Church of England

House of Bishops upholds canon law: marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman

After a seemingly interminable period of ‘shared conversations’ on the nature of marriage and the relational experiences of some LGBT Christians, the House of Bishops of the Church of England has, at long last, issued its report: ‘Marriage and Same Sex Relationships after the Shared Conversations.’ The Bishops implore that the paper “be read as a whole, with each paragraph being understood in the context of the whole”, but few have bothered or will ever care to do that. So what ensues is a cacophony of objection and counter-rejection; disappointment and dismay; triumphalism and misrepresentation. Honestly, surveying the din of comment on this so far you’d think LGBT(-supporting) Anglicans are incapable of doing theology; and same-sex-marriage-opposing Anglicans are incapable of reading. How is it possible to derive such universal distress and discontent from a General Synod paper which argues for biblical orthodoxy, theological coherence and ecclesial catholicity?

It’s probably best not to link to any articles or tweets by LGBT(-supporting) Anglicans, for fear of eliciting allegations of ‘hate’, and this blog being reported to the police (again). Suffice to say, many are a little disappointed that the House of Bishops has not opted not to amend Canon B30 ‘Of Holy Matrimony‘ to incorporate same-sex marriage as a matter Christian social justice. Perhaps “a little disappointed” is something of an understatement: in some quarters there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. Not everywhere, by any means, for, in truth, there is no unified ‘LGBT community’ view on the matter of same-sex marriage, not least because there is no mono-cogitative LGBT community, despite the concerted efforts of certain campaigning agitators to make it appear so. The harmonious voices of Christians inclined to same-sex attraction but who are also fundamentally opposed to same-sex ‘marriage’ (in scare quotes) are rarely heard above the gay-rights lobby, for whom same-sex marriage (no scare quotes) is simply another form of lawful marriage, and the church must affirm this as a fundamental matter of ‘full equality’ and justice in the state.

But the House of Bishops doesn’t agree: they “seek to make steps together that will allow us to act together while retaining doctrinal coherency” (¶10). Justin Welby has not been busily “preparing the ground for a complete volte-face on human sexuality“: the Church of England doesn’t just want to be a “not too irritating chaplain to a secular and hedonistic culture“. The Archbishop of Canterbury has reflected with his fellow Bishops on the meaning of marriage and the nature of gender identity, and they reached a consensus in the light of Scripture and in accord with reason and tradition: that marriage is fundamentally social and potentially reproductive; that man and woman in their community of masculinity and femininity reflect the image of God; that Adam is incomplete without Eve.

This understanding of marriage is rooted in the Bible and developed in the Church’s tradition: it is revered and respected in its sacramental character, embodying, as it does, natural law and the growth of holiness. Christian marriage is not simply a corporeal contract between two individuals: it is in its nature a union of one man with one woman. Holy matrimony is a natural institution predisposed to the purpose of making of “one flesh”, which reflects the covenant relationship between Christ and his Church. This is “doctrinal coherency”: so much flows from it (and proposals to redefine it [see Appendix 1]) that there is a risk of mistaking the earthen vessel for the treasure it contains.

But many orthodox Anglicans are also unhappy with this report. These may be linked to because they tend not to shriek ‘hate’ and run to the police. Consider the terse musings of GAFCON UK, and the finicky nit-picking of Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali. “We do not have confidence that this document will guarantee the maintenance of orthodoxy within the Church of England for the future,” says the GAFCON UK Taskforce (..the what?); “the primacy of Scripture is not affirmed,” chides Bishop Michael. It is as though there is virtue in offensive crabbiness and the assertion of hyper-critical polarities. Is pettyfogging hairsplitting a ministry of the Holy Spirit?

Both sides of this protracted debate (which has by no means come to an end with this report) have long had unrealistic expectations of what is either doable or desirable. The task of the House of Bishops on any matter of moral theology is to pray, study, reflect, meditate, discuss, pray, argue, pray, and then love one another and feed the flock, thereby inculcating their measure of consensus. This is how the Church’s bishops have always determined and imparted matters of doctrine in the light of revelation. The views of any single bishop are subsumed to the never-ending corporate-episcopal journey toward truth, for now we see in a glass darkly; all collegiate theology is necessarily provisional.

And in the dimness of that provisionality it becomes apparent that there is simply no corporate appetite or collective belief in the right to amend Canon B30. And since Anglican polity determines that there can be no liturgy which is contrary to the teaching of the church – we pray what we believe – there will be no development of same-sex marriage blessings. The reasons couldn’t be clearer:

60. The unity of a particular Church is not something that can be detached from the unity of the Universal Church. As well as continuing and deepening communion within the Church of England as we begin to deliberate on next steps in this area, we want to listen to and learn with other Churches in and beyond the Anglican Communion, seeking together the mind of Christ. In doing so, account has to be taken of the fact that the overwhelming majority of those Churches subscribe to the traditional teaching on marriage reflected in our own doctrine and teaching. Moreover, the Church of England’s own position in the Anglican Communion – membership of which is defined by being in communion with the See of Canterbury – inevitably means that any departure from its doctrine and teaching would have implications for the Communion (cf. paragraph 4).

61. The unity of the Church cannot be detached from our common faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and therefore from the teaching through which that gospel is faithfully passed on. In following this approach, the Church of England would be continuing to affirm unequivocally the doctrine of marriage set out in Canon B30, and to be able to expound it with confidence as the Church’s teaching. Given the distinctive relationship between doctrine and public worship in the Church of England, that also requires that what happens in our services consistently reflects that teaching.

The themes are doctrinal catholicity and theological coherence. The Church is for all men and women in the fallen and imperfect order of creation: it is open to all, irrespective of race, sex or social status: ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus‘ (Gal 3:28). To this we may well now add that there is neither gay nor straight, for Christians who are orientated to same-sex attraction are now orientated to Christ and transformed in the renewing of their minds (Rom 12:2). LGBT people are not ‘lesser’ or ‘second class’ or anything inferior: their gifts and service and callings are just different: ‘Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all‘ (1Cor 12:4-6).

Therein lies unity in diversity; authentic catholicity; a universal faith which is true to the belief and practice of the Apostolic Church. From the New Testament onward, all weighty matters of doctrine have been determined by summoning a council and ascertaining consensus. The House of Bishops of the Church of England have given considered expression to the mind of the universal Church, speaking, as it believes, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

And Pope Francis has given the cue on the way LGBT people should be treated: fully respectfully, compassionately, humanly; “Who am I to judge?“:

“I am glad that we are talking about ‘homosexual people’ because before all else comes the individual person, in his wholeness and dignity. And people should not be defined only by their sexual tendencies: let us not forget that God loves all his creatures and we are destined to receive his infinite love. I prefer that homosexuals come to confession, that they stay close to the Lord, and that we pray all together. You can advise them to pray, show goodwill, show them the way, and accompany them along it.”

And so the Bishops have determined that “there should be new guidance from the House about the nature of questions put to ordinands and clergy about their lifestyle” (¶23d), for why should homosexuality be sniffed out while heterosexual promiscuity, drunkenness and greed remain uninterrogated? The Bishops advocate a cultural shift: “Interpreting the existing law and guidance to permit maximum freedom within it, without changes to the law, or the doctrine of the Church” (¶22). Some LGBT Anglicans scream and scream at this apparent contradiction, for how can there be “maximum freedom” within legal constraint. Do they think freedom in Christ is licence to do anything they feel is right? For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another‘ (Gal 5:13). And some conservative Evangelicals curse the Bishops’ words as a liberal inclination too far, for what “maximum freedom” can there be which does not compromise with sin and darkness?

Both sides risk detracting from the national mission, which, for the Church of England, is a profoundly pastoral one: no-one is excluded or marginalised from the spiritual heart of the nation’s life unless their isolation is willful and self-inflicted. But the church’s message of redemption is not one of sentimental welfare or humanitarianism: it is toward eternal salvation and ever-increasing holiness. It isn’t easy journeying with prickly people whose march for Jesus always has to be two holier steps in front of you, but let us agree at least to go on walking and talking about the meaning of “maximum freedom” in Christ. If the Early Church could expand the boundaries of Christian fellowship to accept the unclean Gentiles as equals in Christ, it is incumbent upon us all to reflect on the symbolic implications of this for the whole distorted, corrupted and confused created order.

  • len

    Marriage is between one man and one woman..yes!.

  • len

    Who am I to Judge?.
    It is Gods Word that discerns Truth.
    ‘For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged
    sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and
    marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.'(Hebrews 4 :12)

    • Pope Francis actually said: “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge him? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says they should not be marginalised because of this (orientation) but that they must be integrated into society. The problem is not having this orientation. We must be brothers. The problem is lobbying by this orientation.”

      As usual with Pope Francis, the problem lay with what he didn’t say i.e. acting on same sex attraction is always against God’s law and can never be acceptable. Although he referenced the Catechism, where these teachings are clearly stated, and the liberal media went into a frenzy.

      • Martin

        HJ

        Actually, calling yourself ‘gay’ is espousing the sin and is the equal of the action.

        • Jack agrees Pope Francis was, at best, careless in using this word. Not sure calling oneself “gay” is espousing sin and is equal to same sex acts though. It would depend on the individual person and what he meant. People could refer to themselves as “gay” and at the same time recognise acting on the impulse is sinful and strive to remain celibate.

          • Martin

            HJ

            I suspect Francis knew exactly what he was saying. And I’d suggest calling oneself gay is the same as calling oneself a thief.

          • Cressida de Nova

            At school we used to sing a round called “Let’s be gay”
            Nice song !

          • LET’S BE GAY.

            Let’s be gay and banish sorrow, all our work is done to-day,
            Laugh and sing until tomorrow, ’tis the nigger’s holiday;
            In the morning out we go to de wood to chop and de corn to hoe,
            Our hearts are free, and our spirits bright,
            And we’ll dance wid de gals till de broad daylight.
            Let’s be gay and banish sorrow, &c. I

            Strike the banjo, strike it gaily, bones and tambourine now play,
            Fiddle, you shall bow more gaily, ’tis the nigger’s holiday;
            To the merry banjo play we’ll dance all thought of sorrow away;
            Our hearts are free, our spirits bright,
            And we’ll dance wid de gals till morning light.
            Strike the banjo, strike it gaily, &c.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Howls of laughter ( I don’t think) Grrrrr!

            Youths the season made for joy
            something
            something
            something
            Let’s be gay
            while we may
            beauty etc

          • Youth’s the Season made for Joys,
            Love is then our duty.
            She alone who that employs
            Well deserves her Beauty.
            Let’s be gay,
            While we may,

            Beauty’s a Flower, despised in decay.
            Youth’s the Season made for joys,
            Love is then our duty.
            Let us drink and sport to-day,
            Ours is not to-morrow.
            Love with youth flies swift away,
            Age is naught but Sorrow.

            Dance and sing,
            Time’s on the Wing,
            Life never knows the return of Spring.
            Let us drink and sport to-day,
            Ours is not to-morrow.

            The Beggar’s Opera

          • Cressida de Nova

            We sounded much better . Lute accompaniment was nice. Thank you Jack for finding that. A musical interlude is a nice way of breaking up the squabbling segments:)

  • Martin

    One has to wonder what took so long and why the weasel words. Then we see the treacherous word ‘tradition’.

    It’s very simple, the Bible tells us that sex is for one man and one woman in marriage, no ifs, no buts. There is no issue of ‘Christian social justice’, no question of fairness. And too, the Bible is clear:

    Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
    (I Corinthians 6:9-11 [ESV])

    So if there are those claiming to be bishops or ‘priests’ in the CoE we can be sure of one thing, they are not Christians.

    So the real reason it took so long is that there are some bishops who don’t believe the Bible, who show no evidence of being Christians. To save the CoE the answer is simple:

    I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. Purge the evil person from among you.
    (I Corinthians 5:9-13 [ESV])

    So the CoE need to purge those evil people from its ranks, it would certainly reduce numbers but quality is more important.

    • Coniston

      I totally agree with your position on marriage. But ‘tradition’ – “tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living”.

      • Martin

        Con

        The problem with tradition is that it is prone to take the whip hand. If tradition is not subject to the Bible, that is tested against what the Bible says, it becomes more powerful than Scripture.

        • Coniston

          I think you are referring to ‘traditionalism’.

          • Martin

            Coniston

            No, I’m referring to tradition.

  • As Jack sees it, the problem is that there can be doctrinal position that is immutable and unchanging in the Church of England because there is no recognised authority to declare a definitive position. Yet we know God’s law is objective and it is immutable – and it is accessible though scripture, reason and sacred Tradition. This means the campaign to change the Canon on marriage will continue until the liberal-progressives achieve their purposes. Hasn’t this been the pattern with contraception, abortion, divorce and remarriage, and women’s ordination? Alternatively, there will be a material schism and a parting of the ways.

    This is summed up in the article:

    The task of the House of Bishops on any matter of moral theology is to pray, study, reflect, meditate, discuss, pray, argue, pray, and then love one another and feed the flock, thereby inculcating their measure of consensus. This is how the Church’s bishops have always determined and imparted matters of doctrine in the light of revelation. The views of any single bishop are subsumed to the never-ending corporate-episcopal journey toward truth, for now we see in a glass darkly; all collegiate theology is necessarily provisional.

    God does not reveal one Truth to one generation and a contradictory one to the next.

    • Martin

      HJ

      You see it wrong, Scripture is the authority and is quite clear. Those who say it is not clear are seeking to avoid the clear teaching of Scripture.

      • Merchantman

        Believe me there is already questioning of scripture going on ‘out there’ to a worrying degree by members of the C of E clergy.

        • Martin

          MM

          Yes, I’m aware of that, but it’s been going on for rather a long time with no one applying discipline.

    • Coniston

      Do you mean ‘no doctrinal position’ (1st line)?

    • dannybhoy

      “As Jack sees it, the problem is that there can be doctrinal position that is immutable and unchanging in the Church of England because there is no recognised authority to declare a definitive position. ”

      Probably right. I always thought the ArchBishop’s role was to speak authoritatively on the Scriptures, the Gospel and morality. It is only as I have been immersed in the weird and wonderful world of Anglicanism that I now realise that it is important that the ArchBishop be someone able to speak out of both sides of his mouth on any issue…

  • 1642again

    I’m greatly relieved although disappointed by His Grace’s attitude towards Bishop Nazir-Ali who in my view has been the best upholder of true Christian doctrine in the senior echelons of the church. I’m sure he is unpopular with other senior clergy because they much prefer the avoidance of confrontation and the use of obfuscation and committee manoeuvrings in their quest to make the church ‘relevant’.

    The statements seem couched in weaselly wording, whereas it”s quite simple and entirely clear from the New Testament.

    Homosexuals are welcome in church, because Christ loves the sinner and so must we too.

    But the Church must proclaim that homosexual acts, like adultery etc, are Sins and require sincere repentance on the part of the Sinner if they are to be made right with God.

    Ergo, homosexually active relationships are Sinful and therefore incompatible with church office, marriage etc.

    I really don’t seem why the verbiage is required and it makes me suspicious of the Bishops’ motives.

  • Anton

    There is room for sinners in the church but there cannot be room for unrepentant ones. As for what is and is not sin, all sides must consult the scriptures, which are in the same book as Christ’s words. The bishops would do well to reflect on the wisdom of the saying that a stitch in time saves nine.

    • All sides do consult scripture – they just disagree on its interpretation.

      • Anton

        No. Scripture is clear about this issue. The notion of interpretation becomes relevant only when scripture is not clear. The point is that one side of this issue avoids or questions scripture.

        • ” … over many years, serious study of scripture and theology has reached conflicting conclusions in the way we handle the faith we have inherited.”
          (Paragraph 3)

          • Anton

            Conflicting conclusions have been reached alright, but I question whether they have emerged from a serious study of scripture.

          • Well, you would say that …. And so do the “other side”.

          • Anton

            To which the solution is not a Magisterium but a debate before the people of God in which they may see for themselves who is answering whose questions and who is ducking them.

            PS Tell me, Jack: Do you consider that scripture is clear on this issue? Please include a clear Yes or No in any answer.

          • Since 1991? And then this:

            “Interpreting the existing law and guidance to permit maximum freedom within it, without changes to the law, or the doctrine of the Church.”
            (Paragraph 22)

            This sounds remarkably ambiguous to Jack, just like some recent documents issued by the Vatican.

          • Anton

            I agree; why do you think I’m no longer an Anglican?

          • Need you ask? Really? Jack is an orthodox Roman Catholic. Of course its clear and when considered alongside natural law and 2000 years of Church teaching, it’s indefensible to claim there is any doubt about the sinful nature of this behaviour.
            That said, people from all denominations disagree with Jack’s opinions.

          • chefofsinners

            Not people from all denominations, people who have joined and worked their way into all denominations, carrying with them an intent to change those denominations.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Yes it is clear.

            Sadly the growing protestantisation of the Church starting with V2 has allowed this situation to occur.
            Engaging in ecumenism with religions of heretical foundation has caused problems which may never be eradicated.

            There was a time when you would never have labelled yourself an Orthodox Roman Catholic.The term Catholic embraced that .
            In the past if one disagreed with any aspects of faith and morals…one stepped away rather than try to twist scripture and change the precepts to suit one’s lifestyle.

          • Merchantman

            The broad church, wide road conundrum which isn’t where we should end up. Maybe we start as unrefined gold but God wants us to end up Holy and pure. All scripture points in that direction. Why doesn’t the Cof E say that or are the steps together an understood journey to fulfilling God’s purpose for each of us more completely?

          • It’s an attempt to harmonise a mixture of oil and water in order to avoid a bust-up with the African churches. That clear in the opening paragraphs.

        • David Harkness

          Jack, I’d take Anton’s side in this, I think scripture is quite clear on this issue, I don’t see any need for interpretation. I’d agree also with 1642 below, I don’t think Nazir Ali is nit picking if he states that the primacy of scripture is not affirmed. Reports like this should start by first and foremost affirming scripture, loud and clear. I do think this is another ‘shot’ in an on going war, and those that seek to undermine Godly relationships will see this as a speed bump on the road, not a full stop with a subsequent reverse of direction. success.

          • Well Jack happens to agree too. Scripture is clear on this issue, as is natural law and the constant Christian tradition. However, that’s not the real point. The fact is the Church of England appears not to agree.

          • David Harkness

            Ah, then we appear to be on the same hymn sheet, so to speak.

      • They disagree because they add or subtract.

      • carl jacobs

        No they don’t. The pro homosexual apologetic can’t figure out if Paul was wrong or mis-informed or just a repressed homosexual. I have heard all three. They know what Scripture says. They just reject what Scripture says. This has always been an effort that begins with an a priori norm that rejects Scriptural teaching. How the homosexual apologist deals with that conflict depends upon his consideration of Scriptural authority.

        No one can begin with Scripture and arrive at a position that affirms the moral goodness of homosexuality. Instead begin with the presumed moral goodness of homosexuality and then seek to impose that judgment on the Bible.

        • Well Jack has read other interpretations of Paul which claim he was writing about Temple prostitutes and not monogamous, permanent homosexual relationships between loving couples.
          As for reading into scripture what we want to believe, that’s been going on since scripture was written. Scripture alone doesn’t quite cut it.

          • dannybhoy

            “Scripture alone doesn’t quite cut it.”

            Gasps all round..
            http://www.edvardmunch.org/images/paintings/the-scream.jpg

            I understand why you say that but unfortunately you are tying yourself into a doctrinal straitjacket, whereby tradition becomes more important than Scripture, and many of the devout stop thinking and become obedient and docile…

          • Sacred Tradition, (the teachings handed down from the Apostles) and scripture are in harmony. Why would clear doctrinal positions, consistent with scripture, taught to the faithful, stop them thinking?

          • dannybhoy

            Ummmmm
            Ermm
            Because it might put them at odds with the clergy who are custodians of the Church’s teachings?
            I don’t know many Catholics, but I do know that like Anglicans and others they have given up on their faith; and not necessarily because they want to get into sin, but because the Church has failed to answer their real questions.

      • dannybhoy

        But I sincerely doubt that the core of our faith is up for misinterpretation.

        • No? How many bishops belief in the virgin birth and the physical resurrection? Some claim these are myth-stories conveying a theological message not to be taken literally.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes but-
            No but-
            I’m not talking now as a pseudo Anglican but as a Christian who believes in repentance, redemption, sanctification and salvation by grace, not works.
            I have no loyalty to any denomination and (without wishing to give offence to Christian Anglicans), certainly not the CofE.

  • Same-sex marriage is the law of the land, church weddings are in decline (down 19 per cent in the decade from 2004) and civil weddings are up. Against that background, the bishops’ upholding of traditional marriage is of little relevance to most of the country.

    The plain fact is that Christianity has been outsmarted. Ex-Jew Brother Nathanael, in his 2013 video ‘Why Jews Push Gay Marriage’:

    The push is on. With the Supreme Court hearings last week on homosexual unions…Jews are at the forefront in promoting gay marriage.

    Two Jewish groups in particular, the Anti-Defamation League together with the American Federation of Teachers, have been promoting the homosexual agenda in our public schools. Books like Daddy’s Roommate, Daddy’s Wedding [to another man], King and King are part of the ADL’s Early Learning Program, moulding the minds of impressionable little children to accept and embrace deviant sexual acts.

    You see, Jews have no special love for queens…They look upon them as dreck, as repulsive. But to dismantle a Christian culture in America that opposes Jewry, that’s what the Jews are after.

    • Anton

      ‘Why Jews Push Gay Marriage’

      Not the ones I know. You mean Why SOME Jews push gay marriage. Like everybody else, Jews disagree among themselves.

      • dannybhoy

        Absolutely Anton, just as many here disagree with you… ;0)

    • len

      There seems to be a fair bit of’ stereotyping’ going on recently. Jews do this, Christians do that..
      This is just presenting a very biased, narrow, (and inaccurate )view.

      • @ len and the other wilfully blind Christians

        Pew figures show 76% of Jews support legalizing gay marriage, higher than all but the youngest and most liberal of Democrats.—The Times of Israel

        Jewish groups hail Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage nationwide. Thirteen Jewish groups, among them organizations representing the Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative streams, were among the 25 joining the amicus brief the ADL filed in Obergefell v Hodges.—The Jerusalem Post

        Lutheran pastor says Jews to blame for destroying Christian values after US approves gay marriage. ‘It should not be ignored that the victories for abortion on demand and LGBT rights are reflective of the disproportionate influence of Jewish power, money, and activism in the United States.’—The Jerusalem Post

        • NortyNina

          Yet same sex marriage is illegal in Israel;

          Same-sex marriage is not legal in Israel. The Israeli Government has registered same-sex marriages performed abroad for some purposes since 2006. However, since the state has yet to legalize civil marriage in Israel, those who choose to get married must turn to one of the 15 religious marriage courts recognized by the state. As of 2016, none of the 15 religious courts permit same-sex marriage under their respective auspices. Consequently, Israelis who desire to have their same-sex marriage recognized by the Israeli Government must first wed outside Israel and then register upon returning home.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_Israel

          Jewish lobby groups don’t seem to have a problem with this.

          • @ NortyNina—Good point, and Israel also forbids marriage between Jews and non-Jews (section 2 here).

        • dannybhoy

          What do you mean by ‘Jews’?
          Nominal Jews, Buddhist Jews, Atheist Jews, ….what?
          The vast, vast majority of British Jews are happily British, regardless of their personal religious beliefs.
          I would guess the same goes for the American Jewish communities.
          There are Jews in every field of human endeavour.

        • William Lewis

          Who would deny that there are secular/liberal Jewish groups that support gay marriage?

    • 1642again

      The Church exists to conform the world to the dictates of God as expressed though his teachings, not to the fashions of a fallen world. One cannot outsmart God, only fools believe they can do that.

    • dannybhoy

      Garbage.
      Homosexuality knows no boundaries.
      Also, why would Jewish people wish to dismantle Christian American culture when many Christian Americans give to and support Israel, as well as being favourably disposed towards Jewish people?

    • William Lewis

      “You see, Jews have no special love for queens…They look upon them as dreck, as repulsive.”

      This sentence speaks volumes as to the character of the author.

      • Hi

        Interesting that brother Nathaniel has been publicly rebuked by his church leadership and say he’s nothing to do with them.

      • @ William Lewis—Brother Nathanael is not known for mincing his words. Another American Jew, Charles Silberman, expressed the same idea but more diplomatically (my emphasis):

        American Jews are committed to cultural tolerance because of their belief—one firmly rooted in history—that Jews are safe only in a society acceptant of a wide range of attitudes and behaviors, as well as a diversity of religious and ethnic groups. It is this belief, for example, not approval of homosexuality, that leads an overwhelming majority of US Jews to endorse ‘gay rights’ and to take a liberal stance on most other so-called ‘social’ issues.

        Quoted by Kevin MacDonald in The Culture of Critique, Chapter 7, page 247.

        • William Lewis

          Johnny

          One can see that any minority is likely to favour the promotion of a multicultural environment, particularly the secular and/or liberal groupings within that minority and particularly a minority that has seen the need to protect itself. It should also be noted that Jewish people tend to be very enterprising, intelligent and diligent in their pursuits, which means that they often punch well above their (demographic) weight. But I cannot then make the leap to “The plain fact is that Christianity has been outsmarted.” with your quotes and implications that SSM is a particular Jewish plot. Western Christianity has been quite cheerfully liberalising itself, in check with society at large, for many decades now. We pays our money and we takes our choice.

          • dannybhoy

            Very well put Sir.

          • William Lewis

            Thanks DB

          • @ William Lewis—I stick by ‘outsmarted’. Jewish antagonism towards, and manoeuvring against, Christianity is as old as the hills. Israel Shahak, in Jewish History, Jewish Religion, talks of Judaism’s ‘very deep hatred’ of Christianity, dating back to its early years. The 19th century Jewish historian Heinrich Graetz said (here, page 163) ‘we must above all work to shatter Christianity’. The Jewish philosopher Sidney Hook wrote (here, page 219) in 1949 that anti-Semitism was ‘endemic to every Christian culture whose religions made Jews the eternal villain in the Christian drama of salvation.’

