Comments: next Archbishop of Canterbury

Me thinks that the Guardian Leading article is being a tad premature in saying that whoever moves into Lambeth Palace is likely to crown our next king. Her Majesty is currently onto her twelfth Prime Minister running from Churchill to Cameron. The next Archbishop of Canterbury will be her seventh in succession to Fisher, Ramsey, Coggan, Runcie, Carey and Williams. If York (62), Chartres (64) or Norwich (62) are appointed and have to go aged 70 - then, God willing, I fully expect Queen Elizabeth, following in the footsteps of her mother's longevity, to have at least an eighth Archbishop of Canterbury during her reign. It's quite disrespectful of The Guardian to make such a comment - especially in this Diamond Jubilee Year. Let us hope and pray that in ten years time we shall all be celebrating Her Majesty's Platinum Jubilee. Now that would be a first!
"Long may she reign".

Posted by Father David at Monday, 28 May 2012 at 5:31pm BST

I can think of no greater way to address the injustice done to women in the Church over two thousand years than to consecrate the next ABC a woman. The fact that men in positions of power would do everything possible to make sure a woman is never appointed a bishop yet alone the ABC, makes it all the more important to right a two thousand year old wrong. Talk about protecting the "turf" of the "old boy's network" ! Again and again, I see so many parallels in the Anglican and Roman Catholic hierarchies in the way they exercise their power. Women need to be moved into the highest leadership positions now and not at some future century when men are comfortable with such changes. It's so unfair to the talented women who would become great bishops and leaders.

Posted by Chris Smith at Monday, 28 May 2012 at 5:59pm BST

".....this charismatic, headline-grabbing cleric [Sentamu] is first preference for the liberal/Catholic/High wing."


Posted by Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer at Monday, 28 May 2012 at 6:28pm BST

Does Thinking Anglicans know whether or not they plan to interview?

Posted by Wilf at Monday, 28 May 2012 at 10:09pm BST

It is somewhat astonishing (if true) that the CNC needs to meet three times, with the final meeting not being until September. It is difficult to fathom what they will discern over the next three months that they do not already know. As foreshadowed in my letter to The Times of 17 March, this is a recipe for further ridiculous speculation and leaks during the silly season. If they are going to interview candidates, that will add to the pressure on confidentiality. Why not just get on with it rather than give the process an aura and mystique that it does not deserve. And by the way, the notion that the next Archbishop will officiate at the next Coronation (per the Guardian today) is fatuous in the extreme. This will be the Queen's seventh archbishop and she has outlived four of them!

Posted by Anthony Archer at Monday, 28 May 2012 at 10:31pm BST

It would be far too rude of me to ask Her Majesty, the Queen, how old she is, me being a commoner from across the Pond.
But, Google says she was born April 21, 1926.
The Queen had her coronation on the day before I surprised my mom by being born six weeks early, but somehow the Queen has managed to overcome that handicap, and carry on.
She is 86 years old, according to my calculations.
While I most heartily wish that she has many more years to long reign over her subjects, happily and gloriously, actuarial tables are against her.
Therefore, it may very well be that, depending on how long it takes an Archbishop of Canterbury to be selected by the CNC, suggested to the monarch, confirmed by Parliament (I assume Parliament has a role), and given his official and ceremonial swearing in, the new ABC may indeed swear in the next monarch.
But, ...
This yank cheekily wonders whether that monarch will be Charles or William?

Posted by peterpi - Peter Gross at Tuesday, 29 May 2012 at 1:35am BST

The Malnick article is laughable. Besides taking the "orthodox" at their own estimation, the assertion that anybody in the future would be the CofE's "first homosexual bishop" is absurd. That post was long ago taken, anonymous though the exact title holder may be.

Posted by Bill Dilworth at Tuesday, 29 May 2012 at 2:27am BST

Interviews for Cantuar - how very vulgar. Alternatively the CNC could always draw lots. Well if it was good enough for Matthias .....

Posted by Father David at Tuesday, 29 May 2012 at 5:46am BST

Peterpi, such lèse majesté may be acceptable in the Rebel Colonies, or in the heathenish pages of the Guardian, but those of us who are what Hillary Mantel calls 'respectable people' show a proper deference towards gra reg fid def, and do not engage in treasonous "calculations".

Moreover, anyone speculating about how many more Archbishops Her Maj might yet get through should consider the statistics:

Archbishops deprived or murdered by monarchs: at least 5 (by my count)
Monarchs deposed or murdered by archbishops: possibly 1

Clearly, the royals have form. I'm not saying the Queen will have the next Archbishop killed, I'm just saying I wouldn't be at all surprised if she did.

Posted by rjb at Tuesday, 29 May 2012 at 7:38am BST

The Guardian "doth compass or imagine the death of our lord the King." Or dost they get a pass because she is only a woman?

Posted by Steve Lusk at Tuesday, 29 May 2012 at 12:19pm BST

Peter Stanford is under the impression that the Prime Minister no longer has a free choice from the two names put forward by the CNC. I knew there was a green paper in 2007 that _proposed_ a change in the law to that effect, but I didn't think the change in the law proposed by the green paper ever actually happened. Can anyone shed any light?

Posted by Feria at Tuesday, 29 May 2012 at 5:32pm BST

If the Queen lives as long as her mother, she may well outlive the next ABC. It's quite offensive to hear a joke about whether the next King will be Charles or William, assuming that Charles will still be living when his mother dies. Charles and Camilla have just visited Canada (I'm a Canadian) and they were well received. They are not young, beautiful media stars, but those are not requirements to inherit the Throne. Charles has many wonderful qualities and he has been quite prescient and thoughtful.

Posted by Richard Grand at Tuesday, 29 May 2012 at 10:41pm BST

Good point. The PM could probably insist on having two candidates to choose from - if he wanted to!

Posted by RevDave at Tuesday, 29 May 2012 at 10:46pm BST

rjb on Tuesday, 29 May 2012 at 7:38am BST, that was delightful! It made my day.
I suspect that, at times, modern royals would have loved to have had the ability of the earlier ones, LOL.

Posted by peterpi - Peter Gross at Wednesday, 30 May 2012 at 4:06am BST

Canadian Richard seems to take exception over his American cousin, Peter's innocent little jest about who will succeed Elizabeth II. Unless the Law is altered prior to the present queen's demise (long may that day be delayed) then the answer clearly is Charles. The moment Her Majesty takes her final breath then it will be - "The Queen is dead - long live the King" The present queen became monarch the instant George VI died.
Of course, if the Prince of Wales were to predecease his mother - then the crown would be William's. However, twice in the last century the crown has been placed on the head of the second son. Edward VII first born son Albert Victor (who was wrongly accused of being Jack the Ripper) died in his twenties and so the crown went to George V(known to the present queen as "Grandpapa England"). We all know that David chose Wallis rather than the throne (even though Churchill proposed that he remain king with Mrs. Simpson being deprived of the title queen becoming the Duchess of Cornwall instead) and his brother Bertie became George VI in his stead.
So - if the self-professed "yank" wanted to be as cheeky as this limey - he might have further wondered whether the next monarch will be Charles, William or Henry?

Posted by Father David at Wednesday, 30 May 2012 at 6:27am BST

The PM has no choice in the order of names offered. The second name is only case there is an unknown problem with the first - don't want the job, fail medical or CRB check, etc!

Posted by Susan Cooper at Wednesday, 30 May 2012 at 6:33am BST

Susan, Mrs. Thatcher went for the second name when the two names in order of clear preference were Habgood and Carey. The then Archbishop of York would have been a worthy successor to Saint Augustine - but the Iron Lady, alas, went for the then Bishop of Bath and Wells and we all know to our certain cost what a disaster that proved to be.

Posted by Father David at Wednesday, 30 May 2012 at 7:50am BST

Peter Stanford's article, in his last paragraph, revealed the fact that Andrew Carey has written to the Church of England newspaper with is thoughts about where the blame lies for the present lack of unity in the Anglican Communion.

The tragedy is, that the seed was sown with the enactment of Lambeth 1:10, presided over by none other than Archbishop George Carey. If certain African Primates had been more ready to listen to the Western Churches' call for justice for the LGBT community, then Lambeth 1:10 may have been less contentiously worded - so as to allow for proper discussion between the Provinces of the Anglican Communion of the moral defensibility of simply 'Being Gay'.

The horror of homosexuality exhibited by certain of the African Provinces has been the root cause of the defection of ACNA and GAFCON - whose own sodality has threatened the traditionally open ethos of Anglicanism - to the point of schism, with the alternative conservative breakaway churches rallying under the banner of the oddly-named 'Jerusalem Statement'.

Archbishop Rowan may have made mistakes in the van of his decision to bar the ordination of Jeffrey John as a Bishop in the Church of England, but the rot started with his predecessor - setting up the adversarial climate of Lambeth 1:10.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 30 May 2012 at 10:53am BST

@ Feria and @ Susan Cooper: appointments of diocesan bishops remain Crown appointments. While technically the PM retains the power to decide, Gordon Brown announced (in the 2007 document The Governance of Britain - not a Green Paper as such - para. 63) that Downing Street would adopt the convention that has long been in operation re suffragan bishops, namely that henceforth he would only ask for one name. There is normally a second name that has commanded the necessary support of the CNC, but I fail to understand why and have always assumed that the 'second name' does not know that he (for it must still be a man) was runner-up. Until the CNC started interviewing candidates, there was always the possibility that the 'successful candidate' might have declined the nomination, for whatever reason, hence the prudent measure of having a second name.

Posted by Anthony Archer at Wednesday, 30 May 2012 at 11:06pm BST

Do we know what HM's Churchmanship is?

Posted by Bill Dilworth at Thursday, 31 May 2012 at 7:02pm BST

H.M's preference is for Prayer Book Matins.

Posted by Father David at Thursday, 31 May 2012 at 8:29pm BST

In answer to Bill - above:

Is Her Majesty not still, by papal declaration, England's 'Fidei Defensor' (Defender of The Faith)?

Or is that one of Rome's few withdrawal's from 'Papal Infallibility'?

(Perhaps R.I.W. could answer this)

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 1 June 2012 at 11:32am BST

In answer to Ron's question regarding the title "Fidei Defensor."

In the midst of the unpleasantness between Roma and England in the latter years of Henry's reign, the Pope did award the title to James V of Scotland - although it isn't entirely clear that doing so in anyway deprived Henry VIII of England. Either way, the title continues with the current monarch - who must surely be Franz von Wittelsbach.

Posted by Malcolm French+ at Saturday, 2 June 2012 at 5:18am BST

Having heard Rowan's brilliant sermon at the Diamond Jubilee Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul's on the theme of "Dedication" - it is becoming more and more apparent as to the great loss the Established Church will experience when he retires from the position of Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of this year. If that mighty word didn't make the politicians squirm in their seats - then I don't know what would.

Posted by Father David at Tuesday, 5 June 2012 at 6:54pm BST
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