Church of England

The abuse and intimidation of members of the CofE’s General Synod

There is a Westminster Hall debate in Parliament today led by Simon Hart MP on the abuse and intimidation of candidates and the public in UK elections. A briefing pack has been produced which provides some background to the issues, a selection of media articles and links to parliamentary questions and debates on the subject. It includes a few examples of the sort of abuse received:

Sheryll Murray, Conservative MP for South East Cornwall, highlighted the problem at the first Prime Minister’s Questions of the new Parliament, when she spoke of having swastikas carved into campaign posters and abusive online messages.

Both Mrs Murray and the Prime Minister highlighted the concern that intimidation could be deterring people from becoming candidates.

These incidences continue when Members take their seats in the House of Commons. Stella Creasy, Labour Co-operative MP for Walthamstow, has said recently she received a torrent of abusive letters and online messages following her successful campaign to secure NHS funding for abortions for women in Northern Ireland. She was also the victim of online trolling in 2014 after supporting the campaign to have an image of Jane Austen on £10 notes. This led to a prosecution and the sentencing of the perpetrator for 18 weeks.

This is all some way beyond the usual cut and thrust of democratic politics. But it isn’t entirely clear what the limits of abuse should be, especially when one person’s abuse is another’s acerbic observation or robust riposte. Is all ad hominem not a form of abuse? Is the organised and persistent hounding of politicians on matters of policy not a form of intimidation? Of course, there are longstanding and well-known limits which violate the democratic social contract, such as death threats, inciting violence or physical harm to person or property. And some of the abuse experienced by parliamentary candidates certainly falls within this sphere, and the offenders clearly ought to be prosecuted. There is simply no place in a liberal democracy for scaring women threats of rape, or compromising the personal safety of anyone in public life with an ‘I’m gonna get you’ kind of menace.

But the acceptable threshold of abuse and intimidation isn’t always easy to pin down. We live in an era of snowflakes, after all, for some of whom even being confronted by a copy of the Daily Mail is an offence against their hyper-sensitivities. Is it simply a case of some parliamentary candidates being too thin-skinned?

Note how the examples of “abusive letters and online messages” given in the House of Commons report come from women. “Amid complaints that critics of Mr Corbyn – particularly women – have been subjected to bullying and abuse…” notes the Telegraph. “This sort of intimidation was experienced – I am sorry to say – by female candidates in particular,” observed the Prime Minister a few weeks ago. ‘Majority of female MPs suffer abuse from public’, PoliticsHome revealed. “I am sure that many of my fellow female Members from across the House are, unfortunately, all too familiar with this kind of online abuse,” remarked Dr Roberta Blackman-Woods MP.

It is really all quite appalling.

But note that none of this extends to supporters of Brexit, who are routinely abused as ‘racists’ or accused of being ‘xenophobic’. It doesn’t extend to opponents of on-tap abortion, who are routinely abused as ‘sexist’ or ‘misogynist’. It doesn’t extend to orthodox or traditionalist Christians who are routinely abused with smears of ‘homophobia’, ‘Islamophobia’ or some other abusive delinquency. These sorts of choruses form part of the censorious (not to say intimidating) Phobia Project: “When the media narrative and political dialectic are controlled, how does one contend peacefully against moral coercion, or reason intelligently against an unjust oppression?”

Consider these online social-media comments from liberal/progressive members of the General Synod about their more conservative-minded brothers and sisters in Christ during the recent session in York:

AMW is Andrea Minichiello Williams (CEO of Christian Concern) who was actually speaking in a thoughtful and measured manner. She was ‘tottering’ down the steps because she has a fractured hip. But Canon Rosie Harper appears not to care about that.

Imagine how this Anglican canon and bishop’s chaplain would have tweeted if an evangelical had posted such a sarcastic comment about liberals after Synod had failed to support women bishops.

Of course, the Rev’d Dr Ian Paul, who writes the excellent scholarship-serving-ministry Psephizo blog, could not possibly be speaking intelligently, wisely or discerningly. The Rev’d Andrew Foreshew-Cain disagrees with him, so Dr Paul just has to be an overweening narcissist.

You see the strategy here: bitter and fearful bigots of evil are set against the positive and affirming true disciples of Christ.

Is this abuse? Is it intimidation? Is it hate? Gosh, that’s a difficult one. Certainly, if Andrea Minichiello Williams or Ian Paul had written of their critics in like snarly manner, the ‘h’ word would have poured forth, along with sundry ‘phobe’ smears. There is a feeling of needing to occupy the whole church space, silencing nonconformity, converting congregations to their unquestionable ideology and then declaring victory in gloating tweets.

Is it a godly or holy example for ordained ministers to set?

Does it have any place in the General Synod, let alone the Church of Jesus Christ?

Anger is not abuse, but it may certainly intimidate. Righteous anger may be both abusive and intimidatory, for the target of the wrath will rarely feel loved and appreciated: a parental smack is a subjective glance away from child abuse. And it is feelings of love and appreciation (which some call ‘inclusion’) which are beginning to dominate the Church of England’s understanding of sin: if it makes you happy; if it harms no one else; if it is central to your identity; if it feels wholesome, fulfilling and joyful, it is not and cannot be sin.

And if you take issue with this apprehension of salvation theology, you are “utterly disgraceful”, “ranting”, narcissistic or “bitter” and divisive, etc., etc. It is your sinful heart which judges, condemns, alienates and destroys a lot of lovely people.

But not all abuse is harsh and noisy: it can be subtle and sophisticated.  The drip-drip-drip of criticism, misrepresentation, deception and manipulation is also an undoubted abuse. Some might even call it bullying. If ordained ministers in the Church of England are withholding expressions of love, are they not abusing their flock? Or are they locked in such a cycle of abuse and intimidation that they no longer see it as such, often excusing their sin by deflecting or projecting? So the likes of Andrea Minichiello Williams and Ian Paul bring it on themselves: Rosie Harper, Andrew Foreshew-Cain and Simon Rundell are humble prophets of righteousness, and their task is to expose and rebuke their bigoted opponents because the gospel of inclusion and love demands so.

And so this blog is also a tool of Satan: every word written drips with hate, hypocrisy and bigotry. Merely to question some people or to expose their modus operandi invites such allegations. O, they won’t provide actual quotes of such offence in order that you may sit and reason with them: they will simply assert that it is so, and that will make it so.

Both the abused and abusers may appear to have very thick skin, but both will be hurting, because we all do. The abused might prefer to wait for the abusers to take responsibility and apologise, but peace and reconciliation are thereby placed beyond reach, for the abuser and abused will never agree about who is the victim and who the perpetrator. You may loathe Andrea Minichiello Williams and adore Rosie Harper, or vice-versa. You may laud Ian Paul and detest Simon Rundell, or vice-versa. And yet Jesus loves both and all, despite neither and none deserving it. We all see our reflections in a mirror, darkly. None of us is in possession of the whole and perfect truth. Isn’t that the table at which we might break bread and repair fractured fellowship?

Abuse leaves scars, some of which will never fully heal, but if Church prods, pokes, hacks away and tears strips off the Redeemed of Christ, what hope does it have to bind the wounds of the brokenhearted who do not know, and have not seen or heard?

  • Er … um …. being a snowflake, Jack doesn’t know what to say. He doesn’t want to offend, or be offended. Best to keep quiet.

  • Notforinfants

    Excellent comment and well applied in the last paragraph.

    Christians are enjoined to “Speak the truth in love”.
    It appears to me that Synod is failing on both of these counts, for it signally fails to speak biblical truth about abortion, homosexuality, or the latent threat from militant Islam, the authority of Scripture, and on other key issues of primary Christian doctrine.
    Thus, both truth and love are vital together, and not one without the other.

    John 13:34/35 is relevant and needed more than ever in such a febrile atmosphere

    “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples” “Love one another AS I HAVE LOVED YOU”
    The importance of this love perspective is borne out by Christ’s words..
    The characteristic which He isolates as being the most necessary in terms of the world visibly observing the reality of Christ is brotherly love. Not our sound doctrine, not our creeds, not our persuasive preaching, not our impressive buildings, not our elaborate denominational programs, not the numbers in our churches – but concrete love among Christians.
    Historically in the Reformed tradition the three “marks” of a “true church” are: (1) the Word preached; (2) the ordinances properly administered; and (3) discipline practised.

    But we could have all those “marks” and miss the ONE “mark” that Christ says is the only one that really
    counts. Without love, all is vain (1 Cor. 13:1-3). .

  • Rosie, oh Rosie
    It’s brilliant every single word you tweet
    Rosie, oh Rosie
    Your gentle words are always so sweet

    Rosie, oh Rosie
    Please shut your mouth for all the world to see
    Rosie, oh Rosie
    Please shut your mouth eternally

    • Linus

      If she shuts her mouth eternally, she’ll starve and die.

      Evil troll!!! Calling for the death of an opponent on this blog!

      Bigots.com is surpassing itself.

      • How ignorant. There’s always a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy.

        • Linus

          Now why doesn’t it surprise me to hear that instead of starving your opponents to death, you prefer to immobilise, gag and force-feed them through a drip?

          Exactly the modus operandi that fits with your manipulative and conscienceless character. How many Atheists and liberals are languishing in your basement, I wonder? Is the J for Jack? Or is Josef your real name? Fritzl, of course.

          He was a Catholic too, come to think of it.

          • Linus, pegging does not require immobilisation, gagging or the use of force. Jack thinks you have something else on your mind.

          • Linus

            You said you wanted to silence her. How do you plan to do that without a gag? And how then do you plan to prevent her from removing the gag unless you bind her hands? And how do you stop her from running off to find help removing the restraints and the gag if you don’t immobilise her?

            The online police who keep a close eye on this site should pay you a visit and see what goes on in your cellar. Who knows how many “libtard heretics” you keep down there? Succeeded in converting any of them to the Jackatholic faith yet?

            I thought not…

          • Not good on comprehension, are you? Have you always had this problem or is it an indication of dementia brought on through the inhalation of alkyl nitrites?

          • Linus

            Now you want to drug the poor woman!?!

            How I pity your wife. If indeed you have one. For all I know you may have married a plaster statue of Mary and spend your nights down at the church worrying the poor thing. That’d certainly make a lump of gypsum weep.

