Saturday, January 12, 2013

Bishop of Derby pays tribute to Lord Strathclyde


Following Lord Strathclyde's announcement of his resignation as Leader of the House of Lords, the Bishop of Derby expressed his profound appreciation for the noble Lord, in particular for his support, wisdom and guidance for the Lords Spiritual during his long period of service. In addition, welcoming his successor Lord Hill, the Bishop paid tribute to his outstanding work as Education Minister in which position he had been a great friend to the Church. The full speech:
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I speak briefly to associate those of us on these Benches with the generous, worthy and well earned words for the noble Lord, Lord Strathclyde. On these Benches, we are transient. We come and go because, as noble Lords know, we observe a retirement age. By contrast, the noble Lord, Lord Strathclyde, is just like a part of the furniture. He is an institution and has been here throughout the time that virtually all of us on these Benches have been here, so it will be a big change for us.

My colleagues have been very keen to say how much we appreciate his support, wisdom and guidance for the Lords Spiritual to enable our contribution to the work of the House. Speaking personally, I marvel sometimes when he has to stand at that Box and deal with some rather difficult things coming across the Chamber. I always admire the fact that he is calm, has a twinkle in his eye and generally responds with buckets of common sense. That seems to be a very good way of leading a House and creating the right kind of atmosphere and frame for us.

We also extend our welcome to the noble Lord, Lord Hill. To be honest, on these Benches we have mixed feelings. He has done a wonderful job as Education Minister and has been a great friend to the Church and the Lords Spiritual. In many ways we are very sad to see him leave that post. He has done outstanding work, and I have always admired the way he can stand at the Dispatch Box and, without really referring to his notes, be able to answer the questions and be very astute and quick-thinking on his feet. That is a remarkable gift and one that we look forward to him exercising in his new role. We welcome the noble Lord, Lord Hill, and say thank you very much indeed to the noble Lord, Lord Strathclyde, for his help, support and guidance.
Is it not heartnening to see a Bishop of the Church praise Tories in such generous and appreciative terms? You won't read about this in the newspapers or hear about it on television: it's not a 'bishop slams politician' story that can be framed as a usual religio-political left-right conflagration. It is worth noting the focus on the humanity - Tom Strathclyde is deeply appreciated for his support, wisdom and guidance; for his calmness and capacity for common sense. And Lord Hill has been a 'great friend' to the Church.

It occurs to His Grace that if we were all to focus on the common humanity of each instead of dehumanisingly classifying one another as (say) racists, homophobes, Islamophobes or anti-Catholic bigots, not only would the Blogosphere (not to say the world) be a better place, but progress might be made in social interraction, empathy and mutual understanding. This will have the effect of injecting reason and sentiment into our discussions, thereby diminishing verbal violence.

Loving each other as Christ commanded does not end disagreement, robust argument or searing criticism. But it does frame our expressions of truth, our law-making and our understanding of moral considerations in something beyond our two-dimensional political mechanisms and the thinking, feeling and perceiving of the crowd.

27 Comments:

Blogger bluedog said...

Well said, Your Grace, and the penultimate paragraph has a particular resonance.

As this communicant has mentioned before, he has a relative who spent many years as a Conservative MP. Your communicant was fortunate to learn a great deal about the inner workings of the House of Commons during those years. What was always so impressive were the cross-party friendships that evolved. Men, or men and women, from different sides of the political debate would frequently gain great respect for each other despite profound philosophical differences. A lot of business seemed to be done in the Members Dining Room; very civilised.

Of course, within the scope of His Grace's cyber-cathederal, this sort of social interaction is impossible. The more is the pity, there might be some good fellowship to be had.

12 January 2013 at 10:52  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

Are we to sully our 'purity' by being seen to consort with our 'enemies'?

12 January 2013 at 11:37  
Blogger John Knox's lovechild said...

This is getting very religious for a religious blog.

