Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 6, 2008
Anglican Archbishop called 'papal puppet'
Archbishop Rowan Williams criticized for his homily at Lourdes
By SIMON CALDWELL
"It is nothing short of tragic that our supposedly Protestant archbishop is behaving as little more than a papal puppet.”
- Rev. Jeremy Brooks
“And Bernadette — uneducated, uninstructed in doctrine — leaped with joy, recognizing that here was life, here was healing,” he said.
“Only bit by bit does Bernadette find the words to let the world know; only bit by bit, we might say, does she discover how to listen to the Lady and echo what she has to tell us.”
He also praised the lives of the saints, saying that their examples “matter so much.”
The archbishop later was criticized by the England-based Protestant Truth Society, a group of Anglicans and nonconformists committed to upholding the ideals of the Protestant Reformation.
The Rev. Jeremy Brooks, the group’s director of ministry, said: “All true Protestants will be appalled that the archbishop of Canterbury has visited Lourdes and preached there.
“Lourdes represents everything about Roman Catholicism that the Protestant Reformation rejected, including apparitions, Mariolatry and the veneration of saints,” he said in a Sept. 24 statement.
“The archbishop’s simple presence there is a wholesale compromise, and his sermon -- which included a reference to Mary as ‘the mother of God’ -- is a complete denial of Protestant orthodoxy.”
He added, “At a time when our country is crying out for clear biblical leadership, it is nothing short of tragic that our supposedly Protestant archbishop is behaving as little more than a papal puppet.”
Williams was invited to the sanctuaries, where Mary appeared to St. Bernadette 150 years ago, by Bishop Jacques Perrier of Tarbes and Lourdes. His visit is the first in modern times by an archbishop of Canterbury.
Williams held talks there with German Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who celebrated the international Mass.
Williams was joined by an unprecedented pilgrimage of 10 Church of England bishops, some 60 Anglican priests and about 400 Anglican lay worshippers.
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