            It looks as though your days are spent plotting revenge on “libtard” women. How many have you taken out? No wonder you’re a Catholic. They do extravagant repentance better than any other Christians. And insincerity too. Tailor made for Crappy Jack.

            So tell me, which of the unsolved murders and/or disappearances of women over the past century or so are attributable to you? Bones still in the cellar or have you done a Fred West and installed a patio?

            The net is closing around you, Jack the Ripper…

          • It’s a bit early for the poppers, Linus.

  • Boxfordblogger2012

    As one who is not a follower of social media, thank you, Adrian, for this post and for drawing attention to what are clearly unacceptable comments by some fellow members of General Synod.

    You may like to note that one of the supplementary papers at the recent synod meeting in York was a draft Code of Conduct, drafted by the Business Committee, with an introduction by its chairman, Sue Booys: GS Misc 1162 (available to download from the General Synod section of the Church of England website.)
    The following paragraphs are relevant to this issue:
    “15. … members are reminded that they should not use abusive or insulting language, or make personal remarks about other members..
    17. The Business Committee urges members to use the same level of consideration when commenting on social media on Synod business or on members or their speeches. In general, our advice to members is, ‘If you wouldn’t say it to their face, please don’t say it on social media.'”

    In her introduction, Canon Booys says this:
    “The point of this code is not that we have any legal power to enforce it nor any sanction against those who (whether intentionally or unintentionally) infringe it; however we believe that this Code of Conduct represents a powerful reminder and encouragement to us all in our calling as fellow servants of Christ and His church working together in a public arena and, as such, we commend it wholeheartedly to you all.”

    (The Business Committee has invited comments on the draft Code of Conduct, which will be issued in its final form at the February 2018 group of sessions in London)

    • David Harkness

      Bfb2012, thank goodness someone has taken the initiative and that a code of conduct will be drafted, discussed, agreed and distributed. I wonder will the code of conduct be enough though for us Christians and churchmen, perhaps we need a model or example of the way to behave. I wonder if there have been any historical figures who have modelled such behaviour, and if there were, did anyone think to record their sayings and behaviour. If there was such a record, a book perhaps, maybe it could be referred to in the appendices of the new code.

      • One doubts Synod could identify anyone. Siddhārtha Gautama, perhaps?

  • ‘False prophets tell you what you want to hear; true prophets tell you what you need to hear.’

  • CliveM

    Having read the Canon Rosie Harper’s comments over the years and seen the contempt in which she holds her co-religionists I have come to the conclusion that she trolls on this blog under the guise of ‘Linus’.

    Proof? Has anyone ever seen them in the same room? Thought not.

    • No, I don’t think so, to give him a bit of credit Linus is really quite clever. Not to say Rosie isn’t but, they have vastly differing styles.

      • alternative_perspective

        Don’t you find this perhaps the saddest aspect of the Linus persona: an intelligent and somewhat witty fabrication wrapped in a obsessive and needy psychology. This dynamic seems to be at a perpetual war with itself, unfortunately that fraction undergoing group therapy by proxy, via the medium of this blog, constantly has the upper hand and we, his abused and long suffering, co-therapists rarely get to experience the pensive and amusing observations he (assuming Linus is a he) clearly has the capacity for.

        • He’s a sad, frustrated soul taking his anger and frustration with himself out on people here. We need to strongly rebut his tortured nonsense and draw out his hidden creativity.

  • Albert

    A very thoughtful post, but it does seem to be a real problem. Consider this from Zoe Williams in the Guardian about Charlie Gard:

    The move is to establish pro-life credentials on the widest possible stage. The Vatican-owned paediatric hospital in Rome, which offered to take Charlie into its care, may have had more tact and less bombast, but the move was similarly gestural.

    How does she know that the Vatican owned hospital is just making gestures?What evidence does she have? Some people struggle with the idea that people may sincerely hold the positions they do. Did she even read that before she posted? Since when does the Vatican need to make gestures to establish its pro-life credentials?! Did it not occur to her that they might just be trying to help?

  • Albert

    She was ‘tottering’ down the steps because she has a fractured hip.

    Let’s suppose a pro-killing member of Synod tottered because of a fractured hip to make a speech in favour of killing unborn children. Now suppose a pro-life member tweeted exactly what Rosie Harper did: “X tottering to make a speech, again. Ugh!” Can you imagine the uproar? Why is it okay for a liberal to mock the (temporary) disability of a conservative, but not the other way around?

  • A Berean

    So is this a parody as well?

  • Don Benson

    What strikes me about those tweets is how dull the minds must be that think they’re worth putting out. But, there again, if you take no pleasure in the joy and liberation of scripture, a bit of dreary abuse may be all you have left. However if you must be abusive surely the object of your abuse should at least be able to expect a bit of subtlety and even (kindly) humour?

    Perhaps it was the still cameras and detached sound but my impression of the General Synod from a few looks at the live feed was of a determined grimness. There again it was the weekend when the church was voting for its own destruction…

  • The CofE Synod meeting sounds like a right bitchfest to me. Shame on them as followers of God and Jesus. They should objectively compare and contrast what is happening with modern day morality to the tried and tested recipes for a healthy and successful society that is outlined in the Bible. Then discuss how to apply the brakes. All this LGBTQWERTY stuff is galloping away, the Church should be advising caution not going along with it all. Why was homosexuality outlawed in the first instance? It’s got to have been proven harmful to society as a whole. Do children really know their own mind when they say they want to be the opposite sex of what they are or are they being influenced, cajoled and nudged by a manipulative group so desperate to be seen as normal.

    All this silly name calling is detracting from the objective of the meeting which is to debate and to let the Holy Spirit inspire vision for they way forward. To all those sensitive souls, grow a thicker skin and learn to see the other side too. To the people who get angry, bite on a sock and do some research for better reply.

    • Albert

      Why was homosexuality outlawed in the first instance? It’s got to have been proven harmful to society as a whole.

      I would not be in favour of criminalising homosexual acts. However, I think the way the law now requires people to stop thinking for themselves and act irrationally in accordance with this week’s regulation issue belief, helps to explain the rationale.

      • Hi Albert,

        Far too Liberal ! Heretic! You sure you’re orthodox with an attitude like that? What would your priest say?

        • Albert

          It’s perfectly Catholic, Hannah. That’s the only orthodoxy I care about!

  • Jon of GSG

    What baffles me is that in our little local church (and the one I was part of until we moved house recently) we have differences of opinion on most of these matters, and all manage to be quite gentle and loving with each other. What on earth is different about the C of E when it gets above the individual church level that so many people have to be like this with each other? (And why are people so sneery about the idea of “good disagreement” – isn’t that exactly what’s needed?)

    • Albert

      It’s a little like road-rage, I suspect. When you walk down the street, you can see the people who get in your way, and because you make human contact (even if it us just eye contact), you forgive them. But in a car, you do not know the other person who have got in your way. In Synod, I suspect real human relationships between parties do not really exist. But these things exist in parishes. Moreover, it seems to matter more in Synod. If the other side win, you lose. Again, parish life isn’t really so simple.

      • Anton

        What a superlative argument for oversight by people you know personally, ie no church hierarchy!

        • Albert

          Mmmm…of course bishops tend to know their clergy personally, and then they can be inclined to let them off for the same reason…I’m not so sure you would think that was such a good thing.

          • Anton

            But the congregation has to do what the bishop says and don’t know him personally. (Let alone the Bishop of Rome.)

          • Albert

            Actually, that depends on the issue. But the point I made stands. There are strengths and weaknesses of that personal connection, so you can’t have the argument all your own way.

          • Anton

            You are the one who spoke of the value of human relationships and I pointed out the importance of it in church governance as a factor against hierarchy.

          • Albert

            Yes, there are pros and cons of all things human – as I have pointed out. But there are cons as well as pros.

          • Anton

            Indeed there are cons. Indulgences were a huge con!

          • Albert

            No they weren’t.

          • Anton

            By all means waste your money.

      • Jon of GSG

        Yes, I also can only put it down to the lack of relationship. But surely it’s the most basic of acts of Christian love to make the effort to recognise that your antagonist is a real human? Well, perhaps not.

        • Albert

          Absolutely, but then the Synod isn’t really a Synod it’s a Parliament. A synod means a coming together of ways. But Paliaments (in this country, any way) operate by having divisions. It’s just not a Christian system, and it came about because the CofE was too close to the state and too admiring of the state.

          • Jon of GSG

            That’s interesting. Is it a newish institution then?
            Actually, I’ll go and look it up.

          • Albert

            Yes it is – although it took over from an earlier one. If you think about it, originally, the King simply imposed his will (using instruments of power like the Bishops and Parliament). But, apart from Parliament, the idea that the laity had some say in the running of the CofE is fairly recent idea.

  • Hi

    The news that religions have liberal and orthodox wings isn’t news . The real problem is that the centre ground is disappearing.

    The orthodox parts are going more extreme , trying to out frum everyone else as we say. The opposite end is also going more extremely liberal. It’s almost like Newton, for every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction and additionally I’d say a symbiosis in that reaction. The more this happens then the centre gets removed as each side tries to force you into their camp, even if you know your Mesorah says otherwise.

    There’s no way for extreme orthodox and extreme liberals to exist in the same organisation if they are approaching 50-50 each in terms of membership or whatever power metric you use. They’re like antimatter. And we all know what happens with that.

    Social media doesn’t help. You can send off a Twitter post or email and unlike typewriters or using fountain pens , the words are zoomed off immediately across the world and you can’t take it back. People don’t have the time to reflect and think on what to write and may not have written under the older forms of communication.

    It’s a pity because never swerving to the left or the right is what God says :

    רַק֩ חֲזַ֨ק וֶֽאֱמַ֜ץ מְאֹ֗ד לִשְׁמֹ֤ר לַעֲשֹׂות֙ כְּכָל־הַתֹּורָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֤ר צִוְּךָ֙ מֹשֶׁ֣ה עַבְדִּ֔י אַל־תָּס֥וּר מִמֶּ֖נּוּ יָמִ֣ין וּשְׂמֹ֑אול לְמַ֣עַן תַּשְׂכִּ֔יל בְּכֹ֖ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר תֵּלֵֽךְ׃

    “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded you; turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.”
    (Joshua 1:7).

