Friday, August 03, 2007

Peter Phillips to renounce succession to the Throne

It was reported last week that the Queen’s first grandson and tenth in line to the Throne, Mr Peter Phillips, is to marry a Canadian by the name of Autumn Kelly. And a very nice couple they make. It transpires, however, that Miss Kelly was baptised into the Roman Catholic faith on 18th June 1978 at St John Fisher Parish church in Pointe-Claire, a suburb of Montreal in Quebec.

Needless to say, this has raised again those voices calling for the repeal or amendment of the Act of Settlement 1701, because it is ‘bigoted’, ‘scandalous’, ‘archaic’ or ‘outdated’. Cranmer has no intention of repeating the constitutional necessity for and significance of the Act: they have been amply set out here, here, and here.

But The Times is mumbling something about not knowing if Miss Kelly ‘is still a practising Catholic’. This is a new one, and the mere raising of this question is evidence of their complete ignorance of the meaning and significance of the Roman Catholic Sacrament of Baptism.

In Scripture, the ordinance of baptism is a sign of new birth. There are numerous references in the New Testament to those who had been wrought upon by the Holy Spirit and believed on Jesus Christ, and were baptised. Baptism is never set forth as a cause of new birth, but a sign of death to the things of this life and a spiritual resurrection in Jesus Christ.

For Rome, baptism is efficacious; it cleanses the baptised from original sin, and makes them Christians, children of God, and (most importantly) members of the Church. Pope Benedict XVI articulates this even more specifically. The religio-political doctrine has been incorporated into the teachings of the Church of England. Baptism therefore has political as well as spiritual significance, and for Rome it involves becoming a member of the Catholic Church, which ‘emphasises the unity of the universal Church in a Catholic way’. The Pope’s centralising tendencies are consistent with the papal Magisterium throughout the ages.

And the Act of Settlement 1701 is clear: there is no quibbling about ‘non-practising’ Roman Catholics; ‘practising’ has got nothing to do with anything. In fact, Cranmer knows quite a few Roman Catholics who have been practising for so long they must be approaching utter perfection. The Sacrament of Baptism has made Autumn Kelly a life-long Roman Catholic, and thus she must either renounce her faith and convert, or Mr Phillips must renounce the Throne.

And there is no point Cardinal Keith O’Brien harping on again about human rights. He states: ‘Whether a person be fortieth or second in line to the throne, it is wrong that they be deprived of that right because they have fallen in love and chosen to marry a Roman Catholic. It doesn’t matter if the Catholic is not practising the faith or the person in line doesn’t want the throne, it is wrong that he or she is deprived of their birthright by this scandalous Act which should not be on our statute book.’

No, Cardinal, you are wrong. Peter Phillips is free to marry whomsoever he wishes. That is his human right. But he is not then free to be King and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. But to be King and Supreme Governor of the Church of England is not a human right.

John Gummer MP has also contributed his tuppence worth. He said, “I know for a fact that up until a day or two before Mr Brown delivered his statement (on constitutional reform) he had been willing to put my bill (to overturn the Act) into law. The effect of this ridiculous law is now going to be felt. The best thing would have been to change the law when it did not apply to anybody rather than changing it when it applies to an individual. It is unacceptable that the part of the Christian church that has more active adherents than any other should be discriminated against in this way.”

Cranmer likes that. Discrimination. This from a member of a church whose leader just a few years ago called Cranmer’s church ‘defective’, and a few weeks ago declared that it was ‘not a church at all’. Discrimination is naturally a part of the human condition, and a theological imperative. Mr Gummer is a Conservative and a Roman Catholic, and discrimination has led him to membership of both these groups. And he really ought to check the beam in his own church before criticising the splinter in others.

But Cranmer’s advice is that you all get on with your lives. Mr Phillips, like his sister Zara, has no royal title, and fulfils no royal duties. Renouncing his succession to the Throne will therefore be of no inconvenience to him, or of any significance whatsoever to anyone else. Unless you happen to have an agenda, like the meddlesome cardinal and the agitating MP...


Blogger Surreptitious Evil said...

Entirely so and well said, your Grace.

While the Monarch of the United Kingdom remains the Supreme Head of the Church of England, it is entirely appropriate that only a practising and, if of age, communicant member of that Church can fill that role. That the law does not specifically discriminate against Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Mormons, Moonies etc is a reflection of the times and mores under which it was written, not its intent.

That a Catholic prelate dislikes our constitutional arrangement is hardly news. That the Times is corporately ignorant, of religion in this case, also not surprising. That Peter and Autumn wish a happy life together and almost certainly wish that interfering people would stop using them as weapons in battles long irrelevant, I feel safe to assume.

I have the honour to remain, etc,


3 August 2007 at 09:50  
Blogger Peter Kirk said...

It is hardly fair to accuse The Times of ignorance in this matter. After all, their correspondent Ruth Gledhill is the daughter of a recently deceased vicar of the Church of England.

Your Grace, may I remind you that you said the following, when being questioned by Thomas Martin in about 1556:

Nay, it is true, for Nero was the head of the church, that is, in worldly respect of the temporal bodies of men, of whom the church consisteth; for so he beheaded Peter and the apostles. And the Turk too is head of the church of Turkey.

(Thanks to Revd John P Richardson for this quote, in a comment on my blog.) In those days you had no problem with Nero or the Ottoman Emperor being the head of the church and appointing (or executing) its bishops etc, and indeed you were forced to accept Bloody Mary as such. Why can't you now accept, even as a theoretical possibility, that a Roman Catholic might become Supreme Governor "in worldly respect of the temporal bodies of men"?

3 August 2007 at 10:45  
Anonymous The Recusant said...

In a perverse sort of way I take pleasure in being considered a threat to the establishment in ways that anarchists, liberals, fanatics and hate filled suicide bombers etc are not. The Act of Settlement sets me apart as a dangerous subversive and a rebel; I'm out there on the edge, conniving for the restoration of a Catholic monarchy. The original Wild One, What am I rebelling against What have you got?, we were there before Mr Brando.

But seriously I think you have to work hard maintaining the delusion that the Act will not be amended or repealed in time, it is anachronistic in modern Britain but when it goes watch out because it will herald the end of the monarchy, not its continuation with a Catholic Prince. Charley-boy has made it clear he wants to be defender of Faiths! Faiths, I ask you and he is reported to be quite the intellectual. But from this rebel and while she reigns, God Save the Queen.

3 August 2007 at 11:15  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Peter KIrk,

His Grace is pleased to answer your question. There is no contradiction, and His Grace has always been consistent in this matter.

The monarch - any earthly ruler - is head of the church insofar as (s)he has been placed in authority by God. But this is temporal governance. Where the governance is spiritual, and imperative for the establishing of spiritual truth, then the earthly ruler should be of godly character, and in communion with the Church. Her Majesty (and her successors) are God’s vice-gerent and Christ’s vicar within their own dominions. These godly princes have entrusted to them by God the governance of the Ecclesiastical and Temporal estates and degrees. In order to maintain correct doctrine, that is both Protestant and Reformed, the Monarch must be in communion with the Church of England. Since the Pope of Rome admits of no communion with the See of Canterbury, nor recognises Anglican rites, nor attributes to them any spiritual worth or ecclesial authority, he has excommunicated himself and his representatives from the Anglican expression of the Catholic and Apostolic Church.

By the Pope's command, therefore, a Roman Catholic monarch could not be in communion with the Church of England, and this is a requirement of English law.

3 August 2007 at 11:20  
Anonymous B. Taylor said...

And quite right too your Grace.

Why should the Catholic church insist we repeal an act which is a historical necessity when we are considered by the Catholic church nothing more than more than modern day heathens to them who have strayed from the true and righteous path to God.

Luckily however, I think even the Catholic Church has accepted that burning at the stake may be a bit overkill.

3 August 2007 at 11:22  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

"Charley-boy has made it clear he wants to be defender of Faiths!"
He actually said "faith". That is perhaps still fairly silly, but quite different.

3 August 2007 at 11:46  
Anonymous bob said...

Just to clarify, the Catholic Church has not sought to have the Act of Settlement repealed. Certain members of the Catholic hierarchy and laity have sought this, but they do not act of behalf of the Church universal. As a Catholic in Ireland, I consider it to be none of my business how Britain constitutes her laws, and I imagine most Catholics throughout the world are equally unconcerned.

