Thursday, August 9, 2018

Making the inadmissible admissible and the admissible inadmissible?

Andrew Goddard - as usual - has an excellent discussion of the Pope's recent move re the death penalty (from admissible to inadmissible), here, with a multitude of links to Catholic writers and theologians. (Liturgy also posts on the decision and has some useful collation of key statements, here).

Goddard's discussion notes the trepidation some commentators have that a shift from admissible here to inadmissible could presage a shift from inadmissible to admissible over there ... if you get my drift.

One issue I am intrigued by, triggered by some things I read on the net before reading the Goddard post, is this: is change to ethical teaching best approached via a "development" conception?

On a development conception we change teaching on X bit by bit, perhaps taking centuries to do so.

An alternative conception could be we simply admit we got it wrong in the past.

With respect to the former: there is a charting of development possible with Catholic teaching about the death penalty, though wise people have pointed out that Francis shift from admissible in narrowly prescribed circumstances (as development previously had done) to inadmissible in all circumstances is not a development but a change. And by "change" those commentators mean, the church effectively now says previous popes/catechisms have been wrong.

With respect to the latter: I would argue that the church universally today recognises that it was previously wrong when it tacitly tolerated let alone explicitly endorsed slavery.

In response to my question, "is change to ethical teaching best approached via a "development" conception?", we could observe that the church - through history - has both developed its ethical teaching and changed its ethical teaching.

What do you think?

49 comments:

Unknown said...

Peter, on this topic as on That Topic, there are two sorts of statements being called "teaching"-- representations of God's ultimate will that should only change through better undetstanding of the deposit of revelation, and the earthier and more contingent testimonies of the Body about living wisely in this aeon which change subtly with the material conditions of life.

BW

Peter Carrell said...

I take that, Bowman, to be something akin to the distinction between "dogma" and "doctrine"?

Serious question because I am not sure of the answer, Is any ethical teaching "dogmatic" in character? (Aside from generic "love God, love neighbour" kind of teaching. Even "Do not kill" gets variations re war, capital punishment, etc.)

Father Ron Smith said...

Surely, Peter, change (if any) must always be a child of 'development'. Dogma can never exist in a vacuum, this is why the Church has had to change its ethical suppositions when faced with new and important understandings of the cosmos. It is the actual developing understanding of situations that causes ethical re-positioning on matters that were formerly thought to be unassailably 'fixed'.

As the world understands this reality - sometimes before the Church - so the Church has to be prepared to change from 'dogmatic' to what is, virtually, 'situation' ethics' on matters of 2nd Order importance. Pope John's mantra at Vatican II (on such matters) was 'semper reformanda'. (First order matters are those relating to the credal definitions of the Universal Church).

Even in the more difficult area of doctrinal development (superficially different for different parts of the Church) - such differences are often based on the particular cultural world-view of the community (thus; the prospect of schismatic division, when there are different understanding of what 'Second Order' doctrinal matters).

Such, however, is the basic calling of Christianity towards a 'common ethic' that 'First Order' doctrine assumes an importance that 'Second Order' developmental issues ought never to intrude upon. However, it is often in these 'Second Order' issues that the present battles for supremacy in the Church are presently taking place.

And then, of course, there is the ever-present problem of individuals in the Church deciding for themselves what is of 'First' or 'Second' Order importance. This, sadly, often becomes the battleground for what is claimed as the superiority of one view of Christian ethics over another. What is often, though, lost sight of - in the light of Jesus' own overturning of the extant legalistic religious fundamentalism of his own day - is the principle of justice that must be at the heart of true religion

Jean said...

Is the ethical teaching of the ‘church’ ever uniform at a given point in time? Sister Prejean who wrote Dead Man Walking was advocating for the abolition of the death penalty based on the dignity of the person long before Pope Francis’s recent change in Catholic teaching; African American Slaves held to a Christianity which didn’t endorse slavery at the same time as members of many Churches taught slavery was justified; some Churches supported apartheid others opposed it; some German churches supported the Nazi’s others opposed them. It could be argued, however, that the ethical teaching of the church/es looses traction or perhaps truth whenever Biblical morals/teaching rather than being used to inform social ethics is interpreted in a way as to justify pervading social thought.

