Page 4, 26th May 1978

26th May 1978
Page 4
Page 4, 26th May 1978 — Bishop replies to Patrick O'Donovan

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Bishop replies to Patrick O'Donovan

From Bishop John Taylor of Wincheiser.

1 would be grateful if you would allow me the courtesy of your columns to reply briefly to the central point of Patrick O'Donovan's article in the issue of May 12 headed "Blunder by a Bishop".

Had Mr O'Donovan read with a little more care what 1 wrote in the current issue of The Winchester Churchman for May 197a. he would have seen that, in fact, it contains no expression of my own opinion concerning the inclusion or the exclusion of the Moque clause in the Nicene Creed.

I made a simple, and generally agreed. statement about the way in Amor which this clause found its place in the Creed of the Church of Western Europe, and then explained briefly the proposal that is to be debated in the General Synod of the Church of England. The point I was making wal that it is going to be an unusual and welcome departure for our General Synod to spend time in serious speculation about the nature of God and the meaning of the Holy Spirit.

It is a sad commentary on our contemporary love of conflict that an objective presentation of a few facts is so hastily interpreted as the advocacy of a personal opinion. Ironically enough, had Mr O'Donovan read my book on the Holy Spirit he might have recognised how strongly I have been influenced by St Thomas Aquinas' exposition of the doctrine of the Trinity, and how naturally predisposed I would be to retain the Illioune clause as it has been traditionally understood — which has almost nothing to do with the homoonsion issue.

But, while recognising how many of my own insights are rooted in a lifetime's recitation of "and the Son", I am also humbly aware that the massive theological tradition of the Orthodox Churches also contains many "exquisite and delicate conceptions" which, for far too long, have been veiled from the theological comprehension of the Western Churches.

Can we not propose a genuine listening to one another without all the camp followers starting to beat their ancient drums?

John Winton Wolvesey, Winchester.

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