Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Darwinism v my daughter

I just had a chat with Cat (my daughter) about some of the differences between America and England. I said that in England, everyone has a right to be baptised, married and buried in the Church of England. That's because it's the Established Church. I'm an antidisestablishmentarianist. The Established Church concept is very good - in theory. But as I've heard many times - and now understand and even affirm: England do things only by halves.

And sadly the half that works tends to favour the 'haves'.

I said to Cat that it would be far better if the Church of England were government-funded, like the National Health Service and all other Parliament-regulated Public Services. Thus, everyone in England would still have the civil right to hatch, match and despatch services by their local vicar in his venue. But if the CofE were also State-funded, even poor, nominal Anglicans could have those basic Christian 'civil rites' at no additional cost. Call it the new National Religion Service (NRS). It works in Germany!

I also explained to Cat that people in America once had to buy fire insurance if they wanted the fire brigade to respond if their house was on fire. Nowadays, fire bridages are part of necessary public services like police and education. Of course in Texas many home owners consider themselves more qualified to protect their property than the local police, and arm themselves and act accordingly. But those are the same sort of people who despise the concept of health care as a basic human right. The unemployed are lazy and deserve to die or else go bankrupt.

I told Catherine frankly that if we moved back to Texas, we could only afford go into hospital if I had a job and thus (possibly) company-provided health insurance. She couldn't quite understand the connection, poor child. Bless her! That's because she lives in a society that considers health care a basic need and hence a basic human right, versus a commodity that is only available to those who can afford it.

So if I am forced to return to America, we might well be unable to go into hospital if one of becomes seriously ill, since many hospitals refuse to admit patients without private health insurance. I'm not worried about me since I've got life insurance. The worst thing that happens to me is that I ignore medical symptoms and die, leaving my family a windfall versus bankruptcy.

But Catherine is only a child - our only child. Surely she deserves better than old-fashioned American dog-eat-dog Darwinism.

On the upside, I did have a job interview yesterday for a post in the parish where some of Charles Darwin's descendants are residents themselves. Very ironic! And the NHS in that part of London is splendid.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Winter Festival?

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 3, 2008 (Zenit.org).- A decision by the Oxford City Council to abolish all references to Christmas in the name of being more "inclusive" is the next step in erasing history and Christian identity, says a Vatican official.

I don't know who is more annoyed by all this Universalist, Liberal nonsense, John Henry Cardinal Newman or Harry Lillis Bing Crosby.

I think the term is hokier-than-thou. So if you find all these policies about 'tolerance and inclusion' to be a bit beyond you, then think again.

It's not beyond you - it's beneath you.

Funny how one could almost see this sort of militantly indifferent secularism as a species of iconoclasm. What the English Reformers failed to achieve in the 16th century, and the Puritans in the 17th, their intellectual heirs the Secularists are tidying up in the 21st.

I am also reminded of Fundamentalist sects who observe 'Fall Fun Festivals' instead of the Eve of All Saints.

The logical connection between radical Protestantism and Secularism is more striking day by day.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Bishop Keith Ackerman escapes Deposition by retiring.

Randy Melton at 02:53 on 30 October.
Very interesting...Good for Keith! I'm sure that this is driving Squid Lady crazy. She'll no doubt try to maneuver him out of his pension some how. Her think tank is working on this now I'm sure.
FrDarryl Jordan at 05:10 on 30 October.
'Thank tank'? Hmm. So it's gone public now.

And why not really? Who can resist the iron grasp of the Presiding Bishop's Pluriform Post-Modernity Program (PB-PPMP)?

Of course, Katharine's Inclusive, Compulsory Anglican Secularization Scheme is still a covert op under 815.

They can tell you all about. But then they'd have to kill ... Read moreyou (kill your soul that is - with 'pluriformity').
FrDarryl Jordan at 05:33 on 30 October.
Sorry, Father. I left off a word:

Presiding Bishop's Pluriform TRUTHS Post-Modernity Program (PB-PTPMP)

Their jingle just don't work without it!

Truth is pluriform you see!

Compelling inclusivity!

Killing Catholicity!

Orthodoxy's enemy!

I am you and you are me!

Friday, 19 September 2008

TECCON won a battle, but will TECCOR win the war?

