Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bishop Nick Baines joins the Euro-fray

Now Bishop Nick has joined Bishop Pete in the vacuum that exists in the Great Anglican-EU Debate. But while Bishop Pete hurled insults at Ukip (members/voters?) with terse tweets and displayed no inclination at all to engage with the complex issues in any depth, Bishop Nick is characteristically measured, intelligent and thoughtful.

Bishop Nick Baines was formerly Bishop of Bradford and is now the Bishop-designate of Leeds. He is one of the few in the episcopal hierarchy who understands the modern media and actively engages with it for the purpose of mission, even to the point of running a 'real' blog (ie one upon which people may leave comments, to which he very often responds). Bishop Nick's portfolio of responsibilities includes membership of the House of Bishops’ Europe Panel (they issue the occasional report), which is probably what stimulated him to write on the matter.

Having dissected Bishop Pete's tweets yesterday, His Grace is of the view that Bishop Nick's blogpost merits a thoughtful fisking by Archbishop Tom today:
It's interesting to watch the political parties responding like headless chickens to the Euro-elections. Short-term reaction again, or taking a long-term view of future threats and opportunities? I guess time will tell.
This is absolutely right: the immediate responses have been trivial and ephemeral. But that, of course, is essentially the nature of political discourse in a representative democracy that runs in 4/5-year cycles and is attuned to churning out soundbites for the latest grievance du jour. And yet, from the outset, it appears that in talking about 'political parties', Bishop Nick is excluding Ukip from his thinking, since their grasp of "future threats and opportunities" is rather more coherent and consistent than that of the 'main' parties: the "headless chickens" are manifestly those who are baffled by Ukip's rise and flail about without a clue what to do about it. While the cocks wonder what happened to their cock-a-doodle-doo, Nigel Farage is strutting about like a peacock, head firmly fixed on shoulders.
What interests me in all this is less the dramatic interpretations of the immediate and more the question that lies at the heart of the current debate: what sort of Europe do we wish to create?
Here we go to the nub of the matter, and the division in respective "what sort of" visions is stark, to the point of being mutually exclusive. There are those who talk about a trade area or customs union - which is what we thought we joined in 1973 and affirmed by referendum in 1975, and which involves no erosion of "essential national sovereignty", as Ted Heath assured. And there are those who talk about a social Europe, a political union, an economic governance leading to a United States of Europe, which is actually what we have, and which most certainly involves the erosion if not the eradication of vast swathes of "essential national sovereignty".   
Go to young countries like Kazakhstan and you can't help but be struck by the constructive optimism of young people. Yes, there are problems and there are serious questions about power and corruption; but the young people believe they are building something better than what they had in the past. Come back to Europe and it feels like we are tired, cynical and trying to justify hanging on to something we have inherited.
His Grace will bow to your superior knowledge of Kazakhstan. But it isn't clear at all how one can even begin to compare the hopes and aspirations of a 20-year-old nation emerging out of the Russian Empire and the oppressions of the Soviet Union with those of a nation which has a thousand years of evolved cultural mores, political traditions and a cohesive religion. If Britain were liberating itself from the yoke of dictatorship, yes, the European Union might offer a relative freedom. But we are not: the British have been free by increments for centuries - certainly coming to some minority groups later than others - but while the people of Kazakhstan may be persuaded that they are building something better than Communist uniformity, Soviet famine and religious eradication, the people of Britain are increasingly persuaded they are being absorbed into something far worse than what they had in the past.      
And this has less to do with European institutions than it does with a European narrative of identity and purpose. We can easily re-shape institutions without properly addressing the core question of meaning. Who and what is Europe for?
We can agree on the first sentence, for the whole UK-EU debate is really one of identity and purpose. But the second sentence belies a certain naïveté, for the bold assertion that "we can easily re-shape institutions" is fundamentally nullified by the reality of European Council unanimity, Commission exclusivity and an insurmountable QMV boundary.  
I was interested in Archbishop Cranmer's piece on Europe. He claims that the bishops of the Church of England are uncritical europhiles. He further claims that they/we accept Europe as it is. Neither is actually true.
This two-sentence summary is something of a caricature, if not a touch of convenient misinformation (but thanks for the link so your readers can assess for themselves what His Grace actually wrote). It is curious that you say His Grace claimed the bishops are "uncritical europhiles", when he specifically wrote: "They may quibble about aspects of its functioning or raise scruples over its institutional aloofness.." It is plain to anyone that Church of England bishops are not uncritical of the EU (eg HERE), but you are, nonetheless, as His Grace wrote, "fervent supporters of Britain's membership of the European Union", and His Grace explained that this is undoubtedly because you "are all persuaded that a divided continent is a tragedy for the Church; that mission is best served by a unified polity with a strong social dimension..". You are all 'pro-Europe'; just not pro the kind of 'Europe' we have. But that is the only one on offer, which has been our national destiny ever since we subscribed to "ever closer union".  
I have written before about the need for a new guiding narrative in Europe if a younger generation is to be engaged in any way. I made this point at a round table discussion with Herman van Rompuy in Brussels a couple of years ago. I made it again at a meeting of the House of Bishops recently. I continue to ask how we can establish a process that explores a new narrative without getting bogged down in arguments about institutions alone.
The linked article is highly informative, not least because it essentially calls for a "guiding narrative" toward "ever closer union". There is no apparent awareness of subsidiarity or any appreciation of the limitations of anti-democratic supranational engagement. What is this "guiding narrative" to consist of when the demos is diffused by a myriad of historical national 'myths'? How is it to be inculcated? And why should it be? Again, even in the philosophical debates around identity, you actually prove His Grace's point: all the bishops are 'pro-Europe' because it is seen to be the enlightened thing to be. His Grace, too, is 'pro-Europe', but he doesn't want to be governed by an unaccountable elite, which is the EU, which is, for the House of Bishops, synonymous with 'Europe'.  
The House of Bishops Europe Panel, of which I have been a member, was not set up to defend the European Union. It was set up to take seriously the nature of European identity, and to consider our European ecumenical relationships in the light of wider European political and cultural contexts.
Uh-huh. How many members of  the House of Bishops Europe Panel favour UK secession from the EU? If none (which is the case), how can you justify this political imbalance on a parliamentary committee when Parliament is manifestly divided on the issue? You have said the Union is run by a distant elite with an opaque bureaucracy which is antithetical to democracy, but no one took any notice of your considered report. How long do you go on issuing diagnostic reports before prescribing a remedy? What are the limits of that remedy? 
And here lies a further challenge. The post-war ecumenical project arose from the blood of European conflict and the resolve to establish relationships that would make war impossible in the future. It mirrored (and sometimes led) the political drive towards closer relationships. But, just as the ecumenical generation is ageing, so is the generation of those who grew up with the political project.
Yes, indeed. The community of brotherhood forged out of Christian ecumenism is the theological equivalent of the European Coal and Steel Community. But European conflict has not been eradicated by the "political drive towards closer relationships". Indeed, the very 'Soul of Europe' that sometimes led the political drive has been subsumed to a kind of Euro nationalism which is now fomenting discord and exacerbating fascistic nationalisms across the Union. This isn't about institutions; it is about cultural identity, fear, resentment and (in many countries, most notably Greece and Spain) severe economic pain and acute social desperation. What kind of Christian leadership is it that helps perpetuate unemployment, recession, inflation and poverty? How can you support a political project which causes hardship, depression, homelessness and repossession? The total number of suicides, heart attacks, divorces and mental breakdowns will never be known. What monumental inhumanity.   
Both need a new narrative – one that can be created by and engage the imagination of my children's generation and younger. Only then will they know what they are building, and why. Creating something generates energy and vision; hanging on to something inherited does not necessarily do the same job.
Again, the teleological presupposition is that the construction of the House of Europe must continue, and this is simply contingent on finding a "new narrative", something a bit more postmodern - Cool Europa, if you will. 
That's the challenge. I am interested to explore how we begin that sort of conversation – one that goes beyond, and is not captivated by, the institutions that should reflect our purpose.
It is heartening and profoundly encouraging that you are interested, and His Grace is sincerely appreciative of an Anglican reflection which goes beyond Bishop Pete's rather condensed analysis. But the answer to the present Euro-crisis is not 'more Europe with a new narrative', for the people won't be inclined to swallow that. As you observe, the Church of England must return to the beginning and ask "Who and what is Europe for?" If the House of Bishops' sub-committee were to meet and prayerfully consider that fundamental question, the Holy Spirit might just open your eyes to the irrefutable truth that the Europe we currently have is for the self-perpetuating elite, and they are resolutely still seeking to address the concerns of two generations ago.   


Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

'Bishop Nick'? Please please can we have 'Bishop Baines' and 'Bishop Broadbent' referred to in the old Anglian way? Can anyone imagine calling Archbishop Venables-Vernon Harcourt 'Archbishop Ted'? One shudders, one really does...

28 May 2014 at 10:58  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

MMMmm that should be 'Anglican; but this new Hewlett Packard laptop misses keys when you type - it is going back to the shop...

28 May 2014 at 10:59  
Blogger David Hussell said...

An interesting widening of the debate Your Grace,

Well at least the second bishop on the scene sounds considered, coherent, thoughtful and even polite. No progress can be made by merely hurling insults at one another from the armoury marked, "Establishment psuedo-intellectual ammunition store to insult all who dare think for themselves or support Christian civilisation".

So that is to be welcomed, clearly. Defining the deep questions is one thing, and a good thing, but it's not clear to me where, if anywhere, he stands, but maybe I am just being a fruitcake retard !

28 May 2014 at 11:22  
Blogger Albert said...

The idea of a narrative is important. Take Germany, they have had several narratives: Nazi Germany, the Aryan narrative, post-war, reconstruction and recovery, present forging ahead because of the benefits of the EU to them. It's easy to see its popularity.

