Tags: gordon | brown | catholics

UK May Lift Ban on Catholic Monarchs

Saturday, 28 Mar 2009 09:20 AM

By David A. Patten

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has begun discussions with Queen Elizabeth on abolishing a 308-year-old law that prohibits Roman Catholic believers from ever assuming the throne, British newspapers reported Friday.

Since 1701, Britain’s Act of Settlement has forbidden members of the Royal Family from converting to Catholicism or marrying a Catholic -- unless they first agree to be removed from the line of succession.

The law, which dates back to conflicts in the 17th century between Protestants and Catholics, is intended to ensure that no Catholic could ever assume the British throne. The rules also give preference to male over female offspring.

Brown said that citizens of the British Commonwealth “expect discrimination to be removed.”

Opposition leader David Cameron gave the proposal a strong endorsement, expressing dissatisfaction with the current law of succession.

“I would like it to change,” Cameron told the BBC. “It does not make sense in the 21st Century to say that men have priority over women when it comes to inheriting the throne.”

Currently, daughters follow behind their brothers in the order of succession to the British throne, even if the brothers are younger.

Cameron added, “It does not make sense to say that the king cannot marry a Catholic.”

The Daily Telegraph reports that Buckingham Palace appears to be “open” to the proposal, although no timetable for the change has been discussed. Whether the revised law should apply retroactively to current members of the Royal Family is one of several topics being discussed.

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Michael of Kent and the Earl of St. Andrews both renounced their right to succession and married Catholics.

The Telegraph reports that the deputy leader of Commons, Chris Bryant, has been reviewing at Brown’s behest the constitutional issues involved. Bryant said the government wanted to see a “rational situation” where Catholics and Protestants, and men and women, are treated equally.

There are several complications to deal with before the changes could be made. Chief among them: Consultation with all 53 Commonwealth countries.

That’s not the only change afoot for tradition-steeped England, however.

Brown is reportedly considering offering a peerage to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor. If that occurs, the Telegraph reports, it would mark the first time since the Reformation that a Roman Catholic Bishop has sat in the House of Lords.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Israel Refuses to Share New Zealand Ambassador with Palestinians

Monday, 08 Sep 2014 07:09 AM

Israel is refusing to allow New Zealand's new foreign minister to present his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin sin . . .

Malaysia Airlines to Slash 6,000 Jobs in Survival Bid

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 06:51 AM

Malaysia Airlines will slash 6,000 jobs, trim its route network, and replace its CEO under plans announced Friday to sta . . .

Scarborough: Obama's Right, NATO Nations Should Up Military Spending

Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 13:00 PM

The U.S. invests more than its fair share on military spending compared to other countries, and President Barack Obama w . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved