By David Baker, Christian Today
May 22nd, 2013 Jill Posted in Monarchy Comments Off
By David Baker, Christian Today
by Julian Mann, The Commentator
It is surely not being a 'swivel-eyed loon' to argue that the Coronation of the next Supreme Governor of the Church of England should be faithful to its stated beliefs about the supremacy and uniqueness of the Lord Jesus Christ
he report in The Sunday Telegraph that senior Anglican leaders are wanting to involve representatives of non-Christian faiths in the Coronation of the next Monarch for the first time in British history will probably come as no surprise to most readers of The Commentator.
After all, Prince Charles, in his famous 1994 interview with Jonathan Dimbleby, expressed his preference to be defender of faith in general rather than just the Protestant Christian Faith his mother promised to defend in 1953.
But the issues raised by the involvement of non-Christian religious leaders in a future Coronation service at Westminster Abbey are significant both for the Monarchy and for the Church by law established.
The Telegraph report insists that “there is no question of a multi-faith service in which all gods are considered equal. The sacred central acts of the coronation must remain intact, and the service entirely Christian – but within that framework it should be possible to ‘recognise’ other faiths, perhaps by allowing their representatives to take part in symbolic acts, such as the lighting of candles”.
Despite these off-the-record assurances from senior Anglican clerics, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that such representatives would be invited to, say, prayers, or give readings from their scriptures. That is already happening in services conducted by Anglican clergy.
The public perception of the national Church is that it has a very flexible set of beliefs. That perception, understandable given the unlawful conduct of some clergy, is in fact wrong.
By Cole Moreton, Telegraph
Britain has changed dramatically since the Queen was crowned in 1953. Cole Moreton reports on the Church’s plans to update the ceremony
There are some things you just don’t talk about, and the crowning of the next king is one of them. It would be “impolite” to start planning a coronation while the existing monarch is still alive, I was told last week by one of those who may be involved when the time comes. Quite right, too. As the Queen prepares to celebrate the 60th anniversary of her Coronation on June 2 1953, it is to be hoped that she will go on and on. But that’s not to say that those concerned have neglected to think about what might come next.
The Sunday Telegraph has learned of a major shift in attitude within the leadership of the Church, towards allowing the representatives of other faiths to participate in a coronation service for the first time. This would be a dramatic break with tradition, as the coronation has been an exclusively Christian event for 1,000 years. In the past, any such move was strongly opposed by the Church of England. There is now, however, a recognition that the next coronation will have to reflect the spiritual diversity of modern Britain in some way.
The ethnic and cultural make-up of the country has changed greatly since 1953, when the ceremony reflected the long-established notion of Britain as a nation under one God. Sixty years later, Her Majesty reigns over a nation with many gods. There are still 33 million people who call themselves Christian (including Roman Catholics, who were not represented in the service in 1953). There are also 2.7 million Muslims, 817,000 Hindus and 263,000 Jews, and many others.
In view of this, The Sunday Telegraph understands that Church leaders have accepted the need to be “hospitable” to other faiths within the service. They believe this will have to happen, although it must be done very carefully.
From Royal Central
The Sunday Telegraph reports that the coronation of the next Monarch of the United Kingdom, which will be Prince Charles, will not be exclusively an Anglican (Church of England) ceremony and will feature a wide range of religions to reflect the UK’s diverse culture.
Church of England sources have, however, have confirmed that it won’t be in the manner of “defender of all faiths” that Prince Charles famously declared he’d like to be, but in a way which includes other faiths but doesn’t damage the Crown’s status as exclusively Protestant.
The Sunday Telegraph says that the presence of people from other faiths will be largely symbolic and will probably be something like lighting candles or the reading of ‘sacred texts’ from the respective religions.
For over 1000 years, the coronation of British and previously English Monarchs has been a sacred ceremony, designed not only to present the Monarch to their people, but to demonstrate a connection with God and recertifying the Divine Right of Kings.
Read Sunday Telegraph article here
Nicholas Cecil and Joseph Watts, London Evening Standard
Downing Street today insisted that David Cameron remains committed to gay marriage despite the Bill being left out of the Queen’s Speech for a second year running.
There was no mention in the Queen’s address to Parliament or in supporting documents spelling out the Government’s priorities, raising suspicions that the Prime Minister wants to lower the public profile of one of his most divisive measures.
The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill was rejected by more than half of his MPs in a Commons vote in February and was widely blamed for an exodus of traditional Tory supporters to Ukip in last week’s council elections.
“This is becoming the Bill that dare not speak its name,” said Labour MP Stephen Pound. “The speech has Ukip’s footprints all over it.”
Downing Street said there was no need for the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill to be in the speech because it was a “carry-over” measure introduced midway through the last session.
However, the Energy Bill was listed despite being a carry-over measure — and the speech plugged issues such as easier mortgages and childcare that do not involve legislation.
A spokesman for the Prime Minister merely said: “There is no change in the position. It is an issue of conscience so there will be a free vote.”
The most contentious measure before Parliament this session will not be in the Queen's Speech – The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has been causing trouble for the Tories since January
Today’s Queen’s Speech is expected to contain more than a dozen pieces of legislation, ranging from tighter controls on immigration to help for the elderly with their care bills. But the measure that threatens to cause David Cameron the most trouble will not be on Her Majesty’s list at all – because it is already before Parliament. The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill was introduced in January, even though it was not mentioned in the last Queen’s Speech. The reason given was that the Government was still consulting, though as we pointed out at the time, this consultation was not about the principle of gay marriage, but how it should be introduced.
Once, legislation that failed to reach the Statute Book in a particular parliamentary session was lost if it was not passed by the time of prorogation. The last government changed that to allow the carry-over of some Bills; this will become routine now that the State Opening has been moved from the autumn to the spring. Under this system, five measures are being carried into the new session – but where the same sex-marriage Bill is concerned, Mr Cameron may have cause to wish the old cut-off still applied.
Campaigners against the measure think they can block it in the Lords; its supporters say this is wishful thinking, because there is a liberal majority in the Upper House. Yet the usual convention whereby peers do not block legislation that had been in a manifesto can hardly apply to a measure that has not even featured in a Queen’s Speech, let alone an election programme. And even if it receives a Second Reading in the Lords, it is likely that amendments will be passed.
Civil Service Bill
By Harry Phibbs, Conservative Home
The Independent on Sunday this morning offered some predictions for what to expect in the Queen's Speech in the coming week. Its top tips are broadly consistent with the ones from Paul Goodman offered on Friday.
Social care – A cap on payments of £72,000, introduced in 2016.
Pensions – Legislation introducing single-tier pension.
Energy Ordering – energy suppliers to make clearer, simpler bills, with fewer tariffs; encouraging private investment to electricity sector.
Business – Cutting National Insurance contributions for small businesses, saving employers up to £2,000.
Health and safety – Allowing self-employed to be exempt from health and safety law where their work poses no potential risk of harm to others, plus other cuts to red tape.
By Daniel A Willis, Yahoo News
Now that the Rules for the Succession to the Throne Are Changing, Who Is in and Who is Out?
The much lauded bill changing the rules of succession to the British Throne is now on its way to the Queen for her signature. Headlines have outlined the basic changes: brothers will no longer have seniority over sisters, only the first few people in line to the Throne have to have the Queen's (or King's) permission to marry, and people will no longer be excluded from the succession if they marry a Catholic.
By Sam Adams, Mailonline
The Queen presented traditional Maundy money during a church service in Oxford today in only her second public appearance since recovering from illness.
Joined by the Duke of Edinburgh Her Majesty appeared to be in good spirits as she distributed coins to selected recipients during the 'Royal Maundy' service at the city's Christ Church cathedral.
The money was given in purses to retired pensioners recommended by clergy and ministers of all denominations in the local diocese. The annual service was being held in Oxford for the first time in almost 400 years.
Charles I was the last monarch to carry out the ceremony in the city in 1642 and 1643 when his court was established there during the Civil War. The Maundy service is held each year on the day before Good Friday.
The Queen – looking radiant in blue – handed out the famous red and white purses of money in Christ Church cathedral to 87 women and 87 men – as she is now in her 87th year.
By Carolyn Moynihan, MercatorNet
When you mess with fundamental aspects of human biology and society you simply cannot predict all the consequences. However, the British may be better at this than other nations.
Here’s a good piece of lateral thinking on gay marriage that came up in a British House of Lords debate on the royal succession — legislation designed to end preference for the eldest son and allow a daughter to be first in line for the throne.
