Brexit bishop
Church of England

At last – a Brexit bishop who prays to Leave the EU

 

It was beginning to seem like there would never be a Brexit bishop. Advocating that the UK should leave the EU is viewed in episcopal circles as decidedly insular and nationalistic, not to say a xenophobic and anti-Christian pursuit. The Church of England’s stated neutrality has been tested to the point of apocalypse as just about every bishop and archbishop who has spoken or written on the EU Referendum has come out for Remain.

The Bishop of Guildford, Andrew Watson, tweeted a few weeks ago that waking up on 24th June to find that the British people had voted ‘Leave’ would be one of his “nightmare scenarios” (the other being a Trump presidency). Other bishops basically concur (if in less apocalyptic tones). The Bishop in Europe, Dr Robert Innes, said he would be “very sad” if the vote favoured Brexit. The Bishop of Liverpool, Paul Bayes, said on Twitter: “Roots down, walls down. We are European; we have nothing to fear or to lose if we remain so.” The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge, is unequivocal about the virtues of the EU: “Its borders are threatened by uncontrolled migration. Its political structures are threatened by the widespread rise of populism. And, on its Eastern border, it faces growing Russian military power. If the alternative to Europe staying together were to be a return to the competing nationalisms of small states that marked the opening years of the last century we would be entering into very dangerous times.”

The Bishop of Burnley, Philip North, is of the view that the EU has been “integral in delivering seven decades of peace and economic security to Europe and has been behind countless projects and initiatives that have helped the poorest” (ie, we should Remain). The Bishop of West Yorkshire & the Dales, Nick Baines, is more nuanced: he wants a via media ‘Third Way’; wanting to stay in (“recognising our place in Europe”), while “being strongly critical of the institution of the EU and working to see it change” (ie, we should remain). The Archbishop of Wales, Barry Morgan, says the EU is “the most successful project for peace, freedom and democracy the world has ever seen” (no hyperbole or ahistorical nonsense there). And the Bishop of St Albans, Alan Smith, went to the fons et origo, expounding that the “European project” contained a moral and religious vision embedded in Europe’s Judeo-Christian heritage, “embodied explicitly in most of the Christian Democrat parties on the continent, who drew on Roman Catholic social teaching”.

But wading through all the sociological waffle of cohesive peoples and shared bonds; of common culture and interdependence; of “keeping the peace” and “delivering prosperity”; of a “reformed EU” and a “special status” which safeguards our sovereignty and security while pursuing solidarity, a Brexit bishop has finally (and bravely) come out for democracy, national sovereignty and self-determination.

The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev’d April Hooker, is adamant that political power must be accountable and transparent: “God’s regular and hierarchical arrangements are a carefully woven tapestry of polity which has evolved over centuries,” she said. “Only when we may hold government to account and get rid of those in power can justice flow like a river.” The principle is one of consent: “We can only fellowship where there is truth; and where truth cannot confront power, there is tyranny.” But here’s the crux of her argument:

The UK hasn’t been wrenched from the organic fraternity of the Commonwealth by subversion, but fused to the European Union by what I shall charitably call political expediency. Our spiritual and temporal arrangements have since oscillated between self-doubt and denial; between discord and deception. In pooling our national sovereignty with the anti-democratic European Union, our civil order has been disturbed and our customary devotion eroded.What manner of Supreme Governor can be subject to the judgments of foreign courts, or the diktats of a foreign parliament?

Brotherly love does not demand political union, but fraternal cooperation. The surest expression of Christian civility is meekness. It bears witness through the ages of our politics and the faith of our forefathers. It is nowhere to be found in the secular, Godless, anti-Christian polity of Brussels, and we deceive ourselves if we think we can reform it toward a true and just order. I am mindful that some of my episcopal brothers and sisters take the view that to leave the EU amounts to a revival of the pestilent evil of schisms. I say to them, in all humility, that the spiritual powers and political lusts in Brussels are as dangerous as any theological heresy or religious cult in Church history.

At last, the Church of England has a Brexit bishop who grasps the imperative of church governance fitting the English regime, civil as well as religious, in accordance with our ancient customs and laws, under one supreme head and governor, who is sovereign.

  • PessimisticPurple

    The ENGLISH regime?

  • carl jacobs

    We are European

    Which is an interesting statement, since Europe isn’t a coherent nation-state, and will never be a coherent nation state. One suspects he means “We are cosmopolitan and Europe is the prototype of global governance – the vanguard of the end of the nation state.”

    Of course powerful nation-states might have something to say about that idea.

    • magnolia

      The idea of being “European” is perhaps so very vague once one begins to define it that it appeals to those who don’t like definition. Some of the cultures are very disparate. And what about the European part of Russia? Great culture, much more Christian than Turkey…. Somehow I am guessing that the very unChristian if not anti-Christian unscrupulous demonising of the Russian people that the media has been indulging in means that isn’t the sort of European they mean….

      • Coniston

        Of course we are in Europe – have been for millions of years (and also share in a large part of European heritage). But what on earth does that have to do with being in the undemocratic, corrupt & bureaucratic EU? Too many people on both sides of the argument are confusing the EU with Europe -sometimes deliberately.

  • The Explorer

    “Integral in delivering seven decades of peace.” It makes it sound like twenty-eight nations in happy co-existence. But for much of that time, some current EU nations were under Soviet influence, in a face off known as the Cold War. Germany itself was divided. It wasn’t the EU that co-ordinated the Berlin Airlift. It wasn’t primarily EU missiles aimed at Russia, or exclusively EU nuclear submarines patrolling the seas. It wasn’t the EU Star Wars programme that hastened the financial collapse of the USSR. And there wasn’t complete peace: the EU could not prevent certain disturbances in Yugoslavia.

  • A female bishop? That’s when I guessed there was something wrong with this post.

  • The Explorer

    I wish all the comments of the other bishops were equally April fool. Unfortunately, they’re genuine.

    • Anton

      But their comments are foolish.

      • The Explorer

        They are genuine fools.

  • James60498 .

    Bishop April Hooker?

  • IrishNeanderthal

    I posted this snippet from Chesterton 14 days ago: it is the beginning of a 1908 essay FRENCH AND ENGLISH. It is, though, even more relevant here.

    It is obvious that there is a great deal of difference between being international and being cosmopolitan. All good men are international. Nearly all bad men are cosmopolitan. If we are to be international we must be national. And it is largely because those who call themselves the friends of peace have not dwelt sufficiently on this distinction that they do not impress the bulk of any of the nations to which they belong. International peace means a peace between nations, not a peace after the destruction of nations, like the Buddhist peace after the destruction of personality. The golden age of the good European is like the heaven of the Christian: it is a place where people will love each other; not like the heaven of the Hindu, a place where they will be each other. And in the case of national character this can be seen in a curious way. It will generally be found, I think, that the more a man really appreciates and admires the soul of another people the less he will attempt to imitate it; he will be conscious that there is something in it too deep and too unmanageable to imitate. The Englishman who has a fancy for France will try to be French; the Englishman who admires France will remain obstinately English.

    ’Nuff said for now.

