The outgoing UKIP leader has said the Archbishop of Canterbury should go because he is not prepared to “stand up for Christian values”.
Speaking to Sky News as he prepared to give his last conference speech as leader of the party, he rounded on Justin Welby, who criticised him for giving legitimacy to racism during the EU referendum campaign.
Mr Farage accused the Archbishop of failing to do his job properly, claiming he had not adequately protected Christian values in the UK.
He said: “It’s a great shame that the head of our established church is not actually prepared to stand up and fight for our Christian culture in this country.
“He’s somebody else who should go too.”
Mysterious Comments about St Agatha’s…
From Father Hunwicke’s blog:
The main issue is the very disappointing response (an understatement) from Anglican Catholic-minded laity. Pope Benedict thought he was offering the best of all possible worlds: solid doctrine, (assuredly) valid orders, excellent inculturated liturgy and above all Englishness (never Fr. — or indeed Bishop — Fintan O’Shaughnessy’s strong point).
Enough Anglican clergy came across to the UK Ordinariate to man an entire English Catholic diocese. But if attachment to church buildings is such a deal-breaker for lay Anglicans, aren’t some English Catholic bishops right to be privately sceptical about the Ordinariate and its chances?
A few weeks ago I took my family to Portsmouth for the weekend and for a change we thought we would go to Mass at St. Agatha’s. We had never been to an Ordinariate Mass before and were interested in what it would be like. My 16 year old son was amazed. “That was the real deal” were his words as we left church. “Why can’t we have this everywhere? Our usual Mass is just like a lecture in comparison.” Quote, unquote.
Bishop Egan: THE FUTURE OF OUR DIOCESAN SCHOOLS
A shorter version of the original text:
It is now three years since I became the Bishop of Portsmouth. Over this time, I’ve been getting to know the patch.
We have 140 priests and 40 deacons and I spent the first 18 months on ‘home’ visits to spend time with each of our priests, and then with our deacons and their wives.
We have 95 parishes from Oxford in the north, across Reading east to Maidenhead, Windsor and Aldershot, then down through Newbury and Winchester to Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth in the south, and over to the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands. I always say to other bishops that Portsmouth is not only the best diocese in England and Wales but also the largest – that is, if you include the sea-bed out to the Channel Islands! So 95 parishes: I have been working my way around them on pastoral visitation one weekend per month, sometimes two.
We also have 43 religious communities, including 3 new religious communities: The Marian Franciscan Friars in Gosport, the Franciscan Sisters of Mary Immaculate in Bridgemary, and the Stella Matutina Sisters in Grayshott.
But over the last year or so – a great delight – I’ve been making brief visitations of our diocesan schools. We have 76 schools, of which 53 are academies or voluntary-aided, and 23 independents. I wanted to visit every school in order to get the flavour, but more importantly to support heads, staff, governors and chaplains in their work.
First, some general data:
- the decline of Christianity: from 72% to 59% which, if it continues, means that by 2019 and the end of this decade, Christians will be in a minority;
• the growth of Islam: from 3% to 5%, making Islam the fastest growing religious group in England and Wales; and
• the exponential growth of ‘nones’ (people of no religious affiliation): up from 15% in 2001 to 25%. A quarter of the population now says it has ‘no religion.’
It is instructive to tabulate the trend for adult baptisms and receptions into the Church. In 2013, in the Diocese there were 180 receptions: i.e. about 2 persons per parish per year. It currently takes 200 parishioners to generate one new one.
Statistics are helpful, yet in faith-matters, there are limits. Evangelisation is not about numbers. The Lord never promised full churches; if anything He seemed to envisage the Christian community as a small band. Yet the Church is incarnate and so numbers do have some significance both for the Church’s internal functioning and for its external mission.
Christianity is not a religion of the book, be it the Bible, the Catechism or whatever. Nor is it based on doctrine, beliefs, the teachings of the Church. Nor is our faith based on a moral code of do’s and don’ts, practices and customs. Catholicism is first and foremost based on a Person, Jesus Christ, God the Son, on a personal relationship with Him in the communion of His Church, and on union through Him with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Here is the difference between the old evangelisation and new evangelisation (NE). The NE is not ecclesio-centric but Christo-centric. It’s not about ‘church’ but about Jesus Christ and making Him known and loved. It’s about the love of Jesus, a transforming encounter with Him.
Schools and parishes, alone or together, could undertake simple, mission-projects. Parishes and schools could leaflet a new housing development, operate a food-bank, serve the poor, establish a stall on a local market, visit retirement homes, make use of social media, hand commuters invitations to a parish event, hold a Theology on Tap session in a local pub, organise special prayers and devotions, talk with people at the school gates, and so on. Doing a Catholic form of street witness – a procession, music, leafleting shops, praying the Rosary – can be a fruitful mission-project. Some of our churches need to be made more user-friendly, tidy, comfortable, welcoming, with a good presence on the internet. Even the basic matter of keeping the church open for prayer is a hugely evangelistic activity. Schools too might have a role in this: hosting an Alpha session, twilight sessions for parents and carers on prayer and spirituality, short catechetical courses, Bible study, and so on. Again, breakfast and after-school clubs might offer evangelistic opportunities.