Saturday, September 15, 2007

Archbishop: the Monarch should remain ‘Defender of the Faith’

Hallelujah! At last, the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has spoken out. And The Daily Telegraph takes Cranmer’s theme when it observes: ‘As politics concentrates increasingly on moral questions, so the church has become ever more political’. And if Dr Williams’ interview is anything to go by, the Church of England intends in the future to take a more high profile stand on moral issues than it had done over recent years. And this permits even the Romophile BBC to report favourably upon the Established Church. It is not so much the Archbishop's speaking out that is welcome, for he has said an awful lot since his enthronement in 2003 which has been insignificant, inept, and unacceptably compromising. But the assertions he makes in this interview are a cause of considerable political hope and theological optimism.

There is rightly a primary focus on ‘our broken society’, and the Archbishop places the blame ‘pushy parents’, materialism and multiculturalism. He observes: ‘Modern society, with its emphasis on exam results, material success and constant entertainment, is stunting the emotional development of young people.’ He refers to ‘the claustrophobia of intense achievement in middle class areas’, and compares it to gang culture. Quite so, and as sure as night follows day, society shall reap what it is presently sowing. He attacks the cult of celebrity and accuses broadcasters including the BBC and Channel 4 of encouraging a culture of ‘shamelessness’ with shows such as Big Brother.

He confronts the Pope head-on (for those who have eyes) in his assertion that the next coronation would be a service of Holy Communion during which the monarch would be anointed. He declares: ‘The acts of worship that we perform have their integrity. I don't want to see amateurish messing around compromising what's going on.’ This refutes utterly the recently reiterated papal assertion that Anglican Orders are ‘null and void’, and that the Church of England is ‘not a proper church’. To have integrity is to have moral uprightness, wholeness, and a secure foundation. Pope Benedict XVI would do well to manifest a little humility in his assertions of papal infallibility, and consider that the Church of England is indeed the Church in England, and it securely and confidently rejects the theological and political claims of the Church of Rome, and has every right to do so.

The Archbishop forthrightly rejects any change for Prince Charles when he becomes king: he shall be Defender of the Christian faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The Prince of Wales first expressed a wish to become ‘Defender of Faith’ rather than ‘Defender of the Faith’ back in 1994, and it is heartening to hear the Archbishop of Canterbury say that he will not allow this multi-faith morass to enter Westminster Abbey and that prayers to Allah, Waheguru or Brahman shall not contaminate the Coronation service.

He also calls for the abortion law to be tightened, saying: ‘People are not happy about abortion as a back stop to contraception.’ This has been Rome’s consistent stance, and a laudable one, and it is good to hear the Primate of the Anglican Communion raise his voice on the issue. He quips that it is now ‘like having a tooth out’. And it is. The ease with which abortions are performed in the UK is a stain upon the nation’s morality and a stench before God. It must be changed, and Cranmer looks forward to the Bishops in the House of Lords joining with the Christians in the House of Commons to significantly limit its availability.

Today, Cranmer has a spring in his step, and his hope keeps him joyful.

19 Comments:

Blogger dizzyfatplonka said...

Thats very good news your Grace and not before time, the time has come for Christianity to take its stand and put its Spirit where its mouth is!

15 September 2007 at 10:32  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Hooray, Your Grace, and every word well said. I especially applaud your use (and was it also Rowan Williams's?) of "shall".
Particularly good to hear RW scotching any idea of a multifaith, non-sacramental Coronation. If people like the last Bishop of Oxford had had their way, who knows what form the rite would have taken?

15 September 2007 at 11:06  
Blogger shergar said...

I'm not with Old beardy on this one. As an observant Jedi I would like to see Charles pay proper respect to the Force at his coronation. After all, the force surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.

15 September 2007 at 11:10  
Anonymous Voyager said...

The Archbishop forthrightly rejects any change for Prince Charles when he becomes king

when is an assumption Charles should not make before reading The Act of Settlement 1701.

He should refresh his memory on the situation of Charles I, and of his son Charles II....one met the executioner and one flirted with the prospect had parliamentarians had the stomach. Both had lax attention to the Protestant nature of the kingdom.....Charles present has been too much influenced by the likes of Laurens van der Post and his Bloomsbury group friends together with Carl Jung and the eccentric mysticism of this charlatan

15 September 2007 at 11:42  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

It is not just Prince Charles that is the problem, follow this link and you will see other members of our aristocracy are more than happy to dabble in the Orient.

