It has been announced that Michael Nazir-Ali, former Bishop of Rochester, has left Anglicanism and become a Roman Catholic.
He was received into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, entering the ordinariate on his name day, the feast of St Michael, two weeks ago.
This is without doubt one of the most politically and theologically significant changes of allegiance in the Christian world for some time.
There have been a number of high-profile conversions including a former Bishop of London. So why should that of Michael be so nuclear in ecclesiastical and political life?
The answer is that he formed the centre of a nucleus of evangelical resistance to the slippage in the secular progressive accommodation embarked on by the Anglican Church. He was particularly outspoken on the serious consequences of ignoring the implications of the growth of Islam, and the importance of the Christian definition of marriage being restricted to a man and a woman with the intention of having children.
Previous high-profile Episcopal conversions were mainly of Anglo-Catholics. It was almost expected of them. Others shrugged their shoulders and passed them off as almost inevitable and of no great surprise or perhaps even of no great significance.
But Nazir-Ali is different. The route by which he came to prominence, which included holding the post of General Secretary of the Church Missionary Society, was evangelical. And of course evangelicalism is usually uncompromisingly hostile to Catholicism.
The whole of Western culture is reeling under a kind of civil war. It amounts almost to a form of cultural and spiritual nervous breakdown. All organisations are creaking at the seams under the assault of what is variously called progressive, politically correct, woke or cultural Marxism.
The Church has been creaking more than most since the fault lines are theological and spiritual as well as philosophical and political.
Anglicanism’s global movement of conservative protest, ‘GAFCON’, was largely led by Michael Nazir-Ali. His articulate and well-informed theological voice acted like a glue to hold together disparate orthodox actions across the Anglican world. His influence provided much of the driving force that both propelled and held together the conservative or orthodox Anglican revolt against the progressive revolution led by the American Episcopal Church and followed by Archbishop Justin Welby from Lambeth Palace.
The fact that he has turned his back on the protest movement he helped to create has enormous significance for two reasons in particular.
Firstly, it is an indication that Nazir-Ali has, like others who have converted recently to the Catholic Church, judged that the schism in the Church rooted in the Reformation has run out of steam. The Church is no longer realistically divided by the arguments that erupted five hundred years ago driven by the Reformers. These conflicts have been replaced by a fresh but no less significant cultural and philosophical realignment.
This struggle has coalesced into one between the remnants of Christendom and a fresh wave in the assault of secularism by (cultural) Marxism. They represent two utopian visions, one spiritual and the other political, in direct conflict.
Secondly, in Nazir-Ali’s judgement, Anglicanism has been so compromised by the forces of progressive secularism that it cannot now be rescued.
The implications of this will shake Anglicans throughout the worldwide Communion….
The above comes from an October 14 story in Christian Today.
Welcome, I guess.
Now… what for the really and truly important question. Does he support the jab and/or TLM?
The important question is whether he gets his Episcopal episcopal pension.
One must recognize a message to Catholics in Nazir-Ali’s conversion here. On the one hand you have a high-profile Anglican bishop recognizing the estimable merit and necessity of uniting himself, attaching himself today more closely to the Holy See, to the Pope, to the Catholic Church. And on the other hand you have the extremists from both the right and the left of the Church who are gradually separating themselves from the Church—on the left are the Germans for instance who defy the Church’s teachings on sexuality and other issues, and on the right are the communities like the beloved Institute of Christ the King and the beloved FSSP who’d have nothing to do with Vatican II and the Ordinary Form. People, conversions like Nazir-Ali’s are a message that you must stay on the Barque of St. Peter by staying close to the Pope, whoever he may be. You don’t castigate the Supreme Pontiff when his teachings are “spinned” to annoy you lot; instead you try to figure what he is really saying. And if what he is truly saying still annoys you, you ponder it and you ask God to give you the grace to accept it. That’s docility people. It’s also called being Catholic. Especially in rough waters like these times, you would not want to get off the Barque.
“instead you try to figure what he is really saying. And if what he is truly saying still annoys you, you ponder it and you ask God to give you the grace to accept it. That’s docility people.” The Dubia cardinals asked Francis to explain what he was really saying and never received a reply. Those alive are probably still annoyed. In Amoris Laetitia, Francis denies the reality of hell as contrary to the logic of the gospel. Do you accept that novelty with docility, Jon?
As I mentioned in my comment above, “Dan”, you have to practice docility, which you can start doing by re-reading “Amoris Laetitia” and figuring what the Pope actually meant by the passage which you believe is a reference to hell. Why don’t you reflect on that passage, Dan, in silence, in reflection, in prayer, over a few days, rather than just jumping right away at the comments section here.
The passage in question: “297. It is a matter of reaching out to everyone, of needing to help each person find his or her proper way of participating in the ecclesial community and thus to experience being touched by an “unmerited, unconditional and gratuitous” mercy. No one can be condemned for ever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel!” People, I leave it to Jon to interpret these words in such a way as to avoid the implied doctrine of Universalism.
My urging to Dan still stands. He should put down the keyboard and read that paragraph (297) in its entirety again several times, slowly, reflectively, figuring out what the Pope is really saying there. Then he should read at least the two paragraphs before that, and the next two after that. Then he should sit with these two paragraphs in mind for the next couple of days while asking himself, “What is the Pope really saying here about the Last Things, about Hell? about the afterlife? Are these paragraphs actually talking about the Last Things? Is this really about Hell? Or am I wrong?” That’s docility, Dan.
