Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Cranmer would like to offer his sincere congratulations to the Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks on his elevation to the peerage.

Unlike many who now pollute the Upper Chamber with their presence and corrupt it with their carping, this honour is richly deserved.

It is not simply that the man is decent, upright, honest and noble; he is a scholar - an intellectual giant and a theological inspiration of considerable religio-political insight.

And God knows we need politicians who understand the interface between religion and politics.

Lord Sacks follows in the footsteps of his predecessor, Lord Jakobovits, and will sit as a cross bencher, offering a voice of considerable gravity on issues of faith and morals.

The Chief Rabbi’s Office has been keen to make it clear that the appointment was made by the Lords Appointment Commission, an advisory body set up by the Prime Minister to make recommendations for non-party-political peerages, rather than by Gordon Brown himself.

One perfectly understands why.


Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

I echo your sentiments Your Grace - he will be a real asset to the House of Lords.

14 July 2009 at 14:59  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Makes a change from the corrupt, amoral creatures Nu Lab likes to install.

14 July 2009 at 15:04  
Blogger Preacher said...

At last a chink of light midst the encroaching gloom. congratulations & welcome M'Lord.

14 July 2009 at 15:20  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

Very good news. Just as you asked "Who would vote for a bishop?" it may be asked about a Chief Rabbi too.

Let's keep the House of Lords for people who know something, can contribute something, believe in something and have no electoral axe to grind.

All members of the House of Lords can be contacted or lobbied by the public. This is not some out-of-the-way chamber but one that is very much for the people.

Let's keep the grubby hands of the deceivers away from meddling with this great chamber!

14 July 2009 at 15:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes he can listen to the fairies for guidance

14 July 2009 at 15:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Isaiah 32:17 says righteousness will be followed by peace. So if the Rabbi follows de Torah & stands for morality as stated in the Bible... Peace will be the result, which gives new hope for the future of young people!


14 July 2009 at 16:08  
Blogger DM Andy said...

I don't actually believe in an unelected chamber - but if we have to have one Jonathan Sacks will be an asset to it. By the way, he's not actually a peer yet, it's only been announced that he's going to be elevated to the peerage.

But it doesn't make a difference if Sacks was appointed by the Prime Minister or the Appointments Commission. Out of the 51 peers the HoLAC have recommended be appointed, none of them are the type of people who would not have been selected in any case.

14 July 2009 at 16:16  
Blogger Don't Call Me Dave said...

The Chief Rabbi recently attended my Synagogue and gave a wonderful sermon - thoughtful and witty. But his recent statements in respect of the JFS ruling leads me to suspect that he is not as tolerant of progressive Judaism as he could be.

All the same, his elevation to the Lords Spiritual and Temporal is very welcome, though no doubt some people will claim it is all part of the Zionist conspiracy to rule the world.

14 July 2009 at 17:16  
Blogger David Cooke said...

You might enjoy this of you missed it. Fascinating


14 July 2009 at 17:26  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

High time that Your Grace was ennobled. Lord Cranmer of Burnt Oak, Lord Cranmer of Ashford, Lord Cranmer of Burnham-on-Crouch. Take your pick, m’Lord.

14 July 2009 at 17:32  
Anonymous not a machine said...

a very thoughtfull ,godly man

14 July 2009 at 17:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent news. His articles in the Times on Saturdays are first rate.The Jewish community seem to have the happy knack of producing first rate leaders.

Edward Sutherland.

14 July 2009 at 18:01  
Anonymous Bethel said...

Don't call me Dave..
He exemplifies the state to which Anglo Jewry have directed themselves..

14 July 2009 at 21:29  
Blogger John Doe said...

For somebody like myself Your Grace, this is ground breaking news, I can hardly contain myself.

14 July 2009 at 23:52  
Blogger Don't Call Me Dave said...


There was a poll in the Jewish Chronicle last week. 54% of readers supported the Court’s decision, 46% opposed it. Admittedly, this was not a scientific poll, but I think the Chief Rabbi needs to tread very carefully to avoid a damaging rift between the orthodox and progressive movements. We are all supposed to be batting for the same team!

