comece
Roman Catholic Church

COMECE: Roman Catholics should support EU integration

COMECE is the Roman Catholic Church in the European Union (the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community). Its mission is to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go…

O, sorry, no.

Its mission is to monitor the political processes of the European Union and the legal developments in all areas of interest for the Church.

Yawn.

There’s no fun at all in monitoring without pontificating, so they have decreed:

For the Church, a political project derives legitimacy from its impact on human persons – so the European project should be our project. In an anxious period like this, it’s vital to impose a framework which prevents national and corporatist egoisms from taking precedence over the quest for the common good. Whether they like it or not, our countries and peoples belong to Europe.

The speaker was Fr Olivier Poquillon, General Secretary for the Bishops of The European Union. By “our” he means all faithful Roman Catholics. The “anxious period like this” to which he refers is Brexit, which he believes is contrary to the common good; indeed, an expression of national egoism.

And then he spoils his sermon by conflating the EU with Europe.

Whether Fr Poquillon likes it or not, the EU is (presently) composed of 28 nation states; Europe is made up of 49-51 states, depending on where you be believe the borders to be and what constitutes a state. Brexiteers are fully cognisant of the fact that the United Kingdom is part of Europe. Whether Fr Poquillon likes it or not, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein (etc., etc) are peoples who belong to Europe but have no desire to belong to the European Union.

A bit like Vatican City, really.

Honestly, how can the COMECE General Secretary presume to lecture British Roman Catholics on their moral obligation to support European Integration when the Holy See fiercely guards its own ancient sovereignty and permits nothing to impinge upon its corporatist egoism?

Fr Poquillon continues:

Defiance of institutions isn’t specific to the EU – it’s a global phenomenon, which also affects the Church, enterprises and states. Brexit is merely the European expression of something we’ve seen in the US and other countries: sensing a loss of control over our political, cultural, religious and technological environment, we’re strongly tempted to withdraw into ourselves.

It is hard to understand how someone so manifestly intelligent and spiritually discerning does not see or apparently understand that ever-closer European integration is the fons et origo of the “loss of control” felt by many Britons who voted Leave. He lauds subsidiarity as though the fact that it is written into the Maastricht Treaty is evidence of its political exercise and virtuous operation. Subsidiarity – the principle that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed at a more local level – is antithetical to ever-closer union. Indeed, the latter challenges and nullifies the former: the two cannot co-exist.

And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie...’ (2Thess 2:11).

The EU may have enshrined the political principle in its 1992/3 amendment to the Treaty of Rome, but in practice subsidiarity is non-existent. Can Fr Poquillon name one – just one – power accrued to the Acquis which has been re-devolved to the level of the nation state?

Honestly, doesn’t DEFRA and Buckinghamshire County Council have a better grasp on how to deal with brown long-eared bats in a Beaconsfield belfry than the European Commission? Why do we need an EU directive to protect chiroptera habitats? Is the Commission’s trust in subsidiarity so feeble that a national government department and a local council must ‘lose control‘ over how best to balance the needs of the bat with the preservation of church fabric and historic artifacts?

The European Union Acquis is ever-evolving, as it necessarily must with ever-closer union. Since Brexit, Jean-Claude Juncker has confirmed his vision to proceed to full political union – one president, one parliament, one people – complete with an EU ‘defence union’ (ie an army), under EU command (ie that of the President).

Forget the General Secretary of the Roman Catholic Church in the European Union: British Roman Catholics would do better to heed the wise and prescient words of a Methodist-turned-Anglican:

  • Sybaseguru

    Remind me – what happened to Babel, and every empire since?

    Did God create just one tribe of Israel? If not then God got it wrong according to Juncker Theory.

    • Jack thought Israel was was composed of 12 tribes brought together as one nation.

  • “For the Church, a political project derives legitimacy from its impact on human persons …. “

    There’s the truth in his statement. The rest? One can take or leave.

    • Dominic Stockford

      “For the Church, a political project derives legitimacy from its impact on human persons …. ”

      No it doesn’t. For the church legitimacy SHOULD be derived from the fidelity of the project to the Word of God.

      • ardenjm

        This, of course, is the Church’s traditional teaching but it is not a requirement that need not be inimical to the good of persons – since, of course, God, being good, wills what is good for His creation.
        But as Donatist North Africa, Calvin’s Geneva, Savonarola’s Florence, Ferdinand and Isabella’s Inquisitorial Spain and Knox’s Scotland illustrate: fallen human nature often misunderstands the Word of God and what “the Spirit is saying to the Church.”

      • One and the same thing for Catholics, Rev Stockford (or is it still Bishop?)

  • Norman Yardy

    Can’t be bothered with COMECE. Waste of space. But lovely to and hear our dear own Maggie.

  • It is hard to understand how someone so manifestly intelligent

    A recent Chatham House survey on the disparity between elite and public attitudes to the EU found that only ‘34% of the public feel they have benefited from the EU, compared with 71% of the elite.’ Fr Poquillon, being above the common herd, basks in the benefits and is oblivious to the people’s concerns over the replacement of true democracy by a system of government which is dictatorship in all but name.

    And Chris Bowlby wrote five years ago that the Catholic Church has long supported European unity:

    ‘West Germany had several influential Catholic political leaders, who, in earlier post-war decades, had joined in broad Catholic enthusiasm for European integration. Former West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, a Rhineland Catholic highly distrustful of Protestant Prussian traditions to the German east, led West Germany into the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957.’

    Would that the C of E had stuck to its Protestant traditions.

    • Ray Sunshine

      The president of COMECE for the last five years has been Reinhard Marx, the Cardinal Archbishop of Munich and Greising, rumoured to be the papabile with the strongest support among the the liberal wing of the College of Cardinals, whenever the time may come for the next conclave.

      • ….. and a good protestant he is too.

      • @ Ray Sunshine—Two years ago, when Merkel invited the Third World to settle in Germany, Cardinal Marx struck some blows for common sense: ‘Wir haben nie gesagt, dass alle Menschen, die kommen, hier bleiben können / We never said that all the people who have come here can remain here’, and that a knowledge of Christianity was indispensable for integrating into German society, ‘Aber Inkulturation in Deutschland heißt ja auch, das Christentum kennenzulernen.’ But, rather than blame the destabilization of Germany on the political class, he chickened out and blamed God: ‘Diese Situation ist uns von Gott gegeben / This situation is God-given.’

        • Ray Sunshine

          From what I remember reading at the time, Rhino Marx was no quicker than anyone else to speak out in public about the Cologne Station New Year mass groping incident.

    • Busy Mum

      ‘The Pope said that he could do no other than to beg a blessing for me, my dynasty and the German Reich, and gave me his apostolic blessing. I was interested that on this occasion the Pope said that Germany must become the sword of the Catholic Church.’

      Kaiser Wilhem II, recording his audience with Leo XIII a few months prior to the latter’s death.

      • @ Busy Mum—I didn’t know about that, many thanks. Exactly the wrong thing to say to Kaiser Bill.

        • Busy Mum

          …and a rather belligerent thing for the ‘Vicar of Christ’ to say to anyone at all!

          • ardenjm

            It was in part Pope Leo XIII’s attempt to move past the anti-Catholic kulturkampf of Bismarck.
            But Popes make bad judgement calls often – ever since St Peter himself who did so more than once.
            Didn’t you know that?

          • Busy Mum

            Oh yes, Peter was sword-happy too, in the garden of Gethsemane.

  • Dolphinfish

    My thinking on the EU is complex and evolving. Many of the comments I have made on this site might reasonably lead people to believe that I am a supporter. In fact, I would not shed a tear were I to wake up tomorrow morning to find that it had never happened in the first place, and John Bull was soaping up in my shower, like Pam Ewing’s dream. Where I have appeared critical, it is more to do with the attitude of the Brexiteers, who think everything is going to come right the morning after Brexit. You need to understand all this before I address the issue at hand.

    At a time when many Catholics are openly questioning whether or not the reigning Pope is a heretic, the Catholic Church does not need a document like this. It is an article of Catholic teaching that the legitimacy of the state is founded upon natural law, not divine revelation; we are not Moslems. By extension, this means that the legitimacy of the state is not in any way dependent upon the opinion of the Church. And thus it has always been, right back to the very beginning. Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. So if any given state chooses to leave the European Union, that is a matter for Caesar. It appears some people have forgotten this.

    Notwithstanding our host’s propensity towards schadenfreude when it comes to the Catholic Church, I do feel obliged to point out that interference by the church in the affairs of the state is very much a Protestant ethic. Quite honestly, I find it very difficult to imagine the Church of Pius X, for example, issuing such a document. And if that Church had not been so riddled with Protestantism in the intervening decades, I couldn’t see the Church of Francis issuing such a document either. This is what happens when every man is his own priest; they forget the teachings of the generations.

    • “By extension, this means that the legitimacy of the state is not in any way dependent upon the opinion of the Church.”

      Hmmm ….. not quite the Catholic Church’s position. If it were, then Nazism would be viewed as “legitimate” by Rome, as would Stalinism. For the Church, the legitimacy of a nations governance and its laws is determined by its promotion of the common good and this is discernible by reason from natural law and also by revelation from scripture.

      • Dolphinfish

        Whatever the legitimacy of the Nazis, Jack, the legitimacy of Germany was never in doubt. And I do wish you hadn’t brought Adolf into the equation. We’re now going to be persecuted about the concordat, while a dignified veil will be drawn across the Four Power Pact which Britain signed with Hitler in the same year.

        • Lol …. It’s a protestant site. The same thinking applies to nation states which legalise abortion, homosexuality and euthanasia. The Church supports national boundaries – up to a point. Shall Jack risk mentioning Constantine and the expansion of the Roman Empire? No, best not.

          An article of Protestant belief:

          Q: Who is on the Lord’s side?
          A: He who doth support whatsoever is done by the nation of Israel, and who doth renounce the world, the flesh, and the Catholic Church.

          • Chefofsinners

            An article of Catholic belief:
            Q: Who is on the Lord’s side?
            A: He who doth bid me top dollar for this indulgence.

          • An article of Protestant belief:
            Q: How long hath the Holy Spirit been at work?
            A: The Holy Spirit hath been at work for more than five centuries, most expressly, since the Reformation brought about the uprooting of 1500 years of Catholic teaching.

          • Chefofsinners

            An article of Catholic belief:
            Q: How long hath the Holy Spirit been at work?
            A: Hopefully long enough to earn a lot of money, so that He may bid me top dollar for this indulgence.

          • Dolphinfish

            Do you know what indulgences actually are, or, indeed, how they’re meant to work? Or anything at all about the indulgences controversy?

          • Of course he does. He’s just being Chef.

          • Chefofsinners

            Er… some bloke might have wrote some stuff on some church door about it. My MTh dissertation might have been about bits 53-55.

          • Dolphinfish

            So, that would be no, you don’t know.

          • Chefofsinners

            I know that a dolphin isn’t a fish.

          • Chefofsinners

            How much for telling me?

          • Royinsouthwest

            Why do you ask? Are you trying to sell us some?

          • Dolphinfish

            No, you get them free for the asking. A bit like protestant Grace, except God gives you the indulgence and the protestant gives himself the grace.

          • Q: What is the chief end of each individual Christian?
            A: Each individual Christian’s chief end is to get saved. This is the first and great commandment.
            Q: And what is the second great commandment?
            A: The second, which is like unto it, is to get as many others saved as he can by telling the world about the seat of the anti-Christ, the Catholic Church.

          • Chefofsinners

            Q: What is the Chef end of a Catholic?
            A: To cook the books, and to get enough money saved so that he can afford…

          • Why drag Israel into your Orange vs Green squabble? Advanced, law-and-order oriented, economically functioning democracies, which happen to be almost exclusively Protestant, tend to cooperate.

            And what has Israel done to cause the Vatican and poor Catholic nations to side with its Muslim enemies? All the while Islam is burning Churches and crucifying Christians in the M.E.?

          • It was a dig at Zionist Christians working for the rebuilding of the Temple and the mass conversion of the Jews, not Israel.

          • I see. Well, then, I’ll just stand back again; no reason for me to stick my head into this buzz saw….

          • It’s called satire, Avi.

          • The buzz-saw being the current kerfuffle between you Proddies and Papists here, Jack.

          • Who knows, Avi, Jack may just rescue one soul from ignorance. It also keeps the protestants from falling out. The enemy of my enemy, and all that. Bet there are equally fierce debates within Judaism but perhaps not quite so public..

          • They are public, but mostly incomprehensible or not interesting to outsiders, including the majority of Jews. In orthodoxy alone you have countless factions. The unfortunate thing is that OJ and liberal Judaism have drifted apart quite a bit even in the last decade, not just theologically but politically too, and there is very little communication now.

          • Make sure you pop by on the centennial of the Balfour Declaration. One suspects there will be an article on it. Jack would be interested in your observations about this and about its reception and implementation.

      • Chefofsinners

        Reductio ad Hitlerum

        • Puto vos esse molestissimos.

          • Pubcrawler

            “vos”? Has Chef undergone mitosis?

          • Probably – but isn’t “vos” Latin for “you”?

          • Pubcrawler

            Plural.

          • Ray Sunshine

            Yes, but only when it’s plural.

          • Et tū, Sunshine, et tu!

          • Chefofsinners

            What a tangled web we create
            When first we practise to Google Translate

          • Quisque comoedus est.

        • Little Black Censored

          This discussion has sunk very low indeed.

    • carl jacobs

      I do feel obliged to point out that interference by the church in the affairs of the state is very much a Protestant ethic

      Ummmm …. Yeah. When has the RCC ever interfered in the affairs of state? The idea is unthinkable.

      • Good morning, Carl. How’s the therapy progressing?

        • carl jacobs

          Eh? [He say, wondering if this a trap]

    • carl jacobs

      I see the Pope is trying to raise an Army to slaughter the Albighensians again. Complete with a priori indulgences. This of course is not properly categorized as “interfering in the affairs of state”. It’s simply “preventing national and corporatist egos from taking precedence”. Those Albighensians aren’t too fond of the EU.

      • No. It was supporting the French crown who was protecting France from infiltration by the foreign Bogomil churches of Dalmatia and Bulgaria who had arrived with their religiopolitical sect promoting neo-Gnostic Manichaeism. They were undermining the authority of the French king and state and their leaders were being protected by powerful nobles who had clear interests in civil unrest and independence from the king.

        • carl jacobs

          So that would be an example of the RCC not interfering in politics?

          • Jack never clamed this and he corrected Dolphinfish:

            Innocent III, a great reforming Pope, declared in his inaugural sermon:

            “Who am I and of what lineage that I should take my place above kings? For to me it is said in the prophets, ‘I have this day set thee over nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build and to plant.’ To me it is said in the apostles, ‘I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’ The successor of St. Peter is the Vicar of Christ; he has been established as mediator between God and man, below God but beyond man; less than God but more than man; who shall judge all and be judged by no one.”

