And there I was – passing a quiet summer evening with the Vestry of St Mary’s, Kirriemuir, discussing matters of mutual interest like raised beds and compost. But when I got back to Blogstead, I met a blizzard of texts and phone calls from sad people who have nothing better to do than watch University Challenge and wanted to ensure that we knew that I had been the subject of a question. Matters to do with the Scottish Episcopal Church are unlikely to be at the ‘starter for ten’ level but one might have hoped for better than a wipe-out.

But for a future edition, one could ask the following:

Name the members of the Gang of Three
What are the provisions of Canon 4:10?
Who was the speaker at the recent General Synod Dinner?

Beyond those, I’d be glad of answers to these:

What should I say to the Pope?
Will there be room for churches in the big society?

Speaking of which, I know that we don’t have a Polish Pope any more. But you’ll be glad to know that our Polish readers are still on board with this blog.


  1. “The Church regards ordination of woman as attempted ordination and as such is a simulation of a sacrament. The simulation of a sacrament has, even before this document, been punished by automatic excommunication” – Gratianus –

    Someone needs to infrom Gratianus that his is not the only ‘Church’ on earth – despite the papal proclamation.

    A ‘papal excommunication’ is Rome’s attempt to arrogate to herself the ‘Care of All The Churches’. However, this exclusive role belongs to no-one but Christ – despite the efforts of various demagogues to credit themselves with this charism.

    Rome’s current decision to roll back the reformation of Vatican II is evidence enough to discredit her claim to infallibility.

  2. Does the women’s ordination lobby realize how much they are damaging their case by trotting out as a talking point that “the Vatican sees child abuse and women priests as equally evil”? This canard has been sufficiently corrected that the tawdriness of this talking point is apparent to any intelligent person.

    1. The lumping of child sex abusers with the dignity of women is most offensive. The Roman Church is male dominated and extremely dogmatic. In the Vatican writings it is clear that they do not see any Christians as belonging even to a Church. Only ‘Catholics’ ( a misnomer in fact) belong to a Church. The Pontifical Council for Ecumenism has a quite clearly different idea than we do about ecumenism. To our Roman friends ecumenism simply means everyone becoming RC and denouncing their Christian beliefs. That is the bottom line. Whilst we belong to a reformed catholic Church, which is inclusive, we still are refused the Sacrament of HC as Christians as we are not ‘Catholic’. Little if anything has changed in the RC Church.

  3. To the Pope:
    ‘Do you realise how hurtful it is to so many people in Scotland when you decree that the abuse of children and the ordination of women are equally offensive?

    1. Dear RevRuth, I am sorry that you have been given the impression that the matters of child abuse and the discipline of the sacraments regarding ordination have been some how equated. I understand that this may be upsetting. I’d like to explain, as someone who has a little insider knowledge, about why these matters were dealt with together.
      The document in question covered procedural norms for different areas of the discipline the Church and was effectively tying up loose ends. This document in fact covers other procedural areas (eg. sanctions etc. for mal practice in the Sacrament of Penance). I am told that this kind of ecclectic legislation is not uncommon in civil legisaltures when a group of unconnected matters is grouped together in a single document as a convenient way of dealing with several matters at once.
      The Church regards ordination of woman as attempted ordination and as such is a simulation of a sacrament. The simulation of a sacrament has, even before this document, been punished by automatic excommunication. This document was merely stipulating the interpretation of Universal Law in particular circumstances and is known as ‘Particular Law’. The Church has very few canonical sanctions that it can use but the abuse of the sacraments has always merited the most severe measures.
      I hope this goes some way as to explaining why this document is structured in the way that it is. I think the Vatican would do well to appoint a new press secretary who could anticpate how the papers will ‘spin’ such things. It is unfortunate that this has been reported in the way that it has. Let’s hope a lesson has been learned by those who write these documents. Sorry to go on, but I am a bit of an anorak when it comes to these things. Take care and God bless.

      1. “… was effectively tying up loose ends…”

        Therein lies a problem. The tragedy of child abuse by Priests is not a loose end needing tying up. But the tin eared handing by church officials of the scandal started with covering up and, from outside appearance, has now progressed only as far as tying up loose ends. I know this is not fair to the Roman Church, where many are truly heartsick and dedicated to repairing the damage. But it appears that Rome is using the same PR team as BP… appearance matters.

  4. I think that I’d like you to say this to the Pope:

    “Scotland has great aspirations to be a respectful and tolerant place, in relation to differences in sexuality, gender, religion, ethnicity and choice of preferred football club. Holy Father, we would welcome your acknowledgement of real progress in equality and justice issues in the Scotland and in other parts of the UK. We would welcome your advice as to how to make further progress in all these areas.”

    1. Benedict would reply that in drawing closer to Christ we become closer to each other (as he says in one of his books), like spokes heading towards the barrell of a bicycle wheel. This is how our country will be a happier place. Let’s be fixated on the Lord and not our own appetites.

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