faith leaders 4
European Union

Faith leaders blast "isolationist" Vatican for refusing to join the EU

 

Religious leaders from the UK’s main faith communities – including former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams – have joined forces to urge Pope Francis to commit the Vatican State to joining the EU, saying membership is vital to preserving peace, fighting poverty and tackling the migration crisis.

In a letter in the Observer, 37 leading figures from across the faiths say that they hope the Pope will reflect on whether joining the international institutions charged with delivering these goals might contribute to a fairer, cleaner and safer world. They write:

Faith is about integration and building bridges, as Your Holiness told Donald Trump. It is not about isolation and erecting barriers. As leaders and senior figures of faith communities, we urge Your Holiness and our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters in the Vatican State to think about the implications of remaining outside Europe, and the damage this does to the things about which we are most passionate.

The past 70 years have been the longest period of peace in Europe’s history. Institutions that enable us to work together and understand both our differences and what we share in common contribute to our increased security and sense of collective endeavour.

What’s more, so many of the challenges we face today can only be addressed in a European, and indeed a global, context: combating poverty in the developing world, confronting climate change and providing the stability that is essential to tackling the migration crisis. Sovereignty pooled is manifestly sovereignty enhanced.

We hope that Your Holiness will reflect on your isolationist stance, which is undermining the international institutions charged with delivering these goals and hindering their contribution to a fairer, cleaner and safer world.

The letter is obviously not endorsed by any Roman Catholic leaders, but is signed by Anglican archbishops and bishops, Church of Scotland academics, reverend professors, deans, distinguished rabbis and imams, ecumenical coordinators, baronesses and peers, leaders of Sikh and Hindu faith communities, and Global Leader Steve Chalke MBE.

The ‘Stronger In’ campaign have today dispatched comedian Eddie Izzard to tour the Vatican State in an attempt to get the Curia to pray for Pope Francis, that he might incline his ear toward justice, peace and righteousness, and commit the Vatican to immediate EU accession negotiations. “It makes sense,” said Mr Izzard, “to have the Pope of Rome subscribe to the Treaty of Rome.” He added: “We know the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholic leaders and laity support membership of the EU because of the opportunities it presents to work, to study and to travel to Lourdes. I share their positive view of Europe, and I think Pope Francis ought to, too.”

  • Graham Wood

    What should we do – laugh or cry over this trivial irrelevance? Answer: ignore

  • B flat

    The link to their letter in the Observer shows a text addressed to British voters. The message makes no mention of the Pope or Vatican State. Are you winding us up, or is the conspiracy raising the stakes openly?

    • The Meissen Bison

      As a regular reader of this blog you perhaps saw the post a few days ago about the Faiths Forum and their letter.

    • Uncle Brian

      His Grace is giving us a parable, I think, or something of that kind, intended to show up the hypocrisy of “faith leaders” who vociferously support Remain while pretending not to notice that the Vatican City State has opted out. Not for the first time, the preachers’ message is “Do as I say, not as I do.”

      • bluedog

        No, no, no, it’s the real thing. Click on the links and you are transported to The Grauniad, which helpfully lists the signatories, under the beaming visage of Rowan Williams. The name Butler-Sloss appears too. Unless His Grace’s photo-shopping skills are on an astral plane, the article seems genuine.

  • The Meissen Bison

    English is an official language of the EU and its use would of course no longer be permitted in the UK after Brexit.

    • Anton

      It’s already not used in America.

      • carl jacobs

      • dannybhoy

        Spanish is the new English..

        • Old Nick

          It has a significantly smaller lexicon – as its vocabulary is predominantly from only one family of languages

          • dannybhoy

            That fits…
            From an American pov the smaller (and simpler) the better..
            ;0)

          • Old Nick

            Air Traffic Controllers would appear to dissent. And your estimate of American intelligence is neither fair nor accurate.

          • dannybhoy

            diss
            verb: to fail to show respect
            dissent
            noun: example thereof…

          • Old Nick

            “dissent, v. 2. a. To think differently, disagree, differ from, in (an opinion), from, †with (a person).” OED.

          • dannybhoy

            “. a. To think differently”
            As in humour…

          • Old Nick

            “obscure, adj., Of words, statements, explanations, etc.: difficult to understand;”

          • dannybhoy

            Ya think?


            I admit these are extreme examples..at least I think they are….
            :0)

    • Inspector General

      Nonsense. English is THE international language.

    • Old Nick

      It is high time Latin became the only language of the EU. Think how classicists could clean up.

      • Richard Hill

        Actually it should be Greek.

        • Old Nick

          Greek, for all its beauties, lacks the exactness and economy of expression of Latin. Besides the attempt to adapt Attic for modern usage in the form of katharevousa can hardly be called a grand success.

          • Richard Hill

            Greek was good enough for the New Testament writers.

          • Old Nick

            Not very good Greek. Koine rather proves Gregory of Nazianzus’s point that God chose to save the world halieutikos ouk Aristotelikos. Even the Fathers found it necessary to use Attic when they were dealing with something more complicated than simple salvation.

    • dannybhoy

      Very good.
      Mind you it won’t be long before there won’t be any need for it either..

  • len

    ‘Eddie Izzard touring the Vatican State’ LOL….hope he ‘ tones it down a bit for them’ .

    Are the UK’s main faith communities totally blind as to what the EU actually is?.

    ‘Faith is about integration and building bridges’?, No it is not…. faith is about truth and remaining true to the Word of God and not compromising your faith in the name of ‘integration’….almost makes decide to set sail down the Tiber?…almost…

  • Anton

    But it’s not April 1st, Your Grace…

    • Ian G

      My thoughts exactly.