            Jewish hostility towards Christianity is now coming to fruition as Christian countries are subjected to Islamization and suffer the consequences of Cultural Marxism, with Christianity liberalizing in an attempt to look relevant in societies that have changed beyond recognition.

            Joseph Sobran, not a Jew, wrote in 2004 (his emphasis):

            The organized Jewish faction is what I call the Tribe. It’s a bit more specific than ‘the Jews’; but it includes most Jews, who, as many opinion polls show, overwhelmingly support the state of Israel and, furthermore, overwhelmingly favor ‘progressive’ causes like legal abortion, ‘sexual freedom’, and ‘gay rights’.

            What is striking about the Tribe is not that its positions on such matters are necessarily wrong, but that they are anti-Christian. They are even anti-Judaic, in that they contravene the moral code of Moses. It would be inaccurate to say that the Tribe adopts certain social attitudes and political positions even though these are repugnant to most Christians. It adopts them chiefly because they are repugnant to Christians.

        • Pubcrawler

          “Brother Nathanael is not known for mincing”

          Well whatever you call it, he’s got some pretty funky moves.

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Your Grace

    Don’t ask, don’t tell:

    “Interpreting the existing law and guidance to permit maximum freedom within it, without changes to the law, or the doctrine of the Church” (¶22).

    This has resolved nothing.

    The LGBT lobby will continue to agitate; we’ll get liberal priests; and so it goes on and on.

  • Anton

    From the response of the “Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement” led by Jeremy Pemberton, whose website calls itself “thinking anglicans”:

    You make much of starting processes to write more documents, but our observation is that anything written is unlikely to move the situation forwards. LGCM and Changing Attitude, who are shortly to merge, will now begin a series of campaigns to change this situation. We will use the levers of power available to us and will oppose and challenge your stance where it is intransigent at every opportunity.

    No waffle there!

  • These are worrying passages:

    “It might also be important to identify specific opportunities for the Church of England to express its welcome and support for lesbian and gay people and those who experience same-sex attraction, and to encourage those responsible to make good use of those opportunities.”
    Note the distinction between “lesbian and gay people” (sexually active? living together?) and “those who experience same sex attraction”. Why?

    “How does welcome and support for people and their families fit with moral judgments regarding the choices people make about relationships, marriage and family life? Can the Church of England establish a consistent tone and culture when it encompasses those who hold to some sharply differing moral judgments about those choices in this case?”

    Unlikely. Acting on same sex attraction is either immoral or it is not. This is determined by God, not man. Given open access to Anglican Communion, the battle ground is the sacrament of marriage, for laity and then for clergy.

  • maigemu

    I see you as far too harsh on Nazir-Ali.

    • Martin

      Indeed, Nazir-Ali is pointing out exactly what is wrong.

  • carl jacobs

    This is a very old game: Affirm the doctrine formally but undermine it functionally. It matters not at all that the CoE upholds the traditional definition of marriage unless it is also willing to enforce discipline about it. Will the bishops do this? Will a liberal bishop punish a vicar for violating this teaching? I have already read bishops who say “This is just advisory. The synod will still address this issue.” We’ll see what happens.

    If the bishops have no appetite for change then file their reticence under the heading of “Don’t spook the horses.” It doesn’t seem to have much to do with theology. It does have something to do with their fear of the immediate impact on the organization that is the CoE. The wise man would leave this institution and consign its national mission to history. It’s a compromised church the becomes more compromised with each passing month.

    • Anton

      That conclusion was reached by the founders of your nation 400 years ago!

    • chefofsinners

      Right. Shepherding does not consist in having conversations with the sheep to see where they would like to go. Nor in ignoring those to stray.

  • dannybhoy

    “Consider the terse musings of GAFCON UK, and the finicky nit-picking of Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali. “We do not have confidence that this document will guarantee the maintenance of orthodoxy within the Church of England for the future,” says the GAFCON UK Taskforce (..the what?); “the primacy of Scripture is not affirmed,” chides Bishop Michael. It is as though there is virtue in offensive crabbiness and the assertion of hyper-critical polarities. Is pettyfogging hairsplitting a ministry of the Holy Spirit?”

    Nit-picking is I think either a manifestation of legalistic anxiety or perhaps a way of encasing other Christians in a straitjacket of orthodoxy. Orthodoxy as defined by those pulling the cords tight…
    Can one imagine our Lord or even His disciples reading out “terms and conditions apply” clauses before preaching the Gospel?
    Of course we need to be sure of what we believe, but that can be done in the context of the relationship; nit as a definition of the relationship.
    Imagine a man trying to define why he loves his wife..

  • ecclesiaman

    In political parlance where disagreements exist on the same side, opponents say they don’t want to intrude on private grief. That is how I feel about this article as a non-member of the C of E.
    The nub of this subject IMO is church government and discipline in matters of behaviour. Unfortunately I believe that many churches (of all types) and denominations are “fuzzy” in their application of discipline. To be sure this is a “hot potato” in today’s world of my right to myself. So I probably join company with Michael Nazir Ali in being a nit picker.
    There are areas where love exercises charity as in Romans 14 v 1, (doubtful things or reasonings), but unfortunately Romans 1 is clear on what are exclusions. Proper pastoral care will involve process but eventually decisions will need to be made.
    What is apparent from HG’s remarks here is that the circle is attempted to be squared.
    Schism looks unavoidable

  • Dreadnaught

    I can’t see what the problem is.
    Marriage ceremonies are available at unconsecrated venues.
    Religious marriage ceremonies are conducted on consecrated ground by, if I remember my own
    Christian service, ‘between a man and a woman for the procreation of children’ etc.
    The secular law provides for the same social and legal recognition of either.

    Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013
    In 2013, Parliament passed the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act which introduced civil marriage for same-sex couples in England and Wales.
    The legislation allowed religious organisations to opt in to marry same-sex couples should they wish to do so and protected religious organisations
    and their representatives from successful legal challenge if they did not wish to marry same-sex couples.

    The CoE does not have to conduct ssm so – what’s their problem? Welby should Just say no we don’t do it ; end of – bugger the Bishops and move on to more pressing matters like defending Chritianity from Islam. Or am I missing something?

    • dannybhoy

      Yes. You’re missing the mist that constantly befogs the Anglican mindset…*

      *And yes Anglican brethren and sisteren, I know that many of you love our Lord Jesus, but the sad fact is that many of your leaders at diocesan level and above, seem not to care one way or another..

      • A few years back, the dear bishop of Buckingham accused Happy Jack of being a neo-semi-Pelegian for suggesting that wilfully acting on homosexual desires, with no attempt to resist temptation or amend one’s behaviour, could well result in the loss of salvation.

        • dannybhoy

          http://marymagdalen.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/self-absorbed-promethean-neo-pelagianism.html
          I seem to remember that during our initial ‘honeymoon period’ when the stars shone brightly in the ecumenical firmamen,t and you were trying to woo me toward Catholicism, that you called me by some Latin epithet….
          I incline now towards the Orthodox view of the fall, that yes we are all sinners but not because we were in Adam, but because we chose to please ourselves rather than obey God..

        • Martin

          HJ

          He was, of course right. The church of Rome does hold to a form of semi-pelagianism. However a person wilfully acting on a sinful desire is displaying evidence that they never were saved in the first place.

        • 1642again

          What’s wrong with Pelagianism?

          • cynic

            It’s British.

          • 1642again

            And? It must be something very bad to overcome that fine start!

          • cynic

            In modern Britain, being British is the epitome of evil. If in doubt consult any SJW.

          • 1642again

            Even worse than being a Trumpista?

          • cynic

            Trump will pass, Britain we hope not – if these lefty crazies can be removed from it.

        • Anton

          I know a limerick about the Bishop of Buckingham…

          • chefofsinners

            Nothing rhymes with Buckingham.

          • Pubcrawler

            No it doesn’t.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes it does, but I wouldn’t repeat it..

          • Pubcrawler

            I think you misinterpret my comment.

          • dannybhoy

            Oh!
            Got it now…
            I’m pretty slow sometimes..

          • Pubcrawler

            That’s what living in sleepy Norfolk does to you

          • dannybhoy

            You’re a good chap PC
            Good Night.

    • “Bugger the bickering Bishops”

      Strewth, if he said that plenty would act on his instruction.

      Nice alliteration, btw.

      • David

        You’re a naughty boy !

    • Coniston

      I know of a URC church which is proud to conduct same-sex marriages. Mind you, some years ago it proudly proclaimed that the famous and revered Bishop Spong was coming to give a talk in it. I believe it still calls itself a Christian church.

  • Philip___

    It is good that the Bishops uphold that marriage is between a man and woman.

    But I’m less clear about the extent the report upholds apostolic doctrine on homosexual sexual acts. This is important as the CofE claims to be an “apostolic” church. It’s also a ‘first-order’ gospel issue – 1 Cor 6:9-10 etc. Does “maximum freedom” within church law mean a nod to more flexibility to celebrate Civil Partnerships and same-sex relationships of congregation members?

    • The document refers to Anglicanism is “part of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.”

    • 1642again

      That’s my worry too Philip. I think this is an earthly calculating decision on reflection, not one born of theological or scriptural conviction, but it’s still the right decision.

  • Here’s the strategy of the homosexual lobby in the Church of England. Provided by the Provost of Glasgow. Yes him who permitted blasphemy in Glasgow Episcopalian Cathedral.

    http://thurible.net/2017/01/27/change-church-england-quick-recap/+

    There’s no mention of God or His will. It’s all about campaigns in the Synod, in the Lords, in the Commons, on the street. Apart from this rather queer call to prayer:

    “If people don’t want to engage in campaigning in this way, they do in England have another unique option, which is to pray in the privacy of their hearts (or in public if they dare) for the Lord to bless Prince George with a love, when he grows up, of a fine young gentleman. A royal wedding might sort things out remarkably easily though we might have to wait 25 years for that to happen. Who knows whether that might be sooner than things might work out by other means?”

    • 1642again

      You couldn’t make it up. The Scottish Episcopalian Church and Church of Scotland have both fallen into heresy on this issue. There is still battle going on in the CoE and the scriptural Christians have not yet lost it.

    • William Lewis

      What an unedifying call to prayer!

    • Pubcrawler

      So, this unrepentant enabler of blasphemy is now suggesting to his flock that they pray that a future Supreme Governor of the Church of England and Sovereign fall into a sinful, scripturally prohibited relationship (which would, incidentally, bugger up the succession)?

      Phrases involving ‘turbulent priest’ spring to mind.

      • 1642again

        Anybody know four Knights good and true?

        • David

          Because precedent exists !

        • Pubcrawler

          With the present state of the honours system?

        • cynic

          How godly would it be to create a new saint…like Becket?

        • Anton

          You stand a better chance of that on a chessboard nowadays.

    • dannybhoy

      That page seems to have disappeared?
      Perhaps they got wind that the Catholic bloodhound was on their trail…

      • Pubcrawler

        Jack’s link is faulty. Here.

        http://thurible.net/2017/01/27/change-church-england-quick-recap/

        That any of this can come from a supposed man of God is, to me, somewhat astounding.

        • dannybhoy

          Good Grief, that is disgusting and that guy should be thrown out on his ear!
          Fortunately the men and women of the ecclesial sad and winsome smiles will come to his aid; wrap him up on warm and fluffy cotton wool then bare their gums at any who dare quote the Scriptures at him…

          • carl jacobs

            How to fix the problem of heretical clergy: Enforced unemployment.

          • dannybhoy

            They wouldn’t do it. They need every bod they can get hold of.
            The Bishops I mean not the LGBT fifth columnists..

          • carl jacobs

            You miss the point. No contributions means no money means unemployed bishops and clergy.

            Starve the dragon.

          • dannybhoy

            Gotcha now. You mean like someone suggested the other day, withhold the parish share and offerings. Yes but somehow we Brits lack the ability to organise ourselves in the way that Americans often can. I would love to see someone give a lead,,

          • Anton

            The problem is deeper than that. Leaders of congregations answer to the hierarchy, who pay them, rather than to their own congregation. Solution: get rid of…

          • carl jacobs

            The hierarchy. The entire edifice must be starved of funds. Bishops, bureaucrats, sycophants, and any other assorted heretics that might be scattered around.

        • William Lewis

          Having read the link it can be no great shock that a muslim is invited to denounce the divinity of Christ in such a place.

        • CliveM

          Clearly he has been emboldened by the success, as he see’s it, of his previous heresy and now believes he can say anything.

    • carl jacobs

      An excellent strategy. There wouldn’t be a CoE after its successful implementation but that is probably beside the point. Well, I guess the gov’t could pay for the CoE to keep it from totally collapsing.

  • David

    Whilst realising that these “progressives” will continue advocating heresy, and so therefore we cannot relax, I for one greet this news positively, giving thanks to God. For at least regarding the understanding of what marriage is, the C of E has affirmed that Scripture, supported by Tradition and Reason is our guide.

  • Anton

    Look at the pic. Does it put you in mind of the Sanhedrin or the apostles?

  • Manfarang

    Well I know monogamy was part of Roman law and under English law bigamists are strongly dealt with, no matter if it is committed abroad so no Happy New Mia(wife). Still the ancient Israelites practiced polygyny and some the Jews around the time of Jesus probably were polygamous as are some Jack Mormons today.

    • carl jacobs

      “Jack” Mormon? Hrmmm.

      Hrmmmmmmm.

      • Manfarang

        When and where the term Jack-Mormon originated appears to be a bit of a historical controversy. According to the LDS Church manual Church History in the Fulness of Times, the term goes back to the persecution of the Latter-day Saints in the 1830s when non LDS members offered comfort and help to members of the LDS Church in Clay County, Missouri. On page 137 it states, “Hostile elements in Jackson County dubbed these sympathizers ‘Jack-Mormons,’ a term applied in the nineteenth century to friendly non-Mormons.”

        The Encyclopedia of LDS History, edited by LDS historians Donald Q. Cannon, Richard O. Cowan, and Arnold K. Garr, agree with this assessment. Under the heading of “Jack-Mormons,” it states,

        “The term Jack-Mormon was originally used by residents of Jackson County, Missouri, to describe nonmembers of the Church in Clay County, Missouri, who sympathized with the plight of the Saints.”
        In the 20th century,Latter-day Saints began to use the term in reference to persons who were only nominal members of the Church; that is, members who were not valiant in conforming to Church standards. Just as the early Hancock County ‘Jack-Mormons’ were friendly to the faith but did not feel any compunction to live Church standards, pay tithing, and heed the advice of the Prophet, so there were Latter-day Saints who, although members, consistently violated the standards of the Church. These came to be called ‘Jack-Mormons’.

  • Inspector General

    It might surprise fellow correspondents but the Inspector is going to largely sit this one out. All the hard work previously invested has paid dividends. Thank God reason and indeed Christianity itself has prevailed in the Church of England.

    The sad truth about militant LGBT, and mind, it is ONLY the comparatively tiny band of these rabid types, is that there is no end to it. No end to the campaigning. No peace would be allowed, ever. There would always be SOMETHING to aim for. Let’s consider what future aims would have been – A demand for openly practicing homosexual priests and bishops. Yes. They and their ‘chums’ would be at the Gay Club every week, and the club would make available images for the press to publish, to show how beautiful it all is. We’d expect a rewrite of the prayer litany to accommodate their particular ‘urge of the flesh’. Then there’d be the flying of the rainbow flag above porches forty or fifty times a year if not all the time. And even established saints would be playing their part, with some being designated ‘gay’ saints, John for example. There would have been much more. The Church would have become a power base for the LGBT militant movement, Christian or no. And here’s something to consider – they are not giving up on that ideal. Oh no, that’s not going to happen…

    This, fellows, from a few days ago…
    ———————–
    Gay Christians will openly defy Church of England rules after leadership ‘failure’ on LGBT reforms:
    (Herewith an open letter from the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement promising as much)
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/01/27/gay-christians-will-openly-defy-church-of-england-rules-after-leadership-failure-on-lgbt-reforms/
    ———————–
    The shock they underwent to fire that out rapidly is all too obvious. The demeanour upon which the LGBT side approached the talks can therefore be assessed as triumphant from the start. They expected an announcement, a plan even, for the dismantling of what is – a total surrender to their wishes, no less. Capitulation. That it was not forthcoming has stunned them, and surprised everybody else, most especially yours truly after the Lords Spiritual SSM vote debacle.

    • William Lewis

      Phew, Inspector! One wonders what would have been forthcoming had you not decided to sit this one out. Still, only two more days till release from purgatory! The champagne is on ice.

      • Inspector General

        The fact remains, William, that you still have a risk of a church within a church. Don’t be surprised to find a gay synod coming into being. But we can leave that awful thought for another day.

        By the way, the Inspector is going to extend his silence and penitence for another month. Do tell the rest…

        • dannybhoy

          What, you’d deprive us of your presence for another month just to assuage that guilty conscience of yours?

          • Inspector General

            Just seen Cranmer’s latest tweet. Well, that’s tomorrows Pink News headline established…

            “Homophobic scientists claim distant ancestor of mankind had no anus”

          • dannybhoy

            He’s talking out of his backside. What unholey nonsense..

          • carl jacobs

            You should be shot for that.

          • dannybhoy

            Dan makes slightly unsociable gesture in general direction of Carl’s home..

          • Anton

            Do they have any backbone or are they spineless?

        • William Lewis

          Your warning is not without foundation, Inspector. But how unfortunate that your penitence is to be extended. One hopes you weren’t caught browsing Pink News after curfew! I will, of course, inform the others and put the champagne back in the fridge.

        • 1642again

          Don’t go IG. We need our warriors here who are prepared to wade into the fray against the forces of darkness.

        • You’ve hardly been silent this month Inspector, you know you can’t resist why make promises you can’t keep?

  • Dominic Stockford

    1. The decision was a pleasant surprise. Many Reformed Christians I know share that surprise, and delight.

    2. The reasoning behind the decision is a concern. Michael Nazir Ali is right, not picky, when he states that such a statement would have been better had it affirmed Biblical supremacy – for without such a cornerstone on which to build the teaching of the church there is simply an open debate between what ‘I think’, and what ‘you think’. And, I note, he begins his comments by saying: “I welcome the BRGS Report’s upholding of the doctrine set out in Canon B30.” So let’s be fair to him too.

    3. As others have said below I share some concern that this is not quite as it appears on the surface. Being based on human calculation, rather than Scriptural (theological) considerations it is liable to be too easily moved when placed under consistent attack.

    • Anton

      The problem is, Dominic, that if you set this latest paper in context with the 1987 and 1991 declarations it is clearly a further step in the world’s direction while clinging on by its fingertips to the scriptural position. What next?

  • Holger

    This result should come as a surprise to nobody. The whole “shared conversations” farce was merely a delaying tactic designed to mollify LGBT Anglicans and fool them into thinking their concerns were being taken seriously.

    If LGBT Anglicans are feeling let down by the bishops’ decision, they only have themselves to blame. Only a fool (or someone in total denial – which amounts to the same thing) could sustain the level of naivety required to believe he would ever be accepted by dyed-in-the-wool homophobes.

    • Inspector General

      No special privileges for homosexuals is all. Everything back to normal then…

    • dannybhoy

      Who here is a homophobe?
      All of us have mates/pals;buddies
      (I put that last one in for Carl in case he felt slighted..)

      • Hi Danny

        Rather than engage in genuine haters that man (Linus) said we were all end of the wedge Nazis,an outrageous slur which had pissed me off. . I have nothing but utter contempt for this coward . He doesn’t speak for me as a gay person.

        • dannybhoy

          I know and I think most of us here know he doesn’t. But you have something real to cling onto and guide you through life. You also have family that love and support you and that counts for a lot.
          I think our Linus is a very unhappy man..

        • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

          I fear he had issue with his nanny when a child…a classic case

          • dannybhoy

            He has mentioned before his experiences with very religious folk who gave him a hard time. I don’t want to be the cause of reinforcing and therefore justifying his views on Christians.
            There are men who struggle with their sexuality and their faith. Actually I respect them, and would never mock..

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Yes, you are right of course. I shall withdraw…

          • dannybhoy

            Please don’t withdraw dear lady. Your thoughtful intrusions are always welcome..
            :0)

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Withdraw my comment, dear dannybhoy…it was uncharitable…but I’m not sailing off into the sunset just yet

          • dannybhoy

            No. you’ve got Friday’s bulletin to prepare for. I know I’m repeating myself (I often do these days) but you really have a wonderful talent which is greatly appreciated here on the blog, and I could see reaching a wider audience.
            There is little enough humour in the world..

          • Mrs Proudie of Barchester

            Why thank you dear friend, I do try. It is my intention to bring a little humour into Fridays, and there is no intention to offend anyone. I see humour in so many things, but try to be gentle and not too hurtful. Sometimes I get it wrong, and that upsets me, but I try to put things right whenever possible.

      • Holger

        If you believe that a homosexual orientation is a disorder or in some way intrinsically evil then you are a homophobe. It’s as simple as that.

        Christians are mostly homophobes. Certainly those who post here are. They refuse to acknowledge it, but that doesn’t change the truth of what they are.

        It doesn’t really matter in the sense that the state treats the gay community as equals. What some minority religion believes makes no difference to anybody’s life, unless he happens to be foolish enough to believe in it.

        Gay Anglicans have been pretty foolish up till now. One can only hope for their sake that this latest homophobic statement from the Church will make them come to their senses and leave.

        • Anton

          I refuse your definition.

          • Holger

            Refuse it all you like. Two can play at that game. I refuse your definition of homosexuality as intrinsically evil. So there you go. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

            The public at large understands the word “homophobe” to mean someone who believes homosexuality to be inferior or evil, which describes you perfectly. So they will see you as a homophobe whether you accept the definition or not.

          • Anton

            You are playing rhetorical tricks which are easily exposed to a public not so daft as you seem to think. You are conflating what a person does with what a person is.

          • Holger

            You are conflating something you find personally distasteful with objective evil. If you hate peanut butter does that also mean peanut butter is evil and all those who eat it will go to hell?

            It probably does. In my experience Christians take great joy in condemning anyone who deviates from whatever they consider to be the norm to hellfire and damnation. Catholics condemn Protestants. Protestants condemn Catholics. They all condemn atheists. But atheists don’t care: why should they worry about the imprecations of the impotent and spiteful?

          • Anton

            You care alright, or you wouldn’t be here. And just as you don’t get to define the meaning of homophobe, you don’t get to define objective evil either.

          • Holger

            You know why I’m here. I’ve stated my reasons often enough.

            I’ll define what I like and leave it up to each person who reads my definition to decide if he agrees with it or not. Most here won’t. Most members of the general public will, at least partially if not completely.

            This is why my point of view prevails and why equal marriage has been legalised. Your viewpoint is a minority one and cannot be imposed on society as a whole, although you can still impose it on your church, which is why it can offer nothing but discrimination, contempt and exclusion to the gay community.

            Even though I deplore such a policy, it has to be said that it has certain unintended advantages. Unequivocal condemnation of gay relationships will drive many if not most gay people out of the Church. This can only work to our advantage. No longer will a band of self-worshipping narcissists be able to patronise them and tell them they’re second class citizens unworthy of god’s favour unless they’re “transformed” (ie. they start pretending to be straight) or they submit to the cruel and unusual punishment of enforced celibacy.

            Some poor brainwashed individuals will probably stick around to be lorded over and abused. Lost in habits of submission and self-loathing, they have nowhere else to go. But I suspect most will vote with their feet. And one more opportunity for the Church to engage with modern society rather than burying its head in a tub of sand transported directly from the 19th century will be lost.

            One more nail in the Church’s coffin. O happy day!

          • Anton

            I can’t remember what you gave as your reasons for being here, but I know why: you’re a wind-up artist, albeit not a very good one.

        • Inspector General

          What one can’t understand is what any of this has to do with you, Linus. You’re an old poof in his fifties who is godless. Your young ‘husband’ as done a runner, and even though you claim to look younger than your years, you are still a man in his fifties, and thus rejected by the gay scene. They aren’t going to thank you, your former compatriots, for they have little use for religion at their young age, and are frankly embarrassed that an old bummer like you tries to represent them. So, what makes you tick?

          • bluedog

            ‘Your young ‘husband’ has done a runner, ‘

            Been thinking the same. It’s certainly one explanation for the outpouring of hate, bitterness and….loneliness. Nothing to do but berate the straights.

          • Holger

            My partner and I are exactly the same age and we’ve been together for many years.

            Every marriage has its ups and downs, but we’re as happy and as solid as any couple could reasonably be.

            But by all means spread the false rumour that my husband is younger than me and has run off leaving me alone and bitter. It would only be one more example of Christians bearing false witness – something that happens so frequently, I’ve come to expect it as part of any conversation with a god-botherer.

            When they run out of arguments, out come the bitchy personal accusations and innuendos. That old psychopath the Inspector generally sparks it and other weak-willed and spiteful little bitches follow suit like so many playground bullies.

            Look upon the true face of Christianity! Mean-spirited and abusive little wretches ready to invent any story and hurl any calumny at anyone who dares to oppose them.

            You truly are as pitiful as you are contemptible.

          • bluedog

            More hate speech. More heterophobic bigotry. More atheistic intolerance, but somethings changed ‘cos it’s getting worse and more frantic by the week. Let’s see, Fillon has collapsed in sleaze, Macron’s going it alone, there’s a Corbynite running too, and it looks better than ever for Le Pen. Maybe that’s it. Having left the UK in a torrent of bile, our fellow communicant sees Mrs May looking like a beacon of moderation compared with the outlook for France (or the US). Always a mistake to run from imagined danger.

          • Inspector General

            So, you accuse an Inspector of false witness do you! You yourself boasted a younger lover and a ‘[gay] wedding of the year’ if one recalls correctly. Suggesting he had come to his senses and run away from your unpleasant and dismal presence was supposition, that is admitted, but it was encouraged by your aforementioned demeanour. No child is born with your level of contempt for his fellows. You have to work at it daily for decades and celebrate your depressing failure to get to your intensity. How can anyone put up with that for very long?

            Do you think posting under a nom de guerre, then disappearing, then remerging and denying that you are Linus is NOT bearing false witness? And failing to note your fabrications is carelessness of the most extreme on your part. How can the rest of us keep pace with your lies when you yourself don’t know where you are?

          • And what a nasty old asp you are, Linus.

            Come to think of it, I too recall you bragging about a younger swain in your life in one of your previous identities. Maybe I misread and reversed, and you referred to an old swine instead?

          • Holger

            You must be thinking of someone else, which considering you can never get my name right, doesn’t surprise me.

            Or perhaps you’ve been paying too much attention to that old psychopath the Inspector and are starting to confuse his homophobic rants with reality. One of his favourite pieces of slander is that all gay men over 50 pay younger men for sex. If that’s what you’re basing your comments on, shame on you.

            Oh well, one more piece of evidence that religionists will believe any old libellous nonsense as long as it supports them in their delusion.

          • carl jacobs

            You know, if that’s all true, it would be really cruel to say it. It’s just like twisting a knife in a wound. That circumstance would require compassion.

          • He’s a Christianophob!

        • dannybhoy

          Homosexuals are a tiny minority of the population. I don’t know why some people are homosexual, but they are.
          I certainly don’t believe gays are evil because they’re gay. The Bible says its the practice of homosexuality that is wrong -a man lying with another man..
          But then God says that adultery is also wrong and fornication.
          I also believe that gays are just as important as I am, and I bear them no malice.
          Because I don’t accept the idea of gay marriage does not make me homophobic,
          Only that I have a different opinion to you.

          • Holger

            It makes you a homophobe because you believe that the aspect of a gay person’s identity that makes him gay, ie. sexual attraction towards his own gender, is a tendancy towards an absolute moral evil.

            If there are no circumstances in which gay people can act upon their sexual attraction, then such an attraction must be evil as it is a compulsion to commit evil.

            The Church tells straights they can act upon their sexual attraction and not commit evil, therefore their sexual attraction is not per se evil because it can be licitly acted upon.

            This is entirely homophobic. It casts a gay sexuality as objectively evil when no evidence exists to support such a belief. Evil causes harm but gay sex causes no more harm than straight sex – indeed when considered in perspective across all of history, far more individuals have died or been harmed as a result of straight sex. Millions of women have died in childbirth as a direct result of straight sex. In fact having sex, whether with her husband or not, is one of the riskiest things a woman can do.

            If harm is the measure of evil, straight sex is uniquely harmful. And yet it is not evil, whereas the gay sex that causes significantly less harm (and in the case of lesbian sex, virtually no harm at all) is evil. When every other sin clearly results in elevated levels of harm in comparison to licit behaviours, it seems very strange that just this one sin doesn’t follow the same pattern.

            The homophobic nature of Christianity is clear in its attempt to demonise both a morally neutral behaviour and the people who display it. Gays must be punished for being gay by being deprived of all sexual expression. If they refuse to comply, they must be tortured into even greater psychological stress than enforced celibacy would engender by being persuaded to believe that if they don’t comply, they’ll burn in hell.

            Christianity’s Achilles heel comes in the very pitilessness that motivates its extreme homophobia. If playing by the rules of your game causes us unendurable suffering, we can quite simply refuse to play.

            This is what I would encourage all gay Christians to do. The Christian god requires their suffering in a manner so absolute and pitiless that the very idea of divine benevolence becomes utterly absurd. A god who plants a desire for love and intimacy in us and who then forbids some of us from ever experiencing it is a cruel god – indeed far more reminiscent of a devil than a god.

            Such a god is clearly a ludicrous concept, therefore he cannot exist. And even if he does and will condemn us to hell after death, we’re still better off refusing to obey him because at least that way we get a shot at love and happiness in this lifetime, whereas if we obeyed him we’d be miserable until we died, and then we’d be at the mercy of a homophobic devil whose delight in making us suffer would clearly make all promises of a post-mortem paradise in exchange for obedience extremely suspect.

            Put simply, there’s no reason to believe any of the promises Christianity makes about eternal bliss. If god makes us suffer on earth, there’s no reason to believe he won’t make us suffer in heaven too. He’s already been revealed as a liar: he calls himself a loving father, but what loving father abandons his defenceless children to their fate with nothing but a dubious and contradictory book of rules as protection? If god was a human father, he’d be up on charges of aggravated child neglect and total parental incompetence. And we’re supposed to believe he loves us? Not likely.

            All this to say that whether or not there is a god, gay people have no reason to play by the rules of his game. If we do there is no assurance of any reward – indeed there’s every reason to believe that a god who requires our suffering during our lifetime will also require it after our death. There is absolutely no upside to belief in a homophobic god if you’re gay. And precious little if you’re not. So you go ahead and sleepwalk your homophobic way into the clutches of either an evil sprite or total oblivion. Them’s your choices, and as oblivion seems to be the most likely, you’ll have to forgive me if I tell you to piss off when you demand that I make a sacrifice of myself to your god delusion. Sort your own “salvation” out and leave me to sort out mine. I’ve already dismissed your religion as homophobic nonsense and in trying to persuade me of the contrary, you merely convince me all the more of your homophobic malice and hatred.

          • “The homophobic nature of Christianity is clear in its attempt to demonise both a morally neutral behaviour and the people who display it. Gays must be punished for being gay by being deprived of all sexual expression. If they refuse to comply, they must be tortured into even greater psychological stress than enforced celibacy would engender by being persuaded to believe that if they don’t comply, they’ll burn in hell.”

            This is not true at all, your activity is morally unclean and unnecessary. You’re not tortured into celibacy, you have a choice.
            It’s not only you homosexuals that will burn in hell, we all who sin have the possibility of.
            You don’t have to follow God if you want to practice your pointless and I would say harmful unnatural disordered activity. Nobody is forcing you to. Go and start your own church.

        • Albert

          If you believe that a homosexual orientation is a disorder or in some way intrinsically evil then you are a homophobe. It’s as simple as that.

          Well that’s just how you’ve defined it – it follows tautologically. The issue is whether there is any defensible rational content in your definition. Is there? Can you produce some?

        • Martin

          Holger

          There are no gays, there is no gay community, they are just sexual sinners trying to cover their sin with a veneer of respectability.

          • Albert

            There are times, Martin, when I fear you have no interest in persuading the people with whom you disagree!

          • Martin

            😉

          • carl jacobs

            And yet he is factually correct. Homosexuality does not represent a legitimate equivalence partition of humanity. It is not natural for some men to desire sex with other men. It is contrary to the created order, denies natural usage, and is therefore perverse. I suppose you could say there is a gay community in the sense that people who group together according to some shared circumstance can form a community. But it cannot be a natural community based upon a shared natural characteristic.

          • Albert

            I wasn’t denying any of that!

          • carl jacobs

            No, but there is a legitimate argument to be made that it is essential to confront homosexuals with what they already know to be true. The entire homosexual apologetic is designed to shout down the inner voice that condemns their behavior as perverse. They seek for some analog to complementarity and reproduction but they cannot find it. That is their fundamental problem. So they look to force others to affirm them in their desire. That is their solution. It is necessary to confront them with the futility of this solution.

          • Anton

            One may legitimately speak differently in a public forum wherein there is an audience to sway, and in a private 1:1.

          • Albert

            I wasn’t complaining at Martin – more expressing amusement.

      • carl jacobs

        I’m sorry. I haven’t yet recovered from your unconscionable crime of Assault with a Criminally Reprehensible and Mind Scarring joke. The emergency room staff have applied a sedative but my condition is still serious but stable.

        • dannybhoy

          I embarrassed myself.

          • carl jacobs

            You aren’t helping yourself, here.

          • dannybhoy

            You mean I’m digging myself into a hole?

          • carl jacobs

            You have been around Chef entirely too long.

          • dannybhoy

            Ah, but sadly nothing of his humorous and nimble wit has rubbed off on me.
            You know, when I left school I excelled at English Literature, and was encouraged to seek a career in journalism.
            Obviously I didn’t, and when I consider the Chef’s posts and the excellent articles of Mrs Proudie, I am made even more aware of my limitations.
            (I have to read your posts two or three times before I have an inkling of what you’re getting at..)
            Come on, arise from your ‘bed of sickness’ and get back to what you do best,.
            -confusing me..

  • Hi,

    Yet again a couple of posters are trying,below, to blame everything and anything on Jews.

    In fact :

    There’s liberal/reform Jews and orthodox/conservative Jews, in between are the conservative Jews . In the US the liberal/ reform form of Judaism is the larger group . In the UK the orthodox are the largest group,followed by reform and the conservative movement is tiny . In Israel the Rabbinicate is solely orthodox Ashkenazi or Sephardi (we didn’t split into denominations and are thus lumped in as orthodox by Ashkenazi) , hence why no gay marriage etc.

    Jewish orthodoxy has different movements , but we all agree the Torah came from God and is still binding on Jews, albeit with different interpretations . The reform /liberal movement doesn’t hold to the divinity of Torah , accepts biblical criticism, doesn’t believe in the coming of messiah and says Torah isn’t binding . The conservative movement is wedged between the two sides.

    Nina and co think all Jews think alike and think that liberal Jews campaigning for gay marriages , but Israel not having the same is some sinister conspiracy. It isn’t , just it shows the division of Jewish opinion. And for Nina’s benefit I can tell her that the Israeli Rabbinical establishment is locking horns with the reform and liberal movements in the U.S over a whole variety of issues. . .

    • dannybhoy

      Just like us Hannah!

      • Hi

        Given that we are all human beings is that a great revelation?

        • dannybhoy

          You got me there girl.

    • NortyNina

      “Nina and co think all Jews think alike”

      Where have I said that then?

      • Aguirre

        If you have ever referred to “the” Jews, then you are guilty as charged.

      • Hi Nina,

        I walked my Labradors in the park this morning and this afternoon . They’re lovely.

        • Inspector General

          As the old Kiora advert went, Hannah, “I’ll be your dog…”

          • dannybhoy

            A great but slightly weird advert.

      • Hi Nina

        Well as were all lying” k*” –

        “You get the ‘it’s the Nazis’ thing all the time there by the lying jews and their collaborators on BBL.
        It’s their standard meme to divert attention away from that its the globalists who are also zionist jews.
        First they say it’s the Left, Lefties, Socialists, then it’s – but – the NAZIS were SOCIALISTS!!! It sez so in their name, sooooo…., it must be….. the NAZIIIIIIS.!!…. And not the lying k*kes that they are themselves”

        Now who wrote that ?

        http://nwioqeqkdf.blogspot.com/2016/02/analysis-of-bbc-immigration-debate.html

        • NortyNina

          I’d forgotten about that comment.
          Darn it I’m good.

          But anyway in case you didn’t notice it I’m talking specifically about Jewish trolls on BBL, the most evil people I have ever come across. It was them who originally alerted me that there was a problem. Before I met them I was completely neutral about Jews, Israel and zionism.

          That was only about two years ago.
          Back then I posted one of my information comments, which was a copy and paste from the Telegraph, with no opinion added, of a story where a group of Orthodox Jews set fire to a Palestinian dwelling on the West Bank (?) at night with the occupants inside. A baby died in the fire.
          I was set on by a mob of trolls, the viciousness of which I had never seen anywhere before on a blog. One said he was going to drag me by the hair behind his SUV, and various other threats and foul language from other commenters. Despite the abuse the moderators at Breitbart never moderated the comments, confirming what I had always suspected about BB.

          But the oddest thing was, (and I wrote about it at the time) I had an ‘experience’ that lasted several seconds, where I suddenly felt I was in another body, being lashed and bullied by a mob of Jews exactly as Jesus was 2000 years ago. I could hear the sounds, smell the smells, and feel the feeling of helplessness, I can even remember looking down at my feet. I can’t explain it, but afterwards I began to understand much better the Gospel stories of the Passion of Christ, and the background behind the stories.

          But anyway, to get back to the point, some of my best sources who I often quote are also Jewish, and I have a great deal of respect for them, so no, I don’t think ‘all Jews are the same’. Far from it.

      • Hi Nina

        I also forgot to add you don’t need to be coy around me , as I’m all in favour of free speech. In fact whilst you say hurtful things , you aren’t beyond redemption. That gates of heaven are not yet closed.

        • She may only have time up to Yom Kippur, though 🙂

    • IrishNeanderthal

      There is a wider phenomenon here.

      G.K.Chesterton used to write in rather derogatory terms about black people, but nevertheless made some salient observations about their detractors.

      Transposing one of these into language which does not cause me to choke, people would find the sight of a black man in a top hat ridiculous. He observed that this was not all down the (to him and them) somewhat alien appearance of the black man, but also to the fact that the top hat is in itself an intrinsically nonsensical garment.

      So if an individual Jew comes out with something inappropriate, they will blame it on his Jewishness, regardless of the fact that Gentiles equally come out with the indentical variety of hogwash.

  • bluedog

    The House of Bishops of the CofE is hyper-political. Here we see the sails being trimmed and a new course being set that tacks a few points away from SSM. Clearly those shared conversations were full of threats of revolt that could not be ignored. The merciful departure of Cameron, architect of the debacle of SSM, would have lifted any implied threat of episcopal careers hitting the rocks, thus facilitating the change of course. Meanwhile, Mrs May’s own position on SSM remains a Holy Mystery.

    • Inspector General

      Good point, old dog. The bishops are juggling with Christ’s declaration that his is not about this world with everything that is about this world…

    • Martin
      • bluedog

        Thanks. Will she repeat that from No 10? We’ll see.

      • William Lewis

        Yes. Unfortunately, she was one of the architects of SSM in a bid to transform the Tories from being the nasty party.

  • Albert

    House of Bishops upholds canon law for now. The truth is that the horse has bolted on this one. The CofE, by ordaining women has already eschewed apostolic teaching that men and women are not interchangeable. It will only take time for people to catch up with the logic of what they have already denied.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Brilliant analysis.

      • carl jacobs

        Albert is pretty smart.

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Your Grace

    There is a debate breaking out over Ozanne’s comments on Premier Christian Radio blog:

    http://www.premierchristianity.com/Blog/The-House-of-Bishops-statement-on-sexuality-is-unbelievable-unacceptable-and-ungodly

    • Pubcrawler

      Oh dear, she’ll be on to the rozzers again…

  • Don Benson

    Of course the bishops would never have dared, at this point, to deny that ‘Marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman.’ But it really does demonstrate how far Church of England certainty of what it believes has been undermined that people feel moved to cheer on hearing them restate something which, not so long ago, was utterly uncontroversial.

    However, even for a group of bishops it didn’t take 8,430 words on 19 pages to state that simple truth; so what were they up to in the remaining 99% of their verbiage? Well they certainly didn’t set out to delineate the biblical authority upon which it is based, nor even any simple reasoning in line with the grain of nature as we can all observe it and which is a pretty clear manifestation of God’s creative intention for human sexual behaviour.

    No, the Bishop of Norwich sums it up when he says (paragraph 66): ‘God gives us the wisdom we need for the situation that faces us today, and that is what we should ask for, without doubting or double-mindedness (James 1.5–8). We are seeking to discern the right next steps, not be sure about the end of the road.’ In other words ‘don’t think the line is now drawn and that’s it’.

    This was a holding operation because we’re not yet far enough along the political road. I believe that the ‘right next steps’ will be small but subtle with every intention that at the ‘end of the road’, whatever the official doctrine says, the line will be crossed.

  • chefofsinners

    I like this report for the emphasis it puts on other sins: greed, drunkenness and all forms of sexual immorality. These are the things which blight our society. For too long heterosexual Christians have indulged in these, while waxing Pharisaical about homosexual sin.

    • dannybhoy

      For once we are in agreement.

      • chefofsinners

        When have we ever disagreed?

        • dannybhoy

          OH I think we have once or twice I seem to remember..
          You have sometimes irritated me with that sharp and funny wit of yours,
          .
          And of course the xray specs are ridiculous..

          • chefofsinners

            Oh no we haven’t.

          • dannybhoy

            See, you’re being witty again.

    • Anton

      Not either/or. Heterosexual sin is wrecking our family stability; the homosexual issue is wrecking free speech. Evangelicals are not obsessed about the latter, as the gay lobby insist; the gay lobby is, and we respond.

      • dannybhoy

        Anton, sorry but it certainly seems to be the case here. There are very few posters who talk about sinfulness. Martin and Len and a few others, but by and large we tend to get caught up in as you say, “responding” to the Gay Lobby’s demands.
        We don’t need to. Homosexuality is but one aspect of the human condition that seems to take up an inordinate amount of time.
        When was the last time you heard a bishop or Archbishop preach on the Ten Commandments for example?

        • Anton

          I don’t listen to bishops and archbishops. Generally I apply Luther’s scorching words about the papacy to senior church liberals. As for me, I have said here more than once that it is heterosexual sin wrecking family stability for which God is raising Islam as judgement on the West. But even most Christians don’t want to hear that.

          I have also said before that Christians and gays would get on fine if both were persecuted under a dictator; we have no wish to single out homosexuality among the things that the Bible proscribes. The antagonism is because evangelicals and gays have different ideas of what the law should be, what should be taught in schools etc.

  • I must confess to rather conflicted feelings on this news.
    Of course one is pleased that the House of Bishops have made some sort of stand for the word of God and for basic Christian doctrine, but at the same time one cannot help being disappointed that the beautiful butterfly of evangelical Anglicanism is not yet going finally to shake itself free of the revolting chrysalis of liberalism. This would surely have happened if the Bishops had prescribed a service of blessings for same sex unions.
    .
    One would like to feel that the LBGTQXYZ sector of the C of E will now resign en bloc as a matter of principle and go and found their own church or join the Methodists or URC and so pass into oblivion, but alas, one feels that nothing of the sort is likely to happen.

    • Anton

      They want to be the Established church with its salaries and buildings. Anglican evangelicals have the options of shaking the dust off their feet or of fighting in the only way I can see God permitting that might work, namely financially. 1642 has set out the strategy.

      • Shadrach Fire

        As with other areas they will try and try again until they eventually get their way.

        • 1642again

          Do not lose hope. That’s what they want. The evangelical church increasingly provides the lion’s share of the funds raised and more active membership. It just needs to use its muscle.

          If we are true to the Lord’s will we will prevail. To lack hope is to lack faith in Him.

          • dannybhoy

            Our prayers must be that God in His mercy and love will raise up leaders in the UK Church.
            It is odd that whilst our pontificating skills are beyond reproach, our willingness to take a lead for our Lord are lamentable..

          • 1642again

            True. But the clergy often talk about lay leadership and then when one comes forward one finds they don’t really mean it.

          • dannybhoy

            But brother, if like me you don’t accept the divide then look for a man or group of men who see themselves as servants of the Lord, willing to submit to each other in order that the Lord’s work may be done.
            The same applies to those who feel they are called to the priesthood but want to work together with the congregation.

          • 1642again

            What’s happening around here is that the Diocese is appointing no more clergy to the villages and so we lay people will take over the running with sound retired clergy turning up for communion services (we’ve got some fantastic ones who won’t even take expenses). The Diocese seem to think that when that happens we’ll go on paying the Parish share (LOL) and listening to what they say (LOL again).

            We will effectively be independent and retain control of the church etc. We are planning to buy a house for our own part time vicar as well. We’ve kept all our old BCP’s and unPC hymnbooks which come out when the official clergy are not around and have effectively total control.

          • dannybhoy

            Sounds good 1642repeat..
            ‘Desperate’ Dan’s vision is for congregations led by employed. and therefore part time elders. Perhaps in the early days they start off rotating the leadership and then maybe settle on one as overall leader; -or continue to rotate (the leadership I mean).
            I am not sure I agree with a full time leader for the reasons Carl outlined.
            A man or woman who is employed and therefore independent is far more likely to stand up for what they believe is right, than (I think) a minister whose wages are paid for by the congregation.
            I think it’s an excellent topic for discussion though..

          • 1642again

            It will be a non-stipendary minister with free housing but working in other profession.

          • dannybhoy

            Possible yes Tied accommodation.

  • not a machine

    Your graces article goes through the positions well.It perhaps will not be so easy to convey the considerations to those who find church high end theology talk ,hard work ,but I suppose the point is that Bishops have considered ,I perhaps ponder what cardinals may consider.

    My own articulation is unfortunately wary , being as I found the original discussion and law ,so startling in its lack of lords dissent. I cant help but think that despite those of us who remember a different age and thinking , found this developing homosexual dialogue in the church , difficult .I freely admit ,like many that when I did not hear those voices who might have said “if this definition of marriage is changed form its historic understanding , what have we been doing all these years”.But somehow a very important aspect of meaning , was changed because it seemed defending it was futile or even ungodly.
    I don’t think I want to go back to the manners of before “4weddings and a funeral” , but then I don’t know if EastEnders gay kiss , was exactly right either .The trouble is that sexual preferences are powerful emotional forces ,Gay people now have professional middle class lifestyles , where they can tell us what they think of us as heterosexuals and live as they please , which as your grace perhaps remembers was not so in previous times .There are perhaps some new understandings to encounter and fix ,noting some subtle narratives have been used in this acceptance and better understanding of homosexuality.
    Was David Steel right ?, hard to imagine how much what he said back then was hated , yet here we are some 30yrs on , and a generation that treats it all very different .I think there will still be some difficulty in the actuality , but we have a manner , understanding and dialogue. “all who call upon me” does not rely on who think should be excluded as Pope Francis said “who am I to judge” , well yes but I think there may well be problems on the dimensions of the hedge ,that can hold two doctrinal meanings around such powerful emotions .I await the homosexual cleric

  • Mike Stallard

    Personally I blame Sigmund Freud for his blurring over the difference between s*d*my and David and Jonathan.

  • David

    If Cranmer may allow me to comment off-topic, this may be of interest to some.
    On Breitbart London is an article examining the teachings of Thomas Aquinas regarding immigration. He argued for the right, indeed duty of nations to vet those who enter its territory and the need for immigrants allowed to enter to assimilate totally into the culture of the host nation to ensure its continuing peace and prosperity.
    Most of our problems are as old as mankind, and we need to learn from the teachings of the wise who went before us ?

    • Anton

      And rather father back, and with infinite wisdom, the divinely written constitution of ancient Israel stated that those who wished to enter into national life as a believer in Yahuweh were welcome – but others weren’t.

      • David

        Quite ! Which is what Aquinas cites as his precedent and evidence.

        • Anton

          Well, good for Aquinas. I’m content to cite God directly.

          • David

            By all means yes, but it’s always useful to see how great Christian philosophers have read God’s word surely.

          • Anton

            I categorise that as church history, but I’m interested in that.

          • David

            Oh good. History never repeats itself but we can learn from it.

          • Anton

            It does if we don’t learn from it!

      • dannybhoy

        Yes and that’s another point that is conveniently forgotten by the warm,wet and fluffy wing of the Church. I doubt there were that many migrants aka ‘strangers’, queuing up at the borders to join a nation whose God demanded holiness over hedonism..

    • bluedog

      The Human Rights lobby would be out of business if any Western government were to read Aquinas’ teaching and implement it as policy. They deny the human rights of western electorates and are aggressive advocates of the right of non-citizens to recreate their own societies discretely within western nations.

      • David

        Yes.

    • dannybhoy

      Have you got a link David?

      • David

        Just google breitbartlondon.com , scroll down the article headings and hey presto there it is. There’s also loads on the web. Aquinas’ teachings on immigration seem to have been debated in the US for the last two years.

        • dannybhoy

          Thanks David.

  • preacher

    IMO the old saying ” Too many cooks spoil the broth ” is proving true in this situation. The Christian Church needs less smoke & mirrors & more intestinal fortitude, because the mirrors distort & confuse & the smoke in time obscures the vision.
    We All have sinned & continue to do so, but surely the Churches task is to make us aware of our sins & rebellion against God to bring us to repentance & thus salvation, rather than a demand that He should accept us, warts & all.
    Attempting to classify sin is pointless. The one who enters by trying to climb the wall, rather than entering through the gate is a thief !, yet the Church leadership continues to fudge these issues & many of the membership lean toward ‘ Competitive ‘ sinfulness due to lack of clear teaching.
    Surely the desire should be, acceptance – repentance & the start of the journey back to the one who died to deliver us from judgement. Am I a sinner ? – yes ! Will I be free from sin in this life ? no ! But through the Fathers love & Christ’s fortitude & sacrifice I am delivered from sin, justified & forgiven, but as Paul states clearly ( & a fellow contributor to this Blog used to be known – before taking up catering ) – ” I consider myself the chief of sinners, ” Now let’s tell the rest of the World the Good News ! .

    Blessings. P.

    • David

      Yes Jesus didn’t classify sins but simply listed them all.

      • Anton

        The Pentateuch lists them all. Any one is sufficient to bar you from heaven, but some sense of how much damage each does can be gained from the respective penalties.

    • 1642again

      Great comment. Thank you.

    • dannybhoy

      In terms of salvation all that matters is my sin before my God who wants to rescue me from the folly of thinking I can make myself truly happy.
      Great post.

  • “The Archbishop of Canterbury has reflected with his fellow Bishops on the meaning of marriage and the nature of gender identity, and they reached a consensus…”

    Why waste his time and that of his fellow Bishops on such reflection when the Bible has made all this crystal clear? Isn’t the word of God sufficient? Why re-invent the wheel? After they have reached this consensus, will they now put their joint statement before God, as if He had consulted their opinion on this matter?

    All we are ever expected to do is obey, and uncompromisingly declare our intention to obey to anyone who demands that we change our stance. This is how we witness to the world as Christians.

    You reflect on scripture when it teaches you something new or too deep, or when the application affects several areas of your life, and therefore requires some careful study and meditation. In the context of marriage, what it is was always known. The job of a pastor is to reaffirm it, and to teach couples how to remain faithful and behave in a Christian manner to one another.

    • Anton

      It took them 71 paragraphs plus 13 more in an appendix. Such learning when Our Lord and the Apostle Paul needed only a few sentences!

      • Just 2 or 3 sentences explained everything – Genesis 1:27 and 2:24, reaffirmed by Christ in Matthew 19:4-6.

        With the COE needing so many paragraphs to express their confusion over something so simple and basic, they convey the idea that this teaching is open to debate. God has not given them the authority to alter, or even express an opinion, on His commandments. Like Peter and John, their reply to their critics should always be – “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than God” (Acts 4:19 Berean SB).

    • ChaucerChronicle

      Good Anna,

      What the the bishops seem to be forgetting is that Man starting from himself alone, ignorant of the Intelligence outside of Man, can start with anything and come to anything – no matter how bizarre.

    • dannybhoy

      There speaks an admirable woman.

    • Dominic Stockford

      John Stott used to say that rather than sitting in judgement on God’s Word, man should let God’s Word sit in judgement on him.

  • Shadrach Fire

    Your Grace,
    ‘To this we may well now add that there is neither gay nor straight,’ Really.
    ‘neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female’, these suggest no difference in terms sin. A jew does not sin more than a Greek but ‘gay nor straight’ biblically comes with an injunction that one is a sinner. In terms of need for salvation then there is no difference.

    Society and the Church feel easy about declaring an adulterer a sinner but not any other type of sexual relationship for fear of criticism. How is it we can’t challenge any more. How will they know that they are wrong unless they are told.

    He who finds a wife finds a good thing.

    • 1642again

      Great comment. I am truly blessed in my better half!

  • ChaucerChronicle

    They reflected on ‘gender identity’. All that pondering over grammar.

    • burrnesha, or sworn virgins. In Albania, the Burrnesha are people assigned female at birth who have a masculine gender expression and role, and were traditionally considered neither female nor male. This tradition goes back to at least the 1400s, and is still practiced.
    • demigender. An umbrella term for nonbinary gender identities that have a partial connection to a certain gender, such as demiboy (male-like, or both male and genderless), and demigirl (female-like, or both female and genderless. In Nonbinary Stats Survey 2016, 452 respondents identified as demigender.
    • genderflux. Coined by deergoths in 2014, who said, “Whereas genderfluidity is a shift between different genders, genderflux is more like varying intensity.” A gender identity that often changes in intensity, so that a person may feel one day as though they have almost no gender, or none at all, and another day they feel very gendered. In Nonbinary Stats Survey 2016, 25 respondents identified as genderflux.

    Daft.

  • I always take the view that those who seek to alter the traditional (and biblical) beliefs of the church should have the courage of their convictions like the founders of the various non-conformist churches and go off and form their own church instead of trying to change the existing church.
    If their ideas are generally acceptable, people will join their new church and the ‘old’ church will fall.

    • len

      The answer is it is much easier to take over an existing vehicle than to put in all the time and effort to create a new vehicle. To keep the form of the existing church takes time effort and dedication to the Word of God. Unfortunately many leaders in’ the church’ are more concerned about their own positions than the integrity of the Word of God.

      • That is true and it also applies to a wide range of organisations, the Labour Party immediately springing to mind. Take over bids are far easier!

    • Anton

      They covet the Established church and there can be only one of those.

      • 1642again

        You are a seriously sharp chap. Dead impressed. No one else has got close. ’nuff said.

        • Anton

          It helps to drink beer.

          • 1642again

            As long as it’s from the finest brewery!

          • dannybhoy

            Go on, which do you enjoy?

          • 1642again

            All bar a couple and even those it’s not the beer, just the syle I wouldn’t choose to drink! People who like those styles assure me they’re as good as anything else available and they win lots of awards.

          • dannybhoy

            Hmm,
            I can tell you that in North Norfolk there are some very fine micro-breweries which Danny has been treated to taste.
            As it is I get most of my bottled ales from Lidls or ‘on offers.’
            Shepherd Neames Bishop’s Finger is an old favourite. Speckled Hen, Timothy Taylor’s Landlord bitter, and most of the excellent but rather too expensive Fullers ales.. ESB, 1845 and Bengal Lancer.
            These are all beers to accompany a great game of rugby football with. Oh how we miss Jonny Wilkinson, Shane Williams and Pete Stringer!

          • 1642again

            You like a more hoppy, even slightly sulphurous, type of beer by the look of it. I closed the Old Speckled Hen brewery for my sins and moved it up to Bury St Edmunds. IMHO Abbot Ale is far superior, as is Adnams Broadside.

          • dannybhoy

            Ah a fellow Christian and an aficionado!
            I am one who prefers a stronger beer. Broadside and Abbot Ale aren’t distinctive enough for my palate, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good.

          • 1642again

            Then you will like Hook Norton’s Flagship and their Twelve Days, and probably their Old Hooky. All three are gold medal winners (some multiple times) and OH was accorded best beer in te world a few years ago.

          • dannybhoy

            Now I have heard of this and will do a search on line..
            Years ago my younger brother took me to a pub in the southern outskirts of the Lake District which stocked beers from all over the world. Sadly my bladder and sense of balance allowed me to sample but a few…
            Incidentally there are some great pubs up that way, lovely food and friendly people..
            I remember a wonderful time in Coniston after climbing Coniston Old Man…

          • 1642again

            Sounds great. Try on line – should be free delivery running til midnight tonight.

          • dannybhoy

            I see Tescos has it so I’ll get two/three bottles. If I don’t like it I can always sling the bottles. -Where’d you say you live?
            ot I am still in conversation with that guy Peter over at Premier..

          • 1642again

            Who?

          • dannybhoy

            Peter on Premier Christian.

          • Anton

            For draught beer, I was particularly fond of Brakspear’s bitter when it was independent; likewise Castle Eden. The only English Pope had the surname Brakspear.

          • 1642again

            It was a nice beer. In draught I tend to go for the lower strength more flavourful beers like Hooky and Otter Amber.

          • dannybhoy

            But Fullers are flavourful and strong!

          • 1642again

            Good brewery, but it’s possible to brrew flavourful beers at lower strength so one can have more!

          • dannybhoy

            Depends on the size of your holding chamber..
            It was said in my extended family that we ******s suffer from big thirsts and small bladders..

          • Anton

            I read that book while I was living overseas and, although I’m English, I felt some nostalgia as I’ve always liked Wales. I have to say I was rather disappointed. I can see that it would have made a good TV series or film but I’ve not seen any adaptations. How come Llewellyn was in Israel, please?

            Löwenbrau was in the Guinness Book of Records as the strongest regularly brewed beer when I was a young teenager, so of course I was determined to get some. It tasted OK to me.

          • dannybhoy

            “How come Llewellyn was in Israel, please?”

            ‘Following the war, he worked as a journalist, covering the Nuremberg Trials, and then as a screenwriter for MGM. Late in his life, he lived in Eilat, Israel.’
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Llewellyn
            What he told us was that he was trying to get into the spy/action genre like Ian Fleming, but it was hard going.
            Why pick Eilat? Maybe he had breathing trouble like me. But Eilat could get up to 47c in town and 50c in the desert areas. Not really conducive to writing I wouldn’t have thought.

            “Löwenbrau was in the Guinness Book of Records as the strongest regularly brewed beer when I was a young teenager, so of course I was determined to get some. It tasted OK to me.”
            Drunken young scamp…

          • 1642again

            Genuine Lowenbrau is very good.

          • dannybhoy

            I rather think this was, yer man was pretty well off so could afford good stuff.
            (Possibly why the five if us only got one each..)
            I didn’t drink much beer in those days. The local brew was GoldStar, but the popular one was a sweet black beer by Nesher. They often gave it to pregnant women.
            Explains the stretch marks I suppose.

          • Dominic Stockford

            King Billy Bitter, it was gorgeous, but I can’t get it any more.

          • Pubcrawler

            Crickey, how easy do you want to make it for people to work out who you are?!

            ” I closed the Old Speckled Hen brewery”

            I had my suspicions… It’s the mark of Cain for you, old chap.

            The rest: de gustibus, etc. But we differ a tad.

          • 1642again

            Could be one of a sizeable number but who cares. Closing breweries is not fun but the economics of some are ruinous.

          • Pubcrawler

            That I accept. It’s continuing to sell something else (however closely matched — and these days it’s not even a patch on the ‘original’) brewed somewhere else under the same badge that I object to more strongly.

          • 1642again

            Loads of larger breweries do it. Youndgs, Courage and Directors are all brewed in Bedford, Old Speckled Hen, Hardy & Hansons, Ruddles and Ridleys in Bury St Edmunds, half of Doombar in Burton as is all of Thwaites Wainwrights, Breakspears etc

          • Pubcrawler

            Yeah, I know. However I’m lucky to live in an area where there is a good free trade (despite GK) and I can drink beers that are exactly what they say on the pumpclip.

            But I am aware that I am a beer bore rather too often here, so I will hereafter hold my peace — till the next time.

          • dannybhoy

            Oh that’s what I was going to say to you, this trend towards brewing under license.
            Years ago I had a dear friend who worked with a big import/export company in the Square Mile. He introduced me to Fosters which at that time late ’70s was imported. Likewise Stella Artois.
            I have to say that both beers tasted very different from those now made under license in the UK. In fact I find all foreign brews produced under license here are far more fizzy and watery.
            Any thoughts?

          • 1642again

            Almost certainly. Originally they were changed to make them suitable for the UK market and were produced in huge quantity. The UK is the harshest beer market in the world and the brewers cheapened the recipes, often many times,, hence the difference. Craft beer is in part a reaction to that.

          • dannybhoy

            So my taste buds are not deceiving me, they really are weak and watery?

          • 1642again

            Muck. Even their brewers call them ‘cooking beers’.

          • Anton

            Ah, Ruddles County in the late 1970s…

          • Pubcrawler

            PS It matters not a jot here who you are IRL, of course. You just hinted in an earlier thread that NuttyNina and her Stoßtruppen have been trying to find out. I thought I’d test my internet sleuthing (OK, stalking) skiils. They must not be very good at it, is all I can say.

          • 1642again

            Cheers!

          • Pubcrawler

            Still haven’t found where and when you did PhD, though. We have not come across each other directly, I think, but we probably have some mutual acquaintances.

          • dannybhoy

            I saw that but guessed he had mis-spelt.. :0)
            Frankly I could care less who he is, it’s what he says that matters.
            (Although be he a Christian diddycoy with tarmacadam equipment, he needn’t think he’s gonna get to park it on my drive.
            Just had it done..

          • CliveM

            So PC, what is your pint of choice?

          • Pubcrawler

            Despite having a (well-deserved) reputation for being a dreadful beer snob, there are in fact too many to mention.

          • CliveM

            At heart I’m still an 80 Shillings man.

            Use also to like a Nos.3 as well.

          • CliveM

            But then I’ve nae taste!

          • William Lewis

            These guys always have a couple of great beers and they change monthly to keep it interesting. Don’t know if they do festivals as they tend to concentrate on the local area.

            http://www.rebellionbeer.co.uk/brewery-shop/beer-available-today.aspx

          • Pubcrawler

            Thanks. Not sure the name rings a bell, and they’re not near me, but I go to a fair number of beer festivals so I may have come across them if they do. There’s only so much room left in my memory these days, though.

          • CliveM

            Apologies didn’t see the links last night.

            Do you know I don’t think I have ever had milk stout. I must look out for it.

            Think that’s as a result of my Scottish drinking heritage.

            but yes I like a good Porter.

          • James60498 .

            Peter Stringer is still playing and indeed better than many of his much younger (Sale) teammates and opponents

            I suppose strictly speaking he is injured at the moment and may not return and (surely) there has to be a time when we will indeed miss him.

            As for the other two. They are certainly missed by my Welsh born, English raised son.

          • dannybhoy

            We felt that Peter Stringer never got the recognition he deserved. Great play maker and always there when needed. Shane at his peak was so entertaining to watcn when he got that ball! Rather like our Jason Robinson, With Jonny you went through his agonizing and self doubt and ultimate triumphs. Lovely guy.
            That was a great team in 2003, and we have yet to feel this present team has that same unity or charisma.

          • James60498 .

            Stringer’s back tomorrow night. On the bench for Sale at Harlequins. I think he is one of those annoying Scrum Halves that the opposition hate. Quite a thing when he comes to play for your team. It’s like seeing him as Saul one minute but when he signs that contract he becomes Saint Paul!!

            I had long wanted to go to watch rugby but couldn’t find a willing companion.

            You are right. After seeing that team in 2003, I decided I was going anyway and my first match was intended to feature both Jonny and Jason. Unfortunately Jonny was injured but I did see him a few times later.

            Met Jason a few times. What a player and man. He is the personification of politeness (unless you try to take the ball off him) and he signed my son’s poster “God Bless. Jason Robinson”. It wasn’t done specially for us. That’s how he signed his name.

            Hoping for a big win against the EU (French section) tomorrow.

          • dannybhoy

            I read Jonny’s autobiography, and the wife and I were pleased when he moved to Toulon out of the English limelight, I think he found a measure of peace.
            Jason is a born again Christian I understand, a trophy of Grace.
            If we could afford to go to a big match it would probably to see the Welsh at Cardiff! Sounds unpatriotic I know, but there seems to be something missing from our national team. Not skill, certainly no lack of competitive spirit, but a hardness perhaps?
            We shall be watching on the tv with some decent beer for me, and uh, my excellent company for the wife..!

          • James60498 .

            My son was born in Wales and has come down on the side of Wales. That was during the World Cup but I can’t remember whether it was before or after the Eng v. Wal game.

            We shall no doubt watch all the England and Wales games together and see how we get on during the Cardiff game.

            My wife on the other hand is Irish. She is not a big rugby fan but is unbearable when Ireland are playing/ winning. I am hoping that she will be working when they play both England and Wales.

            We don’t go to Internationals unless they are played in the north. England played Argentina a few years ago at Old Trafford and we went to a couple of northern World Cup games. We generally prefer the domestic matches not only because international prices are quite mad.

            We were there for this.
            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YO1lAuSwgGE

    • Maalaistollo

      Don’t forget that, whatever other beliefs they may abandon, belief in the Clergy Pension Fund remains unshakeable to the end. That’s why they won’t leave.

      • 1642again

        Ain’t that the truth?

    • David

      Exactly. Instead they practice entryism, the taking over of an historic working structure, its network and resources, all the while squeezing out the truth. That’s what they’ve been doing. The wolves are in the sheepfold. The job of the faithful is to resist and expound the truth.

      • The Church and its teaching that I knew as a child are long gone. Perhaps I should try one of the local non-conformist churches. At least their pastors seem to give better sermons!

        • David

          There are still a scattering of conservative Bible teaching C of E local churches in each country. But you have to seek them out. The Reform website is one good place to locate them. Apart from that you must ask around, look at websites and so on. I have one excellent one but thirty miles away, and then three very good ones to choose between some 12 miles distant.

          • The local URC seems to get bigger congregations than the Parish Church, I’ll go along one Sunday.

          • David

            Best wishes for your search for a good church. They are there.

          • The main reason that I’ve stayed is that I like going and ringing the bells. We say a prayer in the belfry before starting and only about half of the ringers stay for the service. It’s also good exercise for my back and cheaper than physios! So I do get some benefit from attending.

          • David

            Keeping the bells ringing is an important English tradition and, if done in the right spirit, also an act of worship.

    • 1642again

      It’s like some science fiction film where the aliens grow a parasite inside the victim which slowly consumes it from the inside while outwardly appearing the same.

      No one outside a tiny minority would join a church these parasites set up. When they introduced women priests they said it would bring in new people to church. Anyone seen any effect of this? If anything it shrank the church, and I suspect bringing in homosexual marriage etc would be ten, twenty times as bad.

      • I think it’s past the point of no return. These days I go to help ring the bells, but attend the service only occasionally. The concern seems to be about everyone but the parishioners with the intercessions rambling on about every event in the world. I wonder if the congregation will be asked to pray for those affected by Trump’s ban on those from certain countries!

        • 1642again

          Fortunately my little church doesn’t indulge in virtue signalling, but on the gospel and the people it’s there to serve. The CoE has the best and worst in Christianity in it in some ways, you just have to search for the right places.

          • That’s true. A nearby parish church went all modern to try to attract families but the older members promptly migrated elsewhere. It’s now bankrupt, because the older members were the ones that cave a decent contribution each week.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes, but for a church to thrive and survive it needs young people and young families. They are the church of tomorrow
            The bestest congregations have a balance of all the generations.
            And anyway the elderly tend to get crabby, selfish and nervous of change.
            And I know..

          • Dominic Stockford

            For a church to thrive, according to the Bible, it simply needs to hold and teach true faith. Numbers are in the end irrelevant.

          • dannybhoy

            I think numbers is important.
            Too few and the congregation may die. Too many…
            Are there ever too many?

          • carl jacobs

            Are there ever to many members in a church congregation? Yes. A church develops pathologies as it gets too big.

          • dannybhoy

            And a church develops terminal ‘toes up’ if it gets too small…
            Yes you’re right, there are problems that come with large congregations, but (I think), these can be overcome by developing home groups, avoiding the nonsense of bestowing too much authority on the leadership, or insisting on tithing exclusively to that church..

          • carl jacobs

            When a church becomes too big, an inner core of membership develops that tends to run the church for itself. These are the people who volunteer and give and attend events. But they also jealously guard the boundary of that inner core. You don’t get in without their approval. It turns the church inward and makes it narcissistic. On the other side, a big church allows people to treat church like a spectator sport. They don’t need to do anything and they certainly don’t need to ever use their spiritual gifts.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes also true. But here in God’s Own Country that can happen in tiddly churches too.
            What you’re describing is human behaviour observable throughout human communities.
            ps you’re being unnervingly easy to understand…..
            Are you ill?

          • carl jacobs

            In a small church that has to survive on its own means – as opposed to being squirreled away in the comfort and safety of the CoE – everyone is important.

            But your point is taken.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Not only is everyone important, but we all know each other. What is more it is the easy to care for one another.

            In Corinth it is probable that the congregation was between only 70 and 150. In Philippi far less.

          • dannybhoy

            Evidence please!

          • Dominic Stockford

            Look it up. Various academic sites can be googled, and it appears in several academic books about Bible times. I looked it up for my purposes when preaching on it, but won’t be again today!

          • Anton

            Play the game, Dominic, you made the claim!

          • Dominic Stockford

            When I have a spare hour or so (I do proper sermon preparation) I shall look it all up again.

          • dannybhoy

            “It is difficult to know the size of the Corinthian church at the time of this first letter. Scholarly estimates range from 40 to 150 persons. It is often assumed that when “the whole church” came together for worship (1Cor 14:23), it did so in a believer’s home, but Paul’s distinction between church and home in 1Cor 11:22 may suggest otherwise (compare 1Cor 11:34, 1Cor 14:34-35). The meeting place may have been a rented dining hall, a large garden, or some other venue.”
            http://www.bibleodyssey.org/places/related-articles/church-at-corinth.aspx
            You were right – although no one knows for sure. Rodney Stark insists that Christianity grew exponentially through personal witness rather than outreach..
            There is room for all sorts of churches.
            I agree with Carl that the rich and mega big ones (usually seen [ahem] in the States….) have their own problems, and I wouldn’t like to attend one. But I guess it depends what’s available. A congregation that prays, encourages discipleship, practical love and giving is great, but as I said before you need the young for a thriving church.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Absolutely. Been there (on the outside).

          • Dominic Stockford

            I know a local church that dropped to two members, they now have about 15 and a pastor. Should they have closed because they had two? No. Without one there is no witness to the Gospel in that area.

          • dannybhoy

            Doesn’t that depend on the cost of upkeep Dominic?

          • Dominic Stockford

            No. I know of another where three little old ladies continued to meet even though the premises were falling down around them. People (like you?) kept encouraging them to close. They prayed, and refused because of Jesus own words, and perseverance of faith, and the lack of a church teaching truth in the town. A few years later a local builder offered to do work on the building for free – NOT a Christian. He became a Christian in due course, and now the church has 20 odd people attending. Remember – when even ONE is saved there is rejoicing in heaven. We should be prepared to lose our lives and anything we own in order to reach out with the Gospel – just as was Jesus, Paul, etcetera, etcetera.

          • dannybhoy

            Here’s my original remark. oops now where did I put that remar- ah, here we go…
            “Yes, but for a church to thrive and survive it needs young people and young families. They are the church of tomorrow
            The bestest congregations have a balance of all the generations.”

            That’s what I said.
            I then want on to ask,
            “Too many…
            Are there ever too many?”
            I said nothing about shutting any churches, (although I can point to a large number of redundant medieval churches around us that have no congregations. I could point to churches in Norwich that are standing empty and boarded up).

          • Dominic Stockford

            Church is people, not a building. If a building has no attenders then it isn’t a church, its an empty building. If two Christians meet together for worship somewhere then they are church, and are entitled to call a public place that they meet in ‘a’ church – this enables others to know they meet there, and where they can go in order to hear the Gospel of Christ.

            And to say congregations need young people and families to survive is rather rude, frankly, towards those that have neither, and have survived for many years. The best congregations are not those with certain people in them, they are those that faithfully preach the Word of God, and worship the Lord God with dignity.

          • dannybhoy

            Rude?
            Why is that rude?
            It’s a fact.
            Chu -I mean ’empty buildings’ are shutting because elderly congregations are now too old or infirm to keep them going. What’s rude about that?
            It’s terribly sad, but from all I hear once a chu -‘full building’ loses its young people and is unable to attract more, inevitably that congregation disappears.

          • Dominic Stockford

            “Wherever TWO or three gather in my name…”

            Have two, have church. As for too many, Carl is right, and try asking a pastor with more than a couple of hundred members – he won’t have time to answer you. Jewish synagogues are supposed to split whenever they get to 20 families, I believe. Good sense.

          • dannybhoy

            Twenty families is perhaps 80+ folks. A goodly number and much better than two.
            Ever read “The triumph of Christianity” by Rodney Stark?

          • Dominic Stockford

            20 families can also be 20 people, or even less.

            Why are people so obsessed with having big numbers? The number that should concern us is not the number of saved, but the number of those NOT saved, the number of those who as things stand are going to eternal damnation. How often we are told that it is through our weakness that the strength of Jesus Christ will be made visible. And Jesus DID say ‘where two or three are gathered’ – why can we humans not trust HIM and His Word?

          • They seem to go from one extreme to the other. The nonconformist churches seem to be doing better, they certainly seem to have better speakers who are worth listening to for both the young and the old.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Do Mrs Jones’ chilblains still get a mention?

          • No. Parishioners only seem to get a mention when they die. Nor does the Queen, except on rare occasions. I was brought up in a generation when the King was the first to be mentioned, followed by the Prime Minister and the government.

          • Dominic Stockford

            The strength of the BCP is that those issues that should be prayed for are prayed for, and the minister’s bonnet bees are irrelevant. There is a need for a little flexibility though – while Mrs Jones chilblains shouldn’t merit a mention in a Sunday worship service Mrs Jones should.

        • Anton

          Some of us have signed the counter-petition saying that President Trump is very welcome here.

          • I’ve done so, in spite of the spelling mistake.

          • youhavenewmail

            Yes, the English does look rather strange. Hope it’s genuine, and not, say, one of Putin’s funny tricks…

          • I think that if I was writing a petition that I would get someone to first check what I was about to write.

          • Manfarang

            And many Americans hope he stays at the Tower of London permanently. (then it would be the Trump Tower of London)
            One of my younger colleagues from Philly is already using Trump dollars as teaching aids.

      • dannybhoy

        “It’s like some science fiction film where the aliens grow a parasite inside the victim which slowly consumes it from the inside while outwardly appearing the same.”
        Yeee-uk!
        Good film though..
        It seems to me that viruses and parasites are all around us…
        I just don’t yet have the bottle to name them… ;0)

        • 1642again

          I don’t think you lack courage at all Danny!

          • dannybhoy

            I tried to think of a suitable response to your kind (not to mention hopeful) comment, but I couldn’t.
            :0)

    • Dominic Stockford

      I did say this in a comment on the Glasgow Cathedral website. I doubt they allowed it to go up!

      • I’m not surprised. It’s far quicker to subvert an existing organisation than starting your own. Just look at the Labour party.

      • Pubcrawler

        It’s there. He has even replied (but not answered).

        • Dominic Stockford

          Thank you for telling me. I must have a look.

  • IanCad

    I know I’m getting out of my depth here, but the tribes of diversity, equality, and perversion will not go quietly.
    Parliament is stuffed with the wretches; surely an appeal to Caesar is in the offing, and when such is made, sympathetic MP’s will agitate for inclusiveness within the State Church. Must heed the majority you know!!
    This ain’t over.

    • Dominic Stockford

      No sir, you rightly judge the times, and the ways and means.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    It strikes me that, over the 20th Century, the Church of England provided a “safe space” for gayfolks in a largely non-religious world which was hostile to them.

    Their behaviour now smacks of gross ingratitude.

    • Albert

      I think that’s true.

      • carl jacobs

        You do? Why?

        • Albert

          Just by experience. In the 1980s the UK was pretty hostile to homosexuality. The Church was pretty friendly.

          • carl jacobs

            How did the CoE manifest this friendliness?

          • Albert

            Yes, I see where you are going. By turning a blind eye, I think. Having said that, I think there was a generous attitude in the Catholic Church going way back, which did not of course involve turning a blind eye, but instead not being unpleasant.

          • bluedog

            Do you mean that many Catholic priests were/are gay?

          • Albert

            That wasn’t what I was thinking, no.

          • Holger

            What does the public think?

          • Albert

            I expect the public assumes that the proportion of Catholic priests who have a homosexual orientation is higher than in the general population. They may be right for all I know.

          • Holger

            Gay, paedophile or creepily asexual seem to be the three main sexual proclivities assigned to priests in the popular estimation.

            In my experience all three are very well-represented in the Church. I’ve also heard reports about a couple of heterosexual priests in Italy, and one or two in Latin America.

            This may of course be mere rumour.

          • Albert

            And your point is what, precisely?

          • Maalaistollo

            I think it may be the French connection. The Revd Sydney Smith is said to have reported that ‘the French say there are three sexes,—men, women, and clergymen.’

          • Pubcrawler

            He was a very astute chap, Smith.

            Which reminds me, I need to lift a quote from him for something I’m doing in a couple of weeks.

          • Albert

            Well that’s 68 fewer than on Facebook.

          • “creepily asexual”

            How prejudiced about people who have no sexual feelings or desires. You asexualophobe.

          • Holger

            Did I say all asexuals were creepy?

            I did not. But they can be. Just like straights and gays can be creepy.

            Someone whose sexuality renders him invasive or intrusive is creepy by definition. Asexual priests who pry into the lives of their flock in order to accuse and condemn are about as creepy as anyone can be.

          • Ah, so a priest once enquired into your sexual habits. Got it.

          • dannybhoy

            You are being very sly, Mr Jacobs. Not like you at all.

          • carl jacobs

            Hey, I can be subtle and calculating. Just because every Happy Jack looks like a nail, that doesn’t mean I only use a hammer.

    • preacher

      Very true brother, the provision of sanctuary is now being abused, & much of the cause is by the ignorance & fear of those that are classified as shepherds, who wishing to appear progressive & acceptable have no interest in changing the lives of mankind, but are content to allow Wolves to kill & harass their flocks. The hireling hasn’t the courage to fight the intruders, but allows them to destroy the flock by entertaining debate with them.
      They are not cute puppies, but killers, with one aim – destruction ! The scriptural answer is, ” When you have done all you can – Stand ! “.
      The message is, either get a ticket or get off the bus, but don’t try to take over the bus company.

      • 1642again

        The Lord warned us strongly about the wolves clothed as sheep to come. As ever his warnings are true still.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Quite so. Many of these so-called ‘shepherds’ do not know the Lord.

  • Inspector General

    Linus, you damned wretch. Read this!

    There’s something you need to know. Learn this and much of your paranoia should abate. One will put it in capitals to assist.

    THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IS NOT A VEHICLE FOR HOMOSEXUALS TO MANIPULATE TO THEIR SATISFACTION OR TO JUSTIFY THEIR FRANKLY BIZARRE HABITS AND IDEAS

    That’s all it is! Learn that verbatim and peace will descend upon your torn soul. If you must know, this man has a certain sympathy for homosexuals as it happens. If you can convince yourselves that whatever it is you must do is alright with God Almighty, then off you go. You’ll be left alone. But for Christ’s sake keep it to yourselves!. It’s not asking too much from you people, is it?

    And just in case you consider this another example of, now what was that word you can’t post without, ah yes, ‘homophobio’, here’s more transport advice for other assorted nuisances…

    THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH IS NOT A VEHICLE FOR : Feminists, Humanists, Islam admirers, Marxists and many more duplicitous so and so’s. Just God’s faithful as we are with no agenda to be promoted…

    • dannybhoy

      What brought that on, O fire breathing General?

      • Inspector General

        If we all stand up and testify together, brother Danny, then those malevolents in the church plotting for their own ends will run for their lives…

        Testify! Says I

        • dannybhoy

          More like the Inspector General we all remember, sez I.

          • Pubcrawler

            Batteries fully recharged after his (semi)retreat in the wilderness.

          • dannybhoy

            Recharged with what though?

          • Pubcrawler

            Windolene?

          • dannybhoy

            Lol!
            Great show that was..

      • Royinsouthwest

        I think the Inspector is hoping to be appointed to the Board of Commissioners that run the Equality and Human Rights Commission. He would probably be a breath of fresh air!

        • dannybhoy

          Depends what he’s drinking..

          • Holger

            He’s back on the purple stuff.

          • Maalaistollo

            There are some excellent reviews of Barrettine Methylated Spirit 500ml on the Amazon website, eg ‘From the moment you remove the cap you realise you’re in for a treat. Fresh, bright, smoky, with a mineral edge and rounded, fruity nose. Midweight and bold, possessing some edge and no little bite, yet remaining smooth, balanced and satisfying. This is a drink to enjoy with friends in a park. Highly recommended.’

    • Holger

      Is that the wind whistling through the broken chancel window or is the Inspector howling at the moon again?

      Do label the meths bottle properly, old fool. And stop keeping it by the whiskey.

      • Inspector General

        It’s a wind alright, you rogue. The wind of change. Enjoy…

        • Holger

          More like wind from your digestive tract, you old fool.

          Seen what the government you so fondly hope will roll back years of equality legislation has just done? Issued a blanket pardon to all gay men convicted under the homophobic morality laws of yesteryear.

          Does that look like fascism on the rise?

          I don’t think so.

          Brexit has changed nothing except Britain’s status within the EU. It does not mark a return to reactionary Christian morality. Gays are here to stay and won’t be “disappearing back into the woodwork” any time soon. So get used to it. Your time has not come, old fool.

          • Let me guess; to assuage their guilt over neglecting you, your loaded parents spent enough money on your education to keep a mid-sized town in West Africa fed for a year and in the end, all you came out with is a playground rascal attitude and hallucinations about fascists in every corner? Did you at least get a t-shirt?

          • bluedog

            ‘Did you at least get a t-shirt?’

            Guess who the mug is.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I look forward to the time to come, when Christians will be vindicated by God himself, sitting on the throne of judgement.

          • Holger

            I see. In other words, god’s only utility in your life is to prove you right. Because being right is all that matters.

            I’ve realised for some time now that religion tends to attract the doctrinaire personality type. God as your own personal vindicator: now that’s narcissism on a truly breathtaking scale.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I know that many Christians object to the teaching of the Bible, on many matters as well as this one. So I am not surprised that you, an active anti-godist, find God’s promises of vindication to his faithful followers too much to take. Still, we’ll be in the sheep and you’ll be in the goats if things don’t change for you, so we’ll see it, and you’ll feel it.

          • dannybhoy

            “Gays are here to stay and won’t be “disappearing back into the woodwork” any time soon. So get used to it. Your time has not come, old fool.”
            Incredibly rude and illogical.
            You continue to display a great deal of internal anger..

  • Another gem from the Provost of Glasgow Cathedral:

    “Generally speaking, I rather like that idea of Anglicanism that says that it is a church without any distinctive doctrine but which holds to the doctrine of the catholic church. What Anglican churches (I mean Anglican Provinces here) do is set a means by which and rules by which local churches can function should they chose to be aligned with that Anglican Province. I don’t think I believe any Anglican doctrine. I hope not anyway.”

    Can someone translate this for Happy Jack?

    http://thurible.net/2017/01/27/change-church-england-quick-recap/#comments

    • carl jacobs

      “Religion is about relationship and not truth.” It’s standard Liberal doctrine – you know, “doctrine” being that stuff he doesn’t believe in.

      • Happy Jack has asked him to explain.

        • bluedog

          This is going to be fun.

          • Will keep you posted.

          • Pubcrawler

            He has replied. I for one am none the wiser for it.

          • “The simplest way I can put it is this…
            Anglicans believe the doctrines of the Christian faith. I’m not convinced there is or should be such a thing as Anglican doctrine.

            Canons are just the rulebooks we live by. I don’t really buy the idea that doctrines are best derived from canon law.”

            Anything beyond scripture (as he understands it), and the faith as set forth in the early Apostolic creeds, is up for grabs. The Canons are just rules that can be changed.

            So you get “Changing Attitudes” in the Scottish Episcopalian Church stating:

            “We do not accept that biblical references to homosexual behaviour in scripture can be fairly applied to the kind of faithful, lifelong relationships we wish to defend …

            Their (i.e. those who disagree) highly selective brand of literalism shows clearly that their position is based on prejudice, not on any genuine concern for biblical authority.”

          • Pubcrawler

            Er… so it’s ‘we’re right and those who keep referring us back to what scripture actually says are just hateful bigots’.

            Right, got it.

          • No, no. You see, Saint Paul and the early Church Fathers didn’t understand homosexuality. The doctrine Canon is based on the writing of those living under the yoke of patriarchism, misogyny, sexism and homophobia.

            We do not accept that biblical references to homosexual behaviour in scripture can be fairly applied to the kind of faithful, lifelong relationships we wish to defend. The Sodom story in Genesis concerns gang rape, not a loving, permanent partnership, and its primitive morality (for example, when Lot offers his daughters to be raped instead of the men) means we can hardly take the text as an ethical guide. Similarly, while Leviticus includes homosexuality in its list of ‘abominations’ we must also note that it condemns a number of activities (lending money for interest; shaving the beard; weaving two kinds of cloth together) which scarcely worry us today.

            When Paul mentions homosexual behaviour in Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6 and 1 Timothy 1, it is highly unlikely that he had in mind the concept of an equal same-sex partnership, but rather homosexual prostitution and pederasty, which were the most visible kind of homosexual practice in his own society. Also, it is clear from Romans 1.26 and 27 which mention men and women ‘exchanging’ homosexual sex, that Paul, like other Jewish and early Christian writers, believed homosexuality was a free and perverse choice, whereas we now understand that for most gay people there is no choice in the matter at all.

            (Changing Attitudes)

            And then they twist the knife:

            We find it ironic that most of those who disagree with us quote these few, highly ambiguous passages at us, while finding reasons to ignore other much clearer and more numerous scriptural texts – against divorce and remarriage, for example, or against women holding positions of authority.

          • Pubcrawler

            Bamboozling sophistry. Far beyond this Bear of Little Brain.

          • bluedog

            ‘against women holding positions of authority.’ Neat. Uses Albert’s point about the ordination of women proving the interchangeability of the sexes. Of course, in arguing for homosexual relationships, he overlooks all the usual objections about different outcomes to male-female marriage. One essential tactic in dealing with Holdsworth’s position would seem to be to focus on the NT rather than getting side-tracked into the OT. Leviticus is simply a trap and he uses it to muddy the waters with a straw man comparison, if you get the drift.

        • David

          Expect a blizzard of confusion. There’ll be no clarity.

    • Pubcrawler

      “Salary without employment terms — easiest gig in the world!”

    • Anton

      “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.”

    • 1642again

      ‘Make it up as I go along’ covers it I believe.

      He’s in for a very nasty shock one day.

    • Royinsouthwest

      It means that as long as I continue to be paid my salary I rather like the idea of being Provost of Glasgow Cathedral.

    • David

      He’s adrift without a compass, chart or even an anchor.

      • chefofsinners

        But plenty of bilge, poop and wind in his sails.

    • NortyNina

      “I don’t think I believe any Anglican doctrine. I hope not anyway.”

      Lol. Where does the Church find them?

      • dannybhoy

        First you must apply for a faculty.

    • chefofsinners

      It is Arabic for “Jesus Christ is not the Son of God”.

      • Ah, but Jesus, being human, was influenced by the sexist, homophobic culture of the Jewish people. That’s why He only chose men as Apostles. Plus, He had no experience of faithful, lifelong same sex relationships. We know today the Sodom story was really about inhospitality and gang rape, not loving, same sex permanent partnerships. Judaism was a “primitive morality”, as evidenced by Lot offering his daughters to be raped instead of the men. As for Leviticus, that condemns lending money for interest, shaving the beard, and weaving two kinds of cloth together. Terribly old fashioned.

        Probably … possibly …. maybe …

    • Pubcrawler

      “XXXIX Articles? That was a film, right, starring that dishy Robert Donat? Loved his butch ‘tash *swoon* he was so dreamy!”

      • chefofsinners

        A butch tash and a periwig is more than any gal can resist.

        • Pubcrawler

          And which bathroom wall did you find that written on?

          • chefofsinners

            Yours.

          • Pubcrawler

            Traitor!! You swore you’d never tell!!!

          • chefofsinners

            Another victim of piss-and-tell.

          • Pubcrawler

            Speaking of which, you need to take them shades off: your aim’s rubbish. State of the floor…

          • dannybhoy

            A very good stream….of comments there lads.

          • chefofsinners

            The motto of the firing squad: We aim to please.

        • Cressida de Nova

          Swoooooon !

      • Problem is their is no binding authority in Anglicanism and the Articles don’t mention reason and Church tradition needing to accompany scripture. So, it seems, each generation is at liberty to change doctrine based on its interpretation of the bible and “scholarship”.

        St. John of Damascus wrote, “I beseech the people of God, the holy nation, to hold fast to the tradition of the Church… for the gradual erosion of what has been handed down to us will bring down the whole fabric in ruins.”

        • William Lewis

          The problem is the same as it ever was. What he is preaching and teaching goes against the Bible. The binding authority in Anglicanism and the Articles is the Word of God.

  • len

    What satan cannot kill outright he corrupts .This is the story of humanity so I suppose we should not be too surprised that this is happening within ‘the Church’..
    But take heart….As Jesus said ” I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me,(John14:30)
    Satan could not tempt Jesus Christ onto the pathway to corruption, instead Jesus took the painful walk to the Cross.
    We must rely on Christ, the incorruptable Christ,not on the Church.

    • chiaramonti

      The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. Not “the Usual Suspects” but Baudelaire’s ‘The Generous Gambler.’

  • “However, there’s every reason to fight tooth and nail to get all those who might believe in the depths of their hearts in the haughty homophobes of the hierarchy being brought low and the lowly lesbian ordinands being raised up, to sing out their own magnificat of LGBT justice for all to hear.”

    Kelvin Holdsworth’s Magnificat:

  • chefofsinners

    The pro-state-visit-for-Trump petition is gaining momentum.
    Sign it here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/178844

    • William Lewis

      One wonders if it will be debated in parliament straight after the ban-the-state-visit debate. Or perhaps they just cancel each other out.

      • 1642again

        That’s the idea. Signed it at the start.

        • Anton

          Ditto!

      • James Bolivar DiGriz

        I read yesterday that both will be debated on 20th February.

    • dannybhoy

      Just signed. Thanks for posting the link.

    • IanCad

      A good civic duty. Thanks Chef!

    • Dominic Stockford

      225,000 so far.

  • David

    Why the sea of red robes ? What a waste of money. It is very silly the way these Bishops wear different robes for different occasions. Surely IF, they must have ceremonial garments vastly different from the rank and file clergy, then the differences should be subtle. Otherwise it just smacks of a craving for outward status. Moreover one set would suffice for all purposes.

    • 1642again

      Agreed. In fact clergy clothing should be very simple, if not just smart normal clothing. One can be sure Jesus and the Apostles didn’t wander round in anything other than working clothing. Why not tradesman’s work trousers and shirts, and work boots to make the point?

      • Dominic Stockford

        Robes in church does at least ensure that the minister dresses with some dignity. I am sure you loathe seeing a minster jumping round in T-shirt and jeans as much as I do,

        • David

          Point taken. Beach wear and the ultra-casual, as you describe, is unacceptable. A smart but simple range for the dress code is needed. But bishops changing their elaborate robes for different functions is just too pompous and silly by far.

        • Terry Mushroom

          A URC minister led my brother-in-law’s funeral service in slacks and shirt, open at the top. He spoke well. However, without meaning to I’m sure, his mode of dress was disrespectful to Richard and his mourners. This comment came from the young as well as the older.

        • Sarky

          Yeah, because jesus always dressed up smart to give his sermons. Or did he wear the ancient jewish equivalent of jeans and a t-shirt?

        • dannybhoy

          I know one.. Congregation’s about 250. Young, old, families … ;0)
          I have to admit though I also prefer the minister to be formally attired.
          (Sez he who wears jeans to church).

      • David

        Well I think so !
        But I understand that not everyone is the same, and if a robes are important to their sense of being led in worship, then the garments should be smart but simple

      • dannybhoy

        And meet your congregation in a ‘greasy spoon’?!
        Personally I can see the value of black smock or whatever it is, or a dog collar with suit or jacket; but the overabundance of flowing colourful robes just helps to create a world divorced from everyday reality.
        When I was a kid we called it ‘dressing up’.

        • 1642again

          Sorry, Feeling mischevious today! I’m a great believer in old churches and cathedrals, beauty and dignity in worship, the BCP and King James Bible, but that’s because I enjoy and appreciate these things. Dancing and swaying charismatically alienates me, but that’s because I’m a hard bitten Englishman. On the former, I’m in a small minority. For many these things of ceremonial ‘beauty’ are off-putting and make Christians seem an alien race, and therefore the clergy should consider that the faith is to attract and save souls, not to emphasise their ‘;otherness’.

          There is a best of both here, with some services being the full on ‘beauty’ and others much more informal. Clergy should dress appropriately!

          • dannybhoy

            Good points there, and I’m not saying I’m right (Heaven forbid!), but it’s how I am.

            Now I do like looking around an old graveyard occasionally, reading the inscriptions and wondering what they were like, what their world was like..
            Like my father a touch of the melancholy – a sense of sadness even.
            I agree in part about the charismatic thing, because I refuse to do something I don’t ‘feel’ in my spirit. I always seek honesty or integrity in a meeting; a sense that we are one in the Spirit, and external activity often distracts me, so I listen and keep my eyes shut.
            Strange creatures aren’t we…
            Now I would think that you have a very gentle and conciliatory spirit..?

          • Watchman

            I’ve heard it said that the best a church could have is the knowledge of the Brethren, the reverence of the Church of England and the enthusiasm of the Salvation Army. Alas, dress didn’t get a mention but maybe it’s important to the observer rather than those wishing to worship God.

      • Darter Noster

        The cassock/alb and chasuble worn at Mass/Eucharist is based on the tunic and poncho-like cloak (casula) that were standard travelling gear for people in the Roman Empire, including marching legionaries and wandering apostles and priests, so in a sense they are work clothes – just very ancient ones. Like incense, which links worship to the temple in Jerusalem, the robes for Mass are a connection to our ancient origins.

        I take the point about dress from an evangelical viewpoint, but from a Catholic viewpoint the distinctive dress is part of the solemnity. Beautiful liturgy, music and visual imagery all help to make the Mass a uniquely sacred and moving occasion; there is nothing more grating than a guitar-mass with a jokey priest in trainers, who doesn’t seem to understand what he’s actually there to do.

        Especially before mass literacy, the ceremonial, imagery, music and architecture were extremely effective at conveying the beauty of holiness through the beauty of worship.

        • Cressida de Nova

          Your last paragraph says it all. Beauty is a glimpse into the Divine.

          • Anton

            Indeed, one must pity the poor apostles for having none of those.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Their ‘majesty’, Anton, was surely of a different order.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Anton, let her be. She has ‘seen’ beauty. Beauty, will conquer all in the end.

            Dosetevsky

          • Dominic Stockford

            Oh, and there was me thinking that it was Jesus who’d do that….

          • ChaucerChronicle

            He is Beauty.

          • Darter Noster

            Check out the house church at Dura Europos, the oldest dedicated site of Christian worship ever identified (apart from shrines and catacombs), dating back to the 250s AD. Its walls are covered in beautiful frescoes depicting Christian scenes. If the Apostles themselves did not create art, music or architecture it speaks more to the skill sets and resources available to them at the time.

            Christians have glorified God and beautified his worship with art, music and architecture for as long as they have been able to do so, and in doing so have created some of the most inspiring, enduring and beautiful works known to humanity. So much great Renaissance, Baroque and Classical music was meant for Church use, for example. Why shouldn’t humanity worship God using all the talents He has given us?

            Of course worship does not have to be elaborate, complicated or showy, and in the majority of cases it isn’t, even when robes are used; there is great beauty in simplicity too. But worship doesn’t have to be plain, either. Surely there is room enough for both?

          • Anton

            I’d say the time for that is when we worship Christ after his Second Coming, not before.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Outstanding.

          • dannybhoy

            Beauty indeed; a mountain view, a river, a child’s innocence a flower; that is beauty.
            But (and I am not knocking your view, simply sharing mine); I cannot see beauty in ritual or ceremony or dress.
            It may be a lack of soul or imagination in me, but a man dressed in sumptuous robe remains a man. I understand that it may represent something deeper, but I can’t see it. In the context of a church it is what I can’t see, but can feel that makes me aware of the divine.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Einstein said true intelligence is not in acquiring knowledge but in the gift of an imagination. I know you will find this hard to believe but Einstein is a reliable source and is much smarter than Anton thinks he is.

          • dannybhoy

            M’m.

            Why would I find it hard to believe, pray tell?
            I wouldn’t say I lack intelligence, although I grant it’s limited.
            So why would I find it hard to believe Albert Einstein is a reliable source?
            I don’t think I mentioned Anton who btw is a decent and intelligent Christian chap.
            How does he fit into this?

          • He assumes he knows more than he does and we know what assuming does to one.

          • dannybhoy

            But he wasn’t in the discussion.
            I looked.
            I am much more interested in Cressida’s comment.

          • chefofsinners

            Thank you.

          • You never rest, do you?

        • Relevance versus reverence.
          Would people appear before their Monarch dressed in jeans and trainers? Would Parliament be opened without ceremony? Yet they think it appropriate to be present before the Real Presence of Christ in this casual wear. Each of the vestments and their different colours have symbolic meaning.

          • chiaramonti

            And yet, the notion of “Sunday best” has long died, except on very special occasions. When I was young, we were expected (and required) to attend church properly dressed as if attending an important event (which we were.) Now anything goes – bums on seats more important than appearance, which in one sense is true.

          • chefofsinners

            “Would people appear before their monarch in jeans and trainers?”
            I once had this argument made to me in church by a strident Irishman. The following week I showed up in white tie. My Irish friend was apoplectic, which made the hire cost seem like a real bargain.

          • Just a white tie? Goodness!

    • Dominic Stockford

      The black rochet should be perfectly acceptable. Slightly different in view to other clergy, as office-holders should be discernable. Red is simply a poor attempt at copying Rome, it makes them feel more important.

      • David

        Agreed.

      • donadrian

        I think you mean chimere rather than rochet – but I have always thought, on purely aesthetic grounds, that the black is far preferable to the red. Convocation robes, however, are another matter.

        • Dominic Stockford

          Apologies, chimere it is. Black it is!

    • Dreadnaught

      The whole religious wardrobe makes the Village People look on in envy.

      • David

        Noted.

      • Anton

        Ancient Roman clothing, Elizabethan English, Victorian hymns, and we claim to be relevant!

    • Anton

      They look like a court of law rather than a fount of grace, the Sanhedrin rather than the apostles.

      • David

        Noted, sympathetically.

  • 1642again

    A bit of a diversion but I saw a clip of a Marine Le Pen speech first thing this morning where she explicitly stated that the EU is a new religion and politicians/MPs its priesthood. Once again Chesterton’s maxim springs to mind – what a wise man he was.

    I really struggle to see how any scriptural Christian could support the atheist EU.

    • Anton

      If you mean the maxim something like when a man doesn’t believe in God he doesn’t believe in nothing but he rather believes in anything, GKC didn’t write that; it first appeared in a study of him by someone else:

      https://www.chesterton.org/ceases-to-worship/

    • David

      “I struggle to see how any scriptural Christian could support the atheist EU”

      Yes. This has longtime been my view. Any support from such Christians is down to three things I’d say. Firstly allowing themselves to be led by those whose political affiliation overpowers a reasoned application of their faith to the points following. Secondly sheer ignorance of the real nature of the EU, its origins, constitution, aims, methods and end point. Thirdly they must be deeply ignorant of the evolution of our constitutional history, and the vast influence of Christianity has had on it.
      So like the vast majority of the higher clergy they fall, unthinkingly, for the lazy image of it being “warm and cuddly”, to be together, without examining exactly what that claimed togetherness really entails, including what is being relinquished. That is a “wet behind the ears”, rather immature approach to the world I’d say, but all so typical of the “nice” people who parade their left-liberal, claimed moral superiority.

    • IanCad

      A little more Chesterton:
      “—And they that rule in England, in stately conclaves met, alas, alas for England they have no graves as yet.”

    • Anton

      A load of nations that are secular in practice want to federate; from the religious point of view the answer is pretty much So What. I can find (just) one biblical principle that it violates, namely that national boundaries should coincide with linguistic boundaries based on the Babel episode, for which the reason is to curb human hubris.

      I know Christians whom I consider committed brethren who support the EU; it’s worth asking them why and listening without attempting rebuttal. I (too?) find this exercise difficult, but it is perhaps good spiritual exercise.

      • TropicalAnglican

        I am glad you said that, I know of evangelical clergy who are very upset about Brexit, and I was hoping that their point of view would be represented on this blog so that I would not have to ask directly, and also so that I could have some hints what to say if I am coming from the opposite direction!

      • 1642again

        The reason I made what was a deliberately controversial remark was because of one seminal moment in the evolution of the EU in about 2000 when the EU was draft a new inherently federal constitution under Giscard d’Estaing (of Bokassa diamonds fame).

        An advanced draft was prepared and there was a controversy when the Vatican and others realised that unlike the US Constitution there was no reference to God, let alone Christ. They made strong representations and were rebuffed. At that moment the secular anti-Christian nature of the EU was made manifest. The constititution was of course voted down in referenda in the Netherlands and France but was slid in the back door by way of the Lisbon Treaty later. It was this process that turned Gisela Stuart from a EU advocate into a Leaver as well.

        That was the moment what the Vatican’s illusions that they were helping put together a new Holy Roman Empire fell apart.