            Innocent III understood the preeminence of the spiritual over the temporal, including the predominance of the Church over the State. In his letter to King John Lackland of England he writes, “Jesus Christ wills that the kingdom should be priestly, and the priesthood kingly. Over all, he has set me as his vicar upon earth, so that, as before Jesus ‘every knee shall bow,’ in like manner to his vicar all shall be obedient, and there shall be one fold and one shepherd. Pondering this truth, thou, as a secular prince, has subjected thy realm to Him to whom all is spiritually subject.”

          • Chefofsinners

            Sorry to hear that Innocent is ill.

          • Shame there isn’t a leader around today who would adopt the same attitude towards Islam in Europe and promote action consistent with protecting it from this threat by forestalling its descent into moral relatively, degeneracy, spiritual indifference and eventual annihilation.

          • Chefofsinners

            Ah, the lost age of Innocence.

          • Took me almost five seconds to get this one. Jet lag and the need to re-calibrate and reconfigure for this blog.

          • Anton

            He’s not so innocent either.

          • carl jacobs

            Good to see you are perfectly fine with the Pope raising Armies. I assume that this is based on some (infallible, more or less, depending upon whether it has been historically falsified) Papal Bull declaming upon Ephesians 6?

          • That was then – prior to nationalism and when the Papal States existed. This is now – nation states have been formed and are in place and Rome is a spiritual force, not a temporal one. You have no need to fear the Swiss Guard or the Dominicans.

            At the time of Innocent III, without firm guidance from the Church, leaders became tyrants and countries allowed heresies to flourish and disorder to prevail. Internal strife, heretical notions, and rivalries between various Christian sovereigns had allowed the Muslims to advance quickly to a degree that imperilled the whole of the West.

            Innocent III dealt with powerful worldly powers; when necessary, he corrected their immorality; he suppressed heresies; he maintained internal Church discipline, affirmed and asserted Church teaching; and he opposed the aggression of Islam.

        • Anton

          Not so. The Albigensians (or Cathars) had heretical views on the relation between matter and spirit, but arch-Catholic Bernard of Clairvaux said that, in discussion, the ‘heretics’ in that part of France lived moral lives (in his Sermon no. 65), while St Dominic wandered Cathar lands at no personal risk disputing theology with them. Rome promptly enacted genocide on the Cathars. A legate sent to the local (Catholic) ruler Raymond of Toulouse, who protected them, was murdered (probably by a knight of Raymond’s after the legate had excommunicated Raymond). This Pope, Innocent III, then instructed other legates to preach a crusade against the Cathars, offering their land to Catholics who took part; and appealed to the king of France to join in. The result was genocide.

          • Pope Innocent saw the urgent need to take action against the Albigensian heretics. They were Manicheans, believing in two gods. They taught that all flesh was evil, having been created by the “evil” god. They held that the other, the “good” god, created spiritual entities. Because they believed that to convey life was a great evil, their moral practices were sordid and perverse. The adherents had actively promoted their errors and, in some towns, it was the official religion. Unfortunately, they aggressively preached their errors while the average parish priest did not preach at all. As a result, many poorly instructed Catholics fell into the heresy.

            Innocent’s first response was to send two local Cistercians as his legates to induce the prince to banish the heretics and confiscate their property. Disobedience was to be punished by ecclesiastical censures. They were to work to reform the lives of the local clergy. When this was not successful, Innocent sent two more Cistersians, one of whom, Peter de Castelnau, was quite vigorous. The local archbishop was deposed when he refused to cooperate. Another bishop was deposed for simony and a third suspended. All bishops in Languedoc were deprived of their jurisdiction in heresy cases [ only the papal legates had the authority henceforth. They also had been given the power to deprive all unworthy clergy of their benefices and there was no right of appeal. Another Cistercian was appointed to the now vacant see of Toulouse and soon another Cistercian was made bishop in Auxerre. Even though the will of the pope to correct the clergy was perfectly clear and the local Catholic had no doubt about what was the true faith, the mission made very little overall progress. The count of Toulouse obstinately refused to cooperate with the pope’s mission.

            Innocent next sent two Spaniards, the Bishop of Osma and Dominic Guzman, the great St. Dominic, into Languedoc. With their companions, they traveled in groups of three and fours, with no money or shoes on their feet. Through their austerity they attempted to balance the pomp and formality that was deemed necessary for the papal legates. They preached and held formal disputations with the chiefs of the heretics -sometimes for days on end.

            Finally, after nearly ten years of these missions, the papal legates tried one more time to win the cooperation of the local princes, particularly the count of Toulouse, Raymond VI. His father, Raymond V, became an Albigensian heretic. When they failed to win Raymond VI, the legates excommunicated him and laid an interdict on his territories. Within three months, one of the count’s sergeants murdered De Castelnau, the papal legate. It marked the beginning of a regular war to punish Raymond and to root out the heresy once and for all. The murderer was excommunicated and Raymond’s excommunication was renewed. Raymond was outlawed and deprived of all his rights as a ruler; his vassals were freed from their allegiance to him and his allies were freed from their treaty obligations.

            Pope Innocent called for a crusade against the heretics and a substantial force was gathered in Lyons. After winning the initial battles and, unfortunately, engaging in excesses and massacres, the large force dispersed. Only Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester in England, remained. For the next ten years he maintained the crusade against Raymond and his dependents. When it became apparent to Innocent that personal ambitions had gotten mixed up with the original purpose of the crusade, he intervened most strenuously. Innocent attempted to bring Raymond into the fold and ordered him to cooperate with the work of extirpating the heretics from his land. After repeated demonstrations of perfidy, Raymond of Toulouse was deprived of all lands with the exception of his capital, Toulouse.

            Peter II of Aragon had recently returned from a successful campaign against the Muslims. Unfortunately, he decided to intervene in defence of Raymond, who was his brother-in-law. Despite warnings of the Pope, he massed a huge army against Simon de Montfort with the intention of wiping out his forces for good. On September 11, 1213, the campaign ended in the battle of Muret. Simon de Montfort, with a force of only 700 – 800 cavalry (all seasoned knights) completely decimated Peter’s army, which was forty thousand strong.

            Innocent’s method of dealing with the heretics was to send preachers, to depose complicant or openly heretical bishops, to install new bishops and send papal legates to administer the mission. He excommunicated the rulers who cooperated with or protected the heretics and placed their subjects under interdict. It was only after these efforts proved unsuccessful and his personal legate was murdered did he finally order a military crusade against them. Even then, he worked tirelessly to protect their legitimate rights and protect them from unjust harm. After seven years of military action the first great obstacle to the extirpation of the Albigensians had been accomplished – they were no longer protected by the State. The next phase of the operation was then begun – the cooperation of the State with the Pope against the heretics. It was at this point that St. Dominic and his order were sent back in to preach to and bring the heretics back into the Catholic fold.

            See: Pope Innocent III and the Marks of a Great Papacy; Br. Lawrence Mary M.I.C.M., Tert.)

          • Anton

            they aggressively preached their errors while the average parish priest did not preach at all. As a result, many poorly instructed Catholics fell into the heresy.

            The words you chose to post, Jack. Your own choice. Anything I could add would be superfluous.

          • “The adherents had actively promoted their errors and, in some towns, it was the official religion. Unfortunately, they aggressively preached their errors while the average parish priest did not preach at all. As a result, many poorly instructed Catholics fell into the heresy.”

            That’s heretics for you, Anton.

            [Aggression:
            a. Hostile or destructive behaviour or attitudes: physical aggression; verbal aggression; emotional aggression.
            b. Forceful, assertive, or overbearing behaviour or attitudes.]

          • Martin

            Anton

            Of course, we have to remember that this is Rome’s telling of their beliefs.

      • Dominic Stockford

        A ‘church’ that claims sovereignty over every nation in the world.

    • Little Black Censored

      “…the Brexiteers, who think everything is going to come right the morning after Brexit.”
      I am a Leaver and have never thought this, nor do any of the Leavers I know. There were of course idiots on both sides of this debate; the people who think that nothing good can possibly come of Brexit (see the Guardian passim) may equally be disregarded.

  • andrew

    The CC does what is now expected of it. Vatican ll changed everything, and without going all conspiracy, with the un and the rest of the worlds dildos breathing down its neck, it is clear the good ship holy see is now commandeered by those who wish to hurt her from within. I’m not gullible enough to expect anything less from the Vatican today than the actions of a subservient slave. A shame, yes. But reality beckons.

    • In days gone by the Church would have launched a Holy Crusade against the heretical European elite who are poisoning the Christian foundations of the continent with its protection of all faiths as equal, the promotion and protection of unnatural sexual proclivities as “rights”, and the legitimisation of the murder of children in the womb as the “reproductive rights” of women.

      • Anton

        Nonsense about the French Revolution. 18th century France was thoroughly Catholic having thrown all its protestants out in the 1680s after Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes. No, you can’t blame protestants for what happened in France. You have only yourselves to blame.

        • There was no papal authority across a united Christian Europe to organise a defence of the country. That’s the point. Western Europe was divided into competing nations.

          • Anton

            Twas ever thus: at some point boundaries have to be set between the lands and the peoples over whom any given ruler has jurisdiction.

          • You believe in violent revolution? It is justified by circumstances?

          • Anton

            To understand why people did something is not the same as agreeing with them, is it? Of course I don’t.

          • “To understand why people did something is not the same as agreeing with them, is it?”
            For once Jack agrees with you – although he would probably add to try to understand. You should apply this principle more widely when you survey contested history.

  • Chefofsinners

    All thanks be to God for half a millennium of freedom from the bondage of the Church of Rome.
    In our day we are breaking free from that latest incarnation of European authoritarianism, the treaty of Rome.
    Little wonder that these two find so much in common.

    In the words of Martin Luther:

    A safestronghold our God is still,
    A trusty shield and weapon;
    He’ll help us clear from all the ill
    That hath us now o’ertaken.
    The ancient prince of hell
    Hath risen with purpose fell;
    Strong mail of craft and power
    He weareth in this hour,
    On earth is not his fellow.

    With force of arms we nothing can,
    Full soon were we down-ridden;
    But for us fights the proper Man,
    Whom God himself hath bidden.
    Ask ye, Who is this same?
    Christ Jesus is his name,
    The Lord Sabaoth’s Son;
    He, and no other one,
    Shall conquer in the battle.

    And were this world all devils o’er,
    And watching to devour us,
    We lay it not to heart so sore;
    Not they can overpower us.
    And let the prince of ill
    Look grim as e’er he will,
    He harms us not a whit:
    For why? His doom is writ;
    A word shall quickly slay him.

    God’s word, for all their craft and force,
    One moment will not linger,
    But, spite of hell, shall have its course;
    ‘Tis written by his finger.
    And though they take our life,
    Goods, honour, children, wife,
    Yet is their profit small;
    These things shall vanish all,
    The city of God remaineth.

    • Well, that’s worked out well, hasn’t it? Since the protestant revolt, England, supported by its established Church, has legalised abortion, approved “no fault” divorce, decriminalised homosexuality and legitimised same sex “marriage”. It’s on the cusp too of sanctioning euthanasia.

      • CliveM

        Like Catholic Ireland, France, Spain , Italy etc.

        Catholic Belgium has already legalised euthanasia.

        • All democracies under the sway of the infiltration of protestant concepts like freedom of conscience and moral proportionalism.

          • CliveM

            Even God allows freedom of conscience. I’m assuming from your comment the RCC doesn’t.

          • Define “conscience”. That’s where a Catholic starts.

          • CliveM

            I find it interesting when, either as individuals or corporately, people don’t take responsibility for their actions. It simply won’t do for Catholics to blame Protestantism for decisions taken by Catholic countries.

            Google : Conscience, a persons moral sense of right or wrong, viewed as acting guide to ones behaviour. Seems about right. How would you define it?

          • That’s a secular version permitting anyone to do anything in accord with their individual “moral sense” of “right” and “wrong”.

            The Catholic definition of conscience is:

            The judgment of the practical intellect deciding, from general principles of faith and reason, the goodness or badness of a way of acting that a person now faces.

            It is an operation of the intellect and not of the feelings or even of the will. An action is right or wrong because of objective principles to which the mind must subscribe, not because a person subjectively feels that way or because his will wants it that way.

            Conscience, therefore, is a specific act of the mind applying its knowledge to a concrete moral situation. What the mind decides in a given case depends on principles already in the mind.

            These principles are presupposed as known to the mind, either from the light of natural reason reflecting on the data of creation, or from divine faith responding to God’s supernatural revelation. Conscience does not produce these principles; it accepts them. Nor does not conscience pass judgment on the truths of reason and divine faith; it uses them as the premises from which to conclude whether something should be done (or should have been done) because it is good, or should be omitted (or should have been omitted) because it is bad. Its conclusions also apply to situations where the mind decides that something is permissible or preferable but not obligatory.

            Always the role of conscience is to decide subjectively on the ethical propriety of a specific action, here and now, for this person, in these circumstances. But always, too, the decision is a mental conclusion derived from objective norms that conscience does not determine on its own, receiving it as given by the Author of nature and divine grace.

          • CliveM

            So does this definition of conscience allow a person or organisation to wash their hands of personal or corporate responsibility and blame unconnected third parties?

          • You’ve read it. What do you think?

            One can use one’s conscience, enlightened and formed by Truth, to determine one’s own actions in particular situations. To assess the erosion of Christian values in Europe requires an analysis of how this departure from Truth came about. Where did the ideas of personal freedom in interpreting scripture and authority for applying individualised understandings of it to one’s life take root and arise as the West’s predominant ideology?

          • CliveM

            Ive read it, but I’m interested in your view.

          • Royinsouthwest

            If you believe all that Jack then you probably think that philosophers have far better consciences than street sweepers and children will have only very rudimentary consciences.

          • That why God revealed His Law – to give everyone the chance to know His will, even though individuals understandings vary. Plus, the pastors of the Church and its teaching authority.

        • Little Black Censored

          Can any country be called “Catholic”?

          • CliveM

            In the same way a country can be called Protestant. Although the Vatican City springs to mind.

            It all depends what you mean by it.

          • Little Black Censored

            I meant that in adopting the agenda of secular humanism formerly Catholic countries have mostly lost the claim to that title except in the cultural sense; in practice the teachings of the Church are generally disregarded. I suppose Malta can still be called Catholic. In most non-Northern continental countries, Catholicism is dominant only in certain areas, the level of actual practice being generally low. The same is true mutatis mutandis of formerly Protestant countries. Never mind, Islam will subjugate us all eventually.

      • Chefofsinners

        Social evils come and go. Slavery has been abolished, and child marriage, and we have schools and hospitals for all. 500 years ago people didn’t live long enough for euthanasia to be an issue.

        What matters is that for 500 years people have heard the true gospel preached, in this land and throughout the world.

        • The “true gospel” – which protestant version would that be?

          • Chefofsinners

            That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

          • Note it states: “Thou shalt be saved” …… not: Thou art saved. It doesn’t mean we need only confess faith in Christ one time. The Bible uses the same Greek word for confess, homologeitai, in multiple places and emphasizes we must continue to confess Christ if we are going to be finally saved.

            And confessing Christ is done not only in word, but also in deed: “If any one does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” (1 Tm 5:8).