Surely we don't need religion to be nice to each other bla bla bla.(continue with platitudes until it reads like the Guardian comments pages)

12 January 2013 at 12:45  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

A genuine Conservative, and an able man. We are the poorer now he’s leaving his post...

12 January 2013 at 13:45  
Blogger len said...

'Loving each other as Christ commanded does not end disagreement, robust argument or searing criticism.'



'If Liberty means anything at all it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.'

'In times of universal deceit telling the truth will be a revolutionary act'.

Both of these statements by George Orwell invite opposition, but both are equally involved with preaching the Gospel as God intended.
It is possible to preach the truth with love but the responses to the Gospel are often initially(and some times continually) hostile.

It is perhaps too easy to place people into 'categories' which robs them of the humanity, their individuality,'stereotyping' is the current definition I believe.This makes discussion more difficult if we approach it with prejudices and pre conceptions of the other person?.

12 January 2013 at 14:17  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

"It occurs to His Grace that if we were all to focus on the common humanity of each instead of dehumanisingly classifying one another as (say) racists, homophobes, Islamophobes or anti-Catholic bigots, not only would the Blogosphere (not to say the world) be a better place, but progress might be made in social interraction, empathy and mutual understanding."

Wise words and yet racists, homophobes, Islamophobes and anti-Catholic bigots do exist, so do 'rapid homosexualists'.

12 January 2013 at 14:25  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

len said ...

"It is perhaps too easy to place people into 'categories' which robs them of the humanity, their individuality ... This makes discussion more difficult if we approach it with prejudices and pre conceptions of the other person?"

Would that be like assuming all Catholics are in a demonic trance and incapable of seeing the truth?

12 January 2013 at 14:29  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "so do 'rapid homosexualists'"

Is that because we're all 'a bit light on our feet' according to the common stereotype?

12 January 2013 at 14:39  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

DanJ0

Are you claiming to be a rapid homosexualist?

The militant gayer and rapid homosexualist is simply one who promotes the cause of homosexuality - a minority of less than 2% - whilst disregarding the wishes and interests of the remaining 98% of the population or society as a whole. They are a group who exercise undue influence and cover their activities with slanderous accusations of bigotry and homophobia to any who oppose them.

12 January 2013 at 16:23  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Oh, and I've no idea whether you are "a bit light on your feet", though I do suspect you're "3 Feet of Heat".

12 January 2013 at 16:35  
Blogger Musicalmark said...

Dodo

I think DanJ0 was trying to point out that the word is rabid, not rapid…

12 January 2013 at 16:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

A lot of old men have trouble with their p's, I'm told. It can't really be helped I suppose.

12 January 2013 at 16:51  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

Thank you Musicalmark.

Very good, DanJo. It's good to see you being humorous. Carry on.

There are ways to avoid to the prostate troubles you allude to. A healthy heterosexual life style is one. When I was last checked, the doctor suggested I could join the Fire Service!

12 January 2013 at 17:02  
Blogger Old Blue Eyes said...

It is reported that he has resigned because he is finding it impossible to work with the Lib Dems in the Lords. Would that his counterpart in the Commons felt the same way.

12 January 2013 at 17:48  
Blogger len said...

A 'rapid' Catholic... would that be one that has seen the light and is moving towards it at breakneck speed?.
Just joking Dodo....I hold nothing against people only erroneous religious organisations.

12 January 2013 at 18:04  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

len

I agree with the definition of a 'rapid' Catholic except we 'run the race', gently being guided by Mother Church.

I too have nothing against people - only man made, erroneous theological doctrines.

12 January 2013 at 18:56  
Blogger Pedant said...

Speaking of vapid Anglicans coming to terms with their own erroneous zones, if women eventually do become bishops and sit in the House of Lords will they be known as the Baronesses Spiritual? 

12 January 2013 at 19:00  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12 January 2013 at 19:55  
Blogger The Way of Dodo said...

D. Singh said...
"Your Grace
Are we to sully our 'purity' by being seen to consort with our 'enemies'?


Heaven forbid! Pick up your sword, form a model army and mercilessly murder all non-puritans. Start with the Houses of Parliament.