  • bluedog

    ‘What’s more, so many of the challenges we face today can only be addressed in a European, and indeed a global, context: combating poverty in the developing world,…’

    Not a word about implementing poverty in the developed world under the aegis of the EU. Funny that.

  • David

    According to those “esteemed” faith leaders.
    “Faith is about integration and building bridges ….”
    Really !
    I thought that it was about first and foremost, repentance and then accepting the Lordship of Jesus Christ as your spiritual guide and leader. Nations too are called to repentance and to put their trust in God.
    I note that this nonsense statement fails to even to attempt to explain quite how the promised land of universal peace and happiness is to be delivered by conformity to the wishes of the unelected Commissioners who preside at the top of the EU.
    Yes Jesus said “blessed are the peacemakers”, but that is not the same thing at all as accepting undemocratic rule from Brussels, and Brussels’s one size fits all “integration”.
    If the Vatican joined the EU it would soon want to rewrite Catholic doctrine to conform to its constitution. I think that even the shakiest of Popes would politely ignore this very silly rant.
    This latest outburst convinces me that these assorted faith “leaders” have no understanding of politics and, a very strange view of the nature of the Christian faith. Above all they exhibit exceedingly bad judgements.
    Let’s all just ignore them shall we.

  • grandpa1940

    “comedian Eddie Izzard to tour the Vatican State in an attempt to get the Curia to pray for Pope Francis”

    One bloke wearing a skirt, talking to lots of other blokes all wearing skirts, (but for definitely other reasons). How is this going to get yet another skirt-wearing bloke to join an outfit where he is told what to do, instead of deciding for himself?

    I just wonder if Mr. Izzard should stick to doing Death Star Canteen monologues, and refrain from poking his powdered nose into areas of which he knows but little?

    • Uncle Brian

      It’s a parody, Grandpa. Follow the link to the Grauniad and you will find this:

      On Monday comedian Eddie Izzard will start a tour of universities in an attempt to get young people to register for the referendum and vote to stay in the EU.

      Compare what Cranmer has written:

      The ‘Stronger In’ campaign have today dispatched comedian Eddie Izzard to tour the Vatican State in an attempt to get the Curia to pray for Pope Francis…

  • William Lewis

    “Think of the wider world and join Europe”

    It would be funny if we weren’t being fed this kind of tosh on a daily basis.

  • Whether or not Vatican City joins the EU, Brussels can only be purring with pleasure at the Pope’s progressive thinking.

    La Croix: In your speeches in Europe, you refer to the ‘roots’ of the continent without ever describing them as Christian. Rather, you define ‘European identity’ as ‘dynamic and multicultural.’ In your view, is the expression ‘Christian roots’ inappropriate for Europe?

    Pope Francis: We need to speak of roots in the plural because there are so many. In this sense, when I hear talk of the Christian roots of Europe, I sometimes dread the tone, which can seem triumphalist or even vengeful.

    La Croix: The fear of accepting migrants is partly based on a fear of Islam. In your view, is the fear that this religion sparks in Europe justified?

    Pope Francis: Today, I don’t think that there is a fear of Islam as such but of ISIS and its war of conquest, which is partly drawn from Islam. It is true that the idea of conquest is inherent in the soul of Islam. However, it is also possible to interpret the objective in Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus sends his disciples to all nations, in terms of the same idea of conquest.

    • Uncle Brian

      Pope Francis: Today, I don’t think that there is a fear of Islam as such …

      As far as that goes, I’d say the Pope has got it right. It’s not fear of Islam, which is what the crooked pseudo-word “Islamophobia” tries to insinuate. It’s not fear, just antagonism.

      • Old Nick

        How many razzias did Jesus lead ?

        • Uncle Brian

          Does the Cleansing of the Temple count as a razzia?— I don’t suppose so. Not enough casualties.

          • Old Nick

            No known casualties, I think, not even among the pigeons. What seems to me to characterize Christian discussion of the Two Swords pericope of Luke 22 (on which a good book by G. Caspary) is the reluctance of Christian thinking to legitimate war. Whereas: Badr, Uhud……

    • Jolly Roger

      Has anyone seriously interpreted Jesus’ statement in Matthew as a call for world conquest by force of arms?

      Jesus was a member of a disarmed nation. He wasn’t, unlike someone else, a war leader. Furthermore, the passage in Matthew is qualified by other statements, such as: ‘My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight…’

      If these church and faith leaders want to be taken seriously they’ll have to do better than this. At least it can be seen that they are all singing from the same hymn sheet, and what’s on it. No one will have any excuses.

      • @ Jolly Roger—If these church and faith leaders want to be taken seriously

        Being taken seriously as a Christian leader, as that calling has traditionally been understood, would entail opposing the Islamization of Europe. In recent years, two church leaders who were, ah, insufficiently enthusiastic about Islamization found it necessary to resign.

    • Ivan M

      The Pope is a joke in these matters. We have to suffer this man for some years.

  • Eustace

    If the Vatican joins the EU it will have to comply with equality legislation. That’s never going to happen.

    Pity though. The idea of women on an equal footing with men in all administrative roles in the Vatican is an interesting one.

    • Inspector General

      If its true what they say about the Vatican, that it is run by a homosexual tight nit crowd, then one really couldn’t think of a worse place to be a woman…

      • So, Inspector, how might a Brexit success affect Premier League Football? This serious issue is being ignored.

