Twelve protesters from Fathers 4 Justice disrupted a service of the Church of England's General Synod to protest over the church's failure to lobby the government over access to their children. BBC report
The protesters entered York Minster dressed as monks, vicars and nuns, shouting "fathers for justice" and "shame on you".
Senior members of the Anglican Church, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, had filed into the cathedral for the service unaware of the impending chaos.
The protesters were allowed to read a message out to the congregation which said that the church "promoted marriage but is not prepared to act when there is breakdown between the parent and the child".
Fathers 4 Justice leader Matt O'Connor was earlier rugby tackled and dragged out of the service by church members - what disgusting behaviour by church members!
As he picked himself up he shouted:
"Remember, half a million children are deprived
of contact with their fathers
and the church does nothing. Shame on you."
Father 4 Justice was formed two years ago to campaign against what it sees as an inability to help fathers gain access to their children through legal action.
It hit the headlines in May with a purple powder bomb attack on Tony Blair in the House of Commons.
There are press reports that Tory leader Michael Howard will call for shared parenting rights as he stages a summit on custody battles.
The Government is also reported to be considering law changes that would give divorced fathers a better deal on custody and access rights, according to the Sunday Times.
The Church was largely instrumental in making divorce available more or less on demand - the 1966 report 'Putting Asunder' by a group appointed by the Archbishop of Canterbury paved the way by speaking of the 'empty shell of a marriage'. From this came the Divorce Reform Act 1969 which introduced the spurious ground of 'unreasonable behaviour' which opened the floodgates to divorce on demand without any thought of protection of the links between children and their parents and extended families.
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Last updated - 12 July 2004