A Journal For Anglican Traditionalists
Vol. 20 No. 2 June 15, 2002
PUBLISHER & EDITOR The
Right Reverend R. C. Crawley, DD SSC
10989 Hilsea Crescent, Ladysmith, B. C. V9G 2A3
IN THIS ISSUE
Tributes to "The Queen Mum"
by Bishop Mercer
Out of the Mouths of Babes
art a Priest Forever
Fr Henry Dickinson
Build Bridges – not Fences
Fr Michael Shier
An Enthusiastic Book Review
The "Morning After" Pill
How old is Grandma?
War Declared on Christianity
by Charles Moore
Another New Province for TAC
Archbishop Falk News from Japan
O Tarry thou the Lord's Leisure
Big Fish Story
Fr Frederick Bentley
The Magic of Music
A Dog's Guide to Good Living
The Christian Haters by David Kupelian
A Reader Comments
"In England Now" Fr. Gardom introduces "Mabel" !
The Roman Catholic Agony
by Richard Dreher.
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The Rock is not a "Church paper. "Neither is it a news-paper. It is a theological journal for Traditional Anglicans, published by The Rt. Revd. Robert C Crawley, ssc. Although the editor is a bishop of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, The Rock is not in any way an official voice of that body, nor does it receive any funds whatsoever from it, or from any other source than donations and subscriptions. Your support is both solicited and appreciated. Donations are tax deductible in Canada.
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IN THIS ISSUE
Editor' s musings
The life of a remarkable lady, lovingly referred to as "The Queen Mum" is given premium space in this issue, with personal reminiscences and comments by Bishops Mercer and Crawley, plus a sermon by Fr. Graham Eglington.
Fr. Henry Dickenson' s sermon at the ordination of a priest is a fine outline on the meaning and work of a Priest in the Church of God. .
The puzzling question as to why modernist power brokers and secular society in general hate Christianity puzzles most Christians. David Kupelian explains why, and why it will increase.
Charles Moore gives a striking example of this with reference to the (mis)use of the courts to attempt to crush even the Biblical standards of morality in a Christian school. The corrupt courts -starting at the top -are the biggest threat to Christian society. Back to the Catacombs?
Fr. Francis Gardom introduces us to a fascinating 'lady' named "Mabel" .
Richard Dreher shows that the outbreak of 'pedophilia' has a different background than that admitted by both the Press and the Church hierarchy.
Archbishop Falk reports on the foundation of another new Province of the Traditional Anglican Communion -this one in Japan! Fr. Bentley writes an intriguing "Big Fish" story.
Dave Parry sounds the alarm re "The Morning After" pill.
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If you are old enough, think back to World War 2. If you are younger and have studied that dreadful time when Hitler and his National Socialist forces were overrunning Europe, can you guess who was one of Hitler's most dangerous adversaries? Churchill? Montgomery? The RAF? Let's ask Hitler -he ought to know! Well, he described The Queen Mum, King George V1's wife and Queen, as "The most dangerous woman in Europe "-to him, that is, and his programme to replace Christian civilization with neopagan savagery, with racial 'cleansing ' plus genetic engineering to design a 'new, pure, humanity. ' What a wonderful compliment he paid to "The Queen Mum " who was the icon of what Christian monarchy means -something so misunderstood by misguided and misinformed republican social redesigners such as Pierre Trudeau and his ilk, She is an example of what Christian marriage is all about. Her husband, George, Duke of York, was second in line to the throne.
A quiet, reserved and gentle man with no ambition to rule, plus being handicapped by a speech defect and uncertain health, found himself thrust into a position he dreaded when the Prince of Wales abdicated. That he overcame his reluctance to face the awful responsibility forced upon him was due almost entirely to his wife's strength, wisdom and determination. Not only did she love her husband, but also her people, and undertook her supportive role with that remarkable combination of courage and skill. No one who met her during her walks among the ruins of Hitler's carpet bombings could possibly doubt the power of that love expressed towards them.
I had the honour of being present at one of her and the King's ' walk-abouts ' when they visited Portsmouth in (I believe April) 1941, after the second of two all-night bombings. I happened to be working in Portsmouth dockyard just before going up to Oxford and the RAF, and was involved in the March 10 raid. The King and Queen paid us all a visit , walking through the ruins, they paid their respects. As I recall, there was no bevy of secret service bodyguards -they just walked and greeted us and cheered us on. The atmosphere was one of overwhelming, mutual affection, understanding and determination to overcome .
I drag in this small personal reminiscence to reinforce the plaudits and TV comments surrounding her funeral. Bishop Mercer suggested that this issue of The Rock give space to express our love and admiration for her reign, so you will find his own tribute in his Requiem sermon, plus another article on the meaning of Christian monarchy by Fr. Graham Egglington, the Chancellor of The Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (TAC) , titled "Tarry thou the Lord's leisure. " Before leaving these reminisces I must throw in another one of my own. I was in the construction business in Jasper, Alberta, before I "got religion "and dragged my wife and family off to Vancouver for three years of seminary studies. One of my firm's contracts was at Jasper Park Lodge, where we built ten new cabins and did renovating work at the main'super ' accommodation known as "Point Cabin ". This is where King George and Queen Elizabeth stayed during their Canadian tour in 1939, just before the outbreak of war. .
To shorten the story, after the renovation, the Manager of the Lodge sold off much of the old furniture, so I bought a lovely old solid oak dining table and several chairs, plus some curtains. So, if you should come to visit us, we will invite you to sit at the same table used by the Queen Mum -at no extra charge! This little bit of 'puffery ' merely indicates the impression she made upon us and many others, expressed in a way similar to hanging portraits on the wall of family members and people we admire.
No doubt most of you, my readers, watched the funeral (modern liturgists -hang your heads in shame, and repent! ) . Britain is said to be in such a mess that it cannot run the railroads, the health service, or control illegal immigration. Plus the disintegration of society to the extent that people are emigrating in droves -some across the Atlantic, and many to Europe. Books detailing this sad state of affairs have rolled off the presses, and this feeling of malaise, especially in the cities, is echoed in the press and staid magazines such as The Spectator.
But -get the government out of the way and turn loose the Monarchy to organize an affair of State such as we saw in Westminster Abbey and we are overwhelmed by the precision, beauty, and meaning expressed in those events that really matter! ! God Save the Queen Mum! ! May she rest in peace and rise in Glory.
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Her Majesty Queen
the Queen Mother.
A sermon preached at a solemn requiem in Ottawa
Matthew 6, 17 -18: "When thou fastest anoint thy head and wash thy face, that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father Who seeth in secret. " , , If you were a chocaholic and if you worked in a chocolate factory, even you might become sick of chocolate.
If you fancied a crinoline and a tiara, and if you fantasized about being queen for a month or three, even you might become sick of the treadmill. Treadmill? Oh yes. All the people you don't want to meet. All the journeys you don't want to make. All the crowds you must endure. All the speeches you must sit through.
All the concerts you must attend. All the balls you must dance through. Day in day out, week in week out. You feel "off colour "? Never mind, you will speak at the banquet. Your throat is sore? Never mind, you will open parliament with a speech. Your ulcerated legs hurt? Never mind, you will inspect the regiment.
Your implanted hips ache? Never mind, you will visit those people in their tragedy. And all the time, no matter what you feel like, no matter what you 'd rather do, no matter where you 'd rather be, you will smile, smile, smile. You will be affectionate, alert, caring, happy, inspiring, interested, outward going, warm.
Factories bore you? Never mind, you will pretend to a concern.
Politicians annoy you? Never mind, you will invite them to luncheon. You can't stand opera? Never mind, you will patronize the operatic company. Your life might be danger? Never mind, you will visit Northern Ireland or tour Ghana. You will troop the colour out in front, on a rainy day, when anybody can take a pot shot at you. To tread the treadmill of a queen requires physical and psychological stamina. To live so much for others requires interior discipline. Discipline? Oh yes! From the age of the desert fathers in 3rd century North Africa until the counter reformation in 16th century Europe, it was assumed that if you wanted to be a real Christian, you must be a monk or nun. If you couldn't be a monk or nun, then you must be as monkish or nunnish as possible. You 'd look grim, dress grim, behave grim. And everybody would admire your fasting, praying and almsgiving.
Then in the 16th century St. Francis de Sales made a revolutionary suggestion. What about secret fasting? Hidden prayer? Interior discipline? All tucked away behind a facade of apparent worldliness? You might be, say, a queen. Your job might require a uniform of crinoline and tiara. Your people might feel insulted if you didn't dress up for them. But inside you might lurk an unpublic person, practising secret discipline, eager to serve others, not self. Had not that harsh ascetic of the desert, St. Pachomius of Egypt, warned that pride might hide in the heart of a hermit? Had not that harsh ascetic of medieval monasticism, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, warned that pride might hide in the heart of a monk? Well then, said St. Francis de Sales, turn the tables: let humility hide in the heart beat of a queen! In 1947 the Royal Family toured Southern Africa. For six weeks we exhausted them. But on and on went the queen, seeming never to tire. Garden party succeeded garden party. Long frocks, long gloves, picture hats, ostrich feathers. She smiled, smiled, smiled. We wanted a queen, not some egotistic politician! And this 13 year old schoolboy lost his heart to that queen. Gossip had it, perhaps untrue, that the teenage Princess Margaret burst out laughing when a fat lady in trying to curtsy split her corsets with a crack. Gossip had it, perhaps untrue, that Her Royal Highness was punished. Self disciplined princesses never laugh at the embarrassments of others.
In 1954 the Queen Mother toured Zimbabwe. Something went wrong with our winter. The temperature fell below freezing. We draped ourselves in whatever wraps and woollies we could muster. But still, we wanted a queen. She appeared at night, out in the cold, dressed in off the shoulder, crinoline and tiara. Far from shivering, she smiled, smiled, smiled .
In 1978 the bishops assembled at a Lambeth Conference were invited to a garden party at Buckingham Palace. As the Queen was away on a world tour, the Queen Mother stood in for her.
We were told not, not to go into the palace! But the heavens opened and down poured a deluge. Bishops from a certain republic -I shan't tell you which -rushed into the palace for cover.
Her Majesty was impervious to rain. Drops dripped from her nose and eye lashes. (I saw close up. ) Her hat was ruined. Her frock was sodden. But she progressed slowly through the crowd, speaking with this one, shaking hands with that one. Embarrassed bishops from a certain republic crept back. She asked me about a mutual acquaintance in Zimbabwe. She said that she and this clergyman were in correspondence. I asked her to pray for Rhodesia. "" I do " , she answered, "I pray for Rhodesia each night. "Service before self ". Tread the treadmill. And don't let anybody suspect how boring or annoying you might find him.
Our Lord did not strike His contemporaries as a grim ascetic.
Far from being repelled by Him, sinners found Him attractive.
St. Luke tells us, "Then drew near tax collectors and sinners for to hear Him " (15; 1) ; He attended dinner parties with the disreputable. Fasting Pharisees complained, "Why eateth your rabbi with publicans and sinners? " (Matthew 9, 11) . Fasting Pharisees complained, "Why do we and the disciples of John Baptist fast, but your disciples fast not? "(Mark 2, 18) . Contemporaries of Jesus called Him "A glutton and a wine bibber "(Luke 7, 34) 7, 34) . Contemporaries of Jesus called Him, "A friend of sinners " ' (Luke 7, 34) . We can know nothing about Jesus ' interior suffering, but we can note that He was not admired for outward fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.
God gives us different jobs to do. If you work in a chocolate factory, you must make good chocolate to the praise and glory of God. If you are a queen, you must be a good queen to the praise and glory of God. St. Paul urges us, "Whatever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him " (Colossians 3, 17) . Each of us has to do his own job, not anybody else's job. Nor are we to sit in final judgement on how others serve our common Master. St.
Paul asks, "Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? To His own Master he standeth or falleth " (Romans 14, 4) .
Though our Queen Mother is a professing Christian, we can not know about her fasting. But one fact has seeped through to us: beneath that smiling charm, behind those pastel colours and picture hats, there operated self discipline of steel.
She died on Easter Eve, the day we remember Christ among the dead. May He bring her -and all our beloved dead -to rise with Him into the eternity of Easter. To Christ, then, with His Father in the unity of Their Spirit be thanks for evermore. Amen.