        Is it correct that a vote to leave Europe could see more than 400 footballers losing the right to play professionally in the UK? Under current rules, players with an EU passport are free to play in the UK while those without must meet strict Home Office criteria to get a work visa. According to a study by the BBC, 332 European players currently playing in the Premier League, Championship and Scottish Premiership would fail to meet the non-EU criteria if the UK broke away from the bloc.

        Under current FA rules, non-EU players must play a certain number of internationals to gain a visa. The rules also take Fifa rankings and the transfer fee into account. If those rules were applied to all foreign players, many EU stars in the Premier League would not qualify. Last year, a study by The Guardian found that “two thirds [of European players] would not have met the criteria currently used for non-Europeans”.

        This would mean David de Gea, Juan Mata, Morgan Schneiderlin and Anthony Martial could not play for Man Utd.

        “Cutting ourselves off from Europe would have devastating consequences,” warned Karren Brady, chairman of West Ham United, in a letter to Premier League clubs earlier this year. “Losing this unhindered access to European talent would put British clubs at a disadvantage compared to continental sides.”

        • Inspector General

          I say chaps! Jack has a question about the ‘greedy game’ once known as Association Football. Think he’s rather tearful at the moment…can anyone help him in his misery…

          • You should know the answers to this most serious of issues, Inspector. Think of the implications for millions of football supporters!

        • They should have to apply for a residents permit which could be granted for the duration of their contract.

          • Fifa rules apply, Marie, regardless of resident permits.

        • Old Nick

          And when will Vatican City be entering the Eurovision Song Contest. They would have lots of loyalty votes. How about one of the castrati doing a number. Or if they are unavailable a ditty by Palaestrina ?

          • Good idea! Think of the Catholic talent throughout the world.

            And, while we’re at it, the Vatican could consider entering the Euros and the World Cup. Naturally, every baptised Catholic would qualify for their team.

            Jack will contact Frankie.

        • Inspector General

          Jack. One is quite sure FIFA takes a cut from the billions of pounds involved in the English league. Are you seriously suggesting those types would willingly give that cash up?

          • Inspector General

            As a postscript, if that lot can hold a world cup in a 50 degree heat desert country…guess how that came about…

          • This needs urgent clarification. Clarification is needed urgently.

          • Inspector General

            Take a leap of faith, Jack. It’s what we tell the atheists to do, you know…

          • Nooooo …. not when it comes to the futures of David de Gea, Juan Mata, Morgan Schneiderlin and Anthony Martial.

          • Inspector General

            By the way, care to have a shot at the body count from heat exhaustion during 2022. Supporters and players. But the show will go on to the bitter end, no matter how many are carried off to the mortuary . Football at its very best…in the Inspector’s opinion…

          • You do know the event will be staged from mid-November to mid-December? The tournament will take place from late November to late December 2022, to avoid the summer heat between May and September. One also understands desert temperatures cool rather swiftly in the evening.

          • Inspector General

            Oh! Well, yes, one did hear, probably. How the top English clubs will manage without their stars is another matter…

          • The FA are still to decide on this. It’s possible Premier League games will be suspended for the month of the tournament. We’ll see.

          • Anton

            Sorry, are you urgently requesting clarification?

          • Most urgently ….

        • Anton

          I’d not thought of that, Jack; interesting. It might not do much for the Premier League, but plenty for the national team. Now I’m off to the pub to celebrate England’s win today in our national sport…

        • Royinsouthwest

          Brazil have been a shadow of the team that once dominated world football. Could their decline be caused by being excluded from he EU purely on geographical grounds? As Brazil is a former Portuguese colony shouldn’t their government demand admission to the EU?

          • bluedog

            Brazil can start the path to EU membership by joining the Eurovision song contest.

          • Uncle Brian

            Brazil have been a shadow of the team that once dominated world football.

            Sadly, all too true. As things stand at the moment, Brazil may not even qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Out of 10 South American countries in the qualifying rounds, after six matches Brazil are in sixth place with just two wins and three draws. The top four countries qualify, plus a possible fifth.

      • Eustace

        Vatican priests have head lice?

        Yet another reason not to set foot in the place.

        • Anton

          Don’t be a nit wit.

    • …. and, no doubt, queer ‘marriage’ would appeal to some.

  • carl jacobs

    The Good Archbishop has altered a few details from the original story to make a point. This should have been a dead giveaway:

    The ‘Stronger In’ campaign have today dispatched comedian Eddie Izzard to tour the Vatican State in an attempt to get the Curia to pray for Pope Francis, that he might incline his ear toward justice, peace and righteousness, and commit the Vatican to immediate EU accession

    Alas, I am ashamed that I did not catch it right away.

    • Was not “..as Your Holiness told Donald Trump” a much earlier dead giveaway?

      • carl jacobs

        Well … no. For three reason:

        1. I didn’t check the link.
        2. I figured that the Pope “told” Trump through the public media.
        3. Because … well .. Pope Francis. This is exactly the kind of thing he would say.

        The truth is that I bought this story completely. The comedian thing troubled me, but I have know idea who he is, and I thought “Maybe he is a famous Catholic.” What I didn’t believe at all was that the EU would want the Vatican to join. I fretted about that for awhile and then thought “Wait! These are only religious leaders. I wonder if the EU really says that.” That’s why I checked the link. And that’s when I realized.

        • “The comedian thing troubled me …. “

          Lol ….

        • “The comedian thing troubled me …. “

          ROFL …..

