Coffee House

Women bishops: the game’s up for Anglo-Catholics

14 July 2014

From the moment the General Synod voted for women priests in 1992, it was inevitable that it would also vote for women bishops. Conservative evangelicals and Anglo-Catholics engineered a delay of 21 years, but I doubt they’ll be shocked by today’s decision. Some traditionalists have even been arguing that, although they were still opposed to the measure on principle, another ‘no’ vote would be a disaster for the Church of England. That strikes me as hopelessly muddled thinking, but remember that these are the people who brought you the Alice-in-Wonderland notion of ‘flying bishops’.

How will Pope Francis react? Some Anglicans suspect that he’s secretly pleased: they see him as a fellow liberal who would be open to ordaining women if only John Paul II hadn’t declared it to be a theological impossibility. They’re wrong. Francis talks about expanding the ‘ministry’ of women, but when he’s pressed on the subject he makes jokes about bossy priests’ housekeepers and Adam’s rib. There’s definitely a streak of old-fashioned Latin American misogyny in the Holy Father.

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On the other hand, the Pope won’t lose any sleep over this, since he doesn’t believe that Catholics and Protestants should waste time debating irreconcilable doctrinal differences. His message to the CofE’s new women bishops will be: join me in spreading the Gospel.

Conservative Anglo-Catholics now face a simple choice: stay in an established Church that has reaffirmed its liberal Protestantism by this vote, or seek full communion with Rome, either as ordinary Catholics or as members of a self-governing Ordinariate that celebrates Mass in Cranmerian English. I hope they move to Rome, but I can understand why many Anglo-Catholics – especially those in gay partnerships – will find it easier to stay put. I just wish they’d ditch the pretence of being Roman Catholics in all but name. Last week I saw their leader, Bishop Jonathan Baker of Fulham, swanning down Notting Hill Gate in a bright pink Roman soutane. I bet Jorge Bergoglio never wore such a garment in the streets of Buenos Aires. And it did make me think that, these days, Anglo-Catholicism is mostly about dressing up.

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Show comments
  • John Muir

    I hope they join the Ordinariate. I very much love Christ Church St Laurence here in Sydney – the liturgy is absolutely phenomenal. I am praying that Fr Daniel Dries and the rest of the parish will join the ordinariate (while maintaining all their glorious Anglican patrimony). Also, I say the same for St John’s, Dee Why (here in Sydney)

  • albion

    “Conservative Anglo-Catholics now face a simple choice: stay in an established Church that has reaffirmed its liberal Protestantism by this vote, or seek full communion with Rome…”

    Tosh. Have you never heard of the Bosphorus?

  • jerry485843

    What a sad day for bigots everywhere.

  • allergictosatan

    Or the Orthodox Church.

  • AugustineThomas

    I hope they leave heresy behind and seek communion with the One True Church.
    The Anglican Church itself is dying and this is how heresy always ends, even if it takes several hundred years.

  • JTLiuzza

    It matters not since their orders are invalid. Might as well “ordain” a cocker spaniel for all the good it will do. It is, indeed, nothing more than dressing up.

    • Stan Theman

      Here’s a secret from an atheist-you’re all just dressing up.

  • Jen The Blue

    As a traditionalist Roman Catholic, while I welcome conversions to Rome, I would say it has to be for the right reasons – with an acceptance of all the Truths of the Catholic Church. Not simply because they cannot accept priestesses.

  • NBeale

    Damien – we know you hate the CofE but try to be objective.

    The whole CofE wants full communion with Rome and so does Francis, who has said that the Ordinariate was a mistake. He gets on very well with Justin and both of them are quite tough enough to face down die-hard ultras.

    It took the RCs centuries to catch up with the CofE in basics like having liturgy in “a tongue understood of the people” and in giving communion in both kinds to the laity. You already have plenty of married clergy and you’ll join the 20th Century with women priests some time in the next few decades.

    • Phil Steinacker

      We have paid plenty for “catching up with the CofE.”

      The full communion with Rome you say is desired by the CofE will never happen under the conditions which you have permitted to develop in the CofE.

      Remember, the Anglican church was the first to apostatize on the issue of contraception in 1930, and has remained in the forefront of one apostasy after the next among Protestants.

      You should be proud. We will never join you.

      • Fred Garvin

        The Orthodox churches have had liturgies in local languages for over a thousand years.
        Please get off your island more and see the rest of the Christian world; this early-mid 16th century garbage has warped both your minds.

  • Gryff

    Not *all* Anglo-Catholics, while less noisy there are a significant number who affirm the equal role of women in leadership roles, are willing in principle to celebrate equal marriage and have no desire to join the RC in its current state. Whether they are in the C of E or one of its sister churches they will be delighted by the synods decision.
    While a penchant for clerical fancy dress can’t be denied Anglo Catholicism is a theological position, not a political or aesthetic one.

  • whs1954

    Please take your smug proselytizing on behalf of the ultramontane Romish ‘church’ elsewhere; preferably out of my Anglican country.

    • Alec

      Someone for whom the Lewes bonfires are not a jolly jape but a good start.


    • Phil Steinacker

      Recent studies show that the Roman Catholic Church in the UK has more folks attending Sunday Mass than the AC anymore. To hang on to your fading claim as an Anglican country you better do something to bump up your numbers.

    • AugustineThomas

      Your country is being taken over by neo-pagans, atheists and Muslims. This is the bitter fruit of heresy and apostasy.

    • Guy Fox

      Yes, by all means, please enjoy our confiscated property, and the traditions and rites you appropriated for the pretend fancy dress party you call church.

    • maxime1793

      England is still Anglican?

  • Karl Stuebe

    Well if the CofE is going to same way as our United States’ Episcopal Church {as seems to be the case}, rue the day. Excuse my papist ignorance but was not a female, HM, in charge of the CofE anyway? Of course theologically speaking I think once an ecclesial community chooses to ordain someone to the priesthood there really isn’t an inhibition to that person’s becoming a bishop so the vote only made logical sense. I really think churches ought to have different things on their mind though such as increasing attendance numbers, evangelizing society and leading the culture. I don’t see how this “big issue” really plagues institutions since ecclesial communities that have female presbyters don’t seem to increase attendance or spread Christianity in the society as they mostly shrink in number and influence. Forgive me but this does sound like an entirely esoteric problem.

    • David Booth.

      Some excellent points Karl. Whilst the Church of England devotes all it’s energies to fighting for the rights of this group or that group to achieve “representation” the pews are slowly emptying.
      A case of two bald men or “persons” fighting over a comb!

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    I’m opposed to women bishops, but then I’m opposed to all bishops.

    • Altesegel

      You must be a rotten chess player

  • Michael

    Hmm. Perhaps you would like me to name some active gay Ordinariate priests which I am happy to do. One couple stayed at my home and slept together as they always do.

    • David Booth.

      “Publish And Be Damned”

  • schreib

    APOSTASY No other word can describe this vote. The Catholic church remains the same. They preach the truth. Scripture talks about the church in the last days. “Many will be deceived” it says. They no longer speak the truth and listen to teachers to soothe their own ears. No one wants to be told that they are sinners in need of a savior. They just want to keep sinning.

