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February 12, 2005



(Of course, the title of the post is redundant - I am ALWAYS right... it's just that the rest of you take some time to see my wisdom. No, really.)

As I said on the previous post, Disestablishment is so impractical (the estimate I saw was five years' worth of full-time legislating) that it's not going to happen any time soon. That's kind of not the point, though - just as the US is unlikely to leave the UN; or the UK to completely end its membership of the EU, one can maintain a formal relationship without it having any meaning. The Establishment has tilted this way these past decades - so much so that probably few people actually understand that this country is constitutionally (not just culturally) a Christian one. (Said with tongue very firmly in cheek: not like you Godless pagan rebellious colonials!)

But you make a very good point - how far will the Crown allow the CofE to collapse into being a social club? With Her Maj, who is supposed to be a very strong Anglican, this must be arising as an issue. Even if she's very moderate, she'll probably wonder quite where all this is going to end?

Where I will differ with you, though, is on whether she'll let the provinces go hang as such. Having been accused of having delusions of Empire by a commenter on Misspent's blog yesterday, I find my proposal here even more apt: for me, the problem here is that we still haven't realised that our obligations to the world only go so far - and that we have to shore up our own country's institutions first. Really, I can care less about what happens with Anglicanism everywhere - what matters is what happens with Anglicanism in England, and in relation to the British State. If we could jettison ECUSA and that would solve things, then fine; but if in the future jettisoning the African provinces became necessary - fine too. My country needs very much to get over the Empire, but we've only done half the job: we no longer think we have a right to run it, but we're left with a cloying guilt that we're to blame for all its problems.

I remain, by the way, concerned that even the possibility of Anglicanism's recovery will be limited by the low number of conservatives (by which I do not mean evangelicals).

Mrs. Peperium

Evengelicals rarely are true conservatives. But that is another discussion.
About jettisoning the Provinces, this might be what happens: ECUSA has pushed the Gay Bishop issue. England backed down the year before with the proposal of Jeffery Johns to a Bishopric. The Queen, Downing Street and the ABC put the cabosh on that one and Johns himself withdrew. He later recieved the appt. of Cannon to York Minster(?). America did not back down even though an emergency meeting of the 38 Primates was called and ALL of them signed a document saying they would do nothing to harm the Communion. 2 weeks later Presiding Bishop Griswold, wearing a bullet-proof vest under his robes, (no joke) presided over the consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson. Since then ECUSA has been unrepentant and even downright stupid. Pressure has been put on ECUSA. ECUSA won't budge. The Africans are threatening to break Communion. Polygamy is very popular in Africa. A friend Episcopalian missonary preformed the (cough,cough) baptism, confirmation and the renewal of marriage vows of one couple. To be 'allowed in' the husband had to renounce 30 wives and keep only his original one...Do you think the African Primates are thrilled with the Prince's civil marriage? They would have liked the Prince to renounced his love. But preserving the Monarchy is what will decide all. So more than likely Charles' marriage will be tolerated and ECUSA's behavior will not be...They will never say they cut off ECUSA. They will say ECUSA cut itself off, which it did. Stay tuned.


Exactly right about ECUSA - yet again demonstrating that liberals need no lessons in extremism in pursuit of their cause.

I would add that if lopping off the African provinces proves necessary, it mightn't be just about saving the monarchy (it's doubtful the Church could do that these days) but also about clearing the decks to allow the Church to find its own level in England again. The way back from today's reigning pantheism certainly isn't clear, but it won't be helped by our seeking to deal with the world's problem through the same institutions. I guess this sounds like an appeal to ecclesiastical autarky - and it might just be!

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