Rowan Williams and the Visions of Lourdes: One Accomplishment, One Legend, One Nightmare

I wanted to ignore this but couldn’t:

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, was today branded a ‘papal puppet’ after he became the first leader of the Church of England to accept visions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes as historical fact.

He asserted that 18 visions of Our Lady allegedly experienced by  Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 were true.

His words shocked millions of Protestants worldwide because they not only  signified a break with Protestant teaching on the Virgin Mary but also Dr   Williams’s personal acceptance of the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate   Conception, which is explicitly linked to the apparitions.

After the CoE’s decision to ordain women bishops–which set their relations with Rome back considerably–his affirmation of all of this does accomplish one thing: it is his declaration that Affirming Catholicism is a competitor to the Roman and Anglo-Catholic varieties, not a complement.  But he’s doubtless too addled to see it that way…

I’ll reproduce an earlier posting of mine of another gaffe of this, the Joe Biden of Anglican Primates:

The Archbishop of Canterbury says that the nativity story in the New Testament is ‘a legend’:

Dr Williams said: “Matthew’s gospel says they are astrologers, wise men, priests from somewhere outside the Roman Empire, that’s all we’re really told. It works quite well as legend.”

That’s more than one can say for Rowan Williams.  He’s more of a nightmare than anything else these days, and his Advent letter doesn’t help matters.

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