    • AndrewMelville

      By the Catholic Church, I assume you mean the Roman Catholic Church? I agree: the Roman Catholic Church is a bastion of apostasy. Under the evil that is the papacy it has grafted a bizarre pagan religion onto what was once one of the Christian churches (albeit not a very distinguished one).

      • Phil Steinacker

        Can’t get more pagan than a “church” is founded by a king who murders or otherwise dumps 6 wives in a row.

        The RCC is NOT “one of the Christian churches” – it is the ONLY one founded by Jesus Christ in the flesh and in His Spirit.

        You can’t say that – not with a butcher for a founder.

        Pagan, indeed.

        • AndrewMelville

          Wow. Where to begin.

          1. Henry – a staunch Roman Catholic, all his days. Such an ardent Roman Catholic that he was awarded the title, Defender of the Faith by the Bishop of Rome. He rolled back papal incursions into national sovereignty but he was no Protestant. It was left for other better men to reform the English Church. Wives:

          a. divorced
          b. executed
          c. died in childbirth
          d. annulled the marriage – died of cancer
          e. executed
          f. widowed

          Hardly murdered or otherwise dumped 6 in a row!

          2. The Church of Rome is arrogant because it refuses to recognize as legitimate the many other christian churches. You are even worse because are more strict / wrong than it.

          3. I’m not an Anglican and never have been. While I don’t support the C of E, I can recognize its many strengths.

          4. Pray for enlightenment and the gifts of humility and charity.

          • Jen The Blue

            Henry viii was not a Roman Catholic from the day of his excommunication. One of the central tenets of the One Church is communion with the successor of St Peter.

            Christ founded but one Church on earth, the RC Church. End of story. Those that are not part of it are by definition heretics. I use the word not as an insult but in its proper sense.

            • AndrewMelville

              You are insane. And I might add a typical Roman Catholic bigot. What a surprise it would have been to the church fathers to learn that they were not Christians because they did not recognize the power of Rome (or its absurd fairy tale and pagan beliefs).

              One of the principles of Christianity is the the way to the father is through Christ, than whom no other intermediary is required. And certainly not a flock of not so celibate paedos.

              Read your bible and pray for the gifts of charity, humility and insight.

              • AugustineThomas

                You’re bitter because your beliefs are based on the lust of a gluttonous, satanic, earthly king.

                The Church is founded by the King.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Sigh. I’m not an Anglican and never have been. Yet I am able to admire the C of E’s many strengths, while acknowledging its failings. I don’t have to bolster myself and my church by denigrating others.

                  I only know of one church which insists (without evidence and contrary to historical facts) that it alone is the true Christian Church. The utter absurdity of that childish claim is best illustrated by how unchristian it is in its character.


                  And while I am no apologist for Henry, I’ll note that it was while he was at his vilest that the Bishop of Rome saw fit to award him the title, Defender of the Faith. The Pope’s blessing was always available for a buck. The Hapsburgs just had more bucks (and knives) that Henry had. Otherwise he would be Saint Henry today, just like his sadistic, twisted ex-minister Thomas More. Disgusting.

                • AugustineThomas

                  Heresy is making you bitter, even towards saints.

                  St. Thomas More, pray for us and pray for your heretical murderers!

                • AndrewMelville

                  You can’t seriously think that More was worth a tinker’s toss? He is certainly no saint – in any case that is a title reserved for apostles ( and Mormons).

                  There us no bitterness in me. I recognize that the Roman Church is some form of Christian Church no matter how odd its doctrines and shady its affairs. What a pity you can’t say the same.

                • AugustineThomas

                  What a pity that you believe in heretical churches that picked and chose their beliefs from the One True Church.
                  Christ commanded unity, not forty thousand warring churches stabbing each other in the back with their own special brand of heresy. The heresy morphed into apostasy and is now even crippling the One True Church, because we have to deal with so many heretic infiltrators trying to change God’s Church from within.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Augie, what a pity you believe in a church inspired by the Evil One! Jesus warned us about evil men who would claim to speak in his name.

                  Rejoice that the reformers have cleansed the Augean Stables that were the Roman Church. I can celebrate the the RCs did quite a bit (not enough mind) to clean up their excesses.

                  If you believe in Christian unity, then try to live it. Don’t get hung up on silly ideas of governance. Look past doctrinal differences and join hands with all those who are true Christians.

                • AugustineThomas

                  Christ commanded unity in ONE Church. It’s clear to everyone which is the One True Church and which are the separated daughters.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Well you see the ONE church (never the case as we have discussed) turned itself into a cesspit and had to be reformed. Mere accidents of names and governance are nothing compared to denying the Christian nature of fellow churches and Christians – not to mention burning them at the stake!

                  Even today the Roman Church continues to believe in a lot of silly, unscriptural, unchristian pagan nonsense which encourages cannibalism, idol worship and rival gods such as poor old Mary. Imagine, trying to elevate the woman into some sort of semi divine being who can intercede with the divine rather than remembering her with honour as the mother of Jesus and his brothers!

                • AugustineThomas

                  Yes and that’s always how God works right? Through the lust of a bloodthirsty, rapacious tyrant like Henry VIII.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Henry didn’t reform his church, he was a devout Roman Catholic all his days. He merely disagreed with the Bishop of Roman about church governance.

                  The noble work of reform of the church was done by great men, such as Luther, Melancthon, Calvin etc.

                  Do try to read a little history, or even the pistes to which you are responding.

                • maxime1793


                  If you mean the Eucharist, the whole Christian Church practised this from a very early period.

                  It is horrific how many Protestants want to take the worst parts of the OT literally but not Christ’s words themselves.

                • AndrewMelville

                  It is horrific to think that people actually think Christ meant to eat his flesh and drink his blood. It is beyond absurd to think that wine and wafer are magically transformed into same to permit a daily cannibalism. Christ’s sacrifice was a singular act. The sacrament of eucharist is an act of fellowship that symbolizes how we receive Christ spiritually through the Holy Spirit.

                  The nonsense believed by the papists and others that the wine and wafer are actually the blood and flesh of Christ indisputably means that they are indulging in cannibalism – just a divinely ordained cannibalism.

                  I agree that there are many silly people in Protestant and other churches who take literally language in both the OT and NT that is poetic or symbolic or even just plain wrong.

                • maxime1793

                  You see this is extremely heretical. No POPE invented the Eucharist. This was practised going back to Early Christianity and follows directly from Christ’s example and Paul’s confirmation of how to treat the Eucharist. In fact, Luther did not quarrel with this, only with the Scholastic Catholic explanation of ‘transubstantiation’. It was only late Calvin, I believe who questioned the true presence of Christ. ‘Cannibalism’ is a typical atheistic slur for the Eucharist.

                  You rightly pointed out to ‘Augustine’ earlier that the many jurisdictions of the Church were outside the control or direct influence of Rome. You must also accept then that all these jurisdictions believe in the literal presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Ethiopia, Syria, Iraq, India, Armenia, all Eastern and Oriental Orthodox. They simply do not accept the Thomist material explanation of precisely how/when the substance changes.

                  Can you break out of your Geneva v. Rome paradigm then? Much of the substance of radical Protestant attacks on Rome involve basic theological and liturgical matters common to all Early Christianity and not traceable to Rome.

