Catholic News Agency
Anglicans take authority to name bishops away from British Prime Minister
Feb. 19, 2008
London - In a step towards greater religious autonomy, the general synod of the Anglican Church of England decided to do away with the traditional approval by the British Prime Minister for the naming of bishops.
When Henry VIII decided to separate the Church in England from the Catholic Church, he established the tradition of the Anglican synod of bishops presenting two candidates to the Queen, from which the crown will elect one to occupy a vacant Episcopal see. When Britain became a constitutional monarchy, the responsibility for making the selection between the two candidates fell to the Prime Minister.
During the Synod which ended last week, the Anglican bishops discussed whether they should favor a church model that is more disconnected from the political regime, or whether this link should be maintained in order to preserve the identity of the “Church of England” as completely distinct from the Roman Catholic Church.
The debate ended with the decision to establish greater autonomy from the state in order to assure a clearer spiritual dimension.