15 July 2009 at 01:19  
Blogger srizals said...

Its not a conspiracy Don't call me Dave,
ICF, AIPAC,Dave Duke, Daniel Pipes, Madof, George Soros, hedge funds, Banking n Money Speculators n of course, Pornography tycoons of the world, dedicated hate websites 2 cook up stories about Islam n givin petty excuses 4 Jewish n Christians bloodied hands n onslaught throughout the world, civilizations, n throughout histories, n yes, even in the Russian revolution that saw the massacre of the Tsars of Russia. Nah, the Russian didn't kill their own royals like the French did. They r not that blood thirsty. No, guillotine was not invented by the crazy Russians. Me painting u red, me paintin me blue, that sort of things.
Learn somethin from the past, or be condemned 2 repeat history. R u compelled 2 repeat the errs of the past??
Then even ur intellectuals can't come up with intellectual's prevarication. Marvelled with ur own brain eh, well that's brainy.

15 July 2009 at 04:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Johnny Rottenborough: His Grace is no doubt too modest to point out that he is already a Lord Spiritual.
@Your Grace: I think Your Grace will find that the correct order is 'Rabbi The Lord Jonathan Sacks.' Titles and decorations are like knives and forks: the more important, the nearer to the plate, eg 'Professor the Lord xyz, VC, OBE.'

15 July 2009 at 07:25  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Anonymous,

His Grace, as you know, does not usually respond to anonymice.

He us intrigued by your assertion, for it indcates that 'Rabbi' is not of the same order as 'Cardinal' or 'Archbishop'.

One is the Lord Archbishop Thomas Cranmer; Cardinal Cormac becomes the Lord Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.

Why would 'Rabbi' be treated differently?

Academic titles are not of the same order and are therefore displaced by a peerage.

But do not all religious titles equally 'outrank' the peerage? If not, is that not a case for the Equalities Commission?

15 July 2009 at 07:51  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

This is good news; an outstanding nomination.

Wisdom shall enter the House of Lords and in that chamber where at times truth has stmbled - she will now be lifted up.

15 July 2009 at 08:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahem, shouldn't that be Jonathan, Rabbi Lord Sacks?

15 July 2009 at 09:06  
Blogger John Doe said...

Sometimes I am left wondering whether this is all just superfluous bullshit anyway, designed to intimidate and confuse. Actually it not just sometimes, it is a long standing belief.

15 July 2009 at 09:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace is a Lord Archbishop not because he is a lord, but because archbishops sui generis are lords. Similarly the Bishop of Durham used to be a Prince Bishop, even though he was not himself a prince. But Lord Sacks is a lord in his own right, and not because rabbis sui generis are lords. Therefore he is Rabbi Lord Sacks, like Admiral Lord Nelson, not Lord Rabbi Sacks, by analogy with your own esteemed self.

By the way, he would only be Lord Jonathan Sacks were he the elder son of a baron, viscount or earl, or the younger son of a marquess or duke. Being able to give a title to one's younger sons is about the only good reason for exchanging the splendid title of earl for the rather tawdry one of marquess, especially as the way of the world is sadly such that young Lord Piers Fitztwerp is likely to bag himself a much richer bride than would be within his grasp were he merely the Hon Piers Fitztwerp.

15 July 2009 at 11:07  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Anonymous,

You are the only Anonymous with whom His Grace has ever held dialogue, and he appreciates immensely your penchant for the pedantic.

Before His Grace alters the title of the post, could you please explain why Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor is (prematurely) referred to as the 'Lord Cardinal...'?

Since he is not to be a Lord Spiritual, would he not be correctly styled: Cardinal Lord Murphy-O'Connor? But is that not actually incorrect when religious titles should be followed by one's Christian name?