In France, the narrative is self-defence.

What is it here? We do not need to escape our past like Germany, neither do we feel the instinctive threat which France feels. Britain has been built upon freedom and trade. Does the EU provide that narrative?

A fourth kind of narrative would be theological - a Europe built on a shared theological culture. Pope Benedict used to speak of this, but was largely ignored, and so the EU looks vacuous from these shores.

28 May 2014 at 11:28  
Blogger Busy Mum said...

I just wanted to point out the irony; the Church of England, the grammar schools and the independent sector - all institutions which largely owe their existence to right-wing thought - are saturated with left-wing politics.

28 May 2014 at 11:34  
Blogger Phil Roberts said...

"the question that lies at the heart of the current debate: what sort of Europe do we wish to create"

Correctly identified as the nub of the issue.

The model that we have is the US. Interestingly individual states have recently voted for particular laws, mainly to enshrine what marriage is and this has been repeatedly over ruled as unconstitutional. It seems to me that individual US states are getting weaker and Washington is getting stronger.

What would happen if say a certain state started to pass laws which the rest of the US increasingly found repugnant? They would be overruled, but if they felt strongly enough not to kowtow? What then?

They might want to succeed, Washington might say no, the resulting war could be very messy. (It was before)

The nub of it is that in the EU and the US we have increasingly a powerful overarching administration that passes laws that increasingly sidelines national/state governments.

We have started to get it in a typical half hearted way with UKIP. The French on the other hand have (suddenly?) woken up to this fact big time.

The Bishops love the EU. Mainly I suspect because they are actually very comfortable with its essentially liberal and broadly anti Christian direction that it is going.

Don't get me wrong, I want the WU to survive. The French have again got it right in saying that for the EU to survive it needs a radical change of direction, slimming down of 80% of it functions and a very much more hands off approach.

If the US is to survive, I think Washington will also need to adopt a different approach.


28 May 2014 at 11:37  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

“Who and what is Europe for?”

A culturally Marxist self-perpetuating elite of course.

As Brecht put it, “Wouldn’t it be easier to dissolve the people and elect another in their place?” Well you can't elect but you can import another. This is what free movement of people plus 3rd world immigration is all about. Dilute the national demos and you eventually destroy the nation state leaving no loyalty to whatever region replaces it.

EUtopia – no Demos all Kratos - a dystopian nightmare. That has been the plan all along. A plan aided and abetted by our Unconservative and Eunionist PM.

European leaders accordingly spent last night’s summit dinner crying into each others caviar and comforting themselves with the illusion that the EU can do more to show that it is relevant. They are still in total denial; EUtopia is embedded in their political DNA. They will react to bad election results by saying that they must take the results on board and then go straight back to doing more of whatever they were doing before. They are incapable of change but as W Edwards Deming observed "It is not necessary to change - Survival is not mandatory."

28 May 2014 at 11:38  
Blogger graham wood said...

The Bishop has a communications problem with: "I continue to ask how we can establish a process that explores a new narrative without getting bogged down......"

Leaving aside all the weasel words the plain truth is that we need to leave the EUSSR (for that is what it is) NOW, and for ever.

If only for the fact that our precious liberties and freedoms have already gone. Leave aside the "democratic deficit" of the EU, or that it is an economic basket case, the loss of liberty is one reason enough to leave.

For example - take this sad report from a brave critic of homosexuality in the UK:

"Dear all. The police just came around to my house with an anonymous complaint made about my online activities. They warned me that “homophobia” is a criminal offence. I said, “What about freedom of speech?” They said, “Complaints have been made.” I said, “Who made them?” They said, “We don’t know, they come from another police force in another area.” I pointed out to them that I get abuse and death threats all the time and even showed them on Facebook, but they were not interested. They said “This is a warning.” So what is the next step? The knock on the door in the middle of the night?
That "knock on the door" could come as a result of the European Arrest Warrant for merely expressing a non politically correct opinion.

With the EAW - gone is the presumption of innocence, the safeguard of habeas corpus, the protection against arbitrary arrest (once guaranteed under the Magna Carta). Need we go on?

Will Cameron insist on a return to British justice, once known as the best and fairest in the world? Will he specifically call for the rejection of a totalitarian instrument such as the EAW?
Not likely, because he wishes the UK to remain IN this communist dictatorship. That is why voting for UKIP is the only solution now by compelling our political elite to reverse their treacherous sell out of Britain.

28 May 2014 at 11:40  
Blogger Shadrach said...

A complex analysis Your Grace, worthy of twice reading.

Bishop nick was not old enough to vote in the UK referendum in 1975. I did, but I can't remember which way I voted. I was intrigued at the concept of a larger market closer to home but equally I was concerned at the damage that might be done to our Common Market partners. The latter seem to have faired better than us.

I wonder how the CofE Bishops might respond if there was proposed a centralisation of administration for all religions within the EU? (Is that Rome?)

Conspicuous doubletalk by the Bishops convinces no one. Their comments on Europe and Politics generally would be received with more enthusiasm were they to be more concerned with putting their own house in order and concentrating on saving the nation.

28 May 2014 at 11:42  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Albert @ 11:28
We do not need to escape our past like Germany

Considering the number of apologies that our Premiers have made in recent years on behalf of our forbears, I won't be surprised if in the near future this country ends up making an apology the Germany for our actions in WW1 & WW11. We have already seem groups opposed the to the commemoration of the First World War.

28 May 2014 at 11:49  
Blogger Len said...

Like Political Correctness(which attempts to deny reality and to impose 'humanist speech control') there is a dual reality going on with regards to the European Union.
There is the European Union built on the theory that if we all 'unite' in a common cause all will be harmonious and there will be no more wars.This is based on the inherent 'goodness' of man and the ability to sort out ones problems with no 'divine assistance'.

Then there is the 'other reality'
the dark side of the European Union.This is what the people are concerned about and the reason for the rise of political parties protesting about the EU.People are beginning to realise that there is a definite elitist agenda behind the EU.Those behind the conception of the EU are centralising power and control for themselves as they continue to build a Federal United States of Europe.

I suppose this is what happens in the very best evolutionist style the strongest are taking over and dominating the weakest and far from a 'brotherhood of man' the EU is becoming a control mechanism to bring about a new order based on secular Humanism. Religion will have a place in this new order but it will be a humanist/Christian / religion with pagan overtones.

28 May 2014 at 11:55  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

The problem with bishops, sent clergy & professional politicians is that they are completely disconnected from the electorate. Their engagement with real people is carefully stage managed and the people they met generally want to make a good impression for their latest funding bid. Their faith & politics are largely intellectual - and knowledge puffs up whereas love builds up.

Had the cofe wanted to truly reach out to the working classes (ie, the people who don't vote and attend church even less) they would never have joined in the name calling of the BNP & EDL. I have asked Bishop Baines to accompany me on my home visits around the housing estate of Bradford. He's always too busy and prefers instead to come to witness special evenrs where his time can be used more efficiently.

If we could convince the C2DE's to vote and come to church, the political & religious establishment would have absolutely no idea what had hit them. Their cosy, intellectual, opinion-polled thinking would leave them drowning in the tide of 'racist', 'homophobic', 'sexist' plain speaking that no amount of 'hate' legislation has yet managed to eliminate. And insults (even those couched in high-brow language) don't stop people holding those opinions it just stops them engaging with politics & religion.

I want a bishop who will say "we welcome the BNP & EDL & SWP & tax avoiders (tax collectors are no longer considered outcasts!) & paedophiles & all other social lepers. Come & done with us." Instead they put up a big sign saying "not welcome".

28 May 2014 at 11:58  
Blogger Ars Hendrik said...

Great analysis – my only wonder is that the bishops consider themselves in a position to determine the shape of the new Europe (whatever that is). Who asked? They should, as advised in the post, reflect spiritually on the direction they should take, asking the Holy Spirit for guidance.

Imagine for a moment that they were to actually do this, and then confront the public with the fruits of their reflections: 'We believe that the direction Europe should take is as follows… because the Holy Spirit told us so'. Not in a million years would they be so bold, instead, they contrive secular-social arguments by which they would influence political policy.

As that other miserable old blogger, Peter Hitchens, wrote the other day, people are not voting for UKIP because they are ticked off with our current politicians so much as they hate the EU because it supports and encourages mass, culture-changing immigration. I would go further and say that people are increasingly aware of and afraid of the massive cultural impact of millions of adherents of the Religion of Peace, whose numbers, here and in Europe, escalate with astonishing success.

What was once a protected (even revered) minority is now widely perceived as a threat. People have woken up to this and our politicians (if only for reasons of self-preservation) will also. The Anglican and Catholic churches will follow on – eventually realising the danger Islam poses to them.

Eventually, they will answer the question: 'Why should Islam treat Christians in England any differently than Christians in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, etc…?' The answer is self-evident – No reason at all.

This, I suspect, is the real wake-up call that has seized Europe's politicians by the throat.

28 May 2014 at 12:00  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Soz for all my typos!! Auto-correct is no match for my fat fingers and a tiny mobile keyboard!

28 May 2014 at 12:00  
Blogger Albert said...

Shadrach @1149

You are quite right. Culturally however, most British people think their past, at least the near recent past, is rather glorious. And rightly so.

28 May 2014 at 12:06  
Blogger WindsorBloke said...

As we have come to expect, we get from Bish Nick the usual CofE bullshit about 'narratives' and 'visions'.

In case you haven't noticed Nick, the people of Britain were consulted last Thursday, and their 'narrative' is; we don't like the EU as it is currently constructed. Many, probably most, don't like it at all and want out.

