Sunday, June 11, 2006

A multi-faith Coronation?

Prince Charles has been dabbling in this area for more than a decade, preparing the ground for his accession to the Throne as ‘Defender of Faith’, rather than as ‘Defender of the Faith’. Speculation has been rife that he is a secret convert to Islam, and private conversations have revealed his contempt for the Act of Settlement, which prevents Roman Catholics (or those married to Roman Catholics) acceding to the Throne, but now former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has waded into the fray.

The Coronation Oath demands that the Monarch uphold ‘the laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel, maintain the Protestant reformed religion established by law and maintain and reserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England’. According to Lord Carey, this is nonsense in a multi-cultural, multi-faith Britain, and must be changed. He said, ‘”The Queen came to the throne at a time when the Church of England was really the only Christian faith in the country. And there were no Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus around to be in any way evident in the life of the country. Now it’s a completely different world, so the Coronation Oath would have to be looked at more critically.”

Fortunately, the current Archbishop of Canterbury does not share his predecessor’s views. In fact, the two seem to be having a number of disagreements at the moment. Lord Carey has openly criticised Archbishop Williams for tolerating homosexual bishops and the Church’s acceptance of gay ‘civil partnerships’, accusing him of creating an Anglican communion riven with ‘bitterness, hostility, misunderstanding and strife’. So what does Lord Carey think his plans for a multi-faith coronation will produce? He might just consider that there are but a handful of scriptures that deal with homosexual intercourse, and only one (yes, one!) that deals with sexual orientation. On the other hand, there are literally hundreds of scriptures that warn against idolatry and the worship of other gods. The former does not therefore appear to be a topic worthy of schism; the latter most certainly is. If Lord Carey thinks that unity is best served by the future George VII (as he wishes to be known) and Queen Camilla taking oaths on the Guru Granth Sahib, the Gita and the Qur'an, he is profoundly misguided.

42 Comments:

Blogger Croydonian said...

Charles, bless him, is a buffoon, albeit a well meaning one. To be a defender of faith is about as meaningless as offering to be a defender of no faith.

11 June 2006 at 14:30  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

If Charles, with a poor degree in golf course management (or whatever it is), who isn't expected to know any better, is a buffoon, what does that make the learned theologian Lord Carey?

Doesn't he realise that these theologies are mutually exclusive, and that to be 'Defender of Faith' is ultimately to be defender of none?

11 June 2006 at 15:23  
Blogger istanbultory said...

Croydonian states the case for the prosecution rather convincingly. Charles is a dedicated dabbler in many areas with nothing more than a superficial understanding of any of them. His unbelievable theological ignorance and fetish for political correctness make him the perfect point man for the complete de-Christianisation of the UK- allowing Mr. Al-Amin and his ilk to fill the gap. Opinion throughout the Muslim world has it that Charles long since converted to that particular 'one true faith' The Muslim world is welcome to him...

11 June 2006 at 17:57  
Anonymous Olly said...

The law should not be changed to accommodate the beliefs of the monarch; the monarch should be changed to conform to the laws of the United Kingdom. We have done it before. Shouldn't we either skip a generation or change dynasty?

11 June 2006 at 21:31  
Blogger istanbultory said...

Olly is right. 'time to skip a generation. As for a change of dynasty, a restoration of the Stuarts perhaps? Cranmer would probably disapprove somewhat but you never know. We do live in a multi-faith society...

12 June 2006 at 07:49  
Anonymous Rick said...

restoration of the Stuarts perhaps

Best part of the Stuart dynasty was The Interregnum.

12 June 2006 at 08:57  
Anonymous Rick said...

f Charles, with a poor degree in golf course management

Funny I thought it was Anthropology at Cambridge.

This is all speculation and much to do with Laurens Van der Post and his kookie ideas. There are lobbies trying to coopt Charles to all sort of causes.

I might have been amenable to him marrying Princess Caroline of Monaco - she had a super photo on the front of Paris Match c. 1970 - but she has really made a mess of things like the Grimaldi/Kelly family seems to have done all round. Then again she has hardly been a good Catholic so the C of E should have appealed to her.

There is no place for mumbo-jumbo in the Coronation Ceremony - John Major has messed it up already by sending the Stone of Scone north - but we have our own mumbo-jumbo developed over centuries and I expect Cranmer to officiate at the next Coronation.

Even when Edward VII was crowned Emperor of India he was not anointed by Hindus and Muslims; and the British Empire was much more cosmpolitan than any part of England which is in fact monocultural with bi-cultural spots. The Manningham area of Bradford is monocultural like much of Pakistan and all that is lacking is a District Commissioner.

12 June 2006 at 09:05  
Blogger Cranmer said...

..and I expect Cranmer to officiate at the next Coronation.

If it were no for not my deceased state, I would be honoured.

12 June 2006 at 10:59  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

"Funny I thought it was Anthropology at Cambridge"

Doh. I know it wasn't golf course management. Do I really need to label sarcasm or irony? It's evident to the intelligent. The point I was making that it was a poor degree award, and he would never have got a place had he not been heir to the throne. He doesn't have the intelligence to comment on these complex constitutional or theological issues. He should just shut up and conform to the law.

12 June 2006 at 11:13  
Anonymous Rick said...

Doh. I know it wasn't golf course management. Do I really need to label sarcasm or irony?

Duh ! I did not know if Ulster Man had a sense of humour.............I welcome him as one of the few if he does indeed !

BTW.....you don't have to be heir to the throne to get into Oxbridge without notable academic achievement - it seems to run in all the best families

12 June 2006 at 12:46  
Blogger Croydonian said...

Perhaps I will be permitted a little meander here.

Pre-war, a son of the Emperor of Japan was at Christ Church (?) and there was a minor furore over one of said Emperor's titles being 'God'. The response from House was 'We have many undergraduates with eminent fathers'....

12 June 2006 at 13:29  
Anonymous TT said...

Restoration of the Stuarts? That would also be back to the dark ages (unless they have seen the light).

The problem is that we now live in an era where appearances and perceptions are more important than obscure things like theology, consistency or integrity. Charles will get his will, because it would 'contravene his human rights' if he didn't. Freedom of religion is enshrined in the EU's Charter of Human Rights. Since EU law is superior to UK law, any insistence on the monarch being Protestant is (in theory at least) subject to challenge in the EU Court of Human Rights.

12 June 2006 at 13:29  
Anonymous Rick said...

Freedom of religion is enshrined in the EU's Charter of Human Rights. Since EU law is superior to UK law, any insistence on the monarch being Protestant is (in theory at least) subject to challenge in the EU Court of Human Rights.

Not so. Besides these are only Appellate Courts. Just tell them to run away and they will.

You seriously don't expect Denmark to remove the Minister of Religion and stop the Danish Protestant Church controlling cemeteries do you ? Or to demand that Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, makes Islam a co-equal religion in the Coronation, or that Spain will have the Bourbons blessed by an Analusian Imam ?

Get real. The European Conventions fall the first day a Government says "Boo"

12 June 2006 at 13:57  
Blogger istanbultory said...

Cranmer,
I imagine that you are far from being a pleasant sight these days. Fortunately, your erudition remains in place of the flesh.

The Stuart dynasty is alive and kicking and determinedly papist. You'll be glad to know that Prince Max of Bavaria is the most universally acknowledged Stuart heir. His grandson Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liectenstein was interestingly enough born in London in 1995. He is the first heir to the Stuarts to have been born in the territory of the British Isles since the seventeenth century. So there's one for the conspiracy theorists amongst you to ponder..

12 June 2006 at 15:49  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr GC,

Thank you for your kind comments, and, yes, I'm afraid I appear more than a little ashen these days.

I do not believe, however desperate things get, that the restoration of the Stuart lineage is remotely possible. I tend to agree with Mr Rick that the involvement of the ECHR is not likely in such constitutional settlements, not least because, as he rightly observes, religious stipulations do not apply solely to the Throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Charles' 'right' to succeed has become part of the British psyche; ironically, one may say that it is almost perceived to be a Divine Right. At worst, there may be a generational shift, but if William does not accede, I rather suspect it will be the end of the Monarchy.

PS
Mr Croydonian,

Your meanderings are becoming increasingly tangential. You appear to be somewhat at sea when Mr Al-Amin is not about...

12 June 2006 at 17:05  
Blogger Croydonian said...

I did start off on topic. I just felt that that little anecdote would add to the gaiety of the blog, as it were.

12 June 2006 at 17:24  
Anonymous Martin said...

Of course the Coronation Oath should be changed. It's an anachronistic absurdity. No-one believes in it anymore, so why go through the charade of swearing it? And if Charles doesn't agree to it, why ask him to be a hypocrite? Even Sinn Fein don't swear oaths they don't agree with.