    • Cressida de Nova

      And the Frenchman who has a fancy for English things will never try to be English and no French person really admires the English anyway.

  • sarky

    Happy ‘April Hooker’ fools day!!!

  • Royinsouthwest

    Even if Bishop April Hooker doesn’t exist she still talks more sense than some of the existing bishops!

    Jeremiah 5:31

    The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

  • Albert

    Nice to see Thomas Cranmer has come back as a woman – so wonderfully inclusive!

    And the Bishop of St Albans, Alan Smith, went to the fons et origo, expounding that the “European project” contained a moral and religious vision embedded in Europe’s Judeo-Christian heritage, “embodied explicitly in most of the Christian Democrat parties on the continent, who drew on Roman Catholic social teaching”.

    There’s no doubting the truth of this statement. However, it is to commit the genetic fallacy to assume that because the EU began as a Christian and specifically Catholic project that therefore it still is. To see this, we need only consult no lesser an authority than Robert Schuman who himself warned that a Union which rejected Christianity would be “a caricature ending in anarchy or tyranny”.

    Aside from matters of economics, it seems to me that there are three solid reasons why the EU has ceased to be Christian:

    1. Lack of subsidiarity. Subsidiarity is an integral part of Catholic teaching. It is also written into the EU, but anyone who thinks it happens there should ask the Greeks. In Greece, unemployment is 25%, youth unemployment is 48%, and infant mortality rose by 43 per cent between 2008 and 2010. Why is this? Because of EU imposed economic policy, which everyone knows will not work, but which was imposed pour encourager les autres.

    2. Trade policies have blocked the poorest nations in the world out of the market, thereby harming their development. However, because of this, groceries within the EU are artificially more expensive. So the poorest people in the EU pay to keep the poorest countries outside the EU poor. Nice.

    3. Refugees: because of the sheer amount of EU immigration it is harder politically, and perhaps practically, for the UK to take in the amount of refugees that perhaps we ought to.

    Now if this was an unelected, UK Conservative Government doing this, would these bishops be supportive?

    • The Explorer

      Good to see Albert back.

    • Uncle Brian

      Albert, it’s good to hear from you again after all this time.

      I fully agree with your point 2, which shows the fundamental flaw in the Common Agricultural Policy. Not so sure about your other two points. Greece implored to be allowed to join the Euro from the outset, despite not meeting any of the criteria, and once it was in successive Greek governments simply went on cooking their books for as long as they could get away with it, until they were found out (which took much longer than it ought to have done). The Greeks have no one to blame but their own crooked political class.

      • Albert

        Thank you Uncle Brian.

        There’s no doubt that the Greek Government has to take a lot of the blame. However, remember I was writing from a specifically Christian perspective – in response to the all too easy claim that the EU is Christian. When one starts from there, is it really right simply to say “the Greeks are to blame, punish them”? There seem to me to be some problems with this:

        1. A Christian should really be taking a better position than this. Given the dreadful statistics I gave before, it is surely unchristian to punish the Greeks – resolving the problem would be Christian.
        2. The punishment is not resolving the problem. With a loss of competitiveness of 30-40% an internal devaluation of even 1 or 2% p.a. would clearly take a generation to deal with, and in the meantime the policy causes deflation, which in turn makes the debt problem worse. This is not a Christian solution, because it isn’t really solution and it isn’t Christian.
        3. The problem only exists because of this silly idea of the importance of centralisation. Without that, would the Greeks have been so keen to join the Euro, and would the others have been wanting them to join? Thus the problem exists because Catholic social teaching has not been followed (contrary to the position of +St Albans).
        4. The punishment punishes the wrong people: an unemployed person, aged 20 is not to blame, yet he is punished. Because the policy is so bad, with at least a generation long tail, he is likely to be chronically unemployed. Similarly, a child who dies as a result of ineffective medical care is hardly the right person to punish. Thus the policy punishes the wrong people. This is unchristian.
        5. The Greeks are not wholly to blame. You cannot borrow unless someone lends. Foolish French and German lenders did this. They knew they were taking a huge risk. They did it anyway. More fool them. Part of the reason you get to charge interest is because when you lend you risk not getting your money back. One of the bizarre features of German moral superiority is that you can’t run a credit surplus unless someone is in debt. And if Germany tightens its own belt, then the periphery countries suffer more from less demand.
        6. The biggest defaulter on money lent in Europe is Germany, who having pillaged her way across the continent in WWII, then got her debts written off (not least by countries like Greece), and then got bigger Marshall plan handouts than Greece which made Germany’s economy grow, while Greece’s didn’t.

        As Lord Owen puts it:

        What these facts do, however, is make it a little more understandable why, when Germany paid no reparations or post-war compensation, Greeks, on the left and the right of the political spectrum, find it unacceptable that the German government still refuses in 2016 to even countenance debt forgiveness on Eurozone member states, which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) wants, particularly when Germany helped impose a debt haircut on Greece’s private creditors in 2011.

        In other words, part of Greece’s long term problems were caused by the Germans anyway and the Germans also contributed to their short-term problems. Anyone who thinks Germany’s behaviour is Christian should re-read Matthew 18:21-35.
        7. When the elected Greek Government tried to have a referendum on this, the EU played a part in the downfall of this Government and replaced it with an unelected one. When new politicians were elected on a ticket of ending this racket, and got a referendum mandate, they got smashed by the EU.
        8. The solution to the Greek problem appears to be more subsidiarity: come out of the Euro, devalue and recover competitiveness that way. But this cannot be allowed, for it would be contrary to the EU project.

        In essence, I was making two points:

        1. The EU lacks subsidiarity.
        2. The lack of subsidiarity is not simply a violation of Catholic teaching, it has real, far reaching harms for ordinary people, their lives, and even their deaths.

        I think that’s quite unchristian, and that would be the kind of point I would make to bishops who uncritically accept the EU as Christian.

        • Uncle Brian

          Albert

          In essence, I was making two points:

          1. The EU lacks subsidiarity.
          2. The lack of subsidiarity is not simply a violation of Catholic teaching, it has real, far reaching harms for ordinary people, their lives, and even their deaths.

          So far,so good. As a general principle I’m with you all the way on those two points. But what happened, exactly, last year in Greece? The Greek electorate voted Syriza into power. When Tsipras called a referendum and campaigned for a “No” vote to reject the EU debt rescheduling package, he won – the electorate duly voted No. Then he changed his mind and accepted the package after all, in fact a less favourable version of the terms he had rejected earlier. Tsipras was offered all the subsidiarity he could possibly have wanted, and more. He kicked it into the gutter in scorn.

          • Albert

            I’m not defending the Greek Government – especially not one which was being blackmailed as a result of eurocentralisation. If the EU really worked and really respected the principle of subsidiarity, there wouldn’t be a Euro, and Greece, having ended up in the position it was in, wouldn’t have been forced to take such dreadful medicine, simply to prop up the project. I think, in the light of all I have said, your point here is pretty small beer.

            One of the things that dewy-eyed bishops seem to believe about the EU is that it is (to quote +North) integral in delivering seven decades of peace and economic security to Europe and has been behind countless projects and initiatives that have helped the poorest. No it isn’t. It is a self-serving cartel, which excludes the poorest, impoverishes the poorer, undermines democracy and creates nationalistic excess and even fascism in countries which leads to hatred, between the nations.

