Posted by Christopher Johnson | Monday, March 28th, 2011 | Uncategorized | 18 Comments

The Church of England beclowns itself again:

Manchester Cathedral is to host a ‘new age’ festival featuring tarot card readers, crystal healers and ‘dream interpretation’.

Local Anglican leaders have agreed to throw open the doors of the historic cathedral in a bid to embrace alternative forms of Christianity.

Fortune tellers, meditation experts and traditional healers will fill the pews during the day-long festival in May. The Bishop of Manchester, Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, said he wanted to celebrate ‘all forms of spirituality’.

The Spirit of Life festival on May 2 will also feature stalls and workshops on angels, prayer bead-making and massage.

The Spirit of Life people claim the story is inaccurate.

Contrary to media reports, the Spirit of Life is a Christian festival offering a balanced programme of different spiritual traditions including Taize, choral evensong and contemporary spiritualities. There are workshops which will discuss spiritualities outside the Christian tradition. There will be no tarot card reading or fortune telling at the event.

There will be this, though.

With about 25 workshops and stalls covering poetry, Franciscan spirituality, arts and crafts, healing, icons, angels, meditation, personality profiling, music and blessings, labyrinths, dream interpretation, Christian symbolism of gem stones, tarot and Celtic saints, prayer bead making, choral evensong, foot and hand massage, Jesus Deck readings, Taize chants and, finally, fire breathing!

In case you’re wondering, this is what a Jesus Deck is.  I have no idea what “readings” using a Jesus Deck involve and, frankly, I don’t want to know.

The only shocking thing about this story is that anyone would find it shocking.  When your “church” has no Good News to tell anyone and has basically given up any meaningful interest in spreading the Gospel, then you will naturally be keenly interested in “all forms of spirituality,” even idiotic ones.

Since you don’t really believe any of that “spirituality” crap.

18 Comments to MUST BE MONDAY

March 28, 2011

Actually… Tarot/Tarocchi cards were originally supposed to be all about Christian and philosophical symbolism in human development, sorta like The Game of Life or Monopoly uses symbolism. Although a lot of the cards had different names and pictures than the ones common today in occult circles. (The Waite deck is sorta trying hard to get rid of all that tarocchi cake while eating it too.)

If you want something a bit more romantic, there’s also C.S. Lewis’ buddy Charles Williams, who wrote a whole novel with Christian tarot symbolism.

That said, playing tarocchi card games is fun, but divination is un-Christian.

March 28, 2011

You know, there are probably actual quotes from the Bible condemning about half of that list of “spiritualities”. Yet obviously, the person writing the flyer has no clue that this is so.

March 28, 2011

Thank Heavens! At last–the last act of a very bad play begins. Soon now . . .

FW Ken
March 28, 2011

It interesting to read this story after reading another “whore of babylon” comment at the oh-so-civil Titusonenine.

By the way, the guy who made that linked comment once denied the fallen state of humanity, dismissing the witness of Genesis 1-3. Heresy and spiritual pride are truly a pair!

The Pilgrim
March 28, 2011

“Soon now . . .”

And the sooner, the better.

Christopher Hathaway
March 28, 2011

I was thinking of being in Manchester around then but I decided to delay my trip. Looks like I won’t be missing much.

Last year they had some Lenten artwork, or maybe it was stations of the cross. Either way it was unidentifiable and ugly as sin. Maybe the artist and the Cathedral thought hideously ugly art was a fitting Lenten fast from the luxury of beauty.

The Little Myrmidon
March 28, 2011

Sounds like the usual gang of “re-enactors” and “exhibitors” that you’d find at a “Medieval Faire” – in other words, it doesn’t really have to fit the venue, but these vendors gotta make a buck any way they can.

March 28, 2011

I have no idea what “readings” using a Jesus Deck involve and, frankly, I don’t want to know.

I’m guessing: Jesus loves you just the way you are!

creedal episcopalian
March 28, 2011
Smurf Breath
March 28, 2011

I was feeling a bit down, but the silliness of all this gave me a good laugh. At least CofE/TEC are still good for something.

