A.N. Wilson: Goodbye, Church of England

Strong words from A.N. Wilson, the prominent Anglican revert, about Pope Benedict’s overture to disaffected Anglican conservatives. Excerpts:

The numbers of practicing Catholics in England is greater than the number of practicing Anglicans. Within a generation, there will probably be more Muslims than practicing Anglicans in the British Isles. Britain will no longer be able to endure the absurdity of the laws relating to the religion of the monarch, the Act of Settlement and Royal Marriages Act, which among other things forbid the sovereign to marry a Catholic. Or the Coronation Oath, which promises to uphold the Protestant religion.
Britain has gone through a truly prodigious change in the last 30 years. It has moved from being a largely white culture with Christianity as its background religion to being a completely secular, multicultural society. The ease and good humor with which this revolution has occurred has made Britain – and especially London – an amazingly interesting place to be right now. A genial secularized liberalism is the new norm. …In such a climate, the Church of England had no chance at all of surviving.

He goes on to explain that the C of E will have to be disestablished, because almost no one believes in it anymore. He goes on.:

The paradox is that a move by a conservative pope to ease the tender consciences of conservative-minded Anglicans will actually be a move toward the complete secularization of Britain, and an acceptance of its new multicultural identity.

Read more: blog.beliefnet.com/crunchycon/2009/10/an-wilson-goodbye-church-of-en.html

"The paradox is that a move by a conservative pope to ease the tender consciences of conservative-minded Anglicans will actually be a move toward the complete secularization of Britain, and an acceptance of its new multicultural identity."Interesting. Wilson’s thinking seems to be that the pope’s easing the way for Anglicans to become Catholic will turn out to be the final nail in the coffin of the established Church–the Church of England. The C of E will end up being disestablished, and without its quasi governmental status, will soon dissolve into molecular and unsustainable pieces.

The Catholic Church though, will not replace it, but rather secularism.

I’m not quite buying the thesis. No doubt Anglicanism is in big trouble. Whether secularism or perhaps Islam becomes the majority religion remains to be seen, although personally I’ll be rooting for Catholicism.

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