    • Albert

      Interesting. I just wonder if the middle ground is disappearing. It seems alive and well in Catholicism.

      • Anton

        But Catholicism is one wing within Christianity!

        • Albert

          No. Catholicism is authentic Christianity. End of.

          • Maalaistollo

            It’s certainly the end of something.

          • Albert

            The end of the beginning.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Christianity is catholic, Rome, however, isn’t Christian.

          • Albert

            So says Martin who doesn’t know his Bible.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Your arguments are getting weaker.

          • Albert

            I’m not giving arguments. I always said you had a problem with logic.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Then you have no basis for saying I’m wrong. Remember, it was Rome who was the schismatic and left all the other churches.

          • Albert

            Just because I am not giving arguments doesn’t mean I have none. I cannot remember that it was Rome that left all the other churches, because that isn’t true. I would caution you proceeding down this line because the last time you did so, you showed you have no idea what you were talking about, both in terms of the history, and in terms of scripture. As I recall, you eschewed the word “proceeds” of the origin of the Holy Spirit, despite the fact that the Catholic Church got the word from Jesus himself. It’s quite a thing to hold such strong opinions as you do without apparently, having read John’s Gospel (or at least the passage relevant to the discussion).

          • Anton

            To which thread are you referring, please, where you say of Martin that “the last time you did so, you showed you have no idea what you were talking about…”?

          • Albert

            It was a different thread. I’m afraid Martin does not have your erudition of scripture.

          • Anton

            Which thread, please?

          • Pubcrawler

            There have been a couple over the last few weeks. The child abuse coverup one is one, can’t remember the other. Entertaining exchanges. Put me in mind of something I read recently about an Orthodox/Reformed conference recently after which some of the orthodox delegation revealed privately their surprise that they themselves had had more recourse to Scripture than their Reformed counterparts.

          • That’s irony, right?

          • Albert

            No. Martin knows scripture much less well than Anton.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Last time you accepted that Rome had been the schismatic, the reason is irrelevant, it really was a minor argument over words. From Victor on, Rome has a history of demanding everyone follow what they said. Prior to the Reformation they were killing people who disagreed with them. It was only the refusal of the rulers to bow to Rome’s demands that allowed God’s Reformation to occur. And no, Rome isn’t the Catholic Church, it is a sect akin to the Mormons & Jehovah’s Witnesses.

          • Albert

            Last time you accepted that Rome had been the schismatic, the reason is irrelevant

            Where on earth have I said that?

            From Victor on, Rome has a history of demanding everyone follow what they said.

            What’s wrong with that?

            The Roman Catholic Church is the true Church.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Look back at what you said.

            Rome isn’t the true Church, it abandoned any adherence to Christ long ago.

          • Albert

            Please quote me. When did I say that? Or are you bearing false witness against me?

          • Martin

            Albert

            Are you denying that you agreed the Rome cut off relations with the Eastern churches and went its own way. That is clearly schismatic.

          • Albert

            Obviously I am denying that! And I have asked you to quote me where I affirmed that. I ask again, this time, for the third time. I don’t expect you to have the courtesy to reply.

          • Martin

            Albert

            You are denying that Rome separated itself from all the other churches in the East? Surely that’s a matter of historical fact.

          • Albert

            It’s funny how you speak of facts, but never provide the evidence for the claim you have made against me. For fourth time, where did I say this? Please provide the evidence or withdraw the accusation. Or do the commandments not apply to you?

          • Yes, the Church has condemned numerous heretical sects from the first century onwards. Heresy has been a concern since the writing of the Second Epistle of Peter.

          • Martin

            HJ

            And we see a whole pile of heresy in the church of Rome. Idolatry, placing Scripture under the authority of men’s traditions, persecuting the Church of God.

          • Lol …………….

          • Anton

            So authentic Christianity consists of…

            [any prots feel like a bit of sparring this evening?]

          • Sarky

            The belief that a Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree.

          • Albert

            Almost none of that was actually correct. All that stuff about symbolically eating his flesh…come on Sarky, do some research.

          • Linus

            Love it! And that’s a verb I rarely use in relation to anything Christian.

            One small quibble however: I agree with the dreaded Albert that the word “symbolically” needs reconsideration. It should be an adjective rather than an adverb. Why? Because the eating is not symbolic. The flesh is. So it should read …if you eat his symbolic flesh…

            I’m also not 100% happy about the use of the word “soul”. Why? Because it’s a fictional construct. “Consciousness” would more accurate.

            Other than that, full marks. Go to the top of the class!!!

          • Anton

            Without Christ you are the Living Dead.

          • Sarky

            Pretty sure you’re thinking off George Romero.

          • Albert

            So authentic Christianity consists of…

            Catholicism.

          • Martin

            Albert

            But not Romanism.

          • Albert

            I think everyone knows what I mean.

          • Martin

            Albert

            However you are imprecise in your statement. In the terms of the Church Fathers I am a Catholic, although they’d probably question whether you were a Christian.

          • Albert

            There is no way the Fathers would recognise you as a Catholic. What are reading? There is no doubt they would recognise me as a Catholic Christian.

          • Martin

            Albert

            I doubt that Clement would have accepted you into the church at Rome, since he says:

            1 Clem. 32:4 And so we, having been called through His will in Christ
            Jesus, are not justified through ourselves or through our own wisdom or
            understanding or piety or works which we wrought in holiness of heart,
            but through faith, whereby the Almighty God justified all men that have
            been from the beginning; to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

            So he believed in sola fide, which you reject. He denied that we were justified by any works we do, you insist on it.

          • Albert

            We’ve been through this already. You are stuck on a false dichotomy because you are too idle (or perhaps afraid) to understand the different versions of justification by faith. That Clement did not believe in sola fide in youyr sense is evident from passage I have already given you:

            Since then all things are seen and heard [by God], let us fear Him, and forsake those wicked works which proceed from evil desires; so that, through His mercy, we may be protected from the judgments to come.

            Let us clothe ourselves with concord and humility, ever exercising self-control, standing far off from all whispering and evil-speaking, being justified by our works, and not our words. For [the Scripture] saith, “He that speaketh much, shall also hear much in answer. And does he that is ready in speech deem himself righteous? Blessed is he that is born of woman, who liveth but a short time: be not given to much speaking.” Let our praise be in God, and not of ourselves; for God hateth those that commend themselves.

            Let us cleave then to His blessing, and consider what are the means of possessing it. Let us think over the things which have taken place from the beginning. For what reason was our father Abraham blessed? was it not because he wrought righteousness and truth through faith? Isaac, with perfect confidence, as if knowing what was to happen, cheerfully yielded himself as a sacrifice.

            he good servant receives the bread of his labour with confidence; the lazy and slothful cannot look his employer in the face. It is requisite, therefore, that we be prompt in the practice of well-doing; for of Him are all things. And thus He forewarns us: “Behold, the Lord [cometh], and His reward is before His face, to render to every man according to his work.” He exhorts us, therefore, with our whole heart to attend to this, that we be not lazy or slothful in any good work.

            Let us therefore earnestly strive to be found in the number of those that wait for Him, in order that we may share in His promised gifts. But how, beloved, shall this be done? If our understanding be fixed by faith rewards God; if we earnestly seek the things which are pleasing and acceptable to Him; if we do the things which are in harmony with His blameless will; and if we follow the way of truth, casting away from us all unrighteousness and iniquity, along with all covetousness, strife, evil practices, deceit, whispering, and evil-speaking, all hatred of God, pride and haughtiness, vainglory and ambition. For they that do such things are hateful to God; and not only they that do them, but also those that take pleasure in them that do them.

            The passage you cite is perfectly consistent with Catholic teaching, indeed, it is Catholic teaching. But the other passages are inconsistent with sola fide.

          • Martin

            Albert

            No, the passage I cited is not consistent with your claim that faith is insufficient. Nor does what you have quoted give me any problems, it is quite in line with biblical Christianity.

          • Albert

            No, the passage I cited is not consistent with your claim that faith is insufficient.

            Please explain how it is inconsistent with Catholic teaching.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Because the writer goes to great lengths to point out that faith alone, aka sola fide, is what saves us.

            1 Clem. 32:4 And so we, having been called through His will in Christ Jesus, are not justified through ourselves or through our own wisdom or understanding or piety or works which we wrought in holiness of heart, but through faith, whereby the Almighty God justified all men that have been from the beginning; to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

          • Albert

            But this passage is clearly consistent with Catholic teaching, whereas the others are not consistent with sola fide. You do realise, that Eph.2 is in our canon too:

            For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God — not because of works, lest any man should boast.

            You seem utterly afraid of finding out how these things were normally interpreted before the Protestant Reformation.

          • Martin

            Albert

            So sola fide is consistent with Rome’s, not Catholic, teaching? Your problem is you interpret everything as agreeing with Rome, whether or not it does.

          • Albert

            Rome and Catholic teaching are one and the same. I find it utterly bizarre that you never even bother to wait to find out how we interpret these things. It’s almost as if, deep down, you know there are abundant passages of scripture that do not seem to add up to your position, and you are terrified of hearing an alternative view. I once had a conversation in person with an Evangelical from Oxford who seemed as certain his faith as you are. I made one observation regarding what Paul actually says, and suddenly paused. It was as if the scales had fallen from his eyes.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Remember, Rome isn’t Catholic, as it has abandoned sola fide.

          • Albert

            Remember, Protestantism isn’t biblical because it has embraced sola fide.

          • Martin

            Albert

            On the contrary, sola fide is found in Scripture.

          • Albert

            Where?

          • Martin

            Ephesians 2:8-9

          • Albert

            That’s the Catholic doctrine of justification by faith. I was asking for the Protestant doctrine of sola fide.

          • Martin

            Albert

            They are the same thing.

          • Albert

            No. Justification by faith is the Catholic doctrine. As you don’t understand that, you can’t understand the argument and you naturally assume every time the Bible says “justification by faith” it means “justification by faith alone.” But if it meant that, it would say so.

          • Martin

            Albert

            Yes, we Catholics accept it and since no other requirement is mentioned it is clear from Scripture that it is faith alone. I know you romanists have difficulty with that.