        It has also always struck me that some of the most dogged British Eurosceptics (eg Sir Bill Cash) have been Catholics, while others have been been Protestant Christians (eg Frank Field).

        The whole ethos of the EU is elitist, anti Christian and undemocratic, and tolerant of appalling corruption. It’s an Unholy Roman Empire.

        • Anton

          It’s certainly that.

          To go any further would involve the issue of what is a “Christian country”, and most people here, whether they agree or disagree, are probably tired by now of hearing me argue for my views about that issue (namely that there aint no such thing this side of the Second Coming).

  • Jon Sorensen

    “marriage is the lifelong union of one man and one woman”
    Let’s see if House of Bishops has courage to stop re-marrying divorced people and nullifying second marriages. Of course the will not! This is only an attack against LGBT people. House of Bishops wants their freedom of religion, but they don’t want LGBT people freedom of religion to marry who they want. We have seen this so many times.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      There are Biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage.

      To annull a marriage would be to make the children of such a marriage into bastards.

      The ‘marriage’ of LGBBTBBCITV people is legal – a legal fiction.

      • Sarky

        Who actually uses the word bastard in its intended use these days??? And more importantly who cares if a child is born out of wedlock??

        • Anton

          Me; because such children are less likely to be brought up in a household containing both their parents until they are adult – which matters.

          • Sarky

            I know plenty of children of single parents who are a total credit.
            The worse behaved children I know are from a christian family.

          • William Lewis

            How big is your sample?

          • dannybhoy

            Getting kinda personal ain’tcha?

          • William Lewis

            Is there any other way?

          • Sarky

            What do ya think???

          • William Lewis

            Piddling?

          • dannybhoy

            Fair to piddling?

          • dannybhoy

            I’m quite sure they are, but in relation to our society and what we stand for, that’s not relevant.

          • Sarky

            It is, because you are stereotyping kids from single parent families.

          • dannybhoy

            Our little God daughter is from such, and we and others in our Christian circle rally around to offer practical help and support.

        • dannybhoy

          I think we should Sarky, because eventually in succeeding generations we will lose sight of who belongs to whom, grandparents, ancestors even. That lack of record keeping so as not to embarrass or shame may lay up more problems for the future. I think it’s a sign of societal breakdown

          • Sarky

            Not breakdown. Just different.

          • dannybhoy

            It’s a breakdown Sarks, a retrograde step. Of course we would become a different society, but not a better one.
            Please read the link if you’ve time..
            “…increasing concern that the poor registration of baptisms, marriages and burials undermined property rights, by making it difficult to establish lines of descent, coupled with the complaints of Nonconformists, led to the establishment in 1833 of a parliamentary Select Committee on Parochial Registration. This took evidence on the state of the parochial system of registration, and made proposals that were eventually incorporated into the 1836 Registration and Marriage Acts. In addition, the government wanted to survey things like infant mortality, fertility and literacy to bring about improvements in health and social welfare. The medical establishment advocated this because a rapidly growing population in the northern industrial towns – caused by the Industrial Revolution – had created severe overcrowding, and the links between poor living conditions and short life expectancy were now known.”
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Register_Office_for_England_and_Wales#Reasons_for_creating_the_GRO

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Who cares?

          1. The Police Officer on the beat;
          2. The Clinical Child Psychologist;
          3. The Social Worker;
          4. The Psychiatrist;
          5. The Relationship Counsellor.

          • Dominic Stockford

            But they don’t know that they care, they just get negatively affected by it.

          • dannybhoy

            There are Christians working in all of those fields Dominic, and they will care. Even if they are but a few..

          • Dominic Stockford

            There’ll be a few, indeed. But most will get irritated and annoyed by the ‘scrotes’ without understanding the moral and spiritual issues which lie behind them becoming ‘scrotes’ in the first place.

          • dannybhoy

            Scrote?
            What this is, scrote?

          • Dreadnaught

            A peron of dubious character: first heard in an episode of Porridge I think: abbr of scrotum.

          • dannybhoy

            I too have been described as this..

          • Dominic Stockford

            scrote
            noun BRITISH informal
            a contemptible person.

          • Sarky

            Yeah, because every child with two parents has a wonderful life.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Sarky,

            This isn’t the place for you.

            You’re dealing with ‘big boys’ here. You need healing kid. Then, maybe; who knows.

          • Sarky

            Big boys?? Most of the time its squabbling children.

        • carl jacobs

          And more importantly who cares if a child is born out of wedlock??

          Pretty much nobody. But that’s because adults are so selfish and self-centered, they don’t give a sh*t how their decisions affect their kids.

          • Sarky

            So the woman who takes her kids out of an abusive relationship doesnt give a shit?

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Be patient, I intend to address divorce and remarriage from a Biblical perspective: soon.

          • Anton

            Do remember that divorce means differently in scripture and today: back then it was a matter for the couple, who informed the authorities, whereas today you petition the authorities for one.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            He does.

          • dannybhoy

            Not what he said Sarks.

          • carl jacobs

            So the woman who takes her kids out of an abusive relationship doesnt give a shit?

            Let’s leave aside that fact that your statement ignores the decision of the other adult.

            Let’s leave aside the fact that you have changed the subject from illegitimacy to abuse. Although by doing so, I immediately wondered if you had just tacitly admitted the relationship between illegitimacy and abuse. In which case you have answered your own question.

            Illegitimacy virtually always means father absence. If you want to say that your influence on your own kids is extraneous, that’s fine with me. You’re wrong, but I certainly can’t prevent you from being ignorant.

        • ChaucerChronicle

          Sarky,

          He loves you; He wishes you know harm.

          Come home.

          • Sarky

            Mum, is that you???

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Sarky,

            He can heal you. Come home.

          • Sarky

            Dad’s a doctor now?

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Sarky,

            The fox is at the end of his run; the earth is all staked out.

          • Sarky

            Why can’t Christians speak English?

          • ChaucerChronicle

            For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.…

          • Sarky

            Might have a long wait.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Time belongs to Him.

          • Sarky

            Not my time.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Yes. Not your time.

        • ….who cares if a child is born out of wedlock?

          Historically, pretty well all stable societies, Sarky. Marriage has always been a contractual arrangement contributing to social order, and if you will have marriage, you cannot help but delineate between permitted and forbidden relations and their results. This doesn’t mean the child of an illicit relationship, the “bastard” must suffer, only that the status must be acknowledged and any differential rights and limits must be specified.

      • Dominic Stockford

        The Church of Rome not only claims to be able to annul what God has put together, but has recently, in a vile letter full of subtle Roman hatred, told me that I have contracted an ‘illegal’ marriage because they haven’t given me permission to leave their rotten barque (which I did some 24 years ago). That, of course, means that they believe my children to be bastards, and my wife not to be my wife. They even begged me to return to Rome and to their unbiblical priesthood – which would of course, mean that they want me to abandon my wife and family.

        When did they became arbiters of British law?
        They’re clearly not arbiters of God’s love or compassion.

        • dannybhoy

          An awful situation, but you stand accountable before our Lord, not the Church as such.
          My dear wife and I are both divorcees. I think adultery was involved, but I have never looked too closely. In a marriage relationship there are always two sides to a breakdown..
          Anyway, my point is that we married in a registry office and that’s how it remains. No re-marriage in a church, ceremony, no blessing; and as far as I can see no need.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            In the Registry Office, He was there.

          • chiaramonti

            Actually, a REGISTER office.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Bravo.

          • dannybhoy

            True, but commonly known as a registry office..

            “Find a register office – GOV.UK
            https://www.gov.uk/register-offices
            23 Sep 2016 – Find a register office (registry office) – register and find records of births, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths, and order certificates.”

          • Dominic Stockford

            Further confused because the person is a ‘registrar’ – thus people say registRY.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes I’ve also heard it called the Registrar’s office.

          • dannybhoy

            Absolutely. and thank you.

          • Dominic Stockford

            If you took him with you, and take him with you, he is there.

        • Did the Church say your children were “bastards” or that you should leave them and their mother? Jack suspects not. When you were ordained, you swore an oath to God. The Church can release you from this vow, on application to Rome, then, in her eyes, you would be free to marry.
          Once again, you misrepresent the Church.

        • Anton

          It’s not your children who are bastards.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Laughed there.

          • Cressida de Nova

            It is a pity you have not been officially excommunicated. Return the money the Bishop so generously gave you to buy a flat with . How much money have you managed to scam from the Protestants so far?

          • … not to mention the cost of his seminary training.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Oh and the rest!

          • Anton

            Ask him what it was worth.

          • Dominic Stockford

            It cost me heartache and pain. Though I did learn far more about Rome than he would ever admit, nor even like to know.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Heartache and pain (spluttering with mirth) Downside should have recognised your theatrical ability…you would have been a better actorl

          • You bad.

            He became a bishop in a breakaway Protestant sect, being opposed to ‘unbiblical ecumenical dialogue’, is Chairman of the Protestant Truth Society, the pastor of a small church, and also an aspiring MP.

            From Roman Catholicism, onto a spell with Episcopalians and is now a Calvinist Congregationalist.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Oh…I was wondering why Carl was getting all ruffled.
            I suppose Bishop Stockford (guffaws!) will not be getting an invitation to the school reunion.I hope his free accomodation is nicer than his Catholic one.Maybe the Protestants gave him a bigger and better car too. We all know how they are renowned for their generosity.

          • What is actually cost is the point … He should refund the money.

          • carl jacobs

            He owes nothing to the RCC. Perhaps Rome should compensate him for the years lost to error and false teaching.

          • Morally he should have withdrawn when he became aware Catholicism was not for him. It seems clear he was not called to the Catholic priesthood and could not honour the vows of celibacy and obedience. Whoever decided his admission was at fault. Then, in those days, all sorts were admitted.

          • carl jacobs

            You have no standing to judge when he should have left. And it’s not relevant to the question of repayment anyways. He has no obligation legal or moral. This is just a cheap baseless insinuation of theft. I expect that from Cressida but not from you.

          • Jack is aware of all that. He’s pissing Jack off with his ignorance and hostility, towards “Rome” (it’s like being back in the 16th century) so he thought he’d have a go back.

          • Cressida de Nova

            You first sentence reveals you have no intrinsic understanding of morality whatsoever. Stockford did not believe in important Church precepts when he
            was a seminarian. He should not have proceeded to ordination.Jack is a Catholic. He is bound by integrity
            even if it jeopardises his friendship with you.

            I am only engaging with you because you mentioned by name even though time and time again you have stated you will ignore me.Any slight from you is a compliment reinforcing by belief that I have not yet been reduced to the mire.

          • carl jacobs

            When you are through with your little rant, you might tell it to Jack – since he admitted the truth of what I said.

            Or didn’t you notice?

          • Anton

            Isn’t that what he did?

          • He was ordained and took up a position as a Catholic priest before leaving the Church.

          • Anton

            You said, “he should have withdrawn when he became aware Catholicism was not for him”. Where has he said he became aware that it was not for him *before* his ordination?

          • It’s obvious throughout his little tirade against “Rome”.

          • Anton

            You won’t mind me asking where?

          • Have you read it? If he was honest at his selection interviews about his faith he would never have been granted entry. One wonders what his true motives were.

          • Anton

            Ah, you mean his testimony online. I was wondering if you meant something he posted on this thread. Based on his own words I’d say he was confused.

            You were at his selection interview?

          • Jack was not at his selection interview but he has participated at these in a professional capacity. He has also counselled “confused and depressed” priests. This pattern is not unfamiliar to him and generally reflects the wrong motives for seeking ordination, depression or spiritual confusion.

          • Anton

            Yes, he seems to have been in a state of spiritual confusion. But for what reason do you attribute his passing the selection interview to dishonesty on his part? You weren’t there, after all…

          • Because if he honestly stated his attitudes towards his faith, as expressed during his time at boarding school, it’s unlikely he would have been admitted. Unless, that is, his admissions procedure was flawed and those charged with discerning his vocation were incompetent. It could be rationalisation after the event to justify his change of heart.

          • Anton

            As you accept that there is more than one possible reason, why did you insist on one only – dishonesty – above?

          • Hardly insisted. Jack said: “If he was honest at his selection interviews about his faith he would never have been granted entry. One wonders what his true motives were.”

            The whole statement smacks of self-serving dishonesty, to be frank.

          • Anton

            Do inform him directly of your eisegesis.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Yes but what about the seven years of free accomodation, utilities, food ,clothing,petrol, cleaning service , a car ,donations from the congregation and then receiving a deposit for a flat…not a bad scam !

          • Dominic Stockford

            Only a truly unpleasant person would say such things with no evidence. The Church of Rome gave me nothing when I left, nothing whatsoever. I lived in Plymouth slum for 6 months as a result. When I came to my current pastorship 8 years later I didn’t even know what they were going to pay me, and the answer is, not a lot. On retirement I shall rely on goodwill to survive, and God’s blessings – which he has not failed with yet.

            I have found that a certain category of person always goes to the ‘money’ – that category are those for whom it is the most significant issue themselves.

          • Anton

            Have you read Richard Bennett’s rather similar testimony of leaving the Roman Catholic priesthood?

            http://www.bereanbeacon.org/personal-testimonies/2015/7/13/richard-bennett-from-tradition-to-truth-a-priests-story

          • Dominic Stockford

            Anton, yes. And some of the comments being flung about with gay abandon, by people who not so long ago were claiming that I wasn’t really Dominic Stockford, but merely claiming to be him, and who are now abusing me for so being, are taken from my testimony – and which was put together with the help of Richard Bennett, and is to be found in full in the book called ‘Far from Rome, Near to God’. (Available in all good Amazons… https://www.amazon.co.uk/Far-Rome-Near-God-Testimonies/dp/1848710208/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486032924&sr=8-1&keywords=Far+from+Rome%2C+Near+to+God – enjoy)!

          • Anton

            I know of the book as I have his other compendium The truth set us free (ex-nuns’ stories), but I didn’t know you were in it!

          • Cressida de Nova

            There is a certain category of person(chronic liar possibly?) who declares publically on the net

            the one thing I was’ given ‘ was a deposit on a small bed -sit

            then says the Church gave him nothing whatsoever when he left.

          • Dominic Stockford

            £40. In those days. If that is really ‘something’, it isn’t something actually worth having.

          • “The Church of Rome gave me nothing when I left, nothing whatsoever. I lived in Plymouth slum for 6 months.”

            Really? Yet you claim on-line:“I was basically told that I was mad and needed to be sent away to one of the clergy houses where they ‘straighten out’ those who have gone off the rails.” Jack is aware of said houses and they are not how you describe them. They are quiet peaceful places given over to reflection. One doubts the accuracy of these “recollections”, especially given your later statements about a rugby club, running into trouble with the law and having been diagnosed as suffering from “confusion and depression”.

            Then you state: “The one thing I was ‘given’ by the diocese was the deposit on a small bed-sit. No help, no advice, not even thanks for the seven years service that I had given them.”
            Hardly nothing. Later you state you enrolled at a University (Social Work?): “5 months after leaving the service of Rome.” Not quite the poor, abandoned person living in the slums that you claim. What did you do with the deposit for the bed-sit?
            There is much Jack could pull apart from your online diatribe against “Rome” – both in terms of its coherence and accuracy, but he will not. So you made a mistake and were unsuited to the Catholic priesthood. Get over it. You clearly never understood the Catholic faith and still don’t.

          • Dominic Stockford

            1. £40. Wow, generous. Is it something? I think not. It came two or three months AFTER I had moved in. Paid for some food for a week.

            2. 5 months in a slum, with the wind whistling up between the floorboards, before finding my own way into a university place, is what I had to endure. Getting a place at Uni had nothing to do with Rome whatsoever.

            3. Having spoken with clergy who went to these places you describe as ‘quiet peaceful places given over to reflection’ I know what you stay to be quite inaccurate. One man I knew, and was on good terms with, returned to his parish rather than staying there – he knew he was alcoholic and that it would kill him, but he was not prepared to stay somewhere where people were routinely and pointlessly demeaned and belittled. For instance, a bishop who was there as an inmate was told that if he didn’t kowtow the ‘leader’ of the group would “S**t in his mitre, and stuff his crozier up his a***”. [apologies to those of sensitive feelings].

            4. I understand that the Roman Church teaches error, and is in much that it believes and does in opposition to the Word of God as revealed to us inerrantly in the Bible. The ‘Pope’ even entitles himself anti-Christ. What more does one need! The Holy Spirit of course, to open your heart to the truth and remove your dependence on a man-made institution, with laws that the Pharisees could only have dreamed of. I pray that He comes and brings you to understand that you need to be dependent on Christ alone.

          • Poor you …. such hatred and bitterness.

          • The Church doesn’t use the word, and the term is devoid of significance in canon law and is absolutely devoid of significance in the Church’s sacramental theology. Children do not bear the blame for the mistakes or sins of their parents (though, of course, such mistakes and sins can affect children).

            Bastardy may be a legal issue in civil law affecting inheritance rights and so forth, but it is essentially of no moral and spiritual consequence for the child conceived out of wedlock in terms of his or her standing with God or the Church. It not held to be a sin to be a bastard, though it is sinful for the parent to have sex and a child outside a valid marriage.

            Using the word “bastard” here is simply to poison the waters. The sin in the eyes of the Catholic Church is Dominic’s alone for “marrying” when he was not free to do so and, as a Catholic, for “marrying” outside of the Church.

          • Anton

            You mean outside of “the Church”.

          • Dominic Stockford

            The specific wording used was that my marriage was ‘not legal’ – a presumptive, arrogant, and inaccurate thing for Rome to claim when it was done according to the law of this land. For Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm.

          • Canonically law, not civil law …. binding on Catholics.

          • Dominic Stockford

            No it isn’t – the Church of Rome has NO jurisdiction in this realm. NO means NONE.

          • My, you must have slept through moral theology and canon law. By this “logic”, Catholics are permitted to have abortions or engage in homosexual “marriages” without the Catholic Church having the facility to declare these illicit acts contrary to God’s law? Both are legal but contrary to God’s law and this is reflected in Church canon law. God’s law trumps civil law.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Roman Church law is NOT God’s law.

          • It is if you are a Catholic.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Oh goody. I do enjoy it when someone plants both feet firmly in their own man-trap, getting so thoroughly stuck.

            It is therefore God’s law, according to you, that girls may marry at 14 – and that this is binding on Roman churchers, and this “trumps civil law” [your exact words]. The magistrates will not understand, no matter how hard you try to say otherwise, nor will most of civilised society.

            “Can. 1083 §1. A man before he has completed his sixteenth year of age and a woman before she has completed her fourteenth year of age cannot enter into a valid marriage.”

          • The times Jack has heard this old chestnut. The wording is “cannot enter into a valid marriage”; not must enter one. All the other conditions for a valid marriage would also apply. Is that your best shot?

          • Dominic Stockford

            No Jack, you dissimulate, as usual. You say that Roman Church Law overrides civil law of the country where people live – that Roman law says marriage is legal for 14 year old girls – according to you it is therefore legal for Roman Catholic men in this country to marry 14 year old girls. In no way is this right – nor is it God’s law.

          • Jack did not say the canon law overrides the civil law except in those situations where there is a conflict between God’s law and the civil law requiring a Catholic to act against his conscience. Faithful Catholics would not obtain civil divorces and remarry, nor would they procure or assist in abortions. Being married at 14 years for a girl, or 15 years for a boy, is not a requirement for a Catholic and they would follow the civil law without there being an issue of conscience.

            Under canon law, Conferences of Bishops can and do adopt a higher age for liceity. Marriage against the civil directives needs permission by the ordinary for liceity, which in case of sensible and equal laws regarding marriage age is regularly not granted. The permission by the ordinary is also required in case of a marriage of a minor child (i.e. under 18 years old) when his parents are unaware of his marriage or if his parents reasonably oppose his marriage. Under a law of July 2013, the State of Vatican City deems sex with a person under 18 years of age illegal. Under canon law, of course, all sex outside of marriage is considered illicit.
            Once again you misrepresent Catholicism.

            Are you aware that it is “legal” in England for a girl of 14 years to be prescribed the pill and be offered an abortion without her parents consent? The police routinely ignore sexually active teenagers over 14 years of age. Hardly “civilised”.

          • Anton

            Canon law is the most alarming contradiction in terms given that Christianity is about grace set in contrast to law.

          • We live under the law of Christ.

          • Anton

            Huge misunderstanding. We live under the grace of Christ to obey the laws of God.

        • Once again your ignorance of Catholic Canon Law on marriage and annulment astonishes Jack.

          • carl jacobs

            Annulment: noun. Catholic-speak for divorce.

          • Yes, Carl. We’ve been here before. The Catholic Church considers marriage a sacrament effected by the man and woman. Defective intent would mean the sacrament was never effected and so can be annulled, i.e. a marriage never took place.

            Agree or disagree, but don’t misrepresent the position.

          • carl jacobs

            Blah blah blah. Legalism. Blah blah. Lawyer-speak. Blah blah blah blah blah. Hair splitting.

            There. I think I have pretty well summed up the RC position.

          • No, you’ve merely exhibited your ignorance of Catholic sacramental theology.

            Tell Jack, do you believe divorce and remarriage is permitted by God?

          • Dominic Stockford

            Divorce is clearly sanctioned in the Bible.

          • Where?

          • Anton

            You have, but it’s worth being specific. There are certain valid grounds why persons who had been through a marriage ceremony should nevertheless be considered as not married, and once upon a time the Catholic church restricted annulments to those grounds. Today, however, you can get a divorce (oops, annulment) from Rome simply by asserting that you believe your spouse was not sincere when he or she took the wedding vows…

          • …. and if your lying than you commit a grievous sin. These claims are examined but not to the same extent as they once were.

          • William Lewis

            “Grounds include: …



            etc

            These are examined by a tribunal the decision made by a bishop.”

            So much for “theological and sacramental clarity.”. The legality of a marriage will be decided by a Bishop’s committee, based on a non exhaustive list.

          • Not the legality, this is a civil matter, but the validity of the sacrament in the eyes of the Church

            Here’s the full list:

            http://www.stmarys-waco.org/documents/Grounds%20for%20Marriage%20Annulment%20in%20the%20Catholic%20Church.pdf

            Briefly, a Catholic marriage can be annulled, the church says, if a tribunal investigation determines the union lacked at least one of five essential elements before vows were exchanged.

            – The spouses were free to marry;
            – They freely exchanged their consent;
            – They intended to marry for life, be faithful and be open to children;
            – They intended “good of each other”; and
            – Their consent was given in the presence of witnesses before a church official.

          • William Lewis

            Good grief, Jack. I followed your link and you could drive a coach and horses through those criteria! These “grounds for annulment” are grounds for divorce by another name.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Your Davy Crockett eloquence is astounding. Is that part of the teaching in the Calvinist brochure?

          • William Lewis

            “defective intent” is what exactly?

          • The person marrying either does not understand the purposes of marriage or misleads his/her spouse.

          • William Lewis

            Misleads in what way?

          • For example s/he does not intend the marriage to be for life, and/or s/he does not intend to be faithful, and/or s/he does not wish to have to children, or some other deception.

          • carl jacobs

            Jack, you know I am not ignorant about this matter. I understand there are a very small number of cases that require annulment. Such cases virtually never occur. In practice annulment is a divorce with a fig leaf attached.

          • Jack and the Church believes there are many situations, Catholics poorly formed in the faith and/or poorly prepared by priests, where annulment may be appropriate.

          • Cressida de Nova

            There is no excuse for priests to be poorly informed

          • Dominic Stockford

            Available to the rich and famous, and members of the Royal Houses of Europe with ease. To ordinary RC’s, not so easy whatsoever. I know, I was briefly an evidence taker.

        • William Lewis

          The iron fist of religion.

          • …. or, alternatively, theological and sacramental clarity.

      • Jon Sorensen

        “There are Biblical grounds for divorce and remarriage.”
        Yes but most of our divorces are “no fault” which you know and ignore. Typical Christian nonsense. Start separating your divorce reason and discriminate based on that and then come back here with your claims

        • ChaucerChronicle

          You need another appoinment with the Child Clinical Psychologist.

          You need help with your autism.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Yet another angry and hateful Christian….

    • Inspector General

      It might help if you consider the church as somewhat of a private members club that makes its own rules without outside assistance.

      Now, the advantage of that is that it will make you realise that the church is no business of atheists who are not part of it, and thus you can keep your nose safely out of our affairs without having to be continually reminded!

      • Sarky

        You keep yours out of ours then. Keep out of our schools, don’t tell us what is and isn’t marriage, keep out of our sex lives etc etc etc

        • Inspector General

          You mean ‘our’ schools. The census has Christianity at well over 50%. We really aren’t interested in you atheists as it happens. Feel free to ignore any helpful advise coming from our way…

          • Sarky

            50% ? Pretty sure cultural Christianity doesn’t count.

          • Inspector General

            You’re the one that doesn’t count…

          • Sarky

            That answer sounded like a lost argument.

        • James60498 .

          Whose schools are “our schools”?

          There are many a significant number of schools in the North West of England with Muslim majorities, or at least where Muslims are the biggest group? Are they Muslim schools that others should keep out of?

          What do you want? A parents vote every year to see whose school it is? Or should everyone who has a different opinion bow down to Sarky?

          • Sarky

            On average, less than 10% of pupils have any religious affiliation. So yes, they are our schools.

      • Jon Sorensen

        If it is a “private members club” then keep your view out of religious freedom and let LGBT people have their religious freedom to marry anyone their religion allows.

        Just keep your views in your “private members club”

        • Inspector General

          The whole point is that their religion doesn’t allow them to marry each other. But they are free to give the hetronormal a go…

          • Jon Sorensen

            Christian don’t want LGBT to marry. This has very little to do with “their religion doesn’t allow them to marry”. Nobody is forcing anyone to marry.