            If this was an unelected Tory Government, bishops would be foaming at the mouth to condemn it.

      • James Bolivar DiGriz

        “Greece implored to be allowed to join the Euro from the outset, despite not meeting any of the criteria”

        That is true but not as meaningful as might be thought. Only two countries actually met the numerical criteria for Euro membership, Luxembourg & Sweden, the latter of which chose not to join.

        Hence the criteria which were actually used were not numerical but chimeric. So, for example, the national deficit did not have to be 3%, or less, of GDP but had to meet that figure or be converging on it (or words to that effect) with no definition of what ‘be converging on it’ meant.

        Even then a lot of massaging had to take place. Italy not only had to include a substantial black market but have the size of this increased, twice.

        The Euro is not an economic project (albeit that it has enormous economic implications) but a political one. Hence there is no mechanism for a country to leave the Euro.

        This leave totally up in the air the status of Greek (Spanish, etc) Euro-denominated debts if they were to leave. Normally national debts (typically bonds) are in the national currency or a clearly foreign currency (e.g. Argentinian debts that are in US$). If Greece were to leave the Euro and revert to the drachma there is no clear answer as to whether those debts would be in Euros (at a floating exchange rate) or in drachma (Euros at a fixed exchange rate essentially means in drachma).

        • Albert

          One suspects that the problems were foreseen, and were considered a price worth paying for “ever closer union.”

  • Findaráto

    I bet Hipster Vic’s heart skipped a beat when he saw this.

    “Damn!” he’ll have said. “I wanted Oxford! Who is this Hooker hawwidan anyway and how dare she wain on my pawade?”

    The welief he must have expewienced when he wealised Cwanmer was just wibbing us!

    • 1st April.
      Happy Feast Day, Linus.

      • Findaráto

        Happy feast day Dodo.

  • preacher

    What happened to the Christian Church & gospel ? A recent quote sheds some light ” Greece made it a philosophy, Rome institutionalised it, Europe made it into a culture & America morphed it into a business. “.
    Until we realise that there exists no separation between secular & sacred – we are all called to be Kings & Priests under Christ, provided we are true believers & disciples. We remain under a variety of churchmen & politicians whose self interest is ( In the majority their first concern ) Obviously there are exceptions to this, but the leadership of both groups remain like the proverbial Curates egg – ” Good in parts ! “.
    In June we get the opportunity to free ourselves from the yoke of E.U slavery. We must for the sake of our children & grandchildren be prepared to extricate ourselves from the web of the E.U. The storm clouds are gathering & we must prepare for a long & bitter struggle, the Arachnid of Europe will not release its prey readily or easily.

    • Anton

      It is a bully and it will fold like one provided that we keep our nerve.

      • preacher

        Eventually yes, but we have people in power who know they will lose out if we succeed. They will do everything in their power to swing the vote their way. Cameron even tried to use the Port Talbot crisis to his advantage yesterday saying words to the effect that we are safer in Europe. Despite the fact that Europe has done nothing to alleviate the problem – it can’t !.
        Interesting that neither China or India are members of the E.U club, but are free to trade with whoever will buy their steel.

        • Dreadnaught

          The EU wanted to apply a 30% tariff on Chinese steel but Cameron blocked it to keep it at 9%.

          • Anton

            Always a tricky issue. The UK comprises both producers and consumers of steel and the latter don’t want tariffs. What is overall better for the country (a) if only steel is taken into account; (b) if a tyade war is triggered?

    • IrishNeanderthal
      • preacher

        Thank you for that brother, it seems that many wise, disappointed Christians have followed the same thought pattern or at least agreed about the problem & it’s solution.
        Blessings. P.

  • john in cheshire

    All the collectivists in the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church are showing their true colours; what I’d long time suspected is now so apparent, the established churches have been infested with collectivists (communists, socialists, marxists, fascists, greens whatever they choose to call themselves). I hope someone is keeping a note of those who are against Mr Trump and for the EU because these are not Christians (and if the pope can decide who is Christian and who isn’t then so can I).

    • Albert

      if the pope can decide who is Christian and who isn’t then so can I

      I don’t follow the logic.

      • len

        Pope is just another man..

        • Albert

          It still doesn’t follow. The Pope can speak Spanish. It doesn’t follow that all men can speak Spanish. The Pope can make rules for the Catholic Church, it doesn’t follow that all men can.

          And that’s not the only strange leap of logic. The comment says:

          All the collectivists in the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church are showing their true colours; what I’d long time suspected is now so apparent, the established churches have been infested with collectivists

          But the OP makes no reference to the Catholic Church. It may well be that the Catholic bishops are pro-EU, or “collectivists”, but that does not follow from the OP.

          It sounds like anger against “the established churches” in search of an argument, to me.

          • Anton

            Neither John in Cheshire nor the Pope is competent to decide who is a Christian, but john is correct about collectivists in various churches.

          • Albert

            The interesting thing is, I was wondering if the Pope does say who is or is not a Christian. I would have thought, if he does anything in this area, he says simply what constitutes Catholic faith and practice.

          • Anton

            He made a specific off-the-cuff comment recently when asked about Donald Trump and his policies regarding illegal immigrants and the Mexican border, saying that “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”

          • Albert

            Is the word “Christian” a verb or a noun in that sentence? Anyway, it’s hard to see that the words apply to anyone.

          • Anton

            It makes no difference when a person, rather than a sentiment, is being talked about. But if you want to take this further, enquire of John in Cheshire, whose comment was a clear reference to these words of Pope Francis. See:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/19/world/americas/pope-francis-donald-trump-christian.html

          • Albert

            Hang on a minute. The quote is that someone who only thinks about making walls is not (a?) Christian. Clearly that’s true, certainly if the definite article is not there. Scripture says:

            For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us

          • Anton

            Do you believe Pope Francis was suggesting that Donald Trump was not a Christian?

          • Albert

            No. Catholic teaching is that, if Trump is baptized, he is a Christian. So the Pope must have been using the word “Christian” as an adjective.

          • Anton

            So the subject of conversation was Donald Trump, who has called for a wall to be built along the US-Mexico border; Pope Francis is asked what he thinks; he replies “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian”; and despite Francis’ many theological gaffes you think this is a reference to Ephesians 2 rather than to Donald Trump?

            Pull the other one…

          • Albert

            No, I think you’ve just not understood what I have said. Those who are baptized are Christians, that is de fide for Catholics. Since Trump is baptized, he is a Christian. That is Catholic teaching. The Pope is as bound by that as I am. So we can safely say that Francis did not intend to deny the noun Christian to Trump, but only, at most the adjective. This much is certain and only malice or lack of precision will fail to grasp that point.

            Then we would need to look at the quotation:

            a person who thinks only about building walls… and not of building bridges, is not Christian.

