Church Times: The Archbishop at Lourdes

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Archbishop of Canter­bury this week preached at an inter­national mass in Lourdes, in the French Pyrenees, as part of the 150th-anniversary celebrations of St Bernadette’s visions of the Virgin Mary.

Dr Williams was taking part in a pilgrimage of bishops, clergy, and laity from the Church of England, including the Suffragan Bishop in Europe, the Rt Revd David Hamid, which was organised by the Anglican Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham and the Society of Mary.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury * International News & CommentaryEuropeFrance* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

23 Comments
Posted September 26, 2008 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Larry Morse wrote:

Pandering to the “miraculous” only gives the rest of the world a chance to hold Christianity up to ridicule, not something we need.
We do not need “miracles.” do you need “miracles” to believe in the Great Commandment, or in the crucifixion and the resurrection, neither of which are miracles? Such practices fall in the same class as touching the fingerbone in a reliquary, of St. Whosis, even when there is no clear evidence that St. Whosis’s fingerbone is there or praying to St Christopher to ask him to find your car keys. This demeans and cheapens our religion dreadfully. This mocks God’s high great purposes as we see them in scripture.  Larry

September 26, 2:35 pm | [comment link]
2. Charles wrote:

I don’t know, Larry.  Next time time you are having a hard time finding a parking place, try this prayer: “Hail Mary, full of grace.  Find me a parking place.”  Our Lady might just help you, even if you think she can’t hear you.

St. Anthony is the patron of lost things, by the way.

September 26, 2:42 pm | [comment link]
3. MikeS wrote:

The resurrection is not miracle?!

Since when?

And praying to find lost keys (or some other every day issue) cheapens our religion?

Since when is it cheap to trust God, even for the simple things of life or for help in our ever present troubles (as small as they may be)?  God only handles the big stuff?

What father gives a stone to a son asking for bread or a snake to one asking for a fish?

September 26, 2:46 pm | [comment link]
4. driver8 wrote:

#1 I’m curious, in what sense is the resurrection not a miracle?

September 26, 2:47 pm | [comment link]
5. Baruch wrote:

The Western church has always wanted explanations. The Eastern Orthodox churches say there are mysteries that we shall never know. All miracles are mysteries because God moves in mysterous ways, accept that the Father’s resurrection of His only Son will always be a mystery and a miracle. You either believe it or you don’t and those who don’t according to the creeds are not Christians.

September 26, 3:26 pm | [comment link]
6. Charles wrote:

Miracle according to Merriam-Webster:
1: an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs; 2: an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment; 3 Christian Science : a divinely natural phenomenon experienced humanly as the fulfillment of spiritual law

It is the little miracles in life that lead me to believe in such a miracle as the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  Things such as the lives of the saints, relics, etc. help strengthen my belief in the resurrection.

September 26, 3:50 pm | [comment link]
7. Eugene wrote:

Has anyone reading this observed a miracle like the resurrection of Jesus or like the healings in the NT?  I tend to think No.  That is all Larry is saying.  No miracles today! Or at Lourdes

September 26, 5:53 pm | [comment link]
8. uscetae wrote:

I observe a miracle every time I attend Holy Mass and receive one in the Blessed Sacrament.

Popes Eugene and Larry (is not every protestant a pope unto himself?) say how many thousands or millions along with the Magisterium are wrong. How many thousands of witnesses are required (at Fatima, say)?  How many documented cures at Lourdes?  No evidence will convince the invincibly obtuse.

September 26, 8:01 pm | [comment link]
9. Eugene wrote:

#8: you “observe” what? 

I think you mean you are taught that such and such happens: fair enough. 

But you do not observe the change of the substance of the bread: you believe it.  Again that is fine.  Anglicans believe that when they partake of the bread they are partaking of the body of Christ.  We just do not have a theory about it.

September 26, 8:29 pm | [comment link]
10. libraryjim wrote:

I know many people who have experienced physical healings over the years.  One friend, a minister’s wife, had chronic back pain. One day she felt a burning sensation up her spine, she fell to the floor, and when she got up, there was no pain. It had not returned up to the time we lost touch with the family.

I know people hwo have had financial miracles over the years—praying for money to pay a bill, and wham! it comes in the mail the next day or someone came up to them at church and said “the Lord told me to give this to you” and it’s the exact amount.

I had a friend in High School who got ‘saved’ one day, and the next day realized he didn’t crave the drugs that had been a big part of his life for two years. I saw him at school shortly after he was saved, and he was positively glowing!

“Mickey, what happened to you?”

“I got saved, man, and now I’m clean from drugs, too! Praise God, it’s been two weeks since I last took anything”!  Never wanted them again after that, either. 

So, yes, miracles still happen today.  I know people to whom they have happened.

September 26, 8:48 pm | [comment link]
11. Fabio Rego wrote:

I am puzzled by the attitude of Bishop William Rowan. What is the reason for his visit to Lourdes? The virgin devotion? or want to please the pope? To better please the pope should address the TEC, on his way to denial of faith.

September 27, 9:27 am | [comment link]
12. libraryjim wrote:

Fabio does bring up an interesting point:

Why Lourdes, and why now?  There is a lot happening in the Episcopal Club right now in the fallout of the illegal “deposition” of +Duncan, many might see this as a diversion, to take world-wide attention away from America. 

And Fabio is also right when he says a better course of action for +Cantaur would be to directly address TEC’s action.

Peace
Jim E. <><

September 27, 3:35 pm | [comment link]
13. Eugene wrote:

I am not sure the ABC should say anything. 