  • IrishNeanderthal

    Regarding clergy who support the EU, I suspect that many of them are like this, from Phantastes by George MacDonald, Chapter XXIII:

    . . . I looked up at [Sir Percivale]: his noble countenance was full of reverence and awe. Incapable of evil in himself, he could scarcely suspect it in another, much less in a multitude such as this, and surrounded with with such great appearances of solemnity. I was certain it was the really grand accompaniments that overcame him . . .

    • James60498 .

      Not sure that this excuses Catholic clergy though who hear Confessions.
      Though then not many people are in a position to confess at the levels that the EU should.

  • B 30 Of Holy Matrimony
    1. The Church of England affirms, according to our Lord’s teaching, that marriage is in its nature a union permanent and lifelong, for better for worse, till death them do part, of one man with one woman, to the exclusion of all others on either side, for the procreation and nurture of children, for the hallowing and right direction of the natural instincts and affections, and for the mutual society, help and comfort which the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.

    Permanent and lifelong for the procreation and nurture of children …..

    Once you permit divorce and remarriage and separate sex from procreation, you open the door for same sex “marriage”.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      True.

      What if scripturally, my church, the CofE, got it wrong and the Russian and Greek orthodox churches got it right.

      • len

        What if?. They have …

        • ChaucerChronicle

          What if they are closer to scripture?

      • The Orthodox Churches both permit second and third marriages in church, where the first marriage ended as a result of adultery, although these are not considered to be sacramental and are preceded by a penitential path. The Western/Roman Catholic Church permits separation and civil divorce, following a valid marriage, but holds to Christ’s teaching on remarriage following a divorce, judging this to be adultery.

      • Anton

        All the problems here are because of Establishment. The world will have a divorce law permitting remarriage during the life of a sundered marital partner; even ancient Israel did. But Christians are to live to higher standards, said Christ and Paul. In an Established church there is therefore an inevitable clash.

    • ChaucerChronicle

      That last paragraph doesn’t stack up.

      • Yes it does. “Marriage” becomes serial monogamy between people who “love” one another, until they fall out of “love”, and sex becomes a pleasurable activity separated from its intended natural purpose.

        • Royinsouthwest

          What about marriage between those who cannot have children for whatever reason, including people who marry when they are too old to have children?

          • Only the inability to consummate a marriage is an impediment to a valid marriage – not the inability to have children.

          • Anton

            Agreed – but you have contradicted yourself above. The purpose of marriage is given in Genesis 2:18-24, namely intimate companionship of man and woman, from which children are a normal consequence in most cases.

          • Catholics aren’t Puritans and It’s not a contradiction at all. For a marriage to be valid a couple must only be able to have sexual intercourse and not seek to avoid conception through artificial methods. In the marital act the man and woman become one not just because they both have pleasurable feelings, but because sex is ordered towards the good of procreation. Even if procreation does not occur, they are still ordered towards that good as well as the good of unity itself.

          • Anton

            What do you think Puritans do or don’t do? Please clarify.

            Tosh re (marital, barrier) contraception; you are adding to scripture.

            Yes, the unity of husband and wife is so deep as to be mystical (Eph 5:32); that unity is as true when they are physically apart as when they are as close as they can be.

          • Inspector General

            Poor sad Jack. He is with us today thanks to ‘artificial methods’ to stop and hopefully see an end to his cancer. But then, there are artificial methods and there are artificial methods…not for the likes of us to say which type God approves of or doesn’t. We’ll let Jack guide us, shall we…

          • The protection of life through medicine is not illicit in God’s eyes, numpty.

          • Cressida de Nova

            How very compassionate of you to hope for Jack’s recovery.Even with cancer, Jack will never be as poor or sad as you.

          • The Church has constantly taught that artificial contraception is illicit – until the Lambeth Conference in 1930 decided otherwise.

          • Anton

            Because before then it was associated with prostitution and fornication. Then respectable married couples started using it and some churches had the sense to ponder the issue in itself without the associations. Those run by an unmarried priesthood were not able to apply the Bible to experience and so make an informed pronouncement.

          • That’s not what the Lambeth Conference taught or what the Church understood for 2000 years.

            Until this day, all Christian churches were unanimous in their opposition to artificial birth control, notwithstanding the usual small group of loud dissenters. However, the very critical first crack in the wall happened at the Anglican Bishop’s Lambeth Conference of 1930. Just as the ‘hard cases’ were used to obtain abortion on demand and just as they are now being used to lobby for euthanasia on demand they were used sixty years ago to get artificial birth control. The same pattern is evident in the debate about homosexuality.

            The historic Anglican Bishop’s Resolution 15 of August 15, 1930, passed by a vote of 193 to 67, reads as follows. Those who examine this statement carefully will clearly recognize the familiar semantic tools of the pro-abortion movement. Notice that Resolution 15 sounds smooth, firm, and compassionate. Notice also that it places no real limits on the Christian, but instead leaves any action at all up to him and his conscience.

            THE ANGLICAN BISHOP’S RESOLUTION 15 OF AUGUST 15, 1930

            Where there is a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, the method must be decided on Christian principles. The primary and obvious method is complete abstinence from intercourse (as far as may be necessary) in a life of discipleship and self-control lived in the power of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, in those cases where there is such a clearly felt moral obligation to limit or avoid parenthood, and where there is a morally sound reason for avoiding complete abstinence, the Conference agrees that other methods may be used, provided that this is done in the light of the same Christian principles. The Conference records its strong condemnation of the use of any methods of conception-control for motives of selfishness, luxury, or mere convenience.

            Notice that the allowable ‘methods’ are not defined by Resolution 15. Notice also that the term ‘Christian principles’ is not defined. Using the statement above, abortion and even infanticide could easily be justified if the “conscientious” individual thought that the child would be a burden or an inconvenience in any way.

            This is a profound and rapid change from the statements promulgated by the Lambeth Conferences in 1908 and 1917, which labelled artificial contraception as “demoralizing to character and hostile to national welfare.”

          • Addition:

            The United States’ Federal Council of Churches (now the National Council of Churches) had been waiting for someone else to take the lead on ‘modernising’ the Church’s stand on birth control. In March 1931, it endorsed “the careful and restrained use of contraceptives by married people,” while at the same time conceding that “serious evils, such as extramarital sex relations, may be increased by general knowledge of contraceptives.”

            The reaction at the time:

            THE LUTHERAN CHURCH:

            “Birth Control, as popularly understood today and involving the use of contraceptives, is one of the most repugnant of modern aberrations, representing a 20th century renewal of pagan bankruptcy.”
            (Dr. Walter A. Maier, Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri)

            THE METHODIST CHURCH:

            “The whole disgusting [birth control] movement rests on the assumption of man’s sameness with the brutes … Its [the Federal Council of Churches] deliverance on the matter of birth control has no authorization from any churches representing it, and what it has said I regard as most unfortunate, not to use any stronger words. It certainly does not represent the Methodist Church, and I doubt if it represents any other Protestant Church in what it has said on this subject.”
            (Bishop Warren Chandler, Methodist Episcopal Church South, April 13, 1931)

            THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH:
            “Its [Federal Council of Churches] recent pronouncement on birth control should be enough reason, if there were no other, to withdraw from support of that body, which declares that it speaks for the Presbyterian and other Protestant churches in ex cathedra pronouncements.”
            (The Presbyterian, April 2, 1931)

            THE CATHOLIC CHURCH:
            “In order that she [the Catholic Church] may preserve the chastity of the nuptial union from being defiled by this foul stain, she raises her voice in token of her divine ambassadorship and through our mouth proclaims anew: any use whatsoever of matrimony exercised in such a way that the act is deliberately frustrated in its natural power to generate life is an offense against the law of God and of nature, and those who indulge in such are branded with the guilt of a grave sin.”
            (Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubi, December 31, 1930, Section 4, Paragraph 4)

            AND THE SECULAR PRESS:
            “Carried to its logical conclusion, the committee’s report, if carried into effect, would sound the death-knell of marriage as a holy institution by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality. The suggestion that the use of legalised contraceptives would be “careful and restrained” is preposterous.”
            (The Washington Post, March 22, 1931)
            How times change – but God’s truths do not.

          • William Lewis

            Birth control itself is not evil. Even the RCC admits that there are reasons and methods for controlling fertility, other than abstinence.

          • Natural methods … and then not always licit.

          • Anton

            You have not engaged with what I said, so I’ll repost it. Before then it was associated with prostitution and fornication. Then respectable married couples started using it and some churches had the sense to ponder the issue in itself without the associations.

          • Where is your evidence for that assertion? Jack has given details of the Christian churches responses. Not one mentions prostitution.

          • Anton

            Stop pretending to be stupid, Jack. I said *before then* it was associated with prostitution. People automatically thought of it as part of the prostitute’s stock-in-trade and were not willing to consider it in itself until decently married couples started using it. Even then, only the churches that were closer to the Bible and had married clergy who knew what they were talking about, took a genuine look at the issue.

          • Cressida de Nova

            Yes clarify what they do and don’t do. I am presuming you are Puritan. Singing and dancing and any expression of joy apart from solving mathematical equations and memorising reams of rote learning are considered sinful I believe. This is hearsay and unlike you I admit that I don’t know much about them except that they do not enjoy a good reputation as sentient beings.

          • Anton

            The Puritans are meaningfully defined as a movement from the Elizabethan era to Charles II, characterised by simplicity of lifestyle, honesty, and dedication to the word and Word of God. That they didn’t know how to party is a calumny foisted on them by their opponents; for example, they drank, but didn’t get drunk.

            I’m sorry you think it a good thing not to know the Bible as well as possible,

          • Dominic Stockford

            And Jack deliberately fails to point out “for the hallowing and right direction of the natural instincts and affections” which clearly also covers the physical/sexual side of the relationship – and derives directly from Paul’s teaching in the NT. Thus sex in marriage is not purely about or for procreation. Jack, wrong. Rome, wrong.

          • Anton

            Furthermore God has made the human female, unlike almost all female mammals who share the same reproductive physiology, sexually receptive when infertile. A good natural law argument which Catholics ignore…

          • Care to explain the logic of that “natural law” argument?

          • Anton

            I’ll answer with another question: Why is the human female sexually receptive when infertile?

          • Why do people eat and gain pleasure from food when they’re not hungry? Because sex fulfils bonding functions and strengthens a relationship, does not mean this can be separated from its reproductive intention.

            Now answer Jack’s question.

          • Anton

            You haven’t answered mine!

          • Jack did. Now you want him to provide you with an answer to the question you posed.

          • Anton

            God himself partly detaches reproduction and sex, by having the human female sexually receptive when infertile. Perhaps the Vatican should grumble to him?

          • Jack pointed that out further down in the thread.

          • Sex, in nature, is for reproduction. In marriage it also expresses and forms intimacy and bonding. Didn’t God instruct Adam and Eve to go forth and multiply?

          • CliveM

            “Sex, in nature, is for reproduction’.

            Not always HJ, look up the Bonobo Chimpanzee.

          • Anton

            Yes indeed. But the key section about marriage is the end of Genesis 2. Only that tells you its purpose. It makes the instruction you speak of possible, of course.

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Chaps, could you all invite your spouses to pray that Sarky ‘comes home’. Please. Right now. Text msg if you wish.

    • Sarky

      To what? A broken family that can’t agree on anything??

      You’re not the first to try this and you won’t be the last.
      Don’t waste your time.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Then Jesus told them:

        “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

        And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’

        I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

        • Sarky

          Heard it a million times.
          Totally meaningless.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            No it isn’t for you.

          • Sarky

            So why reply to me with it.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Sarky,

        He is your family.

        • Sarky

          I have my family thank you.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Even life itself doesn’t belong to you.

          • Sarky

            Yes it does. I can end it any time I want.

          • Anton

            So can God.

          • Sarky

            Except I didn’t think he did that striking down malarkey any more.

          • Anton

            He holds all lives in his hands.

          • Sarky

            And like water they slip through his fingers.

          • Anton

            He opens his fingers when he chooses.

      • Anton

        You’re worth it.

        • Sarky

          That’ll be my luscious locks.

  • len

    I do with ‘The Church ‘ would get its act together, after all its been practicing for 2,000 yrs and still nowhere near right.

  • Inspector General

    Here’s interesting….
    —————-
    Major new analysis has revealed how many gay and bisexual people there are [in the UK]
    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2017/02/01/more-than-1-3-million-gay-and-bisexual-people-in-england/
    —————-
    It’s 2.5% and for those whose maths are not great shakes, that’s 1 in 40. Now, the noise these blighters would make you’d think they were 40% of the population…

    • Sarky

      Less than that go to church. So what makes you think you should have a voice??

      • Inspector General

        It might help if you consider the church as somewhat of a private members club that makes its own rules without outside assistance.

        Now, the advantage of that is that it will make you realise that the church is no business of atheists who are not part of it, and thus you can keep your nose safely out of our affairs without having to be continually reminded!

        • Sarky

          Already replied to this re-post.

      • Royinsouthwest

        Do gays have to indulge at least once a week in order to be counted?

        • Sarky

          Do Christians?

          • Royinsouthwest

            You are the one who raised the subject of church attendance.

    • Dominic Stockford

      Very interesting. And on QI the other day the host Sandi Toksvig, for the sake of some joke or other, talked about why she had made her ‘lifestyle choice’ (to be a ‘lesbian’). Which rather undermined years of pro-homosexual propaganda. Choice not genetics, so she admitted.

      • Inspector General

        “If I had a sucking pig, if it had grown to be half as big…”

        Choice plays a big part in LGBT. And when it comes down to it, lack of discipline…

  • ChaucerChronicle

    Initially, there were three grounds for divorce:

    1. He shall not diminish her food,
    2. Her clothing, or
    3. Her marital rights.

    And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money. (Exod 21:10-11)

    • In the beginning …. there were no grounds for divorce:

      “Have you never read, how he who created them, when they first came to be, created them male and female; and how he said, A man, therefore, will leave his father and mother and will cling to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? And so they are no longer two, they are one flesh; what God, then, has joined, let not man put asunder.

      Why then, they said, did Moses enjoin that a man might give his wife a writ of separation, and then he might put her away? He told them, It was to suit your hard hearts that Moses allowed you to put your wives away; it was not so at the beginning of things. And I tell you that i>who puts away his wife, not for any unfaithfulness of hers, and so marries another, commits adultery; and he too commits adultery, who marries her after she has been put away.”

      • dannybhoy

        “And I tell you that i>who puts away his wife, not for any unfaithfulness of hers, and so marries another, commits adultery; and he too commits adultery, who marries her after she has been put away.”

        So the grounds for adultery is unfaithfulness Jack. God hates divorce but He allowed it.
        ” Clearly God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) because “What God has joined together, let man not separate . . . I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery” (Matthew 19:6, 9). Jesus said that, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery” (Mark 10:11-12)

        Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/reasons-for-divorce-what-does-the-bible-say/#ixzz4XSkNa4up

        • Anton

          Malachi’s Hebrew might equally read “He who hates, divorces”.

          • dannybhoy

            See, this is what gets you in shtuk with Jack…

          • Anton

            My only interest is in working out what the Bible says about the subject and applying it.

        • Remarriage after divorce is prohibited.

          “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.” (Luke 16:18)

          “Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives. . . . Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive.” (Rom. 7:2–3)

          “To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband)—and that the husband should not divorce his wife.” (1 Cor. 7:10–15)

          The early Church understood it too:

          Hermas
          “What then shall the husband do, if the wife continue in this disposition [adultery]? Let him divorce her, and let the husband remain single. But if he divorce his wife and marry another, he too commits adultery.” (Shepherd 4:1:6 [A.D. 80]).

          Justin Martyr
          “In regard to chastity, [Jesus] has this to say: ‘If anyone look with lust at a woman, he has already before God committed adultery in his heart.’ And, ‘Whoever marries a woman who has been divorced from another husband, commits adultery.’ According to our Teacher, just as they are sinners who contract a second marriage, even though it be in accord with human law, so also are they sinners who look with lustful desire at a woman. He repudiates not only one who actually commits adultery, but even one who wishes to do so; for not only our actions are manifest to God, but even our thoughts.” (First Apology 15 [A.D. 151]).

          Clement of Alexandria
          “That Scripture counsels marriage, however, and never allows any release from the union is expressly contained in the law: ‘You shall not divorce a wife, except for reason of immorality.’ And it regards as adultery the marriage of a spouse, while the one from whom a separation was made is still alive. ‘Whoever takes a divorced woman as wife commits adultery,’ it says; for ‘if anyone divorce his wife, he debauches her’; that is, he compels her to commit adultery. And not only does he that divorces her become the cause of this, but also he that takes the woman and gives her the opportunity of sinning; for if he did not take her, she would return to her husband.” (Miscellanies 2:23:145:3 [A.D. 208]).

          Origen
          “Just as a woman is an adulteress, even though she seems to be married to a man, while a former husband yet lives, so also the man who seems to marry her [and] who has been divorced does not marry her, but, according to the declaration of our Saviour, he commits adultery with her.”/i> (Commentaries on Matthew 14:24 [A.D. 248])

          • dannybhoy

            So that blows our marriage to pieces then.
            I’ll tell the wife it’s all over and she can keep the cat. We’ll try and persuade her ex to divorce his wife and take my now ex-wife back. Meantime I’ll try and locate my ex wife and say I’m willing to take her back,
            Though what she’ll say when I do find her I don’t know..

          • Dominic Stockford

            If I were you I’d keep it, you might need something to eat…

            Seriously though, when I was a Roman priest, much though memories of it pain me, there was one interesting occurrence. I visited a couple who were regular attenders at the church and in discussion and chat over tea it became clear that they had both been married before, and had remarried in a registry office. No-one else at the church knew, and I didn’t tell them. I wasn’t going to wreck their lives for the sake of some man-made rule.

          • dannybhoy

            If I were you I’d keep it, you might need something to eat…
            Lol.
            I agree with you, but we have never made a secret of our status anyway. Not to flaunt or upset other Christians, but because we are where we are in life. God says,
            ” “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind,[a to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
            After my marriage broke up I agonized over this issue, bought books on the subject, sought counsellng etc. At that time I wasn’t aware that my wife had committed adultery but in any case I would say fault is never one sided. There may well be faults in the other side. Not trying to excuse anything, just saying that life is often messy and complicated.
            So I think your not mentioning what was told you has a wider application. Sometimes it is better to keep quiet about something than to bring it into the open -even in Christian circles.
            God know the heart, He knows the circumstances and he knows the motivations.
            Unfortunately people even Godly people can gossip and condemn, and nod their heads knowingly…
            As the US military used to say, “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”
            I tell because a) the Lord knows and forgives, and I believe we have nothing to hide.
            And b) It wouldn’t be a good idea for someone to take advantage of my/our honesty for the wrong reasons.

          • Dominic Stockford

            In the end we are the ones who stand, alone, before the judgement seat. And we stand or fall on our faith – even if we got decisions wrong in our lives we will find judgement comes on the sincerity of our faith in Christ – something demonstrated by the sincerity with which we did all things in the interests of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2).

          • dannybhoy

            Absolutely. I was away from the Lord 20 years after my marriage ended, That’s because there was another aspect involving guidance and counsel. All water under the bridge now because when I finally did realise I wanted to ‘return home’ it took a while for me to understand God’s forgiveness and that He doesn’t cry over spilt milk, but wants us to move on. Because if we are His adopted children that’s what a good father does.
            I find I don’t judge in the way I used to.I think more and pray m re about the background of a person, and accept that each of us is on a journey of faith, and I try to speak gently and with love rather than condemnation. Who knows, perhaps that person too will have their wilderness experience..

          • “judgement comes on the sincerity of our faith in Christ”
            So if you’re an active homosexual or procure an abortion, faith in Christ is sufficient based on personal conscience? Presumably, faith in Christ entails fidelity to His commandments.

          • Dominic Stockford

            You ignore entirely the second part of my statement, and base your comment on a partial, and thus inaccurate, reading. Interestingly, you ignore the part that deals with Scripture, just like Rome does constantly.

          • You never mentioned scripture in the post Jack responded to, just vague statements about “sincerity”. Jack is not a believer in the “fundamental option” which you appear to be.

            The Catholic Church is entitled to teach its understanding of scripture, to help form the consciences of it members, and to have canon law covering the affairs of the Church and its sacraments.

            You dispute this? Catholics were emancipated in 1892 and we have freedom of religion and worship.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I quote myself – “something demonstrated by the sincerity with which we did all things in the interests of Jesus Christ (Philippians 2).”

            Not mention Scripture eh?! Your sight is clearly utterly gone.
            “they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.”

          • Cressida de Nova

            Oh dear…Sincerity? That sounds like something not
            familiar to you. I hope Jack is going to pray for you.

          • How dishonest of you as a Catholic priest. Did you at least explain Catholic teaching and advise them against reception of the Eucharist? If not, then you were culpable for their sin.

          • Dominic Stockford

            I could have written your unloving and uncompassionate reply – based as it is on Roman teaching, not God’s love.

          • To be honest, you don’t come across as either loving or compassionate. A rather hard-nosed fundamentalist when it comes to matters you agree with e.g. homosexuality. Commenting on a blog, is not the same as meeting with a couple and attempting to accompany them in getting their lives in conformity with God’s law.
            Being pastoral and loving does not mean staying silent in the face of objective sin. For all you know this couple may well have had grounds for annulments and might have been troubled in their consciences about their situation. Encountering a priest who avoided the issue is hardly compassionate.
            How would you be compassionate and loving towards a same sex couple?

          • You’re not a Catholic. If you were, the Church teaching is you could stay together if you lived as “brother and sister”.

          • dannybhoy

            Could I become a priest?

          • Thinking of converting, Danny?

          • dannybhoy

            Just curious. If I follow through on these rulings could I become a priest?

          • dannybhoy

            How can a Christian convert to Catholicism anyway? Change denomination yes, but convert?!

          • We call it being “received into the Church”. In Catholicism it’s not just a question of “changing denominations”. There’s a body of doctrine and dogma distinctly different from the form of Protestantism you advocate.

            Those who have been validly baptised outside the Church become Catholics by making a profession of the Catholic faith and being formally received into the Church. This is normally followed immediately by confirmation and the Eucharist. Entrance into the Church is governed by the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).

            After joining with the congregation in reciting the Nicene Creed, the person being received into the Catholic Church makes the following profession of faith:

            “I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.”

          • dannybhoy

            “”I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God.”
            Couldn’t possibly do that Jack..Smacks too much of control. Scientology, Jim Jones etc..

          • Anton

            You are, Danny: see Rev 1:6 and 1 Peter 2:9.

          • dannybhoy

            (Sigh)

          • Is it something I said on the other post?

          • dannybhoy

            Danny’s cogs are whirling, gears struggling to engage microprocessor…
            screen remains blank..
            Wot?
            You said a lot of things on the other post.
            Some of them quite hurtful.
            (blows noisily into ‘kerchief..)

          • They won’t let you become a priest if you carry on like that in front of everyone.

          • dannybhoy

            I can get quite emotional. Especially after a few pickled onions..
            Who said I wanted to be a priest anyway?

          • dannybhoy Happy Jack • a day ago
            Could I become a priest?
            ———
            I, know, long time ago; yesterday.

          • dannybhoy

            Yes, I remember okay, but I didn’t say I wanted to be a priest, only could I become a priest.
            Come on Avi my friend, you should have picked up on the difference.. ;0)

          • Cressida de Nova

            Well if Dominic Stockford could become one you could too. You would have to tell a lot of lies and pretend you were something you were not though.

          • dannybhoy

            Perhaps the Catholic Church has a department somewhere devoted to getting around such things..
            Buckets of whitewash and big brushes..

          • Ivan M

            Sir, if it is any comfort to you it is much easier to live as ‘brother and sister’ as we age. Particularly if we avoid ameliorating the ‘Coolidge Effect’. Jesus did not condemn the Samaritan Woman for living with a man who was not her husband. Prostitutes and tax-collectors were among those saved.

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coolidge_effect

          • dannybhoy

            for those of you who don’t know Mr Coolidge..
            http://www.rewardfoundation.org/relationships/the-coolidge-effect/

            I must admit I’ve never heard of Mr Coolidge but I recognise the dilemma..

          • Ivan M

            “For man this is impossible, but not for God”. No escaping this for any of Adam’s progeny.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Divorce is permitted on legitimate grounds; so is remarriage.

            Paul did not go against the OT nor Jesus’s teaching.

          • What grounds? Jesus changed the practice of Judaism which God had granted as a concession to sin.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            I refer you to my post above.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            He rejected ‘any cause’ divorce. That’s why his disciples thought it was better not to get married.

            A whole train of hassle in a fallen world.

          • In Matthew 5:31–32, Jesus says, “Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Similarly, in Matthew 19:9, he says, “And I say to you: Whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery.”

            These so-called “exceptive clauses” legitimizing divorce in cases where one of the spouses has committed adultery or engaged in some sort of sexual sin do not appear in the parallel passages in Mark and Luke. In Mark 10:11–12, Jesus says only, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” Likewise, Luke 16:18 says, “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

            Mark and Luke, writing for the Greco-Roman world, omit the one, glaring exception that allows remarriage after divorce. Why? Adultery and sexual sins were rampant in the Roman culture. Mark and Luke would have realized that their audiences needed to know about the exception even more than the Jewish audience for which Matthew wrote. Nor do the exceptive clauses appear in Paul’s discussion of divorce and remarriage. In Romans 7:2–3, he writes that “a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies she is discharged from the law concerning the husband. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.” And in 1 Corinthians 7:10–11, 39, he writes, “To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separate from her husband (but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband)—and that the husband should not divorce his wife. . . . A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.” Paul was dealing also with a Greco-Roman audience, and he also does not make an exception for unfaithfulness or sexual sin. (The only exception he does make is for the dissolution of a marriage when one spouse has converted to Christianity [1 Cor. 7:12, 15).

