Comments: Rochester speaks

What a splendid and Godly man this is. I only hope that his prophetic voice is not lost on the Church of England. This is truly prophetic speaking out at its best. My fear is of course that this will be lost in the urge to be politically correct and "not to rock the boat."

May God be with you Bishop Michael - be not silenced by the naysayers. The naysayers have traded a "bowl of pottage" for the blessing of God.

Posted by Ian Montgomery at Sunday, 5 April 2009 at 2:30pm BST

Isn't (soon to be x) Roffen speaking against himself here?

Isn't "our ideas about the sacredness of the human person at every stage of life, of equality and natural rights and, therefore, of freedom" all "demonstrably arisen from the tradition rooted in the Bible…" precisely what he dislikes and is out to counter?

Also "Judaeo-Christian tradition" often stands for Hellenist notions Ideas of Creation as Vale of Tears and Prison of the Soul - the very opposite to "the sacredness of the human person at every stage of life" and the "tradition rooted in the Bible", that God created this very good Creation and is pleased with it.

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Sunday, 5 April 2009 at 3:42pm BST

"The disappearance of a public recognition of marriage"? That's rich. This Yank wonders, has Britain forsworn civil marriages, are known heterosexuals who dare to show their spouse in public being subjected to discrimination and derision?
Or, does what +Nazir-Ali really refer to is extending the recognition of marriage to same-sex couples? Expanding marriage?
I also have to wonder with the "persecuted Christians" +Nazir-Ali refers to include not only those souls in Muslim lands, Communist lands, etc., but those Anglicans called Episcopalians being "persecuted" and "led astray" by TEC in the deep dark continent of North America

Posted by peterpi at Sunday, 5 April 2009 at 4:55pm BST

"Every society, for its wellbeing, needs the social capital of common values and the recognition of certain virtues which contribute to personal and social flourishing."

Agreed...but in a secular multi-religious society, these need not--and indeed ought not--come from a specific religious tradition, but from the values and virtues all traditions...religious and not...hold dear.

Or does the archbishop believe that values and virutes of those other traditions are so different from the Judeo-Christian ones as to be unassimilatable?

I would point out to him that, a few hundred years ago, the same would have been said regarding Jewish and Christian values and virtues and the term "Judeo-Christian" would have been laughed at.

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Sunday, 5 April 2009 at 5:05pm BST

Translation: "I didn't resign, the CofE resigned from me!"

Posted by JCF at Sunday, 5 April 2009 at 8:16pm BST

"Instead of the spiritual and moral framework provided by the Judaeo-Christian tradition, we have been led to expect, and even to celebrate, mere diversity. Not surprisingly, this has had the result of loosening the ties of law, customs and values, and led to a gradual loss of identity and of cohesiveness." - Retiring Bp. Nazir-Ali -

No doubt Jesus himself would have been criticised by this good Bishop - for including other than the traditional Hebrew faithful within the scope of God's salvific plan for 'All the World'. The inclusion of people other than 'God's Chosen' in his broad and wide parameters of Kingdom life, was one of the reasons Jesus was put to death by the powers-that-be in his contemporary world.

To restrict the Kingdom of God to the likes of Dr. Nazir-Ali and the GAFCON re-Asserters, is to deny our Lord's intention to 'draw', rather than 'legally enforce' people to himself. As Bishop Desmond Tutu continues to remind us, the Church exists for the sake of the World - not the other way round. The Church is an Intrument of Salvation - not its totality.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Sunday, 5 April 2009 at 11:47pm BST

I too find the bishop's thinking somewhat rambling.

It is true that the Church is no longer at the center of things - as the Bishop of Oxford bemoaned in the debate on Civil Partnerships, a church is, the ONLY place a Civil Partnership cannot be registered as a matter of law.

Is he saying that his ministry has been a total failure?

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Monday, 6 April 2009 at 12:55am BST

"Our ideas about the sacredness of the human person at every stage of life, of equality and natural rights and, therefore, of freedom..."

Unless, of course, they are gay.

Posted by Bill Moorhead at Monday, 6 April 2009 at 3:36am BST

I like this bit - I wonder which faith he refers to? "Different faiths and traditions will not necessarily produce the values and virtues which have been so prominent in the history of this country. It is quite wrong to presume that they will. Some faiths may emphasise social solidarity more than personal freedom, others publicly enforce piety over a nurturing of the interior life and yet others stress honour and shame rather than humility, service and sacrifice. It may be, of course, that there is a useful overlap among these traditions in terms of values by which to live. It may also be that people of different faiths can "own" many of the values produced by a Christian framework in this nation, but this cannot take place in a vacuum."

Posted by riazat butt at Monday, 6 April 2009 at 9:11am BST

Yeah, which indeed?


Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Monday, 6 April 2009 at 4:41pm BST

Pat O'N do not rush things, he is no one's archbishop, yet.

Posted by David |dah•veed| at Monday, 6 April 2009 at 5:53pm BST

I guess only Nazir-Ali's Christians have the right morals. Other Christians and world religions have defective morals (The pope and he can argue that one) or in the case of atheist, none at all. I can't follow that logic.

Posted by bobinswpa at Monday, 6 April 2009 at 5:53pm BST

I think the claim that equality is rooted in the Bible is a little disingenuous - it's only when read through a particular hermeneutic and tradition which permits the convenient setting aside of inconvenient passages that you can finesse that (I mean, 'Oi Ioudaioi' in John hardly get good, equal treatment, do they?).

The good bishop's argument for scriptural authority leaves a hole big enough to drive a wagon through, does it not?

Posted by mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Monday, 6 April 2009 at 11:07pm BST

I don't believe in Ali's sincerity. He made a fool of himself in the run to Rowan's appointment as Cantuar and has made a fool of himself repeatedly since then.
Please let him go to Rome already. I never believed he was an evangelical, either. He just lives in Lalaland, no address reported.

Posted by Leonel at Tuesday, 7 April 2009 at 11:53am BST
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