The Rt. Revd. Robert Mercer CR
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"Out of the Mouths of Babes"
The following essay was written by an 8-year-old, Danny Dutton, of Chula Vista, CA, for his third-grade homework assignment. His assignment was "Explain God".
One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die, so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth.
He doesn't make grown-ups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way He doesn't have to take up His valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers. God's second most important job is listening to prayers.
An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times beside bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because He hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in His ears, unless He has thought of a way to turn it off.
God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting His time by going over your Mom and Dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have.
Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren't any who come to our church.
Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of Him preaching to them and they crucified Him. But He was good and kind, like His Father and He told His Father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them, and God said "O. K. ". " His Dad (God) appreciated everything that He had done and all His hard work on earth so He told Him He didn't have to go out on the road anymore. He could stay in heaven. So He did. And now He helps His Dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to care of and which ones He can take care of Himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary, only more important.
You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time.
You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God. Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong. And besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.
If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you 're scared in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.
But. . . you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and He can take me back anytime He pleases.
And that's why I believe in God.
(My advice to any nit-picking theologs who may be muttering about Tritheism and other stuff is -" just be quiet and enjoy " ((Editor)
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It has been said a poem
is like a dream
in it you put the things
you didn't know you knew.
Come now, before the sleeper wakes
who dreams the truth becoming true
where springs the fountain of the world
where sings the paradisial bird
whose wings are bright imaginings
whose songs make all things new
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"Staying in and protecting the flock" has never worked for those who have tried it. The only way to survive is to build a fence around the parish -therefore the people are content never to face the trauma of facing the truth and having to act upon it. The priest becomes isolated, and a pariah, and develops an unhealthy bitterness or 'persecution complex' (which latter may well be warranted! ) . And what happens when he retires? Nothing! The Bishop(ess) puts in a 'smooth man' to grease the skids. Better to have fought for truth and 'lost ' in the end. ".
"Thou art a Priest Forever
A sermon preached at the ordination to the Sacred Priesthood of Keith Kirkwood, December 15, 2001, at the Church of St Peter & St Paul, Vancouver of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (Traditional Anglican Communion)
Father Henry Dickinson
The calling to be a priest comes from God. It is an invitation from the Father, a demand from Him, a demand made through the Church –and the Church is the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ. So the call is from the Son, who is always one with the Father. And no one would know about the call if it were not for the promptings –the sudden prompting, or the insistent promptings, of the Holy Spirit. A call, then, a Trinitarian call.
The call has to be tested, challenged, examined and tried by those in the Church appointed to do so; and in the end the person is accepted and ordained by the Bishop. The Bishop is the centre and focus of unity in the Diocese, and his prayerful, in-depth consideration is the result of his own commitment to the Lord and Head of the Church, who is one with the Father and filled with the Spirit –and, to come to the point, what we are to embark on in a few moments, is Jesus Christ our Lord in action in adding to the number of those, in their hundreds and thousands down two millennia, who have been chosen and set apart as priests for ever, being men changed, indelibly changed, by our great high priest, so that they are with him prophets, pastors and priests, exercising his ministry in the world, for the salvation of the world.
Keith will shortly be Alter Christus. This is a term which has been used to describe the character of a priest. The sacrament of Ordination will give him graces from God, and those graces will never leave him -not for any reason; and let us hope and pray that by the mighty power of prayer he will, daily, hourly, be stirring up those graces so that they are striking out from him into all our lives, so that we, in our turn, realise that we are being called to respond to the insistent demands of our Trinitarian God, who wants us to throw aside timidity, caution, cowardice and complacency.
We should realise always that when a priest is teaching, preaching, conducting a Confirmation class, preparing us for any sacrament, consoling the bereaved, responding to a challenge from the secular powers, either in reasoned debate or by defying an unjustly enacted law –or even going to prison and facing death –then that priest is doing what Jesus Christ our Lord did in his life in Galilee and in Jerusalem. We should expect nothing more or less from him.
And when he comes to visit us in our homes we should expect him to exercise that ministry of prophecy (and I use the word prophecy in its true sense of speaking out the truth of God to the world in any given situation) .
We must not resent the priest who discerns what needs to be said to us and who goes on to say it –especially when it means cutting through the defences we raise of our charm, niceness and conversational ploys meant to deflect him from confronting as we seek to excuse ourselves from our lack of loyalty and commitment to God.
There is a sense in which we should fear the admonitions of our priests. Yes, fear, but holy fear, that gift which all of us were given in our Confirmation –and if you've forgotten that you have that divine gift, then look up the Confirmation service.
The priest visits his people. He has to. As well as being a prophet, he is a pastor. He is called to be Christ to all those he is given to minister to. They are the first charge on his time, on his professional expertise, and in his affections. He must love them. And here we must distinguish between loving and liking. One cannot like everyone but we love them. All of us, not just ordained priests. The distinction becomes blurred as the priest grows in holiness, as, please God, he does, through the exercise of his ministry. This is why visiting is so important. Without visiting (to all the flock, the pleasant and contentious, the intelligent and unintelligent, the interesting and the boring -) without visiting the priest does not really get to know his flock, and so he cannot really, deeply love them. And love is the essence. It always is. The cardinal rule in a priest's life is –whenever a crisis arises – go! Visit. Show the love of the sacred heart of Jesus who gave himself unstintingly to all who needed him.
People cannot love a priest in their turn if he does not visit them –and get to know them in their own homes. Chatting after Sunday Mass is no substitute. Listening is an essential part of a priest's life. I suggest you all try reading the Gospels with a view to discovering the number of occasions when the Lord Jesus listened to people. It is not spelled out. We have to read between the lines. What we do have is his replies and responses – and we can then readily supply in our minds the amount of listening he gave to produce those reactions.
You know, people will do anything for a priest if he loves them.
And, you all know, too, you will do anything to stop a priest getting his own way if you do not love him! The priest takes all this to the altar. At the heart of his life is the Mass. As the people of the Church grow to love their priests, alongside that love is the awareness that their priests do some things which no one else can do -And these two things are sacramental. One is to give absolution from sin after hearing someone's confession of sins; and the second is to offer the holy sacrifice of the life and death of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Mass. This is the centre of the Church's life, the heart-beat of the Church.
And this is the awe-some centre of any priest's life. This is what he was ordained to do.
And this is why Holy Orders are essential. The bishops take the place of the holy apostles, in a direct line through the apostolic succession, and they give authority and sacramental power and grace for priests to celebrate the Mass and consecrate the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. I am not going to embark on a theological treatise on all this in this sermon –if you want to explore the theology of Holy Order, a superb introduction is to be found in the Rock of June of last year; many of you will have read it. If you haven't, I 'm sure Bishop Crawley will send you a copy if you ask him.
Every priest stands before the altar and offers the sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord. I cannot find words to express what this involves –it is not just a mind-boggling intellectual and existential assault on our powers of comprehension; it is not just a constant emotional draining at the awe-some-ness of what I am doing, an awareness of the awe-ful privilege given to me –it is more than all that.
It is somehow becoming dimly aware that you are all alone, that you are not only 'priest ' offering sacrifice, but 'victim ' dying, that from the hilltop you are looking out over Jerusalem, looking beyond the city, across countries, down the centuries. Lifted up and drawing all men to yourself, you have entered into the height and depth and breadth of the love of him who wants us all to be transformed into his likeness.
As so the priest at the altar is always a young man. The Lord died at thirty-three years of age. I hope that all the priests here today can claim to be young. Young in shouting the praises of God as daily we join the angels and saints in the dynamic whirligig of the Divine Office; spending our time in renewing our minds and souls in Lectio Divina; being taken by the Spirit into the dangerous life of the God who is a consuming fire as he draws us into his loving heart in contemplative prayer. The spiritual life keeps us all young –if we venture on it and into it. If any of you here today are outside that life, then for heaven's sake and your salvation's sake take steps to remedy the lack.
I was stunned when Fr. Keith asked me to preach this sermon. I did not hesitate in saying Yes. I knew I had to. But within a minute after getting over the initial surprise I knew I wanted to.
And I know you are all here because you want to be. Fr. Keith will find that a sustaining inspiration in the years ahead and he will grow ever younger in the living out of his priesthood. And all of us members of the Body of Christ in our turn cannot ever forget our youth. We see it in each other's faces, in our eyes, as we joy in the youthful Lord who endured the shame, died in humiliation, rose in power and might, ascended in glory, who now makes intercession for us all –
And who shatters space and time by coming to us in the blessed and holy sacrament of the altar. He does this through the words and hands of his priests. And so he will do down the remainder of time, through Fr. Keith and through all his priests, until he comes again in power and great glory to draw all men to himself.
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" Build Bridges not Fences"
Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict.
It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labour and goods as needed without a hitch.
Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.
One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's tool box. "I 'm looking for a few days work " he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you? "
"Yes, " said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbour, in fact, it's my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I 'll do him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence -an 8 foot fence -so I won't have to see his place or his face anymore. "
The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I 'll be able to do a job that pleases you. " The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing.
After sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.
The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaws dropped. There was no fence at all. It was a bridge --a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, handrails and all --and the neighbour, his brother, was coming across, his hand outstretched.
" You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done. "The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in the middle, taking each other's hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his tool box on his shoulder "No, wait! Stay a few days. I have a lot of other projects for you. "Said the older brother.
" I 'd love to stay on " the Carpenter said, "but I have many more bridges to build. ".
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Father Michael Shier SSC
Introduction. Fr. Shier is Rector of the 4 parishes which encompass Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. Having been through -and part of -the liturgical wars of the C of E he has come to love the works of Cranmer, especially in the revised 1962 Canadian BCP, in which Fr. Roland F. Palmer, late Dean of the TAC in Canada, played a major role. The Cranmerian theological 'fluctuations 'are well understood, but are outside of this article and in any case have been addressed in later revisions of the BCP. Cranmer was a liturgical genius. Fr. Shier has a forthright style and takes no prisoners!
In Gone with the Wind, somewhere about page 750, Gerald, the old Irish Patriarch, is buried. Ashley uses the Roman Catholic Service. But it's too short. So he launches into the Episcopal service. He knows it off by heart.
And the power of it was like magic stilling the hearts of the mourners. They had all come prepared for the mother of all major family bust ups. But after Cranmer and a fine address they trooped off in peace and quiet to the wake.
Wherein lies this enduring magic? One can say simply that the B. C. P is the ripe fruit of centuries of worship, and that Cranmer, while being a revolutionary, was also steeped in the scholarship of Catholic Christianity and that it had a restraining effect on him.
One can point out that the translation and construction of a collect takes as much skill as the writing of a sonnet.
One can listen to E. C Ratcliff in a lecture delivered at Lambeth Palace Library on May 10, 1956: "Cranmer was the master of more than one style. Liturgical style, to be effective, must express a sense of the Divine Majesty, which is the Object of address. Cranmer was the master, or rather the creator, of the English liturgical style, because he had apprehended the nature of worship. To serve the purposes of worship he brought the resources of the scholar: appreciation of the fine compositions of liturgical Latin; knowledge of the rules of rhythm and clausula; facility and felicity in translation; a feeling for the meanings of words. With such resources, and moved by a profound religious sincerity, Cranmer made of English a liturgical language comparable with Latin at its best. " 'The ink of the scholar, ' so runs an Arabic proverb, 'is of more worth than the blood of the martyr. ' The proverb is true of Cranmer.
Cranmer is much more widely used than people realise. The 1962 version in Canada is excellent for use with the sick. The liturgy can be used without alteration. There is a supplementary instruction in the catechism. To my surprise it is still used widely outside the Continuum. Friends from whom I have requested their "obsolete "B. C. P. s get very annoyed with me. "They are not obsolete, they are still in the pews and we use them from time to time. ". Travelling in the Gaspe last summer in Quebec, I dropped into the first 8 o 'clock mass I could find. B. C. P. from beginning to end. In Saskatchewan, Bishop Burton has a bevy of young priests who are wholly dedicated to the use of the B. C. P.
