I did not worry about what a man or woman personally believed, but the nation's official religion should be outwardly practiced by all its citizens. A religion was a political statement. Being a Calvinist, a papist, a Presbyterian, an Anglican labeled a person's philosophy on education, taxes, poor relief, and other secular things. The nation needed an accepted position on such concerns. Hence the fines for not outwardly conforming to the national church.
I grew up in a church-going family, a very sort of ordinary, middle-of-the-road Anglican family where nobody really talked about personal Christian experience. It was just sort of assumed like an awful lot of things in the 1950's were just sort of taken for granted.
Pope Benedict is an amazingly visionary person. What he has done is establish an evolutionary process that will help undo the Reformation. The Anglican Church has been hijacked by modernism, with synods trying to amend the faith and this process will allow traditional Anglicans to be themselves.
I was the rector's son, born to the anglican order, Banned for ever from the candles of the Irish poor; The Chichesters knelt in marble at the end of a transept With ruffs about their necks, their portion sure.
But miracles are not for the asking; they come only when the stern eyes of God droop shut for a moment, and Our Lady takes advantage of His inattention to grant an illicit mercy. God...is an Anglican, whereas Our Lady is of the True Faith; the two of Them have an uneasy relationship, unable to agree on anything, except that if They divorce, the Devil will leap gleefully into the breach.
I guess, as an Anglican, there's always room to move, which can be a dangerous thing, but also a very healthy thing, because bits of the great biblical tradition which you haven't fully plugged into before you've got the space to grow into... not least, the sacraments.
I really do feel that these people are brothers and sisters in God's family. I am looking to build bridges with the Orthodox Church, looking to build bridges with the Catholic Church, with the Anglican church.
In England, we have a curious institution called the Church of England. Its strength has always been in the fact that on any moral or political issue it can produce such a wide divergence of opinion that nobody -- from the Pope to Mao Tse-tung -- can say with any confidence that he is not an Anglican. Its weaknesses are that nobody pays much attention to it and very few people attend its functions.
In a real world, the one outside the rarified atmosphere where Popes meet Archbishops of Canterbury, people no longer care whether somebody is an Anglican or a Roman Catholic. They already take it for granted that being a "believer" is more important than having a denominational name-tag any day of the week.
The prince's official job description as king will be 'defender of the faith,' which currently means the state-financed absurdity of the Anglican Church, but he has more than once said publicly that he wants to be anointed as defender of all faiths—another indication of the amazing conceit he has developed in six decades of performing the only job allowed him by the hereditary principle: that of waiting for his mother to expire.