Is it me, or is there just a mad illogicality to the way our society is continuing to deconstruct itself?
I read in The Times today that Gordon Brown has been to the Palace to discuss the repeal of the 1701 Act of Settlement. The Times comments, “The bar on Catholics has long been regarded as a symbol of sectarian prejudice”, and no doubt it is by those such as Mr Brown.
But wait a minute. A Roman Catholic regards the Pope as the Vicar of Christ. And didn’t the Vicar of Christ just wind up a lot of people by announcing that condoms exacerbate the problem of Aids in Africa rather than reduce it? So wouldn’t this sort of thing put a monarch of Roman persuasion in rather an interesting position?
Now I know that a lot of Roman Catholics in England regard the Pope’s pronouncements as themselves mistaken and out of touch, but I would vouch that (a) this has much to do with what I am told is the Liberalism of much English Catholicism and (b) that if there were a Papal ‘Obama’, the enthusiasm for his pronouncements would be very much restored.
In other words, the true Catholic (or the Catholic true to a favoured Pope) would adopt precisely the attitude to Papal authority, and therefore to their own role within the English State, that the Act of Settlement was designed to avoid. Let us not forget that in the US, Roman Catholic politicians have been on the receiving end of harsh words from their bishops regarding their voting record.
The fact is that the drive behind the bid to abolish the Act of Settlement rests on the presumption not that Catholicism is true but that all religions are equally false. This has always been the basis of ‘multiculturalism’, and has little to do with overcoming ‘sectarian prejudice’.
On the other hand, if there were a serious chance of the heir to the throne being a radical Islamist (and why ever not?) I wonder if Brown, Times journalists, et al would be quite so sanguine.
27 March 2009