(Telegraph) Catherine Pepinster–Justin Welby claims he’s ‘not the Pope’ – but he’s acting like one

Just who does Justin Welby think he is? In an interview this week the Archbishop of Canterbury declared “I am not the Pope”. But to some Anglicans, there was a hint of The Boss in the way he dealt with Covid-19 in the early days, when the Church of England locked down, shutting its doors not only on churchgoers but on its own clerics, banning them from their altars. The evidence was that this came from the top, though he now says not.

But back in March 2020, Archbishop Welby and the then Archbishop of York, John Sentamu wrote to all priests that they were bringing in measures to shut down churches. It meant an end to weddings, funerals, baptisms and Sunday services – the first time that churches in this country had entirely closed their doors since the days of King John. Services went digital with vicars live-streaming from their kitchen tables or rectory studies – and it infuriated many Anglicans. They couldn’t understand why the vicar could not celebrate at the church altar, alone, with that service live-streamed. After all, that was what Roman Catholics were doing – although decisions about worship came from local bishops, not directed by Rome.

The familiar altar table, with its candles, its altar cloth, and glimpses of the much-loved nave where countless generations had worshipped down the years – all these were banished and invisible for months at a time when they might have brought comfort to those at home.

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Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture