Gavin Ashenden on Rod Liddle on ++Justin Welby, Archbishop of Cant… er… Canterbury

 

 

Bishop Gavin Ashenden, a former Queen’s Chaplain who resigned from the Church of England in 2017 to be able to more freely defend Christian orthodoxy and Western civilization – both primary concerns of The Anglophilic Anglican – posted this on his Facebook page, commenting:

The C of E is in serious trouble when The Sunday Times call out “The Archbishop of Cant.”

Rod Liddle on Justin Welby: “There is a touch of the Frank Spencer about Welby, the ++ of Cant; he looks really,really stupid, as well as hypocritical. He is his own satire.”

Tragic & true.

The quote is part of a longer passage of Liddle’s which is worth quoting more fully, in my opinion:

“And so Justin [Welby, the present Archbishop of Canterbury] looks really, really stupid, as well as hypocritical. He is his own satire. But his ineptitude is not the main problem. Nor are his views on taxation and employment, many of which I agree with. It is that the [Church of England] has shelved God and replaced Him with the vapid narrative and fraudulent virtue-signalling of the liberal elite. And we can get all that stuff elsewhere, thank you.

Hear, hear!

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Here’s my video on Medieval churches – The English Eccentric

A young English girl posts, as she says, “A Very Short Intro to Churches” – medieval English parish churches, specifically. This is by no means a professionally-done video; it’s a bit choppy, and the sound is often hard to hear. But it is – in my opinion – precisely its “amateur” (remember, the word means “one who loves”) nature that gives it its charm. It is a short video shot by a young, local girl who is trying to introduce others to something which is of great value to her, and lead them to love it, too: the tradition of medieval English parish church architecture.

In her words:

Here’s my video on Medieval churches. Apologies for the low production quality and the fact that I glossed over a whole load of info, but it was for the sake of brevity. Now find your local historic church, think of the countless generations who built it and worshipped there, and do the damn best you can to preserve it.

Kudos to her, and may God bless her!

Hallelujah! Welby takes a stand against Sharia | Comment | The Times

 

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By challenging the spread of Islamic law, the archbishop is finally fighting for Christian values

Source: Hallelujah! Welby takes a stand against Sharia | Comment | The Times

Melanie Philips, a blogger, editorialist, and cultural commentator based in Britain, is not herself a Christian, being of the Jewish faith; but she is more perceptive about the importance of Christianity to the survival of Western civilization than many who claim the mantle of Christ. She writes,

“Our increasingly post-Christian society makes the widespread assumption that secularism promotes freedom and equality while Christianity merely divides us. In fact, freedom and equality are Biblical precepts that bind us together. It is secularism that has divided us into groups jostling for power over each other and which has shattered our sense of a shared national project.”

Indeed. Would that more Christians, including those in high places in the Church, were to realize that as well! Justin Welby, the current Archbishop of Canterbury, has been one of those who has been reticent about standing up for Christianity in the fact of the dual attacks by militant Islam, on the one hand, and aggressive secularism and atheism, on the other.

But as my father used to say, “even a stopped clock is right twice a day,” and he has been reasonably outspoken on the dangers of Sharia (Islamic law). Reasonably. But as Ms Philips points out, he goes only so far, and it’s questionable whether it’s far enough:

“Archbishop Welby has spoken with some courage about resisting Sharia. He also wants Britain to ‘reimagine’ its identity on the basis of Christianity. Yet he undermines this by suggesting that different faiths must play an equivalent role. The mouse may have roared — but it remains, alas, a mouse.”

I do wonder what some of the late, great Archbishops of Canterbury – not just the great medieval and Reformation Archbishops, but even more recent holders of the office like the late sainted Michael Ramsey, and even Robert Runcie – would think about the current one! It is at least apparent that Lord Carey (immediate predecessor to Rowan Williams, himself the last Archbishop of Canterbury before Welby) is none too pleased…

Evangelical Anglicans warn they might walk away if CofE departs from ‘apostolic truth’ | Christian News on Christian Today

Canterbury Cathedral

“Our desire is for the Church’s teaching and practice to offer a vision of human flourishing which is faithful to Scripture.”