3 August 2007 at 12:00  
Blogger Windsor Tripehound said...

Your Grace,

The Act of Settlement contains the following clause (emphasis added)

III. And whereas it is requisite and necessary that some further provision be made for securing our religion, laws and liberties, from and after the death of His Majesty and the Princess Anne of Denmark, and in default of issue of the body of the said Princess, and of His Majesty respectively; be it enacted by the King's most excellent majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That whosoever shall hereafter come to the possession of this Crown, shall join in communion with the Church of England, as by law established;

Therefore, are not suggestions that the Prince of Wales could become a Muslim and still ascend the throne merely nonsense?

3 August 2007 at 12:01  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Bob,

His Grace is aware of this, and also agrees with Mr Recusant that its repeal would have profound and far-reaching consequences.

If you could please inform Cardinal O'Brien that the Act, however unpalatable to him, is the last and only assurance of a Christian presence in the legislature, and thereby the guardian of many of the concerns of the Roman Catholic Church, His Grace would be appreciative.

3 August 2007 at 12:04  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Windsor Tripehound,

You are quite correct, but the unintelligent and ill-informed persist in peddling the lie...

3 August 2007 at 12:05  
Anonymous bob said...

As you might appreciate, Your Grace, I have no great powers of persuasion, as my time on your august blog has proved, so my speaking to Cardinal O'Brien about the Act would probably only result in a further entrenchment of his views.

3 August 2007 at 12:16  
Anonymous John Fisher said...

The church that Miss Kelly was baptised in sounds like a fine establishment ...

3 August 2007 at 12:34  
Anonymous The recusant said...


I take your point and would propose that the use of the term 'Defender of Faith' as opposed to 'Defender of THE Faith’ is effectively the same as 'Defender of Faiths' because the noun is being used in its inclusive sense or in the all encompassing plural.

3 August 2007 at 12:40  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

Is there also not a law against catholics being members of parliament,so shall we start with mr gummer?

3 August 2007 at 13:04  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The Act of Settlement 1701 is the whole basis of the Act of Union 1707.

It was passed just 41 years after the Restoration of both Monarchy and Church of England.

The Act of Settlement lays down the Succession through descendants of Electress Sophia of Hanover.

Once a country starts unthreading its historical and constitutional basis - Civil War - is a logic probability for those who are in disagreement. It is what happened throughout the Stuart Era and starting to unravel constitutional structures as the country becomes subsumed into a European Union is for the Scots to seek to dismantle the English Realm.

Under such cirumstances the armed struggle would be justified and the British Army would be obliged to topple the ruling clique

3 August 2007 at 13:39  
Blogger Surreptitious Evil said...

"and the British Army would be obliged to topple the ruling clique"

'Tis rather a long march (or shot) from the Hindukush to Parliament Square.

3 August 2007 at 16:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Tis rather a long march (or shot) from the Hindukush to Parliament Square.

They are rotated and there are only c. 5000 in Aghanistan....there are enough at Catterick.....besides what happened in Portugal after they returned from Angloa and Mozabique - remember General Spinola ?

What about the pieds noirs from Algeria - ?

3 August 2007 at 16:29  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Iain Dale has taken Cranmer's theme (even acknowledging His Grace), and this rather long but most erudite contribution was found thereupon:

David Lindsay said...
Gordon Brown apparently annoyed Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Edinburgh by not including the repeal of the Act of Settlement among his proposed constitutional changes.

But, in The Catholic Herald a couple of weeks ago, Stuart Reid (Deputy Editor of The Spectator), rightly pointed out that the Act of Settlement is good for us Catholics, because it reminds us that we are different, and because it does us the courtesy of taking our beliefs seriously by identifying them as a real challenge. Quite so.

Furthermore, I question the viability of a Catholic community which devotes any great energy to the question of ascending the throne while the born sleep in cardboard boxes on the streets and the pre-born are ripped from their mothers’ wombs to be discarded as surgical waste.

Far from being a term of abuse, the word “Papist” is in fact the name under which the English Martyrs gave their lives, and expresses the cause for which they did so, making it a badge of honour, to be worn with pride.

And yet, and yet, and yet...

The Established status of the Church of England was already a century and a half old at the time of the Act of Settlement, and is wholly unconnected to it. Anyway, in the 1990s, the Courts ruled that that status entailed what everyone had always known to be the case: that the doctrine of the Church of England – “the reformed Protestant religion as by law established in the Realm of England” – is whatever Parliament says it is at any given time, be that the ordination of women (as was the matter in question), or reincarnation, or the infallibility of Papal definitions ex cathedra, or anything else at all.

