Friday, May 02, 2008

Autumn Kelly renounces Roman Catholicism

It has been a long time in coming. All of the conversions of prominent politicians or members of the Royal Family in recent years have been inexorably Romeward, and crossing the Tiber for love (…or political advantage…) has become a familiar affair. Indeed, The Times reported almost a year ago that Peter Phillips would renounce his place in the line of Royal succession in order that he may marry his Roman Catholic fiancée, Autumn Kelly.

So Cranmer is surprised but nonetheless delighted that Miss Kelly has decided to renounce her Roman Catholic faith in order that Mr Phillips may retain his place in the succession. And she has not only renounced her faith, but has converted to Anglicanism.

This has not gone down well in certain quarters, with some expressing their sorrow that she has betrayed ‘the blood of martyrs’.

The issue, of course, is the Act of Settlement 1701 which forbids British monarchs and their heirs and successors from being, becoming or marrying a Roman Catholic. Actually, it is not that they may not do so, for that would be a breach of their human rights; it is simply that they may not do so and accede to the Throne, which is not a human right.

Miss Kelly was baptised into the Roman Catholic Church in 1978, and marriage to Mr Phillips, who is now 11th in line to the throne, would have meant him surrendering his place. But Miss Kelly has been taking instruction from the Dean of Windsor, and has now been received into the Church of England.

But Cranmer is more than a little puzzled by this.

He is admiring that Miss Kelly evidently loves her fiancé so much that she is prepared to renounce the faith into which she was born. But why would Mr Phillips consider being 11th in line to the Throne a position worth retaining? Does he have some foreknowledge of a calamity which will befall all the senior royals, leaving Parliament with no choice but to appoint him king? The chances of him acceding to the Throne are negligible, not to say zero, and so nothing would have been lost by his continuing in the Anglican tradition and she in the Roman Catholic. One might think that Miss Kelly would have insisted that he accept her as she is or not at all.

Perhaps it does not say much for Mr Phillips that he is prepared to make his wife change her religion simply in order that he may retain his relatively obscure place in the line of succession. And neither does it say much for Miss Kelly that she is prepared to renounce her faith in order that she may acquire a little royal privilege.

Is not faith more important than royal status?

Unless, of course, her faith meant absolutely nothing to her? Or she had been having doubts about papal infallibility and transubstantiation for some considerable time? Or perhaps, understanding the importance of British tradition, she has simply decided to love, honour, and obey?

One may be baptised into the Roman Catholic Church as baby, but it is manifestly a decision of the parents and although the sacrament may be considered efficacious, it does not make one anything. Autumn Kelly is now expressing her free will on the matter and has decided to join the Church of England which is both Catholic and Reformed - a most enlightened fusion.

Cranmer welcomes her warmly into the Church of England, which has its own blood (and ashes) of martyrs. God bless her.


Blogger ultramontane grumpy old catholic said...

Your Grace, this Grumpy Old Catholic was amused and intrigued to read yesterday's headline, especially since Peter Phillips is 11th in succession. What does she know what we don't?

A King Peter I and Queen Autumn sounds like something out of Disney's Little Mermaid.

But on reflection, this would not seem to be the issue, and it is far more likely she has been taking pastoral counselling from Your Grace's erudite, amusing and humane blog.

2 May 2008 at 13:34  
Anonymous oiznop said...

Autumn Kelly is very welcome into the CofE, and all reports say the decision was hers alone.

Not quite a Road to Damascus, but a welcome conversion none the less!

2 May 2008 at 13:46  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Perhaps he’s not so daft; When Queen Anne lost all 18 of her children and couldn’t provide for the protestant succession, (she just didn’t try hard enough), the government of the day had to search high a low for any (with the best will in the world you can’t say suitable) candidate to take on the job of King.

In order to accomplish this feat of desperation that fat old Norfolk Whig Robert Walpole and his aristocratic friends, all still rich from the previous centuries land grab off the church imposed the Prince-Elector of Hannover and Duke of Brunswick on the English over the heads of more than 50 Catholics, each having better claims to the English throne than he. Just to be clear these noble Protestant gentlemen chose a fat old German who wouldn’t learn English, all conversation was in Latin, George had his wife locked away in a castle for the previous thirty years for adultery while at the same time arriving with his two favourite mistresses (collectively known as the Elephant and the Maypole) for his coronation. Considering he also thought England less important than Hannover we owe a real debt of gratitude to the wonderful Protestant ascendancy and their total lack of scruples in choosing a monarch, so no possibly Mr Phillips thinks he has quite a good chance and on past evidence he may be right, Do we really want Charles III?

2 May 2008 at 16:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We won't have a Charles III. He's already said he's going to be King George VII.

2 May 2008 at 16:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see someone leaving the leacherous Roman church.
They rejoice without regard to our feelings when they get a stupid head like Blair or Widdecombe.

The motto is its good to turn catholic -Roman style - but not good to turn as it is now called non-catholic (euphemism for protestant and the sign of the bigot).

Rome wearing the crown of this UK does not bare thinking about.
God will ensure the blood of the martyrs is not forgotten. We protestants don't forget what Rome has done for us.

2 May 2008 at 18:23  
Anonymous sell your soul said...

Money talks: Royal status shouts (very loudly). God merely whispers in comparison (for a while).

2 May 2008 at 21:58  
Anonymous dchc said...

Your Grace will be better versed than me, but I do not understand why Autumn Kelley needed instruction in the Anglican faith. As a church by law established surely every one of the Queen's subjects (the current Nationality Act notwithstanding)is a member unless they make a conscious decision not to be.

2 May 2008 at 22:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like the perfect marriage, hence it won't last long...

2 May 2008 at 22:57  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's sad that in the year 2008 england still thinks its 1598. I feel sad for Miss Kelly and hope that one day she finds here way back home to the true churh of lord and savior. To think Our Saint Thomas more died for his love of the Catholic church. It shows that Royal family are messed up in the head. Asking her to give up her religion so he can have a shot of been king. He has no chances. Thank god are religion is not lead by Queen or King.

2 May 2008 at 23:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what ever happen to freedom of religion? Either you become a protestant and renounce your church or you cant be my wife. You Anglicans talk bad about the Muslims because they force there religion on others but you guys are not better then the Muslims.

2 May 2008 at 23:25  
Blogger Stefan said...

Your Grace,

Doubtless you would be grieved to hear this, but many Anglicans believe in transubstantiation (such an ugly word...always said aloud with that proud "look at me I'm saying a six syllable word" tone; must we reduce the great miracle of the Eucharist to such crass Aristotlean vocabulary?) and are fond of the Bishop of Rome. I trust, of course, that Your Grace is aware of precisely what 'papal infallibility' actually means, and how many times it has actually been invoked.

She is not converting at all. She is moving from one branch of the One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church to another, of equal validity. It would be a graver matter if she had gone to some null and void congregationalist Protestant church, but she hasn't.

3 May 2008 at 00:29  
Anonymous Geoff said...

Maybe he suspects something along the lines of the mass machine-gunning of the Nepalese monarchy or maybe a real-life version of the collapsing balcony in the film 'King Ralph' which supposedly gave us an American king.

Or maybe she just isn't really bothered about religion.

Either way - if he is 11th in line then he's slightly higher than me. I'd hate to jump the queue as that would be rude.

3 May 2008 at 00:47  
Blogger Terry Hamblin said...

Nice to see someone making an adult decision about her faith. It really is time to get away from teh fiction of infant baptism. God has no grandchildren.

3 May 2008 at 01:17  
Blogger Viator Catholicus said...

Perhaps you have hit it on the head: "Autumn Kelly is now expressing her free will on the matter and has decided to join the Church of England..."
Of course, therein lies the problem. "

"[T]hose who believe in His name, who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man's decision but of God." (Jn 1:12-13)

But alas, what does it profit a woman to marry the 11th in line to the throne of England and lose her soul in the process?
She has abandoned the true King for an impostor.

But, then again one wonders about her former alleigiance to Church established by Christ. Catholics must be baptized with the name of a saint, yet, her name is "Autumn." Moreover, hadn't the two been co-habitating? Perhaps the ever changing doctrine of the Church of Cranmer permits fornication, but the Catholic Church of Jesus Christ cannot.
Miserere ei, Domine!