So I suggest that rather than wasting your time with useless time-servers like van Rompuy you actually stop and listen to your own congregation.

28 May 2014 at 12:07  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

I wonder what the Bishops think people want? Most people's basic desires are not served by people hobnobbing (sorry Mrs Proudie!) at Brussels, which is largely a meeting shop, and dining out at taxpayers' expense, and the people in the UK are not served by the Common Agricultural Policy. How exactly does it help the people for affluent landowners to be paid for set aside while others are too poor to feed themselves and rely on food banks? Paid for doing nothing is ridiculous and has nothing to do with real capitalism. Oligarchy, price fixing, and monopoly, it has everything to do with.

How does it help the people if another field or garden is given up to housing for buy to let landlords to let out to economic migrants who stay for several months, undercut the local jobs market and then swan back to their own countries where what would not be a living wage here buys them a lot in Eastern Europe? Meanwhile our housing market has been falsely reinflated, insufficient resetting has happened, families with young children have been frozen out from buying housing, and Britain's wildlife and wildflowers have been sold down the river yet again.

How does this benefit the people? I do not see. Do we even want the constant economic progress that is deemed proper if we already have the basics covered, if it means losing most of our green spaces to house people from all over the world. Most of us do not want such a nightmare concrete jungle, and yet we are barely asked.

28 May 2014 at 12:07  
Blogger david willey said...

We have read, in most of the daily newspapers, articles that are refuted by the majority of the readers comments. It would seem that the “Politically Correct” members of the press and broadcasting organizations as well as the do-gooders and their institutions have little or no idea what is irritating the general public. The head of the so called “human rights” in the EU made a statement that would be comical if not so stupid, saying that only in a few countries did the extreme right make a statement but he did not say anything of the extreme left making big inroads into say Spain or other countries. UKIP can only be representing the people at the moment and if this translates into representation in the next parliament then the people will have spoken. That is what democracy is about someone should tell that to “Dave the Nave” and the other PC´s who have their nose in the public trough.

28 May 2014 at 12:17  
Blogger Preacher said...

The fact is that in 1973 & 1975, we were sold a pig in a poke. We were promised a 'Common Market' with all the benefits & lower prices enjoyed by our European neighbours.
We were told specifically that this would not escalate to a 'United States' of Europe.
That our National Identity & our Sovereignty were not in danger.

All Lies! Edward Heath admitted the deception in a later interview.

Now we find ourselves in a well planned trap, where the political elite of the three major parties shamelessly continue the charade. Ably assisted by career Churchmen who blindly adopt the rule of this new 21st century Tower of Babel without question. Shameful!.

They all Still refuse to accept the fact that the game is up! The E.U has been weighed in the balance & been exposed for the fraud that it is, was from the beginning, is now & always will be. No amount of redefinition or redecoration will make it change & be acceptable or palatable to a Nation that has fought & lost it's sons in order to retain its freedom.
Hitler, Napoleon & Philip of Spain have tried & failed. Should we now lie down & accept a defeat that was organised by treachery, lies & deceit?.
The EU ship is sinking. We need to leave it to its fate & watch it go to a watery grave.

The EU elections proved that we are not alone in recognising the truth & wanting to change the future for our nations & our children & grandchildren.

Re-arrange the deck chairs, paint them a different colour if you like my Europhile friends but the ship is sinking & the fishes are waiting.

28 May 2014 at 12:49  
Blogger Jay Bee said...

And some of them fishes are sharks!

28 May 2014 at 14:08  
Blogger Father David said...

I am one with Mrs. Proudie in lamenting the decline in Anglican standards in how to address the clergy. I also mourn the decline in how bishops attire themselves in ecclesiastical vesture. I am sure that unlike Bishop Baines, Bishop Proudie would never be seen without those frilly cuffs at the end of his lawn sleeves neatly tied with red or black bands. Although the photograph doesn't display the bishop designate's feet I would even wager that he isn't wearing buckled shoes, nor indeed that his legs aren't adorned with gaiters under his "cassock-alb"

28 May 2014 at 14:14  
Blogger Father David said...

I am one with Mrs. Proudie in lamenting the decline in Anglican standards in how to address the clergy. I also mourn the decline in how bishops attire themselves in ecclesiastical vesture. I am sure that unlike Bishop Baines, Bishop Proudie would never be seen without those frilly cuffs at the end of his lawn sleeves neatly tied with red or black bands. Although the photograph doesn't display the bishop designate's feet I would even wager that he isn't wearing buckled shoes, nor indeed that his legs aren't adorned with gaiters under his "cassock-alb"

28 May 2014 at 14:15  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

I agree about the dress codes. For me that would be a nice big broad black hat and black suite, with my tallit katan underneath my shirt.

28 May 2014 at 14:55  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 May 2014 at 14:59  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...

The problem with the Euroskeptic movement is that there are few who are able to communicate the intellectual problems with the EU in a way us ordinary folks can understand. Alas, in popular discourse a lot of the anti-EU discussion boils down to disliking being ruled by Johnny foreigner and immigration. Nothing wrong with these issues, but it leaves the Euroskeptic open to the ridiculous accusations of being racist, nationalist etc, whereas my own Euroskepticism is based around the right of the British people to decide-to elect and choose who governs us and who makes our laws. That we can throw governments in and out of office and not submit to the permanent un elect of Brussels. Nothing to do with not liking the French.

28 May 2014 at 15:01  
Blogger john in cheshire said...

Bishop Nick demostrates he too is part of the problem. To whom is he addressing his remarks? It seems to me he is only interested in discussion with his like-minded cohorts; us plebs don't appear to figure in any decision making process. So he needs to join the withdrawalists or get out of the way.

28 May 2014 at 15:07  
Blogger Roy said...

I wonder why CoE bishops seem so much more willing to talk about the EU than about the Commonwealth? Could it be that they think the Commonwealth is an embarrassment because it is full of backward people who don't approve of gay marriage?

28 May 2014 at 15:45  
Blogger Len said...

I think Orwells '1984' is quite prophetic as to how events were going to turn out.
All the freedoms that generations of Britons have fought and died for have been meekly surrendered to the faceless bureaucrats in Brussels.The EU is churning out endless demands and litigation to bring about changes in society which will allow free expression of everything that the EU approves of and to ban anything which the EU disapproves of. There is 'speech control' in effect today and it is possible to commit 'speech crime' by saying the 'wrong words'.
This is nothing less than mind control through controlling speech.Eventually we shall have a generation who`s thought process`s have been strictly controlled and moulded into a restricted pattern of thinking.I believe I can see this process already starting to happen.
New words have popped up and one must conform to 'the new morality' (of which there are no absolutes in anything and every truth is 'relative')
So the EU is no place for Christians or indeed anyone who values free speech and has any sort of integrity that they wish to hang onto.

28 May 2014 at 15:46  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

More thoughtful from Bishop Baines, but is he a Christian bishop or an MEP?

His idea seems to be to engage young people in aiming at a social utopia of their choosing.

It seems to be a given that closer union is a good thing, and that progress towards that end makes for peace and the common good, mainly through the avoidance of what's regarded as the ultimate horror - war.

But is it? Is that Biblical? War is horror, but not the ultimate horror - hell is. There is no Christian dialogue with Nick Baines unless he admits that. While we are to seek the good of the cities in which we live, aren't we deluded to think the picture Christ paints is one of increasing peace and safety, when he personally predicted the opposite? What role is given to the return of Christ? Why does Nick Baines express surprise and request a new narrative to re-engage the youth, when what their parents have been told about Europe's power and aims is not only available on the internet, but subcontracted to bishops for repetition. (viz "There is no question of Britain losing essential national sovereignty…. The British safeguards of habeus corpus and trial by jury will remain intact. So will the principle that a man is innocent until he has been proved guilty.".

“there are some in this country who fear that in going into Europe we shall in some way sacrifice independence and sovereignty. These fears, I need hardly say, are completely unjustified”.

Nick Baines supports an engagement founded upon this untruth, and Bishop Pete wonders why a party with the name "UK Independence Party" is doing so well, staffed as it is by rank sinners! And other parties are not? What sort of naive utopianism is this? I have no problem with engagement with European countries founded on Christian principles of truth and respect, of honesty that enables accounts to be signed off by a reputable firm of international accountants. That is a narrative that engages me, and in the words of Bishop Pete, "concede nothing".

There's so much to discuss on these points, but I fear busy Bishop Nick wouldn't have the time.

I wonder whether Lesslie Newbigin's observation on Christian Socialism is forgotten: "The project of bringing heaven down to earth always results in bringing hell up from below"

And quoting Novak: "Socialists, Christian socialists not excepted, tend to judge capitalism by actual practice but socialism by an ideal that has never yet been put into practice anywhere."

28 May 2014 at 15:47  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Father David, I am delighted you agree...but perhaps it should be Rev'd Mr. rather than 'Father' ?

28 May 2014 at 15:47  
Blogger Len said...

I think some of these ecclesiastical types pose as shepherds of their flocks despite the fact that most of their flock have wandered off because they were not being fed or looked after and the shepherds don`t seem to have woken up and realised that fact yet?.
One can still play the part and put on all the regalia but it not much use if the shepherd(or should I say the under-shepherd) is not fulfilling his proper function which is administering to his flock and preaching the gospel.

28 May 2014 at 15:59  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Father David @ 28 May 2014 14:14

Do you really think that all those ecclesiastical robes and adornments have anything to do wit the Gospel of Jesus?

28 May 2014 at 16:00  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Preacher @ 12.49

Well said, sir !

Nothing good and wholesome has ever been built on lies, and our decision to join the 'Common Market' , which by degrees morphed into something else entirely, was and remains a grand deception - lies !