          • Albert

            Yes, we Catholics accept it and since no other requirement is mentioned it is clear from Scripture that it is faith alone.

            1. There’s nothing Catholic about inventing your own doctrine in the 16th Century.
            2. The doctrine of sola fide is not taught in scripture.
            3. The doctrine is sola fide is explicitly condemned in scripture.
            4. Scripture explicitly requires works and/or love in addition to faith, although both come only as a result of grace receive through faith.

            Therefore, it is anything but clear that it is faith alone.

          • CliveM

            Putting ‘end of’ doesn’t strengthen your argument.

          • Albert

            I didn’t give an argument, so it wouldn’t.

          • Chefofsinners

            You accidentally added a full stop after “No”.

          • Albert

            That actually made me laugh. But I’m not up voting it for fear of giving even the impression of commending heresy.

          • Chefofsinners

            One more can’t hurt.

          • Albert

            One more heretic? I don’t think so:

            Several brothers once visited Abba Agathon, for they had been informed that he was possessed of great spiritual discretion. And wishing to test him, to see if he would become angry, they said: “Are you Agathon? We have heard about you that you are debauched and proud.” He replied, “Yes, it is so.” They said to him once more, “Are you Agathon the loose-tongued lover of slander?” “I am he,” he responded. And the visitors spoke to him a third time, “You are Agathon, the heretic?” To this, he answered, “I am not a heretic.” After this answer, they asked him to explain: “Why, when we called you so many things, did you admit them, while you would not, however, endure the accusation that you were a heretic?” And the Abba said to them: “The first things I accepted since they were beneficial for my soul; but not the accusation that I am a heretic, since heresy is separation from God.” On hearing this reply, the visitors marvelled at the spiritual discretion of the Abba and departed, benefitted in soul. From the Desert Fathers.

          • len

            Cannot possible be true. Catholicism would be in the bible otherwise.

          • Albert

            It is – look up all the references to the Church.

      • Sarky

        There can be no middle ground in the cofe. You are either for ssm or against it. You are either pro or anti abortion.
        You can debate all you want but there is ‘no’ middle ground.
        An organisation with such opposing views within it cant possibly survive. The cofe will have to split or die.

        • Albert

          Another splendid comment!

        • The “middle ground” in Catholicism concerns how best to respond to these issues in a pastoral way without undermining doctrine or dipping into moral relativism and proportionalism. These issues are becoming more polarised but there is still a group between traditionalists and progressives. The latter group can’t quite bring themselves to publically announce they’ve ditched established teachings.

          • Sarky

            Surely they don’t need to. Actions speak louder than words.

          • They use “creative circumvention” and its ugly sister ambiguity.

          • Anton

            You know all about that, to be sure.

          • Cressida de Nova

            I don’t understand why the progressives dont leave and become Protestants.There can be no such thing as progressive or middle ground in Catholicism. It is traditionally orthodox and the precepts can never be changed for whatever reason…set in stone…everyone knows that.

          • Anton

            Catholics make the mistake of supposing that all protestants are the same. It is not by accident that I am in the congregation I am in and not the CoE.

          • They all “protest” against orthodoxy.

          • Albert

            You are all the same really. A conservative Protestant is really just a conservative liberal. It all comes down to private judgement.

          • Anton

            Yes we are all the same – we all understand that Rome is apostate.

          • Albert

            Actually, you don’t even all agree on that. You all agree that there is no higher authority than yourself.

          • Anton

            We all agree that the Bible is the over-arching authority.

          • Albert

            You all agree that your interpretation of the Bible is the over-arching authority.

          • Anton

            Most of the Bible is designed to be easy to understand. Its 2nd-5th books are a legal code designed by God to be understood by a bunch of ex-slaves.

            It is Rome, picking up on the Greek philosophers, that made it hard to understand. Some parts are also hard to understand without living faith and too few professional theologians have that.

          • Albert

            The law codes are not necessarily all that easy to understand in our context. Most texts make much more sense when you share the same culture as the author. In any case, the application and relevance of the OT law is not necessarily straight forward.

            It is Rome, picking up on the Greek philosophers, that made it hard to understand.

            Really? are there not some passages in Paul that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures?

            What of the Trinity or of the incarnation? Are these easy to understand? Does not God dwell in unapproachable light? Does not scripture itself say:

            O LORD, my heart is not lifted up,
            my eyes are not raised too high;
            I do not occupy myself with things
            too great and too marvellous for me.

            Does not our Lord have to open the scriptures or they will not be understood? Does he not explicitly say “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables; so that they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand; lest they should turn again, and be forgiven.”

            And what about your own claims? If sola fide was so obviously the teaching of scripture, how come it took until Luther to realise it? How come when you do take that view, so many other passages become so difficult? How come Luther himself couldn’t reconcile his (mis)reading of Paul with James? How is it easy to reconcile simul iustus et peccator with so much of scripture? Isn’t it more likely that if scripture is so easy to understand that your interpretation is wrong?

            This is to say nothing of sola scriptura and its attendant consequences. None of this can easily be read from scripture, and indeed you only defend these thing by adding your own assumptions. And what of your own unhappy divisions? If it is so easy to understand, why are you so divided?

          • Anton

            As I said (perhaps in a modification, in fairness), some parts of scripture are also hard to understand without living faith, and too few professional theologians have that.

            The great mysteries of the Christian faith, ie the Holy Trinity and the fact that Christ is both wholly God and wholly man, are to be lived, not analysed. Otherwise somebody (Paul, presumably) would have been inspired to discuss them in the New Testament.

            Yes of course the legal code of ancient Israel is difficult in parts today. It wasn’t in ancient Israel, and that is the point.

            How come it took until Luther to twig the solas? Because after Christ some new scriptures were written and it took some time to become clear which; then, soon after, the church became corrupted by the world and remained so for centuries. The invention of printing was the key that allowed the Reformation to spread after several earlier false starts.

          • Albert

            As I said (perhaps in a modification, in fairness), some parts of scripture are also hard to understand without living faith, and too few professional theologians have that.

            Yes, that is a modification, but how do you come by that living faith if parts of the scripture are hard to understand?

            The great mysteries of the Christian faith, ie the Holy Trinity and the fact that Christ is both wholly God and wholly man, are to be lived, not analysed.

            Bizarre. What is the Trinity, what is the incarnation. Sure, we don’t all have to spend all our time theologizing about them, but we do have to have some grasp of them in order to live them.

            Otherwise somebody (Paul, presumably) would have been inspired to discuss them in the New Testament.

            That’s just a silly comment. Paul clearly wrote about what was troubling the Church at the time. In his time it was circumcision and Jewishness, so he wrote about that. Challenges to the understanding of Christ had not arisen in such a way as would require the kinds of defences that would come later.

            Yes of course the legal code of ancient Israel is difficult in parts today. It wasn’t in ancient Israel, and that is the point.

            So any time someone finds part of scripture hard to understand, you just say “Oh but it made sense at the time”. How does that advance our understanding of scripture?

            How come it took until Luther to twig the solas? Because after Christ some new scriptures were written and it took some time to become clear which; then, soon after, the church became corrupted by the world and remained so for centuries. The invention of printing was the key that allowed the Reformation to spread after several earlier false starts.

            What a convoluted way to establish your own sovereignty in Christ’s house by denying the guidance by the Holy Spirit of the bride and body of Christ the pillar and bulwark of the truth. The simple reason for the delay in the discovery of this doctrine, is that it isn’t there and is contradicted by what is there. As evinced by Luther’s need to add the word “alone” because the Holy Spirit hadn’t, and to question the status of James because the Holy Spirit had seen to the addition of the word “alone” there in his condemnation of the doctrine.

          • Anton

            So many words!

          • Albert

            …and how negligible the response.

          • Anton

            What I believe it deserved.

          • Excellent presentations, Albert. Excellent.

          • Albert

            Thank you Jack!

          • Translation: Anton has no answer.

          • Anton

            We all agree that yours isn’t!

          • Albert

            Of course not – the heart of your game is to be in power yourself.

          • Anton

            The issue is whether to put yourself under the authority of Scripture or under the authority of the Roman Catechism. To be consistent you would have to say that that too required interpretation.

          • Albert

            Well it obviously does.

          • Zach V. Roretz

            Not all catholics… I, merely a Roman Cat, am fascinated by the fissures and segmentation of the non-orthodox. Of course they aren’t “same”, at last count theres roughly 40,000 separate protestant denominations ! Its the endless diversification of the secular applied to bludgeon at the sacred.

          • Anton

            Those who don’t check their sources embarrass only themselves. The basis of your wildly incorrect claim of 40,000 denominations is the number of 25,000 in the World Christian Encyclopedia compiled by David Barrett in 1982. Its second edition (Oxford Univ Press, 2001) refers to 33000+ total Christian denominations, extrapolatable to 40,000 today, but Barrett defines the word ‘denomination’ as an organised Christian group within a specific country. That is an eccentric use of the word, for denominations run across national borders. As there are several hundred countries (and as smaller denominations are not represented in all of them) one should divide the figure of 25,000 by about 100. This gives a few hundred genuine denominations, consistent with the list recorded in Wikipedia:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations_by_number_of_members

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations

            According to the definition you are using, the Roman Catholic church is 300 denominations because it is represented in 300 countries. Happy with that?

          • Zach V. Roretz

            Well, I agree. Thanks for your through research. Denominational status is self-defined, self asserting and justified by faith alone without regard to what anyone thinks. Across the road from my house, there is an advert for a now defunct congregational church- “United Prayerists of Christ, registered charity in England and Wales” There used to be more of these ‘gravel pit chapels’ – all good small enterprising capitalists, driven out by hip gentrification (lower clapton). Its a lament because there has been centuries of spit ‘n sawdust revivalist ranting here, a Joseph Priestly commemorative plaque nearby, annihilated overnight by pagan hipsters and their bedfellows, bankers. Jehovah’s witness’s I’ve spoken to didn’t know what ‘unitarian’ meant. Its called low church for good reason.

          • Cressida de Nova

            And what congregation is that? There are so many.

          • Anton

            As it is a scripturally run congregation with no hierarchy of authority above it, to name it would be to specify where I am, and for reasons unrelated to the specific discussion between you and me I don’t wish to do that.

