Loading
Cardinals join call to scrap anti-Catholic British succession law
By David Kerr
Cardinal George Pell of Sydney
Cardinal George Pell of Sydney

.- Cardinal George Pell of Sydney is backing calls to scrap the 310 year-old law banning Catholics from the British throne.

“I would welcome a change,” the Australian cardinal told CNA.

His comments come just hours after Scottish Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien of St. Andrews & Edinburgh claimed in a BBC documentary that the 1701 Act of Settlement was fuelling anti-Catholicism in his country. He describes the law as “the country's shame.”

Just a few weeks ago the manager of the predominantly Catholic-supported soccer club, Glasgow Celtic was assaulted during a match by an opposing supporter and sent a parcel bomb in the mail. Arrests have followed each incident.

Meanwhile, Cardinal O’Brien has revealed that he received a bullet in the mail prior to the September 2010 papal visit to Scotland.

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has said that “in principle” he supports reforming the law on royal succession to allow Catholics to become king or queen or marrying the heir to the throne. However, he also says the decision would have to be approved by all Commonwealth countries – hence the significance of Cardinal Pell’s opinion.

“I would welcome a change. It is not a first order issue, and there is no great urgency about it, but I anticipate that the law will be changed at some time,” the Australian archbishop said.

“It would certainly be welcomed in Australia.”

At present, there is no similar prohibition on the British royal family marrying members of other faiths such as Islam or Judaism, or those who profess to be agnostic or atheist.

The Act was originally passed to prevent the descendants of the Catholic King James II from ascending the throne. He was deposed in the 1688 "glorious revolution" by supporters of the Protestant William and Mary. Mary was the eldest Protestant daughter of James II and was married to William of Orange, who later became William III.

In recent years, the Act has effected several members of the British royal family.

In 2001, Lord Nicholas Windsor, the youngest son of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, permanently forfeited his right to the royal succession by converting to Catholicism.

In 2008, Autumn Kelly, the Canadian fiancee of the Queen's grandson Peter Philips, converted from Catholicism to Anglicanism, thus preserving her husband's chances of becoming king.

Today’s news coincides with Queen Elizabeth making the first trip to Ireland by a reigning U.K. monarch to predominately Catholic Ireland since it gained independence in 1922.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Jul
29

Liturgical Calendar

July 29, 2014

Saint Martha

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 11:19-27

Gospel
Date
07/29/14
07/28/14
07/27/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 14: 17-22
Gospel:: Jn 11: 19-27

Saint of the Day

St. Martha »

Saint
Date
07/29/14
07/27/14

Homily of the Day

Jn 11:19-27

Homily
Date
07/29/14
07/28/14
07/27/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: