Vatican to send representative of Pope Francis to British coronation

Pope Francis and King Charles III Pope Francis greets His Royal Highness Prince Charles of Wales at the canonization of St. John Henry Newman at the Vatican on Oct. 13, 2019. | Vatican Media

The Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, will represent Pope Francis at the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday, May 6.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni announced Parolin’s attendance on Thursday.

Parolin will be in attendance with other high-ranking guests, including world leaders, representatives of European monarchies, and royal families from around the world.

The presence of other crowned royals at the ceremony is a break from royal tradition, British press reported. Approximately 2,200 people have been invited to the crowning.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Catholic archbishop of Westminster, will give a blessing during the coronation ceremony. It will mark the first time since the Reformation that a Catholic prelate is formally participating.

Other Christian leaders from across the United Kingdom have also been invited to formally bestow a blessing on the new king.

The Order of Service, released by the Church of England, explains: “The progress of ecumenical relations since 1953 means that for the first time, this blessing is to be shared by Christian leaders across the country.”

The blessings will take place shortly after the archbishop of Canterbury formally crowns King Charles III, after which Westminster Abbey’s bells will peal for two minutes and then the official blessings will commence.

Cardinal Nichols will say: “May God pour upon you the riches of his grace, keep you in his holy fear, prepare you for a happy eternity, and receive you at the last into his immortal glory.”

The other Christian leaders who will formally give a blessing include the archbishop of York, the Greek Orthodox archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain, the moderator of the Free Churches, the secretary general of Churches Together in England, and the archbishop of Canterbury.

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