          • Cressida de Nova

            All sounds very cloak and dagger. You are approaching religion too much as a science. You need to open yourself up to the mystical dimension of religion., I suggest you go on a Catholic retreat, unbiased with an open heart and mind.

          • The problem is really one of ministry. How should one react to a couple who have divorced and remarried without an annulment? What’s the best approach to those in same sex relationships?

            Here’s one bishops instructions to those in his care that caused a storm in America:

            “Speaking objectively, all those who have sexual relations outside of valid marriage, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual, should not receive Holy Communion unless they repent, go to confession and amend their lives. This includes the divorced and remarried without an annulment, as is well known from all the recent media attention on that issue.”
            http://www.catholicworldreport.com/2017/06/28/bishop-paprocki-responds-to-controversy-criticisms-over-decree-on-same-sex-marriage/

            And, it seems, Pope Francis isn’t being clear about Church teaching. An atheist philosopher friend of Benedict XVI has strongly criticized Pope Francis, accusing the him of not preaching the Gospel but politics, fomenting schism, and issuing secularist statements aimed at destroying the West. Heady stuff.
            https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pope-francis-promoting-a-hidden-schism-with-obstinate-persistence-warns-pop

          • Cressida de Nova

            I cannot imagine why the statement caused a storm. Everyone should know that is the Catholic stance. Divorced couples cannot receive communion if they cohabit or remarry without annulment. Any sexual activity outside of marriage also precludes the receiving of Holy Communion. Catholicism is not malleable or Christianity made easy.You grow up being made aware of consequences and you have to accept them.

            The couple would know the situation anyway so I don’t see that as a problem for the Ministry.I see that as a problem for the couple if they want to remain practising Catholics. The simple answer is they cannot.

            I see it as a problem if the Church bows to populist pressure as Pope Francis is accused of. His Holiness has not actually changed anything. True he hints and is vague and appears unwilling to be definite about the questions of divorce and remarriage. SSM is really not a matter for discussion in the Church.When the Pope said “who am I to judge” it sent a message that there was might some doubt about the validity of SSM. He is old. Old people get dementia. It affects their functioning and intelligence. I say this because some of things he says are very odd for a Pope to say.
            The Church recognises that divorce in certain situations is necessary. It is remarriage and sex outside of marriage which remains the problem.
            The problem being not the Church’s problem but for those who want to be practising Catholics .

          • Jack agrees. Even so it is a real problem. Those excluded from the Eucharist remain Catholics – they’re not excommunicated. The same applies to those engaging in homosexual sex . This means they attend Mass but are precluded from Communion and from playing an active role in lay ministry. Not every divorced and remarried couple is capable of living like “brother and sister”; nor are all same sex people able to live chaste lives. How then does one accompany them on their Christian journey without compromising Christ’s commandments? Then there’s the tricky matter of the distinction in Catholicism between “objective” sin and personal, “subjective” culpability. These are difficult issues.
            All that said, Jack completely agrees with this Bishop. The statement caused a storm from the usual suspects i.e. those who believe homosexuality and divorce/remarriage are acceptable and that the Eucharist should be available to all provided their consciences are clear. Pope Francis is a Jesuit who focusses on processes and not outcomes – on creating a mess, rather than coming to answers. He also believes the Holy Spirit works on people in ways He determines and not according to neat rules and regulations. Nothing wrong in this, except he is the Pope and his job to lead the universal Church and to be clear about Catholic doctrine. Plus, one suspects, he is a liberal and sees Catholicism as one more denomination among many.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Well if homosexuals,the divorced,the cohabitators and unmarried singles cannot lead chaste lives then they cannot receive the host.Yes that’s a lot of Catholics. What does the Ministery do about it? Nothing. They cannot do anything about it.We live in a culture that condones and encourages sexual relationships outside of marriage.

            We are expected to sleep with our boyfriends/girlfriends
            It is considered strange if you do not.

            The above cannot have a clear conscience because Catholics should know the rules.The best thing about Catholicism is you cannot lie to yourself… like our Catholic genius Shakespeare said

            ….to thine own self be true….so many Catholic references in Shakespeare.

            Catholic doctrine is very clear if you know it….with or without the Pope. This liberalism is a result of ecumenism. Protestant liberal ethic has infected the Church.

          • Anton

            To thine own self be true? Nay, to God be true! Thine own self is fallen. Shakespeare was certainly not a hardline protestant, we may agree. You think he was Catholic. I think he was deeply nominal and that is the significant thing about him.

          • It’s a different world and many do not know right from wrong. This requires different responses from the Church. Jack agrees with Pope Francis on this – just not the confusion he spreads.

          • Albert

            Thanks be to God!

          • Cressida de Nova

            You can say Deo Gratias here Albert. They only throw cabbages not bricks:)

          • Linus

            It’s your kind of blind dogmatism that provoked the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the subsequent collapse of your religion from its former dominant position to the status of an extremist cult. Please do carry on. You couldn’t be doing more to ensure the extinction of your church.

          • And all because the man’s a homosexual …. and prefers indulging in his own sin rather than accepting God’s word. Name a reformer

          • bluedog

            The progressives don’t seem to be Christians, they are leftist politicians who claim the mantle of Christianity as a cover for their ambitions.

          • len

            Errors cannot be eradicated then.
            If you think you cannot be wrong then you probably already are.

          • Is God wrong? No, and neither is His Church.

          • David

            What you describe also applies in the C of E. The middle ground is a majority. My comment to Albert (above) puts the point.

          • Is it a majority? According to research, most Catholics in the West accept contraception, abortion, second and homosexual “marriage”, even though the Church teaches against these things. Surely it’s the same in the Church of England.

      • David

        No I don’t see the middle ground disappearing. Those in the middle, muddling along, are the majority. Then there’s the “cutting edge progressives” urging the middle towards heresies. All changes away from the orthodox are opposed by the conservative Biblical evangelicals, who then suffer the loquacious ire, tending towards what Cranmer’s suspects may be bullying.

  • David

    In the sphere of politics so called contemporary ‘Liberalism’, shows highly illiberal and censorious traits, choosing, to silence, if not crush dissent.
    As most ‘Liberals’ in the theological sense, of the C of E are also politically, political liberals, and it is very clear that the Church’s theological liberals seem far more influenced by left facing politics than Scripture, Tradition or Reason, in adopting and defending theological stances, it is therefore no surprise that the intolerance of politics is asserting its ugly self in how they conduct themselves within the Church.
    Liberalism both politically and theologically tends to grow and stifle all else.

  • Chefofsinners

    Matthew 5 11-12:
    Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
    Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

    • David

      I think you’ve come much closer to the point than many here.

      • Chefofsinners

        We should expect that the truth will attract more persecution than false religion or worldly thinking. It’s an opportunity to be distinctive by not repaying evil for evil.
        Social media is a blessing in so far as it opens a window into the minds and souls of its users.

  • Sarky

    Its all just playground rubbish. Someone tries to gain kudos amongst their contemporaries by being extreme, the next person then has to be more extreme and on it goes.
    This doesn’t need legislation, it just need people to grow up.

    • Albert

      Do you know, I think that’s the most agreeable post I’ve ever seen you make!

  • Dolphinfish

    I love following the peregrinations of the C of E. It’s not much of a church, but it is a perfect representation of modern England. A body completely unconscious of its own ever increasing irrelevance, made up of pseudo-intellectual lefties marked by a sense of Whig history entitlement, and impotent traditionalists Incapable of articulating any clear vision of a way forward. What’s not to like?

    • Albert

      The interesting thing is that even Dr C seems to be coming round to that opinion.

      • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

        So am I…

        • Albert

          Mr Slope was right: I blame the trains running on Sundays and spoiling the Sabbath Schools. That’s when the rot started.

          • Jack blames the shift from horse drawn carriages.

        • The influence of the now defunct Cyber Swiss Guard, perhaps?

    • bluedog

      With the right leadership the accelerating drift to Jesus-themed Marxism could be reversed. But your comment about ‘impotent traditionalists’ hits the nail on the head.

      • Anton

        “Jesus-themed Marxism” is a superb phrase!

      • alternative_perspective

        What a beautifully succinct and accurate analysis of both the established church and the country to which it is we’d.

        England and Britain more widely, is becoming an embarrassing and self indulgent joke.

        The wretched assumptions underlying our “liberal democracy” are proving to be shifting sands rather than axiomatic concrete. The left and liberal intellectuals are so obsessed with establishing the next progressive beach head that they are completely oblivious to the crumbling foundations into which they are driving their anchors.

        The CoE is a microcosm of this reality, which is undergoing accelerated decline and will soon become a prophetic, Hosean, illustration of the reality and fate of the country

        • Wot …. even with Brexit to save us?

        • bluedog

          Thank you for your kind remarks. As you say, ‘The left and liberal intellectuals are so obsessed with establishing the next progressive beach head…’.

          Exhibit A in this regard is none other than the Right Revd Pete Broadbent, Labour Party member and confirmed republican. This writer does not begin to understand how Bishop Pete can sleep at night, given the conflicts in his own beliefs and his status as acting Bishop Of London. If you draw a stipend in an institution that is headed by someone whose office you despise and seek to subvert, your own office would appear to be a personal convenience rather than something done out of conviction. One can think of a number of words to describe this state of affairs, all of them pejorative.

          After his hot-headed and infantile (he’s 64) comments about the marriage of William and Catherine, one can see that Bishop Pete’s animus is not confined to Her Majesty alone. At some point sooner rather than later, there is going to be another Coronation. If at this point, and God forbid, Bishop Pete has been formally enthroned as Bishop of London, the new monarch may be entitled to press that prelate Pete recuse himself from any role in the service. Which begs the question, how far would the search have to range before finding an acting-Bishop of London whose mind had not been colonised by Pete’s politics? How high up the ladder does one have to go?

  • Martin

    Of course, it could be said that certain persons are not Christians, and hence their comments.

    It seems to me that the CoE field is so filled with weeds that the crop is sparse and the weeds are trying to strangle the crop.

  • John

    I really despair of General Synod. As a body created to discern the mind of God in the unity of the Holy Spirit it is embarrassingly worldly, shamefully undignified, not fit for purpose and should be abolished.