            The man who neglects his family for selfish pursuits denies Christ in his actions. The Bible records in many places extensive lists of sins whereby we can deny Christ, such as 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor sexual perverts, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

            Our salvation is contingent upon many things, indicating the certainty of our salvation is not absolute. 1 John 1:8-9: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” The text says we will be forgiven if. Thus, the is: Unconfessed sin will not be forgiven. And the Bible is very clear that no sin can enter into heaven (see Hb 1:13; Rv 21:8-9, 27).

            Three more texts about the contingency of salvation bolster the argument:

            1 Corinthians 15:1-2: “Now I would remind you, brethren, in what terms I preached to you the gospel, which you received, in which you stand, by which you are saved, if you hold it fast – unless you believed in vain.”

            Colossians 1:21-23: “And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him, provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard . . .

            2 Peter 2:20-22: “For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first . . . It has happened to them according to the true proverb, the dog turns back to his own vomit, and the sow is washed only to wallow in the mire.”

          • Chefofsinners

            Here we go again.

            The new birth is clearly taught by Christ in John 3.

            Read the parable of the tares in Matthew 13 and you will understand the passages you quote from 1 Cor., Colossians and 2 Peter.

            The perseverance of the saints is a doctrine variously interpreted but not much disputed. Those who are genuinely saved will both remain in their faith and be kept by Christ. (“None shall pluck them from my hand”- John 10:28). They are saved in an ongoing sense, meaning becoming increasingly Christlike and producing fruits which confirm their salvation. They will be saved in a future sense when taken to be with Christ and perfected.

            It’s all very simple and very scriptural. Stop pretending you don’t understand.

          • “Those who are genuinely saved will both remain in their faith and be kept by Christ.”

            Well, obviously. That’s tautological. We’ll only those “genuinely saved” at the Last Judgement. Do you believe saving grace can be resisted and/or lost?

          • Chefofsinners

            I believe that these questions are beyond human understanding. We must exercise faith, by taking God at His word rather than twisting His truth to make it fit into our tiny minds.

          • Is that an admission of the protestant failures?

          • Protestant articles of faith:

            Q: What is the assurance of thy salvation?
            A: The assurance of thy salvation is, that I know the date on which I prayed the Sinner’s Prayer, and have duly written this date on an official Decision card.

            Q: What is thy story? What is thy song?
            A: Praising my Saviour all the day long.

            Q: You ask me how I know he lives?
            A: He lives within my heart.

            Q: And what else hast thou got in thine heart?
            A: I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.

            Q: Where??
            A: Down in my heart!

            Q: Where???
            A: Down in my heart!!

          • Chefofsinners

            No, no. The assurance of salvation is the gift and work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Which explains all the ‘down in my heart’ stuff, and also explains why you will never convince a truly saved person otherwise. You’re arguing against the Holy Spirit.

          • Catholic teaching agrees salvation is the unmerited gift of the Holy Spirit whereby grace in infused in the soul and we become ever more perfected. The difference is we see it as an ongoing process, not a one off event, and also that grace can be lost and faith abandoned.

            Other articles of Protestant faith:

            Q: What is the Church?
            A: The Church is the tiny minority of individuals living at this time who have Jesus in their hearts, and who come together once a week for a sermon, fellowship and donuts.

            Q: What meaneth “The Priesthood Of All Believers”?
            A: The Priesthood Of All Believers meaneth that there exists no authority in the Church, as that falsely thought to be held by elders, presbyters, deacons, and bishops, but that each individual Christian acts as his own authority in all matters pertaining to the faith.

          • Chefofsinners

            Donuts? Where?
            The Church is indeed a tiny minority. “Narrow is the way that leads to life and few there be that find it.” Matt 7:14

            I have never met anyone who takes the view you describe of the priesthood of all believers. Closest to it would be those who think they receive words of prophecy from God. This will naturally create tension as described in 2 Thess 2:2 for example.

          • It’s a satirical comment by author unknown with the odd amendment by Jack.

            http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~tim/introframe/semi-pelagian.html

      • Simon Platt

        Still, to be fair, “Catholic” Belgium, for example, is no better.

      • Busy Mum

        All of that is a result of abandoning, rather than embracing, protestant Christianity.

        • Please define “protestant Christianity”.
          Where do you think the rejection of Church authority, paramountcy of individual conscience and individual interpretation of scripture ultimately leads?

          • Busy Mum

            To either heaven or hell.

          • For sure …. not forgetting the possibility of purgatory … depending on one’s culpability for being led into error and believing one doesn’t have to conform one’s conscience and one’s understanding of scripture to the teachings of those appointed by Christ to lead and feed His flock.

          • Busy Mum

            Lord, open Happy Jack’s eyes!

            (with apologies to Tyndale)

    • Dominic Stockford

      Thank you. Yes. We’ll be singing that hymn in our celebration of 500 years of freedom from spiritual bondage Tuesday week.

  • A Berean

    Well done and well said Your Grace.

    “Whether they like it or not, our countries and peoples belong to Europe.”

    Actually, they do not. “Peoples” are the sum total of their cultural makeup and not of some fabricated political entity or union.

    If anything the Vatican does not appreciate or approve or individualism as it believes it can lead to a whole host of errors such as the Reformation and Martin Luther. If an entire people or continent can be brought under that one umbrella which is the EU then all the better because they will be easier to manage instead of having to do this through numerous countries and/or socio-political entities which the Vatican must contend with. If pre-Reformation times have taught us anything it’s that those ruling such political entities exist only to carry out the will of the Pontifex Maximus and those who incurred his wrath risked being removed and replaced with more obedient servants. One cannot help but think that the Vatican yearns for a return to the “Age of faith” as it calls the time before the Reformation.

    • Actually all people and all nations belong to God and are subject to His decrees – one way or another. He leaves it to man to reject or accept Him. The fruit of the Protestant revolt is ripening. And your perception of European history is distorted by protestant propaganda.

      • Anton

        It is 18th century France, purged of its protestants since 1685 but still institutionally Catholic, that bred violent secularist revolution. To blame protestants is foolish and perverse.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Excellent comment.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    They obviously need a course in Chesterton:

    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.

    from FRENCH AND ENGLISH, which was first published in 1908, quite ominous in view of what was to happen a few years later.

    The instinct of the Pagan empire would have said, “You shall all be Roman citizens, and grow alike; let the German grow less slow and reverent; the Frenchmen less experimental and swift.” But the instinct of Christian Europe says, “Let the German remain slow and reverent, that the Frenchman may the more safely be swift and experimental. We will make an equipoise out of these excesses. The absurdity called Germany shall correct the insanity called France.”

    Orthodoxy, Ch.6, also published in 1908.

  • HedgehogFive

    Is there a correlation between support for a “more Europe” EU and institutional paedophilia?

  • David

    Apart from the obvious hypocrisy of the Vatican State fiercely guarding its own independence, four things stand out for me.
    The most glaring question is why any Church can support a political organisation whose very constitution denies the Christian roots and heritage of what was formerly Christendom ? The EU promotes Humanism. Even worse it supports the importation of masses of Muslims, a faith and culture that has actively worked to undermine the Christian west for the last 1400 years.
    Again on a spiritual note I find it odd that the Church supports an EU that openly defies God’s clear instructions, issued at the Tower of Babel, for the nations, tribes and language groups to live as neighbours – preferably in peace. Man’s vaunting ambition was circumscribed at this point. One of the main buildings of the EU has been designed to echo the famous painting (Bruguel ? ) of the Tower of Babel – a clear challenge to God’s authority. So until Christ returns to rule the earth in peace and true Christian tolerance God’s wisdom is that the different tribes are best existing as neighbours, not as part of a single Empire.
    Like the Anglican bishops all the insistences that being within the EU is good for its constituent nations, including the UK, there is never even a half practical explanation of why it is good to surrender sovereignty to this unholy Empire. The approach is totally theoretical. Vague statements regarding solidarity and avoiding nationalistic ego trips just don’t cut the mustard with anyone who lives in the real world.
    Finally at the level of social policy I cannot believe how blind those senior Churchmen are towards the great social harm that free movement of workers is responsible for. The pull of economics means that young and active workers are sucked out of the low wage economies of the east member states, leaving great unbalances demographically. Whole communities have lost their future, their young people, leaving ageing grandparents to cope alone, separated from their children and grandchildren. Meanwhile the indigenous workers of the western member states face grinding wage reductions and poverty. Pray where is the social good in that displacement of the young, economically active populations from east to west ?
    I can only conclude that Church leaders are totally disconnected from the real world of society, people, family and work and approach these huge questions form a totally detached direction. How different their approach is compared to Jesus’ concern for the ordinary workers and people of Israel ! Whilst Christian Churches are so divorced from the lives of ordinary people they are exceedingly badly placed to reach out to the unchurched with the Gospel.

    • Coniston

      See:
      Europe’s New Official History Erases Christianity, Promotes Islam
      by Giulio Meotti.
      https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11188/europe-erases-christianity

      • David

        Thank you. Short of a religious revival this trend will probably continue. But the naiveté of the establishment in believing that Islam will be tamed by secularism is breathtaking !

    • Give full spiritual author back to Rome, across Europe, and let the individual States rule nations informed by and in accord with God’s revealed plan for the common good, as taught by His Church, and these problems will disappear.

      Go didn’t decree that nations should have unlimited freedom to reject Him. He divided them because they were a Godless people attempting to put themselves above Him and His will. Enter Israel …. enter Christ … enter His Church.

      • David

        “Give full spiritual authority back to Rome…”
        One little problem Jack, as I believe that the Five Solas are a highly necessary guide to Christianity. Clearly the Bible has to be interpreted but our guide in this endeavour is, as always, to get as close to the orthodox beliefs of the early Church before it was corrupted by power and money.

        • One big problem, David. The Five Solas are unbiblical and contradicted by the orthodox beliefs and practices of the early Church and Fathers.

          • John

            Great words from Nicholas Okoh, Primate of all Nigeria: “On the 31st October, it will be 500 years since Martin Luther’s 95 Theses triggered the Reformation. He was fired by holy indignation because of the way ordinary Christians were being abused by a church which was turning the need for divine forgiveness into a money making machine through the sale of indulgences, but that led him on to see the root of the problem.
            The message of God’s free grace in the gospel had been buried under layers of superstition and human tradition, which Luther and the Reformers then exposed to the light of God’s Word. The recovery of the Bible as the first and foremost source of authority in the Church was the basic principle of the Reformation. Everything else depended on this and still does.”
            Yes!

          • One doesn’t disagree with all of Luther’s insights into the abuses of the Church at the time or, indeed, his understanding of the corruption of the Gospel in the hands of wicked men occupying the Papal throne. He was not original in this. Many Catholics of the time saw the need for reform. His rage is understandable but his responses were impetuous and lacked sound judgement. He was used by others for their own carnal reasons. His revolt conflated bad shepherds with a need to smash the fold and remove all shepherds – making every man a pope. In endeavouring to free the sheep from wolves within the fold, he led them out, scattered them, exposing them to greater threats. His was no march from Egypt to the Promised Land. He provoked a rebellion and uprising that resulted in the deaths of between 3 and 11 million people on continental Europe and set the people against authority and the Church and protestant princes against one another as well as against Catholic princes.

          • Anton

            Yes, many Catholics of the time saw the need for reform, but they had been systematically ignored by Rome for several generations while the corruption of the Renaissance church grew. Look at Erasmus, for instance. If Rome reaped the whirlwind it was because it had become unreformable from within.

          • You know this, how?
            And “for several generations” is pure hyperbole.

          • Anton

            I suggest you read a history of the papacy in the 150 years before the Reformation. The relevant chapter of Barbara Tuchman’s “March of Folly” is a good start.

          • prompteetsincere

            Sola.

          • David

            Nonsense Jack.

          • Nonsense, David.

          • Anton

            Sola power!

      • It’s very good to see you back here, Jack. Keep well!

        • carl jacobs

          So I assume you have been floating in another dimension for the last several months and just popped back for a vacation?

        • Thank you, Avi.

        • Hi
          Especially as HJ admits his intellect is from his Jewish side .

          • carl jacobs

            Well it’s CERTAINLY not from his Catholic side.

            [Skitters away and hides]

          • Hi Carl,

            Or alternatively :

            ” Let’s not mention the dark side of the force….”

            Oh . My time to scamper as Count ‘Ardenjm ‘ Dooku and Dolphin “the Hutt” fish will be off on one and Cyber Swiss Battle Guard droids and storm troopers will follow….

          • Abi gezunt dos leben ken men zikh ale mol nemen.

          • His creative and poetic side is from his Catholic Irish ancestry.

        • carl jacobs

          Btw. You would be proud of me. I was called a slave of the “jew world order” for saying that Joachim Peiper wasn’t a soldier because he was SS. But then I thought “But he’s right … since you still owe me like four years of back pay!” Some conspiracy you have there. Does it do anything besides conspire to not pay its operatives?

          • Well, can you blame me? Whoever gets into an argument over a guy I had to google? Anyway, the whole idea behind slaves is that you don’t have to pay them.

          • carl jacobs

            If you have ever seen the movie Battle of the Bulge (1965) the character of Martin Hessler is based on Joachim Peiper.

            It’s not a very good movie (wretched history), but it does have a cool scene that includes the song Panzer Lied – a favorite of Tankers everywhere.

      • Anton

        Come come Jack, you believe that Rome already has full spiritual authority. Aren’t you really saying that it should have some secular and temporal authority too, to persecute protestants?

        • Nope …. Indeed Rome does have full spiritual authority. These days we tolerate protestants.

          • Anton

            Because you have no choice.

          • No, because we accept many of you may be invincibly ignorant and you obtain spiritual, if limited, grace through your various churches. This is the 21st century and the Church discerns the signs of the times.

          • Anton

            It has Pope Francis as a sign of the times.

    • Maalaistollo

      Just back from Bulgaria. Your penultimate paragraph is absolutely correct. Incidentally, I was told that that the ageing grandparents you mention are having to manage on pensions which range from 18.5 euros per week (the minimum) to 185 euros per week (the maximum), when prices of food and other necessities are much the same as here. How are they benefiting from European solidarity?

      • David

        Yes I saw this too when we visited Bulgaria purely as tourists, some six years ago. I would extrapolate that the same ill-effects as the loss of their more hard working, ambitious young people is impacting Romania as well. Certainly the Polish government has issued appeals for its skilled young people to return home.

  • Mike Stallard

    I am a Catholic.
    No, I do not like ever closer union and I voted for Brexit. I want us to join EFTA and stay in the EEA. I think this is urgent.
    Having said that, the EU is, actually, very like the Catholic Church in that the word subsidiarity has been borrowed from us. In that the Bishops send “Directives”. In that in no way is the Church a democracy.
    I do not mind my religion being organised like that actually. But I strongly object to my political life being subject to the Commission – far too dangerous!

  • Dominic Stockford

    Well, what a surprise. The Church of Rome wants everyone to be in one ‘nation’. And another surprise, they want everyone to be in their pet, the EU. The NEW Holy Roman Empire.

    No! No! No!

    • ardenjm

      Oh Dominic, put it away: your sad little protestant monomania with the Catholic Church.
      Poland and Hungary, for solid Catholic reasons, are deeply sceptical of the ever-more coercive EU project (Godless as it is) and are resolutely set against Turkey’s entry into the EU. It’s the historically Protestant countries like our own that have been pro-Turkish entry (our own government systematically refuses to call the genocide of Armenian Christians by the Turks a genocide.) This shouldn’t be too surprising: both Calvinists in Holland and Queen Elizabeth I in Britain sided with the Ottoman Muslims against Catholic Europe at critical junctures in European history:

      “The notion of religious similarities was taken up in epistolary exchanges between Elizabeth I of England and Sultan Murad III. In one correspondence, Murad entertained the notion that Islam and Protestantism had “much more in common than either did with Roman Catholicism, as both rejected the worship of idols”, and argued for an alliance between England and the Ottoman Empire. Such claims seem to have been politically inspired as well, with the Ottomans trying to establish religious common ground as a way to secure a political alliance. Elizabeth I herself however made efforts to adjust her own religious rhetoric in order to minimize differences with the Ottomans and facilitate relations. In her correspondence with Murad, she stresses the monotheism and the anti-idolatry of her religion, by uniquely describing herself as:

      Elizabeth, by the grace of the most mighty God, the three part and yet singular Creator of Heaven and Earth, Queen of England, France and Ireland, the most invincible and most mighty defender of the Christian faith against all the idolatry of those unworthy ones that live amongst Christians, and falsely profess the name of Christ
      — Letter of Elizabeth I to Murad III.”

      Just as at Poitiers, Rome, Malta, Lepanto, Prague and Vienna: you’ll be glad of Catholic resistance to Islamification before the century is out. One thing’s for sure: Protestants like you will connive and be complicit with Islam, much like the political Left is doing so. Why? Simple: A shared rejection of the Church and her proclamation of the truth about the Crucified One.
      It’s always the same old story.

      • Anton

        One thing’s for sure: Protestants like you will connive and be complicit with Islam…

        Protestants proved loyal at arms under Catholic command when the Turks tried again, in 1532, to continue west from Hungary.

        Meanwhile, Francis I of France allied with the Ottomans against his fellow Catholic, the Holy Roman Empire Charles V

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Ottoman_alliance

        and Charles in response allied with the Persians

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habsburg%E2%80%93Persian_alliance

        What was it you were saying?

        • ardenjm

          Oh for sure, French machinations over Austro-Hungarian power were utterly reprehensible (I criticise them in a previous comment which you can find on my timeline, should you be interested) but it’s hardly surprising that the Persians on the far flank of the Ottoman Empire were sought as allies by Charles: that’s just good tactics.
          But you’ll notice the Protestanto-Islamic common theological ground-seeking over and against the Catholic Church’s teaching – which is revealing.
          You can expect that kind of alliancing-building to reappear as Islamification of Europe continues this century. Such deep suspicion of the Catholic Church by some more militant Protestants will see them side with Islam rather than the Church. (I might add that you’ll see liberalised Catholics doing the same, also! It’s the Age of Apostasy, what do you expect?)
          Likewise, the Orthodox will be in a pickle, also. As much as they distrust Islam they distrust the Catholic Church more. There were Greek Orthodox captains fighting against the Catholics in Turkish ships at Lepanto. That’s largely due to venal Venetian money-grabbing at Constantinople (condemned by Pope Innocent III (there he is again) but to little avail and as he rightly predicted with long-term harm done to Latin-Orthodox relations.)
          But my substantive point is that when we look at real history rather than Stockford’s moronic cartoon version of it we can set to one side this absurd 19th century protestant (and heretical protestant sects like the Jehovah Witnesses) view of Harlot Rome seeking to establish a new Holy Roman Empire.
          What next? The Rapture?

          • Anton

            But you’ll notice the Protestanto-Islamic common theological ground-seeking over and against the Catholic Church’s teaching – which is revealing.

            O yes, you’re the man who reckons that the Reformation is really about the Incarnation even though that’s news to Catholic theologians let alone protestant ones (who assert sola scriptura and note the Incarnation in, for instance, Isaiah 9:6).

          • ardenjm

            The Reformation is about the means by which God’s grace effects its salutary effects in us.
            Obviously.
            And since the key instrumental means is the Hypostatic Union – whereby the instrument is conjoined to the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, who, in Jesus Christ establishes both the sacraments and the Church as the means by which He gives His saving, sacramental grace in a visible extension of His body, the Church, then, yes, in that sense, the Reformation is indeed determined by right or wrong understandings of what Our Lord’s Incarnation means and what the ecclesiological implications of it are.
            This is even found in the understanding of the freedom of the will – which Luther acknowledged that only Erasmus had understood to be key to Luther’s whole project. Once again: the way our human will is free in relation to God’s will is nowhere more crucially articulated than in the two natures of Christ.
            It’s no accident that mainstream standard protestant theologising on these questions has been so rampantly overcome by liberal thought. It was well underway by the 19th century, provoking the fundamentalist (later Evangelical) reaction. In that respect, Evangelicals and (traditional) Catholics have far more in common which each other than with either branch of their co-denominationalists who’ve given in to Modernism (what you’d call liberal protestantism and what I’d call, as a Catholic, tacit heretics).

            So do try again: You seem somewhat out of your depth….

          • Anton believes attempts to understand and explain Christology and the Triune God are a waste of effort.

          • Anton

            Do you agree that the Reformation is really about the Incarnation despite both sides asserting the Nicene Creed and affirming that Jesus was the fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy that a boy would be born who was “mighty God”?

          • Jack agrees protestants reject the idea that the Incarnation transforms nature and they deny God’s grace can come through material means, yes. You see Christ’s atonement as a purely sacrificial act to a wrathful God, a forensic covering of a still sinful creature – an imputation of grace. So Jack is in agreement with Ardenjm as this represents a distortion and lack of understanding of the Incarnation.

          • Anton

            O, take it up with the many Catholic theologians who don’t believe this revisionist drivel about the Reformation.

          • No response but ad hominem.

          • Anton

            The atonement is not a simple doctrine. The Incarnation is. God became man in Jesus Christ. Catholics affirm it. Protestants affirm it. You and Arden are just messing around with words. Of course there were very real differences at the Reformation. But not about that.

          • The Hypostatic Union is a “simple doctrine”? Really? Why then do you deny Mary is the Mother of God? No. Don’t answer. Ardenjm has already exposed your lack of understanding. Go back and revisit that exchange.

          • Anton

            It is not about lack of understanding. It is about your distortion of the meaning of the word Incarnation. I’m not going to waste time arguing on your terms.

          • ardenjm

            Except it doesn’t – and we’ve been over this before.
            Elizabeth calls her The Mother of My Lord at the Visitation. At the very least, Elizabeth is claiming something of great significance about the child Our Lady was carrying.
            Non-Christians can say, “she’s recognising that Jesus is a significant man, a messiah-figure but no more.”
            Christians know that Elizabeth is making a statement of Faith about the divinity of the unborn Christ-child.
            She rightly, then, calls her cousin Mary, “Mother of my Lord.”
            And that, indeed, is what Mary is: she gives birth to the One who is God-with-us.
            She is Mother of God-with-us.
            She is the Mother of God. (But obviously not the Mother of His Divine Nature, but of the One who took flesh in Jesus who in his personhood is God.)

          • Anton

            Obvious to you. Obvious to me too, actually. But a disastrous title to use when evangelising pagans.

          • ardenjm

            So you’re admitting that your original claim that the New Testament does not speak of Mary only as the Mother of Jesus was wrong and you now acknowledge that it also speaks of her as the Mother of The Lord?

            Good.
            It’s always a pleasure for this Catholic to school a sola scriptura Protestant in their ignorance of Catholic Scripture.

            And I note that, once again, you move on to another topic and angle when you’ve been defeated on your original point. Is this a tactic you plan to deploy often?

          • Anton

            Admitting? Your rhetoric is that of an Inquisitor at times, but thankfully you are not one.

            KYRIOS did not connote Divine at the time Elizabeth spoke, did it?

          • ardenjm

            Ah. So what WAS Elizabeth recognising in Our Lady’s womb?
            Be careful what you say here, lest you deny the Divinity of Our Lord every time He is called Lord…

          • Pubcrawler

            Yes. It’s regularly used to translate YHWH/Adonai in LXX.

          • Chefofsinners

            Taking such a supercilious tone will only embarrass you.

            When Anton says the New Testament calls Mary ‘only the mother of Jesus’, it is manifest that he does not mean that this is the only name given her, because she is also called ‘Mary’ even in his question. He means that other names given are not equivalent with ‘mother of God’. The title ‘mother of my Lord’ is equivalent with ‘mother of the Lord Jesus Christ’, and need not imply anything further.

          • ardenjm

            You mean it need not imply that Jesus is God?

            Fine.
            In which case this is no longer Christian Faith we’re talking about.

            But in so far as Our Lord is recognised as Our Lord then in Christian terms then He’s being recognised as Divine. As such, who He is, is God the Son, the Word Incarnate. And thus Mary is the Mother of the Incarnate Word, God the Son. Theotokos – the God-bearer – for short.

            It aint that complicated.
            Unless you’ve lost the Faith.
            And since protestantism begins as a separation from the fulness of that Faith it’s no surprise to see the full content of that Faith begin to fray within Protestantism. So much so, indeed, that in the 19th century a whole Fundamentalist reaction is provoked. But mainstream protestantism has continued on down it’s liberal road to complete apostasy.

          • Simon Platt

            Seems that way.

          • Anton

            They are deep mysteries to ponder and live in, not to write waffle on. Christianity is a faith for peasants as much as for philosophers.

            Don'[t you know that the Christians in Egypt had fallen out with each other about details of how Christ was both God and man to the point that they did not put up unified resistance when the first Muslim armies came out of Arabia? If ever there was an argument for not going beyond the revealed word of God concerning matters that we can’t know then this was it. How different might history have been?

          • Simon Platt

            I am aware of the Monothelite heresy, to which I think you refer. I remain to be convinced that this heresy – which I have seen described as having a patriotic element in 7th century Egypt – was a significant factor in the wholly disastrous spread of Islam.

            You might like to consider, also, that the Roman authorities were then and have ever since, at least until recent times, been reluctant to define dogma, only ever doing so – I think it is safe to say – in response to controversies. So don’t try pinning the blame for the disaster of Islam on orthodox Christianity. Much of the east was still Nestorian at the time, after all.

          • Anton

            Your geography seems to regard “the east” as a splodge anywhere east of Rome! Check it out for yourself. And this was long before the split of 1054 into Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic.

          • Simon Platt

            You constantly seem to miss the point and misinterpret. I begin to think it must be deliberate.

            By the Nestorian east of the seventh century I refer, as surely was obvious, to the Persian empire and its surroundings. (“East of Rome”, I suppose, if you mean the empire, not the city.) I gather, for example, that Nestorianism had some strength in the Arabian peninsula. (Although I don’t claim any expertise in this respect, I do wonder how that influenced the development of the new and wicked religion of the Arabs.)

            I certainly do not impute Nestorianism to the Eastern Orthodox churches. Who on earth would? Hardly anything could be further from the truth, surely?

          • Anton

            Take your absurd arguments up with Catholic theologians. It’s news to them that the Reformation is really about the Incarnation. The Nicene Creed was asserted by both sides.

          • ardenjm

            Clearly, Anton, you’ve got to have your idée fixe to make progress…
            It’s possibly because you’re not very bright. But I wouldn’t know that for sure until I met you.

            I don’t doubt that the Reformers affirm the Incarnation.
            I’m just claiming they don’t understand it correctly and that their misunderstanding leads to protestant liberalism ultimately.
            There’s too much Nominalism in Protestant Theology. Too much of William of Ockham’s God’s absolute and arbitrary will.
            That misunderstanding of the nature of God, has a knock on effect on the understanding of the Incarnation, has a knock on effect on the way the understanding of how Christ saves us and by what means.

            My evidence of that is: You – and your systematically muddled understanding of what the Church is and what it is for.

          • Anton

            Reduced to insults = losing the argument.

            Thank you.

          • ardenjm

            Oh I’m not insulting you, Anton: I’m just genuinely puzzled at how obtuse you seem to be. Only 1/3 of what I wrote there is about you. The remaining 2/3 were advancing the argument. An argument, I note, that you no longer engage with, prefering instead to roll out that old chestnut that I’m engaging in ad hominem attacks exclusively. Which I’m wasn’t.

          • Anton

            Now you add the word “exclusively” to try to weasel out of it.

          • Simon Platt

            Honestly, Anton, you’re wrong. When I read your reply to Ardenjm, just above this, I thought I must have mistaken it for a reply to another of his comments. But I read again what he and you had written and could only conclude that you either hadn’t read him carefully enough or else just didn’t understand. He says “obtuse”, I cannot disagree.

          • Anton

            Good for you!

          • Q: When will be the “Last Days” of which the Bible speaketh?
            A: The “Last Days” are these days in which we are now living, in which the Antichrist, the Beast, and the Thief in the Night shall most certainly appear – all aided by Rome.

            Q: What is the name of the event by which Christians will escape these dreadful entities?
            A: The event commonly known as the Rapture, in the which it is our Blessed Hope that all cars driven by Christians will suddenly have no drivers.

            Q: Where will we meet again?
            A: Here, there, or in the air.

          • Chefofsinners

            Jack, in order to distract attention from the point of Cranmer’s article, you have spent the whole evening deliberately misrepresenting Protestant doctrines.
            It is telling that you have felt the need to do this.

          • ardenjm

            I can’t speak for Happy Jack – who is a good egg – but it’d be good if a protestant could tell us what is meant by “protestant”.
            The Marburg Colloquy didn’t manage it, after all.
            Emo Philips comes to mind:

          • Chefofsinners

            More obfuscation. Why not address the issues raised in the article?

          • Sorry to have spoiled an evening of attacks on the big, bad Church of Rome out to continue the slavery of Britain in the EU (not).

          • Chefofsinners

            But why not defend the accusation, rather than the skunk-on-the-blog approach?

          • Jack most certainly kept on topic. When he corrected errors being peddled about Rome’s temporal ambitions all sorts of calumnies were raised which needed to be rebutted.

            A frequent sung hymn at Jack’s school assembly:

            Faith of our fathers, living still
            In spite of dungeon, fire and sword,
            O how our hearts beat high with joy
            Whene’er we hear that glorious word!
            Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
            We will be true to thee till death!

            Our fathers, chained in prisons dark,
            Were still in heart and conscience free;
            And blest would be their children’s fate,
            If they, like them should die for thee:
            Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
            We will be true to thee till death!

            Faith of our fathers, we will strive
            To win all nations unto thee;
            And through the truth that comes from God
            Mankind shall then indeed be free.
            Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
            We will be true to thee till death!

            Faith of our fathers, we will love
            Both friend and foe in all our strife,
            And preach thee, too, as love knows how
            By kindly words and virtuous life.
            Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
            We will be true to thee till death!

          • CliveM

            Not just under Charles but also under Louis XIV.

            What is actually revealing is that Catholic and Protestant monarchs were willing to use Muslim forces for their own domestic purposes. Which is all that Elizabeth I did.

            What I do wonder is why in your original post you appeared to suggest it was only Protestant monarchs?

          • ardenjm

            Because it was theologically justified.

