Friday, 19 August 2011
Is the Queen anti Catholic?
I know that HM and the late Cardinal Hume used to schmooze a bit (in the most Christian sense of the word) and that she used to refer to him as "My Cardinal" - a phrase that somehow rankled with me, raising spectres of an earlier Queen Elizabeth I guess.
But, on the whole Queen Elizabeth the Second has not gone out of her way to give any sort of impression of overt affection for the Catholic Church. Apparently, she did fleetingly smile when she greeted Pope Benedict last September but then quickly reverted to her "I've just stepped in something nasty" expression.
Of course, she is head of a heretical faith and there is every reason why she might have a downer on Papists but we Romans are, by and large these days, loyal and faithful servants to the Queen (but God's first). In fact, it was not so long ago that we had a prayer for the monarch immediately after Low Masses were said. How many Protestant churches have a default prayer for Her Majesty?
My press cuttings files reveal a report from the late 90s with a headline that reads....."Queen bars Catholic Masses at the Tower of London". This refers to a gentleman by the name of Peter Bearcroft, who, by some deft negotiations, had arranged for Mass to be celebrated regularly in the cell of St John Fisher.
A small group of Catholics would meet up and discreetly attend Holy Mass. This was with the permission of the Governor of the Tower, and, when he retired, Mr Bearcroft applied anew for permission to the new Governor and, after some bureaucracy, the matter was referred to HM Queen Elizabeth who flatly rejected the matter stating that her decision was: "...because of the problems this would cause for the governor".....Ummm.....like a major insurrection of Catholics...or the storming of the Houses of Parliament by the Legion of Mary?
Of course, at her coronation, HM swore an oath to uphold the Protestant faith so one cannot really get too shirty except that, we are, by and large, loyal servants of the crown and it would be good to be on the reciprocal end of things for a change.
After all, we are the only section of society barred from royal accession or, even, from being Prime Minister.
You can be Sikh, Muslim, Buddhist or 39th Day Coming of the Anti-Christ Free Homosexual Revisionist and marry into the royal family or be PM.
But...if you are a Roman Catholic...forget it!