Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Bishops' wars

Assuming Parliament approves the measure passed by the synod of the Church of England yesterday, a female Anglican bishop should be appointed some time next summer at the end of a battle that has taken up almost half the twenty years since the first women were ordained. I wonder which Prime Minister will chose her, the nominal Anglican David Cameron or the Jewish atheist Ed Miliband?

The Church of England must surely be the only religious institution in the world whose leaders are picked by people who aren't themselves members of it, like the last Prime Minister, the Scottish Presbyterian Gordon Brown. Margaret Thatcher  a Nonconformist turned Anglican  was apparently the most interventionist Prime Minister in episcopal matters, once rejecting both names on the shortlist sent to her by the Church, while Winston Churchill was so uninterested that he let his Parliamentary Private Secretary, the Irish Catholic Brendan Bracken, pick them for him.

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