexual intercourse outside of marriage is not in doubt ("he found comfort in the arms of another woman").
What is doubtful (some commenters here would say "certain"!) is whether or not the benefit of sex is a benefit that God has ordained to be received in some couplings (outside of marriage) and not in other couplings (outside of marriage).
We find no more support in the NT for polygamous marriages than for same sex marriages.
Anglicans will always fudge the answer to the question you raise if we tangle ourselves in the subjective qualities of couples or on the virtues of "pleasure" versus "procreation" for sex.
What we should be focusing on is the objective question of whether God has ordained marriage other than between a man and a woman.

Brian Kelly said...

Fudge? Oh dear ....

Father Ron said...

Thank you, Peter. Yours in the most straight-forward response yet - articulating clearly, and unambiguously, what you actually believe. Thank you.

tachesterton said...

'I suspect there are non-commenting readers here who are reading his news and saying "Yay. Bless him. Why DOES he have to be celibate?"'

Peter, it may be possible that there are non-commenting readers who feel (as I do) that every possible argument that could be offered on all sides of this issue has already been offered, and has been found non-persuasive by those who disagree with it. I myself have been listening to these arguments for over thirty years now, and have lived them in my own family, and I've grown weary of them.

I am, however, quite sure that there will be no shortage of commenters offering to enlighten me as to whose fault that is!

Tim Chesterton

Bryden Black said...

"Fudge": how so Ron?

Andrei said...

"What we should be focusing on is the objective question of whether God has ordained marriage other than between a man and a woman"

No!

What we should be focussing on in this

https://youtu.be/o-zfzjddobk?t=2m4s

Not neo pagan idolatry which puts sex at the center of life rather than God

Why do we allow ourselves to be diverted time and time again into this rabbit hole

Father Ron said...

Well, Bryden. I think that fudge here is emrerging from a need on some people's part to try to estimate (or even dismiss the veracity of) feelings, emotions and bodily function, with an intellectual evalutation that is sterile. Tim Chesterton's response, on the other hand, is based on familial, personal experience of sam-sex relationmship within his own family.

I guess it really some down to the old adage: "An ounce of experience is worth of ton of theory". This is why the theological moralists need to be prepared to listen to the reality of people's lives before pronouncing on their validity.
no offence is meant here, Bryden. It is just my own experience of other people's evaluation of lives that are ordered differently from their 'norm'.

Father Ron said...

Oh, and just one further point Bryden (apologies for my last post's mistakes, written on my 'Tablet'):

Browsing through your last major comment, in response to my question about the moral perception of contraception in heterosexual marriage relationships; I found this bit does not entirely fit with your general thesis:

"When two men or two women engage in “sexual activity” for their “mutual comfort”, such behavior is intrinsically sterile. NEVER can it co-create life with the Creator. On the other hand, contraceptive actions between a man and a woman precisely presuppose the opposite: life is surely possible here; and we’ve decided (for the time being/whatever) not to grant this (although we all know ‘mistakes’ occur!)."

"On the other hand", you say that "contraceptive actions between a man and a woman precisely suppose(s) that 'life is surely possible, AND WE'VE DECIDED (FOR THE TIME BEING/WHATEVER) NOT TO GRANT THIS'....

Might one not then ask: Who gave to heterosexual couples the idea that they might have sexual intercourse that deliberately thwarts God's (presumed) intention that sexual intercoure is meant for procreation only?

Now, if that is so for heterosexuals - contrary to the presumed demands of scripture - why not for homosexuals, who do not have the same moral choice?

Peter Carrell said...

Point well made, Andrei!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bryden
For the sake of good order and etiquette within this commenting context I am deleting the first line of your latest comment.
P

"[]

As for your supposed "experience" versus my deemed "theory": that is the height of presumption and sheer ad hominem. Only on Saturday did I have a coffee with one of my dearest friends - who happens to know deep attraction to those of the same sex and yet whose equally deep - no; deeper - theological and spiritual convictions preclude their acting out such feelings. Nor is this dear person alone. I too have close family involved is this tragic 'play' of seeking companionship with those of the same gender.

