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Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Date Posted:

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Eames ditches Reformation Principles

Does the Church of Ireland consider that sacred principles are indestructible, or has it abandoned its own Articles of Religion which declare that the Church of Rome has "erred" with its "blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits" (Articles 19 & 31)?
Professor Arthur Noble

Fraternising with Rome

Recently, its Archbishop appeared to give full endorsement to a phrase which Lord Halifax quoted at a Congress of English Churchmen in 1906: "The principles of the Reformation are things to be repented of with tears and ashes."

Together, undoubtedly, with some hundreds of Church of Ireland clergy who took a most solemn oath at their ordination to abide by the standards of faith and practice of the Church of the Reformation, Dr Eames has unashamedly fraternised with members of the Roman Catholic hierarchy and expressed his belief in the principle of dialogue with them.

In fraternising and compromising with the Romish Church he is giving active credence and support to the most bigoted and brutal force that ever attempted to traffic in human liberty. His ecumenical camaraderie with Rome represents the gravest danger to the rights and liberties gained by the martyrs during the Reformation.

This bond of slavery she was able to forge on the nations of Europe for centuries, and Britain was no exception, until the light of the Gospel redeemed us from worse than Egyptian bondage. Dr Eames must be aware that the Roman Church, having hidden away God's plan of mercy, straightway formulated a false system of salvation for her own aggrandisement, by which thrones, principalities and powers are to be subject to her, both temporarily and spiritually. This bond of slavery she was able to forge on the nations of Europe for centuries, and Britain was no exception, until the light of the Gospel redeemed us from worse than Egyptian bondage. The Articles of Religion of Dr Eames' Church unambiguously proclaim this message.

Spiritual Menace

Yet, blindly disregarding the role of the Roman Church in Ulster politics, he recently pronounced: "It is now more important than ever that the longsuffering people of Northern Ireland can see hope for their future through determined and courageous debate" - and the Church of Ireland Standing Committee said that it "welcomes the current talks process" and that the Church of Ireland "will seek to play its part in the work of reconciliation and healing within these islands".

In December, 1997, Dr Eames said in an interview on BBC Radio that he was "saddened" that the situation in Northern Ireland had "reached the point that it has reached", but, he added, "We must move forward [...] with the "application of the Christian Gospel to politics"!

These statements show that ecumenism is a political as well as a spiritual menace. They demonstrate the rampant urge characteristic of our present political and religious 'leaders' to move blindly forward under the pressure of the renewal of violence towards the goals pursued by Rome and Irish Republican terrorism alike.

As the English Churchman pertinently put it in its November 7 & 14, 1997, issue (p. 4): "What is needed is not 'talks' or 'courageous debate', but the restoration of law and order in Northern Ireland with clear, practical signs from the Government that it is only interested in the opinions of law-abiding, democratically-minded citizens of the UK. The churches, if they insist on entering the political arena, should be reminding the Government of its obligations in this respect, laid down in Holy Scripture. [...] We wonder whether there might not be some truth in Lord Tebbit's view that Mo Mowlam, knowing very well that the majority in Northern Ireland is opposed to unity with the Republic, is disposed to let the IRA keep its guns so that a referendum can be made a choice between being ruled by Dublin or terrorised by IRA munitions."

Dr Eames revealed his compromising attitude by his lack of criticism of the Church of Rome for its humiliating reprimand of the Eire President for taking Holy Communion at the Church of Ireland Cathedral in Dublin on December 7, 1997.

Instead of denouncing the hierarchy when it likened her to an adulteress, he demonstrated his betrayal of the Constitutions and Canons Ecclesiastical by saying that "baptised Christians of any denomination" were welcome to participate in the Eucharist; yet it is clear from the Church of Ireland's own rubrics that Roman Catholics are not considered as "baptised Christians", but members of a Church preaching the doctrine of transubstantiation which is "repugnant to the plain words of Scripture" (Article 28). The Preamble and Declaration to the Canons and Constitutions Ecclesiastical (§3) is equally clear in precluding the Church of Ireland from associating with any Church which does not agree in "the principles of this Declaration".

Wider Context

It is men like Dr Eames upon whom Protestants need to keep an eye, for their position renders them far more dangerous to Protestant interests and to the Union than the active hostility of the overt Romanist. When our ancestors took a stand in Londonderry, the enemy fled and fell; if the traitor had been allowed to have his way, the enemy would have rushed in. The Church of Ireland is opening its gates to the enemy which has just demonstrated its unchanged nature.

Alexander Robertson, author of The Roman Catholic Church in Italy, has a lesson and a warning for ecumenists that is as valid today as it was when he wrote it in 1906:

That Church [Rome] is turning its attention most particularly, almost exclusively, to Great Britain, the conquest of which is her main aim and object... "I believe that the greatest enemy Great Britain has at the present moment is the Roman Catholic Church. That Church - 'found out' in Italy, in France, in Austria, and more or less in every other Roman Catholic country, is turning its attention most particularly, almost exclusively, to Great Britain, the conquest of which is her main aim and object; for victory here would mean, more or less, victory everywhere. Her hope of success lies in the fact that whilst in every other European country she is tied down, to a greater or lesser degree, by penal statutes, in Great Britain she has a free hand. Not only so, but in Great Britain she is not regarded as an enemy at all, but as a sister Christian Church, and as such she is actually in favour in many quarters, and it is considered fashionable and generous to speak well of her, and to aid her in her propaganda. How Great Britain can conduct herself in this way in the face of her own past history, in which the Papal Church stands disclosed as her bitterest and most cruel enemy [...] is a mystery. How Britain can befriend the Papal Church in face of present-day facts [...] is also a mystery. [...] Everywhere the Roman Catholic Church seeks political power, encroaching on the civil sphere, interfering with the subject in the discharge of [...] his duties [...], and seeking to terrorise him into placing the interests of his Church before the interests of his country."

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