Alas: Anglican Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh is deposed.

Tragic news for the TEC Confessing Orthodox Remnant (TECCOR). And now their sworn enemy TECCON is langourously preening and sharpening her talons - erm, polishing her nails - after a bitter but successful battle in
Katharine's Inclusive Compulsory Anglican Secularisation Scheme (KICASS).

TECCON, who once gleefully ripped apart screaming squids with her bare claws - erm, hands - has now attempted to rend the ministry of a holy Bishop from his See, and that at the behest of her Orcine minions in Pittsburgh, PA.

But rejoice for Bishop Duncan! He's following his conscience, and thus his salvation seems secure - if not his full pension.

Not to worry. One of the TECCOR faithful even offered him a house!

Like St John Chrysostom's enemy Eudoxia - 'good opinion', what delicious irony - an evil empress has exiled a successor to the Holy Apostles who dares to be faithful to the Depositum Fidei. But we know the end of the story. John Chrysostom was canonised. The heresiarch empress? Her name only endures in infamy.

I just wish like the Dickens TECCOR had stuck with attacking squids instead of Bishops.

A battle was lost, but the war is won.

[Jesus] said to [His disciples], "But who do you say that I am?"
11 Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood 12 has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.
And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, 13 and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. 14 Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Matthew 16 (NAB)

I don't think our Lord will mind if his faithful servant has the last word:

'This is a great new day.'
Bishop Robert Duncan
(Interview with Anglican Mainstream)

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

It's not the Economy, stupid; it's the Religion - or lack thereof.

Shame on Britain for emulating the US and its turbo-Capitalism:
Britain's "dog eat dog" society, which is a poor copy of the United States, was blamed for the conclusion that this country is the worst developed nation in the world to grow up in (sic).

Fans of Will Hutton will realise he's been saying just this sort of thing for a long time. He said it recently to the Pope.

So back to religion, this blog's point and my profession and hence the domain about which I can comment most intelligently - if not always intelligibly!

Most indigenous American Christian ecclesial communities have effectively canonised its own neo-Darwinian, evangelical, least-common-denominator creed:
I believe in Jesus so we have a personal relationship; everything else is just man-made religion.
It's why I gringe every time I read the notices of vacancies for turbo-Evangelical parishes in the CofE.

I saw one this week about having a 'heart for the lost in the community'. I'd like to say that applies to non-Christians. But what of those normal people in the community Christened by their local vicar? Are they - erm - lost? I wonder what being amongst 'the saved' means - the likely complement to 'the lost' - in real, human terms.

Thankfully Catholics, by affirming that nominal Christianity isn't optimal but is still Christianity, avoid that species of Pelagianism that says salvation is based on making personal decisions, the worst tradition of men to infest the Church since, well, Pelagianism. Nor does Calvin's 'Augustine minus sacraments' position fare any better on the catholicity scale.

Salvation is always God's doing: by grace through the gift of faith given in Baptism - not the individual's. Ephesians is an entire book, not just two verses.

Individualism is quite the American model for nearly everything, whether man-made religion or self-made men. That includes all those home-grown, upstart, entrepreneurial, evangelical ecclesial communities. Based on my reading of the Holy Scriptures as canonised and interpreted by Holy Tradition, there is only one Church as such, i.e., founded not by a mere man but by the Second Person of the Holy Trinity who became the God-man. In the Councils that defined the Canon of Scripture and the Creeds, that Church is one and it's called the 'Catholic and Apostolic - or the authorised abbreviated form: Catholic - Church'.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

No Creed but Christ

In post-mediaeval times, English Christians boldly blazed a via media, or 'middle way', between Catholic Creedalism and Protestant Confessionalism. That way was deceptively - erm - delightfully simple, being both comprehensive (or in the modern idiom, 'inclusive') and perspicacious (or in the modern idiom, 'pluriform').

In a word, Anglicans bequeated to Christendom - to coin a label -
Christomonauteparchism, a concatenation.
  • Christomonism (Greek:Christos|English:Christ + Greek:monos|English:alone; cmp. Latin solus Christus, Martin Luther: 'By Christ alone'). Christ alone is Anglicanism's tacit theology.
  • Auteparchism (Greek:autos|English:self + Greek:eparchia|English:province; cmp. Latin:sui iuris). Provincial autonomy is Anglicanism's tacit modality.
Yet in these post-modern times, the Lambeth Conference, a halcyon event indeed, is now talking about something completely different: Anglican 'Covenantalism'.

