Surfing the bloggers

Before vanishing into the Norfolk wilderness (see his blog) Ed Tomlinson offers a swift round-up of some current cyber-subjects

What was to be gleaned from blogs this March? I say March because Holy Week and Easter, and then Easter Week and some necessary space after that, have me writing earlier than usual. We kick off on home soil with a roundup from the Orthodox Catholics.

Over at <www.frjeifreysteel.blogspot. com> Fr Steel has been revealing a deepening love affair with the present Pope. One might assume our American brother is suffering chronic Roman fever, but that would be a wrong diagnosis on this occasion. A quote from his post (18th March) demonstrates the very touching reason why the Holy Father has been ever present in his prayers:

I am writing asking all the readers to join me in praying for the Holy Father who is undoubtedly under great pressure, and perhaps under siege, due to the recent attacks from all around... I believe that this present Pope is a great blessing to the entire Church around the world. His love for Jesus, the Church and unity of the Bride of Christ ought to at least enable us to ask God to uphold him in these troubling times.

I am certain every reader of this fine rag would agree.

Our 'Maltese Minister', one Fr Aquilina, has continued to widen the scope of our vision. For those unfamiliar with the <www.sevenoaks.blogspot.com> blog, the author has some wonderful contacts across the globe and regularly updates with news from the Holy Land and beyond. I was particularly grateful for the beautiful images of the Basilica of the Annunciation, posted on the Feast. But it hasn't just been delightfully exotic photographs for Aquilina; one particularly apposite posting warned of the increasing intolerance to Christians in our day: 

it becomes evident that it is a socially accepted prejudice to be anti-Christian. I see this even here at home. It is never too late to do something about it... This is where we need to stand up on our feet and be counted. I always believed.. .that the worst enemy for Christians are spineless Christians.

Hear, hear, Father. Thank goodness the Anglican communion remains so resolutely steadfast in its defence of true faith...

Elsewhere Fr Pinnock was amongst those reflecting on the news item most extensively covered across all the religious blogs at <http://onetimothyfour. blogspot.com>; the Pope's comments regarding condoms in the fight against Aids. Amongst the many musings came this quote from the follically challenged Fr Jones of <www.peterite.blogspot. com>:

The Holy Father told a simple truth; the spread of sexually related disease is not stopped by condoms, but rather by chastity and self-restraint. Simple adherence to the traditional Christian teaching on sexuality; chastity before and during marriage, loving celibacy by all unable to marry would halt all the damage created by the 'sexual revolution it would heal much that is damaged in our culture and restore human respect for self and others.

In the professional blogs Ruth Gledhill at The Times <http://timescolumns. typepad.com/gledhi]l/>brought the first news of the loony atheist wishing be un-baptized (?!). The comments section on this particular blog is always well worth a visit, containing a healthy mix of opinions and beliefs.

In contrast the ever fierce Damian Thomson of the Telegraph <http:// blogs.telegraph.co.uk/damian_ thompson>has a more unified, but no less exciting following. His blog has been fairly buzzing with gossip concerning the next appointment at Westminster...is Thomson right to fear the 'Magic Circle'? (His name for liberal RC Bishops serving in this land.)

That covers the conservative and professional blogs for this month. If your own hasn't been mentioned, fret not! We return next month with further news from the more exotic end of the Anglican spectrum.

But we are not done on blogs yet, for now we turn to the liberal end of the market. What have the multi-coloured stole brigade been posting about this month?

Amongst the more informative liberal blogs is <Thinking Anglicans>. Ignoring the fact that its naughty name suggests we orthodox do not think, it is actually well worth a visit. The posts are regular and there is always a healthy amount of discussion.

It is in these comments that you gain a good sense of what we are up against. I particularly enjoyed this gem posted by someone called 'Wilf in response to an article unveiling the new Revision Committee for the draft legislation enabling women to become bishops in the Church of England:

It looks rather disproportionately weighted towards opponents of women bishops. This I don't understand... I worry that we will end up with the sort of institutionalised schism that they want and many of us fear.

Disproportionately weighted in favour, Wilf??? How is 5 opponents out of 19 (and 1 Bishop out of 4) possibly seen like that? I am tempted to offer Wilf an elementary mathematics textbook, poor soul. Now remind me: who claims to be the thinking Anglicans?

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