All that it is necessary for a monarch to do in order to uphold this “religion” is to grant Royal Assent to Ecclesiastical Measures just as if they were any other Bills passed by Parliament.

Those who would most resist any change to the Act of Settlement are those who insist that the Church of England is confessionally Calvinistic as a first principle rather than, as is in fact the case, only until such time as Parliament sees fit to repeal or replace the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, and not a moment longer.

Such people are mostly not in England (where they are mostly not members of the Church of England), but in Scotland (where the monarch is required, in ecclesiastical terms, to do nothing more than preserve a Presbyterian pattern of polity) and in Northern Ireland (where, as in Wales, the monarch has no formal ecclesiastical function whatever).

However, it is in Northern Ireland that a large Catholic community, by far the single largest religious body (as the Catholic Church also is, narrowly or otherwise, in each of England, Scotland and Wales), is crying out to be bound more closely to the British State, with which certainly a very large proportion of its members, and possibly the majority, identifies very strongly.

In view of what the Coronation Oath actually means, then let the Act of Settlement be repealed if that would help that binding, long complete and unthought about everywhere else in the United Kingdom (even, it seems, on Merseyside and in the West of Scotland).

What was established in 1688, with strong Papal support, was in fact the Catholic principle previously given practical effect in 1399 in England, and even more ingrained in Scotland, as against both Gallican princely absolutism and its metamorphosis into the theory whereby the new gentry-cum-mercantile republic was sovereign even over the Prince.

English Jacobitism, in particular, was what would now be called an Anglican, rather than a Catholic, phenomenon, when it was not just a ragbag of everyone (Congregationalists, Baptists, Quakers, smugglers, the lot) opposed to the Whig hegemony. Catholics hardly featured, since they simply did not share the underlying philosophical and theological assumptions; rather, they fully accepted Parliament’s right to determine the succession to the throne, even when it was inconvenient to themselves.

Each of the Commonwealth Realms is a linear inheritor of that age-old tradition, which is the peaceable alternative both to the bloodletting anti-republican pseudo-monarchism coming down from Buridan through the French Counter-Revolution, and to the bloodletting anti-monarchist pseudo-republicanism against which it came to react, historical aberrations both.

The Parliament of each Commonwealth Realm therefore has the absolute right to determine the succession to its own throne; but they mercifully choose to exercise this right in unison, and may that ever remain the case. (It is perfectly illiterate to suggest that the repeal of the Act of Settlement would revive any Stuart claim to the throne.)

So, again, if the repeal of the Act of Settlement helped to keep even one country in this family, then, in view of the above, by all means let it be repealed, though only by unanimous consent among all the Commonwealth Realms, since its continuation would also be a price well worth paying in order to preserve the unity of that family.

3 August 2007 at 18:30  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Such people are mostly not in England (where they are mostly not members of the Church of England)

I beg to differ.....and the Church of England would not survive the departure of its Calvinists

3 August 2007 at 19:01  
Anonymous athanasius said...

This is an area where I feel that Your Grace's arguments ring hollow. The Monarch is simultaneously Episcopalian in England and Prebyterian in Scotland. The religious part of the Law of Succession is essentially anti-Catholic: the Monarch can be (indeed, has to be) any sort of Christian which is not in communion with Rome. There is a political argument (about Establishment) to sustain this position (though one which would require a rather more robust attitude towards Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus: one which no political party is prepared to offer) but not a religious one which would hold water four and a half centuries after the Reformation: because Catholicsm today is not what is was then.

The Vatican's recent declaration on where Christ subsists, on what the credal definition of the Catholic Church really means, is a substantial step forward in ecumenical dialogue, in that one of the parties is stating unequivocally where it stands. Were subsequent discussion to clarify the effect of such a statement on what the RCC believes are the rights and responsibilities of Catholic lawmakers and Princes, the Act of Succession might become more clearly an anachronism, not because of the bleatings of a Scottish Cardinal and an English MP, both wedded to the current dispensation, but because honesty might take the place of the current swamp of verbiage.

3 August 2007 at 20:30  
Anonymous CCTV said...

Why not simply revoke The Act of Union 1707 and let The Scottish Cardinal minister to his Glaswegian flock in A People's Republic of Scotland ?

