Conservatives question Liberals on CNC Panel

The panel chosen to appoint the next Archbishop of Canterbury is facing claims that it is dominated by clerics who reject orthodox teaching.

Archbishop selection panel 'dominated by liberals’

Rowan Williams , The Archbishop of Canterbury Photo: Christopher Pledger

By Edward Malnick

8:10AM BST 27 May 2012

The committee is unfairly balanced in favour of liberals who support “revisionist” moves such as the appointment of homosexual bishops, traditionalists have warned.

Their intervention came as the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC) met behind closed doors last week for the first in a series of meetings to decide the successor to Dr Rowan Williams.

Orthodox clergy fear that influential liberals on the panel will swing votes away from the Archbishop of York and the Bishop of Coventry, prominent conservatives who have been widely tipped for the post.

Dr Richard Chartres, the traditionalist Bishop of London, is also back in the running, as he pulled out of elections to the CNC which would have excluded him from being considered.

The most senior member of the commission is Dr Barry Morgan, the Archbishop of Wales, who has said he would be prepared to appoint Britain’s first homosexual bishop.


This Telegraph article, by Edward Malnick, voices the fears of a minority of conservative members of the Church of England (and other Anglican Communion conservatives) that there is a bias in favour of a liberal appointment to the Canterbury Primacy – proven by the composition of the CNC (Crown Nominations Commission) – appointed to select the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

What the conservatives are, of course, hoping is that the CNC will appoint someone like the Archbishop of York, or the Bishop of Coventry, both of whom are regarded by them as ‘safe’ from the taint of liberal tendencies within the Church – or even, perhaps, the Bishop of London, whose conservatism on several issues,  especially his advocacy for the provision of ‘alternative episcopal oversight’ for the anti-women-bishops minority in the Church, is well-known.

It seems that F.i.F. and other conservatives in the Church are determined to do whatever is in their power to block any of the more liberal initiatives to open up the ministry of the Church of England to Women and Gays; so that their desire to block any appointment of a liberal Archbishop of Canterbury will be seen to predominate in the news coverage in the months ahead.

In this Season of Pentecost in the Church, one can only pray for enlightenment in the hearts and minds of all who have any connection with the election process, so that God’s sovereign will might be done in this matter.  “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your Faithful with the fire of God’s love, though Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!”

Father Ron Smith, Christchurch, New Zealand

About kiwianglo

Retired Anglican priest, living in Christchurch, New Zealand. Ardent supporter of LGBT Community, and blogger on 'Thinking Anglicans UK' site. Theology: liberal, Anglo-Catholic & traditional. regarding each person as a unique expression of Christ, and therefore lovable.
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2 Responses to Conservatives question Liberals on CNC Panel

  1. Brother David says:

    You’re going to have Father Bosco over here in a minute with talk about the Season of Pentecost! The Day of Pentecost is the last day of the 50 days of Easter. 😉

  2. Perry Butler says:

    I dont think this story is up to much..the same is said on Vrtue on Line I am bemused by the way Virtue labels some of the members as “pro TEC”. Canon Clare one of the Canterbury members is so labeled despite the fact that those who know her well in Canterbury are unaware that she has ever said anything about what she thinks of the TEC.!! I think the matter is actually much more in the hands of the 6 reps from the diocese than most people think. There are now 6 reps,not 4 as in the past. It is said that Bp Chartres became Bp of London because the 4 dio reps said they wanted him and always voted as a bloc…this time the dio if it remains united stands a good chance of getting who they want.In fact there are only 5 or 6 real candidates..and none of them are easily labelled except perhaps Graham James who has been a Cuddesden-esque liberal catholic all his life. None are cons evangelical…Coventry and Sheffield have broadened considerably in the course of their ministry,as has Sentamu. Chartres churchmanship is some what curious…once described as BCP/Russuian Orthodox Synod.He ordains ALL the deacons of the diocese, men and women and the Area bps ( bar Edmonton) ordain the priests. That is the so called “London Plan” bequeathed by +David Hope. I am not convinced that Chartres wouldnt ordain a woman priest in different circumstances.

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