            No-one doubts the political and dynastic expediency – that’s just The World having its nefarious effect.
            It’s the notion explored by both Sultan and Monarchs at the time that there is more common ground between Protestants and Muslims rather than between Protestants and the Catholic Church. That’s staggering.

            I’d love to see where the hot protestants on here – like ex-Catholic priest (so we’re told) Dominic Stockford, Anton et al situate their own beliefs in relation to Catholic or Islam.
            I can say the Athanasian Creed, for example. The Catholic Church likewise. Protestant Reformers endorsed it, too. But I still reckon, when the chips are down, that some of the protestant folk on here believe that the Catholic Church is further from the truth than Islam.
            That’d be dangerous nonsense if it were widespread. But it’s what they almost certainly believe. And is anchored in their bigotry rather than any truthful examination of the beliefs of the Church.

          • Hi

            Like cardinal richelieu?

          • CliveM

            I notice your trying to imply that somehow there was some theological grounds for Protestant, Muslim alliances. Piffle, it was realpolitik like it was for Louis XIV. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous.

          • ardenjm

            I go by what the Sultan and Elizabeth I said. It’s there in their letters.
            Likewise, amongst the Turco-Calvinist movement in Holland: they found common ground against Catholic idolators. You might find those historical facts “disingenuous” but they remain facts nonetheless.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turco-Calvinism
            I especially liked this detail:
            A Dutch crescent-shaped Geuzen medal at the time of the anti-Spanish Dutch Revolt, with the slogan “Liver Turcx dan paus, en despit de la mes.” (“Rather Turkish than Papist, in spite of the Mass.”), 1570.
            That’s a rejection of the Mass, of course – which isn’t out of realpolitik – but out of hatred for the Faith.

          • CliveM

            All of which maybe true but doesn’t change the fact that the alliance with the Ottoman Empire was based on political necessity and not theological reasons.

            There is no basis in this for you to claim that (say) Louis XIV’s reasons were less morality reprehensible. Indeed if anything Elizabeth I reasons were morally more defensible. She at least did it for defensive reasons, to protect her Kingdom, Louise XIV did it as a power grab.

          • ardenjm

            “and not theological reasons.”
            It’s certainly par for the course that an Anglican monarch should make use of religion and theology for dynastically expedient reasons, yes. But you’re trying to glose your way round the fact that the seeking of theological common ground – against a “common” enemy most certainly IS part of the deal-making.
            It’s there in the letters and in the movements spawned at the time.

            Why is this problematic for you?
            Protestantism and Islam share a number of similarities – a suspicion of mediations, a simplification of worship, a puritanical tendency to sobriety, an occasionalist metaphysics (in so far as one is articulated), an arbitrary omnipotent divine will that can not be questioned merely submitted to, and a certain fideistic anti-rationalism albeit refracted through different historical and cultural prisms.
            It’s not as if I’m saying Elizabeth I was a Muslim after all. She just shrewdly pointed out how similar her religion was to the one she was making an alliance with.

          • Simon Platt

            Interesting. I wasn’t aware of that medal with its slogan. (No surprise, of course, how would I be?) Interesting date, too.

          • Anton

            Can you name a single contributor to this blog who has asserted belief in the pre-tribulation timing of the Rapture?

          • ardenjm

            Pre, Post, Tribulation, Rapture.
            All of these nonsense terms appear in Protestant sects.
            They’re all balderdash.

          • Chefofsinners

            What is your interpretation of
            1 Thess 4:17
            Matt 24:40 / Luke 17:34
            Acts 1:11?

          • ardenjm

            Below is a link to the Church’s teaching on the End Times.
            I certainly don’t subscribe to innovations based on erroneous interpretations of scripture made by heretical and misguided American protestants (and their non-Christian offshoots) mostly in 19th century America.
            Sorry.
            http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c2a7.htm

          • Chefofsinners

            You are so enslaved to the authority of Rome that scripture has no relevance for you.

          • ardenjm

            Click on the link and you’ll see many many references to scripture in the Church’s teaching. The Church’s teaching is based on the Deposit of the Faith. The Deposit of the Faith is all that Our Lord has revealed and received by the Church: Tradition and Scripture. Our Lord tells us in Scripture that the Holy Spirit will reveal things to come, lead the Church in to all truth and remind the Apostles of all that Our Lord taught. Sacred Scripture also tells us that Our Lord did many other things not written in the Gospel of John – and that the world wouldn’t be big enough to contain all the books that could be written about The Word.
            Accordingly, since Scripture and Tradition containing the full revelation of the saving Truth God wants to communicate to us we are not surprised to find Scripture speaking about that same Holy Spirit as the infallible guide of the magisterial teaching authority of the Church in order to discern – in God’s good time and wisdom – what the best way of understanding the Deposit of the Faith is. Such an organic and coherent and consistent understanding of the meaning of Scripture and Tradition is entirely coherent with the images Our Lord uses about the Kingdom of Heaven: a seed that grows, a leaven that raises all the dough, a net that catches many fish: The Church’s teaching authority brings things, like a good steward, both new and old from his storeroom.
            I’m not enslaved by the Church’s teaching authority – I’d just rather not have the presumption to turn myself into an infallible pontiff – which is what you turn yourself in to, fatally, once you accept the premises of Protestantism.

          • Chefofsinners

            It is possible to both be a Christian and think for yourself.
            Then you begin to notice the places where Catholic doctrine directly contradicts scripture.
            Such as the passages I mentioned above, which you have declined to expound.

          • ardenjm

            I’ve not declined to expound them – I’ve just declined to decontextualise them nor read them separated (and thus falsify them) from the Tradition to which they belong, interpreted by the Magisterium of the Church which alone receives the Holy Spirit to guide them. I am baptised into Christ and His Body, the Church: that is the Faith I have as a Catholic.
            You illustrate perfectly the single most telling default of the protestant mind: it is all about being alone. The sola chickens come home to roost. Little wonder, then, that protestantism fragments into individualised pieces.

          • Anton

            Do stop thinking in hierarchies!

          • ardenjm

            You call it a hieararchy – I call it:
            “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ”
            As Ephesians chapter 4 tells us.

            Must be lonely in your church of one.
            I didn’t realise Our Lord had established the Church of Anton.

          • Anton

            How very witty.

          • Chefofsinners

            Ah, so you can expound scripture to support your arguments when it suits you. There – it wasn’t so difficult, was it?
            But wait – surely you should be referring this to somebody gifted as a teacher. Somebody a bit further up the hirearchy? (Spelling deliberate).

          • Chefofsinners

            Er… except Protestantism began when the Catholic Church fragmented.
            But I have to admire the way you Catholics are currently so united around your Pontiff. Or the other Pontiff. Or not.

          • ardenjm

            But the Catholic Church didn’t fragment.
            It’s still the same.
            And if you look at the Catechism of the Council of Trent and the Catechism of the Catholic Church published by St John Paul II you’ll see all of the same doctrines taught: the same teaching on the Blessed Trinity, the same Creeds, the same understanding of the sacraments and of priesthood and the episcopate, the same teaching on Transubstantiation, the same understanding of justification and sanctification and the same veneration of Our Lady and the Saints. In short: the same Catholic Church.

          • Chefofsinners

            “I haven’t fragmented from anybody, they have all fragmented from me.”

          • ardenjm

            Yep. Exactly. It was, as the name indicates, a protest movement.

          • Anton

            So you don’t think that Christians alive on the earth at the moment of the Second Coming, who have survived a terrible time of war, famine and persecution, will be whooshed alive into the air to greet the Lord Jesus as He descends in power? That is the “post-tribulation rapture”. Read the scriptures for yourself and see if you wish to dispute it.

      • Martin

        Um, no, it’s not Catholic, that belongs to Christ’s Church, it’s Roman.

        • ardenjm

          Piffle.
          But let me add that Blessed John Henry Newman (and indeed the Catechism of the Catholic Church likewise) recognise a time when apostasy wreaks havoc in the Church – and the beatus even fully expected Rome to fall in to the hands of an apostate persecutor. Scripture implies as much, private revelations such as La Salette re-inforce that view (not that they are de fide, of course). In short, no informed Catholic is in the slightest bit surprised to see that the Church will undergo a persecution which will see duplicitous brothers betray the Church and that Rome will be central to this diabolical confusion. Nevertheless, the gates of the underworld will not prevail against the Church: there will be a true Pope no matter how deeply hidden in the catacombs.
          How anyone or any nation descending from the Anglo-Saxons can scorn Rome beggars belief: they and their Kings were devoted to the place as the city of martyrs, and seat of the successor of St Peter, above all Pope St Gregory who sent missionaries to evangelise them.
          Protestant anti-Roman rhetoric is a-historical (even anti-historical) hogwash.

          Grow up.

          • Martin

            The piffle is all yours. Rome abandoned the gospel for worldly power. It had already demonstrated it’s arrogance at the time of the Quartodeciman controversy and continued until their separation from Eastern Christianity.

          • ardenjm

            Which one of the multiple (often mutually anathematising) Eastern Christianities would you be referring to here? There are literally dozens – some loosely federated – some separating off in schism from others.

            Look. We’ve disagreed about this before. “Rome” has made heaps of prudentially suspect decisions and governmentally wrong-headed choices.
            But none of them count against what the role of the successor of St Peter is in Christ’s will for His Church. Nor do they count against the fact that the Church over which Christ gave Peter and his successors authority is the one He established.

          • Martin

            The Church doesn’t have to other than loosely federated. In NT times and for a while after, each local church was independent of others.

            In the early Church every leaders was considered to be a successor to Peter and there was no hierarchy, just the elders in the local church to rule over that local church.

          • ardenjm

            Uh huh.
            The Bride of Christ: a loosely federated and independent churches.
            Okay…
            Whatever, frankly.

            Protestants who are faced with constantly fracturing congregations and thousands of churchlets under the VERY broad banner of ‘protestant’ rationalise away this uncomfortable fact by speaking of the ‘spiritual’ Church as the ‘real’ one. It’s hidden, secret and bears no discernable link with any body of Christ here on earth: thus giving the lie to Christ that His Church was a light on the lampstand, a city on a hill, a vine, a body: in short something concrete and visible by the World which does not (yet) believe.

            This purely ‘spiritual’ Church is the only way they can circumvent the fact that the fragmentary groups they belong to are definitely NOT what Our Lord had in mind when He established His Church.

          • Anton

            The constant schisming is God’s way to telling protestants that he never intended hierarchy in the first place.

          • ardenjm

            Like ‘war’ and ‘murder’ being God’s way of telling humans that he never intended them to live together in love and peace in the first place?

            What are you on? Trying to rationalise away an inherent weakness of protestant as somehow God’s will? That’s getting dangerously close to ‘blasphemy against the Holy Spirit’: that God is the author of evil… That’s pretty messed up.

          • Anton

            False analogy.

          • ardenjm

            Yeah… Sorry.
            But just because you say it, doesn’t demonstrate it.
            You’re trying to make of an evil a sign of God’s provident will for His Church. That’s not just muddled, it’s also perverse.

          • Anton

            Just because you say it doesn’t demonstrate it either! There is a decentralised church polity described in the NT and no authority exists superior to that of its author to alter it.

          • ardenjm

            Oh dear. Look. I came up with an analogy to illustrate your spurious attempt to present and evil (schism) as something willed be God (who never wills evil.)
            You said my analogy was a false analogy but did nothing to show how it was false.
            You’ve now moved on to something else.
            Let’s get back to my apparently false analogy. Show me how it is a false analogy.

          • Anton

            No thanks. I’ve better things to do with my time and I trust the reader. I don’t mind if you think I can’t.

          • Martin

            Funny, the early churches seemed to be all independent. The Rome of 1 Clement was clearly in no position to tell the Corinthians what to do, the church, not the bishop, exhorted the church at Corinth to reinstate it’s elders/overseers, nothing about a monarchical bishop over either.. By all accounts the churches of North Africa were independent to the extent that there would be more than one church after the Donatist controversy. The churches have always been independent, separate congregations.

            As for the nature of the Church, it is quite clear that there are those in the congregations who have never been saved, yet live as if they are believers. We may never know who they are, but that does not detract from the nature of the Church, it confirms the words of Christ that the tares will grow alongside the wheat.

          • ardenjm

            “As for the nature of the Church, it is quite clear that there are those in the congregations who have never been saved, yet live as if they are believers. We may never know who they are, but that does not detract from the nature of the Church, it confirms the words of Christ that the tares will grow alongside the wheat.”

            But that doesn’t stop the visible Church that Christ established here on earth being the Church which He established! And we will know – on judgement day – who has been saved and who has not. You seem to want to make that eschatological reality somehow influence how the Church should be understood “in via” – i.e. just because we can’t know who will be saved and who will not be – we can’t know who is the Church. But we know the Church by the truths that it teaches, not by those who claim membership.

            As for your independence thesis. Here’s Irenaeus of Lyons, Bishop in the 2nd century summing it up:

            “It is possible, then, for everyone in every Church, who may wish to know the truth, to contemplate the tradition of the Apostles which has been made known throughout the whole world. And we are in a position to enumerate those who were instituted bishops by the Apostles, and their successors to our own times: men who neither knew nor taught anything like these heretics rave about. For if the Apostles had known hidden mysteries which they taught to the elite secretly and apart from the rest, they would have handed them down especially to those very ones to whom they were committing the self-same Churches. For surely they wished all those and their successors to be perfect and without reproach, to whom they handed on their authority.

            “But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the successions of all the Churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient Church known to all, founded and organized AT ROME by the two most glorious Apostles, Peter and Paul, that Church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the Apostles. FOR WITH THIS CHURCH, BECAUSE OF ITS SUPERIOR ORIGIN [or “pre-eminent authority”] ALL CHURCHES MUST AGREE, THAT IS, ALL THE FAITHFUL IN THE WHOLE WORLD; AND IT IS IN HER THAT THE FAITHFUL EVERYWHERE HAVE MAINTAINED THE APOSTOLIC TRADITION.”
            Against Heresies 3:3:1-3

            He follows that with a list of the Bishops of Rome since St Peter…

            Sorry.

          • Martin

            Christ did establish His church, He decreed that it be composed of independent local churches, responsible to Him alone. Of course Irenaeus was in error wrt the leadership of the local church. The Bible clearly teaches that each local church should be governed by elders, responsible to the people of that Church and Christ alone. No local church officer has authority outside his local church. Iranaeus was also in error in imagining that the there were ‘bishops’ of Rome. It is quite clear that in the time of 1 Clement there was no bishop, the letter was from the church, not from one man, nor is there any evidence that Peter was ever in Rome, let alone it’s bishop.

            It is quite clear that Rome, a number of times, sought to impose its will on the other churches and was rejected. If Rome had been the seat of Peter, if its bishop had the authority claimed, then no church would have denied Rome’s authority.