Early Christian’s practised christian ethics in a society wired completely differently. It was a novel idea to the Romans when early Christians resucued abandoned infants left to die; the Christians were operating out of the understanding of each human being of inestimable value given they were created in the image of God - the Roman’s held no such view on the value of a single life.

Unknown said...

Peter, the short, Protestant answer is:

Dogma --> Ethos --> Ethic

Their anti-metaphysical prejudice prompts evangelicals and liberals to tty to reverse this.

BW

Unknown said...

Postscript-- One could hypthesise that, from some date X, Anglicans have no longer had authoritative teaching of the second sort. Evangelicals fill the gap with raw law that is more or less from the Bible; liberals fill it with the *wisdom of crowds* (eg ad hoc majorities of synods)

BW

Father Ron Smith said...

Dear Bowman, your last comment (@5.04) could qualify the leadership of Vatican II by Good Pope John, then, as 'liberal". Certainly, it was liberating for the Roman Catholic Church at the time. However, sadly, some of the radical fundamentalists are seeking (have sought) to overturn many of the innovations of that Council of the Church.

What you may call 'the wisdom of the crowds' may have actually been the 'wisdom of the Church's Leadership in Council' - equal to Synod.
This is not to be discounted, surely? (Though the objectors do).

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Bowman
Your phrase " raw law that is more or less from the Bible" is very illuminating!
It says in a few words something which I myself have not quite put into words, as an instinctive reaction to some things said in the name of evangelicalism in current debates: that is, that the Bible (which is mostly not a law book) is used as a law book, an ore from which laws may be mined then refined, often without consideration of the steps involved in this process which mostly brings a range of theological presuppositions with it.
And, yes, the "wisdom of the crowds" may also be objected to.
So, one thought of recent days, is that we should think about the church as a place in which there is korero (vigorous discussion, robust talk, considerate conversation) to which we all contribute, rather than a place where one side asserts laws and the other side either rebuts them or trumps them (e.g. with the wisdom of the crowds).

Bryden Black said...

Merriam-Webster: “The expression can be found in the longer maxim, ‘Vox populi, vox Dei,’ which means ‘The voice of the people is the voice of God.’ Many people think that expression means that the people are always right, but it really implies that the will of the masses - right or wrong - is often irresistible. Since the mid-1960s, English speakers, especially British ones, have trimmed ‘vox populi’ down to the abbreviated form ‘vox pop,’ an expression used particularly for popular opinion as it is used and expressed by the media.”

Unknown said...

Interesting, Father Ron, but I do not tbink that my 5:04 can be applied to the Roman Catholic Church. Sixtus V in 1588 and Leo XIII in 1879 declared SS Thomas and Bonaventure to be "duae olivae et duo candelabra in domo Dei lucentia," thus affirming a continuing place for metaphysics in the magisterium. Consequently, there is nothing in the RCC like the raw law and ephemeral voting that Anglicans have substituted for the sort of speculation that one finds in Roman, Orthodox, and even Lutheran theology. To my mind (and maybe Bryden's) this trait of Reformed(ish) and post-Reformed Anglicans is more Modern and English than traditional and scriptural.

BW

Bryden Black said...

Nicely couched Bowman. The sad reality is that so few of my colleagues are able to frame either questions or possible answers which require metaphysical features. But that is only to illustrate the thinness of the approaches available....
Thereafter, either raw law or neat feelings prevail. And I’m left wondering whether I too was born out of time ... ;-)

Unknown said...

Peter, "raw law" surfaced as I was thinking about the discovery of the Way in Second Temple Judausm. Obviously every group we know cherished some sacred writings, or we would not know them millennia after they disappeared. But none of them, least of all those who thought that YHWH had changed the world in and through Jesus, believed that Textual Authority Will Save The World. The apostolic generation rather believed that a deep understanding of what God had done and was still doing in Christ changed the mind, enabled a new obedience, and opened the Way to a wisdom that accorded with some of His own will. Of course I have no desire to engage in log-eyed mote-picking. but I have heard few comments about ethics that sounded much like that.

BW

Unknown said...

Jean, I agree. As individuals our openness to change varies, but as disciples we just try to be faithful in God's providence, which from the human perspective can seem gently seasonal or wildly kaleidoscopic. Trying to speed Providence up or to slow it down may be an individual calling-- God does use a few conservators and innovators from time to time-- but disciples and churches as such do not do it. Only God knows the future.

