Saturday, April 03, 2010

Archbishop of Canterbury Speaks Out

Dr Williams has spoken about the Irish Catholic Church having lost it credibility.
Nothing is more likely to restore its credibility amongst Irish people than a statement criticising it from an Archbishop of the Church of England, by law established. Does Dr Williams honestly think Anglicanism has anymore more credibility?


Michael Petek said...

Tell me, Archbishop: is gay good, evil or morally neutral?

Newminster said...

I'm inclined to agree, Father, though my first reation was to do with pots and kettles.
The Anglican Communion has enough problems of its own without interfering in the internal affairs of other faiths.
This can best be seen as a form of displacement activity and treated as such but every news bulletin is leading with it, I'm afraid.

ffn said...

Splinters and logs come to mind!

JMeaden said...

It is terrible that he is kicking the Catholic Church while it's down. It still shows that there is some Protestant hatred for the Church. I thought this is a time for all Christians to unite and support eachother. After all, the Anglicans are not clean of abuse scandals and other wrongdoings.

This Jew is saying what Rowan Williams should have said. He is showing more love and support than even our own fellow Christians.

It reminds me of the story of the Samaritan where the Chruch represents the man beaten up dying on the ground, the Samaritan represents the Jew and, Rowan Williams is the high priest or Rabbi who just walks on.

shane said...

"Yet, far from suffering empty pews, Irish churches have experienced a surge in attendance this Holy Week.

From north Donegal to south Dublin, congregations have flocked to Easter services in an expression of commitment and support that has left some clerics baffled.

In the run-up to the First Communion season, family masses are witnessing some of the highest attendance figures in several years. Some churches are even struggling to cope with the crowds...."

leutgeb said...

Genius, Fr Ray.

He's probably done a great service to the Church in Ireland. It's like when people criticise their own family but leap to its defense if anyone else chips in.

Brigid said...

I completely agree with you on this - clearly our Friday penances are already taking affect!

And for Catherine Pepinster to agree with Ronan William's comments will improve the situation even more. BTW, the bloodlust shown by the Tablet and its chums like Cristina Odone for ++Sean Brady's resignation is disturbing. Any ideas why??

Pastor in Monte said...

Did you notice that the Times article calls the Archbishop of Dublin 'Mr Martin'?

Patricius said...

Are we sure that he actually said what The Times claims?

Unknown said...

What else should we have expected from the court jester?

I mean, of all people to be talking about credibility!

Ma Tucker said...

How funny. This is even funnier..

Mr Martin (Arcbishop Diarmuid that is)said he had "rarely felt personally so discouraged" as when he woke to hear Dr Williams’ comments. Those working to renew the church did not deserve the remarks, which "will be for them immensely disheartening and will challenge their faith even further".

Yeah right!

In all seriousness Father, there is no such thing as the Irish Catholic Church. There is only the Roman Catholic Church. As regards credibility well I would say that Bishops who don't bother turn up to administer confirmation and spiritually neglect children by feeding them abismal catechesis never had any credibility to start with.

Archbishop Williams spends a great deal of time critising the Catholic Church. No where does he point out the truth that it was the failure of members to follow the teachings and the rules of the Catholic Church that led to this failure.

nickbris said...

I'd much rather listen to Archbishop Tutu,he's got more nous than the whole lot of them.

His people have truly suffered and he is full of forgiveness.

Williams & Co are continually searching for ways to put one over on Catholics.

Michael Petek said...

Romans 1:21, 26-27: "Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God, or given thanks; but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened. For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature, [and they elected Mary Glasspool as the first openly lesbian bishop in the Episcopalian Church.] And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, [making the openly gay Gene Robinson the Episcopalian Bishop of New Hampshire,] and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error."

I ask you again, Archbishop. Is gay good, evil or indifferent?

Richard Hall said...

Well come on Father, how many times have catholics taken a triumphalistic delight in commenting on Anglican troubles? Yet there are fewer child abusers amongst the clergy of the Anglican communion. We deserved this one and should take it on the chin.

shane said...

Archbishop Williams’ comments have been criticized by Anglicans in Ireland

The Church of Ireland’s bishop responsible for furthering Christian Unity has called on Dr Williams to reflect on his comments which he described as ‘careless and reckless’ and ‘extremely unfortunate’.

Bishop Richard Clarke said he deeply regretted the comment that the Catholic Church was ‘losing all credibility’ because of the clerical child abuse scandals, adding that it was hurtful to all Christians here.

