Monday, March 07, 2011

Rowan Williams on the Relations Between Church and State

Last week I went to a lecture at the University of Manchester by the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. The lecture was on the relationship of church and state. The link says there will be a video of the lecture available online, but I don't think it's there yet.

It was of the high standard I would expect of Rowan Williams. He talked a lot about Christian witness in the political arena being based on rejecting the "chaos of selfishness" and based on a different vision of generosity, care for the least etc. All of which I entirely agreed with.

But I couldn't let him get away with it without raising my hand at the end and asking how any of that was consistent with 26 Anglican Archbishops sitting as a matter of right and privelege in the state legislature. His answer wasn't entirely satisactory. I wish I could view the video to check what exactly he did say, as I can't really remember, but it seemed to me to be a bit of a fudge. And I'm sure his shoulders shrugged a bit. I concluded that he would have no objection to bishops getting kicked out of the House of Lords. I do really hope this happens this Parliament.

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