So; please Ron. Address the direct argument. And please; don't presume that your experience qua experience merely trumps another's experience. That really IS simply to fudge the issue, avoiding the argument.
"

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter; Rome's teaching on contraception is clear. As for comments on "that subject", I decline to make any. There are too many more important issues.

Nick

Peter Carrell said...

It is clear, Nick.
But is it followed?

Anonymous said...

By some definitely; by most I suspect not. But those who do not follow it are also not trying to redefine mortal sin.

Nick

Father Ron said...

And there, with Nick's comment, we have a serious difference - between Anglican and Roman Catholic theology on contraception. Now, does it matter all that much on who is right -or thinks they're more right than the other?

What must be categorically stated, is that sexual contraception - in whatever way - is in contravention to what conservative Christians might call 'Sola-Scriptural morality'. Of course, not all of us believe in that theology.

Sorry Bryden, if I offended you - by accusing you of no compassion for gay people. Only thing is, you don't always show it in your posts. Agape.

tachesterton said...

Long time reader son this blog will know that Ron and I don't come down at exactly the same place on the subject of same-sex marriage. So, to clarify, it's not that I don't have a viewpoint on the subject. It's the tenacity and ferocity of the argument that I find wearying. That's why I choose to no longer participate in it.

Tim Chesterton

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Nick
You're not a diplomat, are you?
:)

Glen Young said...

Hi Bryden,

Which is sweeter,charity or fudge?

Glen Young said...

Hi Ron,

Have just checked ii my Strongs and the word CONTRACEPTION does not appear there. Perhaps you could point to it for me? May I also point you to Book 2,
Homily 18,Article 35.The opening words are:"The word of Almightie GOD testifie and declare,whence the originall beginning of Matrimony commeth,and why it is ordained.It is instituted of GOD to the intent that man and woman should liue lawfully in a perpetual frienship,to bring foroth fruite,and to avoid Fornication..............".

Being the 35th of the 39 Articles,it forms part of the legitimate DOCTRINE of the ACANZP,as defined in Her Constitution 1857;and which General Synod is required to both HOLD AND UPHOLD in compliance with the FUNDAMENTAL PROVISIONS of the said Constitution.It therefore forms part of Declaration of Submission to General Synod.

Peter Carrell said...

On the matter of contraception

Dear Commenters
It is quite fair of Ron to ask those holding to a conservative view of Scripture on what grounds sexual intercourse may take place even in marriage for purposes other than procreation.
The Genesis account of marriage in chapters 1 and 2 points in that direction.
Anglicans commenting here should also note that we have famously changed our collective-via-the-bishops' mind on this matter. I think it was the 1920 Lambeth Conference which declared it was against contraception and the 1930 LC which declared it was for contraception.
So there has been a bit of Anglican fudge around on the matter ...

Brian Kelly said...

Not Anglican fudge ('fudge' meaning obfuscation and ambiguity) but episcopal confusion. If the year 1920 is correct, it probably reflects the high water mark of Anglo-Catholicism in "global" Anglican episcopacy - which reflected the numerical influence of the high church party in England, PECUSA and South Africa. The explosive growth in Africa had yet to happen.

By the way, I like fudge and we brought back a nice pack from Holy Island (Lindisfarne) this northern summer. I think the abbey there was destroyed too early for this to count as 'Anglican fudge'.

Father Ron said...

Dear Nick. Your mention of 'mortal sin' is just one reason R.C, moral theology is so confusing to others. Is not all 'sin' anything that 'misses the mark' of holiness? You either miss the mark or hit it. There just 'ain't no in between'. Sin is assuredly sin. I don't think God allocates points for categories.

Brian Kelly said...

Actually, Ron, it's quite straightforward, and I can still recall the teaching from my Catholic education as a teenager.

