Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Protestant all along
A liberal priest in the Church of Ireland, a denomination that’s always been a tiny minority of the Irish (they didn’t buy the king’s religion even when he tried to persuade them by force), embraces what he always was. I don’t want to go all Chris Johnson (sorry, my friend) and obsess about/pick on the Anglicans but this reminds me of a survey I once heard of in which most lay Episcopalians — nice mannerly WASPs, the Gerald Fords and George H.W. Bushes — of course said they were Protestants but most Episcopal priests said they weren’t, which didn’t, like their very widespread use of ‘Father’ and chasubles imply, mean they were Anglo-Catholics but rather was a liberal statement against the conservative Protestants they looked down on much like Neill does. Of course left or right Protestant is Protestant — fallible church that really means no rule of law in the form of doctrine (which limits the Pope for example) so it’s not humble but a claim of absolute power — so in that sense Neill’s right. I see at least one of the usual combox chorus of old angry ex-RCs who are the shrinking Episcopalians’ online amen corner.

Some different commentary:
One would think that part of styling oneself a “liberal” would be a desire (if not the ability) to listen sympathetically to those with whom one disagrees, with a view to understanding them and engaging them in their own terms. Alas, the Revd Mr Neill shows neither that ability nor the ability to think clearly.
Not shocking. See above on the claim to absolute power.

From Dr Tighe.

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