There is a scholarly tradition devoted to the B. C. P in Eastern Canada, wrapped loosely around the eminent Fr Crouse, who teaches in Rome and was an honorary deacon at Milan for S Ambrose's 16 hundredth Anniversary. They write astonishing erudite, if slightly stodgy, papers, which have a wide readership.
But don't be impressed by the theological cognoscenti. Go to Grandmother's Bay in Northern Saskatchewan and you will find the B. C. P prized by the Cree people, translated into heightened Cree and used regularly.
Of course you can say that, like the Coptic Church, none of us have caught up with the twenty-first century. But, on the other hand, you can say that the church is conservative —with a very small 'c ' —because it has a lot to conserve and that the B. C. P. is being conserved because we know that it belongs not to a day that is dead but to a day yet to be born. You can say that it has been too long associated with those dreadful cathedral voices and that outside the mother country it is often experienced with a freshness, an awareness, and an eagerness. I suspect that Cranmer's hidden treasures have simply become hidden for a time; that what seems like a dead language is simply truth worn smooth upon the heart of man.
Arguments for change have come thick and fast ever since the French Revolution. Stemming the tide is like resisting middle-aged spread. However, it remains true that if you are the same weight at 70 as you were at 17 the doctor thinks that is admirable.
Being the same is not necessarily a bad aim. To say that God is true is to say he is consistent. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever.
But being the same is a painful and arduous process. One can no longer do it by lying back and thinking of England. The foundations have been uprooted and need to be secured. There has been a healthy shedding the remnants of the effortless superiority of the Protestant Ascendancy. But there has also been an insidious tendency to replace it with an arrogant and uncritical modernism.
Fr. Roland F. Palmer, SSJE, one of the most eminent Canadian priests of the 20th century, took it all squarely on his shoulders some 25 years ago. When Archbishop Scott and the Canadian House of Bishops altered the ordination canon, Fr. Palmer protested that he would have nothing to do with it. A little band of Anglican pioneers went on being the same. Archbishop Scott and the Canadian house of Bishops excommunicated them.
Which means, of course, that we are still excommunicated. We were deposed from the ministry and told that those we ordained would have to be re-ordained. Fr. Palmer read about it all in The Canadian Churchman. He wrote to express his appreciation for the information and said he was glad it was all now out in the open, because it showed quite clearly that the two churches were not the same and that the present Anglican Church of Canada was the newly invented one.
Being excommunicated has its problems. But excommunication can work like a boomerang. The perpetrator can get whacked on the back of the head. Fr. Palmer's reply was somewhat like Bishop Firmilian's reply to Bishop Stephen in Rome in 256 A.D. "While thou thinkest that all may be excommunicated by thee, thou hast excommunicated thyself alone from all. " Fr. Palmer's move was radical and judicious.
It was thought that the problem would never arise in England. Until the day of the vote on the Ordination of Women in England, people were still saying: "It can't happen here. It may happen in America and Canada but it will never happen here. "At which point many of the "It can never happen here "brigade simply disappeared. The desire to be the same can never be just wishful thinking. I recall a meeting at which I said I thought our Bishops are just taking us to the gas chambers. Amidst much sucking of breath from the members, the Chairman concurred that the Bishops ' response was proving "very Vichy ". In effect, '" it will never happen here " meant "we will not fight from a position of weakness, we will only fight from a position of hegemony.
"This is foolish. Dr. Hope, the Bishop of London, told us that when the measure was passed we would have to concede, after their ordination, that women were legally priests. Well, what if we believed they were not priests? Here we were being told that we could not pursue our integrity with impunity. The noble Fr. Back rose to his full height and in the most acid tones began a withering speech with the words: "My Lord Bishop, I hate to throw glass on this tea party. "
The whole pluralist position from the point of view of the minority is that you don't concede. You take the pluralistic bull by the horns. You are no longer in a position of ascendancy. You have to argue from weakness. You have to have enough integrity to pursue your own integrity. So thank goodness for the Priests Measure and the Ordination to pursue your own integrity. So thank goodness for the Priests Measure and the Ordination of Women Measure (July 93) , kindly sent to me by my M. P. Chris Smith. Parliament made an honest woman out of the Church of England. I could pursue a future with the Continuing Churches or with Forward in Faith. It is possible that neither or both of these will succeed. Perish the thought. But the point is we both have a voice. England may produce a Free Province or an Exempt Deanery. But essentially Parliament has reasserted its 19th century role of holding the ring between conflicting positions in the C.of E. May that honourable position continue.
The secular authority, of course, has no such role in the rest of the Anglican Communion. England is different in that the national church was there before the Reformation, a product of the cooperation between the spiritual and temporal authorities in ruling the one Christendom. Anglican identity was inseparable from the birth of national identity. However Anglicanism in other countries is a different beast. On the one hand, it is clearly capable of transcending its narrow Anglo-Saxon culture. But on the other hand its minorities are not protected by the secular power.
This of course is one reason why traditionalists outside England hold to the Book of Common Prayer. But put so blandly it often fails to convince. We must begin with another universal figure: Shakespeare. They tried to update Shakespeare in the 18th century and it was a disaster. It is almost impossible to improve on something that comes from a much richer tradition of language. Practically everything we try to do will be an impoverishment. And the reason is -and this applies just as well to Cranmer -that before the rise of the great dictionaries, words had double, triple, quadruple meanings. Language was like Cockney or rap. You made up ridiculous rhymes. You played with it as Shakespeare did. But it wasn't just a game. It packed a punch. And the Prayer Book packs a punch for the same reason. We are to "inwardly digest "thy holy word. This is playing. The new prayer books cut out the play. But it's all still there in Ezekiel and St John the Divine. They are both told to eat a book. Say it any other way and you impoverish. Doubling is play. "Mortify and kill, " "Perceive and know, "" Betrayed and given up, "" Governed and preserved, "" Ye that do truly and earnestly repent and are in love and charity with your neighbours, "" Battle and murder and sudden death ". There are hints of theatricality, not as if we were at a show, but because the world is the theatre of God's glory and we are actors on the stage, players in a great and joyful solemnity. Our transitory life is a game of freedom and grace in which we play a part. Here is a liturgy sustained by chaste gesture and movement, so measured and slow as to be stiff with the mysteries it seeks to express.
Lowther Clarke warns us how rapidly liturgical good taste can decay, citing a prayer of 1589 for the army: "Avance thyself like a mighty giant with a swift and terrible judgement against them; frustrate the counsels of all their Achitophels. . . Finally let them be like Oreb and Zeeb. "
So we have something very special to conserve. Cranmer and Shakespeare, and Hooker for that matter, were dealing with a newly vibrantly self-confident and rich language. This language had evolved for centuries from the mingling of three incredibly rich older languages. They were like tidal waves coming at you from three different directions. One wave was Anglo-Saxon, another Norman French, and another was Latin. There were also the several dialects of the fens and the hills. Add the influence of a burgeoning confidence in English as a language capable of beauty and power. To master all this you had to be a genius. And Shakespeare and Cranmer were geniuses.
But today Shakespeare is a hero and Cranmer a nobody. The life of grace in theatre of God's glory has been supplanted by buffoonery and boorishness. But Shakespeare. . . last summer several of Shakespeare's plays were performed under tents in Vancouver. All performances were sold out. Shakespeare communicates whether you have read the play or not. The Taming of the Shrew goes way beyond the Prayer Book in what is called male chauvinism. Did anyone notice? No. They enjoyed a play. In fact the Prayer Book is reasonable and balanced by comparison with the Shrew. But when we turn to the Prayer Book, we have to rip it apart. We are suddenly barbarians incapable of feeding off our own past, drumming out all play and all ritual. The truth we have to grasp is that the fortunes of religion are quite mysteriously tied up with the fortunes of language. The Greek writer Longinus wrote a book "On the Sublime ". He wrote that "truly elevated speech lifts the soul filling it with such pride and joy as if it had itself invented what it had heard. And this is because the soul becomes aware of its own nature. "Now becoming aware of your own nature is the same as remembering who you are. And this is what prayer and the Prayer Book does for you. It gathers together the scattered fragments of you and me and makes us ourselves again. St Augustine said that we are all like the words of a sentence, which because they are jumbled up, no longer make sense. What the Prayer Book does is to collect us — to get the sentence back together in the right order so that we become intelligible to ourselves and to other people.
And there is more. There is the little matter of eternal truth. St Augustine also said that we long to be recollected together from old times so that we do not lose touch with eternal truth: "Entering into the spacious fields and palaces of the memory, we find not only images of the past but timeless truths -and more, the memory of that home from which we have gone out. And so we are returned to the origin from which we flowed out in many directions. "
Well of course if you have given up on eternal truths then it is all nostalgia.
But if you have given up on eternal truths then you have given up on God who is in all his words most wonderful, most sure in all his ways. Stand firm! -for the battle is not lost and never will be provided we are faithful. But beware of negligence. The situation has utterly changed. We can take nothing for granted. Pluralism gives us the right to fight.
But it won't encourage us. And if we don't fight, it will take everything away from us.
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Comment . It is my experience that when introduced to Prayer Book worship, Roman Catholics of the 'old school 'take to it like the proverbial ducks to water and soon overcome the initial stumbling over 'thee's ' 'thou's and other so-called 'archaisms '. It is the Beauty of Holiness which transcends all else +RCC
An Enthusiastic Book Review
Canadians tend to be loyal to their native provinces. I think, for example, of Alberta, Newfoundland and Quebec (alphabetical order only) . Ted Byfield, his family and associates published a twelve volume history of Alberta, lavishly illustrated volumes in the style of Time/Life books. Our Dr. Geoff Shaw, brother to our Dr. Millo Shaw, contributed the section on Alberta and the Boer War. This history was lovingly read in that province, but I doubt if it enjoyed wide sales in what Quebec calls "the rest of Canada ", in what Newfoundland calls "up along ". I did, however, find the English-Irish Fr. Shier enjoying it in British Columbia
Now the Byfields and Co. bring their enthusiasm and skills to a multi volumed history called The Christians: the First Two Thousand Years. Vol I is just out, The Veil is Torn (Matthew 27, 80-81. Exodus 26, 3133) . It is a lavish and glossy production. It covers the period from Pentecost to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A D. (a turning point in Jewish and in Christian history) , i. e. the New Testament and a little after. It is handsomely illustrated with original art, drawings, maps and photographs. The venture is an ecumenical one in that contributors come from the Evangelical, Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions, come from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. If you wonder about Anglican input, I note that Dorothy L. Sayers is quoted with approval; that Bishop John Robinson, author of 'Redating the New Testament ', is discussed; that Dr. Jim Packer of Regent College in Vancouver was consulted. In any case, we know what an impact C. S. Lewis had on the Byfields.
Sometimes a contributor makes his or her decision about a debated point, e.g.. "The Acts of the Apostles was probably never finished. It halts abruptly at the 28th chapter "(p. 181) . That is one possible explanation. There are others. Not until we get to heaven shall we know the answers to some of our debates. Other puzzles for us are the abrupt ending to Mark and the abrupt ending to The Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross.
Volume II is expected in June. Each volume costs $59. 95, inclusive of packing and postage. $39. 95 in the US with postage.
The series can not be bought in bookshops. There are no middlemen to add to the price. Each volume must be ordered from Christian Heritage Project, 10333 178 Street, Edmonton, AB T5S 1R5. Tel: (780) 4434775. Fax: (780) 454-9298. E-mail: tbyfield@christianhistoryproject. com. Web site: www. christianhistoryproject. com Highly and enthusiastically recommended. Expensive yes, but value for money. In some places parishes per se might think of purchasing the series for their libraries.
+Robert Mercer CR
Editor -I most heartily agree! This work surpasses anything I have seen, including a recent excellent production by one of England's finest scholars. Truly 'ecumenical 'in the best sense of that word, Byfield's approach is exciting. Not just a 'coffee table 'book, yet bound to enthral anyone who just picks it up for a 'quick look '. In that context it's bound to slow conversation! As far as 'expense 'is concerned, it is merely the price of two modern novels! I urge you to try the first Volume -I have order the full series. +Robert Crawley.
