Archive for October, 2012

Heresy Then and Now

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Today is the Lesser Feast of Latimer, Ridley, and Cranmer–bishops who were burned at the stake during the English Reformation.

As we were reflecting on their brave sacrifices at Morning Prayer, I was struck by how minor the differences between their heretical views and the orthodoxy of the time. Of course, historians are quick to point out that the persecutions of many churchmen had more to do with power and money than faith. Queen Mary wanted to solidify her reign and was happy to get rid of Henry VIII’s supporters however she could.

Perhaps this is something to remember when we are horrified by contemporary punishments of “heretics” by Islamist zealots. Often the judicial violence is as much about political power as religious purity. —J. Douglas Ousley


Stay Tuned

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

The long-awaited announcement of a new Archbishop of Canterbury will, apparently, be awaited longer.

The complicated process described for example in The Living Church has yet to end up with an acceptable candidate. My personal favorite and the only bishop I actually know, the Bishop of London, is apparently no longer in the running; he would have been only a caretaker archbishop anyway, as he is fairly close to the mandatory retirement age. The Archbishop of York, the early favorite seems to be blocked because of his controversial positions and management style. More on this fascinating selection can be found in the excellent Thinking Anglicans website; if you are interesting in gambling, there are many British bookmakers who will take your bet.

Meanwhile, stay tuned. —J. Douglas Ousley