Comments: The Church and Europe

I confess that I cannot get excited about this subject. I remember once voting to join a Common Market. Rarther deceitfully, this has moved on to a union on which we have never had the opportunity to debate. Do we really want a government chiefly through departments staffed with nonelected officials, dictating to us from Brussels, imposing uniformity, sometimes to ridiculous lengths, with evidence of corruption that seems almost taken for granted now as being par for the course.

I'd still be in favour of a common market, and obviously want good relationships with people in other lands, but at present would certainly not wish to take on the rest that we are steadily having imposed upon us.

In any case, it isn't as if there exists any unity. We obey the dictates coming from Brussels, yet it seems that some other nations do preciely what they want.

I have read through the documents the bishop of St Albans refers to, but do not see any reference to a CHRISTIAN take on the subject. Perhaps I've missed it. Nor does Christopher Herbert offer comments of this nature himself. As he is the chairman of the House fo Bishops' Europe panel, it would be interesting to ascertain whether he thinks that the Christian cause has been enhanced in any way as a result of membership of the E.U. I have yet to see anything of this nature coming from this quarter, but again it is possible that I have missed it.

Is there in fact an Anglican point of view on Europe?

Posted by Robert Leggat at Friday, 11 March 2005 at 9:21am GMT

Rober Leggat asks whether there is an Anglican take on Europe.

My impression is that there is a Europe-shaped hole in much Anglican ecclesiology, with Rome pretty much regarded as a parish in the Diocese of Gibraltar (or whatever it's calling itself this week).

So far as secular politics are concerned, I must confess to some ambivalence. In principle, as a socialist and trade unionist, I'm against the EU because of its enshring of the capitalist system as normative. In practice, I would have to concede that Europe does give some valuable protection through social policy which we would not get from a Tory or "New Labour" regime in Britain.

Posted by Alan Harrison at Friday, 11 March 2005 at 5:24pm GMT
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