A tyranny was planned by devious minds. The whole scheme was a set up, by megalomaniac politicians. Great harm is already being brought down upon the unemployed youth of southern europe, and great harm will be visited upon us here too, in turn, if we do not break out, and the sooner the better !

It is the very simple point that the only people that have the right to govern these islands, and form our laws, are those that we elect to our national Parliament, not the unelected Commissioners of Brussels with their pretend parliament. The British Constitution has been violated. All the european countries must reestablish their national democracies.

Either Ukip succeeds soon or an even darker cloud will hang over these islands for an indeterminate time. It is nothing to do with racism but everything to do with British freedoms, justice and culture, the things that made this a good place for the many to live.

The Bishops' appear to be deeply confused people lost in a socialist dream that is now, for the unemployed of southern europe, turning into a nightmare. I wish those southern countries well, I but do not want us to descend into such a parlous condition.

28 May 2014 at 16:09  
Blogger Albert said...


Holinesse on the head,
Light and perfections on the breast,
Harmonious bells below, raising the dead
To lead them unto life and rest:
Thus are true Aarons drest.

Profanenesse in my head,
Defects and darknesse in my breast,
A noise of passions ringing me for dead
Unto a place where is no rest:
Poore priest thus am I drest.

Only another head
I have, another heart and breast,
Another musick, making live not dead,
Without whom I could have no rest:
In him I am well drest.

Christ is my onely head,
My alone onely heart and breast,
My only musick, striking me ev'n dead;
That to the old man I may rest,
And be in him new drest.

So holy in my head,
Perfect and light in my deare breast,
My doctrine tun'd by Christ, (who is not dead,
But lives in me while I do rest).
Come, people; Aaron's drest.

28 May 2014 at 16:11  
Blogger David Hussell said...

The letter of a prominent Ukip supporter was published in The Telegraph yesterday. It is worth reading, as a treat in well reasoned brevity.

"Sir - Margaret Thatcher thought she could reform the EEC/EU. She failed. It has to be said that David Cameron is no Margaret Thatcher. He doesn't stand an earthly"

I have already congratulated the reverend gentleman.

If a majority of the public back Cameron's "I will lead the reform of the EU" they will have been conned, big time. The EU project has always been about forming one country under an, essentially, unelected centralised state, served by compliant, de-Christianised individuals lacking in any firm allegiances. It will not be a happy place.

28 May 2014 at 16:21  
Blogger Father David said...

Dear Shadrach, well only if you believe in giving the very best to God. Just look at how standards of behaviour have deteriorated in the House of Commons since Speaker Bercow took off his finery and replaced it with a Verger's gown! The vestments we wear in Church are highly symbolic and full of meaning, don't you know? I am pleased to see that both Bishops Nicholas and Peter are depicted still wearing the mitre. Alas, unless Bishop Proudie were a follower of dear Bishop Edward King of Lincoln (the first Anglican bishop of the Church of England, by Law Established to wear the mitre since the Reformation) then I very much doubt that the Bishop of Barchester would be seen with such an item of ecclesiastical millinery upon his prelatical head! Ma'am, I am delighted that we are in agreement and consider it to be a great honour to be slightly taken to task by so eminent a Victorian lady as your good self. However, may I with much respect, courteously remind you that when using the BCP services of ordination your dear husband - the bishop - is referred to as "Reverend Father in God" and not as "Reverend Mr. Proudie"

28 May 2014 at 16:27  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Every so often when I press 'send' I get a 'Whoops that's an error - please refresh and try again' message which completely wipes away the one I have just composed. Very annoying.

28 May 2014 at 16:39  
Blogger Len said...

Save and copy your post before attempting to send it Mrs Proudie

28 May 2014 at 16:48  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear dear Father David - taken to task? Not one bit of it, merely a tease at hobnob-time. You are quite right of course, my Lord the Bishop does not possess a mitre but will, when pressed, don a Laudian cap. But you made me think...I wonder how many graduates of St Taqqiya's College of Go-ahead Enlightenment would countenance being addressed by such an archaic and feudal term as 'My Lord?' Probably the same people who would happily shorten Our Saviour's name to 'Jeez'. One shudders, one really does...

28 May 2014 at 16:49  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Len, I have taken your very sound and sensible advice...many thanks

28 May 2014 at 16:50  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Another commendable post YG.

it essentially calls for a "guiding narrative" toward "ever closer union"

The biggest insult to all European people is that the 'vision' or proposal has never been published and put to the enfranchised voters.

28 May 2014 at 17:10  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

Father David is clearly a spoof designed to waylay us from important discussion into trivia about frilly cuffs. Or he would not, for a start write "attire themselves in" when he means "dress in", as it is unnecessary verbiage.

28 May 2014 at 17:17  
Blogger Albert said...

Lucy Mullen,

Father David may be writing tongue in cheek in some respects, but he is plainly not a spoof.

Anyway, he's basically right.

28 May 2014 at 17:28  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Oh Lord, another one turns up pretend ending to be an authority on Europe when he should be an authority on salvation. Interesting concept is salvation. Makes one appreciate we are here only fleetingly and before we push off and leave it all to the following generations, we really ought to have that in place, or hopes of, at the very least. We could all use a smidgeon of Episcopal help with that, but all the bishops want to do is to immerse themselves in a kingdom that is not Gods.

Poor show Baines, and any other clerics who take it upon themselves to stick their noses in where nobody wants them to. Wait outside my study, and no talking to Broadbent while you’re there. He’s to be caned shortly, and if one had his way, summarily expelled...


Right then Baines, one has been reading your virtual exercise book, “Musings of an ADHD bishop”. Absolutely appalling, don’t you know. No mention of God, Holy Spirit, Christ or Jesus, let alone Salvation. Don’t you find that rather odd for a bishop ? It’s a rum business alright, for not only are you and your kind allowed to use these sacred words in your sermons, it’s actually damn well expected you do. It goes with being a bishop ! Do these words embarrass you by chance ? Do you think they are unbecoming as you attempt to mingle with the elected politicians you are trying to ape – a mainly ghastly crowd of scoundrels whose only representation these days is of their own narrow minded soviet beliefs at the expense of the electorates’ who put them there.

Anyway, rather than cane you on this occasion, you are to be placed under the care of the Careers Master. He’ll assess whether or not you have it in you to be a man of God, or whether you are just the shower of irrelevance you appear to be.

You are hereby dismissed my presence. Now get out !

28 May 2014 at 17:57  
Blogger Father David said...

Lucy, you have cut me to the quick with your comment. Thank you Albert for your spirited defence and I can indeed confirm that I am not "a spoof"!
Dear, Mrs. Proudie, I must confess that I have never encountered the term "Laudian cap" before now. Indeed the great Archbishop William Laud is shewn wearing an item of ecclesiastical millinery (that's a church hat, to you, Lucy!) upon his sainted head in the famous portaiit of the great man which hangs in Lambeth Palace but I've never heard tell that it was referred to as a Laudian cap until now. However, I have come across a Bishop Andrewes cap before and maybe that is what Bishop Proudie dons to keep away the chill at Evensong on a cold winter"s night in Barchester cathedral? Alas, in his effigy in Southwark cathedral Bishop Andrewes is not wearing his famous cap but a far more modest affair. He does, however, in sweet repose wear quite an elaborate ruff around his neck, similar to those worn to this day by certain Lutheran divines,

28 May 2014 at 18:18  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Albert; Whose prose were you quoting?

28 May 2014 at 18:44  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Three short sentences from Bishop Nick’s blog:

I have written before about the need for a new guiding narrative in Europe …

I continue to ask how we can establish a process that explores a new narrative …

Both [generations] need a new narrative …

Is it clear to Your Grace, and to other communicants, what the Bishop means here by “narrative”? It strikes me as a vague, fuzzy, imprecise term. Is he calling for a new set of arguments? A new rationale? A new ideology? Or just a new advertising slogan?

28 May 2014 at 18:46  
Blogger Albert said...


George Herbert

28 May 2014 at 18:57  
Blogger Albert said...

Mrs Proudie and Fr David,

Is a Laudian Cap the same as a Canterbury Cap? I rather like Canterbury Caps, but I don't think they should be called Laudian Caps as the predate the Protestant Reformation (and therefore Laud). St John Fisher used to wear one for instance (until the first Head of the Church of England made the wearing of hats as superfluous for Fisher as for his Baptist namesake).

28 May 2014 at 19:04  
Blogger WindsorBloke said...

“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 23, 1-2

28 May 2014 at 19:39  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Albert and Father David, yes it is the same as the Canterbury cap but I refer to the ordinances of Archbishop Laud, who set out what he felt was right and seemly garb for clerics. But I fear we have upset dear Lucy with our ecclesiastical trivia... All I can say is thank goodness we have Bishop Chartres of London amongst us - one cannot imagine anyone calling him Bishop Dick and surviving with his canonicals intact...

28 May 2014 at 19:48  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

And it is not the same as a Dutch it Lucy my dear!

28 May 2014 at 19:49  
Blogger Father David said...

Albert I can do no more than invite you to look at the two famous portraits of His Grace, whose blog this, is by Gerlach Flicke and that of William Laud by Anthony van Dyke and there I think you will find significant differences between the two. Archbishop Cranmer is wearing what I would indeed describe as a Canterbury Cap, so beloved by Blessed Michael Ramsey, he had a lovely purple one. Archbishop Laud's hat is fuller and larger, although not too dissimilar in style.
Mrs. Proudie, dear lady, I recall that your husband's former chaplain Obadiah Slope favoured wearing a hat when out and about within the diocese pastoral visiting. Would you describe his head gear as a soup plate hat? I'm sure your husband, the bishop, must have owned and worn a splendid top hat, so becoming of his office and dignity, with strings attached when travelling in the episcopal carriage on the way to some country fane in order to officiate at a service of Confirmation.
Thank you Albert for sharing with us that beautiful poem by George Herbert, whom, I seem to recall also favoured the wearing of hats.
Perhaps, His Grace might favour us by displaying on His blog site portraits of these great Anglican prelates and divines suitably adorned in their various titfers? I'm sure that Lucy longs to be suitable enlightened, as becometh her name!

