5 October 2009

In the Goolies

Have you seen Dr Ratzinger's address to the African Synod? The bit where he refers to the spiritual toxic waste of the First World going to Africa and being a form of colonialism?

He really does have a gift for bowling his rhetoric straight into the goolies of his detractors, doesn't he? This Pontificate truly is fun, isn't it?


Steve said...

I still wish he hadn't squelched ARCIC in his previous incarnation - how different things would have been....

Giles Pinnock said...

Ratzinger didn't squelch ARCIC; the fundamental nature of Anglicanism squelched ARCIC because no-one could ever know whether any Anglicans other than the ones actually in the room at the time would ever have any time for the various statements that were agreed.

Plus Ratzinger knew that Rome had other ecumenical fish to fry that might actually eventually go somewhere.

Pastor in Monte said...

Someone once wisely said to me that the problem with ARCIC was that the Anglican side and the R.Catholic side were asking two different questions—
CofE: Can you believe X and still be a good Anglican?
RC: Is X what the Church always and everywhere has believed? Does this formulation do it justice?
Inevitably there would be problems.

William Tighe said...

Squelch? Squelch? Since the Anglican side wouldn't and couldn't squelch WO, not would or could the Church of England repudiate those Anglican churches that were adopting WO, and since +Coggan and then +Runcie were pro-WO (although +Runcie played the cuttlefish on the issue by producing lots of obfuscatory ink), then the whole ARCIC I dialogue process was fatally flawed and doomed to frustration from its inception -- not, however, doomed to inconsequentiality, we may hope, for perhaps the whole process served to lay down an Ariadne's thread for some Anglicans to follow out of the Labrynth once the whole show susccumbs to the Zeitgeist of WO and SS.

johnf said...

Back to the point. I agree with you Father. Right between the eyes - or the goolies, take your pick.

When I read it, I thought

a) he's come out of his corner punching

b) how will the BBC and the grauniadistas and the tabletistas respond?

Nebuly said...

From the Church of Ireland Gazette
ARCIC on Mary
I have been waiting for some weeks to see a response to the article of July 6th in the Gazette on the recent Dublin Conference on Mary. Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ (ARCIC) concludes that the Roman Catholic dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption were "consonant" with Scripture and that Marian devotion and the invocation of Mary do not "obscure or diminish the unique mediation of Christ" and that "we do not consider the practice of asking Mary and the saints to pray for us as communion dividing". In the Church of Ireland in which I was brought up, the dogmas mentioned were held to be firmly non-Protestant. Where are they consonant with Scripture? Would some theologian in our Church please comment for the sake of lesser mortals who are totally confused? Are the conclusions of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission to be swallowed by members of the Church of Ireland without demur?
Maureen Donnelly

The Church of ireland Committee ( led by the Affirming Catholic Canon Michael Kennedy ) reported critically of the ARCIC statement.

As Mgr Daniel Hamilton wrote in a further letter in the Church of Ireland Gazette

I suspect that Canon Kennedy and the Church of Ireland committee that responded to the 2004 Agreed Statement would have virtually the same problem as to evidence with the Orthodox "Marian doctrines", (Ware, The Orthodox Church, pp.261-5), though they are found mainly in the text of liturgical worship rather than in definitive teaching statements.

Anglican Communion?....................

Independent said...

The opportunities of those parts of Africa which were subject to British colonial rule are superior to those who have never had its benefits. Missionaries, hospitals, roads, a competent civil service with a tradition of impartiality,and a system of schools, were the legacy of British colonialism.

The ideology of anticolonialism exported to the educated African middle classes has however been a different matter. It has indeed been toxic, secular, and totalitarian, an ideology used to justify dictatorship and inhibit economic development,

In today's Telegraph an Indian gentleman says that without British Imperialism his country would be like Afghanistan which for most of the time has ruled itself. India has not dissipated its legacy, Africa has suffered from Western educated ideologues.

Reformation said...

Rev. Hunwicke:

I am genuinely not in your Anglican corner as a Confessional Calvinist with reasons, the 1662 BCP, etc.

That to the side, I genuinely enjoy the posts, the flavour, and the give-and-take.

Your a good read.


Unknown said...

Ratzinger squelch relations with

On the contrary, I suspect we met yet find ourselves surprised to find out just how much he has done to keep relations afloat, acting of course, behind the scenes but only a little behind.

This Pope cannot abide disunity in the Church.

Steve said...

Most interesting comments, everyone, and thank you.

Giles: I stand by what I said. It might very well have turned out that "the fundamental nature of Anglicanism" (fascinating that you use this term - Fr H seems to think it hasn't got one!) would have squelched ARCIC, but it never got the chance before Ratzinger's intervention. By the way, what other ecumenical fish is Rome frying on any other basis than requiring full submission?

Pastor: I don't think your friend's point is true of ARCIC I in general (though I think it may well be true of "Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ"). ARCIC I was attempting to establish common ground between two differently constituted churches as a basis for further progress, and Ratzinger effectively said that progress was only possible on the basis of his side's position (see the end of my reply to Giles above).

William: The RC church could have announced that it was all off if WO was not repudiated, rather than allowing so many (including, of course, their own) to go on wasting their time. They make the expected noises about women bishops, but as long as their real problem is that we won't sell out to them.....

David: "This Pope cannot abide disunity in the Church". In that case, does he think the Anglican Communion is in the Church or outside it?

Giles Pinnock said...


By 'fundamental nature of Anglicanism' I mean its age-old problem, Authority (or lack of it) - ie, any Anglican can think and do just about whatever they like and call it Anglican, and no-one can theologically gainsay them with any authority internal to Anglicanism.

This is fundamental to Anglicanism because the Elizabethan Settlement brought together a number of incompatible religious parties within a politically authorized and controlled structure (the CofE) in which completely contradictory doctrines could in practice be believed (eg, the Real Presence alongside Receptionism) so long as believing them didn't destabilize the Crown.

The other ecumenical fish to fry would be with the Orthodox. While an undeniably big gap exists and has done since 1054, and both Rome and the East are moving at a glacial pace, ecumenism does seem to be happening there. I don't think though that 'Full Submission' will apply there as it has to with Anglicans and protestants.

William's suggestion of ARCIC as an Ariadne's thread for those Anglicans who want it to use it as such is interesting. I am a little skeptical, but we'll see.

Wynn said...

"[N]o-one can theologically gainsay them with any authority internal to Anglicanism." (my italics)

Is this a bug, or a feature? Surely a distinctive theological authority internal to Anglicanism, with the power to define doctrine, is the very last thing we want.

It seems to me that either (a) the Church already possesses – through Scripture, the Fathers, and the first n Councils (where the value of n is a matter for debate) – the fullness of doctrine, and further defining powers are not only otiose but fundamentally contradict such an understanding of the Church's doctrinal authority; or (b) we take a Newmanian "development-of-doctrine" line - which incidentally requires (to the great delight, no doubt, of Pio Nono), and provides an ex post facto rationale for, a central, universal authority to determine what is and is not a "true" development.

Either of these are at least coherent options. What is not coherent is for a body which does not claim to be any more than a local manifestation of the Universal Church to purport to have, or seek to create, an internal doctrinal authority of its own, not entirely dependent upon either (a) or (b) above.

Depending on one's historical perspective, an Anglican approach to authority can be either an "age-old problem" or an age-old strength. Present events in Anglicanism are testing it to the limit, and it may be that it ends up being tested to destruction. But looking at some of the problems brought about by an over-centralised authority, with a tendency to make dogmas out of what the Church has for centuries been content to regard as theologoumena, are we sure that the cure isn't worse than the disease?

Giles Pinnock said...

I would suggest that the impossibility - not merely undesirability - of Authority internal to Anglicanism is both a bug and a feature.

It is a bug because it will always bring the Anglican program to crash eventually - something that seems to be missed by Continuing Anglicans who want to re-run the Anglican experiment in the hope that it will come up with a different result when repeated from the same starting point and material (BCP1662, 39 Articles, anti-Romism &c) - very un-empirical.

It is also a 'feature', particularly if you follow the definition of that term that was used when I wrote computer code for a living - ie, a bug that you can't (or don't intend to) rectify.