Source: Evangelical Anglicans warn they might walk away if CofE departs from ‘apostolic truth’ | Christian News on Christian Today

“In a document entitled Gospel, Church & Marriage: Preserving Apostolic Faith and Life released to its supporters and organisational representatives, CEEC says: ‘As we face many changes in British society and forceful challenges within the Church of England on matters of human sexuality and marriage, we believe it is important not simply to focus on these contentious areas of disagreement but to set them within a wider and deeper theological vision.

“‘Our desire is for the Church’s teaching and practice to offer a vision of human flourishing which is faithful to Scripture.’

“While the document does not explicitly mention homosexuality or same-sex marriage, its context is the continuing turmoil in the CofE about how far it should go in accommodating changing social mores. The ongoing controversy has effectively already split the Anglican Communion and the CofE’s unity is under pressure.

“The document stresses the ‘gift of singleness’ and the House of Bishops’ affirmation that sexual relations are ‘properly conducted only within heterosexual marriage’.

“This teaching is not an ‘optional extra’ or ‘adiaphora’ but is ‘apostolic and essential to the gospel’s transforming purpose’, it says.”

The determination by many or most “mainstream” Christian churches in America – and indeed, the West – to be “open” and “welcoming” to persons who identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and (increasingly) transgender, often with a few more categories added on, as well as an overall weakening of traditional sexual mores, seems grounded for the most part (a few hardcore Leftists aside) in compassion, the desire not to exclude anyone from communion with Christ, or the benefits of full inclusion in the Christian faith.

“Radical love,” even “Christ-like love,” seems to be the catch-phrase. And this is admirable – to a point. There are a couple of things that are missed in this, however. Continue reading “Evangelical Anglicans warn they might walk away if CofE departs from ‘apostolic truth’ | Christian News on Christian Today”

Commemoration of Charles I of England, King and Martyr (1649)

Sanctus Carolus Defensor Fidei

Charles I of England and Scotland, King and Martyr: 30 January 1649

(from today’s entry in the late James Kiefer’s excellent series of hagiographies)

At the end, when Charles was Cromwell’s prisoner, he was required to assent to a law abolishing bishops in the Church of England. He had previously given his consent to such an abolition in Scotland, where the Puritans were in the majority, but here he dug in his heels and declared that Bishops were part of the Church as God had established it, and that he could not in conscience assent to Cromwell’s demand. His refusal sealed his doom, and it is for this that he is accounted a martyr, since he could have saved his life by giving in on this question. He was brought to trial before Parliament, found guilty of treason, and beheaded 30 January 1649. On the scaffold, he said (I quote from memory and may not have the exact words):

“No man in England is a better friend to liberty than myself, But I must tell you plainly that the liberty of subjects consists not in having a hand in the government, but in having that government, and those laws, whereby their lives and their goods may be most their own.”

That is to say, one may reasonably ask of a government that it establish justice in the land; so that judges do not take bribes, so that innocent men are not convicted of crimes, while the guilty are convicted and punished, so that honest men need fear neither robbers nor the sheriff. One may further ask that taxes be not excessive, and that punishments be not disproportionate to the crime. Charles would have said,

“Do not ask whether the laws were made by men whom you elected. Ask whether they are reasonable and good laws, upholding justice and the public weal.”

He would have invited comparison of his record in this respect with that of the Long Parliament (which sat for twenty years without an election, and whose members came to think of themselves as rulers for life, accountable to no one) and Cromwell (who eventually dissolved Parliament and ruled as a military dictator, under whose rule the ordinary Englishman had far less liberty than under Charles).