28 May 2014 at 20:16  
Blogger Albert said...

Mrs Proudie

And it is not the same as a Dutch cap


I can't imagine any clergyman wearing one of these.

28 May 2014 at 20:19  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Bit like a Benefits Cap then ?

28 May 2014 at 20:21  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Albert, you obviously haven't met Mr Slope....

28 May 2014 at 20:22  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Father David, we have now moved on from caps of all shapes and sizes. I think we need to consider the topic of this thread, to wit- the jockeying amongst some of our prelates for the position of "Eurobish". My money is on Bishop Broadbent...

28 May 2014 at 20:25  
Blogger Albert said...

Fr David,

Yes, I quite see the difference. Are they however the same hat or two different types of hat?

I'm not so keen on George Herbert's headgear. Of course, when it comes to hats, there's one man who is in a league of his own.

28 May 2014 at 20:26  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Although I am partial to a poke...

28 May 2014 at 20:28  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

,,,but that's more of a bonnet

28 May 2014 at 20:28  
Blogger Albert said...

Mrs Proudie,

you obviously haven't met Mr Slope....

But surely, Mr Slope doesn't actually wear the hat himself.

28 May 2014 at 20:31  
Blogger Roy said...

David Hussell said...

The letter of a prominent Ukip supporter was published in The Telegraph yesterday. It is worth reading, as a treat in well reasoned brevity.

"Sir - Margaret Thatcher thought she could reform the EEC/EU. She failed. It has to be said that David Cameron is no Margaret Thatcher. He doesn't stand an earthly"

I agree completely with both you and the letter writer. Unfortunately I don't think that Cameron is actually planning to reform the EU. He probably hoping to stage an almighty row with EU officials and the political leaders of some of the other member countries after which they will offer him some token concessions, like allowing us to decide on the shape of the bananas sold in Britain.

Mr. Cameron will then return from Brussels like Chamberlain from Munich brandishing his piece of paper and most of the media, not just the Guardian and the BBC but nearly every other newspaper apart from the Daily Express, will hail the conquering hero and do their utmost to persuade the British people to vote "yes" to remaining in the EU.

28 May 2014 at 20:35  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Roy, do you think the 'prominent UKIP member' was HMQ?

28 May 2014 at 20:51  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Roy @ 20.35

Absolutely agree with you. It is the only scenario that fits both his nature and clearly expressed wishes for our country. To be fair to him he has made his desires very plain. How on earth more people cannot see this is a complete mystery to me. But that is very close to what the unpopular were told (please do be quiet we are having such fun) in the mid-late 30s, is it not ?

The EU is essentially an idea, and the British seem so very, very slow at recognising ideas for what they are - they get lost in the detail it seems to me.

It is the lot of those who love freedom and our national democracy to keep pointing to the wider picture and the reality of what has and is, and is likely to happen. At some stage we will succeed.

28 May 2014 at 21:06  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Ah, the 'narrative'....the 'shared and renewed vision of the future'.. the 'indaba process'...hope not not bombs...the millions, not the millionaires...we need to work together for a shared understanding...

And the gases from one's bottom will smell of roses.

Its a bit late for all that now, the can has been kicked down the road too long. If its not Nigel Farage, it will be Marine Le Pen, or something much worse.

Time to recognise how far received left thought has become perceived as the very stuff of normality and common sense. Such an illusion will not last the coming financial collapse, not the small pre-tremor we had recently, the REAL one.

The EU has always been an international Marxist conspiracy, always will be. Getting out will hurt, but it will be worse if we leave it.

28 May 2014 at 21:59  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Congratulations, Albert, on your photograph album! Papa Ratzi in the burger 'n chips headgear gets 10 out of 10!

I sincerely trust it's photoshopped and not authentic.

28 May 2014 at 22:16  
Blogger Albert said...

Uncle Brian,

I was rather taken by the burger 'n' chips hat. The combination of Catholicism and fast food, is, of course, one of the fruits of the Novus Ordo.

28 May 2014 at 22:27  
Blogger Father David said...

Surely we already have a "Euro-bish" in the form of Robert Innes (Bishop designate) who is just about to replace Geoffrey Rowell.
Albert, thank you for your wonderful montage of The Pope Mother's wide range of hats, almost as good as the late Queen Mother's vast collection. Personally, I think it is a great shame that Pope Benedict XVI didn't bring back the papal triple tiara during his time in office. Now that so much of the trivial ecclesiastical clutter reintroduced by Benedict has now been put back in the Vatican closet, there is surely no hope or chance that good Pope Francis the Great will bring it back out again.
I am wondering now that the Bishop of Barchester's wife is trying to get the thread back on track and steer it away from an in dept discussion on hats, I am thinking that perhaps Your Grace is aka Mrs. Proudie? I think we should be told.

28 May 2014 at 22:39  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness! Well Father David, be told...I am Mrs Proudie and not His Grace...what a suggestion! Sometimes I am mindful that we have strayed from the righteous path mapped out by His Grace, and conscience demands a recantation and a turning back. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a communicant to keep 'on message.'

28 May 2014 at 22:53  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

And isn't that a Roman collar you are wearing? Tsk tsk!

28 May 2014 at 22:55  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Mr Slope has been in the Vatican Closet, but now he is out. His case comes up before the magistrate next week.

28 May 2014 at 22:56  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

Who is about to be the next Bishop of Europe is not exactly the topic here, which has been buried somewhat. I cannot yet perceive your view on the EU, whether it is a desirable entity, nor whether it is compatible with Christianity, whether it serves or does not serve the people, or merely serves a pampered oligarchy.

Whilst I appreciate you have views on ecclesiastical attire and forms of address, this is not really a place for a prolonged mulling over the ecclesiastical dressing up box whilst Rome metaphorically burns- or does not- whilst speaking nothing over several posts of intelligibility or useful contribution on the main topic. Surely?

28 May 2014 at 22:59  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Roy said @ 20:35 Mr. Cameron will then return from Brussels

No chance of that, he won't be PM after the next election.

The CofE according to tonight's news, will be showing their opposition to the EU. They will be lending money instead of collecting it like the EU.

Not sure that vicars should be giving financial advice though? Do they still have plates or do they have bags that you can't get your hand in?

28 May 2014 at 23:00  
Blogger Shadrach said...

Dear Lucy:

This site often pontificates about peripherals and achieves nothing. (Not Cramers fault though) I would like to hear more of the outcome of all this deliberation. Such as; Off with their heads or such like.

28 May 2014 at 23:04  
Blogger Albert said...

Mrs Proudie @2256

Wonderful! I fear Mr Slope's case will not end well.

I strongly suspect Fr David of ritualistic offences too.

28 May 2014 at 23:04  
Blogger Owl said...

A family is made up of members which have something in common.

A community is made up of families which have something in common.

Cities and rural areas are made up of communities which have something in common.

Nations are made up of cities and rural areas.

All straight forward common sense and makes a good "narrative".

The EU is made up of elites and non-elites.

There is no connection to the members of family units at its' base.

All straight forward nonsense and makes a useless "narrative".

If the good Bishop wishes to change, re-invent or correct the useless "narrative", it will remain useless as it is based on nonsense.

28 May 2014 at 23:34  
Blogger Len said...

I wonder if ' Father David' be the latest incarnation of Dodo, he seems to have gone missing which is unlike him?.
Just a thought.

28 May 2014 at 23:52  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

Uncle Brian

I think the Bishop is really referring to a metanarrative that will act as a sort of "philosopher's stone" to transmute public opinion. He needs a grand narrative that will supplant a citizen's loyalty to a nation with loyalty to Europe. That is what is lacking. That is why a United States of Europe is impossible. Each person is first a German or a Frenchman or a Brit.

An American will say "I am from the state of New York." He will also say "I am an American." The difference is important. This was a direct outcome of the American Civil War which saw the states submerged in favor of national identity. Europeans would have to develop this sense of shared citizenship to bond as a coherent nation. How does that happen with so many cultures and languages and religions - all distinct and kept closeted behind borders. It doesn't.

Until such time as Germany (and the other non Balkan stars for that matter) decides that the Balkans really are worth the bones of a single Pomeranian Grenadier, there will never be a united Europe. Because this is true, the elites aren't forming a united Europe despite their best efforts to the contrary. They are forming instead a Confederation of Nations. Those nations that benefit will love it. The rest will hate it. Because its not about the benefit to the whole. It's about the parochial benefits that accrue to the parts. The German first for the German. The Frenchman first for the Frenchman. The national before the super national.

And that is what the Bishop wants to change. But he might as well try to transmute lead into gold.


29 May 2014 at 03:52  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

As an aside, that's why the bishop was hazy and ambiguous about the content of this new narrative. He can't very well come out and say "I want you to stop considering yourself a citizen of Britain and start considering yourself a citizen of Europe." He needs a narrative that people will accept without realizing what they are accepting. Not an easy task.