                • AndrewMelville

                  I never said a Pope invented the eucharist. That would be a silly thing to say. I believe the eucharist is a re-enactment and symbolizes the spiritual nourishment we receive from Christ. I accept that many Christians go further in their belief. Perhaps the early Christians, although I don’t think that is proven. However I reject the nonsense of transubstantiation.

                  Why must religious authorities insist that believers believe things that are ridiculous? The answer if of course because that harder the task and the greater the ridicule from the outside the tighter the flock holds together and the greater the power of the cleric.

                • maxime1793

                  What I meant was that you seem to act as if the Pope invented the idea that Christ is literally present in the Eucharist. This is an ancient belief that is held in all the old jurisdictions in the East. It was noted consistently by Early Christian writers. The Catholic doctrine of transubstantiation is a Scholastic metaphysical explanation from the 13th century. You can reject the latter but should accept the former.

                  “Why must religious authorities insist that believers believe things that are ridiculous?”

                  –If you think it is ridiculous, you are simply out of line with the Early Church and all of Christian history.

              • AndrewMelville

                To Jen:

                You are bigot because you deny the validity of the witness of any other church other than the Roman Church.

                I made no accusations whatever

          • Fred Garvin

            What about the Orthodox? The Catholics recognize them as a church with validly ordained priests and valid sacraments; why don’t you people ever talk about them?
            So insular-so provincial. But I guess that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

            • maxime1793

              Yes, in their small world, TEH POPE invented all the rites that are practised by Christians in Ethiopia, India, Georgia, Armenia, Iraq, Syria, etc.

  • David Prentice

    Women bishops, gay marriage, receive the host by hand or mouth…deckchairs, nice arrangement, Titanic.

  • McClane

    Do a search and replace on this blog post and its comments.

    Replace popery, Anglo-Catholicism, Roman Catholicism, the Church of Paedos. with Islam. You will see precisely how relative Christianity has become in the UK.

    Islam for Muslims is absolute. This blog would not appear on a Muslim site.

    I am a Christian, My religion is absolute. Jonathan Baker is neither here nor there. But Cranmerian English (pace Liz below) is important to me.

    • AndrewMelville

      Grow up.

      We are not talking about the followers of Mahoumet. They are not a proper religion at all.

      The topic is Christianity, and the very proper decision taken today to allow women to become bishops. Personally I see no need for such an office at all, but well done to the C of E for fixing an old wrong.

      To those reactionaries who froth at the mouth because Jesus never chose a woman to be his disciple, might I point out that in fact he only chose Jews, from the Galilee, with a strong preference for fishermen and tax collectors? The real question is why does the Church of Rome keep appointing Gentiles from outwith Galilee as its priests – the Lord’s intent was quite clearly expressed?

      • Damaris Tighe

        Well, there might be a connection with the followers of Mahoumet. The C of E has problems attracting male members (just look at the gender makeup of any average congregation). I predict than within a few years the C of E will be a largely female institution. Meanwhile, young men who become religious will convert to Islam because they will see it as a man’s religion.

        • AndrewMelville

          That would be sad indeed. Mohammadism is a ghastly parody of a religion. I would not care to live in a society where its principles animated civil life.

          • Damaris Tighe


        • Stan Theman

          Men “of colour”, especially south Asian and Caribbean men, already do.

    • Nan

      The funny thing about the Anglican Church is that while royals lose their place in succession for either a) being or b) marrying catholic, it’s okay for Prince Charles to be a Muslim Apologist. Many believe him to be a secret convert.

      • Ringstone

        No, he’s one of those shape shifting lizard things. Trust me, I heard it from Alex Jones on Infowars so it must be true!

      • Fergus Pickering

        I’ll tell you a secret. Cross my heart he isn’t.

  • McClane

    The game was up in 1992. I left the CoE then and joined the Catholics. Two big things that I miss: I no longer pray for the Queen on Sundays. And we can’t use the Book of Common Prayer. If the RCs could sort those two issues I would be totally at home with them.

    • Liz

      Silly boy

      • McClane

        In what sense, precisely?

      • McClane

        I checked your disqus profile (check mine any time). You have little to say on politics except from a wimmin‘s point of view. And nothing to say on religion. So, please, take your judgmentalism elsewhere. It’s wasted on me.

      • jerry485843


    • Nan

      Doesn’t the Ordinariate use the Book of Common Prayer? I believe that due to your Anglican heritage you’d be able to join. The Queen is a bit more problematic; as a Catholic you agree to believe and profess all that the Church teaches. The Church does not teach that the Queen is its head; due to primacy of Rome, men being bishops, etc., it would be impossible for her to be the head. I know, it’s your heart that’s the problem here.

    • AndrewMelville

      Christianity is all about forgiveness. Leave the awful Church of Rome and return something purer, such as the Church of England or even better the Church of Scotland. Neither are perfect, but both are least founded on Christian principles. You could still visit a Roman Church on holidays if you felt like a spot of idol worship.

      • Jen The Blue

        What utter tosh!

        • AndrewMelville

          Don’t be so hard on the Romans. They don’t know any better.

      • AugustineThomas

        Spoken like a true heretic, full of hate and bitterness. Such is the barren fruit of a cursed tree.

        Christ commanded unity and gave the keys to St. Peter. This is a direct reference to the Old Testament, wherein a Davidic king would make a trusted adviser the equivalent of a prime minister by giving him the keys to the kingdom when he was away.

        Leave your vile heresy behind. Seek communion with the One True Church.

        • AndrewMelville

          You’re hilarious. Your comment shows so clearly your RC bigotry and you can’t see it. Endlessly repeating your claim doesn’t make it so. It just makes you repetitious.

          Study the bible and pray for the gifts of humility and wisdom. Ask forgiveness from all the other churches (some older than the Roman Church) and fellow Christians for your refusal to acknowledge them as brothers in Christ. Remember what Jesus said: my father’s house has many rooms!

          And if you’ve any energy left, seek to reform your own church. Mote, beam, eye and all that. I’ll do the same.

          • AugustineThomas

            You’re full of fundamentalist Protestant myths. There is no church older than the Church, which Christ gave command over to St. Peter.
            No one is disobeying Christ by following his commandment. You think Christ was confused when he was making references to the Old Testament and clearly telling St. Peter he would be in charge?

            • AndrewMelville

              Do tell the churches of the Levant, founded long before an apostle visited Rome. And the Indians, and the Ethiopians etc.

              And also tell the Protestant Churches that restored Christianity form the mass of foul superstition and pagan practices into which it had sunk.

              Keep working on cleaning up the Roman Church – you’ll get there yet.

              • AugustineThomas

                Those churches you mention were all founded by one of the Apostles who acknowledged St. Peter’s primacy.
                There is plenty of historical evidence that St. Peter went to Rome, founded his diocese and was crucified there. Christ makes direct references to St. Peter’s primacy. You guys come up with wild nonsense theories in order to avoid the obvious truth.

                • AndrewMelville

                  I never said that Peter went to Rome and was crucified there. Why would you suggest that I did? I merely stated the established fact that there were many churches established before the Church of Rome.

                  Where is the evidence that all the other apostles including those who founded other, earlier churches deferred in all matters to the absolutely authority of the Roman Church. (Hint: there isn’t any).

                  Try believing in Christianity charity and unity.

                • AugustineThomas

                  Hint: you don’t know what you’re talking about.