BW

Unknown said...

I imagine, Bryden, that you spend some of your days acquainting your colleagues with the sharp tines of Hume's Fork ;-)

But there is nothing about this that requires a reading knowledge of Greek, Latin, and German. What probably is required is a collective imagination that is soaked in Genesis, Proverbs, and Job whilst reading Daniel, Ezekiel, and Isaiah with the eyes of SS Irenaeus, Athanasius, and Cyril, at least.

BW

Unknown said...

TWIMC-- Hume's Fork is the ironic name of an argument first made by Davud Hume against metaphysics, but now gleefully wielded by post-Modern metaphysicians (eg Edward Feser*) against empiricists.

Hume sought to exclude all metaphysics from thought, building up knowledge only from sense-experience and necessary logical relations. (This project was revived early in the last century, and then buried under a mountain in the second half of it. But I am ahead of myself.) This required the thinking person to use or discard each thought, applying this decision rule-- is this pure data or pure logic which one should keep and use, or is it any other kind of thought which one should throw into the trash? That's the Fork.

But to do this, one must first think of Hume's Fork. Applying the Fork to itself, we ask-- is it pure data or pure logic? Clearly, it is neither. So into the trash it goes.

* Nick, he's your kind of Catholic. Check out his blog.

BW

Unknown said...

From the Church of Cockaigne, Bureau of Serendipity, Department of Jewish-Anglican Relations comes the solution to a puzzle that has irritated rabbis and academics here up yonder for years: how on earth (heaven is assumed to have had nothing to do with it) did unscholarly Messianic Jews know about textual evidence that some Second Temple Jews believed it possible that YHWH could take a human body before either learned circle imagined such a thing in their wildest dreams, nightmares, and conference papers? Earlier this week, the CoC's DJAR, testifying in behalf of the canonisation of Paul Philip Levertoff, a C20 priest in the Church of England, demonstrated that he was the discoverer.

Best known as the father of the eminent poet and critic Denise Levertov, who herself had many warm ties to TEC but died a Roman Catholic, Fr Levertoff is also remembered for his proposal that the CoE authorise a eucharistic rite that incorporates elements of Jewish worship. A tireless advocate for Jesus to the Jews of London, Levertoff was descended from a great Hasidic rabbi and received an elite education in his forebear's tradition in Lithuania.

As a boy, however, he found a scrap of paper in Hebrew describing another boy discussing the law in the Temple whilst his parents searched for him. This was the seed of a devotion to Jesus that increased with the years. Thus when Levertoff studied the Zohar as his lineage required, he knew to Whom some of its most cryptic passages referred. To assist his evangelism, he later contributed to the five-volume translation of the Zohar into English. From his work, Messianic Jews in America learned that some Second Temple Jews could have anticipated an incarnation of God and began to present it to rabbis, who were undetstandably shocked.

Unknown said...

At the time, Jewish scholars studying the New Testament (eg Gershom Scholem, Alan Siegel, Daniel Boyarin) were just beginning to ponder the implications of a St Paul who sounded to them like the first Jew to write a personal account of the Merkabah spirituality that became Kabbalah. Ironically, they were then closer to finding a high chtistology in Second Temple Judaism than Christian scholars.

Following the work of Adolf von Harnack, these then assumed that this was a development of the Gentile world, one that likely came decades or centuries after the Resurrection. Not until Martin Hengel demonstrated that Jesus-worship began in Palestine, did Christian scholars (eg Larry Hurtado, Richard Bauckham) realise that they had badly underestimated the religion of Jesus himself. Suddenly, especially in the aftermath of the Holocaust, the somewhat nationalistic bent of von Harnack's reconstruction of Christian origins was suspect. Scholars who rejected it formed an Early High Christology Club that was known at SBL meetings for startling papers and a much coveted EHCC coffee mug.

Unknown said...

DJAR wants CoC to canonise Levertoff and to authorise a form of his rite for ordinary Sunday worship in parishes throughout Cockaigne. This is a tall ask from a rather matginal advisory committee, and suspicious voices demand to know the agenda behind these proposals.

Bryden Black said...