29 May 2014 at 04:07  
Blogger Father David said...

Dear Mrs. Proudie "we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep" and we humbly crave your forgiveness for such an outrageous suggestion that you and His Grace may be one and the same. On the other hand I am now wondering whether Lucy M might possibly be Cranmer's alter (not "holy table") ego? Her interests in embroidery accuse us of wanting to keep change thread and tack but why she wants to keep banging on about Europe when there are so many other interesting topics to discuss (like hats) I cannot for the life of me imagine! Think about it, have you ever seen Lucy M and Thomas Cranmer in the same room together?
Now that dear Mrs. Proudie's interest has descended from the top of the head to the neck and my Roman collar, I am becoming rather fearful! I do hope that you are not thinking of sending round Kensit (not Patsy) to the Rectory and the church vestry to instigate certain investigations? I beg thee not to be sent to Puddingdale!
Dear Arthur, how clever thou art! But you cannot fool me by attempting to pass off an imprisoned Father Arthur Tooth as the Reverend Mr. Obadiah Slope! Nice try though and I do so admire Fr. Tooth's hat, just the kind of thing good clerics might wear in Europe, especially in the environs of Rome.
Len, may I assure you that I am neither " a spoof" nor even the extinct "Dodo". Thinking of whom, wasn't that the title of Fred Benson's premier novel prior to his moving on to Tilling and telling us all about the delicious Mapp and the darling Lucia? I think it was! Such a clever old thing was Fred, son of one of His Grace's successors - Archbishop Ted White Benson,. What a great man he was who thankfully came down against the dreadful John Kensit and his Ritualistic extremist persecutors and largely found in favour of saintly Bishop King in his Lincoln Judgement which, I suppose in a way, eventually led to right minded clerics of the Established Church being permitted to don the Roman collar without fear of suffering the same fate (not Garden) as poor Fr. Tooth.
Well, the hour is now late and this evening's sermon is in the bag, I must put down my quill and ascend to my bed chamber.

29 May 2014 at 04:28  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

It is increasingly difficult to read Fr David's post without coming to the conclusion that his whole persona is an elaborate mockery.


29 May 2014 at 05:09  
Blogger Daphne Anson said...

Your Grace,
A thousand apologies for intruding this somewhat off-topic message onto this post, but I'm not sure how else to contact you. I'm eager to bring to your attention the fact that a certain turbulent priest is up to his wonted antics again.

29 May 2014 at 07:25  
Blogger Brian West said...

Len 23.52 - Surely Father David must be Dodo in another hat; but whether he is or no, he's a mischievous spoiler.


29 May 2014 at 07:51  
Blogger David Hussell said...

It is difficult not to reach the thought that "Father David's" objective is to turn this blog from the useful one that it was, into ecclesiastical lightweight nonsense.
No one, especially me, keeps totally "on" the topic posted by Cranmer. But is this deliberate sabotage by dumbing down, I ask ? There are many who would love this channel of free speech and dissent to be destroyed, I'm sure.

29 May 2014 at 08:25  
Blogger Albert said...


It is increasingly difficult to read Fr David's post without coming to the conclusion that his whole persona is an elaborate mockery.

I really can't see why. Most Anglo-catholic clergy are like Fr David.

29 May 2014 at 08:26  
Blogger Albert said...

Why are so many people spoil-sports about Fr David? Is it because you are all repressed utilitarians?

29 May 2014 at 08:27  
Blogger William Lewis said...

Your Grace

"As you observe, the Church of England must return to the beginning and ask "Who and what is Europe for?" If the House of Bishops' sub-committee were to meet and prayerfully consider that fundamental question, the Holy Spirit might just open your eyes to the irrefutable truth that the Europe we currently have is for the self-perpetuating elite, and they are resolutely still seeking to address the concerns of two generations ago."

A pertinent conclusion to a thoughtful and important fisk. If they are unable to discern the Spirit in this matter, then one hopes that the coffee aroma will reach their nostrils soon. One is heartened to see His Grace's percolator at full stream.

29 May 2014 at 08:33  
Blogger IanCad said...

How much does a CofE Bishop get paid per year?

What perks go with the job? I would assume plenty of travel - conferences and various wing-dings. Free nosh, a substantial clothing allowance and, of course, the prestige.

Also, what does the UK taxpayer contribute toward the upkeep of the institution and its personnel. And, at what age do they hang up their mitres?

29 May 2014 at 08:35  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Goodness - I fear the same accusation can be levelled at me!

29 May 2014 at 08:38  
Blogger Father David said...

Your Grace, I really must protest in the strongest possible terms and in the best possible taste against those who are trying to divert your blog away from deeply serious matters - like the ecclesiastical relevance of hats - into a "Get Fr. David Campaign"! Haven't they got anything better to do or write about, like boring owld Europe?
Dear, dear Mrs. Proudie, I would be mortified if you were to be tarred with the same brush as me. Your much valued contributions add tone and humour to His Grace's Blog. I so much look forward to reading your enlightened comments from The Palace at Barchester they brighten my day and I thank you.

29 May 2014 at 08:59  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...


His Grace's new blog (which is imminent) will solve this problem. Disqus permits separate sub-threads of conversation to run within each main thread. That way, those who wish to discuss ecclesiastical hats instead of the EU will be able to do so without interfering with those who wish to focus on more weighty matters.

29 May 2014 at 09:08  
Blogger Len said...

That will one distraction less Your Grace to remove those obsessed with 'dressing up' into a side room.

29 May 2014 at 09:15  
Blogger Albert said...


remove those obsessed with 'dressing up' into a side room

Yeah, get lost, Aaron!

29 May 2014 at 09:23  
Blogger Albert said...

Well done Dr C (@0908).

29 May 2014 at 09:24  
Blogger Brian West said...

I pleaded with His Grace to retain the present single-thread style when redesigning his blog site, as I felt that the branched-thread system, normal elsewhere, would change the character of this blog in a most undesirable way. I still feel that.

He explained that other considerations meant he had no choice but to accept the sub-thread structure in the redesigned blog. I think it’s a great pity.


29 May 2014 at 09:33  
Blogger Roy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

29 May 2014 at 09:54  
Blogger Roy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

29 May 2014 at 09:56  
Blogger Roy said...

Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Roy, do you think the 'prominent UKIP member' was HMQ?

Dear Mrs Proudie,

I hope His Grace's readers do not think I am so presumptuous as to think that I can speak for Her Majesty if I say that it would not surprise me in the slightest if she drew pleasure from the lesson that her loyal subjects had taught Her Majesty's ministers and the Opposition.

I would venture to say that Her Majesty's gallant and loyal consort, Prince Philip, will have no doubt been in excellent good humour since the publication of the election results.

At times like this when HM's realm is under threat from the plotting of foreign leaders and their British confederates, one is put in mind of HM's glorious predecessor of the same name and her defiant speech at Tilbury.

Thank goodness that our schools used to encourage a love of British history so that young Winston Churchill was able to so thoroughly absorb the lessons of the speech at Tilbury by Queen Elizabeth I that when our nation faced its time of greatest peril he was able to rise to the occasion and inspire the country with his we shall fight them on the beaches speech.

Could Mr. Churchill have done that if the teachers of the Victorian era had had the same obsessions as those of today?

29 May 2014 at 09:57  
Blogger David Kavanagh said...


I can't wait for the new blog. Discus is an excellent comment thread medium, much better than the google one and has more facilities to use (e.g. with links, pictures and videos).


Thanks for the link, we shall add you to my list of blogs to read.

Father Dowling,

Interesting discussion on hats; I has no idea it was that complicated. Sometimes one needs a cheerful, gay, lighthearted laugh.

29 May 2014 at 09:57  
Blogger Father David said...

Your Grace, a via media Anglican solution if I may say so but whatever happened to ET UNUM SINT? I do hope that my contributions have not been the cause of yet another Reformation in that the one is soon to be split into two. I am also distressed that this solution to a perceived problem is bringing a little more misery into The Life of Brian.

29 May 2014 at 10:11  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

One feels suitably admonished and chastised...time for Earl Grey and a hobnob I think, then a long chat with Mrs Quiverful about the Albigensians...

29 May 2014 at 10:34  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

carl jacobs

Thank you, Carl, for your painstaking and carefully considered answer to my query. I have to confess that “metanarrative” is a term that doesn’t really cast any light in the dim recesses of my brain where “narrative” itself was already puzzling enough to start with. But I get your point about nationality and citizenship. Nobody could ever say “I’m a European” in the same way – and be understood in the same way – as anyone from anywhere in the United States can simply say “I’m an American.” If it was said obviously with humorous intent, fine, no problem there. But if the words were spoken in all seriousness, “I’m a European” would simply sound ridiculously pompous, pretentious, and hypocritical.

29 May 2014 at 10:58  
Blogger Uncle Brian said...

Albert said...


It is increasingly difficult to read Fr David's post without coming to the conclusion that his whole persona is an elaborate mockery.

I really can't see why. Most Anglo-catholic clergy are like Fr David.

29 May 2014 08:26


Meeting an Anglo-Catholic clergyman face to face is a pleasure that still awaits me. Consequently, I’m at a bit of a loss to grasp what it is about Father David’s comments that, to your trained eye, so clearly labels him as a specimen of that species. Surely you're not referring to his trick of writing “whom” when he means “who” (yesterday at 20:16)?


29 May 2014 at 11:02  
Blogger Father David said...

Dear Mr. Proudie, as we sit together on the naughty step, may I be permitted by those who would be so censorious towards the two of us, to ask the following question?
When we were given the opportunity to have insight into the goings on in the Barchester cathedral close and Puddingdale was that Maggie Jones in the guise of Mrs. Quiverful? I believe that in a later life she was reincarnated as Blanche in the popular Soap Opera - entitled "Coronation Street" which is, I further believe to be a programme about the home life of our own dear Queen, although I have never actually seen it to confirm my suspicions. Indeed were not you yourself reincarnated as the magnificent Lucia, the Queen Bee who reigned supreme in Tilling (aka Rye), as indeed you do in the diocese of Barchester? Long may you reign, indeed as the loathsome snake Slope said of your good self and the bishop on being dismissed from the Palace "May you both live forever!"

