|Feast of Christ the King|
The secular press is keen to lambast the Church. Out of touch. Lost faith with the people. Diatribe after diatribe. The people are sounding a bit like Barabbas had walked into the room. Editors of the daily papers all seem to be seeking an ecclesial body that serves the "modern world", even if that world departs from Gospel Truth.
Anti-catholic sentiment has never been far from the surface in the general populace. Jeremy Paxman is a good example of the sniffy, poo-poo denigration of traditional believers. When he had John Broadhurst on, then Bishop of Fulham and now in the Ordinariate, Paxman let loose. This was just after another, different Synod vote. "Do you believe in transubstantiation, bishop?", he inquired, witheringly. "Yes, I do", came the reply. Whereupon Paxman proceeded to give the bishop a hard time. The BBC has its own agenda and that is not to give too much quarter to traditional belief. No traditionalist Anglican appears on Thought for the Day. Interviews are encouraged to be one-sided. Yesterday there was a rolling clip on BBC News with a female cleric eagerly telling Bill Turnbull on Breakfast that traditionalists "think women bishops will pollute the church". Turnbull never thought to question her on this sentiment. The suggestion is outrageous, but there you go!
The tragedy is that the Archbishops of the Church of England never really gave a lead. They gave what is nowadays called "a steer". They are now talking of a grim future ahead. But if they had accommodated both integrities women bishops could have been. The truth is that there is a section of the so-called pro-women lobby that wants ALL believers to kow-tow to the new orthodoxy. Conscience is not a thing to hold dear if it stands in the way of another's determination to achieve total control over doctrinal decisions. Because Rowan Williams was defeated in his bridge building attempts, he faced defeat yesterday. The unholy alliance of external secularists and internal reformers means that no archbishop can properly spread the Gospel because it's a constant onslaught from the outside world.
Today I have heard plenty of quick fire comments like "I'm not religious at all, but....." and they go on to say how out of touch the church is. To many in England the Church of England is not part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. It is more a national vehicle for personal thoughts and theories. The creeds mean nothing much, sacramental teaching is lost on them, forgiveness, well, pull the other one. To a lot of us as cradle Anglicans, we do believe in the catholic faith. Is that so really strange?
Politicians today are symptomatic of the secular theorising that is all the rage. The Ecclesiastical Committee is made up of a group of revisionists, reformers and general gospel gainsayers. Helen Goodman is on that committee and is also shadow culture secretary. The Catholic Faith gets no brownie points from her. She comes out with the oft-repeated canard that traditionalists think that women bishops will be "tainted". She calls us backward-looking. In fact no epithet seems too strong currently. And she is not alone. When she says all this does she think of what Jesus might want? She certainly does not do what Mary did and ponder these things in her heart.
Sunday is the Solemnity of Christ the King, introduced as a bulwark against secularism. How apt is that! It is the last feast day before Advent. Perhaps the Church of England could embrace this day with gusto, put away childish things and look towards Advent for a proper preparation of Christmas. Charity is now seen as just giving money, but the word has a much deeper meaning than "love". Charity is caritas and is divininely infused into each soul that is willing to accept it.
I have great faith that the Church will continue her mission.