                  “[T]he blessed Peter, the chosen, the preeminent, the first among the disciples, for whom alone with himself the Savior paid the tribute [Matt. 17:27], quickly g.asped and understood their meaning. And what does he say? ‘Behold, we have left all and have followed you’ [Matt. 19:27; Mark 10:28]” (Who Is the Rich Man That Is Saved? 21:3–5 [A.D. 200]).

                • AndrewMelville

                  Tee hee. You are very funny.

                  Does your translation have a verse that says, “Protestants are evil and the Pope is a demigod?”

                  Here’s what the NEB says:

                  Matt 17:27

                  “Why then,” said Jesus, “their own people are exempt! But as we do not want to cause offence, go and cast a line in the lake; take the first fish that comes to the hook, open its mouth, and you will find a silver coin; take that and pay it in; it will meet the tax for us both.”

                  I see how this supports your argument.

                  Matt. 19:27 and Mark 10:28 – so what?

                • AugustineThomas

                  It’s pretty silly to trust a translation that happened 1900 years after the fact over a translation that happened decades after the fact.
                  The Protestants’ translations are all far more flawed than St. Jerome’s ever was. They claim to be fixing things but they made more errors than followers of the One True Church (which makes sense since they did the same thing will all theology).

                  If not for the Protestant Heresy we wouldn’t have the Secularist Apostasy and the Church wouldn’t have been brought to its knees by your Godless brothers the Leftists.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Now you are being absurd.

                  It is one thing to gave a strong belief in something. It is quite another to make daft statements that even you can’t believe.

                  I agree that having multiple churches and religious freedom in a country makes it more likely to permit atheists to express their views. A small pride to pay for religious and political freedom.

                • maxime1793

                  “It is more correct, closer to the ancient church than Roman practice”

                  —Protestant theology is? Which strand of the 8,000 flavours? Luther? Calvin? Zwingli? Wesley? Arminius? Later Baptists or Pentecostals?

                  Even Luthernaism and Calvinism have evolved significantly. Many people think Luther did not believe in the literal presence of Christ in the Eucharist – that’s not true. But by now, few Lutherans do. Calvin at least supported taking Communion often, but few Presbyterian churches offer it weekly.

                  You cited the oriental churches more ancient than Rome – they have all the liturgical elements contemporary Protestants reproach Catholics for. Orthodoxy and the oriental churches are far more liturgical than the typical Roman parish. But there was born the early church.

                  There are some very saintly Protestant people, but their churches are quite far (the various types of Protestant churches in different ways) from the early church in both theory and praxis.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Maxime, you’re just spewing out typical papist slurs against other Christians without addressing my specific complaints against the Church of Rome. Not nice.

                  My biggest complaint is its dumb and prideful claim that it is the only true church – what a laugh! With its many pagan and superstitious practices, it is barely Christian at all.

                • maxime1793

                  “Maxime, you’re just spewing out typical papist slurs against other Christians”

                  —Wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

                  (1) I am not a papist. I have never been a papist.
                  (2) I said nothing that implied papism.
                  (3) Even if you read what I said as “slurs” they were far from typical papist ones.

                  “My biggest complaint is its dumb and prideful claim that it is the only true church – what a laugh!”

                  —I agree with this.

                  “With its many pagan and superstitious practices, it is barely Christian at all”

                  —This is what is bizarre and insulting, and many non-Catholics like myself would agree. Pagan elements like the tree-hugging priestesses you find in so much of the Anglican Communion? Or like the Oriental fatalism of Calvinist predestination? Idol worship like the posited “infallibility” of given English translations of the Bible? Superstitious like praying to learn “God’s plan for your life” (which always becomes a justification for whatever you do)? Or are you going to take the low-intelligence propaganda spread on the internet that the Catholics are pagan because of Easter and a papist conspiracy to de-Judaise Christianity?

                • AndrewMelville

                  I never said you were a papist – I said you were spewing out typical papist slurs – which you were.

                  I agree that there are lots of practices in Protestant churches past and present which are wrong, Pagan and silly. They need to be rooted out.

                  Roman Catholics are pagan because of their idolatry, worship of saints and Jesus’ mum, belief in divinely ordained magic cannibalism etc. Nothing to do with Easter. I don’t understand your reference to de-Judaisizing Christianity.

                • maxime1793

                  Catholics do not worship saints. They venerate saints. Luther claimed the “sainthood of all believers” which is bizarre, since it implies all Christians are pure. This logic can only be true insofar as a true Christian believer does not sin – which would make him a saint, but also make the number of Christian believers extremely small, which was seemingly not his point. Otherwise, we are at the logical fail that all Christians in a broader sense are equally pure. Everyone is not equally close to God (nor are there just 2 or 3 categories of distance). Maybe this was a cover for Luther’s breaking his vow and marrying a nun?

                  I won’t blab more about the Eucharist, but look, there are many mysteries in the New Testament. We might both deny the immaculate conception of Mary, but you don’t deny the Virgin birth surely? That defies logic, doesn’t it? And not all miracles noted in the Bible occurred in Christ’s direct presence, right?

                  “Nothing to do with Easter. I don’t understand your reference to de-Judaisizing Christianity.”

                  —Never mind that then. Messianic Jewish propaganda about how the Pope supposedly changed true Christianity and how he made us celebrate a pagan Easter and not Passover is all over the internet. It has spread, partly through megachurches and radio preachers, to some Baptists and Presbyterians, even though it contradicts their own churches’ theology. It would not apply to you then, though.

                • AndrewMelville

                  Worship / venerate. The distinctions have meaning to theologians, but to the average Roman Catholic not much. The point is that the Roman church constantly puts intermediaries between God and man. Jesus was pretty clear on the point that he was the only intermediary – not priests, his Mum, saints etc.

                  I don’t buy your points about saints. We are all sinners – in what sense is any of us pure? Or even purer? God loves us equally; I don’t believe that he recognizes two classes of believers: saints and sinners. The ongoing parade of politically appointed “saints” from the Roman Church is absurd and offensive. Thomas More???!!!

                  I think there are lots of folk tales in the NT as well as the OT. I don’t believe in the Virgin Birth – how is it essential to Christ’s message and ministry? I don’t know about changing water into wine and similar tales – possibly real or possibly just folk tales that accrued to stories of his ministry. The only important miracle is the resurrection – without that there is nothing, with it and nothing else there is everything.

                  Thanks. The Messianic Jews are a nutty bunch. I think the error arises from seeming Christianity as a Jewish heresy while Judaism continued on a continuous and unchanging path – since Babylon? I think a better model would be to see the end of temple based Judaism following Christ and the destruction of the temple, and the rise of Pauline Christianity and Rabbinical Judaism in response. That is two new things rather than one new thing and one old thing.

                • maxime1793

                  “We are all sinners – in what sense is any of us pure? Or even purer?”

                  —People can commit actions out of pure altruism. Do you think the sins of all are equal? Or are the sins of some greater? We may all live in sin – but is it an equal amount? Surely not, for one who talks about observed ‘logic’ and what simply seems to be ‘ridiculous’.

                  “Thomas More???!!!”

                  —The path to sainthood is easier if you are martyred. I would agree, however, that the RCC is way over-canonising these days.

                  ” I don’t believe in the Virgin Birth – how is it essential to Christ’s message and ministry?”

                  —That’s bizarre. Then who is Christ’s father? You must not be an orthodox Calvinist then. He only took issue with the idea that Mary was a virgin after Christ’s birth.

                  “The only important miracle is the resurrection – without that there is nothing, with it and nothing else there is everything.”

                  —I don’t go looking for miracles and am quite sceptical when I hear of them, but I must accept they do happen. Yes, today, and not only in places like Africa.

                  I agree with your last paragraph.

                • AugustineThomas

                  You’re not citing any of your ridiculous claims.

                  The Early Church is the same as the Church. The Church is just the Early Church 2,000 years later.

                  Protestants even removed books from the bible that Christ and the apostles used because those books made it so clear that the Church is the One True Church and all the Protestant sects come from the false preachers that Christ clearly warned us about.

                  God bless you!

                • AndrewMelville

                  That’s hilarious!
                  May I have a copy of the picture you have obviously have of Christ’s library shelves? I’d love to see it. Did he read detective fiction too?
                  The Roman Catholic Church is a horror show of man made pagan rites grafted on top of a real Christian Church – mix in lots of money and power politics add a dash of sexual obsession and you’ve got the sorry mess we see today.
                  Protestantism as you well know was about riding the church of its corruption – along the way they discovered much better ways of governing themselves. Clear evidence that God still works in the world.

                • AugustineThomas

                  There are contemporaries of the apostles who attest to the books Christ and the apostles use. Protestants removed those books from their bibles to justify their heresies.

                  The Church has developed from the time that Christ founded it, guided by the Holy Spirit. All Protestant sects originated with heretics and only further break apart and become more heretical as they age.
                  Clearly the Holy Spirit is only protecting the One True Church from utter destruction.

                  Protestant “pastors” have higher rates of sexual abuse than the clergy. Many Catholics ignore the teachings of the Church the same as Protestants do and thus also have a high rate of abuse.

                  I hope you find the truth!

                  God bless you.

                • AndrewMelville

                  You are hilarious, but you can’t fool me. I almost you believed the nonsense you were spewing, but you’re far too early for April Fools. Naughty, naughty, I’m on to you now.

                • AugustineThomas

                  It’s an absolute historical fact that the first Protestants removed books from the bible because those books contained plenty of evidence for all the teachings of the Church and its standing as the One True Church.

                  God bless you brother!

                • maxime1793

                  This is absurd, what you did was you googled the issue and pulled up quotes of Church Fathers suggesting Peter’s primacy and copied and pasted something attributed to Clement of Alexandria. You, however, failed to cite him.

                  When your opponent looked up the verse, which appeared as a Biblical citation, it turned up something different. It was meant to be a verse Clement had in mind and not a direct citation. He tells you this is not Matthew 17:27, and you, being so ignorant of what you are doing, tell him that your translation is superior! You don’t even know what you’re posting, you’re just copying and pasting from Catholic apologist sources.

                  I agree NEB is crap, but that is not Matthew 17:27 in Textus Receptus Koiné or Vulgate Latin.

                  “If not for the Protestant Heresy we wouldn’t have the Secularist
                  Apostasy and the Church wouldn’t have been brought to its knees by your
                  Godless brothers the Leftists.”

                  —I have some sympathy for this idea.

                • AugustineThomas

                  What are you talking about?
                  First of all, do you not use Internet search engines to do your research? If so, I invite you into the 21st century! :)

                  You’re making yourself look like a fool by suggesting that I didn’t know who I was quoting. Why is it not valid to cite one of the most respected members of the Early Church when having a discussion about the Early Church and what it taught??
                  Forgive me, but I trust Clement’s explanation of the Early Church more than yours or any other arrogant, contemporary person.

                  You make these childish insults but you never even address my point, which is that it’s far better to use translations based on St. Jerome’s, which occurred relatively close to the time of Christ within the same culture than those based on the work of Protestant heretics–who had no connection whatsoever to Greek or Roman culture in Christ’s time–1,500 years after the fact.

                  Make sure you know what you’re talking about before you accuse others of ignorance!

                  God bless you!

                • maxime1793

                  “First of all, do you not use Internet search engines to do your research?”

                  —No, you do.

                  “You’re making yourself look like a fool by suggesting that I didn’t know who I was quoting”

                  —You have to cite your quotes. You copied and pasted verbatim from , and now I see you’ve withdrawn your comment in shame 😉

                  “You make these childish insults”

                  —No, I came upon a childish conversation between a childish Calvinist an a childish ultra-Catholic. I have naturally more sympathy for the Catholic position, but low tolerance for this method of debate. If you want to act like an apologist and convince people to be Catholic, you’ve got to have better methods than to cite Petros = rock over and over again.

                  You have to decide as well if catholic theology or the Roman Catholic institutions are most important (i.e., which is the foundation for the other). Is it a greater sin to depart from “Peter’s Church” or to support un-catholic changes out of loyalty to the hierarchy.

                • AugustineThomas

                  I didn’t withdraw anything. My point stands. I’m not writing an academic paper, I’m engaged in argument on the Internet and the point is a good one even if uncited. Unlike you, I’m trying to find truth, not exalt myself. (What does God tell us about those who exalt themselves?)
                  You’re a fool if you don’t use the most powerful research tool in history to do your research. You must tell me what library you’re going to where you have access to as many texts as you would on the Internet.
                  In your mind, does it make the teachings of one of the Church Fathers irrelevant if they’re posted on
                  You’re a pedant. You don’t really care what the truth is. You care about stroking your own ego.
                  It doesn’t matter where the truth is discovered. The truth is what matters. You’re the one acting like an immature fool by suggesting that truth only counts if it comes from a library or somewhere that makes you feel like a real scholar.
                  It’s interesting to me that you’re trying to chastise me for quoting a Church Father and then telling me that I only repeat Kephas. (Mr. Smarty Pants is apparently as ignorant as the Protestants who think that Christ would have said Petros and not Kephas.)
                  And here you’re betraying what a pedant you are again. Why make things complicated when they’re quite simple?
                  Christ refers to St. Peter as the Rock, he tells him that what he binds and loosens on earth will be bound and loosened in Heaven, and he says he will give him the keys to the kingdom. The keys to the kingdom, I’ll tell you yet again, are a direct reference to the giving of authority over the Davidic kingdom in the Old Testament.
                  Nothing else is needed to defend Petrine Authority, but I’m happy to explain further and use the words of the Church Fathers to do so if it helps people understand further.
                  And I’m not acting like a great apologist, that’s you, you hypocrite. :)
                  I’m simply trying to further understand the truth and explain what bit of it I do understand to those who dispute it.
                  I’m sure I could learn something from you if you got over being a foolish pedant and actually tried to be humble and share the truth you’ve come to know.

                  God bless you brother!

                • maxime1793

                  “Those churches you mention were all founded by one of the Apostles who acknowledged St. Peter’s primacy.”

                  —Primacy does not equal control. In the Eastern Orthodox world, any notion of primacy passed to Constantinople, but that does not mean the other patriarchates take direct orders. Rome never exerted control over the aforementioned jurisdictions.

                  The Nicene Councils were of a very different nature than the Vatican Councils. In the latter, the agenda is controlled by the leadership which seeks refinement and then rubber stamping of a programme already prepared. In the former, the questions may be prepared in advance but not the answers. The leadership moderates debate, more like a parliamentary speaker.

                  The Vatican changed.

                • AugustineThomas

                  You again try to speak as an authority but betray your ignorance of the subject matter. The Patriarchs used to kiss the feet of the pope to show deference.
                  St. Peter founded the Holy See in Rome before Constantinople even existed. Primacy is based on St. Peter’s decision, guided by the Holy Spirit, where to found his diocese. All the apostles and St. Paul acknowledged the primacy of St. Peter.
                  The pope should always be willing to follow the guidance of brother bishops even though he has the final say, as laid out by St. Peter’s example of reconsidering after St. Paul rebuked him for not allowing gentiles into the Church.

                  God bless you brother!

                • maxime1793

                  When you say “the Holy See in Rome was founded before…” that just means Peter’s ministry in Rome came before X, Y, and Z. The Holy See as the authoritative centre of a large jurisdiction of Christianity was not immediate. Yes, in any case the Holy See was founded before Constantinople, but it did not exert authority over the Eastern jurisdictions of the Empire and the church beyond the Empire (e.g., Armenia, Georgia, India, Ethiopia). Some of these jurisdictions are older than Rome anyway.

                  It claimed this authority later. If it had its way today, all the Orthodox (and at least the Greek Catholics) would be forced into these horrible Novus Ordo services and reciting the filioque, which, as I think even the Jesuits have admitted, makes no sense in Greek. And don’t suggest, “No, they could become Eastern Catholic”, as that is not a long-term solution. In fact, the position of Eastern Catholicism is absurd, being exempt from certain dogmata. Shouldn’t the latter be universal?

                • AugustineThomas

                  You can easily do some research and find out which teachings are universal and which liturgical rules are unique to each rite. (I don’t claim to be an expert, but I understand the difference between universal laws and the unique traditions of each rite.)

                  Christ clearly gives the keys to St. Peter. That is a symbol for the giving of authority from the Old Testament. All of the apostles acknowledged the supremacy of St. Peter. There have been schismatics and heretics from the beginning. That doesn’t change the fact that God very clearly put St. Peter in charge.

                  God bless you brother!

            • maxime1793

              Pardon me, but what incredibly stupid arguments to make in defence of Catholicism. If you’re arguing with an Anglo-Calvinist, I’m naturally on your side, but saying you have to join the RCC because of the “commandment” of a linguistic pun on Peter’s name – as if that justifies everything every pope has ever done in one fell swoop, really brings this debate down to the level of a school playground.

              There are several options that fall within the lower-c catholic spectrum – Anglo-Catholicism (you can debate whether it is a failure – that’s a separate issue), Old Catholicism (yes, I know some of these churches are very liberal, but not all), Eastern Orthodoxy, Western Orthodoxy (it’s like the Ordinariate but connected to Antioch), and Oriental Orthodoxy, aside from the RCC and its incongruently connected Eastern Catholic jurisdictions. You can disagree that most of these are properly catholic, but please, keep the disagreement to a theological analysis, don’t link it to unquestioning belief in papal infallibility, which is not an ancient doctrine.

              Would you know how many poor Traditionalist Catholics I run into who can hardly go to church because they don’t accept any innovations, cannot find a parish without them, but insist that other people must be RC ‘cuz Petros means rock. Really, it’s rather sick.

              • AugustineThomas

                I’m sorry, but you seem to be insulting Christ himself. Christ told St. Peter that what St. Peter bound on earth would be bound in heaven and what he loosed on earth would be loosed in heaven. You have to take the position that Christ was confused and speaking irrationally in order to reject the claim that he’s giving St. Peter primacy.
                As I said above, the giving of the keys to the kingdom is a direct reference to the symbol by which a Davidic king gave authority over the kingdom to a trusted adviser when he, i.e. the king, was away from the kingdom.
                None of this suggests that any pope is perfect. St. Peter himself rejected Christ three times.

                I’m sorry again, but I sympathize with orthodox Catholics who are upset with the rampant heresy currently in the Church. Not all of them react properly, but they’re human. The proper Mass is still growing by leaps and bounds despite the persecution coming from our current, misguided pope.
                And anyway, Christ warned us that the road to Heaven is narrow.
                “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

                • maxime1793

                  If you mean the Tridentine Mass, I’ve been to a few and they can be lovely. I visited Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini in Rome this past June. I do hope this tradition grows again within Catholicism. That said, the Greek Divine Liturgy, really itself having just codified and regularised already existing liturgical norms in the East, is the source for most Western liturgies today – Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and beyond. I personally prefer the Chrysostom liturgy to the best of Western liturgies.

                  More importantly, as an Orthodox Christian I can find the Chrysostom liturgy at any Orthodox church, whereas as an Anglo-Catholic or Roman Catholic, one often has no access to decent liturgies. To the extent that this is the fault of the papacy (certain recent popes, not mainly Francis) and hierarchy, that puts conservative Catholics who cite the “commandment” of Saint Peter in a difficult position, doesn’t it? You yourself are questioning the Pope, but you don’t appear to question his legitimacy. There is a wide spectrum from extreme papal loyalty to extreme sedevacantism with Trad Catholics scattered throughout. Trad Caths are some of the most tormented people I have known, and their position is exceedingly sad.

                  I am sympathetic regarding their struggles within their own church but not when they use poor arguments to get people to join them in their misery of having little access to a decent liturgy and being forced to support an hierarchy that does not like them and does not value their traditions.

                • AugustineThomas

                  The Church developed as one body. There are different Rites within it and the proper version of each Rite is as beautiful and valuable as any other. The proper Eastern Rites (which are celebrated in churches that are in full communion with the Holy See) are just as beautiful as the proper versions of the Roman Rite.
                  The problem is that the Novus Ordo is not one of the proper versions of the Roman Rite. It’s a degradation of the proper versions of the past.

                  And you seem to be quite hateful and ugly inside, so it seems awkward to me that you’re trying to pass judgement on orthodox Catholics (with your childish, derogatory use of the term “Trad”).
                  Catholics who embrace orthodoxy, which includes the proper liturgy, are the most well-adjusted people I’ve met in my life. Members of the schismatic Orthodox Church are the ones who seem hateful and unfulfilled because it’s clear that they’re wrong by the fact that their church is not universal like the Church. That is why the One True Church is truly universal and ten times larger than the Orthodox Church.
                  Anyway, there are good signs that the Orthodox might break schism and return to Holy Mother Church at some point.

                  God bless you brother!

                • Ps Levi

                  Just join a Confessional LUTHERAN CHURCH. Christianity’s best kept secret.

      • maxime1793

        The “pure” CofE or CofS. That’s really funny.

        A Calvinist, I presume?

        Have you made pilgrimmages to the holy cities of Calvinism – Geneva, Amsterdam, The Hague, Strasbourg, Boston, Edinburgh?

        How strong is their faith?

        • AndrewMelville

          Yes a Calvinist. I have been to many of those cities. Is there a point you are trying to make or are you merely interested in my travel itineraries? If you are seeking to “bump into me” I should warn you now that I am happily married.

          • maxime1793

            The point is obvious! You imagine even the Church of Scotland a “purer” church than the RCC. Those cities I named are the least religious places on Earth. Go to Rome, Athens, Thessaloniki, heck, even Moscow, Bucharest, or Addis Ababa and the atmosphere is far more religious and even the native irreligious more respectful of religion.

