Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Notes: Monday-Tuesday, June 7-8, 2010

THE man whose recommendation for a human rights act was rejected by the Rudd government believes much of what he proposed will be adopted through the back door.

Frank Brennan chaired the consultation committee that recommended an act that would allow judges to assess Commonwealth laws and practices for their compliance with human rights.

Writing in a coming Australia Institute newsletter, Father Brennan says that although the government rejected the idea in April, it accepted other recommendations that would have much the same effect.

He says that as a result: ''Parliament will legislate to ensure that each new bill is accompanied by a statement to which it is compatible with the seven UN human rights treaties.''

Ultimately, Father Brennan says, Australia will require a human rights act to set workable limits.

But here is Fr. Brennan's response:

Transparent rights

You report that I believe that much of what the National Human Rights Consultation Committee proposed "will be adopted through the back door" (''Human rights by back door'', June 7). To the contrary, I believe much of what we proposed, other than a Human Rights Act, will be achieved by the government's national human rights framework; and some of what we proposed through a Human Rights Act will be achieved by the courts rightly applying the legislation introduced to Parliament last week. Nothing back door about any of that.

These are front door measures in which the executive, Parliament and the courts will play their distinctive roles transparently in the public domain, improving the protection of human rights.

Father Frank Brennan Chairman, National Human Rights Consultation Committee, Yarralumla (ACT)


DIVORCED clergy could be allowed to become Church of England bishops for the first time.

Church leaders have discussed the move and are set to reveal their decision next month at the General Synod, the national assembly of the Church of England.

[...] The change was agreed to at a meeting of the House of Bishops, the newspaper said.

A Church of England spokesman said the house considered the issue last month after seeking legal advice. "The house had asked for clarification of the relevant legal background and, in the light of that, has now agreed that a statement setting out its approach to these issues should be prepared," the spokesman said.

"It is expected that the statement addressing the relevant legal and theological issues will be available in July when the General Synod meets.

"There is no legal obstacle to persons who have remarried after divorce, or are married to spouses remarried after divorce, becoming bishops. The agreed policy is to pursue a discretionary approach on a case-by-case basis.

It will be interesting to see what goes on at the forthcoming General Synod, not just for its decision on this policy, but its decisions on other matters too.

AQ thread on post-Vatican-II changes to the celebration of the Sacraments


Particularly useful is this comment (though its source is sedevacantist).

Mr. Coyne on Original Sin


Here's the relevant paragraph:

I think a large part of the problem with "Original Sin" comes from the name itself. I think that perhaps if we called it "the fundamental disjunction" or some different expression like that it wouldn't have ended up attracting such a negative press. My sense is that it is NOT trying to tell us about some "first sin" committed by some "first parents" and we are saddled with their transgression and have to perpetually do penance for it until we are "redeemed" by some magic act by Jesus. It's trying to convey to us (humankind) that there is a "fundamental disjunction" built into creation and we are perpetually fighting against it as it were. To my own mind the "disjunction" is a by-product of the choice, or right to participation, that was extended to sentient creation. The by-product is that in our choices we will inevitably also make wrong choices — often for the very best of intentions. Our offspring very often cannot 'undo' the consequences of those wrong choices. The Godhead, or heaven (to use another term), is the only place in the whole of Creation where we are likely to get to a place where this 'disjunction' is finally resolved, ironed flat, or ruled out of contention as a factor in our lives. In the Christian context, Jesus represents the God-head, so it is true to argue that Jesus is the one who wipes away Original Sin or this Original Disjunction that we all have to battle against like Sisyphus perpetually rolling his stone up a steep hill. But it is not some "magic act" by Jesus that wipes away "the original disjunction" — it's by our entering into "the Way" (of thinking, feeling and acting) modelled by Jesus.

More from him on these matters here. This sort of thinking is nothing new at the Catholica forum, of course; see here and here for further coverage.

Two events, one recent and one upcoming:

1. The recent one:

Cardinal George Pell - Diary & Events
Thursday, June 3: 10am Chairs, NSW/ACT bishops’ meeting at St Mary’s Cathedral House, Sydney.