    • Albert

      Was it designed to do that? I thought the problem was that it was designed simply to make governing decisions, but that it has strayed over into matters of teaching (or unteaching perhaps!).

      • Linus

        It was designed to ensure that Papists would never again dominate the CofE.

        Seems to me it’s fulfilling that purpose quite remarkably well.

        • Chefofsinners

          The domination of Papists can cast a shadow long after they have gone. Don’t you find?

          • Linus

            Ask your Anglo-Catholics that question, not me.

            Although not for want of trying, Papists have never cast a shadow over my life. They’ve never been able to get close enough to have any effect.

          • Chefofsinners

            Oh really.

        • Numpty. Synod was only instituted in 1970.

          • Linus

            Fool. It was instituted as part of a liberalising trend designed to keep reactionary forces including the crypto-Catholic wing of the CofE at bay.

            Popular sentiment has always been anti-Rome.

          • You mean “popular” in the sense of an irreligious and secular mind-set fuelled by libtards and heretics.

          • Linus

            I mean popular in the sense of democratic.

            Interesting choice of words from you though. The queen of England signed an oath to protect her realm against Papists. Does that make her a “libtard heretic”?

        • Albert

          You need to read more history, Linus.

          • Linus

            Read Christian history?

            Ouf! You really do hate me, don’t you? Inflicting that kind of psychological torture on someone is cruel and unusual punishment indeed.

            I already know everything I need to know about how Christians have murdered, raped, tortured and swindled entire populations in pursuit of thei narcissistic personality disorder and its imaginary sky pixie.

            What more can there possibly be to learn? Are you cannibals too instead of just pretending to be? Is the pope really the Lizard emperor!

            Some things it may well be better not to know…

          • Albert

            Don’t be so self-indulgently melodramatic Linus. I meant read the history of how and why the General Synod was created. It occurred in 1970 by an Act of Parliament in 1969. As far as I am aware, no blood was shed, neither was anyone tortured, murdered or swindled. I’m sure even such a sensitive person as you will cope with reading about its institution and purpose.

      • The General Synod of the Church of England is the legislative body for the church. Its measures must be approved by both Houses of Parliament.

        Changes to church doctrine, rites and ceremonies, or the administration of the sacraments, can only be made in the form agreed by the House of Bishops. Also, changes in the services of Baptism or Holy Communion, as well as proposals for union with any other church, cannot be approved unless they have also been approved by a majority of the diocesan synods.

        Doctrine is ultimately determined by Parliament before it receives Royal Assent.

        • Albert

          Yes, this is all true, but in practice it has become the place where changes to teaching take place – e.g. whether to ordain women, whether to accept homosexual acts etc.

          • Aren’t these changes to “doctrine” requiring support from the bishops? What is “doctrine” in the Church of England? One thing’s for sure. They cannot hold to any conception of objective enduring Truth given it can be changed on the whim of Synod.

          • Albert

            This is of course the irony of the whole institution. When Newman published his essay on Doctrinal Development, the CofE more or less denied there was such a thing – Protestantism, after all, bases its claims on returning to the original. But when women’s ordination came along, the best argument for it, was development of doctrine. But as Newman saw, you can only have development of doctrine if you have a living teaching authority. But neither the Synod, nor the House of Bishops are that. And so the CofE is doomed by its own incoherence.

          • Anton

            Development of Doctrine = Making it up as you go along. Or, departing from the Scriptures while finding sophisticated ways to deny it.

          • Albert

            How little you understand of the history of your own beliefs. Is the Trinity a departure from scripture?

          • len

            Can you only select one thing Albert?.

          • It’s a dramatic and critical example of how orthodoxy actually developed in the early Church under the leadership of the Apostolic Church and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

          • Albert

            Read the whole thread, that was shorthand for several issues. But even if it weren’t the Trinity just is our doctrine of God. It is hardly reducible to a mockery of “only one thing”,

          • Anton

            No; nor is it discussed in scripture. Tell me how any discussion about the Trinity from any theologian whether Catholic or protestant has ever assisted anybody’s FAITH.

          • It’s evident in scripture but required proper interpretation and explanation. Without a teaching authority, all sorts of regional and personal heresies would have existed side by side in the Church.

          • Anton

            Tell me how any discussion about the Trinity, running beyond scripture, whether from a theologian Catholic or protestant, has ever assisted anybody’s FAITH.

          • Albert

            It’s assisted mine – by helping me to understand the relationship between God and Jesus, it helped me to understand the relationship I have with God through Jesus.

          • Anton

            We are told in scripture that God who created the world and cut a covenant with Israel is the father of Jesus Christ. That is superlative to ponder. But what, *beyond* scripture says about these things, has ever helped anybody’s faith?

          • It doesn’t “run beyond” scripture.
            Would you prefer an Adoptionist church? Perhaps an Apollinarist one? Or then there’s Arianism, or Docetism. Perhaps Monophysitism?

          • Anton

            Any that confesses the Trinity and that Jesus is wholly man and wholly God.

          • Yes, but you can only say that because of the efforts of the early Church Fathers and Church Councils. The relationship between the Divine Persons is important – though Jack agrees the disagreement between the East and West could and should have been resolved. Really, it was more about regional rivalries than genuine theological differences.

          • Anton

            No, I say that because they are right there in scripture. We call those writers in the post-apostolic era who got it right the Church Fathers.

          • Not everyone thought so and still don’t. Hence the need for an authoritative magisterium.

          • Anton

            Bring those who don’t think so to me and I’ll argue it with them.

          • Er …. the Church protected the Gospel from these weeds gaining ground and Truth being preserved and passed down. Not sure there are any JW’s on this site or Christadelphians.

          • Albert

            I find this comment really odd. How can thinking about the Trinity not enhance a Christian?

          • Anton

            Do tell me how thinking about the Trinity beyond what we are told in scripture can enhance a Christian!

          • Thus demonstrating the incoherence and fallacy of the Five Solas.

          • Anton

            Sola Power!

          • Only works if the panels are directed towards and pick up the energy source.

          • Anton

            Must not be covered with 1500 years of accreted rubbish.

          • cagedvole

            demonstrates their necessity, you mean

          • Scripture alone, without a teaching authority, is a recipe for theological chaos – as evidenced by the Church of England’s descent.

          • cagedvole

            the CofE’s descent evidences the darkness of the human heart in a fallen world – no more, no less.
            The Reformed doctrine of Total Depravity predicts, and the history and current state of the church of Rome handsomely confirms it.
            If magisterial authority is the recipe for sound teaching, well – what went wrong?

          • Nothing went wrong with Catholic doctrine. Nothing at all.

          • cagedvole

            haha, good one Jack.

          • Men and women, good and bad, come and they go. Cultural fashions and social mores change. The word of God stays the same and Catholic doctrine on faith and morals is unchanging.

          • cagedvole

            What’s the current word on salus extra ecclesiam,- nulla, or nonnulla?

          • Google it. Be sure to read the Vatican website too.

          • cagedvole

            done that, though the inescapable grinning visage on the latter site is as un-exhilarating in its way as Dawkins’ used to be on the ol’ Clear-Thinking Oasis :-s What is he, the Czar of PR? Anyway little light was to be had there – Wiki is more informative by a country mile, with its helpful array of quotes from many horses’ mouths 🙂

            The sheer volume of ink spilt is impressive, but doesn’t it occur to you that if Authority requires that much interpretation, it can be of very little practical use to a questioning soul?

          • It’s just not given to everyone to understand.

          • cagedvole

            well, that’s my point, really.
            You can’t tell me whether according to Rome’s teaching non-catholics can be saved, and yet if catholicism should be true, it’s a question of immeasurable import

          • cagedvole

            if magisterial authority is the guarantee of unchanging doctrine, how can we NOT know the answer to the salus extra ecclesiam question?

          • Jack does and has answered it many times on here. Just go do your own research.

          • cagedvole

            I have, and I soon found that it depends on who you ask: over the years, the magisterium has offered different, and contradictory answers.
            Catholic doctrine is only unchanging with benefit of a great deal of re-definition and general semantic juggling.

          • Oh well ….

          • cagedvole

            a very succinct explanation of why it’s nonsense to pretend that magisterial teaching could ever be a present help to needy pilgrims

          • If you are genuinely interested, then you need to start with the basics and not jump in unprepared into Church history and teachings that lay down certain unchanging principles.

          • cagedvole

            same applies.
            Where’s the practical, day to day guidance?
            That doesn’t require a course in church history to work out.

          • John

            No Jack. The current theological chaos in the Church of England is precisely because some noisy, objectionable people reject Sola Scriptura and they are given a platform in Synod to spread their gangrenous, man-centred false teaching.

  • Inspector General

    Toughen up, you lot. If you politic, you will be subject to abuse. It’s only a recent phenomenon that your view even if unwanted, is greeted with warm applause. That age is over. MPs used to carry their swords into the House. Think about it…

    Politics is no place for women. It’s a nasty place, where unpopular decisions are taken. That’s the human about us, you see. If you are strong enough, you get your way. What’s more, your way will be upheld by the law, and the law must prevail. THAT is why the abuse will be forthcoming.
    Gentle church types like our Cranmer will wail away, but it will change nothing. For here we are, as we always have been. If you want your view to prevail, you must put your fists up so it does…

    • bluedog

      You would have preferred a government by Tory Wets rather than Thatcher? Arthur Scargill would have become general secretary of the republic if Thatcher hadn’t prevailed.

      • Inspector General

        Thatcher. Damnable thing. There are places today where Conservatism is hated because of her. She was Keith Josephs hand maiden. That’s all she was. An acolyte with no effective leadership ability…

        • bluedog

          Utter rubbish. Thatcher was a Christian woman with a remarkable clear vision of how society should function, and the strength of character to dominate the House of Commons. You don’t win election after election without leadership ability, and Thatcher was never rejected by the electorate.

          • Inspector General

            Would that this man had had access to at least one of her ears at the time. She would have gone done as the greatest ever since Churchill…

          • Anton

            Do stand for Parliament, Inspector. Your campaign speeches would be an endless source of entertainment, as would the reaction to them.