He said it was ‘thoughtless’ and that the Archbishop of Canterbury had neither experience of Irish life nor any direct ecclesiastical authority in this country.

Bishop Clarke said that the language used by Archbishop was ‘extremely unfortunate’ even allowing for the fact that the Catholic Church here is facing deep and serious challenges to its authority as a consequence of the scandals.

Dr Clarke said everybody living here knew very well that most bishops, priests and religious of the Roman Catholic tradition minister faithfully and selflessly under very difficult conditions with the love and support of their people.


The Church of Ireland’s Archbishop of Dublin says he regrets the comments made by the Archbishop of Canterbury about the clerical sex abuse scandal in Ireland.

Dr Rowan Williams has said that officials in Ireland have lost all credibility because of the child abuse scandal and described it as a “colossal trauma”.

Church of Ireland’s Archbishop Dr John Neill has extended his support to his Catholic counterpart Archbishop Diarmuid Martin who says he is stunned by the comments.

Archbishop Neill said he listened to the remarks of Archbishop Williams with “deep regret”.

“As one who with so many of my colleagues in ministry shares with that Church in a joint proclamation of the Gospel, and who acknowledges the pain and deep suffering of the victims of abuse, I also feel for the countless priests and bishops who daily live out their Christian vocation,” he said.

He said he supported his Catholic counterpart in Dublin, Archbishop Martin, “as he works for the proclamation of the Gospel and the healing of hurt, including that of the faithful and their clergy whose ministry has been undermined by those guilty of the abuse of children”.

Anonymous said...

I shouldn't laugh...but ROFL!


Happy Easter Father. He is Risen and His Church is still the Bride no matter who attacks Her inside or out.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Richard Hall,
Supply the evidence!

Augustine said...

Mr Hall need only provide a link to Damian Thompson...

shane said...


Archbishop Williams has expressed ‘deep sorrow and regret’ for his comments

The Dublin Archdiocese said:

“The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, this afternoon (Saturday) telephoned Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to express his deep sorrow and regret for difficulties which may have been created by remarks in a BBC interview concerning the credibility of the Catholic Church in Ireland. Archbishop Williams affirmed that nothing could have been farther from his intention than to offend or criticize the Irish Church. “

Ma Tucker said...

In USA 1.7% of Catholic Clergy have been found guilty of pedophilia (mainly pederasty). That compares to 10% of protestant clergy (Reported in Catholic Voice 28th March 2010).

Independent said...

Perhaps Fr Blake you should amend your heading to "Archbishop of Canterbury speaks 'owt". There appears to be no situation so bad that a few words from him cannot make it worse.

universal doctor said...

From the expert on credibility...!
God Bless you father. Wishing you every joy and blessing throught the resurrection of Christ.

mikesview said...

When Pope Benedict announced 'Anglicanorum Coetibus', the soi-disant Rev George Pitcher wrote a piece in the Telegraph which was a classic piece of anti-Catholic bigotry. It accused the Pope, in effect, of parking armoured divisions of the Swiss Guard on the greensward of Canterbury. Pitchblend concluded his 'welcome' with (something like) "well, if ya think yer 'ard enough, bring id on". Sadly his boss, the Archdruid, has seemingly decided that he too has a couple of tanks, and to use them to play the Pope's game. Someone should have told him that in Ireland that's a tricky call. Whatever else, our Irish co-religionists love a fight, and an opponent such as a bunch of English Prods will no doubt do very nicely thank you.

Francis said...

Fr. Ray,

The Archbishop of Canterbury's words are perfectly timed to reawaken Irish memories of penal times and all the sacrifices that generations of Irish made for the Church by refusing to cave in to English protestantism.

My sincere hope is that Rowan Williams' remarks hit the headlines of every Irish newspaper and TV news broadcast, and become the talk of the town in Ireland.

I can't think of a better way of getting Catholic Ireland to close ranks behind the Church in her hour of need!

Happy Easter to all.

Fr Mark said...

I am not an anglicanophile, and as a Liverpudlian Catholic I am hardly likely to be so, but please permit me to speak out in defense of Rowan Williams. Ir was not diplomatic to criticise another Church,but Christian leadership must sometimes go beyond diplomacy. RW spoke the truth. It might be hard to swallow, but it is the truth. Your true friends are those who are ready to tell you the unpalatable truth,, without human respect, whenever you need to hear it. Williams pointed out that the loss of credibility for the Church is a tragedy for Ireland, and he is right. On this occasion, he spoke as a friend of the Catholic Church, and he deserves better than knee-jerk, defensive reactions.