That vexes me a mite. 'Covenant' sounds, well, not to put too fine a point on it, rather binding. For as the Rev'd Frederick Quinn avers,
Covenants just aren't Anglican, any more than Creeds are Baptist. What in the world happened to the Open Evangelical Anglican summary of the sayings of Jesus of Nazareth:

Believe in me and you may believe whatever you like.

'But what about the Trinity? Isn't the Trinity a dogma?' you might be tempted to ask. Well, speaking in my official capacity as a licensed Christomonauteparchist, i.e., a politically correct Anglican clergyman, I may only say what our secularised society expects of me.
Like all so-called dogmas, the Conciliar Decrees defining the Trinity are merely doctrines of men. Men. I mean that literally. Males. Alone. Male Bishops alone debated and defined the Trinity at the so-called First and Second General Councils (325 and 381, respectively) . Rather suspect don't you think? After all, 'General councils may err' (Article XXI). Well they must have done if only men were allowed a voice and vote!
But still, it doesn't really matter. According to Christomonism, Anglicans must only believe that Christ (or Christa) is our personal Saviour (or Sophia). Depending on your brand of Evangelicalism (i.e., permutations of Bible Christianity), He (or She) may also be your Lord (or Lady, an uncontested title since Evangelicals will not grant it to the Blessed Virgin Mary, 'Mother of Jesus' [sic])

So if you're an orthodox (i.e., Christomonist) Anglican, and you wish further to believe in the uncivil, gynophobic doctrine of the Trinity, you certainly may, or at least for the moment.
Gynophobic religious language is not yet a statutory offense in England, nor does Parliament have immediate plans to authorise a new Book of Common Prayer.

I'll just carry on with my politically corrected form of modalism:
In the name of Gaia: Source, Sophia and Wellspring [sic, sic et sic]
in keeping with our
Anglican socially constructed form of modality (i.e., Auteparchism).

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

It's Politics All the Way Down

Anglicanism was, is and ever shall be a political religion. As such, Anglicanism is ideally the most 'politically correct' religion. Civility, in all its sundry social permutions, is Anglicanism's sole criterion of authenticity. Therefore it can comprehend all popular beliefs.

What it cannot comprehend is any particular belief.

That's a real problem for some Christians, from some Christian Churches and ecclesial communities, who hold particular beliefs. Those bodies, individual and ecclesial, will doubtlessly have creeds, confessions, catechisms, or some other type of binding teaching.

Even were Lambeth2008 to produce a 'Covenant', its content would be necessarily confined to contentions, i.e. conflict resolutions, in the necessarily political sense. There shall be no other resolutions, nor shall said promulgated 'conflict resolutions' be binding in any adjudicatory sense on any Anglican province. Suchlike, again, just isn't Anglican.

But as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, that's really not a problem for Anglicans: world without end.

Because it's politics all the way down.

Monday, 21 July 2008

TAC Seems Set to Succumb to the Tyranny of the Obvious

The crackup of the Anglican Communion is at hand, evangelical bishops attending the Lambeth Conference in Canterbury tell Christianity Today, and to them, the 400-year-old Anglican project appears over. (Timothy C. Morgan, Christianity Today)

I must say I find it nigh unto impossible to disagree. The dissolution of The Anglican Communion (TAC) seems almost inevitable. Our polity presently has no means to deal with the severity of the conflict. The Windsor Report lays out a framework, which could work if something solid were build around it.

Alas the present Lambeth Conference seems committed to being irrepressibly irresolute.

Like all ecclesial communities, TAC has no global adjudicatory authority. That's the unintended but unalterable consequence of Sola Scriptura. Everything is down to private judgement, i.e. the Tyranny of the Obvious: 'The Bible obviously says/means thus-and-so based on such-and-such an interpretation'.

So TAC will in all likelihood split into two or more bodies, each claiming to be the 'true Anglicans'.

