Farewell, Church of England?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Sep 01, 2005

"The whole institution is like a psychotic kindergarten." That's the Rev'd Peter Mullen, lamenting the state of his own Church of England in the New Criterion. Here's a glimpse of his experience at a clergy conference in Oxford:

Then the Bishop came on and told us that at the laughably misnamed riot called "The Peace" he didn't want us merely to shake hands but to "hug one another"-- and not just to hug one another, but to put our arms on our neighbor's shoulders and say three times, "You are everlastingly loved."

Bob. Weave left. Short right uppercut. Return to personal prayer.

When it comes to christenings, weddings, and funerals, the Church has given up talking to grown-ups and instead produces the sort of touchy-feely guff used in adverts directed at moony adolescents. At the wedding, for instance, the new official book for every parish, Common Worship, makes the priest pray, "Let them be tender with each other's dreams." I think there should be a rubric in the margin saying, "At this point the congregation shall throw up -- bride's family's side first."

Is there anyone who actually likes this ritual cotton candy? When trapped and afflicted by it, some folks seem able to put up with it better than others, but I've yet to meet anyone who professed a positive attraction -- except divinity school staff and students. And even in the case of the div school twinks, you have to wonder whether they really enjoy it or, instead, see its usefulness in repelling from the Church the kind of Christians they loathe and fear.

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  • Posted by: - Sep. 04, 2005 7:23 PM ET USA

    Sounds like hippy religion at it's best. What rubbish.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 02, 2005 2:33 AM ET USA

    Three sacred words: Noli me tangere.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 02, 2005 12:59 AM ET USA

    This line kills me: "The Church has been at death’s door before. And the Lord did say that the gates of hell would not prevail." For all the writer's perspicuousness in diagnosing the ills of the C. of E., he cannot see that it is NOT the Church, but rather a schismatic branch separated from the vine. And therein lies the secret of its rot . . .

  • Posted by: - Sep. 01, 2005 6:47 PM ET USA

    Since they have given up authentic Christianity and its authentic tough love as shown in Calvary and many of our Lord's words, they only thing left is the sentimentality of warm fuzzies. Authentic love is kind, gentle, forgviing and tough and nails. It's too much work for twinks.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 01, 2005 6:04 PM ET USA

    Fascinating article, thanks for the link. But isn't this sort of thing just the logical destination they've been approaching ever since they executed Sts. More and Fisher and broke with Christian unity in the 16th century? It's been a long road, but it's easy to see looking back that the same principle that empowers them to disgard the mass and substitute the Book of Common Prayer also empowers them to throw out the Book of Common Prayer in favor of the New Age of liturgy, morality, and faith.