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The 'Morning After ' Pill
On April 18, Mr Justice Mundy in the English high court rejected the legal challenge by SPUC (Society for the Protection of Unborn Children) that the Morning after Pill should not be sold by pharmacists as it was not a contraceptive, as it did not prevent conception but did prevent implantation .
Mr Justice Mundy claimed that the term "miscarriage "in the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 should be understood according to what it means today rather than what it meant when the Act was passed. He asserted that the term miscarriage today "means the termination of an established pregnancy " after implantation. .
This misuse of the term "contraceptive "to describe something such as the Morning After Pill, which does not prevent conception, is bad enough in itself, but opens the way to further developments, in the extreme case to infanticide being described as "contraception ".
With the benefit of hindsight, it is clear that all opponents of abortion should have campaigned consistently against all abortions, instead of concentrating on late abortions. The abortifacient action of IUDs (IntraUterine Devices) such as coils was not challenged by "one step at a time "tactics, which hoped to get a total ban on late abortions and then work progressively to reduce the age at which abortions could be carried out. This "one step at a time "policy can now be seen to be an unmitigated disaster.
There is a Spanish proverb "Toma lo que quieras, dijo Dios, y pagalo. ", which translates as Take what you want, said God, and pay for it.
Widespread contraception and abortion has led to populations in many countries becoming skewed, with fewer people in their working years to service the needs and pensions of elderly people. The United Kingdom government has long admitted that it cannot afford to link pension payments to average earnings, and this reality is being recognised by many other European governments. Furthermore, unless there is a marked INCREASE in average numbers of children per couple, the cost of servicing the needs of the elderly will soon be such that there will be increasing pressure to apply euthanasia.
The first line of The Didache, one of the earliest Christian documents outside the New Testament canon is "There are two ways, one of life and one of death, and there is a great difference between the two ways. "
There is indeed a great difference. It is often tempting to take a path at variance with the Church's teaching, when at first, just as for those who live beyond their incomes, life may seem pleasant, but unpleasant results eventually have to be faced.
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Will Western society face these results by obeying the admonition to "Turn away from sin and believe the Gospel ", or by sinking deeper into the mire? David Parry is a scientist and linguist who produces an excellent daily email news digest. A Roman Catholic of excellent taste (he reads The Rock! ) I am grateful for this eye-opening piece. He lives in Scotland. +RCC
How old is Grandma?
One evening a grandson was talking to his grandmother about current events. The grandson asked his grandmother what she thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general.
The Grandma replied, "Well, let me think a minute, I was born before television, penicillin, polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox, contact lenses, Frisbees and the pill. There was no radar, credit cards, laser beams or ball-point pens. Man had not invented pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers, clothes dryers, and the clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air and man hadn't yet walked on the moon.
Your Grandfather and I got married first-and then lived together. Every family had a father and a mother. Until I was 25, I called every man older than I, 'sir' -and after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, 'sir. ' We were before gay-rights, computer-dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy. Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense. We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.
Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege. We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent.
Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins. Draft dodgers were people who closed their front doors when the evening breeze started.
Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends-not purchasing condominiums. We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CDs, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings. We listened to the Big Bands! Jack Benny, and the President' s speeches on our radios. And I don' t ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.
If you saw anything with 'Made in Japan' on it, it was junk. The term 'making out' referred to how you did on your school exam. Pizza Hut, McDonald' s, and instant coffee were unheard of. We had 5 &10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents.
Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel. And if you didn't want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards.
You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600 but who could afford one? Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon. In my day, "grass" was mowed, "coke" was a cold drink, "pot" was something your mother cooked in, and "rock music" was your grandmother' s lullaby. "Aids" were helpers in the Principal' s office, "chip" meant a piece of wood, "hardware" was found in a hardware store, and "software" wasn't even a word.
And we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby. No wonder people call us "old and confused" and say there is a generation gap. . . . . And how old do you think I am? Pretty scary if you think about it and pretty sad at the same time. This Woman would be only 58 years old. .
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War declared on Christianity
Charles W. Moore
The decision of Ontario Superior Court of Justice Mr. Justice Robert McKinnon to grant an injunction forcing an Oshawa Catholic school board to allow 17 year old student Marc Hall to attend the school's prom May 10 accompanied by his 21 year-old boyfriend as a date, render the supposedly Charter-protected freedoms of religion and assembly in Canada not worth the paper they 're written on.
Judge McKinnon has joined other activist justices in arbitrarily declaring that sexual orientation as a prohibited ground of discrimination, which appears nowhere in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and which was arbitrarily "read-into "the Charter by political activist Supreme Court judges, as overriding the freedoms of religion and association that are explicitly guaranteed by the charter.
In his 16-page ruling Mr. Justice McKinnon determined that religious conviction is not grounds for a group or individual to discriminate against homosexuals. However, while the Christian Church does not judge persons, it reserves the right to judge behaviour on the basis of the moral teachings of Scripture and holy tradition. If freedom of religion and freedom of association are to have any substantive meaning at all in Canada, religious institutions must have the right to discriminate against certain behaviors that they consider immoral.
Peter Lauwers, counsel for the school board, argued in court that "The key core concept here is human sexuality is to be carried out in the marriage state. It doesn't get much more core than that . . . . Catholic schools are about indoctrination. They are about inculcating the faith. " Hall claims that he agrees with everything the Catholic church says, except its views on homosexuality. However, that's not good enough. The essential meaning of the term "Catholic "is to accept the universal teaching and authority of the church, with no qualifications or exceptions. If Mr. Hall is not willing to accept Catholic teaching on sexual morality, he should renounce his claim to "Catholicism " and transfer to a public school. .
The Catechism of the Catholic Church declares that "sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes, " and that "Based on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. ' They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved. "(articles 2351, 2357, 2358)
In 1 Corinthians, Chapter 5, St. Paul instructs Christians not to associate with immoral people who claim to be Christians. "I did not mean with the moral people of the world, "he emphasizes, ". . . For then you would have to go out of the world, " Rather, "not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person. . . Not even to eat with such a one. . . Remove the wicked man from among yourselves. "
The Hall prom case became a cause celebre for gay activists and their supporters, who include Ontario Liberal leader Dalton Mcguilty, federal Industry Minister Allan Rock, Canadian Auto Workers President Buzz Hargrove; lesbian Liberal MP Libby Davies, homosexual Bloc Quebecois MP Real Menard, and Tory MP Scott Brison, as well as homosexual rights advocacy organizations like PFLAG and EGALE.
Toronto human rights lawyer David Corbett, who took the Hall case pro bono, is quoted asserting: "We do have a legal orthodoxy. It's called the Constitution. It says, 'Thou shall not discriminate. ' Those are the rules that everybody must play by. Our Constitution has fundamental principles that apply to all, " Corbett is right about one thing. What we have here is a collision of orthodoxies — the 2000 year old doctrine and Holy Tradition of the Christian Church, versus the liberal orthodoxy of pansexual licentiousness and political correctness. So the battle lines must be drawn. This cuts to the nexus of the culture wars: there's no room or potential for compromise.
The Christian Church cannot take orders on matters of faith and doctrine from the government or the judiciary. What the Chretien Liberals in Ottawa and their fellow-travelers on court benches want is for the Church to capitulate to government policy, similar to the puppet Russian Orthodox Church under the Soviets.
However, real Christians answer to a higher power than the courts, human rights codes, the government, or the Constitution. Traditionally, in our civilization, civil law has been based on Christian principles, so conflicts between civil obedience and Christian duty have been relatively rare. That is, alas, no longer the case in Canadian society, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for faithful Christians to obey our civil laws in good conscience.
This is nothing new under the sun. In the early Christian centuries, under Roman rule, Christians were regarded as cultural renegades, outlaws, and pariahs. One issue of contention was Christians refusal to pay homage to Caesar as divine, which was required of citizens under Roman law. The pagan Romans, like our present neo-pagan governments in Canada, affirmed religious pluralism. You could worship Christ, or any other god or gods of your choice, so long as you paid the obligatory lip service to worshiping Caesar. And this, Christians could not do, much to the consternation of the cynical Romans. So the Christians were slaughtered.
We 're not quite to that stage yet in Canada, but we 're getting closer with each one of these anti-Christian court rulings.
"Onward, Christian Soldiers. . ! ! . . . . . . . "
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Another new Province for TAC
A few months ago, a Continuing Church body known as "The United Anglican Church " (UAC) was accepted into The Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) as a separate Province. With parishes stretching from the Philippines to Poland, it brings a further. 30, 000 souls into the steady growth of this International Anglican body. On the heels of this announcement, the Primate, Archbishop Louis W. Falk, has just returned from Japan, where a yet another Province has been formed and admitted into the TAC.
As you will see, compared with the UAC Province The Nippon Kirisuto Sei Ko Kai is very small -but not as small as the beginning of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada, whose first parish began with one priest, a retired couple, plus two widows! As the old saying has it . . . "Great oaks from little acorns grow. "That parish is soon to celebrate its 25th anniversary in its fully paid for church, complete with pipe organ etc etc.
Archbishop Falk gives the following account of the formation of the TAC's newest Province -The Nippon Kirisuto Sei Ko Kai.
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West Meets East in the TAC
Some 453 years in time, and who knows by what vast amount lacking in saintliness behind Francis Xavier, I joined Bp. John Hepworth of Australia on a missionary visit to Japan. We were there, by invitation, from May 8 through May 13 of this year.
Visits were made to Osaka, to Kinjo Gakuin University in Nagoya, to Aichi University in Toyohashi and to the parish Church of the Ascension there to Baptize and Confirm an elderly University Professor (Dr. Uchida) , to the chapel of the Elizabeth Sander's home (orphanage) in Yokohama for a Sunday Eucharist, and to the International Seaman's Hall in that city for the inaugural Eucharist of the Nippon Kirisuto Sei Ko Kai.
The visit had been requested originally by Fr. Immanuel Furukawa and Fr. Ambrosius Furutake, who had parted company with the Anglican Province of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai when every diocese of that Church, with the exception of the Diocese of Yokohama, decided to invent female priests. Later they were joined by Fr. Lawrence Wheeler of Hawaii, who was raised in Japan, and after ordination served parishes there. He came to the TAC from the Charismatic Episcopal Church. Fr. Wheeler was with our party for most of our stay in Japan. Throughout, we had the guidance and support of the Rev. Ivan Cosby, who is canonically a priest of 'The Church of Ireland, Traditional Rite ', but for the past twenty three years has spent much of his time in Japan, teaching at Aichi University.
We enjoyed also the presence and participation in our work and worship of the Rt. Rev. Raphael Kajiwara, retired Bishop of Yokohama. Bp. Raphael arranged a meeting between our group and his successor in the See of Yokohama, the Rt. Rev. James Endo, with whom we discussed matters of mutual support and cooperation in the fight to stand firm for Apostolic faith and practice. We have hopes that, health permitting, Bp. Kajiwara will join the Bishops of the TAC at the College of Bishops meeting in St. Louis in September.
A certificate of membership in the TAC and Clergy Licenses were presented to Frs. Furukawa and Furutake during the inaugural Eucharist.
So did a new Province become officially a part of the Traditional Anglican Communion. It is a small start in terms of numbers, nothing so spectacular as St. Remigius baptizing three thousand Franks along with their king. But the Nippon Kirisuto Sei Ko Kai will be an edifice to be erected on the foundation of three faithful and talented priests and a bishop who remembers and honors his consecration promises. That is a solid foundation to be sure.
And to be sure, the "NKSKK "is a welcome sister Province to all of us in the TAC. Before I left I assured them that when we are reading Morning Prayer in the USA and Canada at the beginning of each day, we will pray for our friends in Japan who will just have finished the Evening Office. We ask their prayers for us as well.
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Not knowing much of consequence,
Roads fork before us, and we must
take one or other, and discover
over the hill, beyond the river,
the landscape of our lives, or lose
the sum of things in dust
In four-dimensioned tapestry
woven of our and others' choices
our futures grow
a fugue of many voices –
to make or mar
ourselves and many we can never know –
becoming what we are.
The author, Dr. Ian Gough, is one of the founding members of the parish of The Church of the Resurrection, Edmonton, in the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada.
My thanks for his permission to reprint his poetry. +RCC.
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O Tarry thou the Lord' s Leisure
The Revd. Fr. Graham Eglington
Psalm 27: v16: "O tarry thou the Lord's leisure, be strong, and let thy heart take courage, and wait upon the Lord. " [From the Psalm appointed in the Order of Service for the Commemoration authorized by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York. ]
While it is to be supposed that the Archbishops of Canter bury and of York had chosen the lessons*for to-day's servi es some considerable time ago, they have an immediate and obvious application to this Easter Season. And they have an immediate and obvious application to a lady of faith, and to a family of faith subject as much as any of our families, and perhaps more, to the peculiar temptations of the age.
The note of absolute assurance for the believer which is the hallmark of these authorized Services must stand as a mark of the absoluteness and certainty of the Christian faith to those hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, who will now hear the Easter message, undiluted and in a context to which each can relate. Let us pray earnestly that his may be so, and that the obsequies of Her Late Majesty will be as productive of good and of ensample as her long life has been.
During these past days I have been struck by the vacuity of so much of what passes for comment in the public prints and on television, especially during the procession of Her Late Majesty's bier from St. James ' Palace to Westminster Hall on Friday (even the feather-brained CBC pet point man excelled himself! ) I have long since expected those of his ilk to be as ignorant as buck rabbits about constitutional affairs and history. But what has struck me most forcefully is that he and others, both in Canada and in the United States of America, have been drawn to and have extolled Her Late Majesty's courage and fortitude, steadfastness and dedication, which existed alongside the natural gaiety and charm she exhibited, and the obvious pleasure she took in people, places and the ordinary pursuits of people of her station. Yet, the commentators could not marry the two strands. They were like oil and water to them. They exhibited the natural prejudices of the age which sees courage, fortitude, steadfastness and dedication as the antithesis of the enjoyment of life, an enjoyment which is identified with the pursuit of carnal pleasures. Nor did the commentators once ask what was the basis of Her Late Majesty's courage, fortitude and dedication, and what the basis of her obvious joy and of the love she exhibited and elicited. There were not even references, so far as I heard, to a happy childhood. It simply would not occur to the commentators that the joy and the love, the courage and the dedication to duty, all alike came from waiting upon the Lord. To refer to the fact and reality of the late Queen Dowager's faith would be unthinkable and unmentionable on any television network in our Charter of Rights age.
If anyone waited upon the Lord and took courage, and exhibited strength, it was Her Late Majesty. The vicissitudes of her life and the challenges she faced, including an anxious and unprepared husband, the pressure of a terrible war following an unexpected Accession, and her early and extended widowhood, are well known to you; and for her example we can and should give thanks to Almighty God. There are examples enough of others, including crowned and un-crowned heads, for us to realize how vital Her Late Majesty was to the survival of a free way of life for our people, and for Europe and for very much of the world.
When the late King died there was much public and private grief. The whole Empire had just passed through an appalling ordeal together and very many of the King's subjects were continuing to endure much economic hardship. In a very real sense the family had suddenly, and for most of its members, quite unexpectedly, lost the head, the pater familias. There were black bordered newspapers. I remember my grandmother and aunts in floods of tears at the breakfast table when the news came through on the wireless. Much was different then. I remember we stood to hear the King's Christmas broadcast: we were being addressed by our Sovereign. Yet it wasn't the same thing at all as standing before the Headmaster, Mr. Craig. There was reverence and awe and affection in addition to respect for office. We had been taught that the King was the living embodiment of God's authority on earth. And though Mr. Craig had authority over us, and sometimes exercised it most painfully upon us, we knew that it was not of the same order as the King's, but a reflection and derivative of it, and of our parents 'natural authority over us. I have tried over the years to insist that my Goddaughters stand for the Queen's Christmas message. I have had as much success as in getting them to refer to the Canadian paper currency in the very terms it carries on its face as Bank "notes ", and not " bills ". In both cases they are children of the culture. And more than once they have expressed to me the prevailing attitude: Who cares? Why bother? What does the Queen matter? What does it matter that we use American terms?
Well now, beloved, suppose Her Late Majesty had taken such a line, at any one of a number of turning points in her life. Where would she be now, and where would we be now? Certainly, if she had exhibited that attitude after the late King's death, she would now be only distantly remembered, half her life would have been wasted. And we would have been robbed, not only of an example, but of a force for what is uplifting and worthy and ennobling in public life, the very thing politicians scrambling to the top of the greasy pole can hardly ever manage, and something which usually eludes those retreaded personages appointed for short terms to vice-regal positions, who so commonly forget whose viceroys they are, and the source of the authority with which they are invested. [ St. John 19:11]
In the world in which the late King served and died, there was much call for courage and sacrifice and hard work. And there was much waiting upon the Lord; and, it needs to be said, much impatience with those who interpreted that as an invitation to inactivity. But in that world, the world of my grandparents, of my parents 'early adulthood and of my childhood, there was another very powerful current. There was a striving for improvement, but not just economic improvement, though that was certainly and very desperately needed. There was a conscious striving to improve the minds, the manners and dress, the speech and general education of each succeeding generation. There was respect for, and a desire for, nobility of character. Doubtless, there were as many personal moral lapses as now, and ever. But no one praised the dropping of standards; no one praised physical, intellectual or moral slovenliness and laziness; no one derided courage, and dedication to duty; no one derided or made light of the example set by our saintly Sovereign and his Queen Consort, even if in some circles their domestic happiness was regarded as unusual for people in their position, and slightly amusing.
Beloved, one of the chiefest purposes of monarchy is to provide, externally to ourselves, our families and our working lives, a force for moral uplift and for standards. That there needs to be a source for nobility, for betterment, for manners; that there needs to be examples of courage, dedication, and perseverance, is something our world cannot for the moment comprehend or forgive . "I ", the great "I ", am the centre of my universe. There cannot be anything good; there cannot be anything better; there cannot be anything to respect or revere; there cannot be anything holy, outside me, myself, and my self-constructed spirituality. That this is destructive of joy and natural gaiety, we may faintly glimpse. But it is the orthodoxy of the day. It is the foundational belief of the commentators we have had to suffer in these past days. They cannot see either the need for the example set by Her Late Majesty, or the basis for it. They marvel at her courage and steadfastness and strength; and they marvel that these could exist alongside joy and gaiety. They cannot see that they are all of a piece, and that they all came from waiting upon the Lord.
May we carry with us to our graves, which the appointed lesson assures us will fail entirely in victory over us, the living example of Her Late Majesty . And may we, too, wait upon the Risen Lord in joy and holy busyness, with courage and strength, joy and gaiety in the several places and stations to which it has pleased Almighty God to call us. Amen
*Lamentations 3: 22-26, 31-33; Psalm 27; 1 Corinthians 15: 20end; 2 Corinthians 4: 16-5: 4; St. John 6: 35-40 Fr. Graham Eglington is the Chancellor of The Anglican Catholic Church of Canada and Rector of St. Mark's, Toronto. ©
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At General Confession
Introduction. The author is a member of the Prayer Book Society (England) who has been subjected to various modern liturgical experiments. This poem is a comment on one of the attempts to dumb down the faith, on the presumption that worship must be "user friendly. ' As usual it fails, and leaves nothing but frustration. The author is referring to the General Confession in the new Prayer Book.
The little lie that lets me out;
A whispered protest – no wild shout
Of moral outrage; no omissions
Worthy of note, and no commissions
That, kneeling here, I can recall.
' In a moment of silence' -imposed on all
I hardly know what I've done wrong:
Nothing that you would make a song
And dance about. Well, surely God
Would find my sins not worth His rod;
My little lapses of resolution
Can hardly merit Absolution.
And yet I know I something lack
For which I ought to bare my back
Endure the lashes of His ire
To escape the torments of the Fire.
A human father, I can see
How disappointed God must be
When children made with gifts for glory
Content themselves with the old, old story:
'We've kept ourselves secure and warm
And done nobody any harm. '
I know that if a child of mine
Should fail to use his gifts divine
I 'd think that failing even worse
Than positive evil -more perverse:
A singer, or a speaker, dumb,
Neglecting what he could become.
And so what I would most confess
Is something more and something less
Than misdemeanors. It's the sham
Not what I do but what I am:
No wolf, destructive, dark and deep,
But an errant and complacent sheep.
And now frustrated here I kneel
Forbidden what I ought to feel,
Deprived of words of real wealth:
'Father, in us there is no health. "
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The Big Fish Story
Fr Frederick Bentley
W hen I was growing up along the river, I heard many wonderful and great fish stories. The one where the man near the Rock Island light house had reached into the water to pull out a small fish and a large muskellunge took his fingers off. Somebody was diving down really deep when suddenly a fish swam by bigger than the man (this was in fresh water) . How about the one that got away or how many big whoppers were jumping. Once I had my own story to share. I was fishing with my Dad and Uncle when a large fish was near my line and I yelled to them about it. They said calmly, "That's great Fred, now see if there are any more. "As they ignored the possibility that I was due to get the biggest strike of the day or perhaps the summer, the fish hit. It was big all right and I yelled out, "I got him! "Dad replied, "Ok just reel him in, (without looking) . Soon the fish came to the surface and my Uncle John caught it with the corner of his eye. " I think he's got something, Alex! "Finally when the fish came to my Dad's area of the boat, he also saw it. It looked big in the water and a type of fish they had never seen before. We finally got the fish alongside the boat with the aid of my Dad's coaching. It was a prize all right, but no one knew what it was. When we came ashore in the Saint Lawrence skiff, we made it right to Mr. Green and Mr. Fisher's cottage. The both announced they had seen such a fish only rarely, for it was a sturgeon!
Fish stories like this became true to the eye witnesses or to those who saw the fish paraded around the community. Yet what about the stories that had no more witnesses than a few? The biggest fish story is reserved for the biblical Jonah and the whale, which becomes a lesson with many expressions of a meaning beyond just a big fish tale. Nevertheless, we will discuss that at another opportunity. The fish story I want to discuss is from the Gospel according to St. John.
The Apostles, perhaps discouraged, returned to Cana from some trying times in "The City of David. "Everything was at a loss, even the townspeople were discouraged at their news. Then out of the clear blue sky Peter says, "I go fishing, "as if to say "I am going fishing to keep my mind off things. "What a splendid idea, let's do something that will produce results since we cannot control other events. Can you imagine Peter, while the other Apostles were so serious saying, "lets go fishing? "
Our first reaction might be, "you've got to be kidding after what just happened. "In this hurtful situation Peter wants to go fishing? Still, if Peter had not been among them they would not have a fish story to tell. They were having their own 'lonely hearts club ' that day in Cana. Perhaps Peter might have said to himself, "what a drag, let's do something, anything, but stand around feeling miserable. Let's go fishing. " So the seven disciples get in the boat and at 300 feet from shore they fish. But why is this? -they cannot even fish anymore, nothing caught, how depressing an experience after what they had just been through.
Suddenly on the nearby shore a man calls out, "Hey fellas, any fish yet? " A typical question that many ask one another as they approach someone fishing. "No fish! " they replied. "Try the other side of the boat, " the stranger suggests. Well, this is a lot harder than it sounds. The hemp rope the net consists of perhaps, is wet and heavy. Nevertheless, they cast the net to the other side and drag the net, (pull it in toward the boat) . Now as they pull the net in, it gets extremely heavy with the load of fish. However, Peter, instead of helping, is preoccupied with whom the man is on the shore that gave this advice. Now Peter in his usual, "Run before you get your brain in gear "fashion says, "It's the Lord ! " He runs to put his tunic on and immediately jumps out of the boat forgetting he is some distance from shore.
Some of us are like Peter, ready to run at a moments notice, maybe forgetting our responsibilities. Sometimes we are like the other Apostles, pulling together as a team doing the work that must be done. Something may be said for both attributes: knowing and having a joy to be immediately with the Lord (and want that joy for others) ; being patient and trying to accomplish whatever is at hand. The latter can be just getting up and facing whatever the new day brings or accepting what the day may lack . There are times like Peter when we must get out on our own.
However, the religion of many is like Peter's action. It is hectic, emotional, a thing largely of feeling. When looking at it from another's vantage point it seems impressive and makes others ' Christianity look formal and cold. The problem is, it is usually not one which at first that makes others want to emulate it, sometime it pushes people away. I wonder what Jesus thinks about the stereotype of Peter. I cannot help thinking of him with a slight chuckle as he observes his external actions (clumsiness) . Thank the Lord because He reads the genuineness of ones heart and not how they appear on the outside.
Like Peter may we become willing to welcome Christ with open arms. May we be caught among the "Fisher Folk " who fish the sea of humanity to bring others to sup with the Lord. The serious fisherman knows that perseverance is essential.
" Perseverance " by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
We must not hope to be movers,
and to gather the ripe gold ears,
unless we have first been sowers
and watered the furrows with tears.
It is not just as we take it,
this mystical world of ours,
Life's field will yield as we make it
A harvest of thorns or of flowers. .
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The Magic of Music
Bishop Robert Mercer CR
We are all too aware of the temptations and sins associated with pleasures. But we ought to remember that few things are evil in and of themselves. As C. S. Lewis reminds us, it is God Who invented all the pleasures -for our enjoyment. Pleasure on earth is part of our preparation for heaven. Bishop Walter Frere CR wrote, "Christians should grow in appreciation of art and nature, regarding that too as their training for heaven.
We thank God for good homes and loving parents, for education, for the beauties of nature. We might even thank Him for booze, chocolate, hot baths, snug beds, central heating and sex. But do we ever thank Him for the pleasures of the mind? We don't all have the same intellectual pursuits, but think what a variety there is! Jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, chess, bridge, puns, reading whodunnits, writing rhymes, drawing cartoons, video games, monopoly, cluedo. And there's music. What joy and healing that brings to many lives!
But is music a pleasure to the senses or a pleasure to the mind? I once knew a priest whose first university degree was in mathematics combined with music. He could of course read music, sing well and play several instruments. There's no doubt that for him music was almost exclusively intellectual. After Bach music went to the dogs. What mattered was an understanding of how the notes were arranged in systems and patterns, rather like the figures in an accountant's ledger. But for many of us what matters is sensual satisfaction. We feel happy, elated, calm, amused. We like the sounds we hear with our ears and the effect those sounds have on our emotions. At any rate, thank God for music!
Once in England I was conducting a retreat. I had unsuccessfully tried to talk about the transcendence of God; how beyond all our understanding and imagining He is; how He manages in complete perfection without any input from us; how He just is, on a plane and scale and in a style beyond our grasp. "Thou O God art what Thou art, transcending all. What can any man say of Thee, Thou holy dear Delight. Lips be lovely dumb. Let all mortal flesh keep silent. Wherefore O man talk not so exceeding proud. Let not arrogancy proceed out of thy mouth. "
A retreatant came to explain to me one human experience of transcendence. "When we listen to music we are taken up and out of and beyond ourselves into a reality which is real enough, but which can not be put into words. Experiencing God can be like listening to good music. That is why music often moves people to tears and laughter or peace. That is why music can heal the depressed or mentally crippled. "Now there's a thought C. S. Lewis reminded us that in heaven there is both silence and music. Next time a trumpet sends shivers up and down my spine, or a Beethoven piano trio makes me laugh, or a Brahms symphony has me all overcome by I don't know what, I must remember, "Ascetics, training, preparation for hereafter. "
As a young ordinand, the great Archbishop William Temple had great difficulty in believing in the virgin birth of Jesus and in His physical resurrection. Music converted him. One evening at a piano recital, 'I now know the truth of those doctrines. "
Ought poor Bishop Spong to listen to more music? His Majesty King George V claimed to be tone deaf, "I can not distinguish between God Save the King and Pop Goes the Weasel. The Queen must tell me if the national anthem is being played. "But at least he knew what he didn't like. At a garden party the band played a tune from Richard Strauss ' Electra He sent a message to the bandmaster, "His Majesty's compliments. He has no idea what you are playing, but on no account must it be played again. Young King Edward VIII was no better. He said of his cousin the Earl of Harewood, great patron of the opera, "It's odd that he should be musical. His parents were quit normal."
+Robert Mercer CR
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A Dog's Guide to Good Living
1. Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride
2. Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
3 When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
4. Let others know when they have invaded your territory.
5. Take naps, and always stretch before rising.
6 Run, romp and play daily.
7 Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
8 Be loyal!
9 Never pretend to be something you 're not!
10 If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it!
11 When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
12 Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
13 Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
14 Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
15 On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
16 When you are happy, dance around and wag your entire body
17 No matter how often you are criticized, don't buy into the guilt thing and pout. Run back and make friends.
18. Humans -please copy!
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The Christian Haters
The following article was written over two years ago but is not out of date. It was prophetic. The scandal of homosexual priest molestations has added fuel to the fire, and apostasy in high places has further intensified it. (Editor)
The Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago -representing dozens of denominations --has formally told the 15-million-member Southern Baptist Convention to stay home, and not to bring the 100,000 Baptists to Chicago next summer, out of fear that the Baptists 'presence will lead to the commission of "hate crimes."
What are we to make of this?
First, let's be crystal clear: "Hate crimes "are designed from the get-go to penalize nothing more nor less than a person's thoughts and beliefs. After all, the "crime "part of "hate crimes "--like murder, assault, battery --are already illegal. It's the "hate "part of "hate crimes "that demands increased penalties because of the beliefs and feelings of the perpetrator.
Aside from the insane notion that "ordinary "crimes --such as the brutal rape and murder of little girls that occur daily -don't qualify as "hate crimes, "the fact is, the whole idea of "hate crimes "legislation has its roots in the long-term plans of activist homosexual organizations to coerce the rest of the world into accepting and embracing the homosexual life-style.
But the real target of this movement is the non-crime "hate crime. " That's what "hate crime "laws, and the political movement that spawned them, are really after --the "crime " of making people feel bad, , of "intimidation, " of criticizing others. .
Standing inside your own church and saying, "The Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin, " is now considered a hate crime by some. .
Chicago's Methodist Bishop C. Joseph Sprague told WorldNetDailv that preaching against homosexuality "certainly can "be considered a hate crime. "It creates a climate in which hate can fester, "said the good Bishop.
There is a big problem here.
Evangelical Christians --and more Americans claim this label than any other --are called "evangelical "because their religious worldview impresses on them the need to "evangelize. " Christians believe that mankind is "born in sin, "that is, of the lineage of Adam and Eve, and that mankind has need of something called salvation.
Christians also believe the Holy Bible is the inspired Word of God and that salvation comes through a process of repentance, or regret and turning away from one's former sins, and consciously giving one's life over to God --a mystical act made possible by the substitutionary death of Jesus 2, 000 years ago.
Now, here's the part causing all these problems. Christians believe that the Scriptures as laid down by the Hebrew patriarchs and recorded in the Old Testament --and as reiterated largely intact in the New Testament --constitute the objective and immutable standard by which morality, sexual or otherwise, should be measured. And they believe that sex, other than monogamous, heterosexual sex within the confines of holy matrimony, is immoral and sinful.
If you remove that --all that stuff in the last paragraph --from Christianity, you destroy the religion. For Christians, you are literally perverting God's law.
However, let's now take this beyond the comfortable pluralistic realm of "what Christians believe. " I just know some of you will hate reading this.
Historically, when the cultural condemnation --not hatred --of homosexual behavior has eroded to the point that homosexuality has been accepted and widely practiced as though it were normal, that culture has either fizzled out, or changed dramatically for the worse.
In fact, what we call the Judeo-Christian tradition and its values have guided Western Civilization for thousands of years. It is only in this, the last half of the 20th century, that the social experimenters have seen fit to throw into the rubbish heap the values proven in the laboratory of thousands of years of history, in favor of a set of wildly unproven ethics, including "sexual freedom, "homosexual marriage and adoption rights, and a multitude of attacks on the traditional family.
So now let's come back to the religion --actually religions, Judaism and Christianity --that have provided the beacon for this present American civilization, with all the freedoms and abundance that we enjoy and take so miserably for granted today.
This religion is about to be silenced, if the haters of traditional morality have their way.
Think about this.
It is a psychological fact that if you criticize a person for something he's done wrong, but that person is not willing to face his offence, then he will find fault with you, the messenger. Our president has perfected this "attack the messenger " technique. . (i. e. Clinton) The most important reason for freedom of speech in America has always been to preserve the right to speak the truth. True, we hear more about First Amendment rights when malcontents want to burn or trample or urinate on the flag or make some other over-the-edge "statement. " But the real reason for the First Amendment is to preserve the right to speak the truth --for instance, to criticize the government, hold it accountable.
You might say, well, I thought it was to protect the most unpopular voices in our society. Exactly, and what is more unpopular than the truth? After all, if you 're standing in an airport and are approached by a shaven headed Hare Krishna devotee in saffron robes, trying to convert you to his religion, would you feel offended? No.
But if the message was, "Your self-destructive behavior is killing you. Please let me show you a better way, " would you be offended? Some people hate this type of message with a hatred beyond hatred, simply because it is the truth.
There are many cases now of a pro-life "sidewalk counselor "standing outside an abortion clinic, speaking in a soft, respectful tone to a woman entering, who had intended to end the little life within her womb. Some have been penetrated by these words and changed course --if not, profilers wouldn't be doing it day in and day out.
But other times, the object of the "sidewalk counseling "becomes enraged at the words, "Please don't kill your unborn child. "She later swears that the sidewalk counselor was abusive, threatening, intimidating, screaming, perhaps even violent. It's a lie. But the psychic shock of her having confronted, albeit involuntarily, the truth she had been running away from, felt to her like an act of great cruelty. After all, she felt awful after encountering the sidewalk counselor, so therefore the sidewalk counselor must have done something really bad.
No. All that happened is that the conscience she had worked so hard to avoid, discredit and ignore, popped out and talked to her from within another person.
This is the reason for persecution.
If the recipient of the message, like the angry abortion clinic customer, is not open to hearing the truth, that person will want to do the same thing to you that they have tried for so long to do to their own conscience --annihilate it.
We are coming very close to stamping the light out of this world.
And you know what? It matters not that a large number of Christians are imperfect, some are exasperatingly prideful and confusing, and a few are double agents. It doesn't matter that many parroted things they don't really understand, and far too many, in fact, drive good people crazy with their hypocrisy. That's another subject.
But the core message, and this is the part those who want to silence Christians really hate --and I do mean hate --is not their imperfections. It's the truth of the message that they 're at war with.
The day America officially and fully implements the radical homosexual agenda --meaning that children are "proselytized "--that's the word -from elementary school onward that homosexuality is not only legal, but perfectly normal, and all of our laws and institutions reflect that transformation, that day will signal the death of America as a Judeo-Christian nation.
What can you do? I don't know. Do what God has asked you to do: Repent of your sins, don't be a hypocrite, appreciate His love for you, especially in the manifestation of the sacrifice and suffering of his Son, rejoice in His resurrection and boldly speak the truth to those who will hear.
And if they won't hear you, leave that city, and shake the dust off your shoes.
Comment. In Canada's public schools the curriculum is heavy on sex 'education ', homosexual indoctrination, and condom use. The Anglican bishop of new Westminster (Vancouver area) has promoted homosexual "marriage "and has secured a majority vote from Synod to prepare for this rejection of Biblical truth and standard. It is highly unlikely that his diocese will suffer at the hands of the Christian haters!
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A Reader Comments
I wonder whether you will permit a short response to two absorbing articles in an edition A as full as ever of instructive and edifying material (15 March, 02) .
Fr. Roy Bowler, in his reconciliation of Genesis and evolution, briefly mentions "a number of fossils which seem to be on evolutionary side-lines but which came to nothing ". I wonder how he would account for these theologically, as they might seem to suggest either something truly random or 'God doodling '-or perhaps, indeed, a salutary lesson for mankind. None of these seems quite satisfactory, and it would be interesting to read more from Fr. Bowler on this point.
Then Fr. Dennis Dickson, in his immensely difficult undertaking to effect another sort of reconciliation -between theology and science comes right down to the perfectly proper suggestion that there must be an intimate connection between Christian theo ology and a true science of economics. It puzzles me, however, just a little that in his Endnotes I find no mention of C. H. Douglas, whose various writings appear to me to do just what is required, namely to examine the science in combination with the theological question, What is the true end of man? For my own part I consider that no one can consider his reading in the literature complete without an acquaintance with this seminal writer and practical thinker.
