Wednesday, December 13, 2017

About Pope Francis Tinkering with the Lord’s Prayer

As if Pope Francis has not committed enough enormities, now he wants to tinker with translations of the Lord’s Prayer.  By far the best I’ve read on this situation comes from that prickly scholar John Hunwicke here and here, and I will defer to him.  Personally, he increased my education concerning the Lord’s Prayer.

He points out that the exact meaning of some of the Lord’s Prayer is a bit of a mystery, the meaning of “our daily bread” being one example.  And a man with any humility would be hesitant to nail down the “correct” meaning by altering a received rendering.

Of course, that excludes Pope Francis.

Fr. Hunwicke continues,
My second reason for making no change is pastoral. Back in the 1970s, we in the Church of England did indeed experiment with 'modern' translations of the Pater noster. Those experimental forms are now, I think, rarely used. The reason is: the clergy discovered that among infrequent church-goers, including the house-bound sick and elderly, and those attending Baptisms, Weddings, and Funerals, and the Midnight Mass brigade, the Lord's Prayer was the only formula they knew. Any other liturgical memories they had lingering from their childhoods had been rendered out-of-date by the liturgical revolutions of the 1960s. Was it 'pastoral' to deprive such people of the only remaining bit of a worship-experience which was in the least familiar to them ... which had any sort of purchase upon their memories?

In his second post, he focuses on the clause Francis wants to mangle. Hunwicke notes that the meaning of “temptation” in the Lord’s Prayer is not what most think it is; it likely refers more to extreme testing such as persecution more than everyday temptation to sin.  Francis’ proposal misses that.  Therefore,

… in my opinion, PF is proposing a revision which is not, as he appears to have been told, a revised translation but a radical change in the meaning of the Greek original. With sorrow, I have to say that this new example of his gigantic self-confidence does not surprise me.


He then makes interesting observations concerning Pope Francis and his selection. But at this point, I will urge you to go read the whole thing.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

A Reminder: Franken Stole His Way Into the Senate

With Al Franken widely expected to announce his resignation from the U.S. Senate today, now is a good time to remember that he should never have become a Senator in the first place.  He, George Soros, felons, and an army of DemocRATS stole his first “election” in 2008.

To the annoyance of some, I covered this back then.  One can find a sample of that here.

It is interesting that in all the TV news coverage I’ve seen so far, I cannot remember his first “election” to the Senate being mentioned as even controversial.  That is a bit important concerning his background, is it not?  If one is such a cretin to subvert democracy by stealing an election, one is capable of just about anything . . . including stealing sexual favors.


Elections have consequences.  Stolen elections have worse consequences.  Al Franken is surely Exhibit A in that regard.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Why the AMiE Ordinations are Necessary

The Anglican Mission in England (AMiE) will hold its first ordination service Thursday in London.  Which begs the question: are these ordinations outside the Church of England necessary?

Yes for a number of reasons, but one is enough – orthodox traditionalists, either evangelical or Anglo-Catholic, are less and less welcome among the clergy in the Church of England.  Oh you mossback orthodox laity, of which there are many, do keep sending in those offerings please.  But if you are called to holy orders…

Is there a single robustly orthodox Church of England diocesan bishop anymore?  I’m aware of none.  And more and more candidates for holy orders are having experiences like one told in the Times:

One was blocked from ordination because he expressed his conviction that every church leader should believe and teach that Jesus is the only way to be saved.  He was told that he didn’t have a broad enough understanding of the different traditions in the Church of England.

Related is an excellent dissection of Libchurch “dialogue” from once CofE Anglo-Papalist John Hunwicke:

Their idea of 'discussion' or 'dialogue' meant them shouting abuse until their foes fell silent. They demanded that we 'hear their experience' purely as a preliminary to getting out their cudgels. They would never engage in rational argument because, happy pantomaths, they already knew every answer. They had made bullying into a fine art. To disagree with them was but to manifest one's own psychological problems - one's phobias and hang-ups and prejudices. What defences had we, or the methods by which Divinity had hitherto been done on the banks of the Isis or even of the Cam, against this ruthless and Stalinist totalitarianism and its Dahlek-like readiness to ex-ter-min-ate?