29 May 2014 at 11:07  
Blogger bluedog said...

Your Grace

Bishop Nick asks, ‘What sort of Europe do we want to create’. Well, in the context of the EU, it’s job done, and the aims were twofold:

1) Keep the masses fed, clothed, housed and amused so that there is no repeat of 1848.
2) Keep the French and Germans from repeating 1806, 1815, 1871, 1914 and 1940.

Accordingly the institution of the EU was created on the foundations of the Common Market to implement the project, with the Bilderberger Group sprinkling holy water on it.

There is no narrative that can realistically be developed that departs from these understandings of the reasons for the EU.

It was never a British project, there was no need for it from a British perspective, other than as a free trade zone. That’s why we weren’t there at the beginning. From a military/naval perspective, the British interest is now and has always been to ensure that the southern shore of the English Channel is held by a power friendly to Britain and before that, England. We created Belgium with that in mind, to prevent a potentially hostile France from owning too much real estate across the Channel. We united the crowns of England and Scotland to prevent a potentially hostile France from opening a second front to the north of England. Before the Reformation we were closely allied to Spain, enabling us to open a second front against a potentially hostile France, if the need arose.

Will Bishop Nick tell his children that? Of course not, such dark thoughts could never be part of a truly pan-European narrative. On the other hand it’s how Britain has survived for nearly 1000 years as an independent power, an independence the kids in charge today seem to value too cheaply.

‘…hanging on to something inherited does not necessarily do the same job.’

Really? It’s clogs to clogs in three generations according to the old saw. With Bishop Nick developing a post-modern narrative for today’s children, the demise of the UK seems certain, just three generations after 1940.

Only Ukip has any idea of how to stop the inheritance being blown.

29 May 2014 at 11:15  
Blogger John Wrake said...


May I be allowed to use an illustration from the recent news to return discussion to the weightier matters raised by your post.

We will have heard of the 200 schoolgirls abducted in Northern Nigeria and will have seen the concern expressed across the world.

Amongst that concern, there has been no suggestion that the girls should be required to obtain permission from their captors before attempting an escape.

Nor has it been suggested that no individual should be allowed to attempt escape unless a majority of the girls is in agreement.

Transfer those thoughts to this nation's membership of the E.U.

Our membership was brought about by lies from our leaders acting as Judas-goats to deceive the nation. It was unlawful, being contrary to our constitution and treasonous in its nature.

We do not need to ask our captors for permission to leave.

Still less do we need a referendum to find out whether there are some who prefer to stay. It is not majorities which give us the right to leave. It is the ability to turn back from an unlawful decision taken by traitors which is the right of every citizen.

Under Common Law, government is by the consent of the governed to the forms and institutions set out in our constitution.

I have not consented to be ruled by the European Union. I have never been asked to consent and if asked, I will refuse.

I do not consent to the rule of those who govern unlawfully, whether in Brussels or Westminster.

John Wrake.

29 May 2014 at 11:20  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ bluedog

"An independence the kids in charge today seem to value too cheaply."

That I think is spot on. Perhaps there is a human tendency to undervalue the inherited and take it for granted until it is lost.

"Clogs to clogs in three generations."

Absolutely. I also think we have lost our awareness of ancestral memory and connectedness to native land. I think if you have been born here, have ancestors born here for generations, you are, as they say of sheep, "hefted" to the land, with an understanding of the natural life, the seasons and the soil and the best paths.

This is not racist, as for example the lady who acts in "The Kumars at no 22", when she did "Who do you think you are?" felt a great connectedness to India and the Ganges. Understandably. Well if you are a long time native all your connectedness is generally to this soil, and by nature you are on average more committed to caretaking the native land, rather than ransacking it. That isn't to say immigrant people may not become connected, but generally it takes time, and urban sprawl is not the best place in which to get connected.

29 May 2014 at 11:35  
Blogger bluedog said...

Thank you, Lucy @ 11.35. It's most distressing to think it could all be lost on our watch.

29 May 2014 at 13:13  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


I don't know about Anglo-Catholic clergy and perhaps I do him wrong. But he presents as someone who subtly implies that religion is supercilious nonsense by reducing all discussion about religion to supercilious nonsense. He implies that religion is archaic by the use of archaic language. And if the primitives don't pick up on his game, he can have a good laugh at their expense.

I understand that there are legitimate issues in some of the things he has addressed. This isn't about content so much as style, and context. Every post is slightly off key. After a while you begin to realize that he isn't off key simply because he can't sing. He is off key because he is trying to sing off key. Just enough to create dissonance without it being too obvious.


29 May 2014 at 13:20  
Blogger bluedog said...

Very astute, Carl. You picked the return of Dodo, I'll back your judgement on this one.

29 May 2014 at 13:46  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ bluedog
@ carl

Yes I believe with you it is a spoiler and a send up, possibly from a "Father Ted" watcher. The grandiloquence, lack of grammar, longwinded perambulations laced with latin tags, flushed picture typical of a heavy drinker, and determined focus on archaism and inessential whilst there is no fraction of a post on topic are a dead giveaway.

29 May 2014 at 14:35  
Blogger Albert said...


But he presents as someone who subtly implies that religion is supercilious nonsense by reducing all discussion about religion to supercilious nonsense. He implies that religion is archaic by the use of archaic language. And if the primitives don't pick up on his game, he can have a good laugh at their expense.

Anglo-catholic humour is unique. Actually, this kind of humour is partly directed against the person using it themselves. It also reflects the experience of being shafted by the establishment. In a sense what has happened is that Anglo-catholics find their position and interests ridiculed and they play along.

For anyone who still doubts his authenticity, sufficient evidence is to be found in that he recognised the picture of Arthur Tooth in my post of 2304.

I should add, in Fr David's defence, that he has played along partly because Mrs Proudie and I encouraged him. I don't recall the humour being directed against God. I think it's quite healthy to be able to laugh at oneself and against one's slightly less usual interests.

29 May 2014 at 15:24  
Blogger Albert said...

Fr David,

I'm sorry you've received a hostile reaction here. I for one have really enjoyed the silliness - a trip down memory lane for me.

29 May 2014 at 15:26  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Father David, Happy Jack agrees with Albert. He thought your exchanges with the dear Mrs Proudie were good fun.

So what if you are a little bit eccentric? You are, you know? Jack also likes your sunny disposition and the suntan you have in the picture.

Jack checked out the blogs you follow to see what he could make out. Others should do so too.

Carl is a rather dour American Calvinist, with Germanic roots to boot, who does not understand British humour.

29 May 2014 at 15:45  
Blogger carl jacobs said...



Now, that's just not true. I'm a certified comedic genius. How can you call me dour?

who does not understand British humour

It's hard to understand concepts that exist only in the abstract. However, researchers are searching for a tangible example of British humor, and have even proposed a few.models - yet so far without success.


29 May 2014 at 15:55  
Blogger carl jacobs said...


I freely admit I could be wrong, and that you might carry insight I do not possess. I have enough to indict, but not enough to convict.


29 May 2014 at 15:58  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Well I for one agree with Carl Jacobs. It is well known around the cloisters and back alleys of Barchester that the bishop's wife has no sense of humour.

29 May 2014 at 16:07  
Blogger Father David said...

Dear Lucy,
Happy Jack got there before me in pointing out that the rubricund complexion might just possibly have more to do with my being a tanner rather than a toper, like my Biblical kingly namesake I have a ruddy countenance. We have all been reminded recently of what happens when the sun has got his hat on. I feel for that poor Devonian Disc Jockey who inadvertently played the un-censored version of that particular jolly ditty.
I've never actually believed that personal insults assist the discussion nor aid the cause, I shall continue to be abstemious as far as Satan's urine or the demon drink is concerned but will inevitably indulge in a small sweet sherry at Christmas time.
With every blessing to you and yours,
Fr. D

29 May 2014 at 16:11  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

But trying to get back on topic (and into His Grace's good books again) I wonder if anyone is aware of Nick Clegg's little homily on patriotism? According to the Boy, it is unpatriotic to be anti-EU and against British interests. It is an interesting definition of what is not patriotic, and perhaps one that sits comfortably with Bishops Broadbent and Baines. The Church of England is so concerned to be 'part of the narrative' that it has forgotten it is 'of England' and not 'in England.' There now, am I forgiven?

29 May 2014 at 16:13  
Blogger Father David said...

How typically generous of Mrs. Proudie to remind us of the homily given by the Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party on patriotism. Once upon a time, long, long ago everyone agreed with Nick now that the man is down and defeated there is even talk of folk conspiring to topple Mr. Clegg from his leadership role. How very unwise it is to kick a man when he is down. Archbishop Lang made that very mistake following the abdication of King Edward VIII in his wireless address, a very foolish thing to have done. I think it wise to ascend above such unseemly mud slinging, especially on this particular feast day. Of course, Mrs. Proudie, the Liberal Party was much stronger in your day than it is now. With the rise of Mr. Farage and the near demise of the Lib Dems in the Euro elections, I fear as far as that particular pro-European Party is concerned it is very much a case of 'Go back to your constituencies and prepare for extinction!'

29 May 2014 at 16:56  
Blogger Father David said...

Dear Happy Jack, yes indeed I would plead guilty to an accusation of mild eccentricity. However, if it's full blooded eccentricity that you require then I can do no better than direct you to a volume edited by Eric James entitled "A Last Eccentric". A tome all about The Reverend Canon F. A. Simpson, what a great man he was. Would that we had more such as he in the Established Church of today.
Dear Uncle Albert, thank you for you support, perception and understanding. Do give my best wishes to your nephews Del Boy and that young shaver Rodney. If I am eccentric, then he is definitely a "Plonker", whatever that word may mean!