1. 'Mortal sin' in Catholic theology is that which "kills" grace in the soul ('the sin that leadeth unto death', 1 John).
2. 'Venial sin' is one that is pardonable (Lat. venia) but will require temporal punishment in purgatory unless sufficient penance is done before death.
3. 'Sin' does not mean 'missing the mark' even if archery is the background to the word 'hamartia'. The etymology of the Greek word isn't relevant to its subsequent use in LXX to translate hattat, pesha' and other Hebrew terms. The main NT terms (in Paul at least) are parabasis and paraptoma, which denote 'transgression'.
Needless to say, I don't buy medieval Catholic hamartiology.

Peter Carrell said...

Isn't a critical question re "theology of contraception" whether it makes a difference whether the method of constraining conception is "artificial" or "natural"?

Natural methods of contraception are not sin (as I understand RC teaching).

What I do not quite understand is why it is ok to plan one's sexual life according to the rhythms of nature not to conceive but not ok to use advances in medical knowledge (or just advances in the uses of rubber, a somewhat natural product :) ) to achieve the same ends.

Brian Kelly said...

Reminds of the terrible and most unecumenical joke about the Bishop of Galway in his confession to the Cardinal Archbishop of Manila:

'Bless me, Sin, for I have fathered!' ( .... and it gets worse.)
- 'Oh dear.'

' .... And I concealed the birth and send mother and child off to America.'
- Oh dear, oh dear.'

' ... And I secretly paid for the child using diocesan funds.'
- Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.'

' ... Am I really bad sinner, Father?'
- Oh don't be silly - it's not as if you'd used contraceptives!

Glen Young said...

Really Ron,

You do not know me from a bar of soap,(apart from my blogs on Peter's site); and yet you see fit to say that YOUR EXPERIENCE OF LIFE out weighs the value of anything I have to say." HOW JUDGEMENTAL IS THAT?????? You do not know what issues I have STRUGGLED with or are still struggling with.You make it sound as though GAY people alone have STRUGGLED WITH LIFE'S ISSUES.

Though I hate to put my family affairs out there.I will share this with you.
Our young son was invited to Lord's for several seasons.Peter will no doubt understand how lucky he was.Part way through his second season ,he collapsed with excess auto-immune disorder.We brought him back to NZ and admitted him to hospital.I sat at the end of his bed and watched the tears in the tough young roosters eyes, as he dealt with torso cramping.They wanted to do major surgery on him but he refused.He told me that every time he went to the bathroom ,he pray his heart out that there would be no blood in the toilet pan.He would then sing,"HE has the whole wide world in His hands".

The doctors do not know what causes this complaint but that gluten,dairy products and sugar aggrovate it.Now fours years later; thanks to his faith,medicine and his mothers cooking;the disorder is in remission and he's back in England looking after cricket grounds.He happily accepts the necessary discipline for him to stay well.I never once heard him ask,"why me".He says that it all happened, so that he could see the WONDERFUL and MAJESTIC POWER of JESUS CHRIST AND THE HOLY SPIRIT in his life.AMEN!!!!!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron
Another comment in which a little deletion is required.
P

"A most important point, peter, about the basic (not to say base) objective in undertaking sexual intercourse. It strikes me - vis-a-vis Brian's last comment - there's a bit of intellectual casuistry going on here. For what purpose? []"

Father Ron said...

Dear Glen, having once been a Chaplain in the N.Z. Order of Saint Luke, and a firm believer in the sacramental validity of the Laying on of Hands and Anointing for Healing (I, myself, receive this ministry at the Healing Eucharist at St. Michael and All Angels, Christchurch, each Thursday when I am here); I am a firm advocate of spiritual healing - so I can rejoice with you and your family at the healing of your son. May he continue to receive ongoing healing in perfect faith in Christ.

As you say, Glen, I do not know you personally. I only know of you through your posting on ADU, and any remarks addressed to you are purely within that arena - based on your voluminous and interesting comments. No ill will towards you. Agape!