Yes, “exterminate” is a strong word.  But robustly orthodox Church of England clergy are at the very least an endangered species in several dioceses thanks to apostate bishops who will not have them.  That’s what “inclusiveness” looks like.

So although I enthusiastically support orthodox ministry in the Church of England, an outside strategy is necessary as well.  In some areas of the U.K., there is hardly much choice about it any more.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Headline of the Day

To say I highly respect former Dean Robert Munday would be an understatement.  But I did not think he had it in him to pull off a brilliant lampoon.  But he did that yesterday with this headline:

Bigoted Progressive Church of Sweden Refuses To Call God By His Preferred Gender Pronouns

To troll gender lunacy and the Church of Sweden at the same time like that takes talent! 

And/or perhaps, as he notes, reality has become so absurd, it transcends humor and satire.


Do read the rest of his post, too.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Correlation Between Politics and Morality?

I remember, decades ago, a Christian Right group put out an election guide with the stands of various candidates. It was labeled a “Morality Scorecard” or the like.  I apologize that I cannot remember more details nor find them via internet search.  (Those search engines can be close to useless when it comes to obscure details of history.)  If anyone remembers or finds more, feel free to comment.  I also apologize and warn that I will be speaking in generalities here.

With those caveats, what I do remember is that the group in question was excoriated for implying that one’s votes and political stands are a good measure of morality.  How dare they say politicians who vote wrong somehow are immoral! How dare they say that there is a correlation between one’s politics and one’s morality!

Well, although the group may have been a bit crude in the way they stated there is such a correlation, recent events seem to be proving them right in more ways than one.  It is hard to miss that the recent sexual harassment scandals blowing up here in the U. S. overwhelmingly involve Democrats - Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, John Conyers, Al Green, etc.

I can hear the reflex rebuttals now.  “What about Republicans like Roy Moore?”  If there were as many Republicans who mistreated women so blatantly, the Democrat News Media would surely be trotting them out and fast.  As for Roy Moore, the allegations against him smell increasingly like a pre-election dirty trick that is getting more debunked by the day.  But trust me, I think a lot of Republicans are scum, too.

And, to anticipate another question, the correlation I see is general not specific.  In other words, there are Leftist Democrats who are otherwise good people, and there are conservative Republican who are stinkers.  Heck, I once engaged in political combat against a few of them.

But to think there is no correlation between morality in public life and morality in private life is fantasy.  Someone who attacks freedom of speech, the right to life, basic property rights, the Constitutional rule of law, the right to defend oneself, traditional Christian values etc., etc. is probably going to be a sticker in private as well.


And now that stink is suddenly getting out and becoming public as well.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

The Sunday Next Before Advent and Ten Years

The Sunday Next Before Advent has always had a special place in my heart since I’ve become Anglican.  To me, “The Sunday Next Before Advent” just sounds Anglican.  More importantly, it means Advent is just about here.  In fact I am listening to Advent music as I type this.  Hey if the world pushes Christmas since before Halloween, I can begin celebrating Advent a week early.

As I was talking to a friend this past week, it occurred to me that it is ten years since I observed this Sunday in Oxford and at Pusey House.  That was a joyful Sunday for me indeed.


This post four years ago gives a good idea how much that Sunday and this Sunday means to me.  I hope it is special for you as well.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Bishop Iker: ACNA is “in a state of impaired communion.”

Earlier this month, Bishop Jack Iker addressed his Diocese of Ft. Worth in convention.  He was very frank in addressing division in the Anglican Church in North America over women’s ordination.  After discussing the Holy Orders Task Force and the Conclave earlier this year, he concluded:

So where are we? Most ACNA bishops and dioceses are opposed to women priests, but as it presently stands, the ACNA Constitution says each diocese can decide if it will ordain women priests or not. We now need to work with other dioceses to amend the Constitution to remove this provision. 