In his struggle with his opponents, Charles considered himself to be contending for two things:

(1) the good of the realm and the liberty and well-being of the people, which he believed would be better served by the monarch ruling according to ancient precedent, maintaining the traditional rights of the people as enshrined in the common law, than by a Parliament that ended up denying that it was either bound by the law or accountable to the people; and

(2) the Church of England, preaching the doctrine of the undivided Church of the first ten centuries, administering sacraments regarded not as mere psychological aids to devotion but as vehicles of the presence and activity of God in his Church, governed by bishops who had been consecrated by bishops who had been consecrated by bishops… back certainly to the second century, and, as many have believed, back to the Twelve Apostles and to the command of Christ himself.

In his Declaration at Newport, in the last year of his life, he said:

“I conceive that Episcopal government is most consonant to the Word of God, and of an apostolical institution, as it appears by the Scripture, to have been practised by the Apostles themselves, and by them committed and derived to particular persons as their substitutes or successors therein and hath ever since to these last times been exercised by Bishops in all the Churches of Christ, and therefore I cannot in conscience consent to abolish the said government.”

In a day when religious toleration was not widespread, King Charles I was noteworthy for his reluctance to engage in religious persecution of any kind, whether against Romanists or Anabaptists.

http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bio/92.html

King Charles I – Anglican Martyr | Anglican History Blog

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30 January: Commemoration of Charles I of England, King and Martyr

Source: King Charles I Anglican Martyr | Anglican History Blog

“A devotional cult was established in Charles’ name and he is considered an Anglican martyr, especially by Anglo-Catholics. It is said that if Charles had been willing to abandon the Church and give up the episcopacy he might have saved his throne and his life. Charles would not give to either demand, and as Gladstone said, ‘it was for the Church that Charles shed his blood on the scaffold.’

“Charles was removed as a saint from the calendar in 1859 but his feast day continues to be observed in the Church of England. The Society of King Charles the Martyr continues devotional activities in his memory…

“Charles is commemorated in churches across England and his last word of ‘REMEMBER’ can be found on statues. A hymn written to St. Charles contains this verse:

“For England’s Church, for England’s realm (Once thine in earthly sway), Lest storms our Ark should overwhelm, Saint Charles of England pray!”

What was the Oxford Movement? – Pusey House

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“Catholicism is not confined to the Roman communion, nor Orthodoxy to the eastern churches.”

Source: What was the Oxford Movement? – Pusey House

“The term ‘Oxford Movement’ is often used to describe the whole of what might be called the Catholic revival in the Church of England. More properly it refers to the activities and ideas of an initially small group of people in the University of Oxford who argued against the increasing secularisation of the Church of England, and sought to recall it to its heritage of apostolic order, and to the catholic doctrines of the early church fathers… The rediscovered emphases on apostolic succession and the Catholicity of the church, on priesthood, on sacrament and sacrifice, on prayer, holiness and the beauty of worship, are the Tractarians’ gifts to their successors.”

Though some of them (and definitely some of their successors) became what I would consider excessively ultramontane (Romanist) toward the end of the era, I am largely in agreement with the major foci and accomplishments of the Oxford Movement – particularly the “rediscovered emphases on apostolic succession and the Catholicity of the church, on priesthood, on sacrament and sacrifice, on prayer, holiness and the beauty of worship” mentioned in this post.

And conversely, much though I love the simplicity and clarity of classical Prayer Book worship – and I do – it can sometimes be a bit too excessively austere, for my tastes, with too few seasonal variations: a few more antiphons and Office hymns would do it no harm, in my opinion! Nor would a few more words and actions that underscore the holiness of what we are doing, particularly in the Eucharist (Holy Communion). But, nothing is perfect! 🙂

In any case, the pastoral imperative underlying the Oxford reformers’ efforts cannot be underestimated. They were doing what they were doing, not for the sake of “playing church,” but to strengthen themselves and their parishioners in times of great need. That in the process, they managed to restore some of the “baby” which had been thrown out with some admittedly dirty “bathwater” during the Reformation was, in my opinion, an added bonus.

But perhaps their most lasting and significant legacy is that assertion which I posted as the opening caption above: that “Catholicism is not confined to the Roman communion, nor Orthodoxy to the eastern churches.” Indeed not!