I dare say I shall seem to have seized upon two small matters, but it is sometimes thus that progress is made.
Mr. Hopkins hails from Wales and is a member of the Traditional Anglican Communion. He is a noted poet and artist whose works have graced various publications. I have also read some of his theological writings. His point is well made.
Sadly, especially in Canada, C. H. Douglas is known only as the founder of a 'funny-money ' scheme-Social Credit -which was 'tried in Alberta and failed '. Well, it isn't and it wasn't! ALL political parties which used that label had not the faintest idea of Douglas's philosophy! The last thing he wanted was a political party misusing his ideas. Douglas was the recipient of a steadily antagonistic, and twisted press, which did not care for a philosophy which would not only limit government power, but make government automatically responsive to society.
His seminal writings deal with the Christian understanding of the relation between the individual and the State -which of course involves economics. His books are not easy to find, so for those who care to follow Mr. Hopkins ' suggestion I would suggest you try your library for "Economic Democracy ".
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In England Now
Fr Francis Gardom
Let me introduce you to my friend Mabel. "Mabel " isn't her real name but my reason for calling her Mabel will become clear presently. Mabel's not a very happy person. Not miserable, mark you, but just not very happy. Somehow there always seems to be something in her life, especially the people in her life, that "isn't quite right ". She's a gifted person. She has a deeply incisive mind and can sniff out other people's insincerities even before they are aware of them themselves. She's also not afraid of speaking her mind; so people think twice and twice again before trying to pull the wool over Mabel's eyes. And that's where Mabel's troubles begin, if you ask me. I 'm never quite "at ease "in her company because I sense that Mabel is "sizing me up and finding me wanting ": falling short, as I do in many ways, of what she thinks I ought to be. Mabel seldom voices her criticisms to the person she's criticising, but usually to someone else. And that makes for another problem. When people hear Mabel sounding off about someone's shortcomings they 're bound to ask themselves the question: "If Mabel says that sort of thing to me about Herbert or Tina or Jack, what does she say to them about me behind my back? "
One other curious fact about Mabel and then my sketch of her is complete. People don't often criticise Mabel herself. For one thing, there's not a lot to criticise: Mabel is a serious, conscientious, virtuous person. But there's another reason. Any suggestion that Mabel has been at fault over something, however trivial, and she always seems to have a string of very plausible excuses ready to hand. It's as if she carries those excuses round in her pocket like a handkerchief. Something you hope you won't have to use too often, but it's there "just in case "
Now it's time to reveal what Mabel really is.
In fact Mabel's not a person at all, but a feature of today's world, and of every one of us. If you rearrange the letters of Mabel's name it spells the word B-L-A-M-E or "blame ". We live in a "PC "(=Politically Correct) culture. Everything that is said or written is liable to be examined with a nit-picking fine-tooth comb to see if it could possibly be "offensive "to anybody. Often, it must be said, this examination is carried out by someone other than the potentially offended party, and regardless of whether such offence was intended or taken. The threat which PC presents to Truth (the Christian currency) by devaluing it, merits an article of its own Pee Cee has a sibling called Bee Cee . This article is about Bee Cee's activities, which are even more insidious than his brother's. "BC "stands for "Blame Culture".
Blame Culture flourishes today, thanks to the joint efforts of the political and legal professions. Both stand to gain much from the ferment which such a culture induces. With this end in mind they have conditioned you and me to believe that "When Something Goes Wrong, Somebody Must Be to Blame " . This assumption of blameworthiness has resulted in a highly-developed, widespread and well-exercised skill in blaming others. To protect ourselves, like Mabel, we have acquired a finely tuned facility for making excuses should anyone try to blame us for our faults. Hence blame and excuses have become habitual -they have insinuated themselves so successfully into our nature that we not only practise them without thinking but after a while don't even realise that we are doing them at all.
As in war, the first casualty of Blame Culture is Truth itself. BC fits like a glove over the gilded hand of the popular misconception that "all Truth is relative " -that what was true yesterday may not be true today or tomorrow, and what is true for you may not be true for me. BC encourages people to become skilled at pinning as much blame as possible on others, whilst fine-honing their ability to invent excuses for themselves. We've all become, without intending to, a society of Mabels.
But, for Christian Mabels like you and me, our faith should give us two distinct advantages over the secular Mabel. One is that we know our faith, and its virtues, depend upon revealed truth -something which essentially doesn't change with the times, unlike those secular "values " whose attraction often consists in their very novelty. Secondly we know the centrality of forgiveness in the Christian life. So we should expect our faults to be gently pointed out to us by our fellow-Christians, and, so far from bringing on a fit of excuse-sneezing, their criticism of our faults should lead us to a sense of remorse, shame and finally penitence which leads to forgiveness and the grace to overcome those faults, not least our BC. That's where we part company with the secular Mabels of this world. Lacking the means of grace, the hope of glory and the sense of sin which such grace bestows, they live in a world which majors on Blame: and Blame is now measured by precisely how much it's worth -not simply to the person who has been wronged, but, more significantly, to those legal practitioners who make their living by persuading judges and juries to believe that injuries and injustices have been sustained, and the size of whose livelihood depends on how successfully they portray the magnitude of the injury and the culpability of its agent.
Where did Blame Culture come from? The popular answer is the United States -but that's only because the most recent outbreak of this particular epidemic started there. The truth of it is that Blame Culture has been around for a very long time and originated "in the heavenlies " soon after Creation.
Legend suggests that BC began when Lucifer, the "Light-Bearer ", turned from being an angel into Satan, the Accuser, and thence the Devil and "Father of Lies ". He was called "The Accuser "because he got such a kick out of accusing men before God that in the end he just wanted them to be as bad as possible, and started tempting them to disobey God just so that he could have something of which to accuse them. It's an acquired taste, no doubt, but some Mabels are in danger of becoming like him too.
Blaming others becomes a habit . Do you remember what your mother said about your bad habits? "Gertrude, if you go on doing that you 'll find you can't stop doing it! "? Well, mother had a point there, and Gertrude did give up that habit before it became an integral part of her nature. But in Satan's case he wouldn't give it up. He simply went on accusing and turned into the evil creature that he has become: The Habitual Accuser par excellence .
Now it might appear that there's a simple answer to the problem of Blame, namely "Don't blame anyone ". But life's problems are seldom simple and Blame is no exception. Like other vices, blame is not evil in itself, but rather the corruption of a virtue, a virtue which we can, and should be encouraging to grow in ourselves and in others. That virtue is called Truth, and its branches have names like sincerity, honesty, openness and straightforwardness which necessarily includes charitable criticism of each other within the Body of Christ.
In March's Rock I outlined the importance of seeing the Church as the Body of Christ. That Church, that Body of which you and I are privileged to be members (or limbs, or cells) should be the very place where each of us can speak plainly to one another, in charity, in confidence, about faults, sins and shortcomings, our faults, no less than theirs. "Speaking the truth in love "is as much a Christian activity as sharing our insights about the Faith which we believe.
It's all very well to talk about "forgiveness "once both sides involved recognize what and who needs forgiving. The first step in forgiveness is for everyone involved, sinned-against as well as sinning, to accept that there is a fault to be forgiven, and having accepted it to understand its nature and magnitude. That's precisely what every Mabel, with her pocketful of paper-tissue excuses makes so difficult. The moment she sniffs a criticism of herself in the air, Mabel starts to sneeze out a cloud of excuses. If, like Mabel, we react to criticism by indignantly sneezing it away, we 're never going to recognize, let alone overcome, the less attractive truths about ourselves; worse still, our friends will stop trying to point out our faults to us, like they have with Mabel's -understandably they don't like being in the direct line of fire from someone who won't stop sneezing at well-meant and probably equally well-deserved criticisms! So how do we get our criticisms of one another across without, so to speak, bringing on a convulsive sneezing fit of excuses in the very person we 're trying to help? The first step is to understand that we, no less than the person we 're criticising, have "sinned and come short of the glory of God ". We must come to see ourselves as addressing our brother's shortcomings not like Satan does, from "up there ", a position of lofty moral superiority, but from "right down here "as a fellow-sinner. So before we even open our mouth to say one word of accusation or rebuke against one of God's fellow-servants we should preface it with the prayer of the publican who said, "God be merciful to me, a sinner " Second, we must accept that, being human, we can only have the sketchiest idea of how difficult life has been, and is being, for the person whose shortcomings we are criticising, and how far those difficulties have contributed to their having become what they are. For this we need to learn to tell the difference between an explanation and an excuse -something else about which the secular world has managed to get itself hopelessly confused.
The difference, in a nutshell is this: a genuine excuse exonerates from any blame. Blame is ruled out of court: it's not relevant . For example, if something is said which sounds offensive to our ears, but which was, in fact, never intended to be so, then blame should be attached, if anywhere, to ourselves for being over-sensitive.
By contrast, an explanation accepts the wrongness of what has been done or said, but helps the injured party to understand better why someone committed it. "I lost my temper because I was tired "; "I ran away because I was afraid "; "I stole the bread because my family was starving ". Wrath, cowardice and theft are all wrongdoings, whatever the explanation for them; but such explanations enable us to deal more justly with those who have committed them.
Secular man confuses excuses with explanations. His attitude to every wrongdoer is, "Yes, you've done wrong, but there's no doubt something traumatic in your past life which made you do it: maybe it was your parents; maybe it was poverty; maybe it was bad schooling. Whatever it was I 'm not going to say anything about it but just cheerfully ignore your shortcoming " . That's like going to the doctor with a lump and the doctor glancing at it and saying "Hmm, it looks pretty bad to me, and I 'm sure there's a reason why it's there; but let's forget all about it, shall we? " In the short term, that might be just what the patient would like to hear: no surgery, no pain, do nothing about it. In the long run that answer would be death, not life.
So yes, we are all sinners; and no, we don't know the whole story behind each other's shortcomings and moral cancer -for that's what we 're talking about -something even more deadly than bodily cancer because it destroys not only the body but the soul as well. Habitually failing to deal with the moral cancers of others becomes a moral cancer in ourselves .
There is a third and very important reason why we should be concerned about other people's moral cancers. Because we approach our erring brother or sister as a fellow sinner we may discover what "lies behind " their particular moral tumor; and we may further realise that their cancer is the one from which we once used to suffer ourselves, but by the grace of God have been enabled to overcome. So we may be more helpful to that person than someone who had never experienced or understood that particular temptation or fault.
It's like what happens when a teacher tries to overcome a particular "mental block "in one of his pupils. Many teachers despair of getting across some elementary rule of grammar, mathematics or science to a particular child who is intelligent but has a complete "blind spot "which the teacher simply cannot understand because they've never experienced it themselves. They just can't "see what the problem is. "But if that teacher asks another child in the class, who used to have the same mental block but has overcome it, to help the child with the blockage, the second child may succeed where the teacher has failed. For the "unblocked " child can understand the "blocked "child's difficulty, having experienced it themselves, in a way that the teacher (who has never experienced it) can never do.
Of course once the blockage has been removed, the teacher and children will revert to their proper role. The temporary "elevation "of the second child into the role of "teacher "will have succeeded where all else has failed. By wisely stepping aside to allow the child who has learnt to overcome the difficulty to teach another child to overcome the same difficulty, the teacher has succeeded where previously he failed.
Meeting Mabel will, I hope, have highlighted three good working practices: First, Blame is not so much a bad thing, but the wrong way to go about helping each other towards over coming our short comings. The appropriate level of blame for other people's shortcomings, once excuses and explanations have been taken into account, is probably far less than we first supposed it to be. If we rely on our first impressions we shall only induce a fit of excuse-sneezing.
Second, keeping silence about, or turning a blind eye to, other people's moral and spiritual cancers is not the charitable act we might like to suppose. It's more like that doctor described earlier who allows a potentially life-threatening lump to go untreated because he doesn't want to distress the patient by telling him the truth.
Third, God has arranged that the process of saving mankind from self-destruction should utilise those very weaknesses of which we were once most ashamed, but which by God's grace we have overcome.
