Succession debate points to disestablishment

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Commenting on Dr Evan Harris's Royal Marriages and Succession to the Crown Bill (which would have ended the centuries-old ban on Catholics marrying the monarch and the rule of primogeniture, under which a woman in the line of succession is automatically superseded by a younger male sibling), Simon Barrow, co-director of the religion and society think-tank Ekklesia, commented:

"The current arrangements for Royal succession are clearly discriminatory and unacceptable in a plural society. They should be changed. But the nub of the issue is the continuing anomaly of the establishment of the Church of England, which is acting as a break on constitutional reform. Ending the subservience of the church to the Crown would enable it to stop fretting about its own power and status, and start attending more fully and freely to the radical call of the Christian message - which is precisely about rejecting privilege and embracing transformation."