Saturday, August 02, 2008

Cranmer’s Pulpit No XIII

July was a record month for Cranmer, with 27,791 unique visitors and 30,457 page views. He thanks his readers and communicants for their faithfulness and loyalty. His Grace has been blogging continuously since he was resurrected in April in the year of Our Lord 2006, since which time he has racked up over half a million hits from 192 nations across seven continents of the world. Ashes do not ordinarily require periods of recuperation or repose, but, in truth, His Grace is weary, and he must seek the tranquillity of a quiescent state. His spirit is willing, but his ash is weak.

In the stillness of the coming days, he shall lie down and rest in order to prayerfully reflect upon his future, and what form, if any, this might take. Having no corporeal state, he shall not be indulging in the pleasures of the flesh, but considering spiritual and material ways and means.

In the meantime, in perpetual commemoration of the spiritual liberation afforded by his own pulpit experience with the Provost of Eton, Dr Henry Cole, His Grace is pleased to offer this ‘Cranmer’s Pulpit’ to his communicants for the raising of whatever religio-political or politico-religious concerns they do so wish (intelligently and eruditely, of course).

He would also like to point out that that next month sees the publication of the 2008-9 Guide to Political Blogging in the UK. Cranmer cannot compete with the big beasts and never intended to. Blogging is their full-time occupation and principal means of remuneration. And neither will he compete with the likes of Sky who are offering free pornography to those who vote for its own political blog. Such manipulative strategies undermine the integrity of Mr Dale's blogging lists, which are already subject to a certain subjectivity and bias.

If readers or communicants wish to vote, they are encouraged to send their Top 10 political blogs to, by Friday August 15th. The conditions of entry are here.

Cranmer’s own top political blogs are essentially his regular reads, which are listed on the right alphabetically.

He wishes his readers and communicants well over these coming weeks, and humbly seeks your prayers and intercessions as he communes with himself and the Lord, contending with the world, the flesh ash and the devil.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've turned Dale's email address into a spam magnet there, Cranmer. I hope he's suitably grateful.

2 August 2008 at 10:49  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

God Hates America

2 August 2008 at 11:53  
Blogger eddie said...

I would welcome your Grace's thoughts about the sad demise of the Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge bookshops and the subsequent legal threats which have been levied at those who have documented the story.

2 August 2008 at 12:53  
Anonymous The recusant said...

I would ask You grace do you ever feel uncomfortable in criticising the RCC, a Church which I strongly suspect you hold more in common with than you care to let on or are perhaps comfortable with admitting?

What is clear from your bloggs is:

1. You do not rehash the historical objections of Protestantism to the RCC with any conviction or earnest criticism but rather only occasionally and to play devils advocate in order to incite the reaction of a willing papist or two (myself included)

2. To contrast your treatment on matters both RCC and AC, I conclude that it is quite frankly soft on the former and rather tellingly assumes the aspect of being fatigued regarding the latter. Where you do find something Catholic to object to it is usually semantics or certain individual behaviour but always avoids matters of faith or belief. Anglican controversies on the other hand, like the elephant in the room (mix those metaphors or what) are glossed over or developed in a direction that mitigates the essential aspect under discussion because to do otherwise would be embarrassing at best and disloyal at worst..

3. I detect in some of your pieces (critiques of some Cardinals) you are searching around for some reason or line of confrontation that you clearly do not feel convinced of, but rather return, acting more in filial loyalty, to some position, a distant memory of youth perhaps, you find quite inadequate now.

4. Clearly a man of your talents could, should the mood take him, produce far more critical, unsympathetic and some would say justified attacks on the RCC yet you don’t, notwithstanding the terrible scandals and no less painful misdeeds of a tiny minority of some Catholic clergy in recent times.

5. Do you concur with John Henry Cardinal Newman's observation that “To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant.”,

2 August 2008 at 13:03  
Anonymous Jenny said...

Jenny is so relieved that His Grace has decided to get some rest, as she has been very worried about his health recently. His wearyness has certainly caused the normal gentile exterior to crack somewhat.

Jenny can't get any time off work at the moment, in spite of having been threatened with redundancy, Jenny's boss says we're too busy to allow more leave. But she will be taking the opportunity to catch up on her theological reading, and has a title in mind*. Will His Grace be doing the same, and if so, has he any titles in mind?

*Jenny will be supporting her local SPCK by buying it there, rather than boycotting them, and thus making things worse. Redundancy isn't the end of the world, it's unfortunate and frightening but in the end, there needs to be a thriving business to support the workers, and customers, who are left. This 'all or nothing' culture is really quite perverse.

2 August 2008 at 16:26  
Anonymous Daniel said...

Congratulations on your Witangemot Award and do enjoy your rest and recuperation. I hope it leads to the tranquil state you seek.

Best Wishes.