The two guys mentioned in the opening CT article are from the Evangelical wing of TAC. They are what one might label 'Conservative Evangelicals'. Liberal - or as they prefer, 'Open' - Evangelicals tend to avoid discussing moral issues. Those are 'matters of personal opinion'. OEs make a great fuss of focussing on one thing that is needful: 'Mission'. The Open Evangelical Message must therefore logically contain no claims about objective moral truth. This might be in keeping with the subjective soteriology of Evangelicalism as such: the 'saved' will subjectively and automatically - or rather, pneumatically - avoid sin.

Of course, there are also self-proclaimed 'Liberal Catholics' who tactitly agree with the 'Open Evangelicals' about avoiding morality, focussing instead on their own sine qua non, 'Social Justice'.

Here's another excerpt from a former colleague's blog, who comes from TAC's 'Conservative Catholic' wing, with whom you might suspect I most identify. The Rev'd Canon Dr John Heidt is a former Rector of the Dallas parish where I was priested. He shall have the last word..
The source of Anglican authority must lie beyond the confines of Anglicanism if we are to survive as an authentic Christian communion of churches. Only two options are open to us. Either we embrace ARCIC's report: The Gift of Authority and move on from there, or else we revert to an individualistic form of Protestantism in which the ultimate source of authority resides in the individual. If we take the former course we shall move further into communion with the whole Catholic Church East and West. But if the latter, what remains of our present "bonds of affection" will degenerate into an uneasy toleration of unacceptable opinions and a pluriformity of contradictory dogmas, a juridical communion with no-one holding universal jurisdiction, a mission with no message to proclaim. (A Question of Authority, hyperlink mine)

Friday, 18 July 2008

A Blessing in Disguise

Two vicars got married in their local parish church. This isn't a joke.

Nor is it unusual. After all, General Synod authorised the ordination of women as priests way back in 1992, many moons ago - at least by Post-Modern Reckoning, or PMR. What is unusual about the recent case is that both the bride and groom are - erm - men.

This has not gone unnoticed.
  1. Pessimists call it further evidence of the secularisation of British society.
  2. Realists call it compulsory compliance with civil rights legislation.
  3. Optimists call it not just a blessing of a couple of guys in smart dress, but a blessing in disguise for a Church that's in distress.
True enough, the call for same-sex blessings is anything but business as usual for the Church of England. But one thing the Church - itself a rather successful 'startup company' founded by the ever-entrepreneurial realist King Henry VIII - isn't doing is burying her head in the sand, at least her head for business.

And business is exactly what the Established Church must be about these days.

Learned dialogue isn't called for here. Anglicanism has always played a more political than theological game when deciding Matters of Great Importance. That is its genius. Anglicanism is professedly non-confessional and veritably non-creedal - not even the existence of God, let alone the doctrine of the Trinity, are enforcible dogmas. In actual fact, Anglicanism - and empirical facts are what matter most to most Anglicans - quite uniquely amongst all Churches and ecclesial communities, has never concocted anything resembling an original theology.

Walter Cardinal Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, also has observed the Church of England's exquisitely political métier. He commented on General Synod's recent move toward the consecration of women to the episcopate, considered by most English Anglicans (i.e., those whose parents had them 'done') to be merely a matter of civil rights, and thus long overdue.
Earlier this year, on the day that Dr [Rowan] Williams met the Pope, Cardinal Kasper told a meeting in Oxford, that Anglicans needed to “clarify” their identity. He said: “Ultimately, it is a question of the identity of the Anglican Church. Where does it belong? Does it belong more to the churches of the first millennium -Catholic and Orthodox - or does it belong more to the Protestant churches of the 16th century? At the moment it is somewhere in between, but it must clarify its identity now and that will not be possible without certain difficult decisions."
Times Online, 16 July 2008
Which simply proves the point really. Cardinal Kasper just doesn't get it. If Theology and Canon Law may be said to define the universal Church of Rome, Civility and Common Law define the national Church of England. Put in sociological terms, the Church of England is a 'civil religion'.

But labels are always ancilliary, beside the point - especially when there isn't one (theologically)!

Now here's the rub. Civil partnerships are now gender-blind in the Common Law statutes of England. It is patently inevitable, even juridical, that the Common Worship rites of England will soon follow suit.