            He is clearly speaking in the abstract. It’s pretty obvious that that quote does not literally apply to Trump. Surely he thinks of other things? We know he does. The Pope’s purpose is to make a forceful general moral position. He does not directly apply it to anyone – indeed it does not apply directly to anyone. Everyone can see that it partly applies to Trump – and that’s the point. The Pope seeks to stress how seriously wrong Trump is by setting up a wider point.

            Now is the statement itself true? It clearly is:

            For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us

            Now you might argue the Pope was unwise to say what he said, maybe even unkind. I might even agree with you if you did that. But you cannot disagree with what he said, for what he said is simply to provide an abstract teaching, the truth of which can hardly be denied in the light of Eph., and which cannot be literally applied to Trump, and even if it were, would only say his positions (not his person) are unchristian.

            Only denial of Catholic teaching (baptism makes one a Christian) and lack of precision, not to mention lack familiarity with how popes speak (in the general, not the particular, if they can) will make it anything more than that.

          • Anton

            “Those who are baptized are Christians, that is de fide for Catholics.”

            Funny, I seem to recall Catholics insisting that Hitler, who was baptised in the Catholic church, was not a Christian. Would you do me the courtesy of checking the catechism of the Catholic church and let me know whether you are correct above or correct when you disavow Hitler’s Christian status?

            As for Pope Francis, please actually listen to what he says in Spanish on the video at

            http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/19/world/americas/pope-francis-donald-trump-christian.html

            and let me know if you think he is disputing Trump’s status as a Christian or not?

          • Albert

            An argument popular with Richard Dawkins! Interesting move. Hitler was a Christian – a Catholic no less, because he was baptized as one. However, he was not Christian (a Christian if you prefer) in his beliefs and practices. The holocaust was not a reflection of Hitler’s faith in Jesus (which appears to be the purpose of Dawkins’ argument) and Trump’s views on walls are clearly not either.

            I cannot speak Spanish so there’s little point in my responding to your last question, and it is moot now anyway, as you have helpfully brought Hitler in, and enabled more precision in the question.

          • Anton

            So dealing with one issue in a two-issue comment of mine precludes dealing with the other; wonderful logic! How convenient for you that you don’t speak Spanish, but I’ll contact somebody I know who does and get back to you.

            I didn’t mention that I believe Hitler was not a Christian because paedobaptism is bogus, but please be assured that I do not regard him as a loyal Catholic. You might, however, have the grace to correct your own comment that “Those who are baptized are Christians, that is de fide for Catholics.”

          • Albert

            So dealing with one issue in a two-issue comment of mine precludes dealing with the other; wonderful logic! How convenient for you that you don’t speak Spanish, but I’ll contact somebody I know who does and get back to you.

            That’s a really stupid comment. I genuinely do not speak Spanish – is that some kind of fault here? So what I did was to give reason to think that it did not matter regardless of whether the Pope said “Christian” or “a Christian”. But here I am judged as if some how I am being deliberately evasive. You’d think you Protestants have the God-given right to judge Catholics wrong regardless, sometimes.

            I didn’t mention that I believe Hitler was not a Christian because paedobaptism is bogus, but please be assured that I do not regard him as a loyal Catholic.

            Your views on infant baptism are irrelevant, because it is the Pope’s meaning in his own words that we are discussing.

            You might, however, have the grace to correct your own comment that “Those who are baptized are Christians, that is de fide for Catholics.”

            Why should I correct that? It’s true, and as I said:

            Hitler was a Christian – a Catholic no less, because he was baptized as one. However, he was not Christian (a Christian if you prefer) in his beliefs and practices. The holocaust was not a reflection of Hitler’s faith in Jesus (which appears to be the purpose of Dawkins’ argument) and Trump’s views on walls are clearly not either.

            You might have the grace to withdraw that most recent comment, which judges unjustly.

          • Anton

            Yes, this is not a discussion about paedobaptism, but the point is that you wrote, “Those who are baptized are Christians, that is de fide for Catholics” so I pointed out the inconsistency of your words with the oft-repeated Catholic comment that Hitler was not a Christian/Catholic, nothing to do with us, he never got confirmed.”

            As a matter of fact I agree with those who say he was not a Catholic/Christian. I’m merely pointing out an inconsistency between what you and many other Catholics say. Its your problem, not mine.

          • Albert

            Yes, this is not a discussion about paedobaptism, but the point is that you wrote, “Those who are baptized are Christians, that is de fide for Catholics” so I pointed out the inconsistency of your words with the oft-repeated Catholic comment that Hitler was not a Christian/Catholic, nothing to do with us, he never got confirmed.”

            Which is, of course, not a comment I made.

            As a matter of fact I agree with those who say he was not a Catholic/Christian. I’m merely pointing out an inconsistency between what you and many other Catholics say. Its your problem, not mine.

            This is just to show a lack of precision. The reason people say “Hitler was not a Christian/Catholic” is to say “Hitler did not believe or do the things he did, on account of his Christianity/Catholicism”. He clearly did not regard himself as a Christian/Catholic, he clearly, and explicitly, rejected Christianity. He wanted to annihilate Christianity. But, by baptism, he remained a Christian/Catholic. The same could be said of Marx and Protestantism and Stalin and Eastern Orthodoxy. Such is the goodness of God’s grace in Christianity.

            And this maps out exactly onto Trump. He is a Christian in exactly the same sense as Hitler, Marx and Stalin were (though obviously, the comparison is profoundly unfair to Trump, since he isn’t in the league of any of these three). His policy on walls is deeply questionable from a Christian perspective. But the statement which Francis made, whether or not he meant “a Christian” or “Christian” does not apply to Trump, because it is so hyperbolic. But in the light of Catholic teaching, it is clearly meant in an adjectival sense.

            A more sensible question, therefore, would be to ask “If, per impossible, someone really did think about nothing more than building walls, would that person be a Christian?” We might say they are by baptism, insofar as baptismal grace has been given them, but not by belief.

            I really can’t see a problem here.

          • Anton

            That you differ from the many Catholics I’ve met who deny Hitler was a Christian while knowing he was baptised Catholic is for you to dispute with them. As I am ignorant of Catholic doctrine I leave that to you.

            Thank you for the advice on what questions to ask you. I opt for this one, however: Do you expect, on the basis of that act of baptism done to him when he was a baby, to find Hitler in heaven?

            As I reject paedobaptism I do not expect to find people like Marx there who have undergone protestant paedobaptism.

          • Albert

            Anton, there isn’t a dispute between me and other Catholics – people are using words in different ways. If an atheist says, for example, “Hitler was a Christian”, what he means to do is to say that Christianity is somehow responsible for his actions. A Christian will rightly reject that. Think of how words are used: “X is Christian” or “X is a Christian”. They can mean the same thing and they can mean different things. People use the word imprecisely. When people say Hitler was not a Christian, they mean he was not a practising Christian, Christianity had no part in his actions or beliefs. They are not making a statement of his sacramental status. So there is no disagreement here – and only a category mistake will make there be one.

            Thank you for the advice on what questions to ask you.

            It was the obvious question to ask – since it isolated the actual point. Why didn’t you do that yourself? The answer is obvious: once you start asking sufficiently precise questions, you argument collapses.

            I opt for this one, however: Do you expect, on the basis of that act of baptism done to him when he was a baby, to find Hitler in heaven?