          • Inspector General

            Dreadful idea…

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            You’d make a much better speaker than the Unspeakable Bercow…and I think you would restore the wig and robes too…

          • Inspector General

            Yes. One would don the grandest of wigs that would make any hanging judge curl his mouth down with envy…

          • Anton

            Grander than Chef’s?

          • alternative_perspective

            No, Thatcher was naive and in latter years became vengeful.

            Her theology was not based on the universal corruption on the human spirit but the assumption most Brits resembled her moral, diligent and community minded father. She was wrong. Her liberations permitted wicked people to exploit the weak and the grass roots revolution she was hoping for never materialised… Mutuality, community and sacrifice had been consumed by nationalisation, socialism and materialism. In the end poor areas descended into utter poverty, financially and morally. And many such places are still filled with despair today… They never recovered.

          • Anton

            She prayed nightly in her own words.

            As for the decline of British industry, she took it off the State’s life support and called the “too big to fail” bluff. It was entirely legitimate of small competitive industries to ask why their taxes should go to support large uncompetitive ones. The world owes nobody a living.

    • Feck off then.

      • Inspector General

        While you are about, what’s happened to one Carl Jacobs. Should he be reported missing or at the minimum, absent without leave of absence…

        • He’s having a break from blogging. He did explain this a few days ago. Click on his account.

          • Inspector General

            Tis heavy stuff we are about. This man did the same to a lesser level. A break in the Lake district and NO blogging. Held out until the other day. The flesh is weak…

          • Lovely part of the world ….

          • Anton

            When it doesn’t rain.

          • Even when it does rain, it’s beautiful.

          • Anton

            And even when it’s dark, it’s beautiful, but…

          • Ever seen the stars in the Lake District or listened to running brooks?

          • Anton

            Not in the Lake District, but I know what you are getting at, of course. (Job 38 puts it in words best.) Ever seen the stars from a desert at night?

          • No but Jack lives near the Galloway Forest – a Dark Sky Park.

          • Chefofsinners

            People missed Carl.

          • Bad man.

          • Chefofsinners

            Sorry, er they missed the IG too. I’m sure.

          • Maalaistollo

            Need to improve their aim, then.

          • Cressida de Nova

            What does he mean by a Babylonian siege?

          • Anton

            Clearly, the continuing advance of intolerant secularism and the continuing destabilisation of society.

          • Jack thinks he means apostates, atheists and assorted odd-balls who disparage the Christian faith.

  • DespiteBrexit

    Based on that Harper is no Christian. Just another virtue-signalling, trendy, intolerant, right-on b tch.

  • Inspector General

    Last update that the Inspector has seen, Foreshew-Cain had resigned Anglican orders. It would be a choker indeed if the bugger has since changed his mind…

    • “Fr Andrew Foreshew-Cain is currently a member of the clergy in the diocese of London. We understand that he has plans to move to Manchester for personal reasons but the diocese has not received his resignation at this time.”

      He’s moving to Manchester where his husband, Stephen, is now working. Apparently, he’s on a *blacklist* (very unPC that expression, Andy) as his employers are institutionally homophobic. He’ll devote his time to renovating the couple’s new home in the Peak District instead of ministry. Perhaps he should consider conversion therapy.

      • Sybaseguru

        Ah! That’s in Derby Diocese, home to inclusive liberals and many safeguarding officers to try and hide their sins.

        • The poor man believes he’s on a blacklist and will never secure another ministry. From what you suggest, he shouldn’t have a problem with the local bishop.

  • Mike Stallard

    Woodstock! Peace and Love and the Age of Aquarius! Clothes off! Light up and space out! Make Love not War! You know it makes sense!
    But anyone who questions Woodstock is a square! They are back in the time of War. They are frumpy, out of touch with the modern world! Monty Python dismissed them and Rowan Atkinson imitated them.
    We are are right! You are square!

    As Napoleon never said, “Show me what the world was like when a man was eighteen and I will show you what he believes.”

  • len

    Free speech is such a dangerous and divisive thing that it must be silenced at all costs.
    How is a snowflake to survive otherwise?.
    If anyone disagrees with me they must be bigoted, judgemental, and have probably committed hate speech against me.
    Giving offence is a Politically Correct crime (one of many)

    • Anton

      Yes, have you heard Diane Abbott moaning to a parliamentary committee recently about the abuse she’s received on social media? It’s very obvious that she’d enact draconian laws.

      • Dreadnaught

        Ah Yes the ubiquitous Dire Nabote – whatever happened to her?

  • So, is this abusive and intimidating?

    The ridiculous Mickey Mouse outfit calling itself the Church of England has now decided their Mickey Mouse priests can celebrate their Mickey Mouse services wearing appropriate casual dress. This is, obviously, to make the Mickey Mouse outfit “relevant”.

    I will leave aside the irrelevance of the Anglican liturgy in itself as this is not what interests me. What is important here is that this senseless chase for “relevance” makes the Mickey Mouse outfit even more irrelevant. The desire of these people to be like the world is the best indication that the world does not need them. They are like a chameleon wishing not to be perceived as in contrast with his environment, and then surprised that he is not seen at all.

    The Mickey Mouse sect is, basically, proclaiming she is surplus to requirement in the very worldly, earthly society she wants to be part of. A special role has always be denoted and underlined by a special dress. Ditching the latter is renouncing the former.

    The Mickey Mouse personnel is probably not fazed by this at all. Their churches are shockingly empty anyway, and as long as they get paid by the extensive patrimony of the organisation they do not feel they should have any concern. Most of them clearly see themselves as no more than social justice and motivational speakers, hoping to keep the dozen or two people they see every week entertained.

    You can do that in jeans and trainers, too.

    Die soon, Mickey Mouse so-called Church of England. Your death will not even be noticed as your Mickey Mouse pastors have long become unrecognisable as such.

    You will not be missed.

    https://mundabor.wordpress.com/2017/07/12/the-quest-for-irrelevance/

    • Anton

      He’s been reading Luther on Rome?

    • Dolphinfish

      Jack is advised not to place too much stock in the thoughts of sedevacantists. Even if they ARE correct.

      • Anton

        Some ultratraditionalist Catholics say that Ratzinger remains the true Pope and that Francis is an antipope. I’ve no skin in the game but it’s an interesting alternative. Ann Barnhardt takes this view and is a ranter on a par with Mundabor.

        • Ann Barnhardt strikes Jack as mentally unwell.

          • Anton

            As I said, she is a ranter on a par with Mundabor. But she has a remarkable ear for Catholic scandal: hear it from her then check it up, is my maxim. And she is highly courageous and intelligent, whatever you may say about her balance.

          • Many psychotic and deluded people are very intelligent and courage too.

          • Inspector General

            One learnt a new word today ‘dysphoric’. As in Linus is a pitiful dysphoric. So are Remoaners.

          • Yes, it often accompanies depression and this is very common amongst homosexuals, as are a host of other mental health issues.

          • Anton

            I don’t think we should continue to discuss her personality, but her views on who is really the Pope might make better sense to traditionalist Catholics than sedevacantism. I directed my original comment to Dolphinfish because he dropped a hint that he is a sedevacantist.

          • Her views are coloured by her delusions, not her personality.

          • Anton

            I’ll leave discussion of her personality to you. Nor would I presume to comment on sedevacantism vs Benedict-is-the-real-Pope-and-Francis-isn’t. It makes for interesting reading though.

          • As interesting as a Mills and Boon novel.

          • Dolphinfish

            As a traditionalist, I’m sure Ann Barnhardt would prefer the term “nutter”.

          • Anton

            “As a traditionalist, I’m sure Ann…”

            That construction means you are the traditionalist!

          • All faithful and genuine Catholics are “traditionalists”.

      • He’s not a sedevacantist, Dolphinfish. He’s written many times on the errors of this. He considers Pope Francis a legitimate Pope – just a heretic.

        • Dolphinfish

          A legitimate heretic? Protestant heads will be exploding at the Jesuitical pettifogging required to comprehend that one. I love being a Catholic.

          • A legitimately elected</b Pope can be a formal heretic without his being manifest in formal documents.

            As St. Thomas Aquinas observed: “Just as mortal sin is contrary to charity, so is disbelief in one article of faith contrary to faith. Now charity does not remain in a man after one mortal sin. Therefore neither does faith, after a man disbelieves one article… Therefore it is clear that such a heretic with regard to one article, has no faith in the other articles, but only a kind of opinion in accordance with his own will.”

    • Pubcrawler

      Mundabor . . . or Linus?

      Hmmm, this could be turned into some sort of panel game.

      • Here’s the key themes:

        “What is important here is that this senseless chase for “relevance” makes the(m) …. irrelevant. The desire of these people to be like the world is the best indication that the world does not need them. They are like a chameleon wishing not to be perceived as in contrast with his environment, and then surprised that he is not seen at all …..

        Most of them clearly see themselves as no more than social justice and motivational speakers ….”

    • Inspector General

      I say, that’s rather good! The correct balance of starkly embarrassing truth with a dressing of piquant venom. Do have a tick for providing us with such nourishment, Jack.

      • Jack thought you’d enjoy Mr M., Inspector.

        • Maalaistollo

          Is this just a HJ/IG love-in, or can anyone take part?

          • Albert

            Ooooh. Do you really want to?

          • You’re a strange chap, Maaliwhatsit.

          • Maalaistollo

            You’re not the first to make that observation.

          • Inspector General

            One suspects your name in English would be Malweasel…

          • In Finnish the name means: yokel, hick, country bumpkin.

          • Inspector General

            Ah! He’s a Finn is he. One has visited that most alcoholic of countries. One recalls the Sweden Finland ferry docking and a certain member of the previous nights entourage missing. A fine machine gunner his friends called him. They all do National Service and the collapse of the Soviet Union a few years before had no effect on the requirement. The whole crowd were mixing Red Bull and Vodka the previous night and yours truly became alarmed at the state they were getting themselves into around 10 pm and made off for one’s own cabin. The missing fellow was located in the ships brig.

            Heavy drinking will it is said stop a chap from freezing to death in a country where winter lasts around 10 months, and even Stalin’s Army couldn’t bring them back to heel.

          • One to keep a sharp eye on.

          • Maalaistollo

            Exactly.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            I am reminded of this: Loituma – “Ievan Polkka” (Eva’s Polka)1996 – YouTube

            The word for a bumpkin in Italian is cafone. How about this then: Cafoni Got Talent, especially the middle judge?