2 August 2008 at 16:35  
Blogger dizzyfatplonka said...

Much time and money has been spent by the scientific community attempting to disprove the existence of God.

So on a politico-religious basis would it not now be fair and unbiased to apply scientific methods in proving whether the State realy exists or is it just a figmant of politicians imaginations. Being foisted on the general public at large, as a way of extracting taxes.

2 August 2008 at 17:04  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

your grace , i regard this blog as it is opposition with intelligence .

i appreciate some may not like it but so much has slipped quietly by were it not for his graces posts.

"a bugle call for the sleepy" "merely a noise to the lite and shallow"

if the anglican communion means anything this blogg offers sharpness in a world of banal platitudes .

your grace has done some excellent posts this year in what has been a far from dull time.I hope that you dont loose any faith or wisdom in becoming a media outlet.

"hear o israel the two greatest commandments are these , love the lord your god with all your heart mind and spirit .love they neighbour as thy self "

3 August 2008 at 00:38  
Anonymous Asian Colonial Subject said...

Your Grace,

Would you support the Bishops of
Winchester and Exeter's call on Dr. Williams to begin to 'negotitate an "orderly seperation"' of the Anglican Communion, right down to even the Church of England?

3 August 2008 at 04:35  
Anonymous tiberswimmer said...

May I wish Your Grace a truly blessed period of rest and refreshment.

3 August 2008 at 07:17  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

Westboro Baptist church firebombed by evil doomed America

3 August 2008 at 15:58  
Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

His Grace The Archbishop Cranmer

Your Grace

Merhaba ... errr ... Salve [Hi]

Der ErzBischof regiert, yabash
[Germanisch und Glasgae : Cranmer rules, OK]

Those damn Yenkees ....

Wahh, ahh doo declay-are, Miss Scarlett ....

You can consecrate a Camel .... or a Woman ... or a Yenkee

ABER [but]

?? Does it make them a Bishop

Es macht man denken, nee -
Das ist es, doch
[It makes yer fink, dunnit
This is it i'nn'it, yerr]

Gott mit Uns

Allahismarladik atque Vale [Ciao]

J'ai l'Honeur de rester le Servant obedient de le vestre Grace

et Tot Siens und Vale

G Eagle

3 August 2008 at 21:15  
Blogger dmk said...

I would echo Eddie's comment above, and wonder what your Grace thinks of bloggers being threatened with libel proceedings for providing information and fair comment on matters of public interest.

4 August 2008 at 11:09  
Anonymous Tanfield said...

Your Grace,
As an occasional contributor (communicant?) and very regular reader of your celebrated blog I would like to congratulate you on your award and say that your period of rest and recreation is very well deserved. On your return perhaps you can comment on the future of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion following the Lambeth Conference.

4 August 2008 at 18:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Random House, the American publisher, has withdrawn a novel about the Prophet Mohammed’s child bride, fearing it could “incite acts of violence”.

8 August 2008 at 10:45  
Anonymous hear o israel said...

should your grace feel refreshed could i ask if he could point me the right direction on a study matter.

what is/was the stumbling block of the paharsiee ?? that makes the christ so much of a progression

9 August 2008 at 02:17  
Blogger Miss Snuffleupagus said...

Hello Your Grace
I hope you are enjoying your holiday!
Snuffy x

9 August 2008 at 10:49  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Dearly beloved,

His Grace is almost reconstituted, and he is missing his own daily devotions. There is much in what Mr Recusant says that may indeed be true, and he is pondering the implications. Whilst he is not ready to join Lord Tiberswimmer, there is certainly a perception of there being more rock than sand on the opposite bank.

As for his new award, he has, as yet, heard nothing. He shall investigate upon his return.

9 August 2008 at 15:17  
Anonymous Jenny said...

Your Grace,

The Roman Church isn't the only one seated firmly on rock.

12 August 2008 at 18:40  
Anonymous A Catholic said...


According to the Fathers of the Church of Rome is indeed built on the Rock and will never fall.


"But since it would be too long to enumerate in such a volume as this the succession of all the churches, we shall confound all those who, in whatever manner, whether through self-satisfaction or vainglory, or through blindness and wicked opinion, assemble other than where it is proper, by pointing out here the successions of the bishops of the greatest and most ancient church known to all, founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul, that church which has the tradition and the faith which comes down to us after having been announced to men by the apostles. With that church, because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree, that is, all the faithful in the whole world, and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition."


"The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ he says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. And to you I will give the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever things you bind on earth shall be bound also in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth, they shall be loosed also in heaven'... On him he builds the Church, and to him he gives the command to feed the sheep, and although he assigns a like power to all the apostles, yet he founded a single chair, and he established by his own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were also what Peter was, but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair. So too, all are shepherds, and the flock is shown to be one, fed by all the apostles in single-minded accord. If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?"

14 August 2008 at 19:29  
Anonymous A Catholic said...


"In the city of Rome the episcopal chair was given first to Peter; the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head—that is why he is also called Cephas — of all the apostles, the one chair in which unity is maintained by all. Neither do the apostles proceed individually on their own, and anyone who would set up another chair in opposition to that single chair would, by that very fact, be a schismatic and a sinner. . . . Recall, then, the origins of your chair, those of you who wish to claim for yourselves the title of holy Church"


"I follow no leader but Christ and join in communion with none but your blessedness, that is, with the chair of Peter. I know that this is the rock on which the Church has been built. Whoever eats the Lamb outside this house is profane. Anyone who is not in the ark of Noah will perish when the flood prevails... The church here is split into three parts, each eager to seize me for its own. . . . Meanwhile I keep crying, ‘He that is joined to the chair of Peter is accepted by me!’


"There are many other things which rightly keep me in the bosom of the Catholic Church. The consent of the people and nations keeps me, her authority keeps me, inaugurated by miracles, nourished in hope, enlarged by love, and established by age. The succession of priests keep me, from the very seat of the apostle Peter (to whom the Lord after his resurrection gave charge to feed his sheep) down to the present episcopate."


"... two councils have already been sent to the Apostolic See, and from there rescripts too have come. The matter is at an end; would that the error too might be at an end!"


"We exhort you in every respect, honorable brother, to heed obediently what has been written by the most blessed pope of the city of Rome, for blessed Peter, who lives and presides in his own see, provides the truth of faith to those who seek it. For we, by reason of our pursuit of peace and faith, cannot try cases on the faith without the consent of the bishop of Rome."


Acts of the Council, session 1:

"Bishop Paschasinus, guardian of the Apostolic See, stood in the midst and said, ‘We received directions at the hands of the most blessed and apostolic bishop of the Roman city, who is the head of all the churches, which directions say that Dioscorus is not to be allowed to sit in the assembly, but that if he should attempt to take his seat, he is to be cast out. This instruction we must carry out"

Session 2:

"After the reading of the foregoing epistle [The Tome of Leo], the most reverend bishops cried out: ‘This is the faith of the fathers! This is the faith of the apostles! So we all believe! Thus the orthodox believe! Anathema to him who does not thus believe! Peter has spoken thus through Leo!’"

14 August 2008 at 19:40  
Anonymous Highlander said...

Jenny is right, and graciously understated. The RCC is seated on some very doubtful rocks, and no list of church fathers and 'saints', however lengthy, can be at all persuasive when scripture simply says another thing entirely.

Peter truly was a rock, as a matter of historical fact which no Protestant would deny, but only because he was the undoubted leader of the earliest Christian community. Our Lord made no suggestion at all of an enduring episcopal authority for Peter and his 'successors' when he declared that he would build his church on that rock. Peter's leadership was foundational in that in many ways he was the catalyst for the earliest growth of the church, but the notion that Christ gave him a lasting authority to hand on to others is a much later and extra-biblical one.

The keys of the kingdom of heaven are indeed given to Peter in Mt 16.19, but also to the rest of the disciples in Mt 18.18. In both instances, our Lord makes clear the church's role in declaring what is permissible or otherwise in Christian conduct and life. Is this not what binding and loosing means?

However this is to happen in practice, there is no sense here in which this responsibility rests purely with Peter and his 'successors'.

As much as many Protestants admire RCs in their stance on some current moral and ethical issues, both groups will surely remain on parallel tracks into eternity as long as they regard the role of scripture differently.

14 August 2008 at 23:06  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

Highlander as His Grace is still away on R&R and its been a slow week I will attempt to address your questions on the Pope and the Keys.

To really understand what Christ meant when he appointed Peter as head of the Church we have to read what He said in the context of the prevailing Jewish culture, the Old Testament (remember Christ was an Old Testament Jew). As Christians I think we tend to give the OT less emphasis and attention than the NT for a myriad of reasons but we get only half the message if we do not read the NT in light of the OT.

The passage of Matt 16:18-19 has to be see in light of Isaiah 22, Jesus was speaking to Jews who new Isaiah, they were steeped in it, the Gospels were not written so what was happening was current events, to be recorded by Matthew later on.

So Isaiah 22 is used to set the historical backdrop, in this case for the restored kingdom of David and the restoration of the offices of that kingdom (Mary is raised to the office of Queen Mother [1 Kings 2:19]; we are elevated to the office of "the Friend of the King [ Jn 15:15]). Jesus is alluding to something every Jew knew—the keys of the kingdom. The keys meant royal authority delegated by the king. Not only delegated authority, but successive authority. When one steward dies or is removed, another takes his place. Thus the successors of Peter.

