Monday, June 04, 2007

And now for a word from our sponsors ...

In response to popular demand (!), here are a few official words about Cursillo.

‘Cursillo has been very powerfully used by God in the renewal of Christians and Christian communities of all styles and backgrounds. I am deeply grateful for all that has been done through its work.’
Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury

‘My own experience of Cursillo has been that it deepened my discipleship and strengthened my faith. As one of the many aids to renewal I commend Cursillo to the whole church and I am pleased to record the great benefit that Cursillo has brought to the Scottish Episcopal Church.’
Idris Jones - Primus , Scottish Episcopal Church

‘Cursillo is about making disciples; it transforms people’s lives and empowers them for service. Cursillo is active in most Dioceses of this Province, for which I praise God.’
John Sentamu, Archbishop of York

‘Developing the Mission of the Church is always a priority. To do this, individuals and parishes need to be challenged to grow in faith, to develop their individual vocations as ministers of the Gospel of Christ. The right resources are crucial in helping them to do this. The Cursillo Movement has, for over 50 years, been a leader in personal and parish spiritual development and makes an invaluable contribution to this work. I warmly commend Cursillo to you.’
Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales

And from the leaflet given out to intending participants in Scotland:


“There are lots of ways in which the Church is offering support to help all of us live out our commitment as disciples of Jesus, commissioned by virtue of our Baptism.
Among these supports is one that has been proved to give new insights and new hope to many members of the Episcopal Church: and that is Cursillo.
The “weekend” is just a starter, to set participants off on a journey that includes on-going support through grouping with others in sharing the joys and challenges of faith.
Cursillo is a positive and accessible tool for the encouragement of faith for all Anglicans, and I commend it to everyone for careful consideration with their Rector.”

'Nuff said, I think.


  1. Anonymous11:56 PM

    Thanks Christine! Now can we do away with negative comments from clergy who really should know better?

  2. Anonymous12:12 AM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. Anonymous7:56 AM

    Kenny, personal attacks on clergy is not what we do in blogland. And I suspect your comments will have the opposite effect and I for one, wouldn't blame her.

  4. As someone looking on, who has absolutely nothing to do with the Episcopal church and never previously heard of Cursillo the whole 'debate' has been fairly interesting but becomes a little off-puting when the enthusiastic promoters of the movement come across as being a little insensitive towards the 'not so enthusiastic about the movement' people.
    However I may be viewing it entirely out of context, only catching a snippet of the discussions on a blog.
    In my experience God whispers in a still, small voice and gently nudges me into his will. I'm guessing what we all want is to see God at work in our community.
    An interesting discussion nontheless!

  5. Ruth: I agree - but don't see any of these comments as a personal attack. Do you ever venture into the edublogosphere? ;-)

    Sorlil: See where you're coming from. However, what started me off was the insensitivity on the part of the less enthusiastic.

    In the end, Cursillo, like the Church, is full of very ordinary people who often fail to live up to their calling.

  6. I have taken the (for me) unusual step of removing a comment from my blog, not because I personally thought it unsuitable but because the author of it asked me to, having been contacted off-blog by someone who felt maligned by it.

    We all take risks when we post on others' blogs, as well as when we write our own. I would suggest that what is said in the blogosphere stays in the blogosphere - and folk who have been on Cursillo should recognise the allusion!

    And I repeat: it seems precious in the extreme to describe the comment as an "attack". It read more like advice to me.

  7. Anonymous10:08 PM

    I'm joining this discussion rather late, but here a few thoughts on cursillo. I don't deny that it works for some people, but I have a number of anxieties about the movement.
    1 It originated in Franco's Spain, in one of the most conservative areas of the country, Mallorca, at a time when religion was especially hierarchical, reactionary and militant. The literature in Spanish is full of terms like 'militante', 'conquista' and 'triunfo'.
    2 It still has this authoritarian and hierarchical character, inasmuch as lay people cannot go on a cursillo weekend unless their parish priest has already done so. Also, participants are pre-selected.
    3 It is highly prescriptive, as the exercises have to be followed to the letter, and no improvisation is allowed.
    4 It is conceptualised as a piece of 'owned' property which has to be 'gifted' to a particular country before it can be used.
    5 The postcursillo risks creating an in-group which relates primarily to itself, rather than to the congregation or diocese as a whole.
    I believe that parish renewal is needed, but we already have the instruments to hand, in prayer, the sacraments, and the preaching of the Word. The overriding consideration is that the congregation should move forward together.

  8. Eamonn - I read what you say about the origins of Cursillo, but feel that you have to take into account the cultural differences in participating communities. The Spanish element is actually less in evidence than the American one, and when interpreted by Scots the 'feel'is different yet again. Sticking to the guidelines is a feature, but the interpretation can depend on the team and the leadership locally.

    And as this is still my blog :-) I have to point out one thing: it worked for me and returned me to my own church rather more committed to action than I had been. I think it provides a "touching place".