      • You should have a read of Mr M. on your specialist subject, Inspector. Here’s his archived articles:

        https://mundabor.wordpress.com/tag/homosexuality/

        Here’s his premise: “Homosexuality is a repulsive, destructive sexual perversion.” And the consequences: “The person who has fallen prey of this perversion (better: who has consented to falling prey of this perversion: no one is “born that way”, and a perversion can only fester in one person’s consciousness through his repeated, willed assent to it) is already a wreck. It is, therefore, not surprising that this very grave disorder will show itself together with all kind of other disorders: then the homosexual is not normal, he is gravely damaged at the very root of his consciousness.”

        • Inspector General

          Indeed. We are however born with a repulsion for excrement. Even more so for other peoples on you. Normal people, that is.

        • Royinsouthwest

          “Specialist subject”? Can we look forward to seeing the Inspector on Mastermind? Perhaps the TV licence fee is justified after all!

          • Inspector General

            {Ears prick up}

    • Royinsouthwest

      Although the Church of Scotland is presbyterian and not episcopalian in its governance, some of the criticisms of the Church of England also apply to it. There was a report recently on the decline in religious belief in Scotland by NatCen, an independent social research agency. The report suggested that the Church of Scotland could possibly arrest its decline by embracing gay marriage!

      Drop in religious identity in Scotland continues – but further decline is not inevitable
      http://natcen.ac.uk/blog/drop-in-religious-identity-in-scotland-continues-but-further-decline-is-not-inevitable

      Whilst these figures may make for disappointing reading amongst those for whom religion remains an integral part of their lives, the pace at which this trend will continue is far from certain, and may at least in part be contingent upon the readiness of the Kirk and others to reflect in some way the societal changes that have occurred over the last few decades. That many within the Church of Scotland are supportive of taking steps towards liberalisation was once again highlighted during this year’s General Assembly, at which officials were instructed to consider making the necessary changes to church law that would enable ministers to conduct same-sex marriage ceremonies (such a move would see the Kirk follow in the footsteps of the Scottish Episcopal Church, which recently became the first major Christian church in the UK to allow same-sex unions). Should the Church of Scotland overcome the vocal opposition to such moves offered by some ministers, its appeal may begin to extend once more to those who have disregarded it in increasing numbers.

      • Ah, the Kirk. That church that grants “liberty of opinion in points which do not enter into the substance of the Faith.” And yet, there is no document in which substantial matters are demarcated from insubstantial ones. It seems sexual immorality is not considered a substantial matter for one’s salvation, whereas offending homosexuals is.

        Another church content to ditch Christian morality in favour of being “relevant”. The Kirk has got itself in a right old guddle over same sex “marriage” and there are signs of schism over the issue.

        Membership has fallen from over 1,230,000 in 1966 to 352,912 by the end of 2015.

        • alternative_perspective

          I go to a CoS Kirk once a month. It is quite hopeless and the preaching superficial. But the people are lovely, old and desperate for young people… Which is why I take my young daughter’s to visit. It makes their days.

          • That’s a sad observation and one feels for these poor souls. They’ve been badly let down.

    • Terry Mushroom

      Yes it is.

      It’s one thing to be assertive. Quite another to be insulting.

      It would certainly put me off considering the teachings of the Catholic Church. For shame. A barrel full of vinegar convinces no one.

      I write as a Catholic.

      • He doesn’t claim to be an evangelist, nor does he proselytise, Terry. He just points out the nonsense peddled nowadays by liberal progressives masquerading as sound Christians.

        • Terry Mushroom

          Liberal progressives worry me too. But as I said, a barrel full of vinegar convinces no one. One can still tell the truth using spoonfuls of honey.

          • That’s a very Anglican approach ….

          • Cressida de Nova

            I don’t think so. We don’t disagree with what M says. It is the unhinged vile way he expresses himself. He sounds like a Catholic Linus . Catholics do not use Linus communication techniques because it is not the Christian way.

          • Jack agrees – up to appoint – but Mr M. certainly has impact and doesn’t skirt around issues. Why not fight fire with fire? Sometimes righteous anger is called for. Besides, Jack prefers his style to the sugar coated heresies of the progressives, their dishonest virtue signalling and the death they bring by a thousand proclamations of luurve.

          • Cressida de Nova

            His is not fire … it is bludgeoning with a bag of garbage. Me, I’m all for fire but personal gutter attack is bereft of intelligence. Heresies are heresies….no getting around them… sugar coated or not.

          • You should see some of the liberal *Catholic* comments on sites like the National Catholic Reporter and the hate and bile directed at orthodox Catholics.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Well Jack I don’t want to see it. If it has come to this… it refutes everything I know and understand to be Catholic.I know and understand Catholicism from a heritage that goes back hundreds of years. The more I ponder the true nature of Catholicism the more I believe it is the only way to successfully live in harmony with others and nature on this planet.

          • Well, Jack certainly agrees with you there, Cressida. Catholicism has a wonderfully coherent theology.

          • Anton

            Without commenting on the obvious doctrinal differences between myself and Mundabor, I suggest the trouble is that he almost always posts rants about the evils he sees. He is always in the same gear, the same tone. Not enough about the joys of the path he has chosen. Having just visited his blog he seems pretty similar to Ann Barnhardt to me.

          • Except he’s not into conspiracy theories.

          • Anton

            I guess you mean why Ratzinger resigned… without necessarily endorsing any theory, it’s pretty darn unusual, you must admit.

            If, for instance, it emerged in a decade that a cabal of liberal Cardinals and gays in the Curia had got wind that Ratzinger had sat on material to do with the abuse scandal in the cathedral choir run by his brother (and I am not suggesting his brother was a perpetrator), and that this knowledge forced his resignation, just how surprised would you be? Remember that Francis is a liberal and came second in 2005. I have no evidence of this scenario, but I do ask: How surprised would you be?

          • Jack’s not into religio-fiction or such speculation.

          • Anton

            You understand the notion of a hypothetical question?

          • Yes and Jack spent 40 years ignoring them in his profession unless they’re grounded in some sort of reality. That one wasn’t.

          • Anton

            Fair enough. This isn’t the Inquisition.

          • Terry Mushroom

            I’m quoting St Francis de Sales.

            Rees-Mogg is a very good example of what I mean. He has very firm, strong views. He’s also good mannered, witty, treats people with respect and gives every indication of listening to what people are saying.

            Establishment southern Tory toff with a posh accent, he may be. Yet a very different character with very different strong views in Mhairi Black SNP MP, speaks warmly of him. To the extent of nominating him to the Treasury Select Committee.

            An angry face doesn’t get people listening. If some one shouts at me, my inclination is to laugh and walk away.

            I share some of Mundabor’s concerns. But I don’t read him because he comes across as a ranting bore.

    • len

      False religion is alive and well, just look at the RCC.
      Always puzzled me why God allowed false religion to remain , then I read ‘the book of Job’ and then I understood.

      • Len, God keeps you alive to test the patience of His saints.

    • The C of E is certainly a Mickey Mouse outfit, with Mickey Mouse priests, but at least in future they won’t be celebrating their Mickey Mouse services in Mickey Mouse vestments- or is that Minnie Mouse vestments?

      • Dominic Stockford

        Yup, they’ll have rid themselves of those foolish Romanisms that they have adopted over the years.

    • alternative_perspective

      It is offensive but it’s true. Though Mundabor singularly, amongst Christian blogs I’ve visited, fails to speak truth in love.
      He seems to be precisely the religious authority Jesus railed against. Going to the end of the world to win a convert, then making him twice a son of hell he is.

      • Inspector General

        Not really. Christ so upset the Jewish religious orthodox that they schemed to have him killed by the Romans. Do name a Protestant church that would like the same for Mundabor…

        • alternative_perspective

          Having spent a year in Scotland so far I believe that although this would be a difficult task it wouldn’t be altogether impossible… Sadly. I am quite surprised by the level of passive sectarianism aggression here.

          • Inspector General

            One doesn’t do sectarianism. The Higher Understanding forbids it as it is something that cannot exist among Christian brothers.

            Oh. Screen going funny. One is being attacked by a virus sender. Will reply tomorrow…,

          • Anton

            If this Higher Understanding denies the divinity of Jesus Christ then it is an antichrist, Inspector. Purge yourself of it.

          • Inspector General

            Right. Here we are. Hopefully the virus sender, a dysphoric gay, is safely in bed with his man. Unfortunately the blighter has killed the Inspector’s mouse…Let’s hope he has cause to bite the pillow tonight, what!

            Anyway. One’s rhetoric comes naturally. From the power of the written word. Brevity is the key. Give them so little that speed reading is not an option. Let them savour your every carefully chosen word. Allow them to wish there was more. Shakespeare is an inspiration. What he did to give us new words – he is the master to those that follow him…

      • You can’t know what’s in his heart.

    • Neither, it’s the stinging truth.

  • len

    It is prophesied that false religion’ AKA the apostate church’ will flourish in the end times so the church that comes out on top in the battle to dominate all others is probably that very same Church.

  • Shadrach Fire

    Tim Fallon was hounded out of his leadership position in a very aggressive manner. He was on his LBGT position which none of the other candidates were subjected to.
    AMW is a wonderful caring and Biblical Christian that others clearly don’t aspire to.

  • lyndsey

    They are very nasty, no doubt. Andrea Williams and her allies in Synod are brave, and just keep on being gracious. I hope she gets better soon from her injuries.

  • av4tar

    Looks like it’s a good job we’ve got GAFCON to create some conservative momentum in the world and pressurise the CofE.

  • petej

    I think the comment about the missing evangelicals isnt intended as an attack, but a genuine statement of surprise. They have been vocally opposed to banning conversion therapy in the press, but did not decide to present their case in synod.

  • Douglas Barrett Wilkinson

    I am currently reading the Prophet Jeremiah in the Old Testament – it is remarkably clear, the side on which the erring Bishops, Clergy and Laity, fall – who refuse the prophetic/apostolic word of God. They are rejecting the teaching of the Word Made Flesh: who upheld the Law of Moses, and said to the sexually deviant lady in John 8 – “Go and sin no more!” Where is the true Church today?