Saturday, January 13, 2007

Catholic Mayor bans prayer

The Roman Catholic Mayor of Totnes, Devon, has ended 600 years of Christian tradition by banning prayer from council meetings. The reason given, as ever, is to minimise offence to other religions. Which group had been complaining?


Cranmer is not remotely hung up on the issue of compulsory prayers in the sphere of temporal government, but he is most exercised when official gatherings, which have traditionally been preceded or succeeded by Christian prayer, suddenly cease to be so out of ‘sensitivity’ to Britain’s ‘multi-faith’ population, especially when none is complaining. Before long, there will be a demand to end the tradition of prayer in the Houses of Parliament, after which MPs will cease to acknowledge and authority greater than theirs (if they haven’t ceased already).

Mayor Prudence Boswell, 64, has ordered the prayers for guidance and the Lord’s prayer be replaced with a ‘quiet moment of reflection’. That this demand should come from a practising Roman Catholic beggars belief. The clergy of all denominations have been told that their services are no longer required.

Prayers for the community, and supplications to God that councillors would serve with wisdom, are replaced with a Buddhist notion of meditation, in order that councillors may ‘think quietly in their own way’. It seems to Cranmer that the propensity of politicians to think ‘in their own way’ rather than in God’s way is a manifest cause of the state we’re in. Mayor Boswell added: ‘We did have a Buddhist member a few years ago. I am sure we probably have had non-believers, but I would not know who - it’s not my business.’

Indeed it is not. And neither should it be within the authority of a fickle, self-important, here-today-gone-tomorrow mayor to terminate six centuries of Christian tradition.


Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

This is not quite so bad, when you consider that Totnes is an outpost of affluent metropolitan chatterers, and what goes on there is no index of truly provincial, and English, behaviour.
Totally potty, but more predictably so.

13 January 2007 at 14:05  
Anonymous Mark said...

Can we hear the uproar from the mayors fellow councillors, where are the protests, have any councilors resigned, where is the dissent, the silence is deafening. Obviously Totnes council don’t see the need for (or deserve) the blessing of Christian prayer, bring on the crystals, make way for the straw men.

13 January 2007 at 15:21  
Anonymous dexey said...

I like her hat.

13 January 2007 at 15:37  
Anonymous Voyager said...

How does a mayor have such influence ?

She only has one vote as a councillor

13 January 2007 at 15:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the demise of Britain continues...................

13 January 2007 at 17:59  
Blogger Eddie said...

What staggered me was that I heard an atheist councillor on Radio 4 saying that he approved of the prayers and wanted to keep them. It's a very strange day when a Christian over rules an atheist in order to ban public praying.

13 January 2007 at 18:15  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Eddie,

His Grace was not previously aware of this, and thanks you for the illumination.

That an atheist upholds a Christian tradition which a Roman Catholic repudiates can only lead one to question the faith of the professing Roman Catholic.

One wonders what His Holiness say. Indeed, one wonders what her local Roman Catholic priest has to say to her. More time in Purgatory?

13 January 2007 at 18:24  
Blogger cromwell316 said...

As The Bill of Rights (never amended or repealed) was in fact usurped by the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829 (did Bowles v BoE 1913 or Betty Boothroyd in 1993 remember this)

Maybe the esteemed Councillor from Totnes could explain exactly the legal basis they have for sitting on a council.

And be it Enacted, That every person professing the Roman Catholic religion, who shall after the commencement of this Act be placed, elected or chosen in or to the office of mayor, provost, alderman, recorder, bailiff, town clerk, magistrate, councillor or common councilman, or in or to any office of magistracy or place of trust or employment, relating to the government of any city, corporation, borough, burgh, or district within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, shall within One calendar month next before or upon his admission into any of the same respectively, take and subscribe the Oath hereinbefore appointed and set forth, in the presence of such person or persons respectively as by the charters or usages of the said respective cities, corporations, burghs, boroughs or districts, ought to administer the Oath for due execution of the said offices or places respectively.

It seems that very few local or national politicians are lawfully occupying these positions.

13 January 2007 at 18:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That an atheist upholds a Christian tradition which a Roman Catholic repudiates can only lead one to question the faith of the professing Roman Catholic.

CS Lewis in one of his adult science fiction books concluded the action with a fancy dress party is which , it was clear , each revealed something of their inner self.
His friend and colleague a rigorous atheist cam dressed as a monk. There is sternness about sincerely believed atheism that has more than merely quasi religious characteristics. I have come to see it is a position requiring more faith than I can muster

13 January 2007 at 19:45  
Anonymous Voyager said...

one to question the faith of the professing Roman Catholic.

I think that we can and must do.........but many churchgoers are more attracted to 'smells and bells' and costume-drama than to the essential issue of Faith which was Luther's complaint.

14 January 2007 at 08:07  
Anonymous bob said...

That's rather a sweeping statement Voyager. One Catholic failing to show her faith through good works does not equate to many Catholics having only a shallow faith.

14 January 2007 at 09:00  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

Anyone know what Cromwell's on about? Catholics have been emancipated, and that ended discrimination. Are you stating they still can't be in government, because they are over here!!

14 January 2007 at 10:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

VOYAGER- That , if I may say so , is an exceedingly shallow understanding of the place of ritual in religion and spitual thinking generally.
Is that really all you think it is . A silly show

14 January 2007 at 10:35  
Blogger cromwell316 said...

Ulster Man said...
Anyone know what Cromwell's on about?

The Bill of Rights made it clear that this was and forever shall be a Protestant Nation, the Catholic Relief Act was passed stating that Catholics could take office if they swore an Oath to uphold that premise.

Betty Boothroyd the Speaker of the House of Commons issued the following statement:
"There has of course been no amendment to the Bill of Rights … the House is entitled to expect that the Bill of Rights will be fully respected by all those appearing before the courts"
(Hansard, 21 July 1993 column 352).

The Bill of Rights 1689 was not an ordinary act of Parliament it was an act of settlement which actually sets up the legality for the present state and give Parliament its power in the first place. It also clearly states that changes to it, were themselves illegal. The Catholic Relief Act implied (not explicit) repeal of the Bill of Rights so my point being that the Bill of Rights was superceded by an unlawful bill, which emancipated Catholics as long as they swore an Oath (even that Act has been repealed since) so all these individuals who are now determined to break what is by LAW a Protestant Kingdom whether they be Catholic, Muslim, Atheist or even Marxists' are not even lawfully in office.

14 January 2007 at 13:15  
Anonymous Voyager said...

One Catholic failing to show her faith through good works does not equate to many Catholics having only a shallow faith.

As I recall there were 9 dots between one comment and the other.......strange you seemed to have jumped to conclusions

14 January 2007 at 13:31  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

Cromwell, didn't the Bill of Rights also enshrine the right to bear arms? Was the banning of guns after Dunblane illegal? Are you saying that all Catholics in government in the UK should swear an oath to uphold Protestantism? What is this oath? Where is it written? Is this the reason Sinn Fein don't take their seats in the House of Commons?

Sorry to ask so many questions, and I hope Cranmer will forgive my ignorance, but in these parts of the UK Roman Catholics are very much in government, and some of them doing a damn fine job. I think demanding an oath to uphold Protestantism is like asking a black MP to uphold white supremacy. Why should they?

14 January 2007 at 13:59  
Blogger cromwell316 said...

ulster..they were the laws agreed by Parliament and William establishing the rights and liberties accepting that Parliament was supreme.

I fail to see how it is anything like a black MP agreeing to uphold white supremacy as it is a religious basis and that means a person of any colour can accept.

Are we now to dispense with all Oaths or adjust them accordingly to suit? The United Kingdom was built on Protestant values (for good or bad).

The Bill of Rights and the "right to bear arms" was amended at the time to say "as allowed by law" and subsequently used by Parliament to limit the chances of them facing armed citizens.

I am not judging whether a Politician or Councillor is good or bad (that is for the electorate to decide) the fact is we have a Constitution that has been ignored.

When Parliament starts to act like an Absolute Monarch they can hardly be surprised when history repeats itself.

I will be happy to give you the Text and the relevant Acts so you can read for yourself.

14 January 2007 at 15:22  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Was the banning of guns after Dunblane illegal?

The banning of handguns. The limits on handguns had been established in 1920 and in 1946 self-defence was removed as grounds for a licence. Funnily enough Dunblane had less to do with legal ownership of handguns than the fact that he should not have had a certificate in the first place because he was unstable - and had some strange proclivities with regard to young boys where he was a scout leader. He was however like the Deputy or Chief Constable, a Mason.

Rather like the Macpherson Inquiry in the Lawrence affair, the Cullen Inquiry neglected the Masonic side of things and since the Cullen report has a 100-year time-lock on it, we shall no doubt not be here to know why such a matter required Maximum State Security

14 January 2007 at 15:24  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Yes Lord Cullen is a Mason

14 January 2007 at 15:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Voyager, I believe the generally accepted form used to distinguish one sentence from another is one dot, indicting a full stop. Nine seems rather like overkill. As 'bells and smells' generally refers to Catholic liturgy then I don't think I jumped to any wild conclusions. If, however, that's not what you meant and I misunderstood you, then I apologize. - Bob
Apologies for the anonymous but my computer isn't giving me the option to fill in my name at the moment

14 January 2007 at 22:11  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Bob, Anglican Churches apparently have 'smells and bells' too - at least some. I did not restrict those who go for the theatrical and social aspects of religious faith to those of any one denomination, but i do believe that rather like the Sadduccees it is a feature of many.

In short, if the mayoress of Totnes were a Christian she could not undertake a thricefold denial

15 January 2007 at 07:12  
Anonymous bob said...

The 'bells and smells' of Anglicanism, as far as I can tell, is Catholicism-lite - the liturgical nicities of Catholicism without having to accept the dogmas. There may be a percentage of people who are attracted to the theatre of liturgical worship, but in my opinion, it would be unfortunate to therefore dismiss all forms of liturgical worship as mere spectacle, which I know you didn't do.

15 January 2007 at 14:46  
Blogger Peter said...

Seems like the UK and Canada are vying as to who can get down that tube first.

17 January 2007 at 21:27  

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