Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Joanna Bogle on "For God and Queen: The Quandary of the English Catholic"

Joanna Bogle writes at InsideCatholic:
... Recently a child in Scotland decided -- or, at least, it was announced in the press that he had decided, but it is possible that his parents had some influence on his decision, since he is only eight years old -- that he didn't want to affirm his loyalty to the queen when making his Cub Scout promise. The problem is that if you can't make the Promise ("to do my best to my duty to God and the Queen"), you can't really be a Cub Scout.

I daresay some special arrangement will be made for him, but what was the reason given for his refusal of loyalty to Her Majesty? He's a Catholic, and apparently feels very strongly about the Act of Settlement and the fact that it bans Roman Catholics from the throne or from marrying into the royal family.

Leaving aside for a moment the question of how much this eight year-old knows of our constitutional and religious situation as it has developed over the past few centuries, this does give us all an opportunity to explore an interesting question.

As is well known, the curious twists and turns of English history have resulted in a situation where, in the 21st century, there exists a law banning any member of the royal family from marrying a Roman Catholic without express permission from the monarch, and anyone in direct line to the throne from marrying one at all.

So are most Catholics now calling for a change in the law?

... Catholics in Britain are loyal to the crown. We honor the queen, and it is partly our faith that makes us do so. She sticks by things that matter to Catholics: God, personal and public responsibilities, service to others. She is a devout and regular churchgoer. She took her coronation anointing seriously. She makes sacrifices in order to fulfil her duties.

So frankly we aren't bothered in getting a change in the law, and we place a higher value in the stability of the monarchy and its constitutional value than we do any sense of mild irritation that we have about our technical status in the eyes of the law.

[Read the whole thing]
Dale Price also addressed this subject a couple of weeks ago.

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