Anglo Catholicks and the Church of England


I have been an Anglo Catholic since the early 1970′s and before that I was mildly Catholic but still learning about Christianity in a village church which was more or less High Church with a slight leaning towards the Catholic approach to worship and ecclesiology.

Since then I have learn a lot about the way that the church of England came into being and it is not a pretty story.  I had grave misgivings about the nature of the Anglican Communion and sought clarification from a wise Priest.  He helped me to consider the Church of England as being part of the continuing Catholic Church which was not Roman but still Catholic.

Now I am quite confused, and in a way that is a good thing.  If I were certain of my understanding then I think I would be in serious doubt of my thinking.

For me the Church of England cannot be a separate body, for if it is then heaven will be a very restricted experience.  Many of it’s doctrines are clearly erroneous within the great scheme of things, not least the matter of divorce and the role of the Monarch.  Divorce and the Monarch are where the Church of England begins, and the late medieval machinations of powerful clerics and temporal lords played about with these ‘doctrines’ whilst the common people were governed by another standard.

How I feel today about the label ‘Catholic’ is very different from the 70′s.  I feel that it is certainly not applicable to non-conformist denominations and does imply some adherence to long held practice and belief, but what that really is, I do not know.

MrC

Touching the hem of Christ’s Vestments.


English: Logo of the Church of England

English: Logo of the Church of England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MrC’s comments of ‘SAFEGUARDING: FOLLOW-UP TO THE CHICHESTER COMMISSARIES’ REPORTS FOREWORD BY THE ARCHBISHOPS OF CANTERBURY AND YORK’

Tomorrow there will be a discussion concerning the safeguarding procedures in relation to the abuse of children and vulnerable adults as it applies to the Church of England.  It seems however to be concerned, not only with prevention but also with punishment.

Whilst I fully accept the rightness of ensuring that people who are considered to be a risk to children and vulnerable adults are not allowed to have unsupervised access to children and vulnerable adults in church, I cannot see anywhere acknowledgement that such people may wish to repent and may wish to continue to have a sacramental relationship with God via the church.

The document fails to provide any guidance on how such people might be integrated into the Church.

The preoccupation about wearing vestments or clerical dress in this document is perhaps warranted, but the lack of pastoral guidance for the wicked is lamentable.  The demonising of such people is a sad reflection on the church and the dehumanisation of perpetrators is unhelpful.  They are reduced to the scathing reference; ‘these people’.

“The sexual and physical abuse that has been inflicted by these people on children, young people and adults is and will remain a deep source of grief and shame for years to come.” (my emphasis)

Be assured, I am not condoning any form of abuse, simply asking for a less vehement response in dealing with those who are responsible for ‘individual wickedness’.  We have a responsibility to ‘deal’ with them in their entirety, as sinners and as penitents.

It is good to hear the Archbishops citing Christ in their letter…

“All contemporary safeguarding policies and procedures in the Church should be a response to what we learn and see in Jesus himself… In witness to this faith and to our sense of obligation to children who are brought to Jesus through the care of the Christian community, the Church should set for itself the highest standards of care available to our society today”

Yet we also know that ‘what we learn and see in Jesus himself’ includes the grace of forgiveness and a responsibility to care for all who are outcast.

I also feel that the Archbishops should acknowledge that some abusers are themselves victims of abuse and may need special care by the church and church authorities for that very reason.  To cast them out may be to compound the very real harm they also live with.  I say this without any intention whatsoever of diminishing the guilt of the sinner nor seeking any action that would jeopardise a child or vulnerable adult.. or anyone else for that matter.  The daily rape by my Uncle and the chilling threats over many weeks when I was aged 7 haunt me every day.  I feel utterly desolate without the fellowship of my church and some acknowledgement of my repentance and desire to make some reperation.  My voice is the voice of a sinner, yes and i will always have that before me, but there is also the voice of the child within me, a voice that today I recognise more clearly thanks to my friends, both in Synod and online.  I could not cry out then, but i can today.

I would like the Archbishops to listen to me also when they say…

“It is right, therefore, that the General Synod should receive an account of the actions that the House and the Council have put in hand, have an opportunity to comment on the next steps, and be able to identify with the apology that we wish to offer unreservedly for the failure of the Church of England’s systems to protect children, young people and adults from physical and sexual abuse inflicted by its clergy and others and for the failure to listen properly to those so abused.” (my emphasis)

I shall not be at Synod this year but I hope that the brave may find something here to speak about.

In His service  MrC

Those who are of Riper Years….. and LGBT’s


El-Greco

St James the Lesser (after El Greco) MrC

I’m sorry but I can’t find my copy of the old book of Common Prayer, but I remember bits pretty well and it is still canonical.

In it I recall a wedding service variation for ‘those who are of riper years’.  [No I don't... See Richard's comment below(many thanks)]  This was a service for older people getting married who wouldn’t expect to have children born within the marriage. I’m quite fed up with hearing the rhetoric of those who bang on about Marriage being about procreation. It is not, where that is not possible.

Therefore the Anglican Communion has long ago recognised the marriage of one person to another where children are not going to be an outcome of their comfort towards one another.

Hypocrisy in the House of Bishops


Firstly there is the ‘supposedly’ single bishop, who speaks out against ordaining gay people. Yet he himself is gay and is active on the gay internet scene, meeting men online to have affairs and ‘liaisons’ with.  He has hardly ever had a long term relationship, but has had numerous one night stands. As a parish priest he would not have countenanced marrying a couple who lived together before getting married and as a bishop speaks about the ideal of being celibate if not married.  Apparently he does not see his own behaviour as promiscuity because it is with men and not women.  He is known to sometimes resort to a little persuasion (some might say blackmail) if someone threatens to expose him and his behaviour. He is powerful and influential…
Then, there is the retired married bisexual bishop.  During his time as a suffragan and a diocesan bishop (and no doubt throughout his ministry) he had affairs with men… some of whom, his wife knew about.  Other senior clergy rallied round to protect him and colluded with his behaviour, including the ‘paying off’ of difficult ex boyfriends – no doubt from diocesan funds!   This bishop however, told his clergy they were not to ask him about blessing civil partnerships or gay relationships… and he let it be known through his chaplain that he would be most unhappy if any clergy raised the matter with him.  Come the clergy conference and other semi public events though he had no such hesitation about being ‘drapped’ across male clergy…
Finally, there is the bishop who promises the earth to PCCs, clergy and laity in his diocese alike. When it appears that he can’t deliver on these promises he blames others – the archdeacons, the diocesan staff, even his own family.  He claims expenses in a way that some may find suspicious and uses his bishop’s discretion fund with no sense of a transparent criteria.  He likes the finer things in life and is known to make extravagant demands as he travels the diocese. He preaches about honesty and holiness, being humble and self sacrificing…
Are these characters real you ask. Surely not, or there would be some evidence. People would speak out against this sort of behaviour.  Well, consider the bullying that goes on, the confidentiality clauses (gagging clauses) that are written into compromise agreements with staff, the old boys network of the House of Bishops, the threats, the intimidation, the manipulation… Are you so sure now, that these characters don’t really exist?

Challenge to you. Explain Christianity.


Christmas ball - Christianity

Christmas ball – Christianity (Photo credit: nabeel_yoosuf)

Why should anyone be a Christian?

What is the basic message that you would put to someone enquiring about the Christian Faith?

What are the essential pieces of information that one needs to convey the Christian faith?

Or is it something that is often socially and habitually acquired, perhaps from an early age.

Answers in comments please.a

 

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The Church needs to Change


god

god (Photo credit: the|G|™)

If the church is to survive as a purposeful and positive factor in people’s lives then it is going to have to change radically.  The superstition and sectarianism that it has depended upon for generations must come to an end if it is to offer modern society a Gospel that is relevant and believable in a new age.  Essential truths about the nature of God must be decided upon with a new approach and old interpretations that are harmful, and in many scholarly places discredited, must be rooted out.

It is true that the church has moved away from much that it once taught and it no longer gives credibility to blatant discrimination of Government and economic policies; slavery, serfdom, fear and arrogance have been rejected at last.  Though not in every case, not for everyone.  We still promote traditions that are anti-gay and the church remains an establishment that holds secrets and shuns openness and truthfulness in its dealings with finance and morality.  It is flawed and often behaves in a way that Christ would condemn.

