This week Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow chose to avail us of his opinion on President Trump’s possible invitation to address the House during his proposed State Visit to the UK.
While I agree with what The Speaker said, I also agree with those who say he had absolutely no right to say it.
Why do I agree with Mr Bercow? President Trump is new to political life, he has no great insights to impart on political life, or social justice as shared by Pope Benedict in Westminster Hall in 2010. If he was to address them as a business man, then we have a plethora of our own successful business people who could impart great wisdom of the same ilk.
But Mr Bercow has chosen to accept a position that requires political neutrality, even if he was elected as a Conservative MP. When one accepts a position and the authority it behoves one to abide by the restrictions and responsibilities, and Mr Bercow has not observed this. I am scandalised by Mr Bercow’s actions, but I accept, that’ just me.
It’s no different with clergy being public in their disagreements with their bishop and even worse, sharing public derision of Pope Francis. Equally as bad in one case I have noted is a clergyman who works for his diocese joining in with those who deride The Pope and his bishop not correcting him; therefore facilitating this divisive behaviour.
I have also seen parishioners (not mine, wind your necks in St A’s) who are close friends of their parish priest, so close that they have moved parish with him, deriding the local Ordinary, and again, the priest saying nothing.
It’s interesting to note that any priest who does engage, or allow such behaviour has the title of ‘Father’. I’m told that any of the priests in question expected to be a bishop, a chapter Canon or even a monsignor by now, but alas the balances have found them wanting and they have reacted bitterly.
When finding one at odds with their Church’ teaching many brave Anglicans cast themselves, and their families, into the hands of the Holy Spirit and waited with patience for ‘the Roman Rubberstamp’ or the ‘Vatican Verification’ (two terms I heard) and this, is the action a gentleman will take. He will not sit in a corner drumming up support via his toadying cronies and his blog’s ‘donate’ button, he would understand that he is at odd with the Holy Spirit and he would move on.
But then perhaps they are not as brave as our former Anglican brothers.
Through the office he accepted Mr Bercow’s comments were inappropriate, he should either accept what comes with the Speaker’s Shilling or move on. It’s the same with those who owe allegiance to Holy Mother Church and the succour she provides.