Not only is it true that Hume’s Fork is bent beyond repair. Vienna’s logical positivists themselves utter nonsense with their verification principle being unverifiable. Into the trash. And thirdly the “incredulity of metanarratives” is itself a metanarrational claim and therefore absurd. Trash #3! And lastly and germane to our problems on That Topic, pluralism. For it tries to allow for multiple paths, while claiming for itself to be the key perspective upon all those very paths; it claims a unique singular stance amongst a world of plural views, all of which ostensibly are to be treated equally. Another illogical absurdity - to be thrown into the Can.
By which time readers’ brains should be hurting with all such unfamiliar self-reflection! May Robert Jenson’s programme of “theology as revisionary metaphysics” - in which I delight - heal your souls and bodies, minds and spirits. For it is Trinitarian through and through. Amine!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bryden and Bowman
Thanks Bowman for the nod to Feser (I am going to link to his blog on a sidebar) and the revelation about Levertoff (I have ordered his key book for our library).
Bryden: no doubt that is true re pluralism generally. I suggest our church is not quite in the can on that one. Yes, we are treating two integrities equally at this time, but more on a pragmatic principle (each has many supporters) than on a metaphysical principle (they are equal and "we" [GS? "senior leaders"?) judge that ok), with openness to seeing over time where the truth prevails (which becomes popular to the point of vibrant life, which fades and dries up to the point of death).
Though - of course - there is always the possibility that many centuries later, all will be thriving (cf Catholics, Protestantism, Pentecostalism, Eastern Orthodoxy ... none of which has yet gone the way of Arianism, Nestorianism etc!).

Father Ron Smith said...

I think that what is at stake in the matters under consideration here - without appeal to any other scholar or writer, past or present - is that of 'authority'. If we can assume that neither the Roman nor the Orthodox Church contains 'ALL Authority' for all Christians for all time - a Protestant view!), then we must look for the requisite authority for any change in the Church to be present in the local 'magisterium'(in our case; General Synod).

For us Anglicans in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Polynesia, this authority is generally considered to lie in the local governance of our Church - in General Synod - composed of episcopal, clerical and lay membership.

If this were not the case, then Anglicans would have to defer to the authority of the Mother Church of England's Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lambeth Conference.

The rise of the GAFCON/FOCA Alternative Church is an indication that not all Anglicans consider themselves to be ruled from Canterbury; assuming - as have the Gafcon Primates - that Canterbury no longer has any real influence in (or over) their bailiwick, and that they alone (Gafcon) are the true Anglican Church. Unfortunately for the rest of us, they seem to think that we are not true Anglicans

Thos of us who maintain our fraternal links with the Archbishop of Canterbury do recognise his role as Primus-inter-pares, presiding over the Lambeth Conference while not, however, requiring us to defer to his/her jurisdictional rule. Each Anglican Province currently maintains its independence by its own legal constitution.

Anglican Churches around the world are all subject to the Credal definition of the Early Church - in common with both the Roman and the Orthodox/Oriental Churches. However, there is no 'Pope' in our ecclesial structure, so we have to rely on our own provincial churches to govern our common life - in situ - presuming that, as we claim to be part of the Church Universal; our Church Councils, Provincial Synods, will be guided by the Holy Spirit to determine the ongoing discernment of the will and purpose of God for us in our separate communities, bearing in mind our cultural differences.

Unknown said...

Checking my reading.

Bryden's argument against abstract pluralism is-- it must be an option (or one cannot choose it), and it must not be an option (or it cannot be their principle), but a thing cannot both be and not be an option (or anything else).

Peter agrees, but makes two stipulations--

(a) treating each of two incompatible options as if it might be *false* is not pluralism but a trial (eg Elijah and the priests of Baal) arbitrated by Providence.

(b) If Providence does not falsify either option, then the persistence of both can be explained however one explains the persistence of other religious incompatibles.

Is that what two are arguing?

BW

Anonymous said...

Hi Bowman; thanks for the reference to Professor Feser. Has anyone found a reference to the Latin text? The original was written in Italian, but I am interested in how inadmissible is rendered in the Latin.

Nick

Peter Carrell said...

Yes, I think that is it, Bowman.

Though perhaps Bryden would agree with me on your (a) that it is possible that the way the debate is constructed on either side is arguably false in both instances while the eye of "metaphysics" sees greater prospects for true truth to emerge from one side than the other.