          • ardenjm

            Sorry chap.
            Our Lord no-where decees independent local churches.
            The Church has always understood the Bishop to be the pontiff in his diocese but the unity of Faith is guaranteed by the Petrine office: as Ireneaus makes clear. You are reading Clement’s Letters 1900 years after him. Ireneaus was writing 100 years after him.
            And of course people reject the Bishop of Rome’s authority: it’s happened all the time and is still happening – within the Church today. It’s called Pride.
            Which exactly what the Protestant revolt was, too.
            It went further than a filial correction – in the way St Catherine of Sienna called the Popes back to Rome. It went further than charismatic God-inspired chutzpah: St Clare insisting after 2 rejections that rule of life of the Poor Clares be accepted by the Church. It went further than fraternal correction: in the way St Paul corrected St Peter and the way the Bishops corrected Honorious and John XXII. It was revolt and the throwing over the Church’s teachings and authority.
            Everything you write is an attempt to rationalise that as somehow willed by Our Lord – from the start of His Church!
            Sorry. It wasn’t.
            Peter received the Keys of the Kingdom: and the story of Eliakim in Isaiah 22 from where Our Lord takes that image conveys EXACTLY what Peter’s authority was to be: over the ENTIRE Church – just as Eliakim received the King’s delegated authority over all of the King’s Kingdom.
            End of.

          • Martin

            Clearly the Church hasn’t always had monarchical bishops:

            This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
            (Titus 1:5-9 [ESV])

            You will note, every town is to have elders, not a bishop, and that these elders are also overseers.

            If Clement did write the letter, and there was no evidence he did, he wrote it from the church, not from a bishop. And he writes of the officers of the church at Corinth being disposed, not the monarchical bishop:

            1 Clem. 44:5 For we see that ye have displaced certain persons, though
            they were living honourably, from the ministration which had been
            respected by them blamelessly.

            Thus we see that Ireneaus is mistaken, even by one nearer to his time than we.

            It wasn’t the pride of those who opposed Victor in the Quartodeciman Controversy, rather the pride of the bishop of Rome who thought he could command other churches. This arrogant man even changed the language the church used to Latin. Irenaeus told Victor he was wrong to excommunicate the Quartodecimanists, as he was.

            Paul warned against such as the popes, and the Protestants took to heart this warning:

            I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears.
            (Acts 20:29-31 [ESV])

            Yet Rome did not accept the corrections and even taught against them.

            Where did Peter receive those keys? It certainly isn’t here:

            I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:19 [ESV])

            You will note, of course, that the second word in the sentence is ‘will’, hence it is a promise to be received at a future date. So where is that promise fulfilled?

          • ardenjm

            “hence it is a promise to be received at a future date. So where is that promise fulfilled?”
            Err. Do you really need to ask that question?
            When the King is with us we do not need a Prime Minister to exercise His authority in his stead.
            But Our Lord ascended into Heaven. So His authority passes to His Church at Pentecost – and from that day on we see Peter speaking in his new role.
            Here. Enlighten yourself:
            http://www.biblicalcatholic.com/apologetics/a87.htm

          • Martin

            Yes, I do need to ask that question, where is the gift recorded in Scripture. All I can find is this:

            And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of anyone, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.
            (John 20:22-23 [ESV])

            And that applies to all the disciples.

            However, the meaning is not some mystical keys, but the preaching of the gospel. By the preaching of the gospel sins are forgiven and not forgiven, and that applies to all who preach the gospel.

          • ardenjm

            The Old Testament passage is fulfilled – and the sense that Our Lord wants it to have is seen in the Resurrection meeting He and St Peter have at the end of St John’s Gospel: when Our Lord renews Peter’s charge of looking after the WHOLE flock.
            You want literal keys to be mentioned a second time. That’s a little bit like taking St John the Baptist to task for calling “Our Lord the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” and that expression not occuring again in the Gospel of John – thereby showing that Our Lord wasn’t REALLY the Lamb of God.
            What Peter’s prime ministerial authority looks like, unsurprisingly, appears AFTER Our Lord’s resurrection and ascension on the day of Pentecost. Quite clearly Acts 1-2,10-11,15 show how St. Peter was the leader of the early Church. Any other reading is a deliberate attempt to avoid Our Lord’s challenge to you: accept Peter’s authority, “If they had listened to Me they would listen to you.”

          • Martin

            I don’t see that Peter receives anything more than the other Apostles. And no, it is nothing like taking John the Baptist to task. Peter clearly had a mission to the Jews, Paul had a mission to the Gentiles. Peter is never the head of the Church on Earth.

          • ardenjm

            “I don’t see”

            Indeed you don’t.
            Pray for enlightenment, then. Our Lord will guide you into the fulness of the truth if you let Him.

      • Better late than never, Ardenjm. Jack was praying for some support as he was being besieged by triumphalist protestants.

        • carl jacobs

          Poor Jack. He was afflicted and surrounded and besieged on every side. The triumphal Protestants were so loud, he couldn’t proclaim the Triumphalism of the One True Church. His distress was palpable. Why, for a minute there, he thought he was in Beziers.

          • Chefofsinners

            If he wants to go to heaven, he’d better get used to it.

          • Simon Platt

            What a bore you are!

          • Chefofsinners

            We can’t all be supernovas of scintillating insight, sparkling and fizzing with inspiration and creativity like you.

          • Simon Platt

            True, that.

          • Drogheda, Carl.

      • Royinsouthwest

        It was a predominantly Protestant country – Britain – that was largely responsible for the final collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War.

        • ardenjm

          Grand.
          Giving us the Sykes-Picot fiasco in the process…and condemning the Kurds to being forever menaced by regional bully boys – to say nothing of the threats to Middle Eastern Christians and other minorities.

          • Anton

            And the magnificent Balfour Declaration whose 100th anniversary is on November 2nd.

      • Simon Platt

        Some years ago, reading literature put out by a Mohammedan group, I was struck by the similarities between Islam and Protestantism. That observation has only been strengthened since.

        • Anton

          Idle words without getting specific.

          • Simon Platt

            Exaggerated reverence for “scripture”, fissiparous interpretation of the same, emphasis on a direct relationship between “God” and man, shaky grasp of the Incarnation. Those were the things that struck me at first, after speaking to that Islamic student society and picking up their leaflets.

            More recently, this very morning the comment to which I replied reminded me of the tendency to iconoclasm; re-reading Cozen’s “Handbook of Heresies” only last week (Islam doesn’t make it in, Nestorianism does, for example, as does, of course, Protestantism) reminded me of the Christological errors of Nestorians, Protestants and Mohammedans – but perhaps that’s just “shaky grasp of the Incarnation” once again, so double counting.

            I trust that’s sufficiently specific given that it’s off the top of my head.

            I see that ardenjm has added a few more, below. I trust that, between us, we suffice.

          • Anton

            That you say Islam and protestantism have in common “emphasis on a direct relationship between “God” and man” shows you have done no real homework. Islam regards The Creator as fundamentally remote from man!

            That in turn is because Jesus Christ is the living bridge between God and man, being both; yet Islam denies the Incarnation and says Jesus was simply a prophet.

          • ardenjm

            “That you say Islam and protestantism have in common “emphasis on a direct relationship between “God” and man” shows you have done no real homework. Islam regards the Creator as fundamentally remote from man!”

            Not exactly. Islam teaches that Allah is closer to the Muslim than he is to his jugular vein. For sure it is an omnipotent Allah – with no conception of God with us, Emmanuel, but in terms of the understanding of the nature of God’s will, Islam and Protestantism have far more in common with each other than either does with the Christian Faith of the Church.

          • Anton

            The Islamic notion of the Creator is essentially Deistic. It shares that with too many Greek-philosophy-minded theologians on both sides of the Reformation; I’ll admit that.

          • Simon Platt

            You really are an expert at inaccurate nit-picking, aren’t you?

          • Anton

            Don’t like being shown up?

          • Simon Platt

            I am resisting the temptation to be equally rude to you in response. It isn’t easy, but I am just about managing.

            I am well aware that some extreme Protestants deny any role in religion for an ordained priesthood, and promote what is often expressed in their own words as a direct relationship between God and man. I suppose you would accept the truth of that. One of the impressions I gained from a group of Moslems who were proselytising for their religion at an event I visited some years ago was that they had a similar view. That was the first time this thought had struck me. And I still think that impression is reasonably accurate – nothing I have heard in the intervening 15 years or so has caused me to doubt it. That was clear enough from my comments.

            Of course Moslems have a view of the relationship between “Allah” and man – a wicked view, certainly, one incompatible with Christianity, to be sure, one whereby Allah is a capricious tyrant and man his slave, of course.

            And I’m sorry to say – I repeat it from my earlier comment – that modern Protestants often have an inadequate understanding of the Incarnation. Not quite as bad as Moslems, certainly, but with obvious similarities especially in respect of the Blessed Virgin, both in common with the Nestorians of old.

            (I’m sure my own understanding of the Incarnation is inadequate, too, but at least it’s not deliberately, proudly so. Of course, I don’t know what your particular beliefs are in this respect. One never can tell with Protestants; it obviously comes with the territory.)

        • Busy Mum

          On the contrary, I find the protestations against the Papal religio-political system to be very similar to those against Islam.

          • Simon Platt

            And yet we have, in our beloved own country, a Protestant religio-political system, albeit a failing one.

            And what was the beginning of Protestantism, but a political act? There was some discussion below about this: I resisted the temptation to add my comment to the effect that it wasn’t so much about Grace, or the Incarnation, or whatever, but about Power. I yield to that temptation, now.

          • Busy Mum

            In a sense, yes – it was about the power of the Papacy.

            I am reluctant to pinpoint a ‘beginning’ of Protestantism. If it means speaking for the truth, well, the truth has always been there.

      • Dominic Stockford

        You come onto a political blog written from an Anglican and British perspective, and an article written about a major problem that the Church of Rome demonstrates, led by a man who has persistently opposed the UK in statement after statement, and expect to be allowed to get away with advertising and promoting your blasphemous heresies and dangerous deceits without any comment from others here? You’re sadly mistaken if you think I, or others, will shut up and allow you to cover up the expansionist and supranationalist tendencies of the Church of Rome without any words to tell you what the truth is coming back at you in reply. “The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this Realm of England.” nor has the Church of Rome, nor should it be allowed to have it anywhere.

        • ardenjm

          Yes. I do.
          And of course the Bishop of Rome has a certain jurisdiction in the Realm of England. He’s the Pope. And 6 million British are nominally Catholic.
          What are you proposing, Dominic? More religious-ethnic cleansing?
          Didn’t the Puritans already try that in Ireland?
          Hadn’t they already been cleansed themselves by Anglicans?
          Didn’t the Huguenots’ suffering at the hands of Catholics teach us anything?
          Didn’t the Jewish experience?
          Didn’t the Catholics of Timor Leste at the hands of Indonesian Muslims?
          Or the Armenian Apostolic at the hands of the Turk?
          Or the Ukrainian Catholics at the hands of the Soviets?
          In short: have you learnt nothing from the sad litany of religious intolerance down the ages?

          But of course, rabid-like, you’re not just proposing, at the least, a Test Act against Catholics in the UK but, if you could, you would make it universal since you add:
          ” nor should it be allowed to have it anywhere.”

          Which, of course, will be one of the main hallmarks of the persecution of the Anti-Christ. Fulfilling thus, what the sad trajectory of your life has hitherto illustrated:
          “A time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do these things because they have not known the Father or Me.” John 16 vs2-3
          And, ““Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” Matthew 7vs21f.

          Mind how you go.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Too boring. The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm – like or not that’s the law. Bye bye.

          • ardenjm

            But that’s not what you said, Dominic.
            You said, “nor should it be allowed to have it anywhere.”
            So what did you mean?

  • Inspector General

    Frank. Far be it for a humble Inspector to criticise ‘the firm’ but wouldn’t your boys be more useful in helping keep Islamic immigrants out of Europe and returning those who have arrived if you must involve yourself in politics, and we both know Jesus would not approve involving his mission in that area, don’t we!

  • Dreadnaught

    A few weeks ago, a European Union-funded exhibition, “Islam, It’s also our history!”, was hosted in Brussels. The exhibition tracks the impact of Islam in Europe. An official statement claims:
    “The historical evidence displayed by the exhibition – the reality of an old-age Muslim presence in Europe and the complex interplay of two civilisations that fought against each other but also interpenetrated each other – underpins an educational and political endeavour: helping European Muslims and non Muslims alike to better grasp their common cultural roots and cultivate their shared citizenship”.

    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/

    • Royinsouthwest

      Scottish banks can continue to issue their own banknotes, as they have done for most of their history, The countries that use the Euro are supposed to be free to issue their own Euro-denominated banknotes and coins some faceless bureaucrats decide to interfere with that right. Therefore in practice a Scottish bank has more freedom in the UK than the government of Slovakia has within the EU.

      That tells you everything you need to know about the nature of the EU, doesn’t it?

      • Dolphinfish

        Word of advice if you’re ever visiting super patriotic, British till we die Gibraltar. Don’t try to use those Scottish notes. Shops, hotels and restaurants won’t accept them and the banks – yes, the BRITISH banks – won’t change them. Euros, no problem, but not the notes of “fully part of the union and equally respected” Scotland. Had no trouble changing them in an Austrian bank last year, but not in a British one. Bloody foreigners, eh?

        • Hi

          Ah, have you ever tried to pay for your fags and booze with a bank of England £50 ?

          • Sarky

            Not without someone thinking i printed it half an hour earlier !

          • Dolphinfish

            Personally, I don’t smoke and I’ve never been much of a drinker. I don’t like beer, I’ve never got a taste for whisky and a couple of glasses of wine is my lot. Why did the words “Scottish notes” trigger “fags and booze”?

          • Hi

            What one purchases with this isn’t the relevant part of the question. Scottish notes triggered the question of Bank of England £50 notes, because just like the Scottish ones even English people don’t always accept the fifty quid notes. So The rhetorical parry was really asking in light of this ” are English people bigoted or whatever else you are trying to imply for not accepting their own currency as you suggest about not accepting Scottish notes? “

          • Dolphinfish

            Nobody said anything about £50 notes except you. I’m talking about ANY Scottish currency. And for someone as quick on the trigger as you are with the word “anti-Semitism”, you’re also surprisingly fast with implications of over sensitivity on the part of others.

          • Hi

            In respect of £50 the comparison is valid with Scottish notes. Why? Because in England both are relatively rare in circulation, [I haven’t yet ever seen a £50 note pop out of the ATM or Scottish notes ] and therefore a person in receipt of such notes can be worried about whether or not these are fake or whether or not the next person or a bank will accept them. In other words it is to do with trust and familiarity of the unit and not some secret hate of Scots that you are implying.

            However I really doubt that you give two figs about Scots. You seem to be motivated by an intense Anglophobia with your barbs, quips and observations. So no I don’t think you are over sensitive. You just like opportunity to have digs at the English.

        • Simon Platt

          Don’t try using Scottish banknotes in super patriotic Lancashire, either. At least, not if the signs I sometimes see in shops are to be believed. Surely that Austrian bank clerk was going out on a limb?

          • Dolphinfish

            No, he wasn’t. Admittedly, he had to check with his manager, but we were in and out in about 15 minutes, all told. As far as the Austrians were concerned, it was a question of service, pure and simple. It might have been a bit of a faff for them to exchange the notes from central Europe, but they were prepared to go the extra mile for the customer. British banks in Gibraltar certainly would’ve found it easier to clear the notes through their own internal system, but they simply couldn’t be bothered. Probably too busy laundering money for tax dodgers.