            No.

            As I reject paedobaptism I do not expect to find people like Marx there who have undergone protestant paedobaptism.

            So your view is that God will exclude from heaven, those who have received infant baptism?

          • Anton

            “So your view is that God will exclude from heaven, those who have received infant baptism?”

            Some who underwent paedobaptism will be in heaven and some will not, and who goes where will have nothing to do with their paedobaptism.

          • Albert

            That’s what you meant (and I assumed that’s what you meant), but that’s not what you said, and that is the point here: precision. Why do you expect (an entirely fair) leniency in the interpretation of your words, while demanding others are held to a stricter standard? If there is inconsistency in all this, it is yours.

          • Anton

            Of course it is not what I said, because you hadn’t asked me that question before. But it is entirely consistent with what I said.

            Before meeting you I’d thought that logic was either right or wrong. Now I admit a third category: turgid.

          • Albert

            I’m sorry, but your statement, which was not solicited by a question and therefore, was simply given without any framing from me, actually excluded the possibility of those who received Protestant infant baptism entering heaven:

            As I reject paedobaptism I do not expect to find people like Marx there who have undergone protestant paedobaptism.

            What you meant was not consistent with that, unless you are going to demand the kind of leniency (entirely fair) which you are denying to Catholics.

          • Anton

            “People like Marx” – people who clearly are anti-Christian. Just like Hitler. This part of our dialogue is not about Catholic or protestant.

          • Albert

            Of course, that is how it could be taken, but that is not what you said. The clarification of “people like Marx” was not “people who clearly are anti-Christian. Just like Hitler” but “who have undergone protestant paedobaptism.” Of course, a wider theological context meant that reading was unreasonable: obviously, if you reject infant baptism, you don’t think that infant baptism is itself a bar to heaven. And that’s my point. Place a statement in its wider theological context of belief and its meaning becomes clear: in Francis’ case, it becomes clear in ways that are consistent with what he said, and in your case in a way that is inconsistent with what you said. Both are perfectly reasonable, and if we accept your interpretation of your own words then a fortiori, we should accept that given to Francis that I have given.

          • Anton

            Yawn. Let people decide for themselves from our words.

          • Albert

            If people are prepared to use, as you do, a different standard for themselves and people they disagree with, then I have nothing to say to them.

          • Anton

            I look forward to your saying it.

          • Albert

            I’ve done it already, but I’ll do it again: you want your words to be interpreted with a leniency their context requires. You deny that of the Pope.

          • Anton

            I’m content for readers to decide for themselves from what is written above whether that is actually the case.

          • Albert

            I’m fascinated that you place such store by readers and that you are so sure they will always agree with you. I would have thought at least some readers would be able to see the double-standards in your position, but even if they can’t, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

          • Anton

            Enjoy your fascination!

          • Albert

            I’m sure I shall – after all, you consistently fuel it.

      • carl jacobs

        Where have you been. Albert? Vacationing in the South of France? Taking a world cruise? Fighting Specter for HMG?

        • Albert

          The latter, except that I was fighting Spectre for OLJC – I give up blogging during Lent.

    • carl jacobs

      Trump is a narcissistic idiot. Just in case anyone needs to take notes.

      • … and, on top of that, he’s an American and a capitalist.

      • Anton

        Whereas Hillary…

        • carl jacobs

          Is a felon who should be in jail.

          • Albert

            While that made me laugh a great deal, forgive my ignorance of colonial politics, but why is she a felon who should be serving time at HM’s pleasure?

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            @Albert, It is a legal requirement in the US for official communication to be stored for future use and as a consequence of this (I think this next bit is policy not law) that all electronic official communication go through formal channels which are set up to archive it.

            Specifically this means that the Secretary of State (which HRC was 2009 to 2013) should only send emails from (something like) [email protected] and that these should be routed through US government servers.

            However, Clinton had a physical server in her house (so not part of any government backup / archiving strategy) from which she ran her official and her person email and she used her personal email account for official business.

            Some time after she left that office if came out that she had done this and then, but only then, she had a staffer go through the server and extract all of the official emails and hand them over for archiving. After this, the server’s hard drive was physically destroyed, so no-one else can verify that all of the official emails were actually handed over.

            It is not proven that she has acted criminal, but basically nothing that she has done is typical of an innocent person and everything is typical of a guilty one.

            This is currently subject to an ‘active’ FBI investigation. The quotes are because the outcome of that investigation will not be decided by the FBI but by the American people. If Clinton wins the Presidential race then it will be dropped but if a Republican wins she will be prosecuted.

          • Albert

            Thanks James for such a full and excellent explanation. How extraordinary! And there was I thinking that Trump was one of only a small handful of people (along with Kim Jong-un, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Robert Mugabe) who could have made me vote for Hillary Clinton (had I, like my Great Grandmother, been American).

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            Albert, You are welcome.

            I have just come across, but not read, this
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hillary_Clinton_email_controversy
            which will have more information.

          • Anton

            Carl has not even mentioned WHY Hillary used a nonsecure private server for those emails, namely the fact that she didn’t want the content to be known to Uncle Sam, because it implicates her in the hanging-out-to-die in Benghazi of one dubious US ambassador and a dozen brave marines. That’s far worse than the security breach. How can anybody consider voting for her?

          • Albert

            Thank you Anton – again, I didn’t know all this. This US election is far less interesting than the last one.

          • carl jacobs

            It is not proven that she has acted criminal,

            That’s a way to put it. If I had been caught in the circumstances she presented, I would have been court-marshalled, shot, and sent to the Russian front. And we don’t even have a Russian front. In fact, they would have created a Russian front just so they could send me there.

            I used to work in that world. Security people are not known for their sense of humor.

          • Albert

            I would have been court-marshalled, shot, and sent to the Russian front. And we don’t even have a Russian front…I used to work in that world. Security people are not known for their sense of humor.

            Except for you, apparently! 🙂

          • Lol …. apparently.

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            “That’s a way to put it.”
            Well I am not privy to everything that has been said so I have to give the benefit of the doubt, innocent until proven guilty and all that.

            Whether what she did was strictly outwith the law (and letter or spirit) is not for me to judge but I have never heard of any even halfway good reason for it.

            One line I have read is that she wanted to carry just one device for all of her email for convenience. If anyone thinks that the US Secretary of State goes about on their own with no attendants nor people to carry as many devices as are needed, then they are more than a little credulous.

            “In fact, they would have created a Russian front just so they could send me there”
            Very good!

            “I used to work in that world. Security people are not known for their sense of humor”
            In Desmond Bagley’s novel Running Blind
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Running_Blind_%28Desmond_Bagley_novel%29
            a couple of times he says that peoples’ actions will be investigated by men with hard eyes, with the clear implication that not fault will be overlooked or forgiven. A phrase that has stuck with me.

          • Anton

            A fine book. I still remember the TV series. The two triggered me to organise a holiday of several friends to Iceland many years ago. Slade reappeared in another Bagley book.

          • “I used to work in that world. Security people are not known for their sense of humor.”

            Indeed … indeed. Or irony.