Father Ron said...

Dear Brendan, going back over this thread, I realised i had missed the implications of this paragraph of your comments, yesterday

"Aside from the theological questions this appointment raises, it sends entirely the wrong message to those Christians who are struggling with same sex attraction, to heterosexual Christian singles whom we expect to be celibate (and not to be living with their ‘partner’), and to those outside the Church who now rightly view us as being five minutes behind popular culture.

'The wrong message' to anyone 'struggling' (meaning 'experiencing' same-sex attraction - it is not a pathological disease!) would have been to indicate that the bishop was sinning by living in a non-sexual relationship with his beloved same-sex partner. There are too many ills (including, in some cases, suicide) caused by pernicious social and religious stigma attached to this intrinsic, morally-neutral, condition.

Likewise, 'the wrong message' to heterosexual singles, struggling with their sexuality', would be to indicate that there was no way open for them to live with their own chosen partner - perfectly licitly - in a public marriage relationship; which the Church, incidentally, does not allow for same-sex couples.

Glen Young said...


Hi Ron,

Thank you for your kind thoughts.

Regards ,Glen.

Father Ron said...

"OH HOW GOOD AND WONDERFUL A THING IT IS, BRETHREN, TO DWELL TOGETHER IN UNITY, IT REJOICETH THE HEART...."

Bryden Black said...

Well; "diplomats" know when and where to draw the line, and also what might be drawn from their remarks and what should not! That's why their words are mostly crafted with some care - perhaps unlike many a blogger! For all that, I'll play catch up here addressing comments from 6 Sept onwards

While to some RC moral theology and practice might be "clear", what we might truly draw from it is often misconstrued - as on this blog here and there.

For in fact there is far more overlap between RC and Anglican tradition than might at first appear. Nor is this surprising since Augustine and his ends or goods of marriage loom large in both. (Viz only the BCP.) True; Anglicans seem to have created a hiatus with their acceptance of contraception in the first half of the last century. But it is not insignificant that Humanae Vitae gets written after the mass production of the oral contraceptive pill for women (1968). It's as if the RCC at least sees (prophetically) the implications of a mass contraceptive mentality. Here the logical link between sexual intercourse and procreation gets broken - more emotively, shattered. And the implications are now writ large.

YET together with procreation, that other end or good of marriage still remains. For neither Scripture nor tradition see sexual union to be solely for procreation; mutual benefit and comfort are surely enhanced for both man and woman by sexual intimacy. Even a quick read of Gen 2 and either the Song of Songs or Bernard of Clairvaux will show this. The problem however is when these two ends of marriage are rent asunder - not least by a popular and easy - supposedly easy - contraceptive mentality. But at what cost?

Every time there is an announcement re HRT therapy associated with menopause, the headlines are clear. And so they should be. What is obfuscated is the inevitable corollary re many an oral contraceptive pill. But this should not surprise us. The likes of the ideology of Planned Parenthood and the profits of pharmaceutical companies run counter to joining the dots clearly for the masses to see. So too re other ideologies: same sex activity fits more easily into a world where the contraceptive mentality thrives. Nor are the costs clearly tabled (insurance premiums even).

But God's creation is a cosmos, a whole, with duly integrated purpose and goals. Hence precisely Augustine's "ends". Sin however precisely again obscures those goals and notably via many a form of fragmentation. Our 21st C delights in those postmodern fragments with which we may seemingly play to our hearts content. But again, at what cost?

All in all, it is most significant the western church is bedeviled by this seemingly endless debate which embraces sex with its multiple complexities and dimensions. Humans are sexual beings through and through. Sex co-creates creatures destined for eternity. Sex is the channel for glorious intimacy and its enhancement; it is also a means of horrendous violence and gross violation; and many a position in between. Crucially (pun intended) it signals the intended relationship between the Creator and that creature made in the divine Image. All three constitute a whole. That we are so confused by our bodies and our cultural traits at the end of this phase of human civilization should not surprise us - given we've turned our collective societal backs upon its Judeo-Christian source to run again with the gods of Epicurus and Lucretius. That it behoves the Church to relentlessly proclaim the full Gospel of Life into such confusion I simply take for granted - ala 1 Cor 9:16, which is powerfully seminal in context.