If that is helpful then it might mean, for your (b) that persistence can be explained on the basis that each option has sufficient truth in it for adherents to be gained, adherents who sincerely believe that the option they follow has much to commend to it - much that is Christianly metaphysical and metaphysically Christian.

In perhaps oversimplified terms, one side here in ACANZP has strength through focus on biblical commandments and the other side has strength through its appeal to the making of covenants as a characteristic of biblical people.

Bryden Black said...

The Can Peter is the destination of all four logical fallacies - including the organisational (non)solution to house within a single ‘tent’ such a blatant pair of contradictions. As even Kenneth Locke admits in his work on Anglican authority, “settled forms of human relationships”, either marital or episcopal, may not be ‘undone’. History (your chosen vehicle for proof) has a habit over time of demonstrating the sheer logic of things ... The single ‘tent’ is doomed long term: period/full stop.

Bryden Black said...

Well Peter; let me add to your latest - to avoid speculation as to what I might and/or might not be actually saying ...!

Metaphysically, SSB/SSM is yet another manifestation of another dualism - in an alarmingly similar way to Classic Hellenistic dualism being the trigger for Arianism, which the homoousion addressed head on. So; while the Council of Rimini surely made Jerome groan in 359 even after Nicea in 325, it took a while longer to put matters to rest - well, theoretically, since we both know many an Anglican is either semi-Pelagian or semi-Arian or both!! (Despite the Creed’s being regularly recited!)

Bottom line: I’m not holding my breath for Providence to grant your (b), even as I fully expect history to construct two evolving forms of global Anglicanism. As for “judging” which may be “authentic”: Ron seems to have forgotten our own roots ... and neither of us will be around to find out what transpires. One Day of course matters will be a tad clearer...!!!

Bryden Black said...

Unfortunately Bowman pluralism is not as politically abstract as you might be suggesting. It has wretched concrete traction in countless ways I could enumerate. Not least re That Topic’s frequent justification...

Unknown said...

Might multiplicity arise, not as discrete options that can be chosen in *the view from nowhere* (Thomas Nagel), but as a common principle adapting to contexts that cannot tolerate what is unadapted or differently adapted?

Collectively, such adaptations may exhibit, not a single feature that all have in common, but a *family resemblance* (Ludwig Wittgenstein) in which each has a discernible yet unrepeated similarity to each of the others.

BW

Anonymous said...

Quapropter Ecclesia, sub Evangelii luce, docet “poenam capitalem non posse admitti.

Not sure it improves the English.

Nick

Bryden Black said...

@ 3:05 Bowman, you are naturally onto something. Thanks.
Small rejoinder: I have been known to depict the West’s current form of anthropology as Christendom’s bastard step-child. Not sure that’s within LW’s “family” or not. We’ll just have to ponder the aroma of coffee instead ;-)

Father Ron Smith said...

In pluribus unum?

Father Ron Smith said...

Another thought on the practicality of 'dualism': What about the Triune Mystery that is present in God's-Self? (there are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio....!)
AND: "I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever, and revealing them to mere children". - Jesus (Matt.11:25)

Unknown said...

Father Ron, even those who oppose it are completing the Reformation project of secularising marriage from a sacrament of the medieval Church that was never well defined because it is intrinsically incoherent to a condition of life in the civil order which has its own mandate from God and does not *need* churches for anything. The elements of the Reformation secularisation are there in BCP solemnisation and the Articles. But in an England still in Christendom, the CoE remained the administrator of the now this-worldly institution, which was prudent at the time, but in the long run very confusing to the English-speaking world. A Way Forward proposed both a return to the old scholastic befuddlement and making room in that mess for poor homosexuals who had done nothing to deserve being made poster chikdren for the ignorance of others. We are seeing that only the wise solution of the Reformers ensures the dignity of every person made by God.

BW

Bryden Black said...

One small hic-up to this thesis Bowman. What of those Christians, who deem themselves to be gay and who also have no truck with the secular agenda, and so who seek celibacy and chastity? And I know some of these dear folk rather well ... For them, M29/7 is an enormous betrayal. But a question therefore: a betrayal of what exactly?!

Anonymous said...

