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February 7, 2012


The Queen’s Christian Faith Puts our Bishops to Shame

Damian Thompson:

This might seem a strange thing for a Catholic to say, but I often think that the Queen is the most impressive religious leader in Britain. She says little in public about her Christianity, but what she does say – usually at the end of her Christmas Day broadcast – is powerful in its directness.

Having discussed the celebrations, tragedies and anxieties of the past year, the Queen affirms, naturally but unflinchingly and with no attempt at religious relativism, her faith in Jesus Christ.


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10 comments

She picked the ABC.

[1] Posted by paradoxymoron on 2-7-2012 at 10:49 AM · [top]

Indeed a winsome testimony plainly stated. Gloria in excelsis Deo!

And, paradoxymoron, your comment is true, but recall that Jesus picked Judas Iscariot.  Neither the Queen nor Jesus were responsible for the acts of free will committed by either of their choices.

[2] Posted by dwstroudmd+ on 2-7-2012 at 11:01 AM · [top]

She doesn’t pick.  She approves the pick.  She is not as involved as the Prime Minister, or the committee, in all the shenanigans leading toward the choice.

[3] Posted by francis on 2-7-2012 at 11:10 AM · [top]

I don’t fault her in the least for choosing +Rowan Williams to become ABC.  Most folks who had heard or read him experienced his great integration of spiritual and intellectual effort for Christ.  He was attractive in the sense that depth and thought seemed good qualities in a time of controversy and polarization.

He was not well tested as a leader, and those good qualities have not been effective against factions run by manipulators and bullies.  Like many of us, he’s been like that kid in Lord of the Flies , still clinging to the totem of the right to speak while the pack is about to drop a rock on him.

So fault the Queen for poor HR vetting, but not her faith.

[4] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 2-7-2012 at 11:24 AM · [top]

She doesn’t handpick the ABC. I was under the impression that committees pick candidates and suggest 2 names to the Prime Minister who always picks the church’s preferred choice. The Prime Minister then “advises” the Queen as to which candidate to apoint (from the names the church committee has given him). The Queen does not have an active role in the process. The Prime Minister has a much more active role in the choice and even then he simply picks from names handed to him by the CoE.

[5] Posted by ltwin on 2-7-2012 at 11:40 AM · [top]

Her late mother also had a very strong faith in Jesus Christ. Too bad her son wants to be merely “Defender of Faith,” whatever that is.

[6] Posted by sophy0075 on 2-7-2012 at 04:00 PM · [top]

Even ltwin at #5 doesn’t go far enough: The Queen does not “pick” the ABC in any meaningful sense.

[7] Posted by MichaelA on 2-7-2012 at 04:35 PM · [top]

Damien Thompson concludes his article with:

“If only the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Archbishop of Westminster could express themselves with such simple eloquence.”

Well said. That simple profound speech was a profound indictment of the useless froth that some high dignitaries of the church seem to think is a substitute for real theology.

I am very impressed with the current trajectory of the Royal Family.  The Queen’s quiet leadership has been impressive as always, but there are signs from other members of the family as well. Even Charles is showing some positive indications, given that he used to seem completely committed to the wackiest forms of liberalism.

Contrary to what some may think, the royals (even Madge herself) have minimal direct influence on public affairs in Britain, but she and the rest of her family wield a great deal of indirect influence. The same goes for the Church of England - her position as “Supreme Governor” actually means very little in a direct sense. But she can do a lot behind the scenes if she wants to, and I get the feeling that she has been using various peculiar powers (pun intented, for those who know what I am referring to), to good effect.

I suspect Richard Chartres (+London) may have been a force for good in this. He is not everybody’s cup of tea, in fact I am not sure I would want him for my bishop, but he seems to be just what the Royal Family have needed. Perhaps he has helped to give direction and focus to the fundamental christian belief which Her Maj has held since she was a child.

[8] Posted by MichaelA on 2-7-2012 at 04:50 PM · [top]

Looking from across the pond—at a country which went from a majority having church attendance and involvement to now a tiny (less than 4%?)group….in less than a generation’s time, I have to say I wonder how much influence her Majesty can have.  Most of my ancestors hailed from that isle, and the current spiritual state of the UK troubles me greatly.  I would like to believe her queen is a solid Christian—who regularly prays for her people.

I guess we cannot know how much worse it could of been if that were not the case.

[9] Posted by banned4Life on 2-8-2012 at 01:45 AM · [top]

The Queen rides to the rescue of religions in general and the Church of England in particular.

The Times, London
Ruth Gledhill Religion Correspondent
Last updated February 16 2012 8:41AM

The Queen delivered her strongest defence of the Church of England yesterday, describing its role in society as under-appreciated, after a week in which religion has come under intense attack.
Speaking at Lambeth Palace, the London home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, in her first public engagement to mark the Diamond Jubilee, the Queen delivered a rare rebuke to critics of establishment of the Church.
“We should remind ourselves of the significant position of the Church of England in our nation’s life. The concept of our established Church is occasionally misunderstood and, I believe, commonly under-appreciated,” she said.
The Queen, dressed in cardinal red, began her address to the leaders of Britain’s nine main faith traditions by paying tribute to “the particular mission of Christianity and the general value of faith in this country”.
She added: “Its role is not to defend Anglicanism to the exclusion of other religions. Instead, the Church has a duty to protect the free practice of all faiths in this country.”
The Queen said that the gathering was a reminder of how much the nation owed the nine religious traditions represented in the room — Baha’is, Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and Zoroastrians as well as Christians.
“Yet these traditions are also contemporary families of faith. Our religions provide critical guidance for the way we live our lives, and for the way in which we treat each other,” the Queen added. “Many of the values and ideas we take for granted in this and other countries originate in the ancient wisdom of our traditions. Even the concept of a jubilee is rooted in the Bible.”
The Queen, spirited in her defence of the Church, said: “It certainly provides an identity and spiritual dimension for its own many adherents.”
But also the Church of England has created an environment for other faith communities and indeed people of no faith to live freely.
“Woven into the fabric of this country, the Church has helped to build a better society, more and more in active co-operation for the common good with those of other faiths,” she said.
Faith created and sustained communities all over Britain, playing a key role in the identity of millions, provided a system of belief as well as belonging, and acted as a spur for social action, she added.
Religious groups had a proud record of helping those most in need. “They remind us of the responsibilities we have beyond ourselves,” she said.
Dr Rowan Williams told the Queen that she had been able to show that being religious was neither eccentric nor abnormal.
Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, said: “Being established means the Church defends and makes space for all kinds of faith. And it is there not just to protect faith, but also those of no faith.”

I hope Mr Griffiths will welcome the above as a further boost to his admiration of the Supreme Governor of an over-abused institution.

[10] Posted by gweilo on 2-16-2012 at 10:43 AM · [top]

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