Anglican Rowan Williams   Archbishop of Canterbury

 Anglican John Sentamu Archbishop of York
I stumbled upon an interesting website to-day, which shows, indeed proudly displays how the Established Church of England gets along in that "sceptred Isle".

It is all the more interesting in the light of the Commonwealth Heads of Government agreement in Perth last week to graciously allow those in the line of Succession to the Throne to marry  a Catholic. They were already able to marry an animist, a Mohammedan, a Jew - anyone but a Catholic.

So the reform carefully protected one the rights of heirs to the Throne.But they are still forbidden to become Catholics.

It did NOT touch upon the rights of the MONARCH or consider at all the positive rights of Catholics  in one key area. No CATHOLIC may become the MONARCH and it is likewise the law that the MONARCH may not become a CATHOLIC without abdicating.

The reason of course is that the Monarch is the Head of the tottering ,ramshackle edifice that is the Established Church of England,  and could not, in all logic be such and be a Catholic.And at this time, dis-establishment of the Church of England would be indelicate in view of the evident conviction and devotion of the 85 years old Queen Elizabeth to her  sworn role in that regard. Also, the older Her Majesty becomes, the more popular she becomes. We could see that on the streets of Australia over the last week. It would be political suicide to cause an affront to Her Majesty.

But come the day , and the unpopular , quirky Charles, it would be another matter.

Let us see what the CofE says about the way it manages its status :

"The Church of England, as the established church, is represented in Parliament in several ways.
In the House of Lords, the 26 most senior English archbishops and bishops sit as the 'Lords Spiritual'.
In the House of Commons the Second Church Estates Commissioner - traditionally an MP from the governing party - guides church legislation and answers questions from MPs on church matters, including once a month on the floor of the House.
The parliamentary Ecclesiastical Committee, which contains both MPs and Peers, is responsible for scrutinising Church of England legislation, prior to it being sent for approval by both Houses of Parliament.
The Speaker of the House of Commons also appoints an Anglican chaplain, whose duties include leading the Commons in prayer before each daily sitting."
The Ecclesiastical Committee of Parliament comprises 30 members; 15 drawn from the House of Commons and 15 from the House of Lords. Members, who are by convention backbenchers, are appointed by the Speaker of each House, early in a Parliament, and usually remain on the Committee for the life of the Parliament.
It is a statutory Committee, created through the Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act 1919. While the Committee's powers are those laid down by the Act, its procedures are those of a Joint Select Committee.
The Ecclesiastical Committee examines draft Measures presented to it by the Legislative Committee of the General Synod of the Church of England. It reports to Parliament on whether or not it considers the measures to be expedient.
It will generally ask members of the General Synod to assist it in its deliberations. In some circumstances a conference of the Ecclesiastical Committee and the Legislative Committee may be convened.
The Church of England Measure on which the Committee has reported is then presented to both Houses in its final form at the same time as the Committee makes its report.
Before the Measure becomes law, both Houses must approve motions that the Measure should be presented to the Sovereign for Royal Assent, in the form that it was laid before Parliament.
Once both Houses have passed the necessary approval motions, the Measure is presented for Royal Assent and becomes law."

Thoughts of dis-establishment tend to dampen one's spirits.

But if it all get a bit too serious, you could always look for some light relief on the religious side of the CofE, well sort of. Take the Prime Minister recommending Bishops for H.M. to appoint - Sir Humphrey Appleby spilled the beans long ago on Yes Prime Minister. Then again, one has all those chaps swimming the Tiber to become Catholics, and all the other chaps running off with one another as , well perverts , or worse still ,staying on in the dear old Cof E as "partners". And there are still those difficult people who seek to define what one beieves! Really! Some days it is all a bit much. 
              Canterbury Cathedral built 450 years before stolen in the
                               Protestant Deformation      
            York Minster built 300 years before the Protestant Deformation
Thank Henry VIII the Catholics built all our magnificent Cathedrals which dear old syphillitic Henry stole, and gave to us. At least one can put on a jolly big show, even if confined to wearing copes!


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