            One possibility is that the exceptive clauses are there as an illustration of the precision demanded in rabbinic logic. In other words, the clauses indicate that if one divorces an adulterous wife, one isn’t making her into an adulteress because she already is one. That doesn’t mean that she’s free to remarry; it just means that you aren’t forcing her into an adulterous situation if you divorce her.
            Another possibility is that the exceptive clauses are a way of avoiding altogether the subject of an unchaste spouse. In Judaism around this period, there was a debate between the school of Hillel and the school of Shammai over the circumstances in which one could divorce. The Hillelites argued that it could be essentially for any reason, while the Shammaites argued it could be only for adultery. The exceptive clauses could be a way of avoiding this debate. The Greek grammar allows the passage to be understood roughly in this sense: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another—I’m not going into the subject of unchastity—commits adultery.” A third possibility is that the Greek term used for “unchastity”— “porneia”—is being used in a special sense. For example, some have taken it to refer to unchaste behaviour before the marriage is consummated. At that point, it is possible to dissolve the marriage, for marriages become indissoluble only when they are consummated. Today, with the tradition of the wedding night, it is highly unlikely a spouse could be unfaithful between the marriage ceremony and the consummation. However, in Jesus’ time it was customary for a couple to be legally married for about a year before the consummation. The bride continued to live with her family while the husband prepared their home. At the end of this time there was the “fetching of the bride” ceremony, where the groom took her back to his own home with family and friends accompanying them. Then, during the wedding party, the couple would retire and consummate their union. Clearly, within this long time frame unchastity was possible on the part of one of the spouses.

            Why would Matthew be the only Evangelist to point out the possibility of dissolving such unions? Because he is the only one who mentions that, when Mary was discovered to be with child by the Holy Spirit, Joseph had in mind to divorce her quietly (Matt. 1:19). He alone would seem to have a reason to clarify why Joseph’s planned course of action was legitimate, given what Jesus said later regarding marriage.

            Others have interpreted the Greek term used for “unchastity”— porneia —as a reference to incest, the idea being that divorce and remarriage is permissible in the case of incestuous marriages, since the marriage was never valid to begin with. If this is correct, then we have the principle that underlies modern annulments: Those who are not validly married are free to contract it.

            Advocates of this interpretation point out that porneia is not the usual Greek term for adultery. Indeed, in the passages cited above, Jesus uses the term for adultery (moicheia) and does not identify it with porneia. These advocates point out also that many peoples in the eastern-Mediterranean region had marriage practices that allowed unions forbidden by Leviticus 18. This caused problems when individuals wanted to convert to Judaism and Christianity. Did they have to leave their spouses? Matthew, writing in an eastern-Mediterranean context, would have had reason to insert a clarification to prevent such converts from using the unqualified statement as justification for staying with their current spouses.

            The idea that porneia is being used in this narrow way is suggested by two other biblical passages. In Acts 15:29, it is proposed that, to avoid offending Jewish believers, Gentile converts abstain from eating idol meat, blood, strangled animals, and from porneia. These objections are often regarded as being based directly on Leviticus 17–18, where the same things are prohibited in the same order. The second passage is 1 Corinthians 5:1, where Paul applies the word porneia to the case of a man who has married his stepmother—a case forbidden by Leviticus 18:8. These considerations make it reasonable to assume that porneia is being used in the exceptive clauses to refer to incestuous unions.

            Whichever above arguments you find convincing, it is clearly false that Jesus meant to allow divorce and remarriage when one party has committed adultery. Matthew 19:9 has often been read against the context of the Hillel-Shammai debate and interpreted to mean that Jesus was simply siding with Shammai in permitting divorce only for adultery. But this does not square with two key points in the text.

            First, 19:3 specifically says that the Pharisees were trying to test Jesus, and it uses a Greek word—peirazo—that the synoptic Gospels use to indicate an act of malice. Second, Jesus’ answer is so amazing that in 19:10 the disciples declare that it would be better not to marry if what Jesus has said is true. Finally, if Matthew were espousing adultery as grounds for divorce, he would soon run up against grave practical difficulties. In this hypothesis, Matthew would allow divorce and remarriage for a husband and wife who had committed adultery. But a husband and wife who remained faithful to each other would not be allowed to divorce; indeed their attempt at divorce would be considered adultery. Obviously, the only thing to do for a faithful Christian couple who wanted a divorce would be to commit adultery, after which a dissolution of the marriage would be allowed. What we wind up with is divorce on demand, with a technical proviso of committing adultery. This all constitutes a strange church discipline, one in which adultery seems encouraged and fidelity discouraged”.

            https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/did-jesus-allow-divorce-0

          • ChaucerChronicle

            His audience would’ve been furious (see Joseph thinking about a quickie any cause divorce with Mary). Many, would’ve been divorced and remarried on the Hillelite any cause ground.

            In Matthew 5:31–32, Jesus says, “Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that every one who divorces his wife, except on the ground of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” Similarly, in Matthew 19:9, he says, “And I say to you: Whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery.”

          • Anton

            Been reading Instone-Brewer? Great book for getting to sources, but be careful with the exegesis…

          • ChaucerChronicle

            Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Jesus is God.

          • Yes, and He withdrew the concession.

          • Dominic Stockford

            Why does Rome play semantics to get around that then?

          • Nothing semantic about it. It was the teaching of Christ. He withdrew the concession and explained why.

          • Dominic Stockford

            You’ll never admit it, but ‘annulment’ is divorce by another name – and anyone open to truth, rather than trapped in a manmade system, would admit it.

          • That’s just reflects ignorance of and hostility towards Catholic sacramental theology.

            Ordinations can also be annulled where the intent is not present or where there is ignorance.

          • Anton

            Essentially he said that those who would follow him should not do it, but remember that they are meant to be transformed. As for Deut 24:1-4, he said that not a jot or tittle of it would be changed.

          • Jesus actually said:

            “Do not think that I have come to set aside the law and the prophets; I have not come to set them aside, but to bring them to perfection. Believe me, heaven and earth must disappear sooner than one jot, one flourish should disappear from the law; it must all be accomplished.”

            He actually did change the Mosaic law on divorce, just as He fulfilled and perfected all of it.

            To abolish means to destroy and formally do away with. To fulfil means to complete, or finish. Both words lead one to the same place (something in both cases has ended) but differ in how they caused or arrived at finality. Jesus did not cancel the Mosaic law, He fulfilled and perfected it, bringing it to it’s natural end. In the former something ended prematurely, but in the latter it ended via arriving at the proper ending point. Where the words differ is where it speaks to how the law was brought to an end. Jesus said it was completed, and brought to its natural conclusion. In fact, those were the words he spoke on the cross: “It is finished.” (John 19:30)

            The Mosaic Law is over – it was brought to the natural ending point with Christ’s death on the cross. Thus, the Law is no more in the life of a Christian. This does not mean we’re free to live however we want. At one point Paul says, “I myself am not under the Law” (meaning the Mosaic law) but then he qualifies his statement and essentially says he is under a law – the Law of Christ – “it was the law of Christ that bound me.” (see 1 Corinthians 9)

          • IanCad

            Indeed Jack! Christ’s death signaled the end of Mosaic Law but the Moral law still stands. I’m not suggesting that you are conflating the two, but many, many Christians still do.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            He sided with the Shammite lawyers.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            He confirmed Moses (issues such as domestic violence are not going to go away) and rejected the fifth ‘any cause’ Hillelite ground.

            No left-left liberal He.

            He fundamentalist.

          • dannybhoy

            I came across this earlier. I don’t know if you have ever seen it?
            http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/1999/october4/9tb082.html?start=3
            Seems reasonable to me..

          • Paul supported Christ’s teachings that people could not remarry after divorce. Divorce maybe permitted; remarriage is not.

          • bluedog

            All very patriarchal. What of the woman who lusts after a man, as is so often the case?

          • Same applies.

          • bluedog

            Comforting. After all, it was through Eve that we came to sin.

          • Hmmm …. well, scripture tells us the sin was Adams, not Eve’s.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            You raise an interesting theoretical point: what if Eve had fallen but Adam had resisted?

            On the balance of probabilities, she would lead Adam into sin.

            They’re all potential seductresses.

          • dannybhoy

            Bit unkind that last sentence CC
            . Anyway without wishing to offend anyone I offer..

          • ChaucerChronicle

            They’re in the nude.

            Disgusting, I tell you. DISGUSTING.

          • dannybhoy

            Squint through a high power magnifying glass and get very close to the screen you’ll see that they’re not.
            It took me a while to find the magnifying glass…

          • ChaucerChronicle

            And from my perspective, same applies.

          • Cressida de Nova

            You just have to be strong and resist the temptation poodle. Cof S has that problem as well…fighting off the gals.

          • chefofsinners

            I have a will of iron.
            Nerves of steel, heart of gold and a knob of butter.

          • Pubcrawler

            Butter used to be sold in yard-long sticks in Cambridge.

          • bluedog

            Thank you, Cressida. As always your advice and judgement are both wise and much appreciated. Was it not 1642again who was embarrassed by affectionate lady shareholders, rather than CoS, who sounds much more fun?

          • Cressida de Nova

            CoS needs an occasional tug of the ringlets to keep him in line.He is inclined to Protestant friskiness. !

          • bluedog

            It’s the Waitrose cooking brandy he uses that causes the problem. Gets all silly and giggly after a nip or two.

          • ChaucerChronicle

            ‘Remarriage after divorce is prohibited.’

            No blanket ban.

            They could get remarried so long as the grounds for divorce were in conformity with the four grounds.

            They were expected to obey the command to go forth and multiply.

            We Puritans know; we’re the raunchiest.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Jack, Jack you need to study ancient Hebrew thought forms and law.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Prior to the Fall there were no grounds for divorce.

        • CliveM

          There wasn’t an awful lot of choice or options either!

    • Anton

      Those conditions apply only to certain women; see the full passage in Ex 21:7-11. Moreover nobody is sure what onathah means as the word appears nowhere else; “marital rights” is a broadly phrased guess.

      In Jesus’ time there was indeed dispute between two rabbinical schools (‘houses’). Shammai’s school held that divorce as mentioned in Deut 24:1-4 must be for something serious. Hillel’s liberal school said that divorce might be merely for mispreparing food; this school dominated after the destruction of Jerusalem in AD70 by the Romans, and the second century rabbi Akiva even advocated divorce simply to marry another woman (having presumably committed adultery in your heart with her). This rabbinic dispute is set out in a Midrash, or ancient Jewish commentary on scripture, denoted Sifré Deuteronomy, part 269; see also the compendium known as the Mishnah, tractate Gittin 9:10.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Mr Anton,

        ‘Those conditions apply only to certain women; see the full passage in Ex 21:7-11.’

        The way the Jewish lawyers handled that was like this: if for the ‘slave’ wife then why not for the Jewish husband.

        I’m deeply impressed by the second part of your post.

      • ChaucerChronicle

        Mr Anton

        The works you cite, can one study them online? Links?

  • You scrote.
    … a word used by a Protestant minister.

    • carl jacobs

      I can only assume that “scrote” means “one who is wise & perspicacious”.

      • Short for scrotum; an anatomical male reproductive structure that consists of a suspended dual-chambered sack of skin and smooth muscle that is present in most terrestrial male mammals and located under the penis.

  • Inspector General

    Lower down, Jack has touched on artificial contraception. Not sure that touched is the right word under the circumstances, but here’s an excellent joke from BBC comments today. A doctor has called in a patient to discuss the results after a full examination test results are through…

    “Look, old fellow. It’s not good news at all. You won’t be here much longer. In fact, I’ll give you five”

    “Five what! Five years, five months, five weeks even!”

    “Four, Three, Two…”

    • dannybhoy

      Groan…,

      • carl jacobs

        YOU?! You presume to talk?

        • dannybhoy

          You trying to say my sense of humour is somehow obscure and lacking in er, humour?
          It’s been said before already.

    • Sarky

      Think that joke was found as graffiti on the ark.

      • chefofsinners

        Says the Cutty Sark.

    • chefofsinners

      Ah, Inspector. How good it is to hear from you after your month of self-imposed exile. Somehow it seems shorter than that…

      • Inspector General

        Yes, little chef with attitude, it’s good to be back…

        • We’ve all missed you during this long month of your voluntary exile.

        • dannybhoy

          Such discipline, such fortitude, a man of iron will determined to keep his vows..
          (Very topical that).

          • CliveM

            What he stopped posting here? Must of blinked.

    • David

      Welcome back Inspector.

  • not a machine

    At last ,the vote …..4 to 1 ,I give thanks and well done .If a wry observation is allowed , when a club is making poor the very people it came together to promise to make their lives better ,and runs one long expense account to every countries impairment , well we asked , we asked again to explain how all that debt and deficit was helping , and all we got was that “what is needed is more Europe”.Some countires have had 25% youth unemployment for 8 yrs , so does more Europe help them ? So its time to say the club aint working and we want to be friends ,but the EU management just sucks and it s time they admitted it .. that’s why were leaving .So lots of work to come in the next few years and pray to god , we have our own choice back and not the strait jacket of what the EU have inflicted .

    • 1642again

      Well said. Your points are unanswerable. You are clearly an uneducated racist.

      • Maalaistollo

        Why can’t he also be a bigoted xenophobic little Englander, like me?

        • 1642again

          Sorry, I was being selfish and keeping that one for just little old me, but you can be a Deplorable if you like!

          • Sorry, only us North Americans can claim the Deplorable title. You must also own at least one gun, preferably an AR-15, with the new 3MR drop-in trigger for full-auto. For example.

          • 1642again

            There is a much larger pro-Trump constituency in the UK than people realise and Hellary would call their views extremely deplorable. I was shooting with a group of farmers, agricultural workers, builders, gardeners etc yesterday. They all think Trump’s great!

            Alas I can’t have an AR-15 but as a possessor of six varied firearms, all legally held, I believe I come as close as UK law permits.

            Anyway, you Canadians with your camp-as-mince PM are way less deplorable than we V-sign-to-the-EU Britons!

          • Ha! And I’ll say that there are more conservative folk in Canada than the comic antics of our Dear Leader of the day would suggest. An unfortunate feature of parliamentarians, chronic public laziness and misrepresentation of the zeiteist by our leftist CBC. Ok, six firearms will earn you a pass…a double barreled shotgun is not something to snicker at, even if all you have left to shoot at is a few nervous partridges.

          • 1642again

            Rifles included!

          • One would hope so.

      • not a machine

        I take it you are an educated one then to make that judgement ?

        • 1642again

          According to some here I’m a thick, ignorant lout. So perhaps I better not!

          • not a machine

            Somehow I doubt that

  • You’ll have to translate that, Hannah.

    • Hi Happy Jack

      Yibbum is a form of leverite marriage. The Torah says [ Deuteronomy 25:5-6]:

      ” When brothers reside together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her, taking her in marriage, and performing the duty of a husband’s brother to her, and the firstborn whom she bears shall succeed to the name of the deceased brother, so that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. ”

      So basically if a married woman becomes a widow and has no children , then her brother in law (or brother in laws , from the eldest first) has a Torah , not Rabbinical , obligation to marry his sister in law.

      This was the traditional way for Sephardim
      ( Yibbum was still performed under the auspices of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in Israel 1950 ) . The historic Sephardi Rishonim including Rabannan , the Rif, Rambam, Ramban and others, the halakha is in accordance with yibbum.

      Deuteronomy 25:7-10 continues :

      “But if the man has no desire to marry his brother’s widow, then his brother’s widow shall go up to the elders at the gate and say, “My husband’s brother refuses to perpetuate his brother’s name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband’s brother to me.” Then the elders of his town shall summon him and speak to him. If he persists, saying, “I have no desire to marry her,” then his brother’s wife shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, pull his sandal off his foot, spit in his face, and declare, “This is what is done to the man who does not build up his brother’s house.” Throughout Israel his family shall be known as “the house of him whose sandal was pulled off.”

      This is called halizah and is the preferred choice of the Ashkenazi as per Rabenu Tam, Rama and also because Ashkenazi abolished polygamy, halizah is undertaken if the brother in laws are already married( Sephardi never officially disowned polygamy).

      • As Jack added above, in Catholicism there would be no prohibition on marrying a dead brother’s wife, regardless of children, but there would be no compulsion either. It’s a law understandable in the context of early Israel where a widow could face severe poverty – as was polygamy.

        • Hi Happy Jack,

          Thanks for letting me know.

          “It’s a law understandable in the context of early Israel where a widow could face severe poverty – as was polygamy.”

          As it was in Mesopotamia circa 1870 , The Sublime Porte didn’t have a welfare state.- my great great grandfather married his deceased brother’s wife who was from a poorer family in Mosul (I don’t really understand this but apparently even the dialects of Jewish Arabic were different to Baghdad , a sort of north south divide, a bit like Essex and Manchester).

  • Anton

    In view of the discussion below I’m posting an updated version of my summary of the divorce/remarriage scriptures, updated from a thread on this blog about a year ago. Ch(i)ef liked it at that time, at least. I’d have posted it below in response to Jack and Chaucer; I don’t want to post it twice. The last two paragraphs address a situation that at least one regular here has raised in a personal context.

    Any study of the divorce and remarriage scriptures should heed two things: (1) divorce, in the Bible, is a matter for the couple, who must then inform the authorities (rather than petition them, as today); (2) Jesus treats divorce and remarriage separately and does not suppose that the former automatically confers the right to the latter; when he spoke he moved from the first issue to the second. (Ancient Jewish certificates of divorce handed by the man to the woman state “you are now permitted to any man”; this was important for the woman to know in view of the penalty for adultery, but does not necessarily reflect God’s view.)

    So, what did Jesus say?

    Anyone who divorces his wife and [kai] marries another woman commits adultery against [ep] her. And if a woman who divorces her husband marries another man, she commits adultery (Mark 10:11-12).

    Anyone who divorces his wife and [kai] marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery (Luke 16:18).

    <i.Anyone who divorces his wife, not for porneia, and marries another woman commits adultery [and he who marries a divorced woman commits adultery – in some Greek manuscripts] (Matthew 19:9).

    So Jesus is clear – remarriage after divorce (during the lifetime of the ‘ex’) constitutes adultery, with a possible rider relating to porneia in Matthew 19:9.

    What about that rider?

    Jesus does not contradict himself. In two gospels there is no exception, and each gospel writer has no certainty that his readers are going to have access to another account. So there is no exception. But what then does Matthew 19:9 mean?

    It means that Jesus is declining to discuss the situation in which a man divorces for porneia and then remarries. He is discussing only situations in which the divorce is for something other than porneia. He says in Matthew 19 that remarriage after such a divorce is adulterous and he says nothing in that conversation about remarriage after a divorce for porneia.

    Why did he do that? Because he is talking to Pharisees who tended to divorce for minor matters such as mispreparing food. (See the Midrash – ancient Jewish commentary on scripture – denoted Sifré Deuteronomy, part 269; also the Mishnah, tractate Gittin 9:10.) Also because porneia is related to erwat davar, which is a Hebrew phrase found in the Jewish divorce regulation in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Jesus is not engaging in a scripture study with the Pharisees; he is in a heated discussion with them about their use of excuses to divorce unwanted wives. To preclude diversion he narrows the discussion down at the start.

    A further point: the Greek rendered as “if a man divorces, and marries another woman…” can equally well mean “if a man divorces in order to marry another woman…” But the latter meaning is excluded because the woman’s adultery in Mark 10:12 takes no account of whether she instituted the divorce in order to marry another man or not.

    In Matthew 5:32, Jesus states that anyone who divorces his woman, except for porneia [illicit sexual relations], causes her to be adulterous, and anyone who marries a divorcee commits adultery. In the final clause we see that God takes marriage so seriously that a woman who is thrown out cannot remarry even if she is innocent of porneia!

    Good order in the church will accept that sometimes even Christian married couples break up, but they must then live singly – as Paul says explicitly in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11. (One should not make too much of the different word Paul uses for divorce; recall that it refers here to a final decision for the couple, not the authorities.)

    Today the Roman Catholic church accepts divorce in practice but, in order to deny that it has changed its doctrine, it calls it by another name: annulment. Rome seeks excuses why the marriage supposedly never was valid – “I don’t believe he was ever sincere.” But one must keep one’s word to one’s spouse, for that is what matters to God (Galatians 3:15). Rome is correct, however, to insist that remarriage during the lifetime of an ‘ex’ is wrong, and I wish more protestant churches took that view.

    What about somebody who says he is becoming convinced that Jesus is Lord, but whose first – childless – marriage ended in divorce, and who has since married another woman (who had never been married before), with whom he now has young children? Meanwhile his first wife has also remarried. Must this man, to enter the church, really dump his second wife and their children?

    This issue must have been raised in the early church but it is not addressed in any letter in the New Testament. Why is that? There is sin in either course, and God, in the Bible, is not in the business of weighing sins against each other; his scriptures are about how to deal with sin. The man I have described and his putative pastor/priest/vicar must consult God themselves. If a man approaches God with a readiness to obey, God will make clear what course to take. In situations in which sin is weighed against sin, one size does not fit all.

    • Dominic Stockford

      That is superb. Not seen it before. Thank you for reposting it.

      • It contradicts your view that scripture permits divorce and remarriage.

        “Good order in the church will accept that sometimes even Christian married couples break up, but they must then live singly – as Paul says explicitly in 1 Corinthians 7:10-11 ….
        Rome is correct, however, to insist that remarriage during the lifetime of an ‘ex’ is wrong. I wish more protestant churches took that view.”

        • Dominic Stockford

          Please quote where I said that Scripture always permits remarriage of couples where their divorced partner is still alive?

          • “always” …. or never?
            Perhaps you’ll take this opportunity to state an unequivocal view about Jesus’ teaching and Saint Paul’s on divorce and remarriage.

            Here’s why Jack is unclear:
            Jack commented to Carl: “Tell Jack, do you believe divorce and remarriage is permitted by God?”

            To which you retorted: “Divorce is clearly sanctioned in the Bible.”

            Then later, Jack stated to Chaucer: “Jesus changed the practice of Judaism which God had granted as a concession to sin.”

            You retorted: “Jesus is God”

            Jack replied “Yes, and He withdrew the concession.”

            Your response: “Why does Rome play semantics to get around that then?”

    • Annulment is not divorce – marriage, to a Catholic, is a sacrament, not simply a contract, and has to have integrity of intent.
      Never heard of the “Pauline privilege” covering situations of marriage to an unbeliever?

      • Anton

        Of course I have; the above is the summary of a longer document. I take 1 Cor 7:10-15 to mean that if an unbeliever walks out on a believer to whom he or she is married then the believing party is under no obligation to seek reconciliation, and Paul explains why too. The believer is not free to remarry, however, during the life of the deserter; otherwise Paul would be contradicting both himself in v11 and Christ.

        Marriage is certainly a covenant. I’m aware that mysterion in Ephesians 5:32 is translated into Latin as sacramentum. You would need to define the operational meaning of sacrament in order to consider whether marriage is one. it’s not a hot topic for me.

        We have discussed the annulment issue lower down. If you wish to replicate the argument there then I will reproduce my part, but I suggest that it is pointless.

        • Pauline privilege was instituted by St. Paul to address a serious pastoral problem in the Church in Corinth. Apparently, there were problems in marriages of believers married to unbelievers, and so St. Paul allowed a newly baptised person to enter a new marriage after a divorce from his or her unbaptised first spouse.

          A Pauline Privilege is the dissolution of a purely natural marriage which had been contracted between two non-Christians, one of whom has since become a Christian.

          “To the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him…But if the unbelieving partner desires to separate, let it be so; in such a case, the brother or sister is not bound. For God has called us to peace.” (I Corinthians 7: 12-15)

          • Anton

            You are parroting. Of course there are going to be situations in which a pagan becomes a Christian but his or her spouse doesn’t, and this leads to discord. The verses in question mean that if the unbeliever walks out, the believer need make no effort to call him or her back. It does not mean that the believer is free to remarry. Otherwise Paul contradicts Christ, does he not?

          • Not a contradiction at all …. a response to a genuine pastoral problem facing the early Church.

            “But if the unbelieving partner desires to separate, let it be so; in such a case, the brother or sister is not bound.”

          • Anton

            “Let it be so” means the believer is not bound to try to reconcile. This is when divorce is permissible, meaning that a believer may take measures to make the separation permanent. As to whether divorce frees to remarry, Jesus said No. Didn’t he?

          • Yes, Jesus did no to divorce and remarriage, which is why Paul say: “To those others, I give my own instructions, not the Lord’s.” He also concludes with: ” … the brother or the sister is not bound. It is in a spirit of peace that God’s call has come to us.”
            This statement by Paul constitutes an exception to the otherwise universal teaching of Christ.

          • Anton

            You are setting scripture against itself with your interpretation, whereas mine doesn’t. What does the Magisterium have to say about that?

          • Your interpretation makes no sense of Paul’s statements. How is scripture being set against itself? Paul was using his Apostolic authority to provide a pastoral response in a specific situation and was clear about this.

          • Anton

            Stop being deliberately stupid, Jack.

    • Sybaseguru

      There is a key difference in principal between divorce/remarriage and gay marriage. In the former case the person involved believes in the biblical concept of marriage, but has failed in executing it and wishes to try better next time – a good reason for pastoral accomodation. In the case of gay marriage there is a denial of the biblical concepts, so there is no reason to accommodate it.

  • wisestreligion

    Heard Archbishop Justin on Nick Ferrari’s LBC talk show this morning. The first caller was a Lesbian who wanted to “marry” in church. ABC’s response was something like “we have much further to
    go” – so keeping the door open and encouraging the LBGQ lobby to keep at it. Will
    we never get closure on this issue?

    • Anton

      That’s a revealing response.

    • len

      Welby needs to decide which master he will serve.