Primate elect sets out liberal stall

Church of Ireland Primate-elect Alan Harper has nailed his personal colours to the liberal mast, publicly backing the disestablishment of the Church of England and removal of the Act of SettlementPS I am looking feedback on my blogging here.

  • They soooooo have to get a better picture of Alan.

  • smcgiff

    ‘They soooooo have to get a better picture of Alan.’

    Use of less light would be a start! 😉

    Actually, he looks a very amiable chap. Best of luck to him.

  • He is a very amiable chap. That’s just a terrible photo, Seamus.

  • I think we can see him very clearly through these comments.

    I wonder why he subscribes to the 39 Articles of Faith when he simultaneously opposes the consequences of such? I mean, isn’t that a tad hypocritical or do liberals always get a pass?

    It’s interesting to watch the COE/COI slump into full on post-Christian mode. One presumes that Mr Harper feels we have to “move on” with regard to some of those Biblical truths that so offend the liberal mindset. A predictable choice from an increasingly apostate Church.

  • smcgiff

    Reformation of the Reformation, David?

  • George

    Am I missing something here but how is backing disestablishment make you a liberal or, God forbid, a post Christian?

  • middle-class taig

    Fair play. Much better than his preecessor.

  • abucs

    William and Harry would have lots more choices !!

  • Stiofán de Buit

    Seems like a good sort, and despite Mr Vance’s comments, I can’t see any evidence in that article that he is ‘moving on’ from ‘Biblical Truths’, unless there’s an oblique reference to the Establishment of the Church of England somewhere in the more obscure parts of Deuteronomy.

  • Jesus Christ

    Will he stop calling the Anglican Church in Ireland the Church of Ireland? This is an outfit with a very blemished record against the Irish. Harper or whatever he calls himself could begin by returning the two cathedrals in Dublin to their rightful owners.
    His predecessor, Eames, was a die hard Unionist as this guy probably is as well. He should wear a bell around his neck.

  • These are twittish comments. The man hasn’t even taken up his post and he is already wants to unravel 300 years of a stable constitutional settlement. Disestablishment of the CoE has enormous political implications and could not be done easily. Besides, when the Anglican Communion is already rocking in all directions, it seems the oddest of stances for an Anglican prelate to take. Come back Robin, all is forgiven.

  • is an outfit with a very blemished record against the Irish.

    Ah, so the Church of Ireland isn’t Irish. Riiiight, I see where you’re coming from now.

    His predecessor, Eames, was a die hard Unionist as this guy probably is as well. He should wear a bell around his neck.

    The frightening thing is ‘Jesus’ that I can almost believe you would make people wear bells around their necks… after all your pals with the similar ideology in Slovakia, Croatia and the like during the Second World War. Then again, the vast majority of Catholics in Ireland have no interest in your sort of clerical fascism so why worry.

    And as you and David Vance seem so keen, in your different ways, to regard us as a crowd of heretics, would you mind letting us, you know, run our own affairs. Many thanks.

  • Way Icit

    I wish you well Alan. Leadership is a tough business, even in the church.

    After sorting out the Church of England, just a few local issues for your ‘to do’ list:-

    1.Change the name – the Church of Ireland was disestablished in 1869 and no longer exists, is 137 years not long enough to get the letter heading and notice boards sorted?

    2.Remove those silly hats and gowns – time they were placed in the Armagh Museum where they belong.

    3.Purge all those pompous titles – hardly in keeping with the 21st Century Church or indeed the 1st Century Church for that matter.

    Those will give you sleepless nights for a while, but think of the Blessed Reward!

  • Fergus D

    Seems to be this guy has made perfect;y reasonable and sensible long overdue suggestions. It is ridiculous to have a state religion. Is there any other country in Europe that has this formal link between Church and State? It is a hangover from the religious conflicts of past times. Bin it. Most English are not CoE anymore now, not in any meaningful sense. There is no justification for it at all, and it is an affront to many. The 1944 Education Act needs amending too, to get rid of the rquirement for “An Act of Christian Worship” in schools (Blair didn’t bin it did he? I would surprised if he did).

  • Nevin

    Why did he pull his punches on the Dublin front?

    “Referring to the controversy over a new national children’s hospital in Dublin, he expressed concern at the direction decision-making process in the issue was taking and its implications for Tallaght hospital.”

  • Is there any other country in Europe that has this formal link between Church and State?

    I think: Denmark, England, Finland, Norway, Scotland and Spain.

  • Hi Sammy,

    If you actually owned Slugger, then I might pay attention to what you request. However, if it really is the sincere wish of the majority of Slugger posters that I refrain from comment here, then fine.

  • Sammy Morse

    Now don’t get into a hissy fit, David. You can post whatever you like. I wonder who you want to post anything about what you obviously consider to be an apostate church.

  • Crumpet

    This is a non-story. He was hardly going to say, “I think taigs shouldn’t be allowed to become Queen.” Big deal. If you think this guy is capable of clarity have a listen to the long interview with him on Sunday Sequence last week when he danced around the head of a pin for 20 minutes trying to avoid taking a view on the issues his church is fighting about (namely, whether to continue to abuse homosexuals or join the 21st century). It’s a smokescreen.