But will its inevitable affirmation of gender-neutral marriage bode well for a Church beset by deficits? After all, there is a shortage of available clergy, and money to pay them if there weren't.

In a word: infertility.

Childlessness is utterly unnatural for those who opt for opposite-sex marriage, especially those who opt to procreate. Abortion-on-demand makes infertility even more difficult since so few babies are available for adoption. Yet few can argue against the justice and logic of natural selection, and fewer still on its behalf.

Alternatively, contrary to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (cf. CCC 2357), gay and lesbian unions are normal, and childless ones are happily natural. (Anglicanism is of course as non-catechetical as it is non-confessional and non-creedal.) Indeed a gay or lesbian couple might opt to adopt, which is meet and right so to do, arguably moreso than childless different-sex married couples who've been wounded psychologically by chronic infertility.

I call it the 'broodless breeders syndrome'. That's my prerogative because I have experience here. And experience makes it meet and right so to do.

But childless same-sex couples have fewer professional (children) and psychological (infertility) impediments and are thus eminently attractive to employers but especially an understaffed and underfunded Church. Though clergy in the Church of England are allowed to have a family, based on its sole moral criterion of civility, they are forbidden ever to let family events interfere with parish events.

After all, in these times of decreasing clergy and coffers to pay them, the last thing needful parishioners need is their 'breeding' vicar to insist his daughter's first piano recital is more important than attending the Mothers' Union AGM.

And God knows that civil statutes like the UK's Working Time Regulations have no place in parish priesthood.

Ask any married vicar with children, and he or she will tell you. Church and children are more often than not an untidy and very unhappy mix.

And what sort of priest is least likely ever to use children to justify not working weekends and fourteen hour days? Gay and lesbian ones of course! And especially those married with the Church's blessing upon their naturally non-procreative intentions.

Of course none of you who is an Anglican at heart would notice any contradiction in my argument.

Monday, 30 June 2008


Even Katharine Jefferts Schori (++KJS) of The Episcopal Church (TEC) is not above a good rant.

TEC's primus inter pares, ++KJS has another unique title and role: TEC Confounder (TECCON). In this role she confounds the efforts of all enemies of Katharine's Inclusive Compulsory Anglican Secularisation Scheme (KICASS).

TECCON's latest ecclesial target is the recently published
Jerusalem Declaration of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON).

TECCON is an indefatigable soldier for the cause of justice, the exclusive (sic) cardinal virtue tolerated under KICASS. Once again, TECCON vanquishes all aretological and epistemological contenders with her considerable logic and theological acumen!

How does TECCON know that iustitia, the virtue of justice, specifically social justice, must be the sole criterion of Anglican authenticity under her KICASS regime? In other words, what is the epistemic justification for her bold assertion, or rather, assumption?

Invoking justice is its own justification, of course. And KICASS is there to enforce it.

On the other hand, TECCON's 'logic' is a startlingly convincing argument for Petrine Succession.


Ranticon above is of Celsus Library, Ephesus, taken whilst my family were on holiday in 2005.

C and Perl programmers will note that the expression ++kjs means 'preincrement variable kjs'. Perhaps one of you might write a nice countdown add-on for Firefox?

Pro Cantuar

For the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Just because we were smiling on the outside doesn't mean we weren't ranting on the inside!

The Most Revd Dr Rowan Williams is a strong proponent of Catholic principles in the Anglican Communion. He stands head and (almost) shoulders above the lot of us, wouldn't you say? After all, he is an Instrument of Communion.

These days, to be an Anglican Catholic Christian, and to be heard, is to rant, it would seem, or at least to me.

But Dr Williams can't rant; he's
Cantuar in communio.

I speak here personally; he must speak everywhere 'communally'. That's because he personifies communion for Anglicans in an absolutely unique manner, ontologically and practically.

Compared to me and to all of you who are Anglican Catholic Christians, Cantuar has
  • less freedom, but
  • more authority,
each relative goods with respect to roles. Accordingly, Cantuar is both competent and charismatic:
  • Nature and nurture provide his character and theology (to desire and to affirm communion).
  • God and grace provide his charisms and efficacy (to confect and to effect communion).

Ranticon above taken on 22nd April 2006, three days before my father died. The smile didn't last very long and is only just coming back. This blog is a means to that end.