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