Anonymous said...

Peter; in terms of Fr Ron's comment about Catholic moral theology, mortal sin must be a grave matter committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent. Your 404 Eucharist at page 407 to some extent recognises venial and mortal sin : we have sinned in ignorance, we have sinned in weakness, we have sinned through our own deliberate fault. Although I am no expert, it is hard to imagine mortal sin committed in ignorance. For once saved always saved traditions, the distinction between mortal and venial will not matter so much. Although I assume that evangelicals are once saved believers, I don't know where Anglo-Catholics fit or even whether they are uniform. I don't however think Catholic moral theology is confusing. If anything, it is clear to the point of being "clearer" than the bible.

Nick

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Nick
Since you have spotted those very fine words in our confession I can tell you that they represent the apogee of liturgical expression of the Moral Section of the somewhat secret Anglican Magisterium.

This magisterium is somewhat secretive because if word go out about its existence then liberal Anglicans would leave the church in droves.

As a member of this organisation I can tell you that we try to be ever clearer in our distinctions and discernments but always feel we are somewhat lagging behind our Roman counterparts.

Still, publication of our multi-volume catechism is just around the corner. Of course, in order to retain our liberal members, we are printing it in invisible ink.

:)

Father Ron said...

In celebration of the Anglican genius of 'Unity in Diversity', I must admit that I am not only prepared but happy, to Celebrate our Mass in either BCP mode or from the modern liturgical texts. I guess I am both catholic and liberal - both 'Ancient & Modern' - in the words of one of our one-time most popular hymn books. (Mind you, I do prefer the English Hymnal for its more catholic presentation).

Speaking now of modernity in the Church of England, have any of you noticed that; in answer to 72 conservatives clergy and laity of the C.of A. General Synod, who wrote to the house of bishops requesting a 'go-slow' on notified liturgical change to suit S/S Blessings'; almost twice that number of G.S. members of both clergy and laity have written to the bishops asking them to go 'Full Steam Ahead'! The times, they are a'changin'- at least in C. of E.

Glen Young said...


Now we are getting to the heart of the issue!!!The ACANZP appears,in wanting to be a Church that is everything to everybody has become a CLAYTON'S CHURCH,A CHURCH YOU HAVE WHEN YOU DON'T REALLY HAVE A CHURCH.

It might have been a genuine desire to make the Church relevant to what they imagined the 21st century with their Contextual and Progressive Theologies;but in fact has just been a continuation down that path, which Peter mentioned in regard to the deceased Bishop.

In losing the clear definition of"NATURAL"by contrasting it with
"SUPERNATURAL";when it's antithesis is "UNNATURAL"; the Church has lost the truth about sin.All of nature appears to me as being supernatural.But most of what is considered 'natural' to "BROKEN MAN";needs to REPENTED of and got out of the desires of our hearts.So Nik is quite right about that beautiful phrase in our CONFESSION;and it should form the basis of the Church teaching and proclamation.I would rather see this,even if the liberals leave in droves;than have a form of godliness but deny the power thereof.

SO BRING ON THE DECADE OF TRUE EVANGELIZING AND REVIVAL;it will perhaps counter-balance the liberal leaving in their droves.

Father Ron said...

"Perfect Love casts out Fear". When we love with the outrageous love of God for Sinners, we have no need to fear for the future. Ir is securely in the hands of God - as is the Church. "Where Charity and Love are: There is God".

Andrei said...

Sometimes perfect love means saying "No" Fr Ron

Like when you tell your child that ice cream is not an appropriate breakfast before school

And sometimes a petulant child will respond to "No"
with "You don't love me!" and even a tantrum.