    • How long did it take you to understand it was satire? You are American so one would expect you to struggle. But have Jack’s lessons been in vain?

      • carl jacobs

        You know Jack …

        [Measures the volume of a certain mouth]

        … I think the problem is …

        [Finds an appropriate sock]

        … that this subject is almost beyond parody.

        [Looks around for duct tape]

        So, it’s not really my fault.

        [Tears off appropriate length]

        Don’t you agree?

        • Smarting, eh?
          Still Gridiron will return before you know it.

    • dannybhoy

      Is Eddie a practicing Catholic?

      • He’s an atheist.

        • dannybhoy

          Good Lord!
          Atheism is now a religion?

          • Anton

            There is no God, and Dawkins is his priest.

  • Martin

    “Faith is about integration and building bridges”

    They appear to have a different definition of faith to mine:

    For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, (Ephesians 2:8 [ESV])

    Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
    (Hebrews 11:1-3 [ESV])

  • Inspector General

    The Vatican joining the EU and losing its independence? And at that, Frank never uttered another word about Brexit ever again…

  • To think Jack was believing this until ….

    It makes sense,” said Mr Izzard, “to have the Pope of Rome subscribe to the Treaty of Rome.” He added: “We know the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholic leaders and laity support membership of the EU because of the opportunities it presents to work, to study and to travel to Lourdes. I share their positive view of Europe, and I think Pope Francis ought to, too.”

    Does this say more about Jack or Rowan Williams?

  • But the Catholic and Anglican Churches are already world wide organisations, what are the bishops and weirdy beardy talking about?!
    They don’t need to join a small club that has worsened people’s chances of survival by allowing and encouraging mass immigration and free movement.

  • Albert

    This has got to be a joke, surely?

    • Ask Carl. He’ll put you right.

      • carl jacobs

        There was nothing in this story that was technically impossible.

        • One of the key ingredients of good satire, Grasshopper.

          • carl jacobs

            As you admitted, the only difference between your reaction and mine is that you knew who the comedian was. You believed until you read that name.

            To think Jack was believing this until ….
            “It makes sense,” said Mr Izzard

            Edited to add the incriminating evidence.

          • It wasn’t the comedian, although an atheist transvestite would be a rather odd ambassador to sent to the Vatican. Admittedly, this put Jack on his guard. Now, if it had been Frank Skinner. Besides, it was mainly the reason he (allegedly) gave for Catholic support for the EU that led Jack to conclude it was one of HG’s wind-ups. On reading this, Jack immediately knew.

          • carl jacobs

            But the reason given doesn’t have to be true or rational. It just has to be credible in the mouth of an advocate.

          • It wasn’t credible …

            “We know the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholic leaders and laity support membership of the EU because of the opportunities it presents to work, to study and to travel to Lourdes.”

          • carl jacobs

            I said it had to sound credible being spoken by the advocate.

          • It didn’t. From HG’s pen, “travel to Lourdes” was a dead giveaway to a Catholic.

          • carl jacobs

            You are missing the point, Jack.

          • No, Jack understands the point being made, Carl. He just doesn’t agree.

          • carl jacobs

            If you understood the point, you wouldn’t be talking about the validity of the argument. You would be explaining why the advocate wouldn’t say it in terms other than the validity of the argument.

          • No person wanting to achieve success with the Vatican would present such a silly argument. It was obviously comedic in intention. Jack cannot help it if you cannot grasp this.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack

            You keep saying different forms of “He wouldn’t say it because it is dumb and wouldnt work.” People make dumb arguments all the time. You have to show that the advocate would never think to himself “That sounds like a good argument. I think I’ll use that to try and persuade them.” And you have to do it without saying what you have been saying over and over again: “It wouldn’t work.”

          • Do use some common sense and stop applying an engineer’s logic to satire. The statement is not only dumb, it’s factually incorrect.

          • carl jacobs

            Pointless. It’s like trying to teach a cat to fetch.

          • Agreed. Getting you to appreciate satirical humour is most certainly pointless.

    • Old Nick

      Natch

      • Albert

        But it’s still a joke, even when you remove the joke.

    • grutchyngfysch

      One of the best kinds of joke, where the punchline has the sour tang of truth about it.

  • grutchyngfysch

    Parodic content for parodic “faith leaders”.

  • chiefofsinners

    Thank you for brightening the bank holiday with a lovely bit of Juvenalian.
    Will your Grace not now lead us, your loyal communicants, into ever closer union with our European brethren? As the hymn writer hath said:
    Nearer (my God!) to thee.

  • Great article. Using the same logic put forward by the bishops for Britain remaining in the EU, the Vatican should absolutely follow suit. If the only way to maintain friendship and cooperation between nations is through supranational political union (someone should really tell Asia, Africa and the Americas), the pope should acquiesce at once.

    The Guardian letter is just another insidious, arrogant attempt by religious leaders to falsely suggest that God is a paid-up member of the Remain campaign:

    https://semipartisansam.com/2016/05/29/britains-religious-leaders-squander-their-moral-authority-by-supporting-the-eu-and-forsaking-democracy/

    Those bishops who signed their name have forsaken democracy and squandered their moral authority. For shame.

  • “The letter is obviously not endorsed by any Roman Catholic leaders.”

    Except for one Jack spotted, although he did retire in 2011. The Rt Rev Thomas McMahon, Bishop Emeritus of Brentwood.

  • Royinsouthwest

    Does the Islamic State still share a boarder with Turkey or have recent setbacks changed that? Since the EU seems hell bent on admitting Turkey why not go the whole hog (If IS will pardon the unclean expression) and admit the Caliphate as well? That would do wonders for inter-faith dialogue!