This is the preferred English Solution to the Scottish Problem

3 August 2007 at 21:01  
Blogger Cranmer said...

...because Catholicsm today is not what is was then.

Mr Athanasius,

Rome's motto is Semper Eadem.

Where, pray, is Rome different? In what matter of doctrine has Rome changed? Whhich of her claims of 1556 are not in contention now?

Rome has always stated unequivocally where she stands, and for this His Grace is grateful. Yet for the Church of England to state where she stands is deemed, somehow, unacceptable, outdated, bigoted.

The Church of England is part of the One True Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Church of England is the Catholic Church in England. Could His Grace be any clearer?

3 August 2007 at 22:06  
Anonymous CCTV said...

I hereby renounce my claim to the Throne of England. Although better qualified than most contenders I find the prospect of ascending the Throne so remote as to be preposterous - I am sure Peter Phillips is of the same view.

Unless I take lessons from Alec Guinness I fear Kind Hearts and Coronets is beyond my expectation,

4 August 2007 at 07:06  
Anonymous bob said...

Has the Church of England stated where she stands? I thought the past glory and present tragedy of the Church of England was that she never had to state where she stood on anything as she was a very broad Church with very differing views.

4 August 2007 at 08:54  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Bob,

Have you ever read the XXXIX Articles? They state quite plainly where the Church of England stands.

His Grace awaits the response of Mr Athanasius of where Rome has changed in her doctrine and fundamental beliefs about herself. Or is it only Protestants who can be guilty of 'hollow' reasoning?

4 August 2007 at 10:02  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Has the Church of England stated where she stands? read the XXXIX Articles....there are pillars upon which the Church of England stands even if you are ignorant of them.

May I remind you that Pontifex Maximus is a title of a Roman Emperor and that the Bishop of Rome is the senior cleric in The Established Church of The Roman Empire....that empire having passed away in now rests upon those Lateran Treaties signed by Mussolini

4 August 2007 at 10:21  
Anonymous The recusant said...

Your Grace,

Hoy Mother Church in Rome has not changed in her doctrine and fundamental beliefs about herself as has been made abundantly clear by recent statements of the Pontiff regarding Vatican 2 and the discourse on the two forms of the mass.

What Rome has done and continues to do is develop in understanding the position of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and its continuing pilgrimage in the world, this is where the authority of tradition in made manifest. I believe this is what Mr Athanasius, and I stand to be corrected, was more fully referring to.

4 August 2007 at 11:24  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

"The Monarch is simultaneously Episcopalian in England and Presbyterian in Scotland." Not true, she cannot be anything other than the chief Anglican, unmistakably demonstrated at the Coronation with Anointing and the Coronation Mass administered by the Bishops. She merely chooses, when in Scotland, to worship in what is de facto the established church there. (What our present lot of secular- republicans are hoping to do to the Coronation ceremonies I dread to think.)

4 August 2007 at 12:25  
Blogger David Lindsay said...

Voyager, such Calvinists as there still are in the Church of England, in things like the Church Society, are these days barely in it and in no sense of it.

In any casre, the C of E remains even notionally or nominally Calivinistic for precisely so long as Parliament declines to repeal the Articles, and not one moment longer.

4 August 2007 at 12:58  
Anonymous bob said...

I've perused the 39 Articles. They didn't seem to say anything about the gender of candidates for ordination, or the legitimacy of homosexual practice within the ranks of the clergy, or other such troublesome things.

I think that Athanasius' point was that, although the doctrine has not changed, the application and living out of those doctrines has.

4 August 2007 at 13:02  
Anonymous bob said...

Voyager - I'm sure there is a legitimate point that you're making in the Pontifex Maximus issue - I'm just not sure what it is. Are you saying that the entire Catholic Church stands on a title? Or are you saying that the entire Catholic Church is based on the Lateran Treaty? Or is it something else entirely?

4 August 2007 at 13:06  
Anonymous athanasius said...

The Recusant has made the point I wanted to make more eloquently than I would have been able to.

4 August 2007 at 14:56  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Athansius,

His Grace's contention was with your phrase: '..because Catholicism today is not what is was then.'

This is not what Mr Recusant states at all; indeed he agrees with His Grace that there has been no fundamental change in doctrine at all. Indeed, with the addition of infallibility on ex Cathedra pronouncements, there has been a considerable strengthening of its centralised formulations.

