Comments: employment status of the clergy

Heading for French style "separation of church and state" ? Next it will be headscarf bans, legislation that discriminates against religions, and state controlled church... Dooh! ;-)

Posted by Dave at Saturday, 17 December 2005 at 3:02pm GMT

Was there not some discussion about the loss of freehold being replaced with acceptance of clergy right to go to tribunal?

Posted by Merseymike at Sunday, 18 December 2005 at 1:35am GMT

Merseymike is right. The proposals for common tenure would indeed give the clergy the right to go to employment tribunals. In the five-minute discussion which passed for a "debate" of these proposals at the London Diocesan Synod, there were some priests who were extremely doubtful about the ability of an employment tribunal to deal with the office and work of a priest. (I think they're mistaken, and in any event the government isn't going to wear setting up an entirely different tribunal to deal with the C of E clergy.)

In any event, the lady whose nookie inspired the case under discussion isn't Anglican but a Church of Scotland minister.

Posted by Alan Harrison at Monday, 19 December 2005 at 1:16pm GMT

Yes ; thats what confused me - did the regulations relate to all ministers of all churches?

Posted by Merseymike at Monday, 19 December 2005 at 3:40pm GMT

Merseymike --

I guess establishment is establishment -- I've been told that Queen Victoria was asked why she always spent Christmas & Easter at Balmoral & she repled, "Oh, those are much too happy occasions for a PRAYERBOOK service!"

Posted by Prior Aelred at Tuesday, 20 December 2005 at 2:21am GMT

I thought that the key line from Lord Nicholls was "It was time.. to recognise...etc". Isn't he saying "herewith we bring about a change [in effect] in the law"?

Notwithstanding the hypocrisy of harsher discipline of some leaders compared to others for what the church would theoretically say are identical "sins", if the appointment and discipline of its spiritual leaders and teachers isn't a spiritual matter for the church (or mosque or synagogue or temple) without interference from the state, what is?

If not, it is hard for me to imagine what real effect the churches' autonomy in matters spiritual should have? Surely religious freedom must allow for some differences on ethical and moral issues - even differences that the state disagrees with, or are downright wrong! Or is religious freedom to be relegated to the private sphere?!

Posted by Dave at Thursday, 29 December 2005 at 10:21pm GMT
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