    • Dreadnaught

      The Islamic State is borderless: not so much a state but a state of ideological dimensions.
      It is not so much the EU that is ‘hell-bent’ to admit Turkey: our own Government (any) holds the veto to bar Turkish accession, so its a question of will they make it a manifesto commitment to to use it and allow a democratic voice to be heard.
      Don’t hold your breath.

      • sarky

        I thought their borders were based around the levant??

        • Royinsouthwest

          That is their starting point. The idea of a Caliphate is that it should rule all Muslims and that the whole world should be Muslim.

  • Jolly Roger

    When the Lord likened Himself to a vinedresser He wasn’t referring to the strangling vine of the EU.

    If ‘Europe’ (copyright: the EU) has ‘many roots’ (his Holiness and Dr Rowan Williams) then it appears that a load of horse manure is being dumped on them by the Gardener’s assistants.

  • Albert

    If Faith is about integration and building bridges, not about isolation and erecting barriers how about:

    “Faith leaders blast Japan for failing to join China”?

    or “Faith leaders blast Ukraine for failing to join Russia”?

    or “Faith leaders blast South Korea for failing to join North Korea”?

    or “Faith leaders blast Rowan Williams for failing to join the Roman Catholic Church”?

    Any other ideas? The possibilities are endless.

    • bluedog

      From back editions of The Faith News;

      ‘Faith leaders blast Cameron for threatening to ignore Trump’

      ‘Faith leaders blast Cameron for calling Sadiq Khan a terrorist sympathiser’

      And it works! He’s become new best friends with both of them. One can imagine the scene in the drawing-room at Chequers as the Trumps, the Khans, the Camerons and the Osbornes settle down to a spirited after-dinner session of playing charades.

      • Albert

        That sounds nice. So let’s add:

        “Faith leaders blast Rowan Williams for failing to join Cameron/Trump lovefest at Chequers.”

        • bluedog

          Yes, The Donald would excel at that old favourite ‘A titter ran through the crowd’. Always good for some unrelieved sexual tension.

    • “Faith leaders blast Jesus for separating the sheep and the goats”

      “Faith leaders blast God for separating the light from the darkness”

      • Uncle Brian

        Faith leaders blast Joshua for occupying Jericho

        • sarky

          Faith leaders blast eve for her love of apples.

          • Anton

            You won’t find apples in the Genesis tale!

          • Well you do actually. The origins of the word “apple” originally meant any fruit (hence pomme de terre). So you must not eat of the apple of the tree of knowledge of good & evil is the cause of Sarky’s confusion.

            But it’s obvious that Sarky obviously hasn’t got the gist of the joke.

          • Pubcrawler
          • Anton

            But “pommes de terre” means potatoes, not just any tuber; and they are shaped like apples.

          • Oh Anton! “Pomme de terre” = potato, but transliterated = “Apple of the earth”. The word apple originally meant any fruit (the latin for fruit is Pomum). Hence the common misconception that the “fruit” [apple] of the tree of knowledge of good & evil was an apple [as we commonly understand it now].

          • Anton

            I do understand the literal meaning of “pommes de terre”. What I hadn’t known (or more probably forgotten, 45 years on from Latin lessons) was that Pomum is a generic Latin word. Indeed, the Vulgate Bible has Fructus in Genesis 3.

            The misconception was furthered by artists, who invariably opted to depict an apple.

          • dannybhoy

            In Hebrew ‘tapuchay aitz’ is apples of the tree – תפוח’ עץ
            potatoes is ‘tapuchay adamah’ apples of the earth – תפוחי
            אדמה
            There are many words in Hebrew for fruit.

            פרי (pri ha… fruit of )..So pri hagefen (fruit of the vine), but grapes is anavim, and grapefruit is eshcoliot.
            Olives is zeitim.. dates is dekelim.

            Confusing ain’t it?

          • Anton

            Yes. And what word in Genesis 3, please?

          • dannybhoy

            First mention of fruit, Genesis 1>
            “12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.”
            In the Hebrew… .וְעֵ֧ץ עֹֽשֶׂה־פְּרִ֛י אֲשֶׁ֥ר זַרְעוֹ־ב֖וֹ So that first word for fruit is ‘pri’. But it’s “pri aitz” meaning
            fruit bearing trees..

            Verse 7..
            “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings”

            In Hebrew the “sewed fig leaves together” is
            וַֽיִּתְפְּרוּ֙ עֲלֵ֣ה תְאֵנָ֔ה and the word for fig (leaves) is תְאֵנָ֔ה (tanah)

          • Anton

            Thank you very much for those details. With the caveat that the rabbis often have their own agenda, I strongly agree with your last comment.

          • dannybhoy

            Caveat accepted

          • Dreadnaught

            See it in iconic pictures though and it certainly isn’t a pineapple.

          • Anton

            Artists have to make a choice.

        • Anton

          Plus ca change!

          • Uncle Brian

            “Faith leaders blast David for disproportionate killing of Goliath”

          • Anton

            FAITH EXAMINATION

            Joint Salvation Board, June 2016

            Multiple Choice Section

            (a) Faith leaders blast Israelites for killing most of the Canaanites and then writing it up as a command of God.

            (b) God blasts Israelites for not killing all of the Canaanites.

      • Anton

        And sky from sea (level), and land from sea.

    • “Faith leaders blast God for creating us male and female.”