Hi Fr Ron; I wanted the Latin because the Roman church does not rate English particularly highly and often offers bad English translations. In this case, I checked all translations and they are all consistently canonically bad. No one in the Catholic world is sure what inadmissible means. The sad conclusion is that it is typical Francis gobbledygook. Lord save the Pope, but God save us all.
Nick

Unknown said...

Bryden, from the state, which has a mandate for orderly justice, we should not be surprised to see SSM as a solution to many legal, financial, and medical questions that arise from cohabitation. But I.10 directly criticises neglect of the single state and its spiritual opportunities, and implicitly rebukes ways of church in which life is unintelligible apart from marriage and sex. Betrayal is a harsh word, but your friends are ill-served by a religious imaginary in which their spirituality is still invisible after almost two centuries of the Oxford Movement.

BW

Bryden Black said...

No dispute - as far as you go: but ... The wonderful work of Jana Marguerite Bennett explodes the premise!

Father Ron Smith said...

Dear Bryden and Bowman; I am loth to criticise anyone who endures the state of celibacy, which the Apostle Paul obviously thought infinitely superior to the married state. And Jesus himself mention this state as being 'For the Sake of the Kingdom. I notice, though, that very few who advocate celibacy for gay perople are themselves partaking if this kingdom-bulding 'more excellent way.

Having myself actually experienced celibacy for the sake of the Kingdom, I know how difficult it can be - that's probably why not many straight people are inclined to indulge in it themselves. Having experienced the celibate life, I am keenly aware and supportive of those who embark upon it. However, I no longer think it neessary for everyone who is gay to have to make this particular sacrifice of their God-given sexualty to prove their love of God and their respect for God's call on ther lives.
Echoing Bryden, 'some of my best friends are members of Religious Orders and some even celibate priests..

Unknown said...

Bryden, JMB's work appears to more or less BE the premise of I.10's critique of the neglect of the single state. Where do you think the Lambeth fathers erred?

BW

Bryden Black said...

Indeed Ron; but that is exactly why I deferred to Jana Bennett!

Bryden Black said...

Apologies Bowman; the “premise” was not clearly indicated by me: Lambeth I.10 versus that religious imagination. Both are/were mentioned in your comment, and in my all too brief comment neither specified. Clearly JMB is addressing the paucity of the latter, setting up the alternative in neon lights!! I love the fact too that she of all erudite folk ... teaches children!

Unknown said...

Father Ron, everything is better on the blessed isle, of course, and so everyone there is happily married, and your marriage laws are just because ACANZP's General Synod rules the land.

I myself do understand that in an idyllic place where no person is single, it must be odd to think about celibacy at all. Marriage there is the easy and obvious solution to every problem.

But here up yonder in the US, 50% of all adults of whatever orientation live alone. Evangelism to all of the unchurched here is, at that rate or more, advocacy of celibacy. And evangelism fails when persons with no prospect of marriage nevertheless resile from a life that seems to them to be pure deprivation.

Now you, Bryden, and I know that even the attempt at celibacy can be much richer than that when it is supported by a like-minded community. You found that among the Franciscans, and I have found in various places.

But the sort of parish that the Lambeth fathers criticise-- the most common sort here-- is a club for the married and their adored children. God bless them all, but their family-absorbed way of life has none of the support just mentioned to offer the 50%. Indeed, it is not really open to them.

So the deprivation from which the unchurched resile is real. And if it is hard for unmarried straight folk, it seems to be even harder for unmarried gay folk. I know that you would never want to belittle the isolation of singles, just as you of all people certainly understand how much better the single state might be for them.

Up here, the odd thing about That Topic is this: in our eagerness (TEC) or anxiety (ACNA) about inducting queer couples into our clubs for the married, we are failing to address even the existential threat to our denominations of being empty-handed for half of the US population. Not to put too fine a point on it, the SSM decreed by our Supreme Court we celebrate or deplore although we have never had any real power or responsibility in that, but the all but unchurchable 50%, where we have both resources and a divine commission, we ignore.

In both TEC and ACNA, that is evil; God will judge it. The real church of the two will be the one that stops congratulating itself for not being the other one, and repents of that great exclusion.