His Grace is, after all, Archbishop Thomas, not Archbishop Cranmer (though he prefers the latter, and it is now branded). Clumsy offences like the 'Reverend Jackson' are an import from the United States. We do not, after all, say Sir Sacks, but Sir Jonathan. The Cardinal is Cardinal Cormac, not Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor (though 'Cardinal Hume' appears to have become a brand as well).

Or will he be: Cardinal Cormac the Lord Murphy-O'Connor?

What a mouthful.

If so, will it not be 'Rabbi Jonathan, the Lord Sacks'?

15 July 2009 at 11:52  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

So who is he batting for,certainly not the Christians as he does not believe in Christianity,nor islam,no the torah is his belief,and the torah like the koran has no love for Christianity,and a person who does not believe that his religion is supreme has no faith ,and for the goyim (cattle)to promote the interests of thier butcher is yet another example of the mental illness that afflicts the western civilisation,our "government" as is Americas ,is begining to look more and more like an exclusive jewish club,and our army is already fighting islam on thier behalf,it is only a matter of time before they drag us into the next world conflict,i hope that you all have the same enthusiasm for it as you seem to have for one of its architects.

15 July 2009 at 11:56  
Anonymous Laird said...

Englishman he'll be batting for Christians in the combined team against Islam. It's politics after all!

15 July 2009 at 12:17  
Blogger rallentanda said...

My chums and I agree it is difficult to bag a rich wife without the correct titles. Any advice on how to acquire these without crashing the House of Lords?

15 July 2009 at 12:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are actually three anonymice commenting on titular style, myself at 0725 and the other, more learned commenters on this topic. I think Your Grace may have come to the correct answer at 11:52, but am prepared to defer to those better instructed than myself.

Your Grace seems to dislike anonymity. It may be annoying, and it is undeniably confusing, but since there is a remote possibility that the person who blogs under Your Grace's name is not actually the late lamented martyr, I do not see that Your Grace has cause for complaint.

15 July 2009 at 12:53  
Blogger rallentanda said...

Anonymous(the stupid one)
There isn't the remotest possibility that His Grace is an imposter.You must be mad!

15 July 2009 at 13:16  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

His Grace has a name by which his communicants may address him, and this avoids all confusion.

The principal reason His Grace does not respond to anonymice is that one never knows to which anonymous one is referring, as evidenced in this thread.

Why not call yourself Colin?

It is barely more troublesome than ticking the 'anon' option.

15 July 2009 at 13:40  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...


To whichever Anonymous is the most knowledgeable on the peerage.

When bishops retire and are elevated to the Lords in their own right, they cease being Lords Spiritual and yet they are entitled to retain their ecclesiastical title.

For example, the Lord Bishop of Oxford became Lord Harries on his retirement; the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury (Runcie, Carey) became Lord Carey and Lord Runcie in their own right.

Since they also remain bishops, is (for example) Lord Harries' full title: Bishop Richard, the Lord Harries?

In which case, does this not simply translate the 'Lord Bishop' to a 'Bishop Lord'?

15 July 2009 at 13:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful news, indeed. Jonathan Sachs will shine a light in a House so tarnished by Nu-Labour.

15 July 2009 at 14:57  
Anonymous Laird said...

Anonymous I think you're confusing
Rabbi Sacks with Nigella Lawson's husband .

15 July 2009 at 15:45  
Blogger Bob said...

Not wishing to wander too far off topic, but the correct rendering, if Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor were to be elevated to the House of Lords, would be Lord Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor. It's one of the (many) quirks of (Roman) Catholicism that in address both Cardinals and Canons, the title attaching to their office is placed between their Christian name and surname.

15 July 2009 at 16:45  
Anonymous Cynthia said...

Rabbi Sacks bears an uncanny resemblance to a Russian political figure,the name eludes me at the moment.

15 July 2009 at 17:17  
Anonymous Bethel said...

Don't call me Dave-for the avoidance of doubt, let me confirm that I agree with you-we are all batitng for the same side. That said, someone needs to tell our new Lord!