      • sarky

        Faith leaders blast god for creating Catholics.

      • Albert

        He didn’t. Gender is purely a human construct. Didn’t you know?

        • “Faith leaders blast scripture for erroneously claiming God created us male and female.”

          • Albert

            “Faith leaders blast God for erroneously claiming he made us male and female.”

          • Better ….

      • Royinsouthwest

        But most of us do want to unite with the opposite sex. The trouble comes when the one you want to unite with would prefer someone else!

      • Anton

        Vive la difference!

  • Jolly Roger

    Your Grace,

    may I remind the faithful of a principle laid down by the Lord?

    The new wine of the EU superstate cannot be poured into the old wineskins of the nation-states.

    The church and faith leaders may say ‘let them burst’, but, good heavens, it requires some thought about the mess.

    • Albert

      It’s going to burst anyway. The only question is whether one gets drenched in alcohol when it happens.

    • Dreadnaught

      Your example is so typical of the religious who place much emphasis in their communication skills by speaking in metaphors, as though this makes their arguments more valid than straight talking.
      In any case I doubt the EU legislators would permit the purveying of wine in animal skins: size variation, health and safety concerns and such. Why skins when we have wine in plastic bags in boxes etc; not to mention the Human Rights do-gooders who would rush to the cause-du-jour,of plonkies being unfairly forced to suck their vino from the arsehole-skin of a dead goat, not to mention the preferred simplicity of the plastic click-cap cover over the arcane complexity of re-inserting a grubby cork stopper prior to passing out.

      • Old Nick

        All language is metaphor.

        • Dreadnaught

          Not the same thing at all. Without language you could not make a metaphor

          • Old Nick

            Precisely. Because language is all metaphor. Things are things.

      • carl jacobs

        That’s hilarious, Dreadnaught. If it hadn’t been a biblical metaphor, you wouldn’t have paid two seconds of thought to it. Any non-biblical metaphor would have slipped through unnoticed. This post wasn’t about “straighr-talking.” It was about religious people using religious imagery.

        • Dreadnaught

          The point was the propensity for metaphor instead of straight talking from people such as yourself : in fact you often become virtually unintelligible if not downright laughable in your own over use of the metaphoric device.
          I tried to balance my statement with a little humour, bearing in mind the tone of the OP but what the hell, do I really gives a toss what anyone, let alone a fundamental creationist thinks – nah.

          • carl jacobs

            in fact you often become virtually unintelligible if not downright laughable in your own over use of the metaphoric device.

            That’s an interesting comment. My initial reaction is “Metaphors for audiences.” Many of those metaphors are unapologetically biblical. If the reader understands the reference, he will get the metaphor. But that could just be an easy excuse. One reader on Spectator recently said I was unintelligible for saying children had become a Tragedy of the Commons. My (unwritten) reaction to him was “Read a book.” In general, though, I have received a substantial body of feedback over the last ten years that says I am a very clear writer.

            I’m interested to know what you have seen that others haven’t. It would benefit me a lot more if that critique came with a specific example and with an explanation attached.

          • He’s taking his time. Jack is looking forward to Dreadnaught’s response.

          • carl jacobs

            So am I, Jack.

          • dannybhoy

            What in your view is a fundamental creationist?

      • len

        Metaphors were devised to parallel spiritual reality with physical facts.
        Not everyone gets it though?.

        • Dreadnaught

          That’s bollocks: metaphors are not confined to spirituality/physical facts; its a very useful linguistic device for making a point by a familiar illustration not to always to be taken literally.

          • len

            The weakness of’ the Dreadnaughts’ was their powder magazines were prone to blowing up if the slightest spark inflamed them..

          • Dreadnaught

            Now that metaphor I like!

  • Just to clarify one point, lest it confuse people. There is no “Pope of Rome”. Francis is Pope of the world wide Church. He also serves as Bishop of Rome. Hope that clears things up.

    • len

      How pompous!.
      Francis is Pope of whoever bows to this false Church known as the RCC…

      • Evening, Len. What took you so long?

        • len

          Morning Jack…..believe it or not I’ve got other things to do….

          • Wot? Like feeding all those cats?

          • len

            yes, take a lot of time you know?.

    • bluedog

      As the EU clearly has ambitions for global dominion, it would seem His Grace is right. The Vatican should indeed join the EU to provide the Established Church thereof.

      • The EU should be joining the Vatican, surely?

        • bluedog

          Only if you negotiate on behalf of the Vatican, HJ.

          • The Vatican waits ….

          • Pubcrawler

            The Dude abides…

          • This is a very complicated case Pubcrawler. You know, a lotta ins, a lotta outs, lotta what-have-yous.

          • Anton

            Who was giving Carl a hard time about the English language? Wotta lotta crotta!

          • A quote from a well known American movie.

          • Anton

            I guessed a quote from something transatlantic, but that one has passed me by. Don’t tease…

          • “That rug really tied the room together.”

        • Eustace

          The EU has no official religion. It couldn’t exist as a pan-European organisation if it gave in to religious partisanship.

          • That’s why it will not survive. No common identity or foundation to hold it together.

          • Eustace

            I thought the Oracle of Delphi had gone the way of the cult of Zeus and Aphrodite. But no, it’s alive and well and has upped sticks to Britain, where it inhabits the form of an elderly and infirm grandfather who pretends to be a Catholic, but who is really a worshipper of other gods.

            That’s what the Bible tells us, doesn’t it? Divination and prognostication are the work of evil spirits.