And he went further (Emphasis mine.):

We are in a state of impaired communion because of this issue. The Task Force concluded that “both sides cannot be right.” At the conclave, I informed the College of Bishops that I will no longer give consent to the election of any bishop who intends to ordain female priests, nor will I attend the consecration of any such bishop-elect in the future. I have notified the Archbishop of my resignation from all the committees to which I had been assigned to signify that it is no longer possible to have “business as usual” in the College of Bishops due to the refusal of those who are in favor of women priests to at least adopt a moratorium on this divisive practice, for the sake of unity.  Bishops who continue to ordain women priests in spite of the received tradition are signs of disunity and division.

The hoary joke about bishops having their backbones extracted at ordination does not apply to Jack Iker!


The bishops and dioceses that ordain women are the sources of so much that is objectionable in ACNA – weakness on the authority of scripture, confusing lib/left activism for ministry, lack of concern for unity for starters – that I am glad to see the Bishop of Ft. Worth take this stand.  I once was sanguine about ACNA and women’s ordination.  Taken by itself, women’s ordination has not been a big issue with me.  But I now see the issues are more than the gender of whom we ordain.  After seeing these bishops and dioceses – and who they ordain – in action since ACNA’s formation, I am with Bishop Iker on this.  Sometimes godly unity requires saying enough is enough.

The Current State of American Catholic Universities

No, this won’t be a long essay.  Anne Hendershott has already written one for us, and it is excellent, the best overview of Catholic higher education today in the United States I’ve come across.  It includes some interesting if distressing history as well.

Yes, I do use the word “Catholic” loosely.  I can be creative in choosing words to describe, say, Georgetown, but “Catholic” is rarely one of them.  “Jesuit” maybe.

As Hendershott writes, there are rays of hope; there are exceptional genuinely Catholic universities out there.  But the larger ones have invariably taken the “Catholic” and the “education” for that matter out of Catholic higher education.

----
Personal Note:

Speaking of higher education, I have completed my Patristics course.  So I may torment you more often for a couple months or so.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

Presiding “Bishop” Curry and The Episcopal “Church” Attack Freedom of Religion

. . . Because freedom of religion is only for those who agree with Social Justice Warriors and enlightened liberals.  All you bigots can pound sand.

Yes, I am angry about this, and I am posting before sleeping on it because I do not want to wimp out and tone it down.  An alleged church which enjoys freedom of religion and then turns around and attacks the religious freedom of a Christian small business owner is an outrage.

The case focuses on a baker who declined to make a cake for a reception after a same-sex wedding, an action that Colorado courts determined violated the state’s anti-discrimination laws.

And who are these other “major religious groups” attacking the religious freedom of a Christian baker? The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the General Synod of the United “Church” of Christ, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (It’s safe to say the Southern Baptists have nothing to do with these tools anymore.).   These are all shrinking and hardly “major” due to their running off the orthodox with their apostasies.


Phonies and hypocrites abusing the name of Christ to attack the freedom of real Christians is why there needs to be a Hell.

(By the way, studies are going well, thank you.  The way the fathers went after apostates and heretics is proving a godly example for me today.)

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

You might be a babykiller if . . .

Back in the 70’s I remember pro-lifers often called pro-abortionists “babykillers.”  Because of fears that was rubbing potential allies the wrong way, that term became more rare in the early 80’s.

But I am less concerned with rubbing people the wrong way and more concerned with reality checks, which brings me to House passage of a bill to virtually outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Now, for those who are math or biology impaired, 20 weeks is five months (or just under five 30 day months) and more than halfway through a typical pregnancy.  The child is very well formed by then; you have a very recognizable baby that simply needs to grow a bit before saying, “Hello, world.”

And most of the world’s abortion laws recognize that and outlaw abortions after 20 weeks.  So this is a common sense reform all reasonable people can support….

But then there are Democrats.  Most Senate Democrats are expected to filibuster this bill.  To which I say you might be a babykiller if . . . you oppose efforts to protect unborn children after 20 weeks of gestation.


Really, if Democrats block this bill, the mask is off, is it not?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Michaelmas Eve

As I’ve mentioned, I need to give studies more priority and this blog less at this time.  But I cannot let this Michaelmas pass without note.  Yes, again my thoughts turn to Oxford and Cambridge as they did last year and years before.


I will say there is a difference from last year.  One of the possibilities I obscurely mentioned has been taken off the backburner.  But more on that in due time.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Gavin Ashenden Consecrated as Missionary Bishop to UK

Briefly, I am very pleased to hear this.  I’ve become quite a fan of Rev. Ashenden.  For one thing, he has a remarkable talent for being both soft-spoken and straight-speaking at the same time.  Watch him on Anglican Unscripted or watch his own YouTube videos to get a taste of that.

The Christian Episcopal Church is definitely punching above their weight to bring Ashenden on!


And, in case any wonder, I think working both inside and outside the Church of England is appropriate now.  There is still some excellent ministry going on in the CofE.  But the Philip North affair revealed the Church of England cannot be trusted to provide faithful traditionalist bishops like North and Gavin Ashenden.  And being an orthodox Anglican without those is problematic indeed.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Back to Studies

I have been sorely tempted to post on a number of items the past few days.  But I’m in the midst of stepping up my studies in hope of completing a Patristics course by Thanksgiving.  That is a big ask but I’m going to do my best to finish by then anyway.


Therefore I will become even more selective in my blog posting well into November at least.  Some may rejoice in that.  But my apologies to the rest of my forbearing readers.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Revealing Statement on the Conclave from Forward in Faith N. A.

Overnight, Forward in Faith North America (FIFNA) released a statement on the ACNA Conclave and its decision on womens’ ordination.  This statement finally answers some questions I and others have raised.  The beginning should not be skimmed past:

Beloved in Christ,
As the Council of Forward in Faith, North America we have discussed with the six FiF NA bishops who have just returned from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, where they met in Conclave, the implications of the Message from the College of Bishops. They have been very clear that the agreement of the College is that individual statements, and, in particular, attributing to individual bishops, their comments cannot occur. Moreover, any comments that would appear to suggest some form of “victory” would be highly inappropriate. 

Thus the quiet from anti-WO bishops is explained – the College of Bishops agreed that there would not be individual public statements afterward from bishops.  (That begs the question of why at least three bishops from dioceses that recognize the Holy Orders of women have made statements.  But I will just leave that question out there for now.)  But FIFNA has discussed matters with the six FIF bishops, who all oppose womens’ ordination of course.  So Forward in Faith’s statement should give some insight into what happened at Conclave and into the thinking of the six and likeminded bishops.

And these six may think that the result of the Conclave may not be as bad or as final as some think.  First, they are making a point to avoid and to urge others to avoid “any comments that would appear to suggest some form of ‘victory.’”  Second, “the College understands that the January meeting in Melbourne Florida will be the next opportunity for them to meet and prayerfully proceed.”  And later (Emphasis mine.): “This Conclave was designed and reported to be the very first time that serious theological conversation has occurred regarding the nature of Holy Orders as an innovation in the Episcopal Church in 1976.”  So it may not be as over as it seemed at first.

I had suggested that the Conclave was not all that unanimous.  I appear to be correct: “We also acknowledge that the Statement was unanimously endorsed, but that this endorsement does not imply that Traditionalist Bishops have reached any conclusion other than the one that has been articulated for 2000 years.”

FIFNA puts a positive face on the current situation and emphasizes conciliarity but then acknowledges, probably also reflecting the mind of the six FIF bishops:

…we are disappointed. We wonder if this would not have been an excellent opportunity for those Bishops who ordain women to recognize that this action continues to cause division. We wonder if it would not have been possible for those bishops to announce a moratorium on the ordination of women, rather than continuing to contribute to the potential of an Ecumenical crisis. We wonder if those bishops would recognize that female clergy cannot function in most of the Dioceses of the ACNA and in the vast majority of Christian churches throughout the world. In that regard they have intentionally or unintentionally effected a state of impaired Communion, whereby not all Clergy are in Communion with one another. We further recognize that many Forward in Faith Bishops are put in an awkward position regarding their ability to participate in the consecration of Bishops who fully intend to contribute to disunity by virtue of their willingness to ordain women.

It is hard for me to improve on that.  Thus Forward in Faith North America has issued a very helpful statement.  They have provided some clarity on what happened at Conclave and on the mind of traditionalist bishops.  Since the Conclave there has been not a little unhappiness among traditionalists, particularly clergy.  And the quiet from traditionalist bishops certainly taxed the patience of some.  Hopefully this statement and bishop-clergy meetings and communications in the dioceses will calm things down.

However, peace and unity are not one-way streets as the statement itself notes in its irenic way.  Pro-WO bishops and dioceses also need to make a point to calm matters, not inflame them with the usual baggage that so often accompanies WO in the West, such as using the auspices of ACNA to push a so-called “social justice” agenda.  Nor should there be a rush to ordain women as there was immediately after the formation of ACNA.


But I am nonetheless thankful for this statement from Forward in Faith North America.  While not telling everything, it provides some needful clarity and perspective.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Maria - Worst Name for a Hurricane Ever

Come on.  Whose idea was it to name a Hurricane after Mary?  And is the National Hurricane Center so clueless that no one said, “Hey guys, about that “M” name for 2017…”?

Well, I guess when people get visited by Mary lately, she does often seem a bit ticked.  So maybe naming a hurricane after her isn’t that off.


Now that I think about it, the Second Coming won’t be a picnic.  So how about Hurricane Jesus?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

AMEN Drags ACNA Further into Immigration Politics UPDATED

I’ve noted that some in ACNA are dragging us into divisive immigration politics.  The Anglican Multiethnic Network (AMEN) and Caminemos Juntos, self-described as “entities of the Anglican Church in North America dedicated to helping the province better reflect the diversity of North America in our local churches” are among the culprits.  The latest from them explicitly asks for citizenship for “dreamers”:

We therefore ask those entrusted with the role of governing and legislating to provide a comprehensive solution to the wider immigration issue that includes a path to citizenship for those children raised here who only know this place as their home.

Leaving aside the question of whether the federal government should do this (Except for those who serve in the military, I am adamantly opposed to citizenship for illegals.), this is not appropriate for a church organization to do.  If individuals in ACNA want to push for - or against -amnesty on their own time and without ACNA’s name being attached to it, fine.  But AMEN’s act is as inappropriate and divisive as, say, me and the likeminded in ACNA forming the REAL Anglican Massive Edifice Network (REAL AMEN), associating ourselves with ACNA as AMEN and Caminemos Juntos does, and agitating to Build the Wall.

I very much want to “build the wall” and secure our borders.  But I have enough discernment and concern for unity not to push for that under ACNA’s auspices.  I do that on my own time and without attaching ACNA’s name to it.

Should the church ever intervene in politics?  Yes, when there are biblical principles that clearly apply and when there is a church-wide consensus on how to apply them.  Such areas are freedom of religion, abortion, and the persecution of Christians. 


Whether illegals should have a path to citizenship is not such an area.  There is not a consensus in ACNA about that.  Therefore what AMEN and Caminemos Juntos just did puts secular political preferences above the unity of ACNA.  Sadly, this is not the exception but a pattern from some of ACNA’s leadership.


UPDATE: I may have been overly charitable in saying ACNA was dragged into this.  They have posted this statement on the church website itself. (You may have to scroll down.)


MORE: And on ACNA’s twitter feed, too:

Friday, September 08, 2017

Initial Observations on the Statement of the ACNA College of Bishops on the Ordination of Women

Their Conclave having concluded, the College of Bishops of the Anglican Church in North America have issued a statement setting forth their decisions.  In short, the status quo on women’s ordination in ACNA will continue.

Although disappointed with their decision, I do have to give them credit on one thing – they did not kick the can down the road, but went ahead and made their decision.  Whatever one feels about WO, it’s better to know where we stand now than later.  I, for one, am thankful that the option of stringing along the faithful, so often practiced in the Anglican Communion, was rejected.

However, I do not think the bishops realize, or at least are not admitting in this statement they realize, what danger ACNA is in.  Archbishop Beach’s statement that the bishops are “more unified than ever” seems wishful to me.  Maybe the bishops are very unified but many of the rest of us in ACNA are not. But I will have to put that subject aside for another post or two.

And perhaps the bishops are not all that unified.  I do not have privy information nor should I speculate.  But a close reading of the statement may reveal divisions.  Abp. Beach wrote that the College of Bishops unanimously agreed to the final statement.  And that statement documents that they unanimously agreed to continue with the policy of not having women bishops.  However, the other agreements noted in the statement are noted without indicating whether they were unanimous or not:

In an act of mutual submission at the foundation of the Anglican Church in North America, it was agreed that each Diocese and Jurisdiction has the freedom, responsibility, and authority to study Holy Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition of the Church, and to seek the mind of Christ in determining its own convictions and practices concerning the ordination of women to the diaconate and the priesthood.

And this:
Having gratefully received and thoroughly considered the five-year study by the Theological Task Force on Holy Orders, we acknowledge that there are differing principles of ecclesiology and hermeneutics that are acceptable within Anglicanism that may lead to divergent conclusions regarding women’s ordination to the priesthood. However, we also acknowledge that this practice is a recent innovation to Apostolic Tradition and Catholic Order. We agree that there is insufficient scriptural warrant to accept women’s ordination to the priesthood as standard practice throughout the Province. 

Now it could be that these agreements were unanimous also.  But since two important unanimous decisions are noted – on the statement as a whole and on women bishops – one would think if these other agreements were unanimous, that should and would be noted as well.  Perhaps statements in the coming days from various bishops will clarify how unanimous the Conclave was.


The College of Bishops’ statement, along with the Holy Orders Task Force, did not address the baggage that seems always to attach itself to women’s ordination in the West.  That is a serious omission though an understandable one since several bishops surely would not acknowledge WO has such a problem at all.  That, too, is part of the problem.  Many in ACNA, like me, can live with women’s ordination.  Fewer will put up with the baggage that so often comes with it.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Scottish Episcopal Church gets called out by … The Anglican Church of Australia??

I don’t expect much good news from the Anglican Communion or Australia anymore, and I certainly did not expect this.  The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Australia (ACA) just passed a resolution expressing “regret that the Scottish Episcopal Church has amended their Canon on Marriage to change the definition that marriage is between a man and a woman by adding a new section that allows clergy to solemnise marriage between same-sex couples….”

Further, the resolution expresses “support for those Anglicans who have left or will need to leave the Scottish Episcopal Church because of its redefinition of marriage and those who struggle and remain….”

Given that some in the ACA would rather denounce interventions of support, such as from ACNA and Bishop Andy Lines, this is remarkable.  Now this resolution does not overtly mention such interventions, but still….

I knew there would be such a resolution proposed at the ACA General Synod but I didn’t give it a snowball’s chance.  It seems the Diocese of Sydney’s influence and numbers are so increasing and the influence and numbers of the libchurchers are so declining that Australia is not firmly in the libchurch camp anymore.  If so, I gladly confess this good news snuck up on me.


David Ould is more on top of this and has the full text of the resolution here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Archbishop Foley Beach Writes on the Bishops’ Conclave

ACNA Archbishop Foley Beach has issued a call to prayer for the Bishop’s Conclave on Holy Orders which begins today.  It begins (Emphasis mine.):

As many of you may have heard, the College of Bishops is gathering this week (September 5-7) in conclave (a private assembly of the bishops) to discuss the report we have received from the Task Force on Holy Orders earlier this year, specifically women's orders. This is the beginning of our formal discussion as bishops, and I sincerely doubt it will be the end of our prayerful deliberation on this important issue. We are seeking to hear God's will for us as Biblically orthodox, and faithful North American Anglicans, who are part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

So it sounds like a decision on women’s ordination is unlikely at this meeting.


I do not feel comfortable commenting further before the Conclave concludes.  But, yes, I am indeed praying.