As we know when we pray for something sometimes God says "No"

And if you are familiar with Garth Brooks (I don't pick you as a Garth Brooks fan) when God says "No" it might turn out to be a blessing

Glen Young said...



Hi Peter,

Off to London in a few minutes to make sure Junior is not letting Trevor snug in any under arm tactics;can you do the same here.

Anonymous said...

Dear Peter, from the highly not just slightly secret lay order of the sacred congregation for the doctrine of the faith (formerly the holy inquisition), I bid you greeting. Pax Tecum. Please note that we say the faith; there is only one and it is Roman. Like St Paul, we pray for you without ceasing. Of course we know that you are responsible for the wording of your confession on page 407. The sacred congregation will graciously suggest other changes to your services which will solve any further validity and imperfect communion issues. These could be written in invisible ink lest the more protestantly inclined leave in droves. There again, you might be confident that the changes will not make their way on to PowerPoint in any case.

Nick (Lay Prefect CDF; damus 10.10.2016 AD).

Father Ron said...

" Please note that we say the faith; there is only one and it is Roman. Like St Paul, we pray for you without ceasing." - Nick -

Nick, it's amazing how some people seem to live in their own little bubble of a world - unconscious of all that is going on around them. However, I had not - until now - considered you to be one of them. After your statement here, though, I may have to revise my estimation of your comments on ADU.

Have you not considered that the Faith originates from Palestine, and not Rome? After all, there have been 'Pontifex Maximi' in more than the City of Rome - Avignon, for instance, which still retains its'Papal Palace, which I have visited, personally. Insularity is the gift of ignorance, I'm told, and not a help to ecumenism.

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter; clearly my humour is too subtle.

Nick

Father Ron said...

Hi, Nick. Mine, too. I guess we're just a couple of on-site comedians! Agape.

Anonymous said...

Peter; I hoped Brian would correct Fr Ron's glaring latin plural error. Since Fr Ron has, in the past, castigated people for school boy howlers, he could usefully check the plural of pontifex.

Nick

Anonymous said...

Agape; Fr Ron

Nick

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Nick and Ron
Thanks for engaging in subtle humour.
Subtle humour is encouraged here and the more subtle the better.
On the question of the one faith and it is Roman, we are very close to agreement. As a good Protestant I agree that there is only one faith and it is Romans (so to speak).
Just one letter to sort out and all will be well and all shall be one!

Bryden Black said...

Oh dear; and you Peter our diocesan educator - by title.
I fancied the key letter demarcating the difference between heresy and the True Faith was "i" ...

Peter Carrell said...

Aye, Bryden!

Father Ron said...

And there was I thinking its was really - 'High'.

Peter Carrell said...

It rather depends what the eye sees as to what constitutes true sight

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter; more than happy with Romans. Being the consummate diplomat (and valuing Her Majesty's Court of St James in your tradition), let's throw in James 2:26 and we've got a united Church.

Nick

Anonymous said...

Mea culpa. Non-diplomats might need you to tell them that diplomatically HM's Royal Court is the Court of St James.

Nick

Bryden Black said...

Ç ...
Peter has it!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Nick
A united church around the "sola scriptura" of Romans and James 2:26?
Sounds like no need to agree to Petrine primacy!
I'm in ...

Brian Kelly said...

"Peter; I hoped Brian would correct Fr Ron's glaring latin plural error. Since Fr Ron has, in the past, castigated people for school boy howlers, he could usefully check the plural of pontifex."

Yes, it's deplorable - but not irredeemable.
My knowledge of Late Classical Roman religion is not what it should be, so I can't pontificate, but I don't think there was ever more than one pontifex maximus at the same time. Collectively, of course, they are the 'pontifices maximi'.

As for contemporaneous popes - well, there are lots of these! Look at the Coptic Church. :)

Bryden Black said...

Oh dear; and you Nick hitherto the singular defender of the One True Faith and its Church. Jas 2:26? Nah! A "right strawey" proposal that would never survive the purgatorial fires ...