          • carl jacobs

            Which might explain why I am a Master of Irony, seeing as didn’t work in Security but only with Security.

          • Yes, Carl says he is a Master of Irony
            And Carl is a humorous man.

          • carl jacobs

            Because of the Classified data scandal. If I had done what she did, I would be in jail right now. There is no reasonable doubt about this. Her actions constituted a crime punishable by 10 years in prison.

          • Albert

            No! I won’t believe it! In America they hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.

      • CliveM

        See he wants Saudi Arabia to get nuclear weapons!

      • Phil R

        The “narcissistic idiot” seems to be doing very well.

        He says outrageous things. Then occasionally, a little while later I think, that he has a point.

        I can see why people will vote for him.

        If you don’t want him send him over here.

      • David

        Narcissistic yes. Most politicians are, but he’s more obvious about it.
        Is he, like some comedians, making serious points through stupid comments ? Does he have any similarities with that Italian, comedian turned politician – Grillo Pepe ?

    • len

      We should beware of those who come appearing as’ saviours’ because we have been warned many false saviours will appear in these last days.
      Dangerous times, discernment is needed now as never before….

    • David

      That sums it up nicely – “collectivists”, material collectivists in the Socialist sense, many of whom have forgotten that essentially the salvation that Jesus offers is to each individual, and not to a group.
      These collectivists often preach, not the salvation of grace, through repentance and trust in Christ’s offer of redemption, but the social gospel, and the social gospel only – the gospel of a Christianity viewed through the lens of Marx, cultural relativism and therefore BIG STATE.

      • Albert

        many of whom have forgotten that essentially the salvation that Jesus offers is to each individual, and not to a group

        I would have thought any biblical ecclesiology would have to say it is both.

        • David

          We accept or reject God’s generous salvation individually, but then, if accepting, attach ourselves to the vine, which is the Body of Christ – His Church.

          • Albert

            Certainly, but he has made a Holy People and we become part of it. The Church is not merely the collection of people who have responded – it is his body. Thus the statement Jesus offers is to each individual, and not to a group is half wrong.

          • David

            Ah yes, I think I glimpse the distinction that you are making, but I suspect that it is partly one of semantics or maybe the direction from which, by custom, one approaches the matter.

          • Albert

            No, it’s not semantics, it is indicative of the way in which Protestants are Protestants because (among other things) they don’t have a biblical ecclesiology. Your instinct was to say:

            essentially the salvation that Jesus offers is to each individual, and not to a group

            But in fact, the truth is that Jesus offers salvation to the group (the body of Christ) and each individual is invited to be part of that group: God’s Holy People. This is the whole thrust of the message from the beginning, from Abraham and Moses onwards.

            Unfortunately, corrupt late Medieval Catholic philosophy atomised things, and so this “group” element was lost to those who remained snared in that philosophy: Protestants.

          • David

            Yes I see what you are saying, and I don’t disagree with it, as the saved are part of a group. But we join that group as individuals, do we not ? Each person accepts or rejects the offer. If we accept we become part of The Church, which is The Body of Christ, or God’s Holy People. I do not see each saved Christian as an atomised, wandering individual – hence my reference to the vine. Christians are intended to be visible, worshipping members of The Church. But if you still see some difference that I can’t see then that’s fine.

            Speaking of visibility, the Pope’s former cathedral at Buenos Aires was overflowing on Good Friday. There were local worshipers plus Argentinian and foreign tourists there, all in considerable numbers. I was a foreign tourist yes, but also made my way seriously and prayerfully around the stations of the Cross.

          • Albert

            Perhaps we are saying the same thing, but I still think your original statement was something of a Freudian slip: that there is something lacking in the Protestant understanding of the Church, that it sometimes slips out and that, even when it doesn’t, it underpins an individualism which is repugnant to scripture and causes a distortion in the reading of scripture.

            I’m delighted you had what sounds like a very positive experience on Good Friday. The numbers in which Catholics attend Church continues to astonish me. Why do they all come? It’s hardly because of the charisma of the clergy (I can’t say that I can remember anything from some of the homilies I heard over Holy Week!)! The Vigil, being done on Saturday evening, was far less atmospheric than those I used to attend in the CofE before dawn on Sunday morning. So why are they are all there? I can only assume that it is because, for all the dreadful music and chaos that inevitably accompanies such large crowds, they encounter a reality there.

            When I was a student and still an Anglican, once or twice I had spiritual crises and ended up sitting prayerfully in the Catholic Church. It stood for everything I thought was wrong. And yet, there HE was more present and real there than anything I encountered in the CofE.

          • David

            I understand that you have been on a spiritual journey towards God and I respect that process of discovery. It is very good that you have found peace.

            Although the differences of doctrine between different expressions of Trinitarian faith are significant, we will never know the full Truth in this life. So I regard all those who, in obedience and faith, put their trust in the risen Christ, as brothers and sisters in Him. That is why, when in another country, I am fully prepared to ponder the beauty and mystery of God, and worship, in a Catholic Church or a Baptist one, whilst remaining a conservative Anglican. This is an age in which all mainstream Christians should recognise their commonalities, defend the faith and fight to protect our right and duty to speak in the public square.

          • Albert

            I agree with all of that, David. God bless you.

          • Cressida de Nova

            I know an Anglican whose experience is identical to yours. I will show him this comment.

          • Albert

            Please do!

          • len

            Jesus used to preach in the Temple.
            When you consider what the Temple represented and what the Temple priest caused to happen?
            So Jesus can be found in places not because of’ the place’ but despite it…
            the important factor is seeking spiritual Truth not the location in where you find it but in the Person of Christ where you find it….

            .

          • Albert

            For clarity: I wasn’t a committing an ad populum fallacy, nor was I inferring the truth of Catholicism from my own experience of it (I use arguments for that). I was simply pointing out that I, in common with those mentioned by David, happened to have felt (been surprised to have felt in my case) the presence of Christ in the Catholic Church, to a degree I have not felt in Protestant communities (despite knowing, and in some cases at the time, believing, every reason a Protestant may come up with for thinking a Catholicism is not in fact a fully authentic Christian tradition).

  • len

    The EU is an attempt (possibly the last attempt?) by man to control the World (or Europe at least) without the God of the Bible having anything but a subservient position.

    The Revived Roman Empire which goes under the name of’ the EU’ is resurrecting the same system that operated under Caesar.All gods may be placed in the Pantheon provided they have the approval of Caesar.
    Of course the title and the trappings of Caesar passed to the Pope ‘ Pontifex Maximus’ so we know where this is all going .

    • Albert

      You’re so right Len. A Catholic EU will inevitably result in the subjugation of Britain’s Protestant ethos to Roman Catholic social, political and religious teaching.

      It’s just a Catholic plot really. The President of the European Commission is called Guy Fawkes (or should that be Guido Fawkes?).

      • len

        See your sword is finely honed Albert?.
        I think the covers been blown on the Catholic plot(this one at least) as you have stated ….

        • Inspector General

          You really are a poisonous sectarian toe rag. Hardly surprising the indigenous rebellious Irish destroyed that nice little protestant quasi police state in the north of Ireland where the likes of you could be found in abundance….

