Apparently England is on a brink of a constitution crisis. All papers today are highlighting the likely consequences to the Church of England, if the Government’s plans to redefine the institution of marriage to include same-sex unions, contrary to the official teaching of Church, as established by Act of Parliament. Archbishop Cranimer believes that the legislation for same-sex marriage is the shallow proposal of a disingenuous government intent on an unsatisfactory and ill-considered reform . Furthermore Cranimer believes that such changes will undermine the integrity of church -which is exactly what people behind the gay agenda really want.
This is likely (Cranimer adds) to result in a constitutional crisis: as human rights legislation forces the Church of England to treat homosexual couples in the same way as heterosexual couples, we are on the path to disestablishment as the Supreme Governor becomes embroiled in the mightiest church-state battle in centuries. In a well written post he expounds:
At her Coronation [the Queen] swore the Oath:
Archbishop: Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?
Queen: All this I promise to do.
According to the Laws of God and the Protestant Reformed Religion, marriage is a union between a man and a woman. According to the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government of the Church of England it is ‘an honourable estate, instituted of God in the time of man’s innocency, signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church’. Insofar as Her Majesty swore to preserve the rights and privileges of the Bishops and Clergy of England, she cannot give her Royal Assent either to a Bill of Parliament which would oblige her ministers to perform same-sex matrimonial services, or to one which seeks to disestablish the Church.
In such a scenario, would she pragmatically sign in order to avoid a crisis? One might hope that she, like George III, would tell her government:
“Where is the power on earth to absolve me from the observance of every sentence of that Oath, particularly the one requiring me to maintain the Protestant Reformed Religion? Was not my family seated on the Throne for that express purpose, and shall I be the first to suffer it to be undermined, perhaps overturned? No, No, I had rather beg my bread from door to door throughout Europe, than consent to any such measure. I can give up my crown and retire from power. I can quit my palace and live in a cottage. I can lay my head on a block and lose my life, but I cannot break my Oath. If I violate that Oath, I am no longer legal Sovereign in this country”
Excerpt from Cranimer.
If you are British you can tell the Government directly that you oppose it’s plans to re-define marriage (in 60 seconds) here! The Government Equalities Office is holding a public consultation on same-sex marriage. It closes on Thursday 14 June.