What if, said Lord True, a Conservative peer who is not opposed to gay marriage,
“What happens if we have a lesbian queen in a same-sex marriage who conceives using an egg implanted with donor sperm? The law should be clear, but this is a question that has not been thought through in the Bill.
Already British law says that only an “heir to the body” can succeed to the throne. The phrase, dating from the 18th century, was intended to mean direct biological descendants of the monarch. But today’s tinkering with the beginnings of life and parenthood mean this common law position on the succession could be challenged in future, Lord True pointed out. The succession law should clear up any doubt on the point, he said.
March 13th, 2013 Jill Posted in Monarchy Comments Off
From BBC News
February 13th, 2013 Jill Posted in Monarchy Comments Off
Diocese of Leicester
The first step is taken.
Leicester Cathedral is starting preparation for the interment of King Richard III. The cathedral has been working hard on initial plans and we are now announcing the first major step in the process. A date has been set – 12th March – when the Architects brief will be agreed by the Cathedral Chapter, with whom the decision about a final memorial legally lies. This brief will then be made public.
King Richard III will be interred inside the cathedral in a place of honour. There is already a lot of interest expressed about the location and about the nature and character of the lasting memorial.
There is an agreed process to make this decision and it will ensure all views are heard and considered. No proposals will be considered outside of this process.
This process will give us a design that will be appropriate for a working, public, worshipping cathedral and for all those who come in future generations to visit King Richard’s final resting place.
We will take note of any proposals made by others including those of the Richard III Society. The decision process will come to its own conclusions, and until then no agreement has been made about any proposed tomb.
By Bob Morris, Constitution Unit Blog
As the bill goes to the Lords, it might be useful to reflect further on the detail of what was said in the Commons debates on 22 and 28 January about the place of religious tests in our constitution.
Of the three tests, two – ineligibility of Catholic believers and those married to Catholics – are directed explicitly at Catholics and one – the requirement to be ‘in communion with’ the Church of England – excludes Catholics and all others unable to satisfy the requirement. The bill would abolish only the second of the three tests.
The proceedings on 28 January were dominated by the attempt of Jacob Rees-Mogg to remove the remaining tests:
‘As the discrimination on the grounds of sex is no longer necessary, or can no longer be argued for logically, nor can exclusions on the grounds of religion.’ [Hansard, Commons, 29 January 2013, col. 697]
Stressing that he was not opposed to church establishment per se, he proposed a device which, he claimed, would permit a Catholic to succeed without challenging the sovereign’s current roles in respect of the Church of England. The device turned on using the Regency Acts to identify a Protestant who could assume the sovereign’s duties much as Catholic and other non-Anglican cabinet ministers relinquish any Anglican related duties to Anglican colleagues during their term of office. Whilst the device was technically inadequate and imperfect, it gave MPs an opportunity to reflect on the fact that the bill fell short of dealing with the other remaining disqualifications affecting Catholics and others.
Understandably, this discussion – as on 22 January in a very thin House – was dominated by Catholics. Interestingly, they appear to have felt obliged simultaneously to object to the disqualifications and declare something like reverence for Anglicanism – the latter position slipping slightly only once (col. 708) when the alleged elasticity of Anglican’s demands on adherents was naughtily raised. Loyalty to the monarchy was also stressed, as if that were nowadays still in question for Catholics. Jacob Rees-Mogg pressed the matter to a division and lost by three to one.
February 8th, 2013 Jill Posted in Monarchy Comments Off
By Ben Harris-Quinney, The Commentator
We are quite possibly less than a decade away from seeing the Monarchy, the Church, and marriage as a historic institution become intellectually and rationally indefensible in Britain
[...] The second half of the 20th century witnessed, on a global scale, among the most significant social changes in human history. Over the last 60 years God, the Queen, and Country, once the pillars of British society, have been strongly challenged by atheists, republicans, and progressives alike, heralding a form of post-modernist thought that its adherents compare to the renaissance.
The result has, however, been not a strengthening of British society, but a weakening, and the answer to why for those on either side of the debate can be found in the impure ideology of consensus politics.
Three issues that underpin the old pillars of British society are currently among the most present in the public mind: hereditary rule, the ability of women to hold positions of leadership in the Church, and gay marriage.