2. The upcoming one:

The sixth annual St Thomas More Forum lecture will be held from 6.30pm, for 7pm, on June 22 at the Canberra Southern Cross Club, 92–96 Corinna St, Phillip, ACT. The topic is St Thomas More – The Friend of Bishops. It will be presented by Archbishop Phillip Wilson, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Archbishop of Adelaide. The cost is $50 per person. Bookings close on June 14. For more details ring 6201 9814.

See also this advertisement for the lecture.

Blog comments by me

At Mr. Schütz's blog:

Cardinal Pole
June 8, 2010 at 12:40 am

“what “Cardinal Pole” says it flat wrong and contradictory to the Gospel and Christ’s church, but at least it is Catholic”

I have shown that the Social Reign of Christ is not “flat wrong” by natural-law reasoning. Now can you show how it is “contradictory to the Gospel and Christ’s church”?


Cardinal Pole
June 8, 2010 at 2:29 am

Oh, and our friends at Catholica helpfully remind us that the Roman Empire was not the first Catholic Confessional State:

“An extraordinary Christian called Gregory (known as the Enlightener or Illuminator) stepped into the breach and filled the vacuum. Like many of the saints of this period his life has been seriously obscured with fabulous legend. He is supposed to have been the son of a Parthian who had murdered King Khosrov I of Armenia. The baby Gregory was taken to Caesarea in Cappadocia where he was baptized and brought up. He married there and had two sons before returning to Armenia where he succeeded in converting King Tiridates III to Christianity at about the same time as the victory over the Persians; this after fourteen years of incarceration in a pit, presumably at the hands of the Zoroastrians, who were opposed to his mission. Having been consecrated as a bishop at Caesarea, Gregory spent the remainder of his life preaching and organizing the church in Armenia. Tiridates III helpfully destroyed the Zoroastrian sanctuary at Ashtishat that had been built on a pagan foundation, and erected a church in its place. He decreed Christianity the official religion of his country, the first ruler in the world to do so.”


Reginaldvs Cantvar


Matthias said...

Cardinal in relation to your blog on the Anglicans and allowing divorced bishops,i am reading a book by the first Anglican bishop of Liverpool-J C RYLE- who in a sermon at the time that tractarians were swimming the Tiber said "Idolatory is in the Church of Rome",but we can safely assume that is not the case,but rather Apostasy is in the Anglican Church,with gay/lesbian bishops and now divorced ones. Ryle "the man of granite with the heart of a child" would be turning in his grave.

Cardinal Pole said...

I wonder how long it will be till English Anglicans have lesbian bishops? American Anglicans have one already, of course.

Matthias said...

lesbian Anglican bishops in the Old dart,probably when the Cof E becomes Disestablished and has to cope with the same status as the Catholic Church,Methodists etc.
But when that occurs,the voice of schism will be as loud if not louder than Luther's or Cranmer's. Probably +Jensen will be out front.

Cardinal Pole said...

Speaking of lesbian Anglican bishops, here's an article dealing with an apparent consequence of that recent 'ordination':

"World Anglican leaders suspend US Episcopalians from ecumenical talks

"[...] The worldwide leadership of the Anglican communion has suspended representatives of the Episcopal Church in the US from participating in ecumenical dialogues. The disciplinary action came after the Episcopal diocese of Los Angeles ordained a lesbian bishop, in defiance of a call from Canterbury for a moratorium on such ordinations. Canon Kenneth Kearon, the secretary-general of the Anglican Communion, wrote to Episcopalian leaders in the US to inform them that they would no longer be invited to participate in ecumenical dialogues. He revealed that he had also written to the Anglican primate in Canada, asking whether that province would abide by the appeal of world Anglican leaders for a moratorium on the ordination of openly homosexual bishops. In May the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, had suggested taking that action against Anglican provinces that violated the moratorium. He had called for the same disciplinary action against conservative Anglican leaders who intervened in the affairs of other provinces-- a reference to prelates from Africa and South America who have encouraged conservative Anglicans in America and Britain to form their own separate communities. Canon Kearon said that he asked for reassurance from these prelates about their "interventions into other provinces.""