            Calvinism is an utter failure. And it could be nothing but.

            Tell me, if it is God’s Sovereign plan that those who seriously believe in TULIP would vanish from this world, what arguments do you have left?

            • AndrewMelville

              Yes the Church of Scotland is indeed a much purer church than the Church of Rome. I don’t know how anyone could think differently.

              Your perception of the religiosity of different world cities is interesting but completely irrelevant.

              Calvinism is not an utter failure. What an odd thing to say. Is truth to be determined by a vote in your curious world?

              • maxime1793

                The Church of Scotland is a very liberal church, just like the PCUSA, largely pro-choice (PCUSA is explicitly so) and now pro-gay and well infiltrated by feminism. So by a sort of ideological measure, it seems pretty far gone. Also, few of its ministers take Calvinism seriously. All across the West, mainstream Protestantism is a joke. It bleeds serious ministers to smaller sects (like the Free Churches or ‘Orthodox Presbyterian Church’ in the US). Most of the younger ministers are poorly theologically educated and silly, and stand on their heads to get young members. Nonetheless, It bleeds young people who want religious experience to non-denominationalist megachurches. It bleeds young people from its typical demographic to secularism, deism, and atheism. Its average age is very high and membership and its more normal ministers are dying out. It’s over for groups like the Church of Scotland and PCUSA. The smaller Calvinist groups will continue to exist in their rural fiefdoms.

                The Catholics, by contrast, were badly infiltrated by homosexuals and radicals in the 60s-70s, but now their incoming clergy is very conservative. The Orthodox don’t even entertain some of the horrific ideas constantly being debated at mainstream Protestant conventions and the less extreme but still troubling positions apparently being debated in the Vatican.

                Calvinism is a failure because I have never known anyone who does not give in to the temptation to deviate from pure a pure predestinationalist doctrine, which ought not to assume anything on behalf of the Lord, to proclaim by some token the salvation of himself or others and/or the condemnation of some.

                This is their (mostly predictable) evolution:
                (1) God is Sovereign and we cannot know His plan. Some have been foreordained to election or condemnation.
                (2) God is Sovereign and we cannot know His plan, except that you really can feel if you yourself are elect.
                (3) God is Sovereign and has a plan and we can see how it unfolds in our lives. There are covenant children and those predestined to wickedness.
                (4) We can see material signs of election or reprobation in people. The self-appointed elect in power attack the accused reprobate.
                (5) Eventually, many people decide either (a) this is wicked and deviate to Arminianism; (b) this is silly and deviate to deism. In the latter case, whether or not there are material signs of election, if we are preprogrammed in our actions, what is the point of piety?
                (6) The proclaimed (outside the Church from at least the 19th century) and the lurking (bourgeois, church members for social reasons) deists become agnostic. The Arminians split further into universalist liberals and social-conservative evangelicals. Only a small stubborn core of Calvinists remain, unable to motivate anyone to believe in something they cannot change or influence – eternal election.

                As such, Reformed churches in the broadest sense are only 3-4% of Christianity today, and not with a terribly positive outlook.

                But the path to righteousness is ‘narrow’, right? Just like ‘Augustine’ says? God only intended a handful of people who believe in the wicked doctrine of predestination of people into elect and reprobate categories from the beginning of time (making God responsible for sin – a heresy) to be saved, not based on your willed actions. Or in poor Augustine’s case, God only wanted a handful of conservative Catholics, who disagree with their hierarchy and question the validity of many masses, but cannot separate from Rome because they read too much in to one Biblical verse, to be saved.

                Yeah, right.

    • Arthur Rusdell-Wilson

      Apply for membership of the ordinariate. As an ex-Anglican you qualify. if ther is not a group near you, one day there will be, and you can join its life as a member.

    • jerry485843

      Bigot. You belong with the chester church. Try not to d i d d l e any altar boys.

  • callingallcomets

    I always thought Damian Thompson was an escapee from Peter Simple. I refuse to take any view on this issue until I receive guidance from Cristina Odone who is the UK’s resident expert on Papists, Italy and motherhood and anything else the DT asks her to fill up with 900 words

  • Rowland Nelken

    And what is Roman Catholicism about? Plenty of dressing up there. An utterly weird global outfit based upon the utterly absurd notion that the Pope of Rome is Jesus’ exclusivie earthly standin until the Parousia. This wacky idea is based on……evidence? Give over!

    • Nan

      CHrist gave the keys to Peter, the first Bishop of Rome. Rome’s primacy wasn’t contested in the first milennium.

    • Altesegel

      The catholic church is the body of Christ on earth. The Pope may be its head but its soul and spirit remain those of Jesus. You may think it absurd but its been here since Jesus set it up one over cast afternoon in Galilee.

    • Phil Steinacker

      The arrangement of which you speak so ignorantly is actually deeply grounded in scripture. I’d say more but I’ve seen this movie before and I don’t wish to waste my time elaborating further to those determined to reject proper biblical sourcing.

    • AugustineThomas

      Petrine authority is very well established. You deny the beliefs of the Apostles (all of whom acknowledged St. Peter)?

    • jerry485843

      They’re very devoted to touching little boys.

  • jamesbarn


    Well I live in magnificent splendour
    I am honoured wherever I go
    I sit in my ivory tower
    And pass judgement on all those below

    I criticise government actions
    Though nobody elected me
    I always want more and I cadge from the poor
    My organisations tax-free

    I criticised all bankers bonus
    Shout for more equal shares of the pot
    In reality we are far richer
    And what’s more were keeping the lot

    I preach that we are all equal
    And demand laws that heed what I say
    But I’m just a snob for your barred from top job
    If you’re female or worse still your gay

    Who am I? Have I got you Guessing?
    Well believe me I have no remorse
    For the habit I have of cross-dressing
    I am an Archbishop of course

    • Old Nick

      Oh, and starting the Food Bank movement – I think you may have forgotten that.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Always glad to see people resorting to rhyme.ven if it isn’t quite poetry yet.

    • Fred Garvin

      Women aren’t barred from the “top job” as of this month; gays have been in the top job (although not openly) at least since Archbishop Laud had a dream that the Duke of Buckingham came into bed with him.
      As Mainline Protestantism gets more and more marginalized, the percentage of marginalized populations (gays and women, e.g.) will make up higher and higher percentages of its leadership.

  • Julie

    The Ordinariate may have joined “la chiesa”, but there are commissions and assignments available for women, other than being extraordinary foundresses of religious orders; including webmistress and head of the Holy Internet Office, currently an American Franciscan Sister.

    • Nan

      I’m a bit subversive; I do crazy things like caring for linens and censers at my parish.

      • Stan Theman

        Wow, so no social life whatsoever, then?
        The only other living things you see most days is your cat/dog/bird/fish?

        • Nan

          How does volunteering for the church imply that I see no living things? or have no social life?

  • AndrewMelville

    He’s right the choice is clear:

    1. Leave and join the Church of Paedos – which is chock full of made up nonsense without scriptural or traditional authority, and discriminates against all women for no discernible reason or

    2. Remain with the national Church (not mine by the way) which tries to reform itself when it discovers an error in its past.

    Easy choice, frankly.

    • David Booth.

      It must be nice living in your world Andrew instead of the real one.

      • AndrewMelville

        To what that I have written do you object?

        • David Booth.

          I resent your various references to the Catholic Church in terms of “Paedos” “Pagans” etc.
          If you belong to a particular church there is no reason to go around denigrating other church’s under the cloak on anonymity.

          • AndrewMelville

            The Roman Catholic Bishop of Rome has himself acknowledged that his church has a particular problem here.

            I resent the Roman church’s persistence in denigrating the legitimacy of other churches. It is a most unchristian practice and wholly unwarranted. Moreover, there is much about Roman doctrine and practice that I find deeply offensive and yes, pagan.

            I am sorry if you are offended. You will note that I am teasing in a similar spirit to the article itself. No matter that you disagree, but nothing I have said suggests that I don’t live in the real world – au contraire.

            • David Booth.

              The Church has over the last few years admitted there has been abuses that are now coming to light. Church guidelines are now held up as a good example for other organisations. All organisations have their rotten eggs and if the the press is anything to go by the C of E is about to have problems.
              If a person is comfortable in their own beliefs why do they need to go round denigrating others?

              • AndrewMelville

                That’s precisely my point about Roman Catholic Church’s stance towards its fellow churches and christians!

                Let me help you with the context of my remarks: I was commenting on the snide remarks of a Roman Catholic commentator on an important initiative by a fellow church, which happens to be the national church of the country in which he lives.

                You are right there is much that is imperfect about the C of E, but there is much that is admirable too. Most especially its tolerance of other churches and other religions.

                If the Roman Church is sorting itself out now on the matter of the evil, twisted perversions of far too many of its clergy, that is good, but it comes after many years of denials and active evil attacks on the victims itself. That same triumphant, we are right and you are wrong attitude still persists in very core of the church. Again it is a most unchristian attitude.

                • David Booth.

                  The only “we are right you are wrong attitude….” is coming from you.
                  When it comes to people who abuse children be they clergy, social workers, police, teachers, politicians etc the world would soon run out of millstones and deep water if it was left to me.

                • AndrewMelville

                  You’ve found your sense of self righteousness just when you lost your sense of humour.

                  You might also wish to have a look around for your sense of Christian charity and forgiveness. Child abuse is loathsome, but its practitioners are still people, even brothers in Christ. Prevention, of course, punishment, indeed but also pity, suspension of judgement and even forgiveness when there is repentance.

                • David Booth.

                  I cannot forgive Paedophiles because thankfully I’ve never been abused. Unlike the late Lord Longford who ‘magnanimously’ forgive Brady and Hindley for their crimes against other peoples children.
                  The fact that offenders have to be exposed before they demand forgiveness cast doubt on their claims for forgiveness. Not unlike a recently ‘retired’ Archbishop here in Scotland.
                  Having spent 35 years working in psychiatry I’m well aware that Paedophiles are the most manipulative of people who rarely, if ever, respond to therapy. They simply learn how to play the game of therapy.
                  I apologise for any lack of humour on my part, it’s been a long trying day.

                • AndrewMelville

                  I’m sorry if I have added to your trying day.

                  I agree: Longford was a twit. More interested in his own celebrity than anything else, methinks.

                  I believe in punishment and control for paedos – forgiveness does not mean taking leave of one’s senses. It is a theological concept and should rarely be a civil one.

            • Stan Theman

              You don’t seem to mind the shock most Orthodox have for your church’s highly disproportionate number of gay clergy.
              Or the fact that if your clergy want to become Orthodox, they have to get re-ordained; the Orthodox don’t believe that your clergy are priests any more than the Catholics do.
              You obviously have an idea that Christianity is pretty much limited to the Catholic/Protestant split.
              Maybe you should get out more, 23+ years since the fall of the USSR.

              • AndrewMelville

                I don’t think you understand my point. To wit: The Church of Rome thinks it is the only Christian Church, but this is arrogant nonsense; there are many churches within the Catholic (i.e. universal) Church. True Christians honour and revere them all, despite doctrinal differences. The Roman Church displays its arrogance, ignorance and evil by refusing to do this. The Orthodox Churches are of course the prime example. They are older and closer to the gospels than the Roman Church by a country mile.

                I am not a Roman Catholic. I despite the Roman Catholic Church, although I acknowledge that it is a Christian church. I like and admire Roman Catholics – just not their church.


                • Stan Theman

                  No-because you are unaware that the Orthodox considers themselves the one true church just as much as the Catholics. The idea that there is more than one church strikes them as illogical-just as it strikes the Catholics.
                  They don’t think that only Orthodox are going to heaven or that all Orthodox are going to heaven, but then neither do the Catholics. Don’t believe me? Ask them or read their works-quite a lot of them in English.
                  I’m guessing from “AndrewMelville” you’re a Presbyterian who’s view of the christian world is limited to the Catholics, Anglicans/Episcopalians and WeeFrees; it’s a big world out there-try to get out more.
                  As an atheist, I’m amazed by how provincial most believers are; it’s a truism that atheists usually know more about your religion than you do.

          • Kitty MLB

            Yes indeed.

    • Nan

      The thing is, nowhere in the bible does it say sola scriptura; however, it does say to follow both Scripture and Tradition as handed down.

      Christ’s teaching is now an error?

  • JWM

    If the poisonous Damo Thompson is an authentic model of Roman Catholic charity, on balance I’m rather pleased I’m not one.

    • AugustineThomas

      Try to think of the saints who built your country. (How do you guys love the secularists who have turned you all into impotent wimps and cowards but hate the saints and martyrs who made you great??!)

  • Smithersjones2013

    I suspect the Pope will still be drowning his sorrows in the communion wine after the result last night.

    • Phil Steinacker

      As only a matter of time the vote was a forgone conclusion. Of course we hate to see the AC widen the gulf between us to a point of no return, but your characterization of Francis’ reaction is absurd and sophomoric.

  • CraigStrachan

    “these days, Anglo-Catholicism is mostly about dressing up”

    These days, and those days that have gone before.

    • eclair

      Yup,include the congretion in that too.

    • wyclif

      Cue Hilliard’s famous “UnEnglish and unmanly”:

    • AugustineThomas

      You guys are the most pathetic ingrates in the history of the world. The Church built your tiny island of pagan barbarians into the greatest nation in the world and how do you thank its members? By murdering the best of them over the lust of your fat, worthless, heretic king.

  • Rey Flores

    Seek full communion with Rome.

    • telemachus

      Popery has as many dangers today as it has since 1534

      • monty61

        It’s certainly in as much danger as back then, now that a lot of what was pretty rabid anti-Catholicism has mophed into pretentious, PC-approved (and trendy) Dawkins-ism. (Bigotry with the blessing of science – where have we come across that before?)

        • Julie Tempan

          Well said.

      • BillyT92679

        oh for fuck’s sake… drop the old school bigotry

      • AugustineThomas

        Heresy is what’s destroying your nation and prepping it to be taken over by violent, rapacious Muslims.

  • BillyT92679

    I hope they join the Ordinariate.

    • Tim Baker

      keep on dreaming

      • BillyT92679

        Sure will Tim

  • dado_trunking

    This must be taken for what it is. Anglicans will become Protestants or face being absorbed by Rome.

    • Nan

      Anglicans are Protestants. They have been the whole time. Allowing women to be ordained as bishops just clarifies the impossibility of Christian Unity.

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