            Better ask someone to wheel you into the confessional, Jack. Or wherever it is they cleanse you of possession by Hecate, or whatever unclean spirit has taken you over and transformed you into a crystal ball gazer and diviner of the future. And look sharpish about it! You don’t have much time left. Wouldn’t want to miss out on paradise for want of someone to push your wheelchair, would you?

          • Such bitchiness, Linus. Even for you. Trouble with the imaginary ‘husband’, is it? Besides, you’re just revealing your ignorance. My comment is very biblical:

            “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

            (Proverbs 29:18)

            Now, Jack’s been meaning to ask about your latest incarnation. You’ve declared:

            “I’m not a Christian, but I’m not a convinced Atheist either. I can see the holes in both arguments and neither convinces me. Is there a God? I dunno… “

            Did you lie?

          • carl jacobs

            [Snork]

          • Eustace

            When after 2000 years a religion has failed to prove the existence of its deity, one has to weigh the probabilities and understand what is likely and what is not.

            And yet who knows, the unlikely could be true. It’s just less likely to be. A fact that is supported and confirmed by the behaviour of Christians who claim to be loving and benevolent, but who spend most of their time launching spiteful and vituperative attacks on those who refuse to bow to them and the reflection in a looking glass they call “God”. Because whether or not a real deity exists, it’s clear to me that you do not worship it, Jack. The only object of your devotion is yourself and your overweening desire to command, manipulate and control others. You prove it in virtually every post you make.

          • But you lied, Linus. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself?

          • Eustace

            My name is Eustace. Linus doesn’t exist as far as I’m aware. I certainly can’t find any posts under that name.

            If you want to accuse me of lying, firstly have the common courtesy to use my name, and secondly please point out the lie. I have already stated that, although I believe it very unlikely that God exists, I cannot entirely discount the possibility that he may. I see no evidence to suggest that he does. But if such evidence becomes available, I will of course consider it. Which means I am not a dogmatic atheist. I admit the possibility of God, but I calculate the probability as extremely low given the absence of evidence.

          • Linus is the name you used when you first posted on this weblog. You really must try to stop all this lying.

          • Eustace

            The paranoid delusions of Christians know no bounds, I see.

            I gather you have evidence to back these accusations up with. Although on reflection, probably not. It’s all about what you believe, isn’t it? Evidence is unnecessary when you have faith, eh?

          • Aren’t you embarrassed by all these denials, Linus? You should be.

          • Eustace

            I’m a little embarrassed for you and this ceaseless fixation of yours with a bogeyman called Linus.

            Well … perhaps “embarrassed” is too strong a word. “Wryly amused” might be more accurate. And “satisfied” too. Having all the stereotypes of the paranoid Christian Froot Loop confirmed in your person means I have significantly less work to do in convincing others to treat your faith like the joke it really is.

            So keep up the good work! Between you and the doolally, one-yam-short-of-a-Chakalaka immigrant preacher who haunts the entrance to my local Tube stop, you’re making converts for the secular cause hand over fist. The other guy with all of his praisings of “de Lawd” and his tuneless renditions renditions of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” has the edge over you though, but then he’s a Protestant, so there’s less of the pointless Catholic ritual to sap his fervour and dull his evangelical zeal.

          • Jack has no time for bare faced liars, Linus.

          • Eustace

            No time for bare faced liars?

            I assume looking glasses and all other reflective surfaces are banned from your home then.

          • Anton

            Graeco-Roman culture. But I agree it will not survive and should become (revert to?) a free-trading bloc.

          • “Graeco-Roman culture.”
            Paganism? Yes, we’re returning to our pre-Christian roots.

          • Anton

            Religion aside, our culture has the following features which all began in ancient Greece:

            • the political system: democracy (although only adult male citizens could vote)

            • theatre – we have many original Greek plays, and theatre is still popular today and is the forerunner of cinema and television drama

            • sculpture and architecture: buildings with porticos and decorated pillars, based on temples to Greek gods and goddesses – the great houses of European aristocrats look like this, as do many town halls, libraries and public buildings

            • sport – the Olympic Games began in Greece, which invented most individual sports. (The British invented most team sports, in the 19th century.) Roman gladiatorial contests were a nastier version of these games

            • mode of thought – the Greeks produced philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle who have had priority in European learning ever since. Plato is a political philosopher whose Academy is the ancestor of our universities.

          • Royinsouthwest

            Well, as I said earlier the EU could maintain its “neutrality” by admitting the Islamic State at the same time as the Vatican. The Caliphate would have no problems with the EU’s “equality” legislation as it applies Sharia law to everyone, male, female, gay, straight, believers, infidels and apostates etc.

            Furthermore whereas Italy is notorious for wolf whistling, cat calling and bottom pinching the Islamic State takes a zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment in public. It would never happen in the Caliphate, even if you did see a woman in public.

          • Anton

            Whereas in private…

  • Albert

    Sympathetic as I am, I’m not sure I want to be drenched in alcohol economically or legally speaking. But perhaps the metaphor is stretched too far.

  • Anton

    The League of Nations was SO effective at preventing war between the countries of Europe…

    • carl jacobs

      Careful. Jack is devoted to these international institutions of collective do-goodery. No matter how impotent they might be.

      • Anton

        Long may the UN be impotent. Imagine if it had teeth, as the previous Pope called for (Benedict’s 2009 Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, paragraph 67: “there is a need… for a reform of the United Nations organisation… that… can acquire real teeth… there is urgent need of a true world political authority… vested with the effective power to ensure security for all… it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties”).

