"In the deeply painful aftermath of the synod vote last month what was startling was how many people who certainly wouldn't have said yes to the census question turned out to have a sort of investment in the church, a desire to see the church looking credible."I wonder how many of them were in church today and how many of them will be there next Sunday... and how many more will be persuaded to flock to our places of worship when Anglicanism finally achieves credibility in the eyes of the world after the women bishops measure is eventually forced through. One can't help but think that it's the kind of 'investment in the church' on the part of these people to whom the ever-hopeful Archbishop is referring (who, according to the census returns have no religion) which will itself result in a zero return.
The result of the current Anglican establishment's cultural assimilation to the post-Christian culture and their intellectual position of there being 'no enemies on the left' has been to abandon the tradition for the void which is a religionless future.
Only three words of comment: sad and deluded.
I suppose if one Archbishop in a Christmas sermon can try to score points about internal church politics, another can, with much greater justification and credibility, allude to "political" matters of far wider significance. Genuine thanks are due to the Archbishop of Westminster for this critique of the Government's 'Orwellian' approach to its proposals to redefine marriage [reported in The Telegraph here]:
"Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, used his sermon at Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve to accuse ministers of acting to legalise same-sex marriage in defiance of public opinion.
The Coalition has said it will change the law to allow homosexual couples to marry. It says churches that do not wish to hold same sex marriages will not have to, and the Church of England will be excluded from the legislation.
The plans have been criticised by dozens of Conservative MPs, and campaigners opposed to the new law say there is no public support for the change. Roman Catholic leaders have been among the fiercest critics if the plan.
Archbishop Nichols said that the Government consultation on the plan had shown that respondents were "7-1 against same-sex marriage".
He told worshippers that the Government has no mandate for the change and had not followed the proper rules of British democracy.
"There was no announcement in any party manifesto, no Green Paper, no statement in the Queen's Speech. And yet here we are on the verge of primary legislation," he said.
In an apparent reference to the totalitarian state described in the novel 1984, he added:
"From a democratic point-of-view, it's a shambles. George Orwell would be proud of that manoeuvre, I think the process is shambolic..."