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By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 28, 2007

The Revd Professor Marilyn McCord Adams, Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University ...

Having only read so far into this Church Times article, you know its author is enthusiastic about what Maid Marilyn has to say. Reverend Professors, like Reverend Doctors, are tags appropriate to place cards at table, but when used by journalists as identifiers they cross the line into obsequiousness. It's fair enough to remind us that she's the Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University, but the writer isn't risking the loss of any wallop by saving the smooch for the second graf. OK, we know she's on the side of the angels (and only a little lower than the angels herself) and we can get on with the sentence:

Revd Professor Marilyn McCord Adams, Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University, has severely criticised the Windsor report, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the communiqué from the recent Primates' Meeting in Dar es Salaam.

The Reverend Professor argued her case before the Oxford Society of Historical Theology, right?

In an address to the annual conference of the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement in London on Saturday, she questioned the legitimacy of the Windsor report on a future structure for the Anglican Communion, and accused the Primates of seeking to exercise "dictatorial powers".

(Hint: dictatorial powers are bad.)

If memory serves, New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson also criticized the Primates and the Windsor Report as excessively rigid. And come to think of it, his complaint had to do with gay/lesbian concerns as well! An uncanny coincidence.

Referring to the Archbishop of Canterbury's reflection last year "Challenge and Hope", Professor McCord Adams said: "The Archbishop's conception of the Church combines with the Tanzanian communiqué to send the message: national or 'local' ecclesial bodies are only organs of an international, intercultural body-politic. They ... are not in themselves real Churches, any more than a finger or a gall bladder is a human body in itself. ... National or 'local' ecclesial bodies should not decide whom to ordain and whom to bless all by themselves."

The Rev Prof gives voice to this Tanzanian body-language only to reject it, you understand. The real culprit turns out to be Saint Paul, "channeled" by Archbishop Akinola via the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact:

She continued: "Body-of-Christ imagery is not apt for the human side of the Church. The organic body is a Fascist-Marxist political model, which had proved politically disastrous as a way to organise the human state, and is idolatrous.

Missed the idolatrous Fascist-Marxist implications of the traditional Body-of-Christ language, did you? That's why Marilyn's the Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford University and you're not. Not that the critical note wins out, though. She ends with a positive proposal.

The best model for the human institutional side of the Church is not the organic body, but the liberal state."

Ah yes. The Liberal State. Provider of those benefits that suffice unto salvation. When Jesus taught, "if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut it off," he was doubtless clueing-in the disciples to the long-term advantages of a handicapped parking sticker.

Please stand f... -- check that. Please remain seated for the Creed.

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  • Posted by: - Apr. 30, 2007 9:26 AM ET USA

    ...and what does this have to do with Catholic news???

  • Posted by: - Apr. 29, 2007 5:06 PM ET USA

    The fact that she is professor of history anywhere, let alone a prestigious place of learning such as Oxford shows what little regard academia has for religion, save as a vehicle for spreading 'liberalism'.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 28, 2007 10:39 AM ET USA

    I don't see where her line of thinking differs in any way to that of Henry VIII.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 28, 2007 9:54 AM ET USA

    Diogenes, you are better than a cup of coffee in the morning! But, please leave off badmouthing the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. It's my bedside reading.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 28, 2007 9:11 AM ET USA

    So continues the meltdown of the Anglican "Communion." By the way, Professor Adams, what standard is used to judge the "best model," and by whose authority are you choosing that standard? By whose authority are you deciding who, or what is truth? Do you believe in absolute truth? You tickle my ears.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 28, 2007 7:47 AM ET USA

    If you order before May 20th, incidentally, all robes are 15% off.