Friday, 8 June 2012
Fr Timothy Radical O.P. –sorry! Fr Radcliffe: Catholic candidate for the Anglican See Canterbury
According to this Month’s edition of the Northern Cross (NC) Fr Radcliffe gave interesting Riddell Memorial lectures at Newcastle University recently. He is quoted as saying in his first lecture that (please note -even though my own typing can be poor- that the punctuation in the quotes is as found in the NC),
“The parables of Jesus lead to questioning, so the preaching of the Gospel happens when the hearer makes a difference to his life.”
There can be no disagreement with this statement since we all preach in order to solicit change by forming ourselves and our people in the teachings of the Gospel rather than the teachings of the world. Sadly, Fr Radcliffe appears to side with the world in his second lecture where he is quoted as saying,
“As a society we have lost faith in reason, contrary to that Christians believe in reason but do not practice it. If we did we would find the truth.
(Does this border on Modernism? Does it suggest that truth is gained through man’s reason apart from Divine Revelation? In charity we have to say that it’s possible that this quote has been given out of context.)
Christians should be tolerant but Churches are bastions of intolerance for instance to people of gay, lesbian or transgender orientation”.
(Apparently we are to tolerate things scripture says preclude us from inheriting the Kingdom of God (Rom. 1:27; 1 Cor. 6:9-11). Such tolerance is not pastoral: it is to pretend to ‘gay, lesbian and transgender’ persons that their lifestyle is approved by God and that He was in error both when He inspired the Sacred Scriptures and as guided the Magisterium over the last two thousand years...)
During question time Fr Radcliffe was asked; What would you do if you were Pope? To which he replied,
“I would decentralise power and remove the temptation to control, and I would abolish silly titles like Monsignor and My Lord and would institute a new title called ‘My Servant’ and I would like myself to be called ‘Not Particularly Reverend’.”
I feel sure those latter remarks are typical of Fr Radcliffe’s humour. Sadly Anglican Bishop Wharton of Newcastle was said to have been so impressed by Fr Radcliffe that in his concluding remarks he invited the former Master of the Dominicans to take up the vacant (Anglican) See of Canterbury. That tongue-in-cheek remark may be seen as a compliment but it seems to me to hold a rather disturbing disparagement: that Fr Radcliffe is more Protestant than Catholic. Father Radcliffe is surely more faithful than this article suggests, or am I wrong?