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September 25, 2012 28 Comments
It has been observed that “the characteristic sin of the modern world is hostility to childhood…….. We have come to a point in human history in which “the child has become a problem to be prevented, an enemy to be destroyed, a product to be manufactured, an object of experimentation, a commodity to be sold…..”
Twenty-fifth Sunday Per Annum (B) September 23, 2012.
In these words of our Lord, we perceive something altogether new. Our Lord dispels “the authoritarian assumption, so widely held outside Christianity, that the adult is the sole measure of the human. As he grows up, a child does not become a man, a human being; he is that already from the womb…Being human is the whole journey from conception to the last breath… [and] in all that really matters, in faith and hope and love, the child is the teacher of the adult, the father of the man” (John Saward, The Way of the Lamb, p.105). Both the novelty of these words and their importance are accentuated by what our Lord says elsewhere: “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18:3). This state of spiritual childhood which our Lord enjoins upon us is our fundamental identity as Christians who dare to call God Father. “When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is the spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Rom. 8: 116-17).
Continue reading Whoever Welcomes One Such Child……..
In another sign of the times, Cranmer in commenting on simony in Germany wonders where the next Luther will come from.
According to the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany, any Roman Catholic – no matter how pious and devout – who refuses to pay the ‘Church tax’ is no longer a member of the Roman Catholic Church: ie, they are excommunicated. His Grace is loath to talk of simony or indulgences, but the extraction of money for the administration of the sacraments or the assurance of salvation simply isn’t very Christian; indeed, it is quite evil
Church giving or tithing ought to be voluntary, from the heart, and with joy (2Cor 9:7). Yet the reality is that around 70 per cent of the German Church’s revenue comes from the Church tax, so it is rather useful for paying the bills (and court fees). But you only need to look at who introduced the tax in Austria to see what a thoroughly bad idea it is. Such an inheritance ought to make the vigorous enforcement on pain of excommunication rather unpalatable to Christians. It would appear that the Roman Catholic Church in Germany is serving Mammon, not God.
His Grace received the following email on this matter from one of his Roman Catholic readers. Speaking of her reaction on hearing about this tax, she wrote: ‘…frankly, as a Catholic, it made me vomit’:
As a lifelong Catholic, I thought there was very little that the Church could still do to horrify me. I watched the betrayals of the spirit of Vatican II. I watched the horrors of the child abuse scandals and the unbelievable behaviour of those that tried to cover them up. I watched the routine crack-downs on anything resembling the intelligent questioning of the Church that is actually required of Catholics by Canon Law but punished severely if practised (ask numerous brave Catholic theologians who were silenced or censored).
Why this latest development should have hit me so hard, I have no idea. Unless it’s for the sheer stupidity that has been displayed.
Continue reading Roman Catholic Church extracts tax on pain of damnation
And finally apparently some of the earliest political writings of Edmund Burke have been found.
The new finds constitute the earliest political writings by Edmund Burke (1729-97), dating from around 1757, when he was 27-years-old, a period often described as the ‘missing years’ of his biography. Professor Richard Bourke, from the School of History at Queen Mary, came across the early essays among a series of notebooks belonging to William Burke, a close friend and distant relation of parliamentarian, Edmund. “No new essays by Edmund Burke have been found since the 1930s, so these chance survivals are significant; offering a glimpse of the means by which a gifted orator grew into a respected political sage,” says Professor Bourke, who found the collection of works during the course of his research in the Sheffield Archives. The newly attributed manuscripts are significant as they hint at the philosophical thinking and intellectual themes that influenced Burke’s subsequent 30-year parliamentary career. The discovery features in the September 2012 edition of The Historical Journal* Professor Bourke adds: “It has always been known that in the middle of the 1750s Burke applied himself to the study of philosophy and history as he pursued a literary career in London. It now emerges that he deliberately sought to deepen his understanding of the contemporary political world through the philosophical lens developed by his forefathers from the age of Enlightenment.”
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