Bishop Christopher on closer Anglican ties with Catholic Church

God’s ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. — Isaiah 55:8

My immediate thought is why?

Martin Luther ushered in the Reformation in what is now Germany. England never had a Reformation, or looked at another way, it is still on-going.

What counted as the English Reformation was the lust of Henry VIII for a woman, lust for church property to finance foreign wars.

Jesus was a Jew. Should we have closer links with Jews? The Koran adopts much of what is Biblical teaching, should we have closer links with Islam. Where do we start, where does it end?

I have nothing against individual Catholics, nothing against individual Catholic priests, nothing against individual Catholic churches. I have a lot against the Catholic Church: Inquisition, ethnic cleansing against the Cathars in what is now southern France, torture, burning at the stake of heretics and witches, child sex abuse scandals and the cover-ups, treatment of women.

Women have a role in the Catholic Church, making of tea and cakes, a servile role. Saudi Arabia is to give women a limited vote. Women in the Vatican still lack a vote.

It is the perverse attitude of the Catholic Church to sexual pleasure that has led to the child sex abuse scandals. If priests are denied normal outlets for sexual pleasure they are going to seek abnormal pleasures.

Perverse attitudes on contraception has led to poverty in Africa.

The treatment of homosexuals and bisexuals is a disgrace.

The Catholic Church is a very powerful organisation whose only interest is the preservation of that institution at all costs.

When the child sex abuse scandals started to emerge it quickly became apparent that the Catholic Church was doing everything possible to protect the Church, the victims did not count.

Jesus said my house has many mansions. There are many paths. In China, Catholicism and Protestantism are seen as two separate and distinct religions. Protestant and Catholic in there many forms are two of many paths.

None of these issues were addressed or discussed, instead the last 100 years of Anglican-Catholic meetings and discussions!

When two organisations join, what is often termed a merger, is in reality a takeover over the weaker partner by the stronger. That is what is happening here, though in all likelihood it will never happen.

Who will in charge? It will be be the Vatican.

Sexuality is a sticking point. And yet sexuality is not a Biblical issue. It is only now, as the Bishop admitted, the theology is being developed. Ordination of women bishops is being slowed to appease the Vatican The Episcopal Church in US is beyond the pale and has been denied a seat at the table.

I suggest look at what is going on on the ground in Chicago

The Council of Nicaea decided the nature of the Trinity. St Augustine put the emphasis on the oneness, others on the threeness.

Two thoughts kept running through my mind.

The medieval discussion of how many angels could fit on the head of a pin.

In The Witch of Portobello, Jesus looks in a church and feels even he would not be welcome. I had a variant, Jesus walking in and asking why was all this being done in his name.

Jesus did not have a problem with the ordinary people, nor with the Roman occupiers, but he did have an argument with the clerics.

Why this appalling waste of time and resources when their are real problems in the world?

Cooperation is good but it should be at grassroots.

Look to St George’s Church in Baghdad, an Anglican Church but with people of many denominations, even Muslims attend.

At Christmas I attended Christmas mass in a little Parish church. Local Methodists were invited and the Methodist preacher helped lead the service.

God is infinite, not only unknown but unknowable. If infinite, then there must be many if not infinite paths.

The Bible alludes to God, the shepherd looking for lost sheep, the woman looking for lost coins. God is!

In China Catholic and Anglican are seen as two different religions. Maybe that should tell us something.

Celebrate diversity.

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