        • Under the gentle guidance of the Pope and the Catholic Church ….. what could possibly go wrong?

          • Anton

            First to run the world loses, Jack: that is the warning of the Book of Revelation, and thank God that the British Empire at its largest extent got only halfway there.

          • len

            everything?

          • carl jacobs

            Exactly the same thing that went wrong before. Times seven. Times seventy.

          • Someone has to stop “them”.

          • carl jacobs

            But the RCC is “them”.

          • Noooo …. that’s what “they” want you to believe. It’s the Anunnaki race who are here for our mono-atomic gold.

        • carl jacobs

          People misunderstand the UN. It is not a global governance organization. It was never intended to rush around the world stopping every war and righting every wrong. It was intended to prevent major wars amount the major powers. The only thing that really matters at the UN is making sure the major military powers have a voice on the UNSC. Everything else is window dressing.

          • bluedog

            ‘The only thing that really matters at the UN is making sure the major military powers have a voice on the UNSC.’ Probably makes the case for inclusion of India and Japan. British global power projection was always dependent on India.

      • Someone has to counter the enemy:

        “Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the U.S., in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something.

        They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”

        Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)

        • Anton

          But this enemy is countered at one’s own level, not by trying to set up supranational organisations (whether religious or political) which the enemy will invariably subvert.

        • carl jacobs

          You’re not going all “Illuminati” on us, are you, Jack?

          • They are all around us ….

          • carl jacobs

            I’m pretty sure Wilson was talking about banks and finance or something. Not a subject that Wilson’s League was designed to handle. You remember the League, right? It was holed below the waterline by Manchuria, and forever sank from view after the secret deal between Britain, France, and Italy over Ethiopia.

            You don’t think that metaphor was too obscure, do you?

          • Well of course “they” control the world’s finances and businesses.
            (Jack is staying out of your dispute with Dreadnaught – for now.)

        • len

          Probably their wives?

  • Pubcrawler

    Speaking as someone who has a fair bit of beer festival cellar experience, I can assure you that being on the wet end of a ‘beer shower’ is far less fun than actually drinking the stuff.

    • Anton

      They look pretty happy at the end of a Formula One race (or Oxbridge exam…) spraying everybody with champagne.

      • Pubcrawler

        In the case of cheap champagne, that is probably the best use for it.

  • len

    As Donald told the Pope “you can fool most of the people all of the time and I think we have both proved that” ……….

    • dannybhoy

      Donald is a puzzlement! In fact the things that are happening in the world are a puzzlement. We are coming to the conclusion of Barack Obama’s eight years as POTUS.
      Is America a better, fairer, more prosperous nation? Fit to lead the free world?
      Are the American people mourning the end of his presidency whilst consoling themselves with YES! We did!! Or has America lost its way?

      • Pubcrawler
        • dannybhoy

          Well, he said that ‘Yes,we can.’
          In fact he seemed really sure we could.
          Certainly a lot of people got their hopes up and thought perhaps ‘Yes it could.’
          So we all waited, and held hands, and smiled at each other. We watched, and hoped an ‘cancentrated’ real hard;,
          And guess what?
          We couldn’t..

  • preacher

    Well none of these ‘ Faith Leaders ‘ speak for me, be it present or past incumbents of the Archbishopric of Canterbury or any other claimant to the title ” peace on Earth through the machinations of humanity “. Only the Lord of Lords & prince of Peace – Jesus Christ can accomplish peace & justice on this planet.
    Who else can claim the right to the Crown ? Without justice we will never have true, real peace, because justice requires judgement & who else has purchased the right to judge but He who sacrificed Himself to give us a second chance ?.
    All others are misguided at best, or pretenders at worst. Shame on those ‘ Leaders ‘ who would claim to usurp His Crown in the name of Man made religion.
    All must stand before the Lord on the day of judgement – be it Pope or peasant, the quick or the dead, my advice is be careful where you stand & what you claim to be. Take off your shoes & tread carefully – you could be encroaching on Holy Ground ! .

  • Retired Paul

    Curious. Since the Catholic Church here in UK has been telling its members that they should vote stay, I assumed that the hierarchy in Rome was fully in support of membership and had long since tied themselves closely to Brussels. If they have not, and have no intention of doing so, why are they telling their members to do so?

    • dannybhoy

      Anyone seen these vids about the origins of the EU from Christian Voice?

      “The European Union’s tower of Babel”

      “The European Union’s Woman on the Beast”
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PNAR8HOfUw

    • preacher

      To be the leading religious organisation in the E.U, doesn’t mean you have to Join it. Just make sure the rank & file stay in.
      The ecumenical rule is summed up by the old adage ” The Fox & the Goose can get along together – as long as the Goose is inside of the Fox “.

    • Penelope Whittaker-Wright

      No they are not, We have been advised to Vote Leave as there is no spirituality in the EU. It is purely secular. The Church is telling us that if we leave we have a stronger chance of getting better moral and christian values back in place. We already are helping the homeless and hungry. We need to concentrate upon caring or one another in a genuine way, fixing this country’s needs. When we are fixed we will be in a better place to help others farther afield.

    • James60498 .

      Not true.

  • Damo DeMack

    Why do so many people (mainly the remainers ) confuse the EU with Europe?

  • GKStudent

    Majority of different faith leaders to not have a State. The Anglican Church is lead by the Crown. And the Holy Father has a State which serves it’s foundation set upon the Apostles. The Holy Father does not have to join the EU. The Church is not of the world, but in the world. That’s Her own right to be as She has always been: Catholic.