On each of these three issues the institutions to which they are relevant are clear, and have been clear for millennia. Hereditary rule is bestowed upon a subject to rule by God, and it is on this basis alone that they are heralded as the chosen monarch; the Bible sets forth that women cannot teach or serve in leadership positions within the Church; and marriage by Church or by state has forever been between the sexes.
In Britain however it appears that the above can be ignored or adapted to fulfil an immediately modern ideal of societal correctitude, rather than adhered to entirely, or discarded altogether. Surely for a nation so resonant with intellect and debate this is a depressing circumstance indeed.
There are three clear approaches that one can take to any of the above issues. One can accept that the institution and its founding doctrines are incorruptible and correct. Alternatively, one can conclude they are an undoubted human construct with no relevance in the modern world. Or, finally, one can accept them as a false construct and outdated institution, but one that should be kept for the sake of continuity and compromise.
February 8th, 2013 Jill Posted in Monarchy Comments Off
By Angela Shanahan, MercatorNet
and some opinions on where his final resting place should be:
Richard III's remains should lie in state at York, Chris Skidmore MP, Conservative Home
Richard III was a Catholic and should be buried in a Catholic church by Cristina Odone, Telegraph
Respect in death by Fr Ed Tomlinson
February 4th, 2013 Jill Posted in Monarchy Comments Off
From BBC News
A skeleton found beneath a Leicester car park has been confirmed as that of English king Richard III.
Experts from the University of Leicester said DNA from the bones matched that of descendants of the monarch's family.
Richard was killed in battle in 1485 but his grave was lost when the church around it was demolished in the 16th Century.
The skeleton had suffered 10 injuries, including eight to the skull.
The bones, which are of a man in his late 20s or early 30s, have been carbon dated to a period from 1455-1540.
Richard was 32 when he died at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.
Read also: Richard III's burial could be as poignant and beautiful as the royal wedding by Ed West, Telegraph
By Adrian Hilton, Mailonline
[...] The principal hurdle would be the constitutional requirement for members of the Royal Family who wish to keep their place in the succession to be married in accordance with the rites of the Church of England in a service performed by Anglican clergy under either a Special or Common Licence. Since the Coalition is proposing specifically to prohibit the Church of England from performing same-sex marriage services, this would be an obvious bar to an openly gay king or lesbian queen marrying their partner and having that partner recognised as consort.
And that’s before we enter then the debate over the hereditary rights of their children – conceived either by artificial insemination or surrogacy, or (breaking the ancient bloodline) by adoption – to accede to the throne. That’s the problem with the drive for absolute equality – there’s no logical end to it. Once you replace male primogeniture with gender neutrality, heterosexuality with pan-sexuality, and Protestant Christianity with a secularised mush of multi-faith spirituality, you’re left with a cult of modern selfhood in which accession to the Crown is no more important than arguing over who takes the rubbish out or picks the kids up from school.
The curious thing is that the sexuality of the heir to the throne isn’t likely to present any problems for about the next 30 years – by which time same-sex marriage may well have determined (or hastened) the course of disestablishment. And the faith of the future spouse of the first-born of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge is also, quite literally, an equally-distant point of theological conjecture. Parliament could have legislated on both at leisure, debating and reflecting on the rather serious constitutional implications of amending the Act of Settlement (not least to seven other acts, including the increasingly fragile Act of Union 1707).
But the Prime Minister feels the need to dispense with Burkean incrementalism and legislate in haste to ensure that the new royal baby will accede to the throne irrespective of gender because, as Mark Harper MP (former Minister for Political and Constitutional Reform) explains, male primogeniture ‘does not reflect the values we hold today as a society’. So, in the course of just one frenzied day, the House of Commons will surgically excise from the British Constitution ‘..or marries a Papist’, without any consideration at all of the succeeding clause by which ‘in all and every such Case and Cases the People of these Realms shall be and are thereby absolved of their Allegiance (to the Crown)’.
By Cristina Odone, Telegraph
January 29th, 2013 Jill Posted in Monarchy Comments Off
Westminster Abbey is to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen’s Coronation in 2013 with a service of celebration and a series of special events. The Coronation took place at Westminster Abbey on 2nd June 1953, nearly eighteen months after Queen Elizabeth II succeeded her father, King George VI.
The Abbey’s plans to mark the anniversary include: