So, THE Prime Minister has nominated the next Archbishop of Canterbury for approval by the Queen from a list of two candidates put forward to him by the Crown Nominations Commission. The new archbishop will sit in the House of Lords and contribute to the making of laws for Scotland, like the other bishops of the Church of England who, uniquely for any religion, sit in that house.
Were Scottish independence to be achieved, this anomaly would be removed but the archbishop, or one of his successors appointed this same way would, under the SNP’s current proposals for an independent Scotland, still crown the UK monarch, who would continue to be the head of state of Scotland and the rest of the UK.
Clearly, some thought is required by the proponents of Scottish independence in order to abide by the decision of the Scottish Parliament of 1999 to end the current anti-Catholic religious discrimination in the succession to the throne and shape a Scottish monarchy more in accord with contemporary social values.
Hopes are high that Justin Welby will be a liberal Archbishop of Canterbury, but it seems that he still has “conservative views on homosexuality and equal marriage”.
The public process of appointing this post involves the Prime Minister calling the Queen to gain her “approval”, all of which reminds us of the establishment of the Church of England.
It is one thing for the Church of England to enjoy the right to speak its mind on any issue of its choosing, but quite another for the state in all its forms to be seen to sign off to this continued discrimination.
We are acutely reminded here of the need to separate the church from the state, which belongs to us all.