More fundamentally the attempt to include within itself a range of extreme values that are mutually opposed has resulted in a deeply divided house,  It needs to define what it holds as true and make those values known.  The church needs to be freed from the ill-conceived idea of unity and position itself clearly with the values that Christ taught.  It is time to reject the individualistic theories and interpretations that  those who are at its extreme ends hold as ‘essential to salvation’.

The church needs to be honest and admit when it is unsure, be humble and admit that it has, and continues to get things wrong.  The Church needs to confess its sinfulness and seek forgiveness, for example; when it is harsh and when it obscures the nature of God   from the eyes and ears of the people it is called to serve, when it presents instead a vision of God that lacks compassion and accessibility.

To hold on to a God, indeed a Gospel that is excluding of many and irrelevant to most is foolish and cannot be sustained, nor should it be.  To believe that access to God is reserved to itself alone is against the word of God and extremists who promote such a view are heretical and wrong.

Holding on to privilege and establishment is contrary to the way that Christ taught us and rejecting that which it believes is embarrassing or it believes is damaging to its own survival is to also reject the God who scandalised His own people by hanging on a cross, rejected and despised.

Maybe it is time for all Christians to review what the Gospel tells us about the nature of God in our world.  Perhaps it is a time for all denominations to be humbled by the story of Christ and revisit their thinking and divest themselves of fondly held beliefs that are unhelpful and contradictory.

Re thinking the Gospel is not a novel idea, it has always been part of what we are as Church and history testifies to this, as do the writings of the New Testament themselves.  Change can be threatening but seeking a true understanding of the nature of God may demand change from each and every one of us.

I am tired of hearing the pomposity of fundamentalists in the church and the certitude of so many clerics, especially the most senior of our church.  There are those who twitter without thinking and I guess they live their lives in much the same way, but feel themselves right and justified by habitually adopting narrow thinking and by holding onto personal creeds that are far from what Christ taught us.

Somewhere in the Church of England there has to be a renaissance.  It is time for change and an abandonment of the shackles of tradition.  It is time for good people to  speak out and be heard, it is time to be open to new thinking and looking at Christ with new eyes.  It is time to cast off the bonds of slavery to the past and look seriously at what is relevant to God’s relationship with His people.

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TODD AKIN : Conservative Evangelicalism


, member of the United States House of Represe...

, member of the United States House of Representatives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Politicians, in the USA, following the lead of Todd Akin, are now able to quote research that has found that the body of those who suffer from an attack of Conservative Evangelicalism has a natural ability to defend itself by closing down parts of the brains function, such as compassion, reason and common sense, enabling the victim to resist the inevitable madness that follows.  Unfortunately the Brain will remain in this state unless treated.

MrC

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Moving on……


Moving Day (film)

Moving Day (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Faithful followers of this blog know that MrC has poked fun at a lot of people and occasionally pointed out some really bad behaviour by others.  I am not without sin either and it is not a perfect blog by any means.

Still, defending those who are oppressed by others, exposing bullying by senior clerics, these are things we are all required to do, sinners or not, and each and everyone of us will, if we submit to to following Christ and walking the way of the Cross, offering ourselves for the betterment of others, we will all be redeemed, even Bishops and Archbishops.

We are all equal, we are all created by God and we will all be judged by Him.  How far we come to know Him here on earth and live according to His will, as best we can; indeed how far we are able to forgive, may be the deciding factor in how far we are able to live with Him in heaven.

MrC

 

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Kerron has a huge cross to bear, Mr sentamu!


Mr Catolick’s blog has made  Kerron Cross (Mr Sentamu’s Publicity spin doctor) to find out a bit about him go here.

I am surprised that a one time socialist should be offended by MrC’s jesting and support for women and LGBT folk.  He clearly doesn’t attend General Synod nor is he aware of the shenanigans that has gone on at CNC meetings and Mr Sentamu’s widely reported vote rigging in the urinals of Lambeth Palace, but I’m sure he is an otherwise good guy.  He also was a supporter of Gordon Brown.  Hmmmmm

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