frgavin on November 22nd, 2012

By Peter Mullen

I know what will happen following the Synod’s voting down of the appointment of women as bishops. Indeed it has begun to happen already. Immediately after the result was declared the Archbishop of Canterbury, expressing his “deep personal sadness,” said “This issue must be resolved in the shortest possible time.” But, Archbishop, that is what the vote was for. If it had gone in favour of the motion, you can be sure there would have been no call for further discussion. We know what will happen because it happened in the Synod all through the 1980s votes which rejected women priests: the innovators adopted the time-honoured technique of Trotskyists, Entryists and EU politicians and kept on calling for further votes until they had achieved the result they desired. And there is nothing democratic about that.

What we are now hearing is the death rattle of the English Church, and it is dying of a malady far more serious than women in the episcopate. Last Monday’s vote was only the culmination of a political process which goes back at least as far as the 1840s when, while still an Anglican, John Henry Newman warned that the choice facing the nation is between Christianity and liberalism. By liberalism, he meant secularisation by government edict. And that precisely has been the historical record ever since Newman’s day.

The control of national life, and the determination of the character of this life, has been increasingly dictated by the secular state in accordance with values which have nothing to do with the Christian faith. Back in the 19th century this was exemplified by the government’s abolition of ten bishoprics in Ireland. In 1928 the state again intervened to block the modest and appropriate revision of the Book of Common Prayer. But these suppressions were nothing compared with the state takeover we have experienced in our times.

This is not some paranoid fantasy on my part, the grumbles and sulks of a disaffected traditionalist. Listen instead to the dire warning issued to the Church of England by Frank Field MP.

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