TUESDAY
April 11, 2000
volume 11, no. 72
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

LEADER EXPECTS CHURCH OF ENGLAND TO CUT TIES WITH STATE AS FUTURE BRITISH CORONATIONS COULD BECOME MULTI-FAITH

    LONDON (CWNews.com) - Anglican Archbishop George Carey of Canterbury said this weekend he expects the Church of England will eventually be disestablished as the official state church.

    "I expect the Church of England one day to be disestablished," the Sunday Times quoted Carey as saying during a weekend catechetical meeting. The archbishop had previously been on record since 1993 as being opposed to disestablishment.

    "This is a very important development," the paper quoted David Jenkins, former Bishop of Durham and a supporter of disestablishment, as saying. "George Carey is recognizing the fact that we are no longer a Christian country but we need a Christian church for the whole country."

    A spokesman for the Church of England said the archbishop had not changed his position. "There's no call for it (disestablishment)," the spokesman, the Rev. Bill Beaver, said. "But we have to continually prove ourselves, and find out what people want us to do.

    Future British coronations may no longer be an exclusively Christian ceremony as they have been since 973 AD under new government proposals published today.

    A report commissioned by Home Secretary claims that the link between the Church of England and the State causes "religious disadvantage" to other faiths and Christian denominations. It also says the coronation ceremony, conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, in which the monarch vows to uphold the Protestant faith may no longer be appropriate in modern, multi-cultural Britain, it says.

    The report says the exclusive link between Church and state may not be "the best or the most appropriate way forward in terms of the need to embody the principles of equity, inclusivity, and participation in the contemporary plural society of the United Kingdom."

    It continues: "The religious composition of society has changed significantly since the last coronation and the next coronation will therefore highlight a series of very important issues and complexities, which it would be best to begin giving consideration to as soon as possible."

    Researchers criticize the "historically rooted religious disadvantage" to other faiths and Christian denominations caused by the establishment of the Church of England. And they claim that Christianity has had a "privileged presence, sometimes as of right and sometimes as a consequence of tradition" which Judaism, Islam, or Hinduism have not had.

    They also point out that the Human Rights Act, which takes effect in October, specifically protects people from discrimination on the grounds of religion and could lead to legal challenges if nothing is done.

    A Home Office spokesman told today's Daily Telegraph that the report "is being looked at very thoroughly by the Home Office but nothing has been taken on board yet."

          

April 11, 2000
volume 11, no. 72
NEWS & VIEWS

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