  • Sammy,

    Erm…BECAUSE it is an apostate Church and anyone with a passing familiarity with the Bible (Which may or may not include Mr Harper)will understand it is right and proper to point such hypocrisy out. Even…gasp…on Slugger.

  • Unfair, “Crumpet”. I don’t know if you are a member of the church of Ireland, but I heard that interview and I thought Alan Harper did very well under some pressure. These are not easy matters for a church leader to address. He deserves credit. Those who think he said nothing worth reporting should look at the link I include here which summarises what he DID say. Here’s was a new archbishop saying on BBC radio that he thought same-sex relationships were a blessing to those in those relationships. That’s actually quite a step forward for the church and a sign of a progressive mind. I applaud the archbishop.

  • Joanna Meyer

    Just read David Vance’s latest comment. Perhaps he should listen to that interview I’ve linked in my name and get back to us when he’s informed.

  • Joanna,

    I think Mr Harper should read the 39 Articles of Faith and get back to us when HE is better informed.

  • Kathy_C

    posted by Kathy C

    Hi all,

    I have been saying for years to the sinn fein leadership and on this site that Irish republicans should politically go after to defeat the british monarch…and a way to do it is to workk to have the act of settlement overturned. I’m been called all sorts of names on this site and at sinn fein…however,,,, it seems that it is going to happen sooner or later. Rather ironic that the new primate-elect thinks it should go and is speaking out about it while Irish Republicans like adams/mcguiness remain silent….and worse…working to get republicans to take an oath to the british gov’t….aka crown.
    Oh look….who’s right…ME…and who looks foolish…sinn fein. I feel like crowing and know that gerry adams is rather irked by my and my sister’s success in getting others to get rid of this racist anti-catholic act.

  • Erm…BECAUSE it is an apostate Church and anyone with a passing familiarity with the Bible

    Anyone with a passing familiarity with the Bible would support gay marriage.

  • Way Icit

    I am very much in favour of the disestablishment of the CoE and the removal of the ban on a Roman Catholic ascending the throne. State religion is a curse and discrimination against R C folk completely unacceptable.

    I do however have a problem. I understand that the present position of the R C church is that if William married an RC that that itself would lead to a perpetually exclusive RC monarchy, which would be just as unacceptable as the present arrangement. According to canon law any children would have to be brought up RC leading to a permanently assured RC dynasty.

    Is that true?

  • kensei

    “Rather ironic that the new primate-elect thinks it should go and is speaking out about it while Irish Republicans like adams/mcguiness remain silent.”

    Why should Irish republicans give two stuffs about how the BRITISH state runs?

    “Is that true?”

    It’s what the Church wants. I think you have to promise if the Church marries a mixed couple. Which is a promise people can and have broken, and it is unthinkable that William wouldn’t be married by the CoE anyway.

  • Sammy,

    You think the Bible preaches gay marriage? How uniquely perceptive you are, have you considered a career in the COI?

  • have you considered a career in the COI?

    Funnily enough, I did once. I think my rather overt homosexuality would rule me out, though.

  • Sammy,

    Well, it hasn’t hurt Gene Robinson, has it? Maybe you need to add a little colour to the COI?

    I would have thought a profound belief in Biblical beliefs, a meek acceptance of the 39 article of faith, and a sense of mission were the essential criteria – though it did’t hurt Eames not having any of these. I say go for it – Sammy, time to run a stake through any residual claim to Biblical truth that the COI labours under.

  • Stiofán de Buit

    DV

    Unlike some “churches”, you’ll find Anglicanism worships the living God, not the Bible.

  • Aaron McDaid

    Way Icit: According to canon law any children [of RC parents] would have to be brought up RC leading to a permanently assured RC dynasty.

    Not true. The children will be free to choose their religion no matter what their parent’s religion, just like anybody else. Parents of any religion will try to make their children believe the same religion.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if half the atheists in NI were children of a pair of RC parents.

    RC canon law is just RC canon law – it’s just a religious recommendation there to be broken when people don’t believe any more. The parents will like break other recommendations anyway, such as the recommendation not to use birth control.

  • Sammy Morse

    I would have thought a profound belief in Biblical beliefs, a meek acceptance of the 39 article of faith, and a sense of mission were the essential criteria

    I’m with you on the biblical beliefs and the sense of mission, I’d also add a profound commitment to the Church Catholic.

    However, the 39 Articles are just a 16th Century political compromise which don’t even say what conservative Evangelicals like yourself think they say; they were written to be pretty much be read whatever way one wanted other than the bits aimed at instilling loyalty to the state. Read, for example, Fr. E J Bicknell’s A Theological Introduction to the 39 Articles. They should have been dumped into the scrap heap of history centuries ago.

    Well, it hasn’t hurt Gene Robinson, has it?

    New Hampshire is not Newry.

  • Sammy,

    “New Hampshire is not Newry” amen to that!

    The 39 Articles of Faith may not be good enough for Mr Harper, they were good enough for Thomas Cranmer. We’ll have to differ as to which of these men properly understand the Protestant faith.

    The problem you have is that whilst you may feel them anachronistic, they are central to Anglicanism and Harper SWORE loyalty to upholding them. A principle man would refuse to do so IF he felt they were wrong.