Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi reader, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

'God is a tourist attraction' Anglican bishop says on cathedral carnival ride

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By (CNA/EWTN)
8/21/2019 (1 month ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

A controversial amusement park ride erected in Norwich Cathedral has come down after an 11-day installation. 

Highlights

By (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
8/21/2019 (1 month ago)

Published in Europe


Norwich, England, (CNA) - Rt. Revd. Johnathan Meyrick, the bishop of the Church of Englandďż˝ s Diocese of Lynn, delivered a sermon midway down the helter-skelter slide during the final liturgy held in the cathedral with the ride present. 

"God is a tourist attraction," Meyrick said, claiming that God would be "revelling" in the joy it brought to visitors. During the time the helter-skelter was installed, over 20,000 people came to visit the nearly thousand-year-old cathedral. 

While an estimated 10,000 people rode down the 50-foot-high slide, the move drew criticism from Anglicans and Catholic alike. 

The Right Reverend Dr Gavin Ashenden, former chaplain to the Queen - who is head of the Church of England - called the event a "mistake," and misjudged "what a cathedral is good for."

"For such a place, steeped in mystery and marvel to buy in to sensory pleasure and distraction, is to poison the very medicine it offers the human soul," Ashenden told the BBC.

In the sermon, Meyrick defended the decision to place the retro carnival ride in the cathedral, saying, that God wants to be "attractive" for humanity, and "for us to enjoy ourselves, each other and the world around us and this glorious helter-skelter is about just that."

"Enjoying ourselves is a good thing to do and God will be revelling in it with us and all those people who have found fun and joy and laughter here," he added.

A Dominican priest told CNA that the slide, along with another carnival attractions brought in to a different English cathedral, was a sign that the Church of England has misplaced priorities. 

Fr. Thomas Petri, O.P., vice president and academic dean of the Dominican House of Studies, disagreed with the Church of England bishop, saying that his rhetoric is "just close enough to be dangerous." 

"I would not say that God wants to be attracted to us. He is attractive to us. He is everything that is attractive in the world, everything that is good and lovely and desirable and pleasurable," said Petri in an interview with CNA. 

Petri characterized the implication that God had to lower himself in order to be attractive to humanity as "absurd."

"Everything God does He does perfectly, because He already is attractive," said Petri. "It's we who cannot see this because of our sinfulness."

The helter-skelter was one of two unusual installations placed in Church of England cathedrals this summer. 

In July, the Rochester Cathedral placed a nine-hole miniature golf course in its central aisle. The holes feature models of bridges, and the course will be open until September 1.

Petri criticized these efforts by the Church of England to draw people in to the scared buildings, calling them suggestive of a warped sense of priorities for church buildings created to direct people towards God.  

He told CNA that while God is present everywhere, including at the carnival, the construction of places of worship--whether it be a church, temple, synagogue, or other building--was one that was ordered by God and are special places specifically for that purpose. 

The construction of houses of worship was "not something that we've invented," said Petri. "This is something that God revealed, revealed in scripture, that there are to be sacred places where we are to worship Him and give Him praise. We don't have the right or the option to do something other than that in those places," he said. 

"And so that's why when you try to bring the profane, the carnival, into the church and into the place built directly to worship God and to raise the mind and heart to God, not only is it confused, it's scandalous," said Petri. 

"It's a reversal of its priorities."

Norwich cathedral was built in the 11th and 12th centuries, with work beginning in 1096. Like many historic church buildings in the United Kingdom, it was Catholic for many centuries, until the foundation of the Church of England during the Protestant reformation.


Comments


More Europe

Padre Pio overcame suffering with hope, says Italian journalist Watch

Image of Padre Pio

More than 50 years after the death of Padre Pio, one of the last journalists to interview the saint has reflected on the saint's hope and ... continue reading


Spanish bishops on migrants: 'We don't love God if we don't love our brothers' Watch

Image of Migrants

The head of the migration commission for the Spanish Bishops' Conference emphasized that love of neighbor is essential for Christians, and ... continue reading



UK court clears 80-year-old accused of 'mercy killing' her husband Watch

Image of Pills assisted suicide

Family members of an 80-year-old woman in England are advocating for legalized assisted suicide after the woman was found not guilty by a ... continue reading


'Secret preacher' of Dachau concentration camp beatified Watch

Image of Dachau concentration camp

The 'secret preacher of block 17' who witnessed to Christ in a Nazi concentration camp was beatified this week in Limburg, Germany. ... continue reading


Robert Bellarmine, the saint who defended the Church with charity Watch

Image of St. Robert Bellarmine

St. Robert Bellarmine, whose feast is celebrated Sept. 17 on the General Roman Calendar, was a Jesuit and a cardinal who used his ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.