Saturday, October 26, 2013

Archbishop Justin Welby on Baptism and Buddhism

From The Washington Post:

Some day, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge will become the leader of the Church of England.

First, he needed to become a Christian.

When the newest member of Great Britain’s royal family was christened on Wednesday, he didn’t just become the country’s newest Anglican, he also secured his place in line with all British monarchs as the future head of Church of England.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, administering the sacrament to the royal baby, capitalizing on the interest in the “hugely important moment” of George’s baptism in a well-timed YouTube video that explains the religious and political significance at play.

For Anglicans in Britain, church is sometimes synonymous with state. This means that the reigning monarch, today Queen Elizabeth, holds official roles as “Defender of the Faith” and “Supreme Governor of the Church of England.” As the future king, George will be responsible for a number of religious duties that are largely symbolic but also rich with history and theology. These duties date back to the 16th century with King Henry VIII’s break with the Catholic Church. The English Reformation lives.

Yeah, right: The English Reformation lives. More on that idea below.

But the Archbishop's theology of the Baptism seems to be lacking, because after emphasizing Baptism as the means for becoming part of the Christian family, mentioning the symbolism of the water and the Sign of the Cross, the next day he said that Prince George could easily become a Buddhist!

(Indeed, his comments about Baptism are not as clear as the Thirty-Nine Articles: "Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christian men are discerned from others that be not christened, but it is also a sign of Regeneration or New-Birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; the promises of the forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed, Faith is confirmed, and Grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God.
The Baptism of young Children is in any wise to be retained in the Church, as most agreeable with the institution of Christ.")

From The Daily Mail:

The Archbishop of Canterbury says he has no objection to Prince George converting to Buddhism.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby, speaking one day after he led the christening of the future Supreme Governor of the Church of England, said the prince is ‘perfectly entitled’ to change his religion should he so choose.

The remark is likely to alarm traditionalists. However, it is in keeping with Prince Charles’s oft-repeated claim that he wants to be seen as ‘Defender of Faiths’ instead of ‘Defender of the Faith’, to reflect Britain’s multicultural society.

The remarkable statement came just 24 hours after he conducted the young prince’s christening at the Chapel Royal in St James’s Palace.

Indeed, the Archbishop had chosen in his address to urge George’s parents and godparents to help the future monarch ‘make sure he knows who Jesus is’, imploring: ‘Speak of him, read stories about him. Introduce him in prayer.’

His latest comments will concern many within the Church, who consider the Archbishop to be a leader who seeks to be ‘all things to all men’.

Isn't that last part part of the problem? At any rate, according to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Prince George can learn all about Jesus, how much Jesus loves him, what Jesus did to redeem him, how Jesus promises him eternal life--and then turn away from that love and grace and follow the Buddha?

So, to be clear:

"Your Grace, may Prince George decide to become a Buddhist and be the Head of the Anglican Church and the Defender of the Faith?"

"Of course . . ."

"Your Grace, may Prince George decide to become a Catholic and be the Head of the Anglican Church and Defender of the Faith?"

"No, of course not."

If the English Reformation lives, it lives only as Erastian Anti-Catholicism. All things to all men, except Catholics, of course--except for Confession. The Archbishop likes that.

1 comment:

  1. "If the English Reformation lives, it lives only as Erastian Anti-Catholicism. All things to all men, except Catholics, of course--except for Confession."

    Indeed! I visited Canterbury Cathedral earlier this week and was amused to see a notice advertising "Sacrament of Reconciliation - Confession". I was surprised because I understood that this was one of the four sacraments the Anglicans denied.