Friday, October 14, 2011

Catholics and the Crown

MSNBC reports,
A 300-year-old ban on heirs to the British throne marrying Roman Catholics would be overturned and discrimination against royal daughters removed under reforms proposed on Wednesday by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Cameron has written to the leaders of the 15 other realms who share Queen Elizabeth as their monarch, including the Solomon Islands and the Grenadines, to request their approval, his office said.

Cameron wants to banish laws dating back to 1688 and 1700 designed to ensure a Protestant monarchy and barring anyone in line to the throne from marrying a Roman Catholic unless they relinquished their claim to the crown.

Only a Catholic link is barred — there are no restrictions on Jews, Hindus, Muslims or even atheists. 
Being Catholic, American, and part Irish, I am instinctively suspicious of the British Crown and the marriage ban was just another reason to dislike the institution.  Fortunately, there are still plenty of other problems with the British monarchy that will serve to reinforce my prejudices.  For one thing, as Matt Archbold points out, the potential lifting of the marriage prohibition probably has less to do with sympathy for Catholicism and more to do with secular indifference.  Also, it is still illegal for a Catholic to hold the throne because that would awkwardly conflict with the nominal role of anti-pope.  Then there are the crazy ramblings of Prince Charles and the pre-marital cohabitation between Prince William and his wife.  Between historical anti-Catholicism and modern secular "values," the British Crown offers more than enough reasons for grumpy people like me to oppose it.


  1. Bring back the real rulers, the House of Stuart.

  2. Come on, They are not that bad ..and anyway a portion of their clergy is taking the path to Rome..

  3. Al: That would be nice but I think the Church recognizes the House of Winsdor as the legitimate rulers.

    Anon: It is wonderful that Anglicans are becoming Catholic. The Archbishop of Canterbury is none too happy about it though: