Mr. Kevin McNamara’s Bill is now listed for further debate in the House of Commons on 15th March.
It was put down for a second reading on 11th January but was not moved. (See English Churchman 11 January).
The Bill was originally introduced under the Ten Minute rule in the last hours of the parliamentary session, immediately before the Christmas recess (19 December) when the majority of members would not be present. It has three purposes:
To make it legal to advocate the abolition of the monarchy.
To amend the Act of Settlement to provide that persons in communion with the Roman Catholic Church are able to succeed to the Crown
To amend the law relating to the parliamentary oath.
The Bill was proposed by Mr. Kevin McNamara (Hull North, Labour) and opposed by the Rev Ian Paisley (North Antrim, DUP). Voting was 170 for the Bill; 32 against. Those voting against with Dr. Paisley included Roman Catholics such as the Rt Hon Ann Widdecombe. The promoters seek to amend three important Acts, all within the brief compass of a single ten minute Bill.
Dr Ian Paisley has issued the accompanying statement (15th January), which we reproduce in full. He makes a crucial point about the liberties of the subject, and we invite readers to study it carefully.
‘An Act declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and settling the Succession of the Crown’ is part and parcel of our British Constitutional law.
Clause 9 is of vital consequence:
"And whereas, it has been found by experience that it is inconsistent with the safety and welfare of this Protestant Kingdom to be governed by a Popish Prince, or by any King or Queen marrying a Papist, the said Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons do further pray that it may be enacted that all and every person and persons, that is, are or shall be reconciled to, or shall hold communion with SEE or CHURCH of Rome, of shall profess the Popish Religion, or shall marry a Papist, shall be excluded, and be for ever incapable to inherit, posses, or enjoy the Crown and Government of this realm in Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, or any part of the same, or to have use, or exercise any Regal power, authority, or jurisdiction within the same; and in all and every such case of cases the people of these realms shall be and are hereby absolved of their allegiance; and the said Crown and government shall from time to time descend to and be enjoyed by such person or persons being PROTESTANTS as should have inherited and enjoyed the same, in case the said person or persons so reconciled, holding communion, or professing or marrying as aforesaid, were naturally dead.’
It is essential that we not the underlying motivation of this Constitutional foundation. The title is all important. It is an Act ‘declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and settling the Succession of the Crown’.
Note it is not the liberty of the Sovereign but the liberty of the subject. Those who suffered under a Roman Catholic monarch were not the monarch but his subjects. Clause 9 makes it crystal clear ‘Whereas it has been found by experience that is inconsistent with the safety and welfare of this Protestant Kingdom to be governed by a Popish Prince or by any King or Queen marrying a Papist.’
The nation had been taught a salutary lesson. The danger to their liberties was just as much endangered by a Monarch marrying a Roman Catholic (for example, Charles I’s Papist Queen and the Bloody Mary’s Papist Consort, the King of Spain) as be the Monarch himself being a Papist.
The incapacity was found to be based on the political and civil bearings of the Monarch’s or his Consort’s allegiance to the Pope. James Paton, in his monumental work British History and Papal Claims states:
‘And a Papist was excluded or politically ‘incapacitated’, not for his religious beliefs or his idolatrous worship, however detested; but directly and expressly according to the memorable terms of the Bill of Rights for the ‘SAFETY AND WELFARE’ of this Protestant kingdom. In all the conflicts and controversies that are as yet to pass in review, it is impossible to exaggerate the importance of remembering and duly valuing those great historical and statutory words; The ‘Safety and Welfare’ of this Kingdom.’
The attempt by Rome, headed up by the present Roman Catholic Cardinal, to pour scorn and ridicule upon this keystone of the Revolution Settlement, is but one part of the crusade by Rome to destroy the present Constitution of the United Kingdom.
Kevin McNamara’s ten minute rule Bill has this in mind. On Friday, 11th January, although listed for debate in the House of Commons, it was not moved. It is now listed for the 15th March.
Coupled with the Queen’s overtures to the Cardinal, both in having him preach in the church of England at Sandringham and giving him a seat of honour in her Jubilee Service in St. Paul’s, the plan to destroy the Protestant heritage is afoot. The Monarchy, as never before, is being subjected to all sorts of attacks. A concentrated effort by the enemies of out country is being made, and it will increase in momentum and power. The Blair Government looks as if it is leading this movement from behind.
The alarm bells are surely ringing! The annulling of the Williamite Revolution Settlement will mark the destruction of freedom and the liberty of the subject. The battle lines are clearly drawn.