3 May 2008 at 03:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to bust your bubble but the Anglican Church is not Apostalic. They lost the Apostalic line when they broke away from the Catholic Church so King Henry VIII could have 6 wifes with help from our friend Cranmer. She chose Royalty over her Faith.

3 May 2008 at 05:52  
Anonymous the recusant said...

Terry Hamblin,

To grasp the background and origins of Infant Baptism you must understand the original recipients of the New Covenant. During the first years, the members of the Church were exclusively Jewish. The Jews practiced infant circumcision, as mandated to Abraham (Gn 17:12), reaffirmed in the Mosaic Law (Lv 12:3), and demonstrated by the circumcision of Jesus on his eighth day (Lu 2:21). Without circumcision no male was allowed to participate in the cultural and religious life of Israel.

The rite of circumcision as the doorway into the Old Covenant was replaced in the New Covenant with the rite of Baptism-both applied to infants. St. Paul makes this correlation: “In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; and you were buried with him in baptism” (Co 2:11-12). The Catechism informs us that “this sign [of circumcision] prefigures that ‘circumcision of Christ’ which is Baptism” (CCC no. 527).

When Peter preached under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost he was speaking to a Jewish audience (Ac 2:5-35). Peter announced, “Repent, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and your children” (Ac 2:38-39). The Jews would have been dismayed had the New Covenant not included their children, especially since it was promised to them, and the New Covenant was to be an improvement over the Old in which they were included.

The New Testament frequently implies that adults and children were included in the rite of Baptism. For example, when the head of a household converted and was baptized, his entire household was also baptized with him (Ac 16:15, 33; 1 Co 1:16). The inference of course, especially based on Jewish understanding of the family and covenants, would include the aged, the adults, the servants, and the infants. If the practice of Infant Baptism had been illicit or prohibited it would surely have been explicitly forbidden, especially to restrain the Jews from applying Baptism to their infants as they did circumcision. But we find no such prohibition in the New Testament nor in the writings of the Fathers-a silence that is very profound.

Many commentators see an allusion to Infant Baptism in the words of St. Luke, “Now they were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. But Jesus called them to him, saying, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God’ (Lk 18:15-16). In the early Church this passage was understood as a command to bring the infants to Christ for Baptism. The very first time this passage shows up in Christian literature (c. 200), it is used in reference to Infant Baptism (Tertullian, De Baptismo 18:5). Even though Tertullian espoused a later baptism for children, he acknowledged that Infant Baptism was already the universal practice and does not try to avoid the interpretation of this verse’s reference to Infant Baptism. The Apostolic Constitutions (c. 350) taught that children should receive baptism based on the words of Jesus, “Do not hinder them” (VI 15.7)

In the middle of the second century Infant Baptism is mentioned not as an innovation, but as a rite instituted by the apostles. Nowhere do we find it prohibited and everywhere we find it practiced. Early in the nascent Church we have St. Irenaeus (c. 130-c. 200) who provides a very early witness to Infant Baptism, based on John 3:5. Irenaeus wrote, “For He [Jesus] came to save all through means of Himself-all, I say, who through Him are born again to God,-infants, and children, and boys, and youths, and old men” (Against Heresies, 2, 22, 4).

Origen (AD c. 185-c. 254) who had traveled to the extents of the Roman Empire wrote with confidence, “The Church received from the Apostles the tradition [custom] of giving Baptism even to infants. For the Apostles, to whom were committed the secrets of divine mysteries, knew that there is in everyone the innate stains of sin, which must be washed away through water and the Spirit” (Commentary on Romans 5, 9).

St. Augustine confirmed the ubiquitous teaching of the Church when he wrote, “This [infant baptism] the Church always had, always held; this she received from the faith of our ancestors; this she perseveringly guards even to the end” (Augustine, Sermon. 11, De Verb Apost) and “Who is so impious as to wish to exclude infants from the kingdom of heaven by forbidding them to be baptized and born again in Christ?” (Augustine, On Original Sin 2, 20).

Throughout Christian history, only a very few have opposed Infant Baptism. The opposition resides mainly in those of Anabaptist heritage which originated in the sixteenth century and who were strongly opposed by Reformers Martin Luther and John Calvin who both taught and practiced Infant Baptism. The Anabaptists’ opposition to the baptism of infants lies mainly in their belief-unsupported by Scripture and with no supporting evidence from the practice of the early Church-that one has to be of sufficient age to exercise personal faith in Christ and make a personal confession at baptism. Nowhere is this taught in Scripture that only adults can receive baptism. To hold this extreme view is to be outside the continuity of historical Christianity.

An objection is often proffered that infant baptism may likely lead to nominal Christianity or abandonment of the faith in later years since the infant was baptized into the faith without his own consent and the obvious inability to “give proper instruction”. This argument can also be used against those who baptize only adults since the examples are too numerous to mention of those baptized as adults who become nominal Christians or apostatized later in life. Adult baptism is no greater guarantee of subsequent spiritual vitality. Confirmation, the rite that accompanies baptism, though usually at a later date, is intended to instruct the child or young adult in the fullness of the faith and commitment to Christ, instilling knowledge of the Gospel, spiritual vitality, and a personal commitment to the faith of their fathers.

The Catechism summarizes the Church’s teaching: “Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism. . . . The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth” (CCC no. 1250).

Unless you can refute these arguments in a reasoned and sourced manner I think you should carefully consider St. Augustines words again “Who is so impious as to wish to exclude infants from the kingdom of heaven by forbidding them to be baptized and born again in Christ?”

3 May 2008 at 09:15  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...

Has Master Phillips a secret agenda of the "Kind Hearts and Coronets" kind?
And as Stefan said, Miss Kelly is not leaving the Catholic Church (and certainly should not have needed to be "instructed" or "received").
According to certain posters on the Holy Smoke blog she is now certainly bound for hell fire.

3 May 2008 at 11:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miss Kelly is most certainly leaving the Catholic Church. I do not understand this bizarre Anglican idea that you're part of the Catholic Communion when it suits, and not when it doesn't? If she is not leaving the Catholic Church, why does she have need of doing anything? She could stay put if there were no schism!

4 May 2008 at 19:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is not possible for the Church of England to be both Catholic and reformed. Valid 'reforms' of the Catholic church do not involve the rejection of Catholic doctrines.

4 May 2008 at 20:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this act will cause her automatic excommunication from Roman Catholic Church.

5 May 2008 at 18:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another anonymous has spoken rather well of "St" Thomas Moore.

Given his direct implication in the death of William Tyndale, is he the only "saint" ( apart from St Paul) to have made it despite direct complicity in murder? St Paul at least had the grace to repent before being canonised

5 May 2008 at 22:10  
Blogger gespin3549 said...

The trollop had no faith to begin with. If one really has faith, one does not abandon the divine for the merely human. As for the cretins on this blog who constantly mistreat the Roman Catholic Church - you are quite frankly an ignorant lot of buffoons who have no idea what you're babbling about.

6 May 2008 at 10:55  
Blogger Margo said...

Why was it important for Amber to change her faith. Peter Phillips is 11th in line.

Is there, by chance, a bomb waiting in Balmoral Castle this summer when the entire royal family will be there for holiday?

8 May 2008 at 17:36  
Blogger Margo said...

"perhaps she had doubts about transubstantiation and papal infallibility." Oh come on, the girl is an airhead. She hasn't the faintest idea what those terms mean, much less spell them. She is looking for an early retirement and the chance to smooze with celebrities. Let me know if you spot her at church next sunday and all the following sundays.

8 May 2008 at 17:44  
Anonymous tiberswimmer said...

Hope she's good at turning out lights . . .

10 May 2008 at 02:12  
Blogger Hazel said...

Not rejecting her faith -- simply finding another way to express it!
Faith is in God and his Son Jesus which is universal to ALL Christians whatever else they may choose to believe about transubstantiation and virgin births.

16 May 2008 at 12:32  
Blogger gespin3549 said...

Hazel says: "Not rejecting her faith -- simply finding another way to express it!
Faith is in God and his Son Jesus which is universal to ALL Christians whatever else they may choose to believe about transubstantiation and virgin births."

I am sorry Hazel, but you are very wrong. Because your church does not have the ability to transubstantiate, you do not understand the majesty and wonderr and gift that this is. No! The lady in question has done worse than lose her faith - she has denied it. She has denied the reality of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. She has turned her back on the living God among us. That is apostasy and it is unforgivable, for she did not do it for spiritual reasons but carnal ones.

16 May 2008 at 13:46  
Anonymous scottwitter said...

scraping the bottom of the barrel for "news" ?

this is such a snore factor i give the topic a triple

zzz rating.

she has an arts degree, zzz

she is plain zzz

she hit the marriage jackpot, somewhat newsworthy.

but conversion these days is nothing more than changing socks.

17 May 2008 at 21:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

she will be sorry sooner than later that she left the one, holy, Catholic & apostolic church to join the Anglican church---as far as i can see she will have no alliance to either church & when the hard times come, she will be left with nothing

18 May 2008 at 07:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to say this, but having known Autumn for some years, my best guess is that she's a typical atheistic Catholic (most Catholics in Quebec are) and so 'changing religions' means absolutely nothing to her. What is truly sad is that she would be accepted into the Anglican Church so easily. You'd think the conversion process would be more rigorous.

20 May 2008 at 02:46  
Blogger Margo said...

Does anybody in the royal family go to Church on Sunday, other than Christmas and Easter? This is just a sham. Autumn gave up her religion, what did Peter give up?

I saw the wedding pictures that they sold to Hello! Magazine for $1,000,000 and the gown came free. It looked just like a Disneyworld wedding. The gloves are off, they are now fair game for the media. Now that that they have sold their privacy, will Autumn be crying just like Diana and Fergy that they have no privacy?

In the Hello! Magazine interview, Autum explained the "switch" thus:
"In my eyes," she opined, "it is, after all, the same religion."
As for citizenship, Kelly said: "I'm happy being Canadian and I'm proud of where I come from. So I'll keep my passport." Too bad she wasn't proud of her religion too. The passport means more than her religion (but then, I doubt she ever had any). As for it being the same religion, let me hear from you Low Church People. You didn't think it was the same when you demonstrated in Walsingham at the Anglican Shrine with your shouts of "Popery,", "Papism," etc.

22 May 2008 at 21:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to my Catholic, lawyer grandfather, the Episcopalians are actually valid purveyors of the Sacraments, the reason being that the bishops are the ones who ordain priests, not the Pope. The Pope is merely the Bishop of Rome. The English bishops did not lose their standing, their sacred powers, by the fact of the Church of England having broken away from Rome. So, although this is not generally known, a Catholic (Roman) might actually get a better deal with a church which gives slightly more latitude to the laity, one which even ordains women.

31 May 2008 at 23:30  
Blogger Margo said...

Dear Anonymous. Your Catholic grandfather is neither right nor wrong. The validity of Anglican ordination is still in the “discussion,” “negotiation” or “dialogue” stage. The Anglican Church still uses the Ordinal of Edward VI, which discarded the ancient system of ordination and had a decidedly if not subtle anti-Catholic bent. The Edwardine Ordinal was considered a commissioning to serve to preach the Word of God, and thereby dismiss the sacrificial Mass. The Ordinal was created by Edward’s Protestant leaning advisors, Archbishop Cranmer and the Duke of Somerset to do just that. The Edwardine Ordinal was repudiated by Mary I, then re-established by Elizabeth I. Pope Leo XIII condemned it in the late 19th century, but it is still an ongoing issue. This is a keen difference of which many on both sides of the religious fence see the difference but in this age of Ecumenism, it is played down. The ordination of women in the Anglican Church makes it all the more difficult. Anglican ordination, valid or licit? that is the question.
As for female priests in the Episcopal Church, it has turned into a female sorority in the U.S. or an us v. them mentality. The male priests are the enemy and the female priesthood has been infiltrated by the NARAL pro-choice females who badger and pressure the pro-life females to sign pro-choice petitions.
As for the role of the laity, I beg to differ with you. I do not know about the British R.C.’s, but in the U.S., the laity virtually runs the Church due to the shortage of priests. Most parishes are run by committee, and of course, females are the majority on the committees I am on the RCIA committee, chair the CCD ministry and teach CCD; am on finance committee; and am in hospital ministry. Where, oh where are our men?

4 June 2008 at 18:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" ...this act will cause her automatic excommunication from Roman Catholic Church ... "

Well after all that's the point of it.

4 August 2008 at 07:36  
Blogger Margo said...

How's she doing. Is she going to Church every Sunday?

4 September 2008 at 17:50  

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