This is political stuff, but also eternal. The earthly political situation is being used to give you a visual trajectory for the spiritual political situation. Jesus is King. He has an eternal kingdom (Dan 7:1314). The kingdom will resemble what the Jews already know because what Jesus is founding is not a democracy but a kingdom. And kingdoms have stewards and the steward of this kingdom will be Peter, in this context we have to remember that the Jews knew that when the office of the Steward was vacated, another was selected to take his place.

Isaiah 22 is used by Jesus as a historical reference to explain what a Royal Steward (the One Over the House) actually is and to provide the obvious reference to Jesus' words. It is set in the context of a warning that the Jewish kingdom, economy and official offices would all fail God—and they did. God destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70 to make it official. The tent (maybe the "church" of the Old Testament) eventually falls to be replaced by a new tent, the eternal Church.

Again looking at the passage of the keys to the kingdom of heaven: the image of the keys is drawn from Isaiah 22:15-25 where Eliakim, who succeeds Shebnah as steward (No.2 to the king - See Joseph and Pharaoh) of the palace and is given "the key of the house of David,"I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; when he opens, no one shall shut, when he shuts, no one shall open.” So Christ repeats this passage to Peter when he bestows all authority on him.

The proof that this was just how the Apostles understood Peters (and their) authority come directly from their actions, all the Apostles selected successors, even Judas had a successor elected and their authority was bestowed upon others in the New Testament. If this were not the case we would not have any Bishops today and it would be a denial of the Apostles authority as it is demonstrated in Holy Scripture. This authority given by Christ to the Apostles and their successors is no less than to forgive sin.

Now, Scripture teaches that it is unforgiven sin that excludes one from God's kingdom: Ephesians 5:5, 1 Corinthians 6:9, Revelation 21:10,27. Since unforgiven sin prevents entry to God's kingdom, and since the keys to the kingdom signify the authority to permit or deny entry, therefore the power of the keys includes the power to forgive or retain sins.

So in short authority is passed from Peter through successive stewards to Benedict XVI today, He holds the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and therefore the authority to forgive sins (we call it confession).

Being of the Protestant persuasion you may disagree, and that’s OK but I hope I have at least demonstrated that we Catholics don’t ‘invent’ the office of the Pope and his authority is both consistent and scriptural.

15 August 2008 at 15:06  
Blogger James M said...


Recusant's logic is impeccable, ending with a truth made explicit by Jesus Himself:

"He breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone's sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone's sins, they are retained." (Jn 20:22-23)


Praying that you will rise a 'new man'. It's life and death. Choose life.

15 August 2008 at 17:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with Protestantism is not that there is no 'Authority', but rather that everyone becomes his own authority, deciding for himself the content of Divine Revelation.

Our Lord ceases to be 'the way, the truth, and the life' and becomes 'my way, my truth, my life.'

There can be as many different (false) interpretations of Scripture as there are people under the sun. That is why we need to interpret Scripture in the light of Tradition, and have a living teaching authority so that we do not follow our own flawed intellect and will into error.

16 August 2008 at 15:26  
Anonymous Jenny said...


True, rem acu tetigisti. But that authority is Christ, not the Bishop of Rome. I don't believe that any human can be infallible, no matter how 'traditional' the position he holds. High temper (or strong will) caused the breach between the Roman and Orthodox Churches, and just prior to that breach, each held (with some interference from Rome) authority in its own territory. The small differences of opinion on non-Doctrinal matters could've been resolved, but for excess testosterone.

Highlander - for clarification, I didn't mean the Protestant Churches could be said to be built on rock.

17 August 2008 at 13:06  
Anonymous Voyager said...

So was Pope Leo X more in tune with the Mission of Jesus Christ than Martin Luther, the Augustinian monk ?

17 August 2008 at 13:27  
Anonymous G Eagle Esq said...

Peut-etre, your Grace, this is the Protestant Version of the Mid-Life Crisis


In your (we hope) temporary rest, the Anglican Communion and the World are disintegrating into Confusion

It's bad that those Russian-Chappies are upsetting those kindly Georgians, just because the Georgians sent in their tanks & helicopter gun-ships against those Ossetian civilians, so as to demonstrate their worthiness for NATO-membership

Hadn't the Georgians suffered enough after those confounded Yankee-Episkopalians attacked the Cricket-Playing Gentlemen of Georgia in 1863 in the War of Northern Aggression

Just because these Yankees are so rich, it doesn't mean that these Yankees should be allowed to force us to have Women Bishops

?? but What will they think of Next ??

Geronimo for President !!!

!!! A Dolphin for Archbishop of Wales to avoid charges of Anti-Specie-ism

Was this really what Washington was prepared to cause so much Grief for

17 August 2008 at 14:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rock that the Church of Jesus Christ is built on is not peter (how could it be?)but the revelation the Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
All authority is in Jesus Christ not in any man (popes included) any pope is as much in need as a savior as anyone else.

26 August 2008 at 19:54  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older