Thursday, 14 February 2013

"The Bishop of Rome Hath No Jurisdiction in This Realm of England"

As Peter Hitchens reminds us, while emphasising that the foreign threat to our sovereignty today is not from there. One might add that there are many more than one.

Article XXXVII is entitled Of the Civil Magistrates. In addition to much else, most of it truistic, almost at the end it denies to the Pope any civil jurisdiction in England. He at least arguably did not claim any then, and he certainly does not claim any now.

As a strong Unionist and English patriot, Hitchens is doubtless aware that the Catholic Church is the single largest religious organisation in Scotland, in Wales these days, in Northern Ireland, in the North of England, and in the Midlands. She massively predominates in many areas of each of those. In all of those areas apart from Wales and possibly the Midlands, this has probably been true throughout living memory, and it has certainly been so for many decades now.

I expect that the same is also true of London; if not, then it would now be the black-led churches, the no-nonsense pastors of which are being courted as candidates both by Labour and by Respect. Perhaps, and without wishing to diminish the powerful philosophical case that she published the next day, that was one of the reasons why Sarah Teather voted to uphold traditional marriage. She had seen from where the challenge to her seat of Brent Central was going to come. I hope that such MPs will come in costume, and will do the full hand gestures, when they deliver exactly the speeches for which Parliament is crying out.

And Hitchens is also one of us who regrets the partition of the United Kingdom in 1922. What does he imagine that a United Kingdom encompassing the whole of the Archipelago would have been like? Or might be like in the future?

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