If he looks at the facts he should say: yes Bishop Duncan has tried to start a new Province in America (he may have even asked the ABC to help him do so). This is a reason enough for TEC to depose the Bishop.

By not stating the obvious, he keeps open a way to deal with the folk that want to leave TEC but want to stay as Anglicans (viz. in communion with the ABC)

I think that many on this list under-estimate the ABC’s skills in attempting to hold together a fractuous community.

September 27, 4:26 pm | [comment link]
14. libraryjim wrote:

Eugene,
+Duncan did nothing of the sort. it would have been up to the diocesean convention anyway, and even that was sure to pass.

The TEc convicted +Duncan on supposition of what MIGHT happen had the diocese voted a certain way, on stands on issues they THOUGHT he might take, without a trial, and without a majority of bishops eligable to vote even present. In other words, TEc has become a thought police force accountable to no-one.

The ABoC does need to take note of the illegality of the deposition and make a strong statement against it.

In His Peace
Jim E. <><

September 27, 5:09 pm | [comment link]
15. libraryjim wrote:

oops, should read:

It would have been up to the diocesean convention anyway, and even that was notsure to pass.

September 27, 5:10 pm | [comment link]
16. Dr. William Tighe wrote:

Here is one Anglican priest’s take on the AbC at Lourdes:

http://liturgicalnotes.blogspot.com/2008/09/lourdes-i.html

September 27, 8:54 pm | [comment link]
17. Larry Morse wrote:

#4. Let us hope it is not a miracle. For a miracle is a violation of natural law, an overriding of that which would ordinarily happen had not a greater power intervened and rendered the operation null.
The resurrection is what will happen to us all, whether we like it or not, and is therefore part of natural law. No natural law is contravened. indeed, the resurrection is the visible declaration of what has always happened to mankind - namely, that he has entered another life after death. Christ’s example simply shows us how and why this can be accomplished to our eternal benefit. This is not an exception, Christ tells us, it is The Rule. And we had better hope it is.  Larry

September 28, 12:33 am | [comment link]
18. Larry Morse wrote:

#2. This is pretty funny. Larry

September 28, 12:34 am | [comment link]
19. Larry Morse wrote:

See #10’s example of praying for money and receiving money as a result. Now I ask you all, is God a Divine pocketbook which we all may reasonably expect to get a handout from? I use to listen to WOWO years ago, and there were always shouting preachers who swore that if they prayed To God to leave money in your wallet, you would wake and find it so.  So. If that actually worked, we would have no poor, would we? And if we prayed to God to save our lives from a terminal disease, He will make the disease go away? We would have no terminal diseases any more, would we. Do you REALLY expect that God will put money from nowhere in your wallet if you ask him too? I submit that this mocks divine power and cheapens prayer.  Larry

September 28, 12:48 am | [comment link]
20. libraryjim wrote:

Larry,
this is NOT an example of ‘name it claim it” prosperity theology. It was a one time event, and happened to a friend of mine. They had not made their needs known to anyone, it was an unexpected bill that they simply did not have the money for.

A similar event happened to me, as well. I had travelled to a Charismatic convention and left my wallet behind. No money to pay for gas or a motel room.  At the end of the opening prayer meeting, without my telling anyone, a man I had never seen/met before came up to me and said “The Lord laid it on my heart to give you this”, and handed me an envelope.  I thanked him, and went to the car and opened the envelope. It contained three $20 bills. Enough to pay for the motel and gas home (this was in the 1980’s).  And no, the man did not give me his address or name, so I could not repay him, and I never saw him again that weekend. I put that down to a miracle.

God still works miracles.  To deny this is to deny fact and to call a good many people ‘liars’, which is bearing false witness.  Mocking God and the recipients of His grace is also treading on shakey ground.

In His Peace
Jim E. <><

September 28, 12:06 pm | [comment link]
21. libraryjim wrote:

A friend of mine, Linda, tells me that while in the choir loft one day, she looked up at the altar during the prayer of consecration and saw ten angels surrounding the altar.  Why did she see this and not the priest or the others in the congregation? I—and she—has no idea.  But she did.

Of course the question is: Why does God choose to heal some and not others? Why does God choose to bless some with visions of His Kingdom, and not others? Why does God bless some with financial miracles and not others?

These are questions we will never know the answers to until we stand in the Kingdom. All I know, for certain, is that He does these things.

I could go on and on and on listing events that others have described to me, but, I have a feeling that to you it would not matter one whit. You would still choose to disbelieve.

As one noted theologian said:
For those who believe, no explanation is necessary.
For those who won’t believe, no explanation is possible.

My He open your eyes to His truth.
Jim E. <><

September 28, 1:15 pm | [comment link]
22. libraryjim wrote:

Did you know that there is an Anglican Society of Mary?  I didn’t either!

Episcopalians dedicated to the Glory of God
and the Holy Incarnation of Christ
under the invocation of Our Lady, Help of Christians.

The Society of Mary was formed in 1931 by the union of its parent societies, the Confraternity of Our Lady (founded in 1880) and the League of Our Lady (founded in 1902).  It has members all over the world and is not confined to Anglicans alone.  In 1962 a group of American priests, knowing of two Wards functioning in the Episcopal Church and affiliated with the parent body, received permission from the General Council in England to set up a regional organization in the United States.

September 28, 8:31 pm | [comment link]
23. rob k wrote:

There are at least two wards of the SOM in California alone.  Devotion to the BVM does not make one less a Christian.

September 30, 12:51 am | [comment link]
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