Father Ron said...

The theme of today's services at SMAA, Christchurch was - in common with the users of the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) was seeking the lost - sheep, coin (and, by inference, the prodigal son).

This gave us 2 excellent Sermons:

1. at the 10am Suing Mass, by Canon Craufurd Murray, and;
2. at Evensong & Benediction, by Father Peter Williams;

Both sermons illustrated God's infinite love - especially for the outsiders and the sinner, who had given up on God - because of the Church's tendency to depict God as a vengeful Judge - rather then an outrageously loving parent figure.
Totally refreshing and hopeful of redemption of the 'lost'. The True Gospel!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bryden
Is Nick not correct - on his understanding - that the One true Faith incorporates James 2:26 (and, say, Matthew 5) because works establish our faith and show our co-operation with God's work within us? (Or, something like that).
Alternatively, is not Nick correct when he implies that the "scriptural" difference between Romanism and Protestantism is relatively small when we work with Matthew and James as well as Romans and Galatians?

Father Ron said...

My favourite apostle is John - who speaks from the love he shared with Jesus - as the self-declared 'Beloved Disciple'. "Where Charity and Love are - there is God"

Bryden Black said...

Sorry Peter: often cyber-text fails to catch the tone ... If we were to address seriously ecumenical matters, this thread and its title would not be my first option!

As for James (and your and Nick’s intent), I don’t need to go outside Romans to get the point. Rom 1:5 and 16:26 provide the powerful and suitable pair of bookends with their “obedience of faith”. At root, the Gospel is truly about obedience, creatures’ conformity with the true will and purpose of the Creator — this is New Creation, the realization of baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection in the power of the Holy Spirit!

[Re-read CS Lewis’s Great Divorce over the w/e; and was forcibly reminded that today’s western church would mostly fail to appreciate his incessant drive for the real weight of glory and the true heart of loving behaviour. Our contemporary world is just so flat and one-dimensional in its understanding. Perhaps too, James, as NT example of Wisdom Lit, could foster a reawakening ... ears, and all that!]

Brian Kelly said...

Yes, 'The Great Divorce' is a great read, isn't it? The encounter with the Anglican bishop in hell who has set up a 'theological society' and is giving a paper on 'what Jesus would have thought and taught if he hadn't had the misfortune to die so young' is so distressingly close to the bone in its satire of 20th century western Anglicanism - and the crumbled remains of it in the 21st century: a mere parodic shell of the Faith that conquered the Roman empire.
As a counterpart, Lewis offers the example of the simple woman quite unknown in this life (but to whom 'every delivery boy she met was as her own son') now glorified in the next.
Ozymandias, where are you now?

Jean said...

As an aside did anyone catch the news that Pope Francis is off next month to celebrate the reformation? : )

Peter Carrell said...

As in, Jean, should have done it 500 years ago, but better late than never?
:)

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bryden: yes, thank you for expanded comment above!

Hi Jean: here is a thoughtful link re that "celebration", https://cruxnow.com/church/2016/02/11/should-pope-francis-celebrate-the-reformation/

Jean said...

More as in, what is the world coming too when people start being kind towards each other, even between the followers of The Way? : )

Jean said...

Thanks Peter, interesting link. Commemoration is probably a better word than celebration. Wouldn't be too good for us protestants to highlight the celebration aspect too much either, we don't want Luther going at a bit off-track in his last years regarding the Jews coming out from under the carpet... : )

I wonder if the plural we could apologise for the somewhat exuberant ransacking of Catholic churches, albeit the timing of challenginng the practical application of certain theologies was timely. Can you have a word with the Archbishop for us?

Peter Carrell said...

All Archbishops, Jean, are welcome here as readers.

They are even more welcome to follow the advice freely and generously offered here by myself and many commenters :)

Jean said...

Good ho, I shall to give your blog a plug whenever I bump into one.

Nick, don't take this as us being willing to conceed justification by faith... we have our limits : )