29 May 2014 at 17:15  
Blogger Albert said...

That's a pleasure Fr David. I'm fascinated that people think you may be a spoof. You are authentic enough, that I reckon I could predict your favourite tipple...!

I would say good humoured, rather than eccentric, BTW.

29 May 2014 at 17:27  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Carl

"Fr. David" has in code as much as admitted to being Dodo on the latest thread, though whether it was deliberate or to amuse himself I don't know. I guess he is the dark time-wasting side, whereas Happy Hack is the nice acceptable side. Not sure why nor how he has so much time on his hands to play at being a split personality, but it seems very odd to talk to and affirm oneself. Needs someone or something I should think.

29 May 2014 at 18:19  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

One of the supremest joys of His Grace's new blog is the capacity to bar IP addresses, thereby eradicating forever multiple-identity syndrome.

29 May 2014 at 18:26  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

"I'm a certified comedic genius. How can you call me dour?"

Now that was approaching humorous.


29 May 2014 at 18:38  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

""Fr. David" has in code as much as admitted to being Dodo on the latest thread, though whether it was deliberate or to amuse himself I don't know."

Happy Jack understood the comment as being an indication that he was familiar with the history of this blog.

Your Grace

For the sake of clarity, Happy Jack is most certainly not related in any way, shape or form to Father David.

29 May 2014 at 18:43  
Blogger Father David said...

Dear Deluded Lucy,
Conspiracy Theorist Extraordinaire. As His Grace has just admitted he alone holds the key as to Who's Who and he alone can dispel the myth regarding multiple-personality syndrome but in that regard he is keeping as mum as a secret that up is disclosed in the Confessional. All I will add is that not only am I not "a spoof" but I am also not schizophrenic!

29 May 2014 at 18:49  
Blogger Father David said...

I too can confirm that I am in no way, shape or form related to Happy Jack, although my admiration of and for him is considerable. One only has to look at our two photographic images to see that there is absolutely no family resemblance.

29 May 2014 at 19:00  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Father David, Happy Jack's past behaviour bears the greater responsibility for this suspiciousness and misunderstanding and not Lucy.

Indeed, my absence during the last week triggered this comment from Len:

"I wonder if ' Father David' be the latest incarnation of Dodo, he seems to have gone missing which is unlike him?.
Just a thought."

Happy Jack apologies to you for getting caught up in this and trusts it will soon pass.

29 May 2014 at 19:07  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Hobnobs, anyone?

29 May 2014 at 19:35  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Also coming soon to Cranmer…

Father Jack OMD. (Order of the Mischievous Dodo)

Or maybe not !

29 May 2014 at 19:50  
Blogger Inspector General in Ordinary said...

Inspired by busybody clerics who wish to guide the flock into rather more than 40 years EU captivity, the Inspector gives you further…

…great moral dilemmas of today

Next topic: “Should a Christian gay couple abstain from anus sex until after their SSM has taken place.”

The Inspector asked a leading Anglican bishop and screamer for human rights, who agreed to opinionate in exchange for anonymity and a cigarette.

Lighting the cigarette, and furtively looking around from left to right, he whispered “It’s a woman’s choice. Is that what you want to know ?”. “No, it’s the gay lads scenario”. “Oh that, well, I can’t see any harm in it if they want to do it before, so long as they’re quick about it and no one else wants to use the cubicle. Oh yes, there should only be two of them in there, and they mustn’t keep the registrar waiting at the desk.”

So there it is gentlemen. Sadly, anything goes nowadays and your first name only please bishop has his finger on the populist pulse…

29 May 2014 at 19:51  
Blogger Albert said...

Am I the only person to have studied redaction criticism round here? Happy Jack and Fr David are not at all alike.

29 May 2014 at 20:08  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hi Mrs Proudie,

Who could refuse a hobnob off you... been busily making cheese cake this evening, for Shavuot (Pentecost) on Tuesday.


29 May 2014 at 20:47  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Ah dear Hannah, how very kind of you to say so.

29 May 2014 at 21:03  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hi Inspector,

I'm glad you've decided to ask a Bishop about Gay stuff, but, Pope Francis has already said-

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?"

Hi Mrs Proudie,

Well of course, one couldn't resist a hobnob from yourself. Anyways that our cheese cake done. Looking forward to doing Blintzes, Khai & siete cielos before Tuesday.

29 May 2014 at 21:53  
Blogger Rasher Bacon said...

Your Grace

Bishop Nick does seem willing to engage with you further on this matter, which is good of him. I took the liberty of inviting him here in the hope of improving the heat/light ratio, and he kindly responded that he'd try when he got a chance.

Whether we'll be able to resolve the identity crises and swot up all of Barth's Church Dogmatix by then, I know not.

By the way, he doesn't know me from Adam, so he gets points for politeness.

29 May 2014 at 23:10  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Hannah, but do you understand what Pope Francis actually meant? Unfair question because he can be understood in so many ways!

Amongst all the muddle, he prefaced his comment with:

"If a person, or secular priest or a nun, has committed a sin and then that person experienced conversion, the Lord forgives and when the Lord forgives, the Lord forgets and this is very important for our lives.

When we go to confession and we truly say “I have sinned in this matter,” the Lord forgets and we do not have the right to not forget because we run the risk that the Lord will not forget our sins, eh? This is a danger. This is what is important: a theology of sin."

He then muddied the waters. Orthodox Catholic and Christian moral theology concerning homosexuality runs something like this:

- Homosexuality is sexual attraction to a person of the same sex;
- The act of sexual gratification is the ultimate end to which such attraction is directed;
- The attraction is, in and of itself, gravely disordered because the ultimate purpose of sexual attraction is reproduction, which, of its nature, can only be brought about by male and female;
- Homosexual attraction is, in and of itself, not a sin because sin exists in the will, and the will can resist the attraction;
- As long as the attraction is not accepted, entertained, or acted upon in any way, but resisted, there is no sin - this is true for any moral evil;
- Just as with attraction to any other sin, a Catholic must resist any temptation in this regard and avoid the occasions of sin;
- Identifying oneself as a "homosexual" on account of experiencing such attraction typically constitutes a sin because it presupposes, at least in most cases, that one has already accepted, entertained, or acted upon the attraction;
•The teaching about "integrating," "not discriminating against" and "not marginalising" homosexuals constitutes a tacit acceptance of homosexuality because it presupposes that people have a right to consider themselves homosexual in their identity;
- Any Catholic who experiences sexual attraction to a member of the same sex has the obligation of resisting it and should not make it public, just like he would not make public any other temptations or attractions to sin that he may have; and
- No Catholic can identify himself, as part of who he is, with the attraction or temptation to any particular sin.

Pope Francis skipped all this.

29 May 2014 at 23:13  
Blogger Maxine Schell said...

Brussels is to European countries as Washington D.C. is to United States.
I hope it doesn't take another European war, or an American Civil war to turn either around...but every year I am less hopeful
Our Federal government does little of what it is Constitutionally to do, and that poorly, and through the many armed bureaucracies, mostly what it is Constitutionally forbidden to do.

30 May 2014 at 02:47  
Blogger Father David said...

Mrs. Proudie said
"And isn't that a Roman collar you are wearing? Tsk. Tsk."
My dear, Mrs. Proudie, or may I call you Olivia? I wonder if you have seen any photographs recently of His Grace's present day successor? If so you will no doubt have noticed that Archbishop Welby is also sporting what you refer to as "a Roman collar", although I do wish our current Primate would shove his white slip in collar a little further into his black clerical shirt as I do. Do please note that if it is good enough for ++ Justin then, it's good enough for Fr. D.

30 May 2014 at 08:57  
Blogger Mrs Proudie of Barchester said...

Dear Father David, No you may not call me Olivia as that is not my name... the good Mr Trollope did not in fact give me a first name, though Trollopian scholars seem to think the most likely one would have been Augusta. You may not call me that either. As for the collar saga, I think we have been admonished enough, don't you?

30 May 2014 at 09:14  
Blogger Father David said...

My profoundest apologies, dear lady, for my over familiarity but my researches suggest that Olivia was indeed your given name and that Augusta was the name given to one of your daughters? I do rather think that Olivia is such a pretty name for the niece of a Scottish Earl.
Re. The "collar saga", well, there I go again, I just can't resist being naughty (but nice)!

30 May 2014 at 09:21  
Blogger Father David said...

In the course of my researches I came across this quotation:-
"Mrs. Olivia Proudie, his wife. A proud, vulgar, domineering wife, who promotes evangelical causes such as Sunday schools, and is adamant in eliminating high-church rituals."
Please note, dear lady, that these words are not my own, I merely reproduce them in order to shew where the suggested Christian name "Olivia" came from. Alas, my research has not yet unearthed the Christian name of your husband, the bishop but presumably, having been baptised in the salvia waters, you do both have Christian names?

30 May 2014 at 09:34  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hi Happy Jack,

Yeah I thought it'd be more complex than that, still I thought the comment was quite generous. Don't worry,whilst Inspector seems to hold different views re RC'ism on other stuff, I doubt he'll be led astray on this one, given his views on gay stuff. Pope Frank- as someone called him the other day- isn't a bad Pope. Just don't let him loose on middle eastern peace deals, as he'll come a bit unstuck, alas.

30 May 2014 at 09:59  
Blogger Happy Jack said...

Hannah, Pope Francis is "generous", as you say. Whether he is a Roman Catholic is less clear at this stage. As for the Inspector, alas, his instinctive aversion to all matters homosexual may not be grounded entirely on a proper understanding of the Church's teaching.

Now we have digressed from the thread's theme!

30 May 2014 at 11:07  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hi Happy Jack,

Yes I guess this is a bit off topic, so I shall leave matters there, until another opportunity presents itself to discuss these things on topic.

30 May 2014 at 11:28  

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