Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Forsaking All Other?

The decision to invite Michael Curry to preach at the Royal Wedding, and the enthusiastic welcome that it has been given by Justin Welby, demonstrate that the connection to the Royal Family has been liberalising the Church of England from day one.

There is a reason why Luther and Tyndale supported Catherine of Aragon against Henry VIII. There is a reason why Tyndale went to his death rather than return to the England that Henry was by then creating. There is a reason why the robustly Protestant supporters of Lady Jane Grey sought to write Elizabeth as well as Mary ought of the Succession. 

And there is a reason why, once anyone started to check in the middle of the nineteenth century, 50 per cent of Protestant churchgoers in England were found to be attending churches other than that Established by law, as everyone already knew, anyway. That proportion would be even higher now, although of course the absolute figure would be far lower.

An Archbishop of Canterbury will perform a same-sex marriage in this generation, because a member of the Royal Family will want one. In, of course, the unmistakable cadences of the Book of Common Prayer, since the Royal Family will have nothing else. It was written to give the Royal Family whatever marital arrangements they happened to want. All else, however real, is fundamentally incidental.

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