You, Fr Ray, have said not dissimilar things here. The Catholics in the traddy blogosphere are not slow to crow over the misfortunes of the CofE (despite the fact that a reduced Christian presence in the public sphere, which is certainly the result of Anglican decadence, is hardly a triumph for Christ and his teachings), so they are ill placed to take umbrage.

James said...

Richard Hall is right lets take this on the chin after all has the Catholic church not being guilty of doing the same thing to the church of england??.

Micheal Petek,to be honest what are gay people then?since the Archbishop is not responding to your question?

C)Morally Neutral

Discreet Observer said...

The Times has stated that "Dr Williams criticised the Catholic Church over its handling of the paedophile priests crisis." While this criticism may be justified I only hope that Dr Williams has not conveniently forgotten the abuse in his own Church and the part he has played in hiding this from the general public. The Catholic Church faced up to its shortcomings about ten years ago and it has been this willingness to accept responsibility and put in place measures to prevent this happening again that has brought it into particularly the spotlight. If other Churches had adopted the same spirit of acceptance and sorrow then the media 'may' have had a more balanced idea of the scale of this nauseating business.

I have mentioned before the report by Jonathan Wynne-Jones in the Telegraph of 22.10.2007 with the headline: "C of E child abuse was ignored for decades."

The article opens by stating, "Child abuse has gone unchecked in the Church of England for decades amid a cover up by bishops, secret papers have revealed. Information that could have prevented abuse has been 'lost or damaged', concerns about individuals have been ignored and allegations have not been recorded. It means that the Church has no idea how many paedopohiles are in its midst....Richard Scorer, a solicitor who has specialised in child abuse cases, said that the Church of England's mistakes amounted to 'an appalling, shocking level of negligence' that is likely to leave it open to claims from victims who have been too afraid to speak out.....the Church's Central Safeguarding Liaison Group, concedes that 'most serious concenrns will have been known by the senior staff at the time. The Church has been guilty of systematic failures on a large scale, according to the document.....Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who was at the meeting, has backed the need for a comprehensive review following the two child abuse cases....The bishops agree that 'there may be gaps in the Church's collective memory' that have allowed sex offenders to go unpunished....The review has been welcomed by one victim. He said that he had confided in a bishop - now retired - that he had been abused by a serving vicar, but that no action had been taken against the vicar. 'The Church has persuaded people in the past that they don't have to take it further,' he said. 'There has been a long-standing tendency to just sweep things under the carpet and cover things up and just move priests on.'

The article gives details about one vicar who had been abusing boys over a 30-year period, that concerns had been raised in 1983 and in 2001, and complainants had been assured that the matter had been dealt with.

For anyone who wants the full article just check out

This contribition to the debate is not to excuse the Catholic Church of anything, but to show that such leaders as Dr Williams cannot throw stones at anyone else unless their own house is squeaky clean.

Lepanto said...

I understand that the ABC has expressed regret about his remarks following protests from two Church of Ireland Bishops. He might have been wise to have sought advice from them (knowledgeable local contacts are always useful) before saying what he did.

RJ said...

I heard the interview this morning. He didn't correct the interviewer when he said that the C of E was not so seriously affected by the problem, which was wrong, but I think his comment about the loss of moral credibility was more of an indiscrete exaggeration than anything else. I did not get the sense that he was attacking the Catholic Church.
Having lived in Ireland, I would say it is true that the crisis has affected the confidence of the clergy.
On the minor point about clerical dress: many priests and religious over there do feel uncomfortable about wearing their collar/habit in public. This reluctance was there before the present crises, however. In some cases, it was due to the mistaken notion that not wearing them would bring priests and religious 'closer to the people'. To a greater extent, it reflects the influence of liberal dissenters, who seem to be still a powerful force over there: they would denigrate clerical attire because for them it represents clericalism, authoritarianism, doctrinal positions (what I would regard as orthodoxy) from which they wish to 'move on' etc.

georgem said...

I’m not a fan of Rowan Williams but I thought I’d wait until I heard the actual broadcast today. He was asked a glancing question in a wide-ranging discussion about faith. He answered simply and directly. There was no crowing but genuine sadness in his reply and the discussion moved on.
Did the presenter ask the question in order to get a headline and push a programme about faith up the ratings? I wouldn’t have thought that that particular topic would have been a must-hear for its regular listeners. He must have known that the present BBC obsession over the issue would guarantee top billing in the news, as did the “no apology” Pope shock-horror story which kept the issue simmering over Easter.
Erm, guys, the Pope has already apologised. Saying sorry 10 times a day doesn’t make contrition any more meaningful than one heartfelt expression of sorrow and shame. In fact, it begins to diminish it and the Pope would lay himself open to claims of lip-service and hypocrisy and so the story would roll on and on until the General Election displaced it.
I’ve had to reconsider my first angry reaction to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s reported comments which I first heard as a stand-alone story. I did exactly what I've been biffing others for, ie jumping to conclusions based on a media story without having the evidence to back them up. Mea culpa.
I don’t think the Archbishop had much to apologise for, really. We’ve more problems with our friends at the Vatican who appear to be suffering from a severe case of foot in mouth.

Ma Tucker said...

Faithless Bishops are aplauded by the media for undermining Catholic Church doctrine and practise. When they cause harm it suddenly becomes the fault of the Catholic Church.

While I accept that as Catholics we have a collective duty to make reparation for the wrongs done I think it is wrong to attribute blame to the Catholic Church when she had procedures in place to deal with these problems. Procedures that faithless Bishops did not follow.

I have not lost any credibilty whatsoever in the Catholic Church and I live in Ireland. As regards our Bishops, they are very poor pastors and not credible in the least. Having said that I think we get the Bishops we deserve. The widespread incessant cursing, swearing and misuse of God's holy name is enough to make you sick.

shane said...

It's true that many priests are so demoralized that they feel unable to walk around town in clericals. Only very rarely does one visibly see priests 'out-and-about' these days. One of the Anglican ministers at Christchurch rang into a popular radio discussion (Joe Duffy) a few years ago complaining that he was constantly harrassed by Dublin's "concerned citizens" who confused his garb for that of a papist priest. Has that hit in England yet?

pattif said...

Glass houses and stones....

shane said...

Church & State magazine:

"[...]So the Pope came and he was received with mindless adulation, lay and clerical, with only two noticeable expressions of dissent—this magazine and the Bishop of Cork, who is now taken to be a by-word for obscurantist reaction, Con Lucey.

The Taoiseach was Cork City politician Jack Lynch, who had won an overall majority in 1977 in an election campaign which was unusually Catholic clericalist for Fianna Fail. But, two years later, the Pope did not visit the second city in the state because the Bishop did not invite him. And, some time later, Lucey retired and went off to be a missionary in Africa. He did not ever explain his failure to invite the Pope to Cork, but it is not hard to see a reason for it.

Vatican 2 Catholicism undermined and trivialised the earnest Catholicism of Pius IX on which the Irish Church had formed itself, in association with the developing national movement, since the mid-19th century. That phase of development was not exhausted in Ireland when it was halted by Vatican 2. It was still filling itself out when it was ordered to stop. If the original impulse given by the triumph of Anti-Vetoism in the Veto Controversy was running out of momentum, there would have been evidence of this in the appearance of a sceptical intelligentsia to dispute certain areas of ground with the Hierarchy, and by so doing to provide for an evolutionary transition to a new relationship of Church and State.

What happened instead was that the new Church formed in Ireland in the mid-19th century—by O'Connell's Roman colleague, Cardinal Cullen—was stopped in its tracks by the Vatican, while there was still no social development against it to take its place. The Vatican 2 changes had to be imposed on Ireland. And their imposition devalued the values to which the generations then in their prime had dedicated themselves.

Religious development in Ireland, with which social development was connected, was suddenly written off as an aberration. My Lord Bishop suddenly became Bishop Jack or Bishop Jim. Communion and Confirmation became occasions for display of fashion. Hell was abolished—and Heaven along with it, for all that was said to the contrary. And convents and monasteries were deprived of meaning.

The ersatz intelligentsia, which is now kicking the Church because it is down, did nothing to bring it down. It was the Vatican that undermined it. But that is an inadmissible thought in the fashion of the moment because the futile scepticism which is the outcome of Vatican 2 must have it that Vatican 2 was a good thing. (The creature must love its creator.)[...]"

shane said...


The Lord’s descent into the underworld

At Matins/the Office of Readings on Holy Saturday the Church gives us this 'ancient homily', I find it incredibly moving, it is abou...