Monday, April 25, 2011

Do we really want a change?

In the run up to that wedding several British newspapers are running with a story that changes to the various acts governing the succession to the throne are unlikely. By way of explanation these acts, ranging from the mid 16th century through to the early 18th century, regulate who, and who may not, succeed to the British Throne, and by implication, at least, who reigns as the monarch of other countries currently ruled by Queen Elizabeth II (Long may she reign!). In particular the act effectively excludes Catholics from either being the monarch or being married to those in direct succession to the throne. In practice this means that somebody in the line of succession desiring to marry a Catholic has to renounce their succession rights, It's not a theoretical question as some, quite close actually, have either  married Catholics or become Catholic themselves and have had to renounce. This ban does not explicitly affect Judaism or Islam but given the Queen's position in relation to the Church of England one could envisage problems. There was uncertainty whether Catholics are banned from some other royal offices. I gather that, in theory, a Catholic could hold that rather modern office of Prime Minister (as has happened in some countries) but it was less clear whether they could hold the older office of Chancellor. This was 'cleared up' in 1974 although if a Catholic were to become Chancellor certain functions would be transferred to somebody else.

Now we've got that over with would a Catholic really want to hold the position anyhow? Nothing to do with anti monarchy sentiment at all. I'm a royalist through and through. I do wonder however with the current 'State Church' status of the Church of England (in England- not in Wales or Scotland) whether it would be possible for a Catholic to hold the position when they would be in practice involved in the appointment of senior Anglican clergy and, in theory,  the 'defender' of a protestant faith. It's not a position that could be held without compromise. In short, given the current moral condition of the British state, it's not a responsibility that I would wish on a fellow Catholic. Giving the 'royal assent' to an act liberalising the law on questions such as euthanasia or abortion would find a Catholic monarch excommunicated latae sententiae if not ferendae sententiae.

It would seem that the Anglicans have realised this problem and are not in the mood for disestablishment. I hazard a guess, and it's only a guess, that this reflects the private opinion of the Queen who takes her Coronation vows very seriously. As an act of charity to our fellow Catholics I doubt we should be pushing the question. But then it may be the actual agenda but I suspect it's not the real agenda for some leftward leaning Catholics.


  1. Having just watched a replay of the Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter's square attended by many hundred thousand Catholics from all around the world the only comment I can add to this piece (and not meaning any disrespect to the Monarchy) "who gives a rat's ?"

  2. Why on Earth are you a monarchist Father? Do you really want to be ruled by a bunch of inbred germans who live and fornicate at the publics expense without doing any work at all. I want to know the DWP number so I can grass up Kate Middleton on Tuesday


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