12 June 2006 at 18:52  
Blogger istanbultory said...

Sinn Fein are, of course, men of their word...and have no need for trifles such as oaths or any form of moral authority.

12 June 2006 at 19:00  
Blogger Croydonian said...

I am that somewhat rare beast, a Blue Republican, and would be quite happy for the dysfunctional family Battenberg Saxe Coburg Gotha to get on with riding, shooting things and so on and to exit the constitution bag and baggage.

However, this isn't going to happen any time soon, so if the C of E is not to be disestablished it is incumbent upon whoever is our next crowned head to support it, as the coronation *is* a religious event. I might add that all of the noise about things needing to be different now is a load of utter blah, as all of our crowned heads over the last few hundred years have been vowing to uphold the supremacy of the C of E, and making no genuflection to Catholicism or any of the non-conformist churches.

12 June 2006 at 19:05  
Anonymous Olly said...

Martin, constitutions shouldn't be changed to meet the whims of every Tom, Dick and Harry who happens to object. Just because Gerry Adams doesan't like swearing allegiance the the Queen doesn't mean we should get rid of the practice. Similarly, Prince Charles is ignorant of history and law. His request (demand?) to be the 'defender of faith' would lead to disestablishment, and the destruction of that faith in the UK. What is the Church of England if it is not the national church?

12 June 2006 at 20:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why shouldn't Gerry adams be shot ? He is responsible for so many deaths himself with his butcher boy friend McGuinness...................just what deal did they cut to avoid being liquidated ?

12 June 2006 at 21:26  
Anonymous comet said...

The value of the monarchy and the Anglican church is continuity and stability, for which they must have dignity. This Defender of Faith nonsense goes beyond a bit of dressing up and naive idealism - it's downright dangerous. A multi-faith coronation undermines two institutions which link us to our past by making them look ridiculous, weak and uncertain of their own values. This is far worse than dis-establishing the C of E and abolishing the monarchy on rational grounds.

13 June 2006 at 11:39  
Anonymous Rick said...

This Defender of Faith nonsense goes beyond a bit of dressing up and naive idealism -

The title Fidei Defensor was first given to Henry VIII for his pamphlet attacking Martin Luther - it was rescinded when The Pope under pressure from Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and nephew of Catherine of Aragon, excommunicated Henry VIII.

The title Fidei Defensor was then granted by Parliament to compensate Henry VIII for The Pope's churlish behaviour

13 June 2006 at 13:25  
Anonymous comet said...

The title Fidei Defensor was first given to Henry VIII for his pamphlet attacking Martin Luther -

Yes, I know. My Latin isn't good enough to say whether "Fidei Defensor" translates into "Defender of the Faith" or "Defender of Faith" more properly, or is ambiguous. Nonetheless it's always been taken to mean "Defender of the Faith", the Faith being the established church. When this idea of Charles' was first put about, it was "Defender of all the Faiths" and later "Defender of Faiths". Among other questions is whether it refers to a bundle of selected faiths or the concept of faith in general,
not to mention the incompatiblilities between faiths, in that if you accept one, you more or less have to reject the rest.

The point is that it's a minefield there's no reason to go near and that anyone with a particle of sense would steer clear of. As for these stories of Islamic conversion, if that's so then fair enough, but the implications have to be accepted. Charles should deny it or come clean. It can't just be flown in under the radar.

13 June 2006 at 16:02  
Anonymous Ulster Man said...

...and that anyone with a particle of sense would steer clear of

I rest my case.

13 June 2006 at 16:14  
Anonymous Rick said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fidei_defensor

the two Cromwells (16 December 1653 -30 January 1649), while republican Heads of state styled Lord Protector, were clearly profiled as more protestant than the Monarchy, they did not adopt the style Defender of the Faith, which thus had a hiatus till the Stuart Restoration.

the United Kingdom, the home realm, from 29 May 1953: "by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith."


HRH Charles, the Prince of Wales, has considered changing the interpretation of the formula. He commented in 1994 that, "I personally would rather see it (his future role) as Defender of Faith, not the Faith" [1]. While the absence of articles in Latin allows such alternative translation, questions may be asked whether this still reflects the Sovereign's role as Head of the Established Church of England, or on the other hand takes position against the unbelievers.

13 June 2006 at 17:45  
Anonymous comet said...

HRH Charles, the Prince of Wales, has considered changing the interpretation of the formula. He commented in 1994 that, "I personally would rather see it (his future role) as Defender of Faith, not the Faith" [1]. While the absence of articles in Latin allows such alternative translation, questions may be asked whether this still reflects the Sovereign's role as Head of the Established Church of England, or on the other hand takes position against the unbelievers.

A nice little problem in Latin prep. I feel sure that if he ran it past his pater, he'd find the old man was a considerable latin scholar and would make the exact meaning clear in no time. He'd also get some good advice on the excessive dressing up and the unsavoury crowd of senile delinquents he runs with.

13 June 2006 at 23:15  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Welcome Mr/Miss/Mrs/Ms Comet.

Learning and erudition are embraced on my learned blog.

You mention Latin prep. An indoctrinated rhyme suddenly sprang to mind.

Nulla sum, nulla sum,
Tota tota occidi,
Cur metu mortuumst
Praesidi, perfugi.

I cannot recall what it was all about, but possibly more to do with rhythms than grammatical sense. This recollection is clearly a prophetic metaphor for Prince Charles' agenda. He can no longer recall reasons or meanings, if he ever knew them, so the Coronation has simply become a nursery rhyme devoid of historical or cultural relevance.

Sadly, while most people graduate to more demanding literary genres, Prince Charles has yet to put away childish things.

14 June 2006 at 10:22  
Anonymous Al-Amin said...

The great faith of Islam is a peaceful element in the UK's multicultural quilt. Of course the Holy Qur'an should play a leading part in the next coronation. Charles will be king of all British citizens, including Muslims, so he should show his willingness to submit to the Qur'an and swear oaths on it as well as the bible. If not, all citizens are not equal, and he is king only over the christians, swearing oaths to their Jesus, and that is discrimination.

14 June 2006 at 14:04  
Anonymous Rick said...

Al-Amin you are obviously new to this country and unversed in The Act of Settlement 1701 which tried to prevent another civil war.

There are good reasons for this Realm to be as it is, you would be wise to respect those rules and adhere to our traditions to ensure your presence here is safe, secure, and in harmony with the traditions and rites of the People of these Islands.

We extend hospitality to you and your co-religionists but you would do well to be m,ore respectful towards ours since the consequences of doing otherwise weaken ours sense of hospitality towards those who disturb our inner tranquillity

14 June 2006 at 16:08  
Anonymous Rick said...

BTW - The Monarch is Head o The Commonwealth which includes Pakistan, Nigeria, Kenya, and certain other countries where Muslims live - previous Monarchs up to George VI were Emperor of India which also embraced a few Muslims.

The Monarch is Supreme Governor of the Church of England...............

Now stop being quite so obstreperous and get used to the idea Al-Amin that you are a minority which is tolerated in this country and stop trying to be the tail that wags the dog. You are droll but hardly amusing

14 June 2006 at 16:11  
Blogger Croydonian said...

If the would be George VII 'submits' to the Koran, then either his bending of the knee to that is insincere - which I'm sure A-A wouldn't approve of - or else his Christianity is completely compromised.

14 June 2006 at 16:29  
Anonymous comet said...

Charles will be king of all British citizens

That's by no means certain. His mother doesn't seem to have a lot of faith in him, which says a lot. We went through all this business a long time ago, with another Charles. After more upset with one of his lads and others, enough was enough. That's why steps were taken to stop it happening again. Before then was Mary, who was also subject to nutty ideas. The esteemed Cranmer owes his martyrdom to her. Draw him out on it if you can. I feel it's too delicate a subject to tax him with.

Let's face it, Charles is a weak idiot, more a tree hugger than a convert to any faith. He doesn't even have the sense to keep his mouth shut. You might think it to your advantage to push this, but it really isn't. Things are done here the way they are because of hard-learned lessons.

15 June 2006 at 01:06  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All men are weak without a Lady Macbeth to support them !

15 June 2006 at 11:19  
Blogger Croydonian said...

Anon at 11.19, there is a rather famous bachelor mentioned by implication in this thread......

15 June 2006 at 15:59  
Anonymous uk bloke said...

for want of a better source?
"Fidei Defensor"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fidei_defensor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supreme_Governor

http://www.24carat.co.uk/coininscriptionsframe.html
AMOR POPULI PRAESIDIUM REG(is) The love of the people is the Queen's protection

AMOR POPULI I PRAESIDIUM REGIS The love of the people is the King's protection
(ha, not reading the comments in this blog)

notice how even the coin industry will not commit to the 'of the' in their discriptions
http://www.24carat.co.uk/georgiusvdgbrittomnrexfdimpframe.html
F.D. FIDEI DEFENSOR Defender of the Faith
FID FIDEI (of the) Faith
DEF DEFENSOR Defender

16 June 2006 at 05:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bit iffy behaviour by saud

For the crime of conducting a Christian worship service. Islamic Tolerance Alert from Compass Direct:

June 15 (Compass Direct) – Ten Saudi Arabian police armed with wooden clubs raided a private Christian worship meeting in the coastal city of Jeddah on June 9, arresting four East African citizens leading the service.

At press time the two Ethiopian and two Eritrean Christians remained in the city’s deportation jail.

More than 100 Eritreans, Ethiopians and Filipinos were gathered for worship in a home in Jeddah’s Al-Rowaise district at 11 o’clock last Friday morning when a group of Saudi police entered the meeting, wooden clubs in hand.

The startled worshippers brought chairs to seat the policemen, who sat and waited for the three-hour worship service to conclude. None used their clubs or physically mishandled the worshippers.

“Actually, some muttawa [Muslim religious police] came to this gathering about two weeks before,” a local source told Compass, “but they did not do anything.”

But after the June 9 weekly praise and prayer service finished, police arrested four leaders of the group: Ethiopian Christians Mekbeb Telahun and Masai Wendewesen, together with Eritrean Christians Fekre Gebremedhin and Dawit Uqbay.

The four were jailed in the Jeddah Terhil (Deportation) Center, where guards have since permitted an acquaintance to bring them all a change of clothes. Three of the men are married; Wendewesen is single.

16 June 2006 at 14:53  
Anonymous uk bloke said...

"Bit iffy behaviour by saud"

hows that then ?, whats iffy about
the police witnessing a crime thats apparently on thier lands books, they arrest those initiating the crime and leave the others alone, by all accounts in your text, they appear to be fair and curtious, even going overboard in a real and righ thinking mannor by allowing the criminal act to continue to its conclusion before arresting the instigators!.

if you want to proclaim that lands law of wrong, then fine, but just because the the humans in your land that set law perhaps deem that offence unwerthy of law does not mean the humans that set law in the other lands should also deem it wrong, such is the human race, we do seem to like making things up and getting many things wrong or right depending on your perspective.!

just my thoughts after reading your comments in genaral youunderstand, nothing meant for or against you peronally.

16 June 2006 at 15:42  
Blogger Hair Up said...

i think that prince charles main objective or what he is trying to show by doin this is that we live in a multi-faith nation and he is showing that he does respect and understand some faiths , i dont think there is anything wrong with this as he is showing how mulit-cultural britan has become . Post back your views

26 June 2006 at 12:24  
Anonymous TT said...

Hair Up, that's not the point. He may be sensitive to other faiths, but a Coronation is a holy Church service. How can it involve other gods? Why should it? If you went to Mecca or Amritsar, you wouldn't find other gods prayed to. This is a Christian country, by law, and the Monarch should maintain the culture. Not compromise it for 5% of the population, most of whom don't give a damn anyway.

26 June 2006 at 17:35  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Hair Up,

Your name intrigues me, but at least you are not a tedious 'anon'.

Your thoughts are polite, but no-one is saying that other religions would be excluded from the next Coronation; they would be invited to attend as citizens of the United Kingdom. But they would be observers with perhaps a minor participative role. Their presence should not affect the Christian nature of the ancient ceremony any more than Mosques or Gurdwaras should bend their traditions to accommodate Christians who may attend as guests.

27 June 2006 at 20:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The Supremacy of Parliament should not be bowed to accommodate those who seek to enjoy the Rights & Liberties bestowed by it" Me, 10th July 2006.

The Bill of Rights was shattered by the passing of the Catholic Relief Act 1829 and it broke the Coronation Oath of George IV so from that day to this I would say all Acts and the Parliament itself are illegitimate, funny how Betty Boothroyd said in 1993 (Hansard) "the Bill of Rights has never been amended", when actually it has. For Crown, Church & Constitution !!!

15 July 2006 at 18:58  

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