      • Dreadnaught

        Very much so. The Remainers are forever screeching about the uncertainty of stand alone UK yet no one stops to consider where the EU is going territorialy or ideologically. It is behaving like Stalinist USSR

      • Hi

        Scottish and northern Irish banknotes have to be backed up with bank of England notes. I read somewhere they have £1,000,000 notes in bank of England vaults. There’s giants and titans. I prefer gold and Swiss francs .

  • Freaky. Three references in the comments to Bulgaria, from whence I just returned. Happy to see you still swinging, Your Grace. New monikers on board an even Happy Jack’s sunny face grinned at me again. All’s well with the world, then.

    • Maalaistollo

      I gather that there is a significant return to Bulgaria of Jews whose families previously lived there but who emigrated to Israel after the Second World War. There must be something about it that they like, despite the efforts of the Turks to influence Bulgaria’s domestic affairs by way of its Turkish and Bulgarian Muslim population. Interesting times ahead.

      • Lots of visits from older Bulgarian Jews with property and fond memories and post-army young Israelis out for party time at the beach resorts. Few returnees, though; the economy is in the tank, lots of things don’t work and too much corruption. Met a lot of retired Brits and Germans, though, and they seem to love it there…nothing wrong with a flood of law abiding and generally pleasant people with money to spend. Went on a week-long horseback hike, as an unofficial and unpaid guide, with a group of Dutch tourists through the Central Mountains (south of the Balkan range and the Rose Valley). After half a century under the Turks, who before Liberation formed over half of the population, Bulgarians have few illusions or fond thoughts for Turks and Muslims.

        • Maalaistollo

          I think you mean half a millennium under the Turks – 1396 to 1878 – but you’re right about lots of things not working and about the corruption. Might there be a connection between these two matters? If so, what might it be?

          • Yes, about 500 years! On the positive side, shows that Muslim invaders can be beaten and chased off after centuries and even after forming a majority. The connection is the communist past; a brief interlude of tyranny and corruption which wrecked the society and the economy.

        • IrishNeanderthal

          Recently up came the question of whether the predicted new planet should be number 9 or 10. I have read that the demotion of Pluto was pushed through by a pressure group who remained after most of the conference had gone home.

          Did a similar think happen in the Canadian parliament when they introduced SSM?

          • I have no better knowledge about what possessed our parliamentarians to vote for SSM than what passion moved certain astronomers to linger at a closing conference among the dirty plates and stale bread rolls just to stick it to Pluto.

    • Welcome back. Len’s gone missing and Linus has been excommunicated since your last visit. .

      • Thanks! And thanks for the update! No info on Len and no one is in contact with him? As for Linus, he’s working on a new identity and and a proxy IP and will be back shortly to amuse us and vex HG. Do you know the title of the post wherein he got burned? I could use the laughs.

        • He’s deleted his profile so all his comments have gone too. HG didn’t find it amusing … Not Linus’ finest hour. On being asked to retract an offensive post, directed at HG, his last comment: “Go ahead, block me and be damned.”

          https://archbishopcranmer.com/welby-alastair-campbell-heaven/

        • Anton

          Jack has given you, below, the thread on which it happened. That thread was not the current one at the time, however. The following thread was the current one and a discussion took place there too:

          http://archbishopcranmer.com/child-abuse-church-england-justin-welby/

          • Thanks! It seems that Linus does his lemming act on HG as a form of a ritualized e-suicide. Must be at least his fourth time. Well, better than the real thing…even though it means Linus sneaking back again. Again and again….

          • Anton

            I think his words to Cranmer were not only as Jack said but “Go ahead, block me and be damned, Pixtian pharisee.” Linus had become fond of referring to Christianity as Pixtianity to try to irritate people. When I could be bothered I referred to him back as a Sexular Humanist.

          • LOL! “Sexular humanist”…that’s a winner you got there, Anton. Worth a Nobel. Bigger than discovering a new quantum particle or spotting a new double-star system. I’ll have to steal this one.

  • Anton

    “Since Brexit, Jean-Claude Juncker has confirmed his vision to proceed to full political union – one president, one parliament, one people.”

    I can’t imagine where that came from…

  • Martin

    Rome has always sought to subvert our freedom.

    • ardenjm

      Oh for the love of God.
      You mean the Rome that sent St Augustine to Canterbury to preach the saving Gospel of Jesus to the pagan Anglo-Saxons?

      • Dolphinfish

        He does.

      • Royinsouthwest

        The Celtic church was already doing that but extra labourers in the vineyard are naturally welcome even if they are a bit late.

        • Don’t go misappropriating the concept of a “Celtic Church” as a native, anti-Roman predecessor to the protestant movement.

          • Royinsouthwest

            I did not say they were anti-Roman, just that they were active in many parts of Britain before Augustine was sent here.

          • Busy Mum

            I like to think that some of the Roman centurions we read about in the Bible came to the British Isles.

            Maybe Caractacus even met the apostle Paul in Rome?

            Agree with you – Augustine came to Romanise Britain, not to Christianise it.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Absolutely so. Don’t let them denigrate the work others did to bring the Christian faith here simply because it doesn’t fit their narrative.

          • ardenjm

            No denigration.
            The Irish Monks were Catholic.
            St Patrick himself had probably been in Lerins and possibly Rome.
            You might as well say the See of Rome didn’t recognise the Maronites and Melkites as Catholic.
            Except, of course, she did.

        • ardenjm

          The myth of the “Celtic” church.
          Is that still doing the rounds?
          What language did they use for their liturgy? Latin.
          Who did they look to for guidance and arbitration? Rome.
          Did the Anglo-Saxons in Kent get converted by them? Nope.
          Did the Anglo-Saxons elsewhere get influenced by them? Sure.
          In that sense the Celtic Catholics were a far-Western European variant of the Maronites in Lebanon (except less so because the Celts used Latin, having been converted by actual Romans who had become Catholic before being sent to the British Isles.) But, like the Maronites (who have always been united to the Catholic Church and have never rejected the Pope’s authority) Celtic Catholics had their own traditions and habits. That they were ‘brought in to line’ over the dating of Easter and other matters is entirely normal: two Catholic traditions were meeting in the island of Britain at a time of conversion of pagans – there had to be consistency.
          In any case:
          “Celtic-speaking areas were part of Latin Christendom as a whole at a time in which there was significant regional variation of liturgy and structure with a general collective veneration of the Bishop of Rome that was no less intense in Celtic-speaking areas.”
          You might as well say that in Milan there was Ambrosian Christianity.
          There wasn’t: there was Catholicism, using Latin, accepting the Pope’s authority and adapting to local traditions and customs.

          • Royinsouthwest

            What language did the Celtic saints use in their preaching?

          • ardenjm

            It doesn’t matter. The Maronites and Melkites ALWAYS accepted the Pope’s authority and never used Latin for ANYTHING. No-one from Skellig Michael to Lindisfarne was disputing the Pope’s authority.

            By the time the Western Roman Empire collapses the vernacular is being used more and more for daily life. In any case, for their liturgies, the Catholics of Ireland and the Britons of Britain are all using Latin.

            You’re trying to make Celtic Christianity something it never was.
            Give it up.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Of course the language used in preaching matters! It is vastly more important than the language used in rituals. The map of Wales is a testimony to the successes of the Celtic saints. Wales is full of places with names beginning with “Llan” followed, in most cases, by the name of one, or sometimes more, Celtic saints. If instead of preaching in the vernacular they had simply muttered away in Latin do you think that peasants would have taken any notice of them?

          • ardenjm

            Oh dear.
            You reckon St Augustine of Canterbury preached at the pagan Anglo-Saxons in LATIN?
            He’ll have used Latin at the Mass, he may even have preached a sermon in Latin since the sermon too is part of the Liturgy and so everything was in Latin. But the catechizing and teaching of the pagans outside of Mass would have happened in the vernacular.
            Just like the Celtic missionaries did.
            Here’s the thing: In the city of ROME itself, whilst everyone was speaking Latin, the Church was using the “traditional” language for the liturgy until the 10th century i.e. GREEK!
            Only progressively did ‘vernacular’ Vulgate Latin get used for the liturgy.

            So, no, I’m afraid whatever you think is a sign of the independence of Celtic christianity from Catholicism is precisely the opposite.

          • Simon Platt

            Surely the sermon is no part of the liturgy? That’s why our priests remove their maniples, some of them their chasubles, too, when preaching at Mass. And do sermons appear anywhere in the books? (I think not.)

          • Dominic Stockford

            Sermons appear everywhere throughout Scripture. rather an important example for us is some bloke called Jesus, who couldn’t stop preaching them. I think we are even called to be like him!

          • Simon Platt

            You know what “liturgy” means, you mischievous man.

          • Dominic Stockford

            The Last Supper was liturgy. Jesus preached at the Last Supper. Preach during liturgy.

          • ardenjm

            The sacrifice of the Mass is part of the liturgy – which is why certain vestments are worn to offer it. But the sermon most certainly is part of the liturgy – which is why only an ordained minister can preach it. It’s not the Canon, however, so the vestments for the sacrificial offering are rightly removed.

      • Martin

        I mean the Rome that seeks to bend all nations to it’s authority and has so corrupted the gospel as to require works for salvation.

        • Dolphinfish

          And who declared those particular books the Gospel? Here’s a hint – it wasn’t Martin Luther.

          • Martin

            It was God who created those books and their nature is that they are part of the canon because of that.

            Of course, I was referring to the gospel, not the Gospels.

          • Dolphinfish

            So was I.

        • ardenjm

          The Catholic Church has always taught that grace is necessary for salvation: given by God, principally through the Sacraments Christ established and co-operated with by those to whom grace has been given.
          You’re wedded to “simul justus et peccator”.
          I can’t think of anything more that makes a mockery of the efficacy of Christ’s saving grace…

          • Martin accuses Catholics of being fearful of God and bound by man made rules. He is so anxious about God’s Love and Mercy they he had to invent double-predestination and, of course, decide he’s one of the few elect. Not surprising when you consider his ideas about the Crucifixion.

          • Martin

            HJ

            I’m beginning to wonder whether your recent health problems have affected your brain.

          • My mind is perfectly clear but thank you for your concern, Martin.

          • Martin

            Grace isn’t just necessary for salvation, it is sufficient. God’s grace saves the sinner, nothing else is required. It does not require the cooperation of the sinner, who in any case is incapable of pleasing God.

            simul justus et peccator is at the heart of the gospel. It is clearly taught:

            I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

            So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
            (Romans 7:15-25 [ESV])

          • ardenjm

            I’ll just leave this here…
            http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/documents/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_01081998_off-answer-catholic_en.html

            RESPONSE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH TO THE JOINT DECLARATION OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE LUTHERAN WORLD FEDERATION ON THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION

            The “Joint Declaration of the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation on the Doctrine of Justification” represents a significant progress in mutual understanding and in the coming together in dialogue of the parties concerned; it shows that there are many points of convergence between the Catholic position and the Lutheran position on a question that has been for centuries so controversial. It can certainly be affirmed that a high degree of agreement has been reached, as regards both the approach to the question and the judgement it merits (1). It is rightly stated that there is “a consensus in basic truths of the doctrine of justification” (2).

            The Catholic Church is, however, of the opinion that we cannot yet speak of a consensus such as would eliminate every difference between Catholics and Lutherans in the understanding of justification. The Joint Declaration itself refers to certain of these differences. On some points the positions are, in fact, still divergent. So, on the basis of the agreement already reached on many aspects, the Catholic Church intends to contribute towards overcoming the divergencies that still exist by suggesting, below, in order of importance, a list of points that constitute still an obstacle to agreement between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation on all the fundamental truths concerning justification. The Catholic Church hopes that the following indications may be an encouragement to continue study of these questions in the same fraternal spirit that, in recent times, has characterized the dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation.

            CLARIFICATIONS

            1. The major difficulties preventing an affirmation of total consensus between the parties on the theme of Justification arise in paragraph 4.4 The Justified as Sinner. Even taking into account the differences, legitimate in themselves, that come from different theological approaches to the content of faith, from a Catholic point of view the title is already a cause of perplexity. According, indeed, to the doctrine of the Catholic Church, in baptism everything that is really sin is taken away, and so, in those who are born anew there is nothing that is hateful to God (3). It follows that the concupiscence that remains in the baptised is not, properly speaking, sin. For Catholics, therefore, the formula “at the same time righteous and sinner”, as it is explained at the beginning of n. 29 (“Believers are totally righteous, in that God forgives their sins through Word and Sacrament …Looking at themselves … however, they recognize that they remain also totally sinners. Sin still lives in them…”), is not acceptable.

            This statement does not, in fact, seem compatible with the renewal and sanctification of the interior man of which the Council of Trent speaks (4). The expression “Opposition to God” (Gottwidrigkeit) that is used in nn. 28-30 is understood differently by Lutherans and by Catholics, and so becomes, in fact, equivocal. In this same sense, there can be ambiguity for a Catholic in the sentence of n. 22, “… God no longer imputes to them their sin and through the Holy Spirit effects in them an active love”, because man’s interior transformation is not clearly seen. So, for all these reasons, it remains difficult to see how, in the current state of the presentation, given in the Joint Declaration, we can say that this doctrine on “simul iustus et peccator” is not touched by the anathemas of the Tridentine decree on original sin and justification.

            2. Another difficulty arises in n.18 of the Joint Declaration, where a clear difference appears in the importance, for Catholics and for Lutherans, of the doctrine of justification as criterion for the life and practice of the Church.

            Whereas for Lutherans this doctrine has taken on an altogether particular significance, for the Catholic Church the message of justification, according to Scripture and already from the time of the Fathers, has to be organically integrated into the fundamental criterion of the “regula fidei”, that is, the confession of the one God in three persons, christologically centred and rooted in the living Church and its sacramental life.

            3. As stated in n. 17 of the Joint Declaration, Lutherans and Catholics share the common conviction that the new life comes from divine mercy and not from any merit of ours. It must, however, be remembered – as stated in 2 Cor 5:17 – that this divine mercy brings about a new creation and so makes man capable of responding to God’s gift , of cooperating with grace. In this regard, the Catholic Church notes with satisfaction that n. 21, in conformity with can. 4 of the Decree on Justification of the Council of Trent ( DS 1554) states that man can refuse grace; but it must also be affirmed that, with this freedom to refuse, there is also a new capacity to adhere to the divine will, a capacity rightly called “cooperatio”. This new capacity given in the new creation, does not allow us to use in this context the expression “mere passive” ( n. 21). On the other hand, the fact that this capacity has the character of a gift is well expressed in cap. 5 (DS 1525) of the Tridentine Decree when it says: “ita ut tangente Deo cor hominis per Spiritus Sancti illuminationem, neque homo ipse nihil omnino agat, inspirationem illam recipiens, quippe qui illam et abicere potest, neque tamen sine gratia Dei movere se ad iustitiam coram illo libera sua voluntate possit”.

            In reality, also on the Lutheran side, there is the affirmation, in n. 21, of a full personal involvement in faith (“believers are fully involved personally in their faith”).