To agree that Rome 'continues to...develop in understanding the position of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church' is a statement of the blindingly obvious, for this is incumbent upon Christians everywhere, and began at the Church's very inception. Yet it is noteworthy that this 'development' does not include an embrace of the Church of England, which is manifestly part of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

It would seem to His Grace that if archbishops of Canterbury are no longer calling His Holiness the Antichrist, the least he could do would be to embrace the fruits of the Reformation, or at least concede that the Church of England might be a 'proper' church. It is, after all, the Catholic Church of England.

4 August 2007 at 16:15  
Blogger Voyager said...

They didn't seem to say anything about the gender of candidates for ordination, or the legitimacy of homosexual practice within the ranks of the clergy, or other such troublesome things.

Funnily enough Bob nor does The Bible....but the BCP1662 was linked by reference in every section to the KJV Bible...therein are the XXXIX Articles themselves a development of King Henry's VI Articles.

Noone has been in much doubt until recent years about the position of women or homoseuals within the Christian appears to be a modern phenomenon - this uncertainty concomitant with a declining understanding of the Christian Scriptures......I hope you are not as confused as you sound...

4 August 2007 at 19:35  
Blogger Voyager said...

Bob, I make the point simply that the Church of Rome lived with a sense of anxiety in the era of Mussolini and Hitler and had some worries as to whether The Holy See could withstand the close attention of these two political leaders.....and that the Church of Rome was more subject to political whim than the Church of England........and that it has always required a political patron whether the Emperor of Rome of the Emperor of The Holy Roman short the relationship of the English Monarch to the Ecclesia Anglicana long before Henry VIII was no different from that of the Bishop of Rome to his Emperor

4 August 2007 at 19:39  
Anonymous bob said...

I'm not in the least confused Voyager, but thank you for asking.

4 August 2007 at 20:27  
Anonymous athanasius said...

I won't continue the argument for I fear we will never agree - so, as it's your blog, please have the last word. The (Roman) Catholic Church has changed because it has continued to develop its understanding of what Christ's teachings meant. The Anglican Church has developed its own understanding of what the 39 Articles mean. Both Churches have been enriched by 450 years of theology, even if this enrichment has not drawn them together.

The recent statement from the Vatican more carefully defined the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church: this is not the Church of Rome, which is one of a dozen or so which meet the criteria of being part of Christ's Church. Unity with Rome is a sine qua non of belonging (as are several other beliefs).

Now, you might disagree with Rome's definition, which is, in any case, looking towards unity with the Eastern Churches, but please don't seriously expect Rome to treat the CofE as though it were either Apostolic or Catholic.

I write this with no pleasure: but it is hard to take seriously the claims of a body led by a Welsh Druid to be Christ's Church in the UK, when it is clear that few of its adherents seem to believe in the claim.

5 August 2007 at 20:41  
Anonymous Voyager said...

I write this with no pleasure: but it is hard to take seriously the claims of a body led by a Welsh Druid to be Christ's Church in the UK, when it is clear that few of its adherents seem to believe in the claim.

The verb "led" is inappropriate in your context.

The XXXIX Articles are like the BCP1662 pillars upon which the Church of England is founded - present functionaries of the Ecclesia Anglicana may not meet those standards or uphold the structures erected upon those foundation stones but are you seriously saying that a disastrous Pope would invalidate the Church of Rome ?

I suspect there is more orthodoxy in those who do not attend Church than those that do - in the main. Many churchgoers love ritual more than scripture and theatre more than scripts.

You omitted to mention that Rowan Williams was not even a member of the Church of England until Blair plucked him from obscurity to be his alter ego in Lambeth Palace just as he picked his namesake and alter ego at the Metropolitan Police

6 August 2007 at 07:05  
Anonymous Michael Canaris said...

Quoth Bob:

--I've perused the 39 Articles. They didn't seem to say anything about the gender of candidates for ordination, or the legitimacy of homosexual practice within the ranks of the clergy, or other such troublesome things.--

What of the following sentence from Art. IX?

...And although there is no condemnation for them that believe and are baptized, yet the Apostle doth confess that concupiscence and lust hath itself the nature of sin.

7 August 2007 at 19:32  
Anonymous bob said...

If Article IX were an answer to the question of homosexual clergy then I would imagine that the present crisis within Anglicanism would not be the problem that is it.

8 August 2007 at 00:27  

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