After reading this, if you read it to the end, you will doubtless agree with me that selection process is the perfect example of Byzantine complexity.
"Next Wednesday, four women and 15 men on the Crown Nominations Commission will gather for two days of prayer and horsetrading to replace Rowan Williams as archbishop of Canterbury. We know who they are, and when they will meet – but not where, so they can't be doorstepped."
"Only three members of the commission, chaired by the former Conservative arts minister Lord Luce, are bishops. One of the women and two of the men have no vote, but are there to advise. Five, including one of the women, are priests. The rest are lay people. Almost all the parties of the church are represented and there is even Dr Barry Morgan, a Welshman, to represent the rest of the world for the first time in this process. They will pick two names to present to the prime minister, who is bound to choose the first, unless he proves unable to take the job."
What is going on?
The choosing of the Pope is a doddle compared to this.
I propose that Anglicans adopt a similar system. Round up all the bishops, shove them into a stately home with CCTV and don't let them out until they choose an Archbishop from amongst themselves..
In the meantime the nation watches to see if they comport themselves with dignity.
Like Big Brother, the nation may vote, but only if they are officially Anglican.
To be officially Anglican, you have to be a paid-up member. The Conservative Party only allows members who have been members for at least three months to attend their conferences. I propose we adopt the same system. You can vote for the next Archbishop of Canterbury only if you have been a member of the congregation for at least three months before the start of the election.
No one may become MP without being a member of the Anglican congregation is what I would say to people who want MPs to have a say in church matters.
I also propose that being a member of the Anglican Church does not mean you have to believe in the infernal nonsense that is the Doctrine of the Trinity. All membership means is that you are or wish to be an upright member of the community and wish to be part of an organisation that is supposed to impart moral teaching that would guide the morals of the nation. Therefore even Jews and Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs as well as atheists concerned about morality can join. It will of course be an excellent place for networking.
I propose that there be two separate votes.
1. The bishop only-vote.
2. The congregation-only vote.
If they both select the same candidate then the election would be considered Favoured by God or, if you are atheist, providentially auspicious.
In this way would we rid ourselves of the pernicious influence of feminist clergywomen who do not have third rate minds who tolerate gay priests over clergymen who do have third rate minds and fall in with anything these harridans say because they are too feeble-minded and weak-willed to do otherwise.
When this process is finally complete, then I predict that this country will once again return to something resembling moral good order.
I see no harm in having a women-only section of the church to accommodate the religious and vocational urges of a minority of ambitious and clever women. If such a system were adopted there could even be an Archbishopress of Canterbury. Indeed, I find the idea rather exciting and enticing myself, and have to confess I probably would enjoy dressing up in priestly vestments and be Mistress of Ceremonies for a whole host of state occasions.
In case anyone is wondering, my preferred candidate is the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, who has courageously made known his opposition to female bishops and gay marriage.
|The Bishop of London who ought to be the next Archbishop of Canterbury if this country had any moral good sense left.|
It has been mentioned that Nick Baines is one of the contenders but it must be regretfully noted that he has spend his entire career in the exercise of equivocation as one read of his blog http://nickbaines.wordpress.com/ will demonstrate. He says nothing and takes an awfully long time in this process of saying nothing. This country has had enough of people like him who have made equivocation a lifelong career. No more, no more, no more.
|The Bishop of Bradford. He may well be quite popular with the women, and knows how not to offend them, but is this good enough to be next Archbishop of Canterbury? I rather think not.|