Tuesday, September 15, 2015

[BUMPED] If it weren't so serious, I could laugh till I cried [UPDATED]

Latest: If it weren't so serious, I could laugh till I cried to find that Australia has just changed its Prime Minister, from Tony Abbott to Malcolm Turnbull.

Was Tony ill? No. Had he completely failed? No. Is the slightly ailing Australian economy the victim of mismanagement? No (its the victim of receding fortunes in China). Has Malcolm Turnbull a successful track record as leader of the Liberal Party? No. Has any previous attempt to change PMs mid term through internal party coup saved the party at the next election? Not that I am aware of, and certainly not recently.

A recent sequence of leadership of the Australian Labour Party was: Rudd - Gillard - Rudd. (They are now led, for the time being, by Bill Shorten)

The current sequence of Liberal Party leadership is: Turnbull - Abbott - Turnbull. Oh, dear!

Original: So UK Labour have elected Jeremy Corbyn to be their leader. If this were a joke it would be an excellent one and I could laugh till I cried. But it is not. [Update: see further below re some interesting links].

Today I heard about a government sponsored sermon urging women to cover up their aurat (let's just say, that is knees to neck, at least, if not ankles to head) - so far so ordinary for many Muslim women - and gave as an illustration of why this should be so,

"Let us think for a while, what would happen to an uncovered spread of food? Surely the spread would be covered with flies, and would no longer be seen as desirable by those who had coveted it before."

Likening women showing some of their natural bodies to uncovered food attracting flies. We could laugh at the absurdity of such a denigrative male put down. But this is serious, sincere sermonising. Anger and despair more likely that laughing at the absurdity of it.

A commenter here puts us in touch with Rorate Coeli's reaction to the Pope's recent motu proprio which makes obtaining an annulment easier for Catholics. Let's just say that the reaction amounts to less than an endorsement of the motu proprio let alone of the Pope (for supporting evidence of this deduction, read other articles on the site).

Now I am all for theological argument and such, cf. the existence of this blog. But some arguments are better than others because they accord with the spirit of Jesus' own theologising. Generally, theological arguments for mercy rather than law are in such accordance. So reading lines like this, written, I surmise, with a straight face and a steady pen, I could laugh until I cried. Except ...
'The principle of the double-sentence in conformity [i.e. double confirmation] was consecrated by the 1917 Code of Canon Law and received into the codification promulgated by John Paul II on January 25, 1983. ... In the canonical process, what has to be defended first of all is the supreme interest of the Divine institution which marriage is. ... In Pope Francis’ Motu Proprio this view has been overturned. The interest of the spouses has primacy over that of marriage. It is the document itself that affirms this, by summarizing the fundamental criteria of the reform in these points: the abolition of the double-sentence in conformity, substituted by only one sentence in favor of the enforceability of the annulment ... The combination between Canon 1683 and article 14 on the procedural rules in this respect has a shocking implication. Upon the decisions there will inevitably weigh considerations of a sociological nature: the divorced and remarried will have, for reasons of ‘mercy’, preferential treatment. “The Church of Mercy – notes Giuliano Ferrara – “has started its race” (“Il Foglio” September 9, 2015). It is not racing along an administrative road, but a “juridical one” where there is very little left that remains juridical.'
Was marriage made for men and women or men and women for marriage? (I know, you have heard Someone say something similar, so it's not very original of me to pose that question). Rorate Caeli would appear to be on the side of 'law' versus 'mercy'. Indeed it keeps invoking church law against the notion that the 'church of mercy' might exist and make decisions according to mercy.

Oh, dear Lord ... and thank you that Francis is your representative in Rome!

The greatest challenge for all churches in the 21st century is to steadfastly proclaim the gospel of mercy and to constantly pray to merciful Jesus for guidance as to what that means. Only in this way will we maintain our distinctive message in the face of competing messages about who God is and what God wants of us.

We might even be merciful to those who make bad jokes!

Update: in support of a comment below about Corbynistas in the CofE, a correspondent has supplied the following:

See also links in Sizer's Wikipedia entry

There was quite a heavy Israeli campaign against Corbyn's election, quite apart from his Iran/Hezbollah associations - Google for links.


Anonymous said...

So UK Labour have elected Jeremy Corbyn to be their leader. If this were a joke it would be an excellent one and I could laugh till I cried. But it is not.

It's the best thing to happen to politics for a long time ... unless you're the usual run of gutless, dishonest, dishonourable, out-of-touch nonentities that passes for a political class - and, it would appear, religious leadership as well.

