Let Catholics Become Kings, Says Charles
Such is the Banner Headline of the Catholic Herald 27th November 2000
Dr. Ian R.K. Paisley
The Catholic Herald states that Catholics have responded cautiously to a claim that the Prince of Wales supports the repeal of the law forbidding a Catholic to ascend to the throne.
The claim was made this week by Paddy Ashdown who revealed that Prince Charles saw no reason why a Catholic shouldn’t become a British sovereign – even though this is forbidden by the Act of Settlement 1701. The disclosure has led to renewed calls for the repeal of the Act that was unsuccessfully challenged in the House of Lords last year. Opponents of the law – which states that the British monarch cannot be, or marry a Catholic – branded it as an ‘anachronistic and anomalous injustice’.
The Prince is said to have shown his support for repeal during a private discussion on a plane journey five years ago with the then leader of the Liberal Democrats and Tony Blair, then leader of the Opposition.
Mr Ashdown’s diary, serialised by The Times this week, recorded the Prince’s contribution to a conversation about religion and the Crown:
‘Charles looked at me, smiled broadly and said – "I really can’t think why we can’t have Catholics on the throne"’ Mr Ashdown wrote.
The remark – the first public indication of the Prince’s views – was seen to be fully in line with his belief that Britain should embrace all cultures and faiths. He said several years ago that he wanted to be ‘defender of faiths’ rather than the Defender of The Faith.
Philip Daniel of the Catholic Union agreed that there should be no obstacle to a Catholic monarch, but felt there was a lack of political will to overturn the Act of Settlement.
He said, ‘Acts can be rescinded. But I think there are bigger things to worry about than whether the sovereign can be a Catholic. I don’t think there’s a strong campaign to repeal the Act of Settlement, because I don’t think it really disturbs enough people now.’
The interesting thing of course is that no mention was made of the fact that the King of the Vatican must be a Roman Catholic. In fact the King of the Vatican is not even allowed to marry let alone marry one of a faith other than that of his own. What is good for the Papist they can hardly argue is not good for others!