          • len

            Nice to see you too inspector.
            I see unlike’ Albert'(who is altogether a lot sharper ) you prefer the blunt instrument perhaps a reflection on your wit?.

          • Inspector General

            The comment will be withdrawn if you can back up your ludicrous line that the EU is an RC plot. Solid evidence required, not your contemptible imaginings.

            Remember, If…

          • len

            Simples. Read your Bible…you have got one….. haven`t you?
            Post your apology anytime….

          • carl jacobs

            So. I thought it was curious that one of the talking heads was an Adventist, but there was such a wide variety of commenters presented. I twitched a little at the notion that infants couldn’t sin, but let it go. When the whole discussion of the Sabbath was presented, I became suspicious. And when that was immediately followed by annihilationism, I stopped the video and did a Google search on “Doug Bachelor church.”

            What a shock.

            Len, why would you of all people post a Seventh Day Adventist video?

          • len

            Because it depicts a fairly accurate history of the RCC. Doug Bachelor was only one of the commentators.
            There is an amount of truth in most dominations.

          • carl jacobs

            He was the producer and the first person listed as a writer. He is also the President of the organization that made the video.

            The fact that it was an SDA video (and the fact that the video hid its origin from me) did great damage to its credibility. It’s not an exact parallel, but it would be similar to watching a video and suddenly realizing it was made by the Mormon church.

          • len

            Wouldn`t bother me in the least.I’ve even looked on Catholic websites! God`s Truth became scattered amongst some of the denominations. As ‘Spurgeon’ put it “Buried under piles of rubbish”. We have to dig for the truth now….As Paul said; “Test all things”(1 Thessalonians. 5:21)

          • “Test all things” … against what? Our Lord is clear there is judgement and there is an eternal hell. Not all things were fully revealed to the Jews.

            Are you a cafeteria protestant?

          • len

            I do like the occasional cup of tea and slice of cake in the ‘cafeteria’ and do sometimes protest if the cake is stale or the tea is not strong enough?

          • Cressida de Nova

            You are becoming very stroppy Len. You know what that means don’t you? A British man who is wearing a suit too tight for him:)

          • len

            Sadly with passing years the suit just don`t fit like it used to…

          • Unsurprising really as Adventists believe:
            (a) the Catholic Church is the Whore of Babylon; and
            (b) the pope is the Antichrist.

            They also believe:

            (c) in the last days, Sunday worship will be “the mark of the beast”;
            (d) there is a future millennium in which the devil will roam the earth while Christians are with Christ in heaven;
            (e) the soul sleeps between death and resurrection; and
            (f) on the last day, after a limited period of punishment in hell, the wicked will be annihilated and cease to exist rather than be eternally damned.

          • len

            Well they got some things right then…….Nowhere half as bad as what the RCC believes

          • len

            The thing about’ Hell’ was discussed recently on ‘Cranmer’ and I find the concept of ‘eternal torture’ for those who reject Christ somewhat disconcerting and puzzling.
            Suppose I proposed to a girl and she rejected me and I then said I would lock her up in a cave somewhere and torture her for eternity for rejecting me?. What sort of person would that make me.?

            Just find this very difficult to’ get my head round’.

      • Coniston

        The political rulers of the EU are largely against Christianity, whether Catholic, Anglican or Protestant. But they look favourably on Muslims – out of a mixture of ignorance and fear.

      • Cressida de Nova

        Hey Albert..wouldn’t that be good!:)

        • Uncle Brian

          Too late now, Cressida. Everything started going downhill as soon as they allowed their official documents to be printed in languages other than Latin.

  • Inspector General

    Earlier today, Heaven announced the line-up for the Second Coming. Once again, Jesus will have 12 disciples, but 6 of them will be women. Of these, one will be a lesbian and one will be black. Three will be ‘working mothers’ who will disciple on a part time basis, save one who will be on a zero hour contract and will only do so as and when she feels up to it as she has ‘emotional issues’. The other two will work term time only. None of the mothers will be married. Four of the woman disciples will spread the (updated?) word only to other women. One of the woman will be using a motorised wheelchair, and have a carer present. Please don’t ask the carer if her charge would like sugar in her tea, ask the disciplette herself. Two of the women will have special dietary needs, a vegetarian and a vegan. Neither will be joining in communal meals, so forget about any rerun of the Last Supper. One of the mothers will be a recovering alcoholic and does not wish to see wine about the place, which really rather scuppers Holy Communion then. The three women who are not mothers will be living in a woman’s refuge, for some reason. Solidarity with the pathetic inmates therein who made foolish choices about the thugs they shacked up with, probably. All six will be strong advocates of equality, whatever that is, and may the Lord help you if you upset them in any way, for lo, they have been empowered by a university ‘education’ in the humanities and have been on weekly demos, don’t you know….

    • len

      How was your relationship with your mother?

      • Inspector General

        If you want to attack what is wrong, go for it’s throat, before it has you by yours…

        • Anton

          Your apostrophe is a catastrophe.

          • Inspector General

            Yes, it will be removed….

        • len

          Did you mother teach you that?.

          • Inspector General

            St Peter carried a sword. And Christ knew about it. Very Christian, then…

          • len

            He was told not to use it.

        • len

          Blimey sound like a ‘Great White’….

      • Phil R

        For the record, it was the women who read the Inspector’s post in my house laughed the loudest.

        Apart from me of course…

        • carl jacobs

          It must be stated that my upvote was set in the context of the entire thread (and his entire history as well) and not just that single post. Therefore, len’s response was appropriate regardless of the humor in the Inspector’s post.

        • carl jacobs

          Oh, and btw. It is commonly acknowledged on this weblog that I am a comedic genius, thank you very much.

          • “I am a co edic genius”
            One of your best, Carl.

          • carl jacobs

            You dropped an “m”. Perhaps you should fix that misspelling.

          • Jack thought it was another Americanism given your national fondness for dropping letters.

          • carl jacobs

            I fixed that error literally within 15 seconds. I am surprised you even saw it. You really should give me a minute or two before you respond. I almost always edit for mistakes – especially when posting from my phone.

          • Yes, Carl says he is a comedic genius
            And Carl is a Master of Irony.

          • carl jacobs

            Yes, the former implies that latter.

        • len

          Haven`t you noticed my sense of humour?. Perhaps you have no sense of irony?

    • Phil R

      That was REALLY good

      Laughs all round as laptop passed around the family to read your comment above.

      Excellent. .

    • magnolia

      A nice little diatribe against women, especially those who have had the gall to get a degree in-gasp-the humanities. Hide for shame all with B.A.s,or M.A s, or is that only the women?

      And are women mathematicians, physicists and chemists OK, or is it masculinising in your book to study such manly disciplines?

      Maybe women should stick to the 20 baby regime of strictest RCs in your book and not be educated beyond 14 in case their poor little bodies can’t take it and they lose their child-bearing abilities? For this is how some thought around the turn of last century, albeit only the rather “challenged” ones!!

      This isn’t satire, it’s just embarrassing.

      • Cressida de Nova

        Sadly,a number of men from the Inspector’s era have contempt for women and have become embittered by their emancipation. Fear of loss of dominance and control motivates these kinds of vitreolic comments .Also impotency issues are closely linked to misogyny as well.

        • magnolia

          That is a new one on me, that last comment. I had seen “the green-eyed monster” there, and the outrage at the idea that any woman might be better intellectually trained. Mrs.Thatcher, who is commonly revered by these types, would have intellectually eaten them for breakfast, and spat out the pieces.

          If they don’t have degrees there are things called extramural degrees, so I can’t see what all the big fuss is. They want one, they should put their heads down and jolly well do one; the discipline and hard work involved might stop all the whingeing at the perceived unworthy who have done one.

          It must make for a pretty strange unbalanced life in which resentment gnaws one’s innards away. I do feel sorry for these folk.

          Did it not occur to them that Cranmer is not anti-women like them, but chose a woman Bishop because the name April is female.

          D’uh!!!!

          • Tsk … don’t be so old fashioned. Male and female are no longer applicable terms, don’t you know. Any person, of whatever gender, or no gender, can elect to call themselves
            ” April “.

          • magnolia

            But “fule” as a rule, without fail, is a male, or so Molesworth says!!

          • Inspector General

            Good point, Mags. April is a woman’s name, as is May, June and Julie

        • Inspector General

          Emasculation has played a large part in formulating the Inspector’s views, it is true…

          • carl jacobs

            You might should rephrase that post a little. It’s kind of disturbing as written ….

          • Inspector General

            Why. You need to expand…

          • carl jacobs

            Well OK. Because as written it can be read as implying that you personally were heavily influenced by the fact that you were personally emasculated.

            The reader crosses his legs and cringes.

          • Expand. Well, from that comment, you clearly can’t.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack …

          • Carl …

          • Allosexuel

            Dat revels yur transphobic bugotry.

          • len

            Was it painful?

          • You booked in for one?

          • len

            No just concerned about the trauma the Inspector must have suffered, and it probably explains why he is so irascible (I mean loss of vital equipment etc….)

          • Emasculation is the removal of the penis and the testicles, the external male sex organs. Removal of the testicles alone is termed castration. Emasculation was a form of punishment in Medieval Europe and sometimes formed part of the process of being hanged, drawn and quartered.

          • Uncle Brian

            What, transgender surgery? You, of all people, Inspector! What do they have to say about that down at the Mouse and Wheel?

          • Allosexuel

            Ow excitin’. Dus Linus no dis?

          • Andre´Kristian

            Kindly, tell her to piss off, the next time! There’s a question of LOYALTY amongst gentlemen, a highly esteemed quality! Don’t bend before the feminazis, for heavens sake!!

      • Inspector General

        Not really a diatribe. More an observation of the type of woman around today. God ordained different roles for men and women, and we are witness to those who have abandoned God’s directive…

        At the moment, any young type who wants to get a university education gets one. Wrong. Only the intelligent elite should be accepted.

      • IrishNeanderthal

        It is somewhat in the style of Peter Simple.

        But that one was always so one-sided.

    • That, Sir, was absolutely hilarious. And just so you know, the actual head of my household, my wife, the She Who Must be Obeyed (in John Mortimer’s immortal words), a professor who is wisely avoided by the sensitive malingerer types, not to mention our strong, beautiful and talented teenage daughter, who has been thoroughly nauseated by the compulsory Social Justice module in her first year of high school, laughed even harder and longer than I.

  • Inspector General

    There is not a woman alive who could make anywhere near such a reasoned, effective, compelling and convincing statement as Bishop April Hooker. That’s why the episcopacy is man’s, and man’s alone. And if anyone here thinks this is an April Fool comment by the Inspector, then you’re a bigger idiot than those pestilents whose stupidity allowed woman to serve in the position in the first instance…

    The salvation of souls is too important than to be left in the hands of eager would be’s not up to the job…

  • David

    What took the C of E episcopacy so long to find even one person to see the EU for what it proclaims itself to be, namely an anti-Christian Humanist based organisation that, in its godlessness, wilfully denies the only factor that could unite Europe – its Christian heritage and still breathing faith ?
    I am afraid that, for the vast majority of the bishops of the C of E, their politics of the left carries more weight in their faulty mechanisms for making judgements than recognising the cold reality of the EU’s elitist, top down and essentially anti-Christian nature.

  • len

    I think far from ‘a Hooker’ wanting exit from the EU there is a ‘Harlot’ who wants into the EU.

  • Anton

    Clearly a descendant of Richard Hooker.

    • Never knew he was of Afro-Caribbean descent. Or are you suggesting something untoward?

      • Anton

        Not at all. It’s not me or you among His Grace’s commentators who seems to think that interracial marriage is a bad thing.

      • Cressida de Nova

        “Untoward” (giggles)

        You are so cute Jack !

  • Merchantman

    Clearly the foolish things are confusing the wise.

  • carl jacobs

    So, I have waited in vain for some clue to emerge from the thread; some small insight into this example of inscrutable British humor. All to no avail. So I will just ask.

    What is the April Fool’s joke in this post? Who is that in the picture? Why is the name “April Hooker” significant? And what does the Bishop of Oxford have to do with anything?

    Oh, be quiet, Jack. And, no, it doesn’t prove anything of the sort.

    • len

      April, time of year. ‘Hooker’ is alluding to fishing, ‘a red herring’ has been drawn across the blog to see who will bite?.
      (Apart from that haven`t a clue….)

      • Uncle Brian

        There is no bishop of Oxford at the moment. The last one retired and the new one hasn’t been appointed yet.

        • Hmm … the Bishop of Oxford is a dahlia with single deep orange flowers, set against dark foliage and attractive to bees.

          • Uncle Brian

            No kidding, Jack. What will they think of next.

          • Hmm … leave that with me for a while.

          • IrishNeanderthal

            Would that one be descended from the Bishop of Llandaff?

          • Indeed. Black foliage and scarlet flowers.

        • Just thought – perhaps the AB is expecting – or hoping – the next bishop of Oxford will be a black woman with some political experience?

      • Pubcrawler

        A hook to catch a poisson d’avril.

    • No, no, Carl. All very good questions.

      • carl jacobs

        “Hooker” is American vernacular for “prostitute” but I don’t think that was intended. I can’t decide if the figure in the picture is a man or a woman. I thought maybe the quote was an adaptation of something Cranmer actually said so many centuries ago. I just haven’t found any correlations.

        I’m very confused.

        • “I’m very confused.”

          Lol … perhaps you’re overworking this and looking for something that isn’t there. Who can fathom Cranmer’s mind?

  • Bravo, YG! Never have I come across more stirring and truer words on the Brexit. And all in two modestly sized paragraphs! I didn’t notice the date and was about to commend the Bishopress of Oxford for it, but as I was penning my comment with a scratchy goose quill, I couldn’t but notice the Yank’s equally scratchy demand for clarification below.

    But neither the good words of Cranmer’s spectre that hovers over Albion, nor the good and saucy humour, can mitigate the melancholy fact that no leader in the Empire’s Church seems to have expressed what to you and surely, to many others as well, is so clear and obvious.