Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sinners across the Tiber are no worse than on this side

There are all sorts of reasons why I am unlikely to 'cross the Tiber', ranging from customs of my life through to lack of conviction on certain things such as Marian theology. (Reasons why I might cross include some things Romans 'get' about great liturgical worship!) One reason would certainly not be that, what with being a continuous church built on the Petrine rock, and having better inbuilt safeguards against heresy (the magisterium, something I think the Communion could do with), there is, so to speak, a better quality sinner on the other side of the Tiber. Sinners, say, who know the truth, stick to the truth, and commend the truth of God by what they say as well as what they do on a good day. No, across on that side are sinners thinking thoughts such as this:

"•Politicians are obliged from time to time to conceal the full truth, to bend it and even distort it".

•On Hans Kung, the theologian and notorious dissenter from Catholic teaching on abortion, euthanasia, contraception and much else: "My Oxford friend, Pete Thomson, always sung the praises, rightly, of the inestimable Hans Kung … a distinguished scholar and author [of] great works."

•repeated references to his support for the homosexual agenda*, such as: "Just before Christmas [2005] the Civil Partnership Act came into force … I was really proud of that."

•On illicit affairs by politicians: "I tended to look upon such things with a fairly worldly eye"."
Just the thoughts of well-known Roman, Tony Blair ... cited from a citation on Anglican Mainstream. I would love to known what Benedict makes of this ... It escapes me what distinction exists between Roman Catholics and Anglicans when this kind of thinking is going on in the citadel of truth. OK. I know. One criticism of Tony Blair is that he really is still an Anglican. Leopards, spots, that sort of thing.


Suem said...

I am not a great fan of Tony Blair. I had reservations about him taking the country to war with Iraq and felt there may have been dishonesty about the supposed clear evidence for weapons of mass destruction. His memoirs seem to me to be self promoting, keen to justify and lay claim to his place in history.

I think few politicians are overly honest or transparent though.

I suppose we are all sinners on either side of any Tiber. One of our biggest sins is to be better at spotting the sins of our brother (or sister) than our own.

Peter Carrell said...

He did win three elections which is more than a lot of politicians! So some virtue must lurk there ...

Suem said...

Roman Catholics in the UK tend to be more open towards homosexuality (at least so I find.) The main LGBT masses are held in RC churches. There is a regular LGBT mass very openly advertised in Soho - a quieter monthly one in Manchester - and there is a large RC gay movement.Martin Prendergast is, I think, the name of one of the main proponents of the RC LGBT movement and there is a good showing of RC Christians at Pride events. One year they wore "No-one knows I'm Catholic..." T-shirts!

Rumour has it that a reasonably large number of the conservative RC people, such as Forward in Faith members, are in active gay partnerships -despite being "anti- gay" but it is best to ignore rumour.

So, maybe in his views on sexuality Tony Blair is showing Roman colours after all...

Peter Carrell said...

Life can be complex!

Fr. Bryan Owen said...

Peter, I seem to recall in an earlier posting that you offered some thoughts about an "Anglican magisterium," and I'd love to hear more from you on this. Perhaps the topic deserves a full posting of its own.

The shenanigans of politicians aside, one of the many reasons why I have no interest in crossing the Tiber is that I agree with Jeremy Taylor on the sufficiency of Anglicanism (at least Anglicanism at its best).

There's also a negative reason: to swim the Tiber, one must be willing to say that Anglicanism is null and void. And, if one is ordained, one must be willing to concede that one's orders have always been invalid. IOW, that one has been living a lie and merely (at best) "playing" church.

I'm far more attracted to Eastern Orthodoxy than to Roman Catholicism, but there's the same problem with Orthodoxy vis a vis Anglicanism.

But to put it in a different light, an Orthodox priest told one my clergy colleagues who's struggling with staying in the Episcopal Church: "You should not even think about leaving and becoming Orthodox unless you truly believe that Orthodoxy contains the fullness of Christian truth." IOW, one should not leave for negative reasons, but for positive ones. That's wise counsel.

But as for me, regardless of what the controversies/troubles of the day may be, I cannot imagine being anything other than an Anglican Christian.

Peter Carrell said...

Thanks for the link, Bryan. To be honest I can scarcely conceive of crossing the Tiber in order to be a priest over there (with all that might mean about nullity of present orders etc) though I can conceive of it because Protestantism has turned to custard (I use 'Protestantism' advisably; having recently been at a Protestant event about church life notably void of an ecclesiology)!

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Bryan
Forgot to mention 'magisterium': I hope to return to that in a post shortly!