Thursday, 18 December 2014

Bigots all

Many in the Church of England will have been thrilled to hear that the first woman bishop has been nominated. It would be sad, though, if that announcement were to lead to bitterness; and so far as I can see there has been none from those opposed to this new move.  So I was sorry to receive a green ink letter today with a picture of the newly appointed lady, headed "Church of England names Rev Libby Lane first women (sic) bishop".

The Revd Mrs Lane
No problem with that apart from the grammar, but beneath it the caption went "Wishing all the Anglo-Catholic bigots a Merry Christmas and a Peaceful New Year!" Were I an Anglo-Catholic that might have stung me a little. As I am not it is really no concern of mine what the Church of England does - I maintain an interest simply because so many of my old friends continue (I am not sure how) within that body. No, I am sorry for the person who, in his or her jubilation at the appointment, felt it necessary to rub salt into the wounds of those who hold legitimate theological views about the steps the Church of England is taking.

There are, I suppose, two good things to come of such vitriolic mailings. First, it might make some realise just how hated they are by the triumphant majority, and so get them looking once more at the Catholic option. The other is that the (anonymous) mailer used a first class stamp, and I still hold some Royal Mail shares.


  1. As one who supports women's ordination, may I say that those who hold a different opinion are not hated by the majority of us. It is just that there are a few bigots on both sides who need to pray more before making nasty comments. There is no need to switch denominations now that both viewpoints are being catered for.

  2. An interesting comment Fr Barry. Why do you not just dissent from, and condemn, such remarks outright? By throwing yet another "bigot" remark, you make Mgr Barnes' case the stronger.

    1. Because there are bigots on both sides of this debate, and I condemn them all. We need each other in a secular world and we have spent far too long fighting this particular battle. Changing denomination is rather like moving the deckchairs on the titanic. There is a need for all Christians to come together to present the gospel to a very needy world. This can be done now, even while we may belong to different churches.

    2. Though if you discover that the vessel you are on really is holed and sinking, and there's a bigger and better ship alongside to save you, you'd be pretty daft to stick around messing with deckchairs.

    3. My view is that our boat whilst not perfect is better than most, and the boat you are offering may be bigger, but it's certainly not better and may even have more holes in it. The sad thing thing is that you and others can't see it.

    4. What we have seen, Barry, has been fifty years of decline in the church we loved, as it has been taken over by a liberal ascendancy which no longer knows or cares about being part of the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church" which its creeds still proclaim. To misquote Sam Goldwyn, the verbal promises given to Anglo-Catholics are not worth the paper they're written on.

    5. As you say in your next post, this was 'a rather unecumenical post'. What I find so sad is that for most of my ministry I have worked with Roman Catholics as colleagues, working to the same goals - now that the Ordinariate exists we face hostile competition from a church which seeks to steal our members. So sad. I'm sure it grieves our Lord.

    6. No hostile competition, Barry; just a willingness to respond to increasing cries for help from disillusioned friends who know that what is offered is only a fig-leaf, and a temporary one at that, to cover the naked intentions of those determined to change the Church of England into a branch of the liberal establishment. National Apostasy, Keble called it,and he was right.

  3. Yes, all Christians should come together to present the Gospel.

    Answer the following:
    What is the Gospel?
    How do we know?
    Does one's church present it?

    Having addressed the above, I joined the Ordinariate.