Because we have experienced those shortcomings, it enables us to be particularly helpful to our fellow Christians who are wrestling with the same ones.
God is the great healer. God is the great forgiver. Let's be in no doubt about that. But in his wisdom he wants to involve every one of us in some way in each other's healing and forgiveness. As Blaise Pascal said "God pays us the enormous compliment of inviting us to be agents in his creation ".
" Bear one another's burdens ", said St Paul, "and so fulfil the law of Christ "
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The Roman Catholic Agony
The National Review
Editor's introduction. I was reluctant to deal with this sad business but decided at the last moment to bite the bullet. My reason was mainly because the "Media "are having such a field day in bashing not only the Roman Catholic Church, but deliberately distorting the real problem. Fortunately, this excellent article by Rod Dreher in "National Review "tackles the real roots of the 'disease ' .
The first thing to understand about the Catholic Church's pedophilia scandal is that it is not technically a pedophilia scandal. Despite the gruesome example of defrocked Boston priest John Geoghan, whose case started the current tidal wave of revelations, the overwhelming majority of priests who have molested minors are not pedophiles; that is, like Geoghan, among the rare adults sexually attracted to prepubescent children. They are, rather, "ephebophiles "adults who are sexually attracted to post-pubescent youths, generally aged 12 to 17. And their victims have been almost exclusively boys.
Stephen Rubino, a New Jersey lawyer, says that of the over 300 alleged victims of priest sex abuse he has represented, roughly 85 percent are boys, and were teenagers when the abuse occurred. Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, an eminent Catholic psychiatrist who has treated scores of victims and priest-perpetrators, says 90 percent of his patients were either teen male victims of priests, or priests who abused teen boys.
I think we have to ask the question. Why are 90 percent to 95 percent and some estimates say as high as 98 percent of the victims of clergy abuse teenage boys? . . . We need to ask that question and I think there is a certain reluctance to raise that issue, said the Rev. Donald B. Cozzens, author of "The Changing Face of the Priesthood, " on a recent "Meet the Press. "
The reluctance arises, no doubt, partly out of a fear of antagonizing homosexual anti-defamation groups, who resent the stereotype of male homosexuals as pederasts. It's much safer to focus inquiry on the question of mandatory celibacy, or the issue of ordaining women. Yet it defies common sense to imagine that an ordinary man, having made a vow not to marry, is therefore going to be sexually attracted to boys. Indeed, suppose the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s had admitted married men to the ranks of the Catholic priesthood. Would a single adolescent boy molested over the past 40 years have escaped his fate? Similarly, if women had been ordained, would that somehow have made sexually predatory homosexual priests disappear?
No, this is chiefly a scandal about unchaste or criminal homosexuals in the Catholic priesthood, and about far too many in Church leadership disinclined to deal with the problem -or, worse, who may in some cases be actively involved in the misconduct. For Catholics, to start asking questions about homosexuality in the priesthood is to risk finding out more than many Church members prefer to know! For journalists, to confront the issue is to risk touching the electrified third rail of American popular culture: the dark side of homosexuality. Yet when we learn that the greatest crisis the Catholic Church in America has ever faced has been brought upon it almost wholly by male clerics seducing boys, attention must be paid to the man behind the curtain. It is true that a great many gay people are sickened and appalled by what these wicked priests have done to boys, and some with a public voice, like journalist Andrew Sullivan, have vigorously denounced it. At the same time, Sullivan has strongly supported the ministry of gay priests. How many gay priests are there? No one can say with certainty; the American bishops have never formally studied the issue, and, for obvious reasons, it is all but impossible to determine an accurate number. Richard Sipe, a laicized priest and psychotherapist who has studied the phenomenon of priests and sex abuse for most of his 40-year career, believes 20 percent of Catholic priests are homosexual, and that half of those are sexually active. In his book, Fr. Cozzens cites various studies putting the total much higher, but these surveys typically suffer from methodological problems that skew the numbers upward.
But those who lowball the numbers could equally be accused of wanting to downplay the problem. The Rev. C. John McCloskey, a member of the conservative Opus Dei organization, claimed recently that the number of gay priests is "two percent to four percent at a maximum, " or equivalent to the estimated number of homosexuals in the general population; if that were true, however, it would be hard to explain why, according to experts, Catholic priests are dying of AIDS at a higher rate than males in the general population.
THE LAVENDER MAFIA
The raw numbers are less important, though, if homosexual priests occupy positions of influence in the vast Catholic bureaucracy; and there seems little doubt that this is the case in the American Church. Lest this be dismissed as right-wing paranoia, it bears noting that psychotherapist Sipe is no conservative -indeed, he is disliked by many on the Catholic Right for his vigorous dissent from Church teaching on sexual morality -yet he is convinced that the sexual abuse of minors is facilitated by a secret, powerful network of gay priests. Sipe has a great deal of clinical and research experience in this field; he has reviewed thousands of case histories of sexually active priests and abuse victims. He is convinced of the existence of what the Rev. Andrew Greeley, the left-wing clerical gadfly, has called a "lavender Mafia. "
"This is a System. This is a whole community. You have many good people covering it up " Sipe says. "There is a network of power. A lot of seminary rectors and teachers are part of it, and they move to chancery office positions, and on to bishoprics. It's part of the ladder of success. It breaks your heart to see the people who suffer because of this. "
In his new book, "Goodbye! Good Men ", Michael S. Rose documents in shocking detail how pervasive militant homosexuality is in many seminaries, how much gay sex is taking place among seminarians and priest-professors, and how gay power cliques exclude and punish heterosexuals who oppose them. "It's not just a few guys in a few seminaries that have an ax to grind. It is a pattern, " says Rose. "The protective network [of homosexual priests ] begins in the seminaries. . "
The stories related in Rose's book will strike many as incredible, but they track closely with the stories that priests have told me about open gay sex and gay politicking in seminaries. The current scandal is opening Catholic eyes: As one ex-seminarian says, "People thought I was crazy when I told them what it was like there, so I finally quit talking about it. They 're starting to see now that I wasn't. "
"Goodbye! Good Men " links homosexuality among priests with theological dissent, a connection commonly made by conservative Catholics who wonder why their parish priests have practically abandoned teaching and explaining Catholic sexual morality. But one veteran vocations-team member for a conservative diocese cautions that Catholics should not assume that theological orthodoxy guarantees heterosexuality or chastity. "You find [active homosexuality ]among some pretty conservative orders, and in places you 'd not expect it, "he says. "That s what makes this so depressing. You don t know where to turn".
An especially nasty aspect of this phenomenon is the vulnerability of sexually active gay priests and bishops to manipulation via blackmail. Priests, psychiatrists, and other informed parties say they encounter this constantly. "It s the secrecy, " says Stephen Rubino. "If you 're a bishop and you 're having a relationship, and people know about it, are you compromised on dealing with sexually abusive priests? You bet you are. I've seen it happen. "
Longtime observers predict that in the coming weeks, bishops and priests will be forced to resign under fire after their closeted homosexual lives, including sexual abuse, become public. The disgraced pederast former bishop of Palm Beach, Fla. , is probably not alone. If this happens, the Vatican will face mounting pressure from the Catholic rank-and-file to take action. As Fr. Greeley has written, "The laity, I suspect, would say it is one thing to accept a homosexual priest and quite another to accept a substantially homosexual clergy, many of whom are blatantly part of the gay subculture. "
Rome has explicitly discouraged the ordination of homosexuals since at least 1961. For the past decade, the Vatican has been ratcheting up the pressure against gay ordination -to little avail in most U. S. dioceses. Last year, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, a top Vatican official, said gays should not be admitted to seminaries, a line that was reinforced in early March by the Pope's spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls. Recent reports indicate that the Vatican may soon release another document to restate and clarify this policy.
Today, those who defend allowing homosexuals into the priesthood point to the Church's official teaching, which distinguishes between homosexual orientation (which the Church does not consider sinful) and homosexual acts (which the Catechism labels "grave depravity ") . There is nothing wrong, the argument goes, with ordaining a homosexually oriented man committed to living chastely and to upholding the Church's teaching on sexuality. Surely there are many such faithful priests in service.
This argument, though, seems persuasive only under conditions far removed from those under which priests have to live today. We now have a culture in which there is little support for chastity, even from within the ranks of the Catholic priesthood. Conservative theologian M Michael Novak says he is not prepared to argue for the exclusion of homosexuals from ordination, but as an ex-seminarian, he strongly believes gays should not be on seminary faculties, directing the formation in chastity of young men. Other Catholics who are more liberal than Novak on many Church issues go further on the question of gay ordination: Sipe believes gays shouldn't be admitted into seminaries at the present time -for their own protection, against sexual predators among the faculty and administration, who will attempt to draw them into a priestly subculture in which gay sex is normative behavior. Fr. Thomas P. Doyle, another critic of celibacy who has been deeply involved in the clergy-abuse issue, concurs: "Ordaining gay men at this time would be putting them , no matter how good and dedicated, in a precarious position. "
No one wants to stigmatize homosexuals as abusers, because most of them are not. Still, it's hard to gainsay the contention that if there were few homosexuals in the priesthood, the number of sex-abuse victims today would be drastically lower. "We 're learning a significant lesson from all this, " says Dr. Fitzgibbons. "We have to protect our young. The protection of children and teenagers is more important than the feelings of homosexuals. "
Though the American scandal is nowhere near played out, it seems likely that the barrage of humiliating revelations and mounting financial losses will force the Vatican to get tough on gay ordinations. To have any hope of being effective, Rome will have to clean house at most American seminaries. This can be done only if local bishops can be trusted to be both loyal to Rome and resolute -and that will happen only if the Vatican forces them to be accountable.
That still leaves the problem of current and future priests who are both homosexual and unchaste. It is true that most of the abuse cases that have reached the public's attention today involve older priests, and the situation in the seminaries has apparently been reined in somewhat from the anything-goes heyday of the 1970s and 1980s. Nevertheless, the problem is still enormous. Most of the cases reported in "Goodbye! Good Men "involving homosexual corruption date from recent years. One priest who left his seminary teaching post in the mid 1990s in despair over rampant homosexuality -and episcopal indifference to it told me ominously: "The things I have seen in my years there are probably previews of coming attractions. "
A RETURN TO THE FAITH
The only sensible response, it would seem, is a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sexual behavior by clergy, even between consenting adults (homosexual and heterosexual) . The laity has a role to play as well. In a much-discussed essay in the November 2000 Catholic World Report, the Rev. Paul Shaughnessy, a Jesuit priest, suggested that lay Catholics seeking reform should help keep their priests accountable. He urged lay Catholics to use their checkbooks to fight sexual corruption, by steering their donations away from scandal-ridden dioceses and religious orders, and sending them instead to clean groups like Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity -and then letting the bishop or religious order know what they've done and why.
There is tremendous fear among churchmen that the kind of changes needed to put the Church aright will result in a severe loss of numbers in the priesthood at a time when vocations are already at a historic low. That is probably true in the short run, but the experience of a handful of American dioceses in which the local bishop is openly orthodox and willing to defend Church teaching without compromise gives reason to hope that a strong dose of traditional medicine can go a long way toward curing the Church's ills.
In 1995, Archbishop Elden Curtiss of Omaha published an article pointing out that dioceses that promote rigorous fidelity to Church teaching and practice produce significantly more vocations than do the moderate to liberal majority. Seminaries like Mount Saint Mary's in Emmitsburg, Md. -where men know they will be supported in their authentic Catholic beliefs and practices, and in their commitment to celibacy and chastity -are filled to capacity.
This is not to suggest that the crisis now gripping the Catholic Church in America can be entirely solved by a restoration of rigorously orthodox theology. Another problem that has to be addressed is the clericalist bias seriously afflicting the judgment of many bishops: Even Curtiss himself erred recently, by keeping an Omaha priest in ministry after the priest admitted having a child-pornography problem. But a return to the basics has to be a big part of a comprehensive solution.
There is every reason to believe that a conservative reform -replacing dissenting or milquetoast bishops with solid, no-nonsense men; making the seminaries safe places for heterosexuals loyal to Church teaching, and restoring the priesthood to a corps of chaste, faith-filled disciples -would result in a tide of good men seeking holy orders.
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