Why do you need jon to interpret it? It has nothing to do with hell or universalism. Obviously.
He is not talking about damnation. Obviously.
So now that you have borne false witness, you know what you have to do.
Did someone on the Internet tell you “oooh the Pope denied hell!” then showed you the paragraph and you went “It’s right there.”
Don’t fall for that anymore.
Would you please cite the paragraph of the “denies the reality of hell” in Amoris Laetitia? Thank you.
Welcome aboard, soon-to-be (hopefully) Father Michael. Here we have another Anglican “bishop” who is willing to give up title and status to follow the truth into the Catholic Church. These examples are inspiring and encouraging for all of us.
To my detractors, let me at once say that I consulted no one regarding my interpretation of 297. The interpretation is my own. In answer to jon et al., I did look up the question and found this:
“Regarding no. 297, renowned theologian “Josef Seifert warns that it’s ‘nearly unavoidable’ to deduce [from it] a denial of Hell—a fear echoed by others. Anna Silvas notes Amoris Laetitia’s ‘missing’ lexicon of eternity: ‘There are no immortal souls in need of eternal salvation to be found in the document!’ ” (from “Amoris Laetitia and the Four Last Things,” available online).”
Further, and of great significance, the acknowledged “ghostwriter” of Amoris Laetitia, Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, apparently leans towards universalism as seen from a 1995 article where he stated: “I rely firmly upon the truth that all are saved.”
The same article then posits the interpretation that Francis is not concerned with eternal destiny, the view held by jon, cd et al.
“Even if the phrase “no one can be condemned forever” refers primarily to earthly life in relationship to the Church, the phrase is equally troubling and problematic – this is so because a person who refuses the grace of the Holy Spirit to repent of mortal sin is in a state of condemnation and cannot be granted a free pass to stay in his sinful condition. In any event, even this alternative explanation, not only being contrary to the Church’s teaching regarding mortal sin, also involves a tacit denial of the eternity of hell (or affirms the new theology that no one actually goes there). ”
This latter statement reflects my thinking on the matter, and I am glad I am no the only one so inclined to take Francis’ words.
I would not interpret what the “ghostwriter” said in 1995 to mean that there is no hell or that no one goes there.
The tenet of the Catholic Church is that Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross applies to every soul therefore all are saved.
That does not deny hell or damnation. If you could provide the context where he said there was no hell or damnation that would help.
Don’t pull a sentence out of context, especially one written 25 years ago.
You have misinterpreted it You are interpreting the word “saved” more like an evangelical Christian uses it. Possibly, I don’t really know.
Dan, that is what the Pope is saying. Don’t sit condemning the sinner, work on getting him back to a state of grace.
‘,,,not the only one…”
Dan is very mistaken. In that same article (297), the Holy Father speaks of the need to conversion for those who are guilty of an objective sin. Now, why would the Pope write the need for a sinner to convert if the Pope did not believe in hell? So Dan, please, follow my advise and read the Pope’s words more carefully. Your hatred for the Pope is illogical and deep-seated. Aren’t you afraid that that illogical and unjust hatred for the Pope could very well lead you to perdition? Repent, Dan. Repent. I print here the Pope’s words from (297): “Naturally, if someone flaunts an objective sin as if it were part of the Christian ideal, or wants to impose something other than what the Church teaches, he or she can in no way presume to teach or preach to others; this is a case of something which separates from the community (cf. Mt 18:17). Such a person needs to listen once more to the Gospel message and its call to conversion.”
Hopefully he supports the TLM.
I can tell you firsthand that many Anglo-Catholic Masses are more Roman and more Catholic than any Novus Ordo service hands down. While living in another state for many years I attended an Anglican-Catholic Church while not receiving Holy Communion I had the option of attending a Novus Ordo service or this Anglican Church which had priest, deacon, sub-deacon, priests facing the high altar, Gregorian chant, Latin, bells, smells, altar boys only, organ, kneeling while receiving communion on the tongue, Roman vestments worn by the priests, altar rail, rosary, confession, Mozart, Palestrina, Bach, you would have thought this was a 1950’s Roman Catholic Church. What a sad commentary indeed on what the Roman Catholic Church could have been, the Council Fathers never intended the disaster it is today, clowns, giant puppets, altar girls, lay lectors, drums, guitars, piano, rock, mariachi, folk music, hand holding, kiss of peace, communion in the hand giving out by women and men, dancing girls in leotards, effeminate men prancing around with incense bowls.
I must say that I’ve been going to the Mass of Pope St. Paul VI all my life (and I frequent the TLM myself), but I’ve never seen during Mass in the Ordinary Form, “dancing girls in leotards and effeminate men pranching around with incense bowl.” Never seen it, neither in the US nor anywhere else in the world. This begs the question: does Romulus Augustus seek out these Masses? BTW, what does RAugustus say about the egregious deviation from Scripture found in the TLM, especially at the consecration?
Jon, liturgical dancing was commonly done in some California Catholic churches for awhile. The ones I saw were done fairly decently, but silly looking and totally inappropriate for a reenactment of the Last Supper and the Lord’s death on the cross. It was done at Catholic churches that had a school and wanted to give the girls “something to do” at the altar. I left one church when they started to bring liturgical dancing and other unnecessary and unapproved things into the mass.
My motto is “Keep it Simple”, don’t complicate things, stick to the rubrics, or red the black, do the red.
Correction to last sentence: “read the black, do the red”.