Misguided Bishop Dodges Bullet

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No thanks to him.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor thought it would be swell to be a member of the British House of Lords. Fortunately, Benedict XVI stopped him, possibly because it is illegal for a priest to be a member of a legislative body according to Canon Law.

Of course, janitors, fishermen, receptionists, and baristas all have more honorable professions than any legislator. (NB: I’m not being hyperbolic here.) So for a high ranking prelate to join a talking shop of politicians would be a disgrace, although the poorly-informed Cardinal apparently fails to see this fact.

Interestingly, many constitutions of 19th century America prohibited clergy of all types from serving in elected office. Numerous state constitutions contained such provisions, as did the constitution of the Republic of Texas. I don’t have a particularly strong opinion on the existence of such provisions, but the sentiment seems like a good one.

UPDATE: Writes MR:

I am strongly in favor of barring clergy from “serving” in legislatures, but I don’t think the ban goes far enough. Police, soldiers, lawyers, doctors, businesspeople, labor leaders, teachers, the homeless, property-owners, stockbrokers, bankers, tennents, writers, editors, people on welfare, and people earning minimum wage should also be prohibited from serving in government…

I think we should only have statesmen in government.

Who is a statesman? A famous politician who is dead.

I’m voting for Grover Cleaveland in 2012.

9:12 pm on December 15, 2009