Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Proceeding from the Father and err...

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St Maximus the Confessor, who refused to get his Epanokamelavkion in a twist over this!

I am still slightly surprised that at yesterdays parish AGM went spent time discussing leaving the Filoque clause out of the Creed.  To be honsest it scarcely struck me as a pressing mission issue.  It never has really.  However, Three Lambeth Conferences (1888, 1978 and 1988) have recommended that the Filioque be dropped from the Nicene Creed by churches that belong to the Anglican Communion.  We've just been rather slow on the uptake in most provinces.  I suppose I am theoretically in favour of unity with the orthodox but realistically, the ordination of women and a variety of ethical issues makes this unlikely for at least a millenium or so.  Still at least we weren't obsessing about women in the episcopate and it ws all conducted in a calm and courteous manner - n beard pulling a la Nicea!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Of Synods and stupidity.

I'm slightly at a loss to explain what happened in the English General Synod this week.  As a PR exercise it was a disaster and there is much understandable screaming for disestablishment/ removal of exemptions from equality legislation.  The former might be as good an idea for the Church's spiritual health (it was the making of the SEC in 1689) - but the Established Church is so wired into our unwritten political Constitution that has dismantling of it's current status would probably be a lousy idea if done in haste.  The latter begs the tricky question of having to do it for all religious organisations in the UK and that includes not only the RC church but also the vast majority of Muslims and the Orthodox Jewish - it's a minefield I strongly suspect HMG has no intention of wandering into.

The calls for Parliament to sort it out are I think misguided.  Anglicans in England are not established and funded like the Lutherans in Scandinavia and the legislature has no authority to change Church polity without the support of Synodical structures.  And if change isn't the mind of the Church, then imposing it on the Church is a recipe for disaster.  Women Bishops thus created would be seen as possessing legal authority but utterly lacking spiritual validity.  As were the "Tulchan Bishops" of Reformation Scotland.  No, sadly the slow and messy procedures of Synod are the way to go.

what it might mean is that the Episcopate of Women in the C of E is now utterly inevitable and that provision for the dissenter might well be radically reduced by will of Parliament who I reckon will be less inclined to pass generous provision than previously.  This may be neither the disaster liberals lament nor the passing victory some think it.  This may be a moment where the Church does a transformation no one suspected was possible into a much more inclusive body.  Perhaps we will have cause to thank God for the stupidity of Synod 2012.

Monday, 19 November 2012

International What day?

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I am slightly startled to realise that today is International Men's Day!  I had never heard of it before.  Evidently we sort of focus on men's health in Scotland, the Irish stress "positive male role models" and the French had a moustache growing competition!  I suppose it sort of balances the promotion of women's right with a celebration of  "good maleness".  Officially it exists to:
  • To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sportsmen but everyday, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.
  • To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, child care, and to the environment.
  • To focus on men’s health and well being; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
  • To highlight discrimination against men; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law.
  • To improve gender relations and promote gender equality.
  • To create a safer, better world; where people can live free from harm and grow to reach their full potential.  
All very agreeable, I'm sure but I can't say the concept particularly enthuses me.  These days a lot of this is covered by the mainstream media and I rather fail to wonder why I had failed to recognise its existence until now.   Why are there so many pointless secualr observances around?  Honestly, they're almost as bad as obscure saints!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Well done Chaps!

File:Flag of the United States.svg 

I am not now, nor have I ever been an American - which I'm sure comforts the late Senator McCarthy slightly as he gazes up at the many Lazarus's he black listed from his particular spot in the Big Burny Fire!  I refuse to respect even slightly any politico who was delusional enough to think Larry Adler was a threat to National Security - I mean he plays the harmonica and did the theme to "Genevieve" which starred Kenneth More, he can't be a Commie!  But I have visited the USA (well, that bit of it called California - aka the Land of the Free and the Home of the Crazed!) and have enjoyed friendly relations with many Americans.  Thus I follow with a slightly curious eye the oddities of American politics.  Once upon a time in my youth I studied the American political system (Higher Modern Studies @ Beath High in 1984) and never did quite get the hang of the US electoral system of college votes and what the boundaries between Congress (the House of Representatives) and Senate were in practice.  Honestly, the House of Lords was quite logical in comparison.  Mind you, the French system was utterly incomprehensible compared with the American!!

I have to say I am glad they have elected that nice Irishman Mr Barry O'Bama again.  Firstly, his Christian name is not one which makes you think of an Oven Glove.  This is very useful when meeting Prince Phillip.  As a lot of American Presidents do.  Also, he is not a member of a funny sect.  Like the Church of England.  OK, he's not Episcopalian like FDR, Teddy Roosevelt and most of the good-ish Presidents, but that could always be arranged.  He also knows that bombing foreign places really isn't a good idea unless it's totally unavoidable and even then, use planes without pilots and let the British aim them.  We tend not to shoot people on the same side as ourselves.  He is also nice to poor people, sick people, Gay and Lesbian people and even idiots who elect Republican Governors in New Jersey when they get flooded.  So he is "a good thing".  He is also not rude to us when we are busy organising the Olympics and can do without hassle when we're trying to finesse Her Maj's 1st free fall parachute jump with James Bond.  NB Don't try this in future Mr Romney - Lord Voldemort is now in charge of the Secret Service and he may not be as nice as Dame Judi (who is a National Treasure like Alan Bennett)!

As they say over there - God Bless America.  And thanks for not picking a nutter as Chief Executive.  And don't worry - we're being very sensible and picking an Old Etonian as ++ABC.  No silly stuff will ensue (we hope).  I mean Macmillan and Alec Douglas-Home were good PM's and they went to Eton.  So did Eden but he invaded Egypt without asking you lot and that wasn't very sensible.  2 out of 3 ain't bad!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Back from the dead - not really!

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It's been a while since I've blogged with a birthday past ( I am now 45 and we went to see Skyfall to celebrate - good film + Moneypenny returns!).  I am slightly off work today due to a wisdom tooth extraction, but the pain has faded.  One of the slight disadvantages of living in da country is that there are less opportunities  to follow the traditional observances of All Saints/Souls.  We got to the All Saints Mass but missed the All Souls in the evening this year.

This why the Office matters.  It allows the individual to maintain their devotional life even where local circumstances mitigate against communal celebrations.  I've rediscovered the joys of using the office on the train in the last few months.  And the usefulness of the rosary when tired after work.  Prayer is always a possibility even in a busy life.