March 28, 2011

“Personality profiling” and “labyrinths” sound like presentations ripe for pop psychology and bad history, to say nothing of new-age “religion.”

FW Ken, that guy of “whore of Babylon” fame is an odd bird, I think. According to postings from a few years ago, he had discovered that his ACA bishop and (possibly) priest were heading towards the Roman option without being straightforward about it with parishioners. This was unfortunately not an uncommon experience in that group. Whereas in Australia the TAC was completely open about its intentions, some ACA leaders tried to keep it quiet. This guy may already have been fairly anti-Catholic, pushed into the rabid ranks by bitter experience in his home church. Doesn’t excuse it, of course.

FW Ken
March 28, 2011

Katherine –

I’ve read enough of his comments that I know he claims that, but never believed (or disbelieved) it. However, if you say its gone on, then I can believe it. There seems to be a lot of ambivalence in the ACA in general about the Ordinariate, which could be some of the source of what appears to be underhandedness. Which doesn’t excuse that, of course.

William Tighe
March 28, 2011

Katherine & Ken,

Larry Morse is indeed an odd duck. He is (or was) a member of the Portland, Maine, ACA parish, and yet he has criticized those who leave the Episcopal Church as, effectively, deserters. His theological views, as expressed at SF and T19 seem to be an odd mixture of quasi-deistic rationalism (he has attacked, both biliously and ignorantly, Catholic “Marian dogmas” and the ideal of ascetical celibacy) and conservative generic Christian moral views.

On the other hand, there seems to have been, shall we say, some “economy with the truth” in that Portland parish about the goals and aspirations of the ACA vis-a-vis Rome. I saw a newspaper report from a Maine newspaper some years ago in which some ACA or TAC dignitary was reported to have stated at that church that what the TAC was seeking was “an intercommunion agreement” with Rome similar to that reached between the Church of England and the Union of Utrecht Old Catholic churches in 1931, which, if accurately reported, was either a lie or an amazingly ignorant assertion. Then, too, the ACA’s Diocese of the Northeast seems to be the most solidly opposed of all the ACA’s dioceses to Anglicanorum Coetibus, and its bishop seems to have shaped his own views to suit those of his flock.

I had a brief e-mail exchange with Mr. Morse, who solicited my thoughts on these matters, a couple of years ago. I gave them, and suggested that, given his views, he perhaps ought to investigate the local Missouri Synod Lutheran congregations. It does not appear that he has done this, although in all honesty it is not easy to work out from his various comments whether he is an Episcopalian or a Continuing Anglican.

March 29, 2011

Paraphrase GK CHESTERTON: “Those who cease to believe in God do not believe in nothing,but will believe in anything.”

As for the” “whore of babylon” Paraphrase Bishop Fulton Sheen: “Millions hate the Catholic Church for what they think it is but only a handful do so for what it really is.”

Tim Ferguson
March 29, 2011

ooo “fire breathing”! Sounds like they’re trying to get used to something…. oh, never mind, it’s too easy.

March 29, 2011

I was short-stacked and went all-in, and luckily I caught my fifth Luke on the river. Praise the Lord!

March 30, 2011

I don’t actually mind the “Christian symbolism of gemstones” because this is a perfectly acceptable mediaeval practice; however, you all know that I get twitchy about “Celtic” anything and if they’re dragging in Celtic saints, somehow I get the impression it will be the ‘hello trees, hello sky’ version of Celtic Christianity (and not, say, the asceticism of the Skellig Michael monks, or the call to confession and penance of St. Columbanus, or indeed the tendency remarked upon by Gerald of Wales for Celtic and particularly Irish saints to have short tempers and to lay curses on all who offended or displeased them).

Also, the modern day notion of angels gives me hives. Fluffy bunny nonsense on stilts.

I like tarot decks myself and even collected a few, but the Jesus Deck is – as that link says – really bad art 🙂

FW Ken
March 30, 2011

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