12 January 2013 at 20:06  
Blogger non mouse said...

It occurs to His Grace that if we were all to focus on the common humanity of each instead of dehumanisingly classifying one another as (say) racists, homophobes, Islamophobes or anti-Catholic bigots, not only would the Blogosphere (not to say the world) be a better place, but progress might be made in social interraction, empathy and mutual understanding.

Indeed, Your Grace - mindless acceptance of franco-german classifications paints us into divers and opposing corners! It's all part of keeping us busy with the crazy-paving while they control the destiny of the larger acreage. That's why we're all paying tithes to the pagan europa (a sacred cow if there ever was one) - and whatever solutions she imposes on our dumbed down preoccupations.

Unfortunately, the 'filosofers' also inform the feminazi agenda, and europa's application of "social interaction, empathy and mutual understanding." This replacement for moral and spiritual fortitude has led to appeasement and the Lib/Lab/Con trick. Your post today suggests that the resulting obfuscation envelops and distorts vision in the halls of Westminster --- at all levels.

However, we could avail ourselves of the medieval insight** that awareness of the imperfect use of words leads to the Word, Who in turn is the Final Cause of all verbal causes. Those familiar with these arguments would recognize, therefore, that God can and does voice His Will through pagan mediators: His Law prevails whatever choices men make. Pagan word-mongers link the temporal world with God's divine reason because, however much masters and appeasers mangle language, Truth will eventually prevail.

As a corollary to your final paragraph, then, we must demand that your "Hlaford" bishops should now enlighten our pathways to that Truth. Their example and teaching must begin to feed the flock's perception: of what we should believe by faith, how we should behave, and where we are going in terms of spiritual progress.

“For the devising of idols was the beginning of spiritual
fornications” [Wisdom 14:12].


________
**We can trace this through Augustine, Boethius, and Your Grace's eminent predecessor, Bradwardine.

**(cf. Chambers) hlafward->hlaford = loaf guardian (keeper/distributor of food); lord
hlafdige = loaf/bread kneader or perh. dough-maker; lady.

13 January 2013 at 04:52  
Blogger Bridget said...

non mouse,
If truth will eventually prevail it must already do so which makes truth already awful. 
But I admire your style, nevertheless.

13 January 2013 at 05:25  
Blogger len said...

Trouble with 'finger pointing' is that for every 'finger pointing' there are three pointing back.

If Christians followed 'Christ alone' perhaps we would have had less wars and more victories over everything which opposes the Gospel ?.

13 January 2013 at 12:15  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

13 January 2013 at 17:56  
Blogger non mouse said...

Thank you, Bridget @ 5:25, though I don't know what you mean by "style"! My concern is less with appearances than with trying to perceive and convey what I may of Truth... the point being that each individual in this world has limited capacity for learning a part of it.

We do agree, however: Truth does already prevail. Boethius helped me to see how that works by suggesting that “we should follow Plato in saying that God indeed is eternal, but the world is perpetual.” Boethius indicates that this is because the fallen world tries to regain the completeness of its eternal present by emulation, and by moving towards it.* When we emulate in the wrong way, of course, we move in the other direction!

T.S. Eliot also built on these ideas:
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.

Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
("Burnt Norton" I.42-46; my stress).

_______________________
*Boethius, A. S. The Consolation of Philosophy. Trans. Richard Green. New York: Macmillan, 1962. Book V, Prose 6; 116. Quotes Timaeus 37d ff.

13 January 2013 at 18:07  
Blogger bluedog said...

Had me fooled with 'Hlaford' bishops, non mouse @ 04.52. But then I realised it wasn't about where they buy their bicycle clips.

13 January 2013 at 19:34  
Blogger non mouse said...

Mr. bluedog @ 19:34 :))

13 January 2013 at 20:48  
Blogger John Magee said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

15 January 2013 at 05:57  

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