13 Replies to “Church Standards”

  1. Wasn’t there something of a hoo-hah over the Prince of Wales though? If marriage as a divorcee is out and you’re the future head of the C of E, then surely its out for mere subjects, too?

  2. Catholics can re-marry, provided they can demonstrate that the marriage was invalid, was not/cannot be consumated, or involved unusual cruelty. Obviously one needs to get a dispensation from the pope agreeing to dissolve the marriage before getting remarried.
    It’s always been allowable in the C of E. Divorce and remarriage was central to its foundation, Henry the 8th and all that. The ho-hah over the prince of wales is because camilla is catholic and cannot therefore be Queen, not because they are both divorced. Blair had to wait until out of office to convert to catholicism for the same reason (catholics cannot be PM either).

  3. Matt Muro, w.t.f?!
    I do not recall any mention of Camilla being a Catholic during the furore over her marriage to Charles. I am sure it was all to do with their shared status as divorcees. If you can find a link that ‘outs’ her as a Catholic I’ll gladly change my mind.
    More likely is some kind of law which prevents a Catholic becoming PM, although I doubt that too. I know there is a law preventing the monarch from being Catholic, but I’m not sure that it extends to any of the offices of state. Just because there hasn’t been a Catholic Prime Minister, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a law against it. We waited until 1979 for a female Prime Minister, and there still hasn’t been a PM from an ethnic minority – these absences merely reflect the prejudices of the electorate and society. Likewise with Catholics, often marginalized and informally discriminated against.

  4. Rt Hon Ruth Kelly MP has never, to my knowledge, been Prime Minister. But clearly there ain’t no law preventing a Catholic from being a member of the Privvy Council, which does make Matt’s assertion all the more shaky.

  5. The Bill of Rights of 1689, barred Roman Catholics and those who marry Roman Catholics from ascending the throne “for ever”.
    With regards to the PM: as s/he is still involved in appointing senior members of the Church of England, a catholic Prime Minister is considered to be ‘constitutionally awkward’. The ground is so muddy, even Tony had to ask…
    A x

  6. Have you heard of Ruth Kelly MP, Matt?
    Rob, I think the issue with Camilla was not for religious-type reasons, but more because for someone to marry the Prince of Wales, the traditional preference is that she should be a virgin, which a divorcee is quite likely to not be. Of course, it’s all academic if she’s post-menopausal, but the protocol is there for reproductive reasons, if you catch my drift.

  7. Rob – It’s one of those elephant in the room conditions that no one likes to mention publicly because it’s constitutionally sensitive. Before Charles married Di, Camilla was in the frame but had to be dropped as marriage to her would scupper his sucession to the throne and create a constitutional crisis.
    As a catholic it’s one of the things that winds me up about multiculturalism. All sorts of fairly trivial minority rights are considered important enoug to legislate on but one of the largest minorities in the country is effectively denied the highest office of state.

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