Saturday, November 21, 2009

Ecclesiastical bibs and bobs
  • Feast-day: O ye foremost of the heavenly host, we who are not worthy beseech you... Photo: an icon on my wall. (Explanation.)
  • Fr Stephen Freeman: to believe in the truth.
  • Saintly priest in Moscow gunned down. Fr Daniel Sisoev.
  • The most mythological feast-day? I’m no Modernist: St Pius V thought so too. What matters is, like the legend of St Philomena, it’s not heretical and there’s no proof it’s not true. The Gospel tells us nothing of the childhood of Mary; her title Mother of God eclipses all the rest.
  • Fr Hunwicke: Orate, fratres. It’s to the other ministers in the sanctuary; I knew that. The dialogue Mass gives the impression that it’s to the congregation, which is not theologically unsound but historically that’s not so.
  • Naming the bishop in the Canon. St Cyprian: Whence you ought to know that the bishop is in the Church, and the Church in the bishop; and if any one be not with the bishop, that he is not in the Church.
  • TNLM: Marketing Catholicism? As Arturo and Owen (criticising Ancient Faith Radio’s American evangelical makeover of Orthodoxy) might say, is the whole concept wrong? Of course so is the other extreme of not allowing converts (the Great Commission, the Book of Acts etc.). The other point is gimmicks from popular culture don’t have staying power bringing in the lapsed either (the parable of the seed not being able to grow roots).
  • T1:9: Time’s Protestant-biased coverage of the Pope’s offer to the last Anglo-Catholics. Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism: friends or rivals? How about neither? The essential difference of infallibility (‘I can’t change that; I’m only the Pope’) vs fungibility (by the state, the dominant class’s mores, etc.: absolute power really) means corporate reunion’s impossible. Shut down ARCIC. This announcement from Rome is incredibly messy. No, it’s not. The two don’t compete; each takes in the few from the other side who ask to come in. They serve different markets as much to do with liking or hating Englishness and high culture in church as theology. Doctrinally rigid umbrella: biased much? Try solid or something like that instead. More democratic church governance: what? If that means trusteeism for parish ownership, forget it (although like clerical celibacy it’s not doctrine). Anyway the Anglican spokesmen seem awfully afraid of the Pope. Like they’re worried the Queen might hand back the keys to Canterbury Cathedral when he comes round next year.
  • To quote the Bard (who pretty much kept his religious views to himself, sensible under Elizabeth I), sound and fury signifying nothing.
  • Damian Thompson: 20 minutes. That’s all the time the Pope needed with Dr Williams. It looks as if they devoted much of it to ARCIC, the official dialogue between the Communions which I thought had been wound down years ago. There’s going to be a “third phase” of this waffle? To discuss what? Tips on where to buy the tastiest organic biscuits to serve after Sunday-morning services? Pope Benedict has given up on the Church of England, in the nicest possible way.
  • A note from Dr Tighe: If the “original intent” of the framers of the 39 Articles in the context of the Elizabethan Church of England is normative, then the Evangelicals really do hold the “title deeds” of Anglicanism. But without church infallibility what’s to stop conservative Protestantism becoming liberal Protestantism as happened in 18th-century England?
  • Here I stand revisited. Conservative ELCA people take a page from recent ex-Episcopalians and mull over a move from liberal Protestantism to... slightly less liberal Protestantism. More.
  • Derek’s mini-Apologia. Moderate high-church Protestantism essentially. Comment.

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