            A clarification would, however, be necessary as to the compatibility of this involvement with the reception “mere passive” of justification, in order to determine more exactly the degree of consensus with the Catholic doctrine. As for the final sentence of n. 24: “God’s gift of grace in justification remains independent of human cooperation”, this must be understood in the sense that the gifts of God’s grace do not depend on the works of man, but not in the sense that justification can take place without human cooperation. The sentence of n. 19 according to which man’s freedom “is no freedom in relation to salvation” must, similarly, be related to the impossibility for man to reach justification by his own efforts.

            The Catholic Church maintains, moreover, that the good works of the justified are always the fruit of grace. But at the same time, and without in any way diminishing the totally divine initiative (5), they are also the fruit of man, justified and interiorly transformed. We can therefore say that eternal life is, at one and the same time, grace and the reward given by God for good works and merits (6). This doctrine results from the interior transformation of man to which we referred in n.1 of this “Note”. These clarifications are a help for a right understanding, from the Catholic point of view, of paragraph 4.7 (nn. 37-39 ) on the good works of the justified.

            4. In pursuing this study further, it will be necessary to treat also the sacrament of penance, which is mentioned in n. 30 of the Joint Declaration. According to the Council of Trent, in fact (7), through this sacrament the sinner can be justified anew ( rursus iustificari ): this implies the possibility, by means of this sacrament, as distinct from that of baptism, to recover lost justice (8). These aspects are not all sufficiently noted in the above-mentioned n. 30.

            5. These remarks are intended as a more precise explanation of the teaching of the Catholic Church with regard to the points on which complete agreement has not been reached; they are also meant to complete some of the paragraphs explaining Catholic doctrine, in order to bring out more clearly the degree of consensus that has been reached. The level of agreement is high, but it does not yet allow us to affirm that all the differences separating Catholics and Lutherans in the doctrine concerning justification are simply a question of emphasis or language. Some of these differences concern aspects of substance and are therefore not all mutually compatible, as affirmed on the contrary in n. 40.

            If, moreover, it is true that in those truths on which a consensus has been reached the condemnations of the Council of Trent non longer apply, the divergencies on other points must, on the contrary, be overcome before we can affirm, as is done generically in n.41, that these points no longer incur the condemnations of the Council of Trent. That applies in the first place to the doctrine on “simul iustus et peccator” (cf. n. l, above ).

            6. We need finally to note, from the point of view of their representative quality, the different character of the two signataries of this Joint Declaration. The Catholic Church recognises the great effort made by the Lutheran World Federation in order to arrive, through consultation of the Synods, at a “magnus consensus”, and so to give a true ecclesial value to its signature; there remains, however, the question of the real authority of such a synodal consensus, today and also tomorrow, in the life and doctrine of the Lutheran community.

          • Martin

            I doubt Luther would recognise Lutheran World Federation

          • ardenjm

            It’s fitting that Luther’s revolt against the Church’s Magisterium should see himself revolted against by those who claim to be descended from him.
            I don’t much care though whatever heretic you roll out and in whose name you definitively claim to speak.
            It’s just degrees of wilful wrong-headedness.

            Kyrie eleison.

          • Martin

            Equally I doubt Peter would recognise the church of Rome.

          • ardenjm

            He’d do a spiritual DNA paternity test, of course and see the lineage.
            And he’d recognise the Vatican hill where he died.
            And the Tu es Petrus around the dome of his patronal Church there.

            Canterbury and Wittenburg though?
            Yeah. Not so much…

          • Martin

            There’d be no evidence of paternity in Rome except that from the Deceiver.

      • I suspect he means the Rome that burned the Lollards and the Reformers.
        And Augustine did a pretty poor job at preaching the Gospel. He just baptized a load of people at the behest of King Ethelbert. When Ethelbert died, the people reverted to paganism.

        • ardenjm

          And the Puritans killed and exiled 40% of the population – 630,000 Irish Catholics -in their 10 year campaign in Ireland. Catholics did wicked things to Protestants, Protestants did wicked things to Catholics. What’s your point.
          As for St Augustine doing a ‘pretty poor job’ – that’s the eyes of the World making that judgement.
          Jesus did a ‘pretty poor job’ by that measure….

          • Dominic Stockford

            Canards repeated.

          • ardenjm

            Repeated 630,000 times then.
            At least that’s the number estimated by contemporary Puritan chroniclers and historians. Take it up with them.

          • There is much for all Christians to be ashamed of, but you will note that no Roman Catholic was ever burned as a heretic by English Protestants.
            Also, much of the blame for persecution of Roman Catholics under Elizabeth belongs to the Pope. In 1571 he excommunicated the Queen and encouraged his people to rise up against her, thus turning every Roman Catholic into a potential traitor. There were also at least two Jesuit attempts upon Elizabeth’s life.

          • ardenjm

            This is true. When Elizabeth continued the nationalising of the Church by her revolting father’s caeseropapist land grab to be Anglican became a political act and thus to promote the 1000 year faith of the English i.e. to be a Catholic was not heresy but treason.
            The Elizabeth burnt 9 heretics to death: those who denied the Trinity and the divinity of Christ. Since Catholics believed both of these things they were not killed for heresy. But for treason.
            Including, Anne Line: hanged, drawn and quartered. And Margaret Clitheroe – pregnant – crushed to death and spine snapped on a rock. And Margaret Ward – tortured and hanged. All of them saints. Among many, many other faithful English men and women whose memory is barely venerated in the country which still hasn’t come to terms with what it did to the Church which had been part and parcel of Merry England for 1000 years.

      • Dominic Stockford

        There were plenty of Christians here before he arrived, they were, as is usual for the Church of Rome, the ‘wrong sort’ of Christians.

        • ardenjm

          Not at all the ‘wrong sort’.
          They were as Catholic as anyone in Rome.

  • Anton

    Another “fons et origo”, Your Grace!

    fonz is cool!

    • Dolphinfish

      Hayyyyyyyyy…..

      • carl jacobs

        There is no ‘H’.

      • Anton

        Ice in the font…

  • Terry Mushroom

    I doubt that many UK Catholics will take notice of Fr Poquillon one way or the other, if they’ve even heard of him. I doubt that many have heard of COMECE either.

    Fr Poquillon may believe that “Brexit is contrary to the common good”. Catholics are at perfect liberty to disagree with him. As a Catholic, I listen with respect to COMECE. But it’s only a part of the College of Bishops. What it preaches is not necessarily a faith that is held everywhere by all.

    As an English Catholic, I’m with Cranmer the Second in his concern for DEFRA and Bucks County Council in its bats dealings in Beaconsfield, the home of G K Chesterton, quoted by IrishNeanderthal. That extract didn’t come from a book called “Orthodoxy” for nothing.

  • ardenjm

    Well this is pretty easy for a protestant to say since “protestant” can mean anything at all. There’s nothing you all agree on.
    And be accurate: I was talking about similarities between protestant theology and Islam. There is, of course, more to protestantism than its theological rapprochement with Islam.

  • Father David

    In her day – wasn’t Atilla the Hen Marvellous? “NO! NO! NO!

  • not a machine

    Your Graces post has some interesting obstacles to consider and perhaps for Roman Catholics ,it is the eve before the EU summit ,where the EU member states will either utter something of understanding or utter something of the hired hand .For myself what is said tomorrow will be the watershed moment of where (having gone about determining our own question via proper means and with a delegation considering many options in a view as friends) I consider if the EU is unable to serve its people. The route they wish to go as a unified federal Europe will have effects , whether you are a developing EU nation or an industrial one ,there politicians have told there people it is a most wonderful endeavour ,no need to try and answer questions about national sovereignty or its value ,just go along with it ……mmm well being unable to elect those who govern you (the commissioners) can be either reforming or power you cannot alter , so my EU friends ,you will be governed by a system and you do not know fully (until you start to feel the unification/integrations effects) what course you are set upon , soft socialism , hard socialism, continual bickering ,closure of free speaking , conscription ,economic details that don’t fit ,2 tier national economies ,tax and fiscal convergence etc etc .So far the EU in its negotiations has shown us not only is any attempt to leave is to be punished , any attempt to believe in national sovereignty is untenable to the EU project , why well because it whishes to be a federal Europe ,unified in many ways and everyone will be wealthy and looked after …..I perhaps note the in European stories , no George Orwell is in the individual nations consciousness ,which head of the EU member states can understand what Animal Farm was getting at , so you will take people from the poverty of soviet communism ,to a sort of unified state ,that could look very similar to soviet communism or could go other ways .
    Fr Oliver Poquillion is supposedly looking at the EU , he no doubt reports to the Vatican and he seems unable to express if ,he sees a social science theory growing in influence whilst making some groups very wealthy ,or something that is guided by Christian understanding , is Fr Poquillion thinking about the influence of the necessary industrial constructs ,or what has been termed corporate socialism , or think churches funded by the state (whilst filling its priesthood with modernist philosophers), is a good thing ?
    I am clear that Popes Benedict/Francis worked tirelessly on a communion of all churches , also I note in a spirit where we meet without political concerns ,that to me makes a great deal of sense ,if the EU project does cause the sort of trouble I think it will ,then the church will have an important role , but even then it is a church that believes in Jesus Christ and not the EU president .
    So is there some confusion between pope and political president ? could at some future time one think differently to the other ? How will Christian theology and understanding survive a heated unifying movement to deliver federalism ? If the Roman Catholic church sees its future as trade , some atheist views here ,for a few Christian ones there ,opening a unification hub centre here and relinquish a few church buildings there , then what will it have become ?.
    I cannot answer why we have such differences , for those of us who have faith in the lord Jesus Christ as Christ would not hurt those who come to him and accept God ,the Roman Catholic church was/is the formation of Christian devotion and thought ,I as someone who values the development of the Church sees its Catholic formations , can only ponder , what forces would impoverish our shared faith with divisions , that should not be there if we had a perfect Christian theology, if we had prayers that perfectly revealed what is against us in spiritual terms . Your Grace quotes Thessalonians “strong delusion that they should believe a lie” which poses a difficult enquiry of Christ/gods , serendipity rather than mans and godless control in politics and over people.
    All I know is that some people live the faith as best they can and when we meet , we find something of Christ/God ,it makes little difference what or any title you may have in life , I also know some people have trouble finding Christ and some people really find it all a bit too difficult and think Christians are stupid and misled as to what is truth.
    So where does that leave me , a Eurosceptic who wishes to be free from what I see as wolves in lambs clothing , a socialist project that will create poverty for many people in the EU that don’t fit , or get along with whatever the unification project may hold?? .I am not for decades of sledgeing between the UK and the EU , I want our Christian faiths protestant ,catholic to prosper with good theological relations and good prayer (although I appreciate some churches are not my own liking in what may be a good path to find the truth) , but we are in the UK a Christian nation , we have other faiths true ,the Roman Catholic church cannot have any wish to see any Christian Nation fall away from the world.
    The EU could turn from the soft erosion of Christian teaching into something else , has the Roman Catholic church considered that ?
    I cant speak fro my church , I have friends who are remainers who think I read the wrong sort of news feeds ,picking a fight ,when I see it as there are no guarantees in this federal EU project of how Christianity will prosper be of the pre eminent value .
    If the Roman Catholics who work in Brussels fancy a read , what do they make of Animal Farm , the end where the pigs wear the same clothes as those they claimed to overthrow…?Will they have served Christ ??

  • Chefofsinners

    The Calais Jungle Book, chapter 1.
    BalEU the bear is singing…

    Look for the bare COMECEties
    The simple bare complicities
    Forget about your country and your wife
    Give me bare-faced duplicity
    Old Mother Merkel’s trickery
    The simple Euro-treacheries of life.

    Whenever I ponder the Treaty of Rome,
    I see how they squander and ruin my home.
    MEPs are guzzlin’ the freebies,
    And making money with such ease.
    When you look under the rocks in France
    And take a glance at the fake finance
    I’ll tell you something true…
    It’s a necessity that we leave the EU.

    • not a machine

      or take a glance at the fancy ants …or maybe try a few …

    • Sarky

      George osbourne..

      I’m the king of remainers
      A former VIP
      I reached the top and had to stop
      And that’s whats botherin’ me

      • You’ve got the rhythm there, Sarky.

  • Yes, Spanish mostly, dating back from the Expulsions, but some Ashkenasim settled there in the 19th century too. Mostly from pogroms in Russia, Roumania and Hungary. I’m a half-and-half, but keep Ashkenasi minhag. No kitniyot for me on Pesach and I wear my tzitzit out.

    Hoping you had good High Holy Days and a shana tova to you and yours!

  • Mike Stallard

    The big problem is going to happen when folk start to realise that Mrs May is not going to be able to pull off any sort of bargain with the EU and that catastrophe faces us at midnight on 29-30th March 2019.
    I suspect panic.
    I also suspect that another referendum will be held and that we will be offered Associate Membership. That indeed is “government by fax”. Look at Greece and Italy. Our PM will, no doubt, be chosen for us too. Nick Clegg perhaps? And the “alimony” after the “divorce” will be settled in Brussels for us.
    Mind you, Brexit will be announced with flags, probably on the Queen’s birthday or something like that.

    PS We can still join EFTA…

    • Anton

      It’s not a catastrophe except in your mind. Some of us are looking forward to it.

    • Simon Platt

      No catastrophe looms – unless HMG wills it.

      Even so it would be worth it to be free.

  • Simon Platt

    By coincidence, yesterday, when this post was fresh, but before I had seen it, I was wondering about more or less the same topic. I think something I heard on a Radio programme as I was driving along must have prompted those thoughts. I was thinking, really, about the excellent Paris Statement (you’ll remember reading about it, here: http://archbishopcranmer.com/paris-statement-true-false-europe/ ), on which I am still meditating. I wondered how any faithful Catholic (bishop or otherwise) could demur from it, but then it occurred to me that our worldly and compromised hierarchy most probably would do so. (I admire many of our bishops individually, but as a corporate body – the “Bishops’ Conference” as we are taught to say: ugh!) I should add, that “worldly” and “compromised” were precisely the adjectives that came to mind as I pootled along.

    And now: this. I admit that I haven’t read the COMECON COMECE statement, if it is such, nor the Tablet article (stands to reason, I’m afraid), but if a Bishop’s Conference is, or ought to be, an anathema, a Commission of Bishop’s Conferences surely ought to be an anathema of anathemas. And that they support and promote that work of the Devil, the EU, is no surprise.

    There are exceptions, but most of my Catholic friends are, like me, all for British independence. Perhaps that’s “birds of a feather”.

    • Terry Mushroom

      I suspect some indecisive or lazy Bishops hide behind Conferences.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    Not a Romano Prodi, maybe?

    Who is “she”, and why Switzerland?

  • IrishNeanderthal

    At least from the Romano-Proddy spat (sounds like an Italian politician) which went on below, I have learned some more church history.

  • Huh?

  • Pubcrawler

    Denarius. Latin for penny.

  • Hi

    At least we’d have nice shiny gold and silver coins!

  • David Trevett

    The Roman Catholic Church is the Ghost of the Roman Empire sat crowned upon its grave thereof…