15 July 2009 at 19:40  
Blogger ZZMike said...

If I may weigh in on the precedence of titles...

In the Catholic Church, "Cardinal" is usually put before the last name, as in John Henry Cardinal Newman. The British have an equally odd notion, as in General Sir Henry Havelock. (It does sound much better than "Sir General", but that may only be because we're used to it. And probably because the "Sir" is tradition-bound to the first name.)

I shudder to think what you'd do if a General became a Sir, a peer, and a Cardinal. General Sir Hamish Lord Cardinal Trelawney?

15 July 2009 at 23:17  
Anonymous Hereward said...

This is indeed good news. I believe that he is a supporter of having an Established Church, which is more than can be said for some of our bishops.

On the question of precedence of titles, the answer might be found in a copy of 'Titles and Forms of Address', but I do not have my copy to hand: I am overseas, and to bring my entire reference library would doubtless exceed Ryanair's baggage allowance.

16 July 2009 at 09:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace delights even as he instructs. I am only ANONYMOUS because I am too stupid to press the right buttons in the right order on my computing engine. Were I as deft as Your Grace I should sign myself PEDANT ("A pedant is a man who likes his statements to be true": Bertrand Russell).

1. Were Cardinal C M O-C to be made a lord temporal he would be called Cormac, Lord M O-C (or whatever title he chose). I do not know why he is called a Lord Cardinal, or who calls him such. Like all cardinals he is a prince of the church, but no one calls him Prince Cardinal. These are deep waters, and I shall not swim in them.

2. Saving Your Grace's pardon, you are not Archbishop Thomas, but Thomas, Archbishop Cranmer. You are, however, the Most Rev Thomas, which may offer some consolation in this vale of tears.

3. Your Grace brings joy to my shrivelled pedantic heart with his strictures against the barbarism of "Reverend Jackson". Would that Your Grace makes it his mission to extirpate this hideous usage!

4. We say Sir Jonathan and not Sir Sacks, I suspect, because legally one's forename is one's real name, and one's surname simply that name by which one wishes to be known. Historically, it may well be that the title "sir" predates the general adoption of surnames in the 12th century. But usage is all. In France they see things differently, and there the Chief Rabbi would be le Chevalier Sacks.

5. Lord Harries, I suppose, could be called Lord Bishop Richard, Lord Harries. But you'd have to be mad to say that.

6. Retired bishops retain their titles as a courtesy, not an entitlement.

These matters are enchanting, but by now even Your Grace may have been enchanted long enough.

16 July 2009 at 10:15  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Pedant,

If you were at least to sign your anonymous missives, you could be distinguished from the other anonymice.

Your kmowledge of styles and titles has brought very much pleasure to His Grace, and he delights in such pedantry. You have both enlightened and amused him.

Bless you.

16 July 2009 at 10:34  
Anonymous angel said...

Mr Pedant anonymous
Try pressing the Name/URL
A box will appear then write a name

16 July 2009 at 13:58  
Blogger Dave J said...

"Not wishing to wander too far off topic, but the correct rendering, if Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor were to be elevated to the House of Lords, would be Lord Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor. It's one of the (many) quirks of (Roman) Catholicism that in address both Cardinals and Canons, the title attaching to their office is placed between their Christian name and surname."

That's a proper understanding of usage in the RC Church, but NOT of the peerage. Lord [First Name] is improper: it's Lord [Name of the Peerage]. Therefore, what one would call him would be dependent on the Letters Patent creating his peerage. It could easily be something other than his surname.

Assuming, of course, that Brown didn't see fit to make His Eminence into His Grace as well, and give him a dukedom so as to outrank all the CofE bishops, a possibility I've only half-jokingly speculated about on here before.

17 July 2009 at 02:46  
Blogger Bob said...

Apologies - my competence in forms of address is limited to the RC Church I'm afraid.

17 July 2009 at 08:33  

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