Pentecost 8 / Ordinary Time 14 – Tuesday
By now, some of you have probably already heard about what has happened at the Church of England’s General Synod regarding the ordination of women to the episcopal ranks. If you haven’t, you can click here and here to read all about it. And then you have the conservative group who met in Jerusalem a couple of weeks or so ago and decided to set up sort of an alliance or “congregation” of confessing Anglicans in opposition to what has happened in Canada and United States regarding the issue of homosexual clergy and homosexuality in general.
It saddens me to think that the Anglican Communion looks like it is heading into disarray at this point in time. And while I do side with the conservative/”confessing” Anglicans who met at GAFCON in June and have a fair amount of agreement with the traditionalist Anglo-Catholics in the CofE, I daresay that this could be the last Lambeth Conference the Anglican Communion has ever if these issues are not resolved satisfactorily and in the light of Holy Scripture and the Tradition of the Church by the next Lambeth in 2018.
On another note, last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine had a great article on the issue of suicide and the causes and reasons why sometimes a person “completes” or is distracted for long enough to give up the impulse to carry it out.
In other reading news of late, I’m currently reading a magisterial work on the Reformation and Counter-Reformation by Diarmaid MacCulloch which is (quite boringly) titled “The Reformation: A History”. When I say magisterial, I really do mean it. It is one long mutha of a book at over 700 pages in length (with the copious endnotes, it takes it up to about 800 pages). All the intricacies of the theological debates between Luther, Melanchthon, Zwingli, Bucer, Bullinger, Cranmer, et al and the Roman Catholic Church are spelled out here in suprisingly readable and interesting form by Diarmaid MacCulloch alongside the historical events that made up the Reformation and the Roman Catholic “Counter-Reformation” to keep one’s interest level quite high indeed to actually want to finish it off.
This, for me, is the definitive book on church history from the Reformation until today. Get it if you can find a copy from a bookstore or a library and do yourself a favor by reading it so you aren’t so easily sucked in by fundamentalist Christian views on how the Reformation “restored” early, primitive Christianity from the “excesses” of medieval Roman Catholicism. You’ll find that on our side, our spiritual forefathers were really just like a bunch of arguing schoolboys about who was “right”.