Church of England has said it will defrock clergymen if they are found to be supporters of the National Front or British National Party after bishops found their views to be “un-Christian” and promote “the sin of racism.” For the first time, Anglican priests have been formally banned by the Church from joining a particular political party.
On June 2, bishops stated that the aforementioned political groups are “incompatible with the teachings of the Church of England” because of their respective stances on “equality of persons or groups of different races.” According to the Church, clergymen who defy the ban would have to undergo disciplinary procedures under a clause in canon law that requires them to be “wholesome examples and patterns to the flock of Christ” in both their private and public lives.
Bishops decided to impose the ban after receiving legal advice that the Church could not be sued under human rights laws for prohibiting clerics’ freedom of speech. The ban follows a vote in the governing General Synod that called for the church to treat both groups in a similar manner as “police forces already do.”
Passages in the BNP’s recent manifesto claimed that “indigenous British people” are on a decline because of immigration, leading to the “extinction of the British people, culture, heritage and identity.” The manifesto also stated that Britain faces forms of “Muslim invasion” and “Islamic colonization.” Similarly, the National Front said they want to “ensure the survival and advancement of the White Race and the British Nation.”
Earlier the BNP has been criticized for referring to the Archbishop of York as an “African invader” because he was born in Uganda. It also said the Church of England was being taken over by “third world interlopers.”