Comments: opinion surveys on the Pope's UK visit

The Pope should stay home and tend the needs of the RCC which continues to shoot itself in the foot by its' inept and arrogant handling of the priest sex scandal soap opera.

Posted by Richard at Tuesday, 7 September 2010 at 1:56am BST

I was disgusted when I read in the Catholic Herald that the Papal entourage were staying in 5 star hotels at the cost of nearly £300 a night. I shall not be contributing at the Church door.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Tuesday, 7 September 2010 at 6:36am BST

I am rather pleased that many people dont realise the Queen is Head of the Church of England, since she isn't! Quite why the fact she holds the title "Supreme Governor" hasn't sunk in,despite the fact that the monarch has held this title for 450 yrs, even among moderately educated opinion is something of a mystery. But then,fortunately most people in the pews are happily unconcerned by the Anglican Communion culture wars. Not quite sure what this IPSOS Mori poll really contributes.

Posted by Perry Butler at Tuesday, 7 September 2010 at 12:10pm BST


Maybe you are acquiring a bit of sense? The behaviour you rightly condemn can't be separated out from the whole thing. Come back - we will welcome you,


Posted by john at Tuesday, 7 September 2010 at 12:13pm BST

'Supreme Governor' or 'Head', they mean the same thing, Perry. Henry VIII and Edward VI were titled Head of the Church. When Elizabeth I became Head, the title was changed to Supreme Governor to placate those who believed that women could not be the head of anything.

Posted by Terence Dear at Tuesday, 7 September 2010 at 2:39pm BST

@Robert: The travel expenses (which probably has at least something to do with the security arrangements possible at a hotel that caters to the rich) don't bother me nearly as much as the admission charge, which seems like barely veiled simony.

Posted by Bill Dilworth at Tuesday, 7 September 2010 at 5:18pm BST

You omit Mary 1st Terence..who of course as Head of the Church used the Royal Supremacy to bring England back into the papal fold.( One of the reasons for causing Cranmer such anguish since he had such a lofty conception of the Royal Supremacy).The change of title surely had significance not least in getting the Elizabethan Settlement through Parliament in 1559. Elizabeth did not attempt to exercise the Supremacy in the way her father did, though she used it effectively to block further religious change and if she hadnt Anglicanism as it emerged would never have happened so perhaps we should be grateful to her.Certainly the present monarch can hardly be said to "head" the Church of England in the way the Pope "heads" the Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by Perry Butler at Tuesday, 7 September 2010 at 5:42pm BST

Thank you for your kind words John. However I am quite happy as a Catholic. Whilst I am loyal to the teachings of the Church, I feel one can be loyally critically of crass actions like this.

Blind loyalty is symptomatic of a cult.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Tuesday, 7 September 2010 at 8:21pm BST

Of course the Queen doesn't head up the CofE in the same way as the Pope is head of the Roman Church. Any more than she is head of the UK and her other realms in the same way as the Pope is head of the Vatican City State. That's obvious. The Queen is a constitutional monarch and her powers - spiritual, ecclesiastical and temporal - are executed in her name by democratic institutions.

Nevertheless, however irrelevant the Queen's constitutional position may be to most people today, I am one of those who believe that the proposed Anglican Covenant will have constitutional implications and will need to be incorporated into UK law by an Act of Parliament, unless of course the CofE in the meantime is dis-Established and the Royal Supremacy abolished.

Posted by Terence Dear at Wednesday, 8 September 2010 at 10:12am BST
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