Please make sure you scroll right down to the bottom of the page to view the organization's patron.

15 September 2007 at 12:15  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

Defender of the Christian faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England??

This appears to be a genuine photograph [M.I.: I have no way of verifying this, as per today] taken in ISLAMABAD, 31 October 2006 (or 2005) when Prince Charles and Camilla visited the Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU). During an address, he is reported to have essentially said: the world's problems could be resolved by following Islamic teachings, as Islam is a religion of peace and brotherhood.

15 September 2007 at 12:32  
Blogger dizzyfatplonka said...

"I would like to see Charles pay proper respect to the Force at his coronation. After all, the force surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together."

Words of shear excellence shergar the real immensity of the picture fails to be grasped by many a folk and you have summed it up with fine words.
Hereditory titles are all well and good but could he pull the sword from the stone?

15 September 2007 at 12:34  
Anonymous the last toryboy said...

@Shergar

The Force is duct tape.

Duct tape has a dark side, and a light side, and binds the galaxy together...


...an old 'un but a good 'un. :)

15 September 2007 at 12:55  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

It must be changed, and Cranmer looks forward to the Bishops in the House of Lords joining with the Christians in the House of Commons to significantly limit its availability. Today, Cranmer has a spring in his step, and his hope keeps him joyful.

I hate to put a spoke in -- but what you bin smokin'? The Church of England has a dim black self-publicist waiting to step into Williams' shoes. It will swoon with ecstasy if he does so. And Williams is attacking multiculturalism? It's multiracialism that's the real and pressing problem. The corruption in the C of E is far too deep to reverse easily or quickly or possibly at all.

15 September 2007 at 16:47  
Anonymous CCTV said...

The corruption in the C of E is far too deep to reverse easily or quickly or possibly at all.

Depends who gets thrown overboard in the build-up to Lambeth 2008...but as a Non-Christian and Non-Anglican it does not really concern you Ned Sherry....so off you trot

15 September 2007 at 17:53  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

Depends who gets thrown overboard in the build-up to Lambeth 2008...but as a Non-Christian and Non-Anglican it does not really concern you Ned Sherry....so off you trot

Were you born exceptionally stupid, cctv, or was it sheer, dogged determination that put you where you are today?

15 September 2007 at 18:05  
Anonymous 4micah said...

Very glad to hear that one of the men in power has a spine! Alas, State churches have become feeble and lifeless. Free them from the State (and free the citizens from the Monarchy, while your at it), and you will see a renaissance of Christianity in Europe. Here's to freedom of conscience!

15 September 2007 at 18:34  
Blogger dizzyfatplonka said...

"The Force is duct tape."
The Church of England may have a need for 'no more nails' if they lose the Monarchy as its head.
It would be interesting to know what other faiths have invited Englands monarch to become their protector. Since they have managed for so long without any such position.
Or is this another self appointed position :-D

15 September 2007 at 19:23  
Blogger Mission Impossible said...

Your Grace ... squeezing time between your missives and other attentions to your appreciative Congregation ... may I suggest you visit your Blogger Preferences and change the Comment Stamp settings from "Time only" to "Time and Date"?

Signed:
Amicus humani generis

16 September 2007 at 08:07  
Anonymous CCTV said...

Were you born exceptionally stupid, cctv, or was it sheer, dogged determination that put you where you are today?



Neither but prolonged contact with people like yourself does try patience inordinately

16 September 2007 at 10:42  
Anonymous nedsherry said...

Neither but prolonged contact with people like yourself does try patience inordinately

If what I say disturbs you, don't read it. If you're an Anglican, you have my sympathy.

16 September 2007 at 14:33  
Anonymous Dr. Irene Lancaster FRSA said...

The Archbishop is making a great deal of sense lately.

More of his good sense here:

http://irenelancaster.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/09/at-rosh-hashana.html

16 September 2007 at 22:15  
Blogger El Draque said...

"Defender of Faith" amounts to nothing more than defending the right of people to practise their faith free of interference. I do not see that defending that right conflicts with the monarch's role of defending the Christian faith from - for example - attempts to water it down, or to pretend it requires obedience to a church hierarchy when to do so conflicts with the Gospel. Honest men of faith often find they have more in common with each other than with atheists or agnostics.

17 September 2007 at 15:54  
Anonymous Tiber Swimmer said...

I hope you don't mind my pointing out, Your Grace, that, to be precise, it's actually 'absolutely null and utterly void' . . .

18 September 2007 at 09:03  

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