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, by the charism invested in me, as a priest in the church of God, I absolve you of this recent sin of levity. You are right, though about Pope Francis. He is certainly stirring up the dovecotes at the Vatican - from the relative anonymity of St. Martha's Guesthouse.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Ron

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Anonymous
I will let this comment pass without your name.
Please supply your name in future.
(I agree, Corbyn is an authentic politician with spine who believes things and openly states them. But I am extremely dubious about his ability to lead Labour to win an election. In a democracy securing power via the plebiscite is a reasonable criterion for measuring the seriousness of a political party.)

Pageantmaster said...

I have never thought that the Corbyn effect was a joke, and thought the Conservative hubris which extended to Conservative peers registering as £3 Labour association members to vote him in foolhardy.

Notwithstanding the result of the last election sweep, Cameron has lost his traditional voter base, and the Conservative election sweep up was the effect of a great many people distrusting current Labour even more, along with a nationalistic backlash against the possibility of Labour teaming up with Scottish Nationalists. This caused the undecideds, UKIP, former Conservative as well as some Labour voters to back the Conservatives. It has been part of a major backlash across the political world here.

I see what has happened with Corbyn as part of the same strange backlash going on against the established politicians, in a week when MP's who had not returned allegedly over-claimed expenses were named and shamed. I think it is unwise to just dismiss Corbyn and what is happening, particularly among young voters. Although far from similar, it made me wonder whether many people in Russia took Lenin seriously when the Germans delivered him home in a sealed train.

Btw, what do Bishop Pete Broadbent, Rev Giles Frazer and Rev Stephen Stephen Sizer have in common? Jeremy Corbyn, who the first two have publicly supported, and the last who Corbyn has publicly supported. Strange but true.

Things here are very wierd indeed.

Father Ron Smith said...

"Weird" is the correct word - for what's going on in the UK at this time. And that's just the politics!

Kurt said...

Great! Blairism has been repudiated. Now all our British comrades have to do is get rid of those neoliberals in the Parliamentary Labor Party, wot?

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Anonymous said...

Things seem weird in Australia as well. They are going to rival Italy soon with the number of prime ministers they have.


Peter Carrell said...

Hi Kurt
May we draw the conclusion that you are keener on Bernie Sanders than on Hillary Clinton?

Peter Carrell said...

Yes, Nick, I am bumping this post back to to top of the page with an added chortle!

Kurt said...

If Bernie were to get the nomination (fat chance), I would probably vote for him. I like Jill Stein of the Green Party better. (Here in America, the Green Party is one of the most left-wing GPs in the world, more "red-green" than simply "green."

Kurt Hill
Brooklyn, NY

Andrew Reid said...

Hi Peter,
Abbott's problem was that he didn't make the transition from an effective opposition leader to PM. Slogans and blood sport are stock in trade for an opposition but you need solid policy and consistent persuasion in government and neither he nor his govt team displayed them. With a year to go to the election they had lost every poll for a good 18 months.
We Aussies would like some stable leadership also but it seems difficult to find the right mix of skills in our current political class.

Father Ron Smith said...

Peter, I will concede that we may be approaching the fact of breaking communion in different ways - although the term 'Communion', inits basic sense, for myself, refers to ecclesial, organic Holy Communion, which is that to which Christ invites his folloers to celebrate together, on the understanding that Jesus is, both spiiritually and relationally, the common ground. TEC never ceased breaking Bread with anyone esle in the ACC; that was GAFCON's vital error.

MichaelA said...

"TEC never ceased breaking Bread with anyone esle in the ACC; that was GAFCON's vital error."

This has been written many times before in response to Father Ron, but he blithely continues on making the same assertions:

Declarations of impaired communion with TEC began long before Gafcon existed, or was even thought of. Several Australian dioceses (about 10, as I recall) warned TEC before the consecration of V G Robinson in 2003 that they would withdraw communion if this happened, and most of them were liberal dioceses. Hence why when Presiding Bishop Schori visited Australia a few years back, she was only invited to speak at one parish church, and none of the bishops took communion with her - that state of impaired communion has never been lifted, and it pre-dates Gafcon.

There were other dioceses and provinces as well who declared themselves in impaired communion with TEC, not just Australian ones, prior to Gafcon existing.

I wish I could put it more gently, but when Fr Ron just keeps saying the same incorrect things again, and again, and again...

Father Ron Smith said...

MichaelA; when am I going to be able to convince you that individual dioceses cannot speak for a national Church. The Anglican Church in Australia has never declared itself 'out of Communion' with either TEC or the Anglican Church of Canada! If you got out a bit more, around the vast countryside of Australia; you would find that very few other Anglicans agree with what goes on in Sydney Diocese/Moore College Inc.