Again, I explain this-- even though ACANZP has vibrant communities for the unmarried in every place on the blessed isles, and even though ACANZP made SSM legal for citizens in New Zealand -- to make it clear that I by no means urge anything on the <3% that I do not urge on the >47%. Rather I defend both groups equally in showing God's wrath on the disobedience and hypocrisy that excludes and hurts both of them.

Up here, the only inequality alleged about my eccentric position is this-- the unlikely repentance of churches, were that to happen, might benefit homosexuals more than straight folk. Maybe so. But as everything is better on the blessed isles, I shall not bore you further with American malaise.

Thank you again for your interesting account of life amongst the Franciscans. And do finish your memoir soon.

BW

Bryden Black said...

A few years ago, Bowmnan, my wife (who is a practising RC, I shld declare!) and I came across an extraordinary book, which has now been recast and updated: https://www.amazon.com/Thrill-Chaste-Catholic-Finding-Fulfillment/dp/1594715580/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1534148920&sr=1-1&keywords=the+thrill+of+the+chaste

May it offer, via precisely those communities we seem to lack as Anglican derivatives, some traction for your massive numbers of USA singles. DV!

Father Ron Smith said...

Dear Bowman, may I ask, was your above address to Bryden (yr 4th para) - involving his experience of the Franciscan life, actually meant for me? I haven't heard of Bryden's own dedication to celibacy as a Franciscan. but, I may be wrong. Agape, Fr Ron

Unknown said...

Father Ron, the whole of my 2:34 is addressed gratefully to you.

Bryden has not been a Francican, so far as I know, and my own chief debt to the sons of St Francis has been to the rather good wine cellar of their priory in Washington. My spiritual direction has come chiefly from Carmel, Citeaux, and Athos.

More relevant here is the fellowship of the Society of St John the Evangelist in Durham NC and Cambridge MA. Not many US towns have an Anglican monastery with a tradition of offering fellowship to others, but where that has happened it has been helpful to several that I have known.

How can that be accessible to more people? The SSJE, influenced perhaps by the OSF's provision for tertiaries, do have two confraternities for those living more secular lives-- one for celibate clergy, another for the laity. Members of these receive spiritual direction, fellowship with other members, and invitations to retreat in the monastery. Of course, Orthodox monasteries do all that as a matter of vocation. And so do many Roman Catholic ones. But putting all communions together, there are only so many monks in Christendom, and they vocationally prefer to live in places somewhat remote from the need.

Stripping what works to its essentials, there are really only four-- modern spiritual direction, one or more households, regular personal and liturgical prayer in a tradition, and worship with fellowship. None of that is beyond the reach of younger evangelicals. To the contrary, the intellectual and spiritual impetus for this sort of work may have reached the "use it or lose it" point where it will either live in souls or just in libraries. Perhaps the CC provision of M29 could best be used for a new, spirituality-based evangelism and care?

BW

Father Ron Smith said...

Thanks, Bowman, for your ever-present eirenic communications. I, for one, appreciate your contributions to ADU. Please pray for our diocesan Electoral Synod, which meets this weekend to decide on the person to succeed Bishop Victoria as our Diocesan.

Bryden Black said...

"Perhaps the CC provision of M29 could best be used for a new, spirituality-based evangelism and care?" - Bowman

As one who is most interested in trying to establish a Christian Community as now provided for by our GS, and having already attended two local meetings and written about and for this notion, I'd have to agree, Bowman. However, at this stage, Constitutions seem more important rather than say Rules. Perhaps not surprising given the politics of the moment. Yet there IS too a strong emphasis already re mission and evangelism. In due course I surely trust the entire thing under the guidance of the Protector creates a formidable force for renewal in our Province. DV DG!

PS Having myself started serious spiritual direction via Mother Mary Clare of Oxford, ...!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter; I assume that you have seen this. http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2018/08/15/academics-appeal-to-cardinals-advise-pope-to-withdraw-scandalous-catechism-change/. I do find the conservatives’ deference to Pope Bergoglio quite amusing. Francis doesn’t believe in protocol, so these people should just turn up and give him an ear full; preferably a loud one. Who knows, he might have a hearing aid handy.

Nick

Peter Carrell said...

Dear Nick,
Anglicans know well the ecclesiastical hearing syndrome known as The Bishop Won't Listen To Us Anymore.
We are very sorry to learn that this condition has slipped its moorings.
:)
Peter