Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Church and State Revisited

Here are two thought-provoking takes on my really long post yesterday. One is from John Allen, who takes a more analytical approach to the issue of legal recognition of homosexual civil unions as it pertains to both Europe and the U.S., especially places with large Catholic populations. His point of departure, as was mine yesterday, is the adoption ruckus in the U.K., on which he comments. Secondly, is an interview given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, to the BBC as to why he and the Anglican Archbishop of York came out publicly in favor of the British government granting the Roman Catholic Church in the U.K. an exemption to the "Equality Act," which passed Parliament in 2006. The Act bans discrimination against gays, including in adoption rights. Upon the law's passage, Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, wrote to the Blair government requesting that Catholic agencies be exempted. After a weekend of Cabinet-level negotiations, PM Blair announced Monday that the church would not be exempt, but could have 21 months to make the transition.

Dr. Williams hits the nail on-the-head when he says: "I think what’s at stake ultimately is whether the church is answerable finally to the State as the only court of appeal or whether the church can rightly appeal to other sources for its moral compass and whatever one’s views on this particular issue." Well and concisely stated.

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