Monday, January 31, 2011

Andrei Separation of Church and State, UK style

Church must make women bishops, say MPs
A group of influential MPs will tomorrow call for Parliament to intervene over the historic reform as fears grow that the Church will reject plans allowing female bishops.
The cross-party group, including former ministers Frank Field and Stephen Timms, and Simon Hughes, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, is concerned that the General Synod, the Church's parliament, may not pass legislation designed to end the glass ceiling for women clergy.


From where I sit the whole idea of women clergy has not worked out too well for the Anglican church - indeed there is a meeting of Anglican Primates in Dublin as I write and the turmoil in the communion is such that fifteen out of the Thirty eight primates are not attending. The center of gravity for Anglicanism has shifted from the West to Africa where they don't ordain women.

But if the English Parliament demands women bishops for Anglicans what is to stop them from going after Catholics and Orthodox under the "equality legislation" which for now has an exemption for churches.

I hope this initiative from these MPs falls flat on its face because government intervention in ecclesiastical affairs has never boded well for the Church or the Faithful.

5 comment(s):

Lucia Maria said...


It could be that Parliament in Britain has more power over the Anglican Church given that their Head of State is also the Head of their church.

That may, of course, make them think they also have power over those that are independent of the English State. Interesting, huh?

ZenTiger said...

Brilliant. There's a good opportunity for the State to move into the "arranged marriages" market as well. It's an area they've already delved into with regard to banning Catholics from marriage of certain people.

JJ said...

Seems to me that Anglicanism in Britain at least, has completely capitulated to the forces of liberalism. Was interested to see recently the Pope ordaining some married anglican bishops (i may have these details wrong, not sure) but one of them said that Anglicanism is taking its cues from the world, not scripture.

Andrei said...


The Bishops, there are at least five in total have been re ordained as Catholic Priests.

Celibacy is a discipline for Priests in the Latin Church so it is possible but very rare for a married man to be ordained to the (Latin) Priesthood.

In the Orthodox Church and Eastern Rite Catholics (Byzantine Catholics) married men may be ordained. You cannot marry after ordination though.

In both Latin and Greek practice celibacy is required for Bishops.

Here is an interesting thing, off topic though, in the Eastern church there is thing called Ecclesiastical Divorce for married priests. When this is granted the Priest's wife becomes a nun and the Priest a monk and eligible for a Bishopric, Its very rarely used though.

Psycho Milt said...

It's mainly an example of why having an official state religion is a bad idea. Just another one of various historical bad-idea albatroses the UK has hanging round its neck.

The move of some Anglican bishops to the RC church is unsurprising. The high church has always consisted of people who would have been more at home with RC but were excluded from it due to historical events - by which I don't mean excluded by the RC church, I mean excluded by virtue of not having the bollocks to stand up for themselves against the post-reformation consensus in the UK (and presumably in earlier centuries, by the propensity of the English for rounding up Catholics and killing them).

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