The British empire took a giant leap forward into the 19th century today by allowing that royals will not be barred from the throne merely because they married a, good gracious, Catholic. Catholics, of course, remain barred from the throne itself because of the difficulty and all that rot of seating them at the head of the Church of England.

EWTN reports the decision was made at a summit of the 16 countries that still retain the British monarch as head of state, gathering in the western Australian city of Perth.

“Let me be clear, the monarch must be in communion with the Church of England because he or she is the head of that Church,” said British Prime Minister, David Cameron, as he announced the change Oct. 28. “But it is simply wrong they should be denied the chance to marry a Catholic if they wish to do so. After all, they are already quite free to marry someone of any other faith.”

The bar on the monarchy marrying a Catholic or personally being one has been British law since the passing of the “Act of Settlement” in 1701.

EWTN reports:

“I welcome the statement from the Prime Minster indicating that his Government together with all of the Commonwealth Heads of Government intend to reform the Act of Settlement,” said Cardinal Keith P. O’Brien of St. Andrews & Edinburgh, Scotland.

The cardinal previously labeled the Act as “discriminatory and offensive,” which led him to say today that he is “pleased to note that the process of change, which I hope will lead to repeal of the Act, has started.”

He was backed in that call by Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond who also welcomed the lifting of the marriage ban but said it was “deeply disappointing” that Catholics were still unable to ascend to the throne.

“It surely would have been possible to find a mechanism which would have protected the status of the Church of England without keeping in place an unjustifiable barrier on the grounds of religion, in terms of the monarchy,” he said.

Read the rest at EWTN

Comments

david power | 10/29/2011 - 3:18pm
A part of me feels cheated.
It was always a good way of getting up on my high horse with my English friends. 
The aggrieved face and the indignation that poured forth from my body were a sight to behold I am told.
 On the issue of women priests I actually really love the sheer brazenness of the Vatican on how they phrase it."We don't have the right  to do it" .It is like they are saying "God, we would love nothing better than to have women priests, we are all driven to distraction with desire for the very thing but the boss says no".Jesus never said women can't be Priests although he should have :).He did say " 
"When I sent you out to preach the Good News and you did not have money, a traveler's bag, or an extra pair of sandals, did you need anything?" "No," they replied.
that somehow did not stop them in their tracks on their way to filling their coffers.
I hope that Pope Benedict ups the stakes and opens the cause for canonization of Guy Fawkes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes .This is a man who died for the faith!!!!Every Tom,Dick and Harry is on the altars but this guy has never received his due.

Santo Subito.    
Anne Chapman | 10/29/2011 - 9:52am
Not only did the crusty, hide-bound rule regarding marriage with Catholics change, there is another change worthy of note - succession now will be to the first-born, regardless of gender.  So older sis doesn't automatically get booted down the succession line for her little brother.   Now if the monarchy of England can change....perhaps the church will eventually understand too that women are fully equal to men.

I know, I know, Rome can't change what Jesus did - except that actually, it isn't Jesus who says the church must keep women forever second-class members of the church, it's fearful men who interpret scriptures in a rather self-serving way.  They have chosen one interpretation, and have ignored others, including that of their own hand-picked theologians who studied the issue in the 1970s and determined that Rome's interpretation was not valid.  One wonders why they set up these commissions - they simply ignore them when it suits them (birth control, women's ordination). It seems that the real purpose may be to have these commissions validate their pre-conceived conclusions, and whens they don't, the commission is simply ignored.
ed gleason | 10/28/2011 - 5:45pm
Would that the Cardinal and the first Minister be at my sister's wedding as she and the Ist lieutenant Episcopalian  were wed in 1942..they and two witnesses were  jammed into the 10' by 10'  Catholic priest rectory parlor.. they could have experienced '“discriminatory and offensive,” 
first hand.