söndag 3 augusti 2008

Lambeth Conference


Canterbury Cathedral (112)
Originally uploaded by Wayne Huzzey

It is depressing to have to listen to the travails of the Church of England, which took up the whole of today's BBC Sunday programme. Really, it should not have done. From a world wide perspective, the C of E just isn't important.

Were it not for King Henry VIIIs divorce it would never have existed and it only got as big is it has because the British were colonialists. It claims to be both Catholic and Protestant, which means it is founded on an impossible proposition. Those of its members who think themselves to be Catholic and orthodox ought to get the matter clear in their minds and join the actual Catholic church, which would resolve their confusion. Those of a more Protestant inclination have plenty of choice - there are Baptist churches, more or less independent, where the emphasis is on Scripture. There is the United Reform Church, with a Presbyterian organisation and linked to the Church of Scotland. There is the Methodist church, which seems to be made up of perfectly reasonable people as far as I can tell. There can be few C of E members who would not be perfectly comfortable, or even more comfortable, in some other church.

The difficulty is that the break-up of the C of E in England itself would have important constitution problems. Where they would lead to is impossible to predict but it could take the country into dangerous territory. Business unresolved in the sixteenth century may finally have to be dealt with. But this is not the sixteenth century and the outcome will be very different than it would have been then.

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