Monday, 11 September 2017

In Spite of Dungeon, Fire and Sword

I have received many emails about my previous posts on Jacob Rees-Mogg and all that. Thank you, one and all.

First, yes, Martin Luther and the exiled William Tyndale supported Catherine of Aragon against Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. The existing Protestant leadership on the Continent knew Henry of old, and not in a good way. In any case, it could see perfectly well who occupied the moral high ground in this case. In the circumstances of the Church of England's creation can be seen the roots of its ambivalent relationship with wider Protestantism, and of successive Evangelical secessions from the Church of England, one or more of which are just about due now.

Secondly, as several people have pointed out, not only did the Church of England keep its bishops in the House of Lords only after Michael Ramsey agreed to back down, more or less, over what became the 1967 Abortion Bill, but it did so again only after the bishops agreed not to make too much of a fuss over same-sex marriage. And that was under David Cameron. In any case, the public reception of the Reverend Richard Coles on Strictly Come Dancing will see the Church of England performing, or at least blessing, same-sex marriages well within the next five years. If it had not been that, then it would have been something else.

And thirdly, quite apart from the fact that of course Jacob Rees-Mogg was never going to become the Leader of the Conservative Party (don't be silly), there is the fact that nothing about him says "Catholic" at all. Readers in the United States, imagine that someone arose as the purported Leader of Catholic America from one of the mansions of the Deep South. It just wouldn't work. The response would be, "wrong region, wrong class, wrong party." So it is here: "wrong region, wrong class, wrong party." But it was not as if Jacob Rees-Mogg was ever going to become the Leader of the Conservative Party, anyway. Don't be silly.


  1. Wrong region wrong class wrong party? Haha!

    You make the Catholic Church sound like a Marxist formation, instead of a Christian institution.

    Don't be so preposterous.

    1. In any discussion of Jacob Rees-Mogg, it is obvious who is preposterous.

      "Well, he certainly doesn't sound like any Catholic I've ever met," would be, and already is, a very familiar refrain. Wrong region. Wrong class. Wrong party.