Comments: Update on Crown Nominations Commission

A disingenuous announcement. I suppose readers can make their own mind up about when 'autumn' is, but saying 'the work of the Commission continues' is a license to further speculation. The Commission is meant to have done it by now! Maybe there was no decision this week.

Posted by Anthony Archer at Friday, 28 September 2012 at 8:54pm BST

I though a Telegraph journalist was already saying he knew who the next man would be?

If that is what is being said then I think this press release is aimed at precisely that sort of claim.

It actually says nothing. It's intended to spoil and confuse .......

Posted by Martin Reynolds at Saturday, 29 September 2012 at 12:36am BST

If this announcement is not just intended to throw copy hungry journalists off the scent and that, as Ruth Gledhill suggests, the CNC really has "failed" to agree on who they should recommend to be the next ABC - then is it not time to call upon "The Caretaker"? Step forward - Richard Chartres - the Bishop of London.
This would then offer the opportunity for younger - less experienced candidates to mature further in episcoplal ministry before being considered to take on this highly onerous task.
Mind, John XXIII was also considered to be a "caretaker" and just look at the whirlwind that he stirred up!

Posted by Father David at Saturday, 29 September 2012 at 8:49am BST

Pope John Paul II made some changes to the conclave procedures, the most important of which was that after a certain number of rounds of voting (I need to check the details) the required majority falls from 66% to 50% (i.e. a simple majority - actually 50% + 1 of the voting cardinals). In CNC terms that would mean that a group who could muster nine votes (but not the required 11) could hold out in the early voting rounds. If the Canterbury six are united (but negatively so - i.e. we don't want ++Sentamu) there is, as Andrew Goddard says, deadlock. This is all speculation, but it would seem that the voting is divided on all candidates. The answer is to lock the doors and pray more, aided only by bread and water. However, it sounds like they have broken up.

Posted by Anthony Archer at Saturday, 29 September 2012 at 10:12am BST

Have you considered that the fault line could plausibly be "The Caretaker's" 20-year refusal to ordain a single woman to the priesthood, David?

At this stage in the game, and after this year's Anglican Covenant and Women Bishops follies, many people must consider Chartres wholly unacceptable for Canterbury.

Clarification - my remark re the Covenant & Women Bishops votes was not to link either of these to Chartres, but to point out the extent to which the votes on these issues indicate an unwillingness on the part of the Church's "lower" orders - the clergy in particular - to fall in line with decisions by the hierarchy which they consider ill-advised.

Posted by Lapinbizarre/Roger Mortimer at Saturday, 29 September 2012 at 4:07pm BST

I'd like to ask a question about the end of an Archbishop's tenure rather than its beginning: does the Archbishop serve at the pleasure of the Queen, or once he's in is he there til retirement or age 70?

Posted by Bill Dilworth at Saturday, 29 September 2012 at 6:52pm BST

Speculation and supposed leaks about the inner workings aren't really any help to anyone, but if the CNC has got to the point where it can't decide between two candidates, maybe God is telling them to appoint both? Everyone agrees it's an impossible job for one person.

Posted by David Keen at Saturday, 29 September 2012 at 11:09pm BST

Or maybe God is telling them to throw out the expectations and cast the net wider and appoint somebody that no-one has even considered.

Posted by Simon at Sunday, 30 September 2012 at 8:04am BST

Bill: 'does the Archbishop serve at the pleasure of the Queen'

As the statute book stands, the Crown would have great difficulty removing an ABC from office. Any attempt to do so would be open to the accusation that it was "of like nature" to James II's Court of Commissioners for Ecclesiasticall Causes, and was therefore "Illegall and Pernicious" by the Bill of Rights 1688. So to do it, the situation would have to be extreme enough to persuade Parliament to amend the Bill of Rights.

Posted by Feria at Sunday, 30 September 2012 at 1:08pm BST

David K: 'if the CNC has got to the point where it can't decide between two candidates, maybe God is telling them to appoint both?'

One might also say that, if the CNC considers the top two candidates that closely matched, it (further) weakens the case for restricting the Prime Minister's choice to just the first name.

Posted by Feria at Sunday, 30 September 2012 at 1:35pm BST

Postponing retirement after 70?? (ref Richard Chartres' age). I think this is possible if there is a good reason, such as seeing something through (viz lambeth Conference). Anyway Richard Chartres' allowed Bishop Michael Marshall to stay on as Vicar of Holy Trinity Sloane Street for some time after 70, as they were in mid-flow of a restoration project, so there is precedent - does anyone know of any others?

Posted by peter kettle at Sunday, 30 September 2012 at 1:44pm BST

I posted an article about the retirement age for archbishops (and other clergy) earlier this year. Briefly an extension beyond 70 by one year is possible for archbishops and bishops, and two years for parish clergy.

The details are here:

As you say Michael Marshall was given an extension of a year or so, and the current Bishop of Manchester has been given a one-year extension.

Posted by Peter Owen at Sunday, 30 September 2012 at 3:25pm BST

And I believe that the current Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe has also been given a similar extension.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento at Sunday, 30 September 2012 at 4:10pm BST
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