Monday, 20 January 2014

Another Catholic King, another Protestant grave?

"He that is shut out is soon forgot within" King Alfred the Great
First we had the discovery of the mortal remains of King Richard III, a Catholic king of England, and now we have the new find of what is left of an even earlier king, one Alfred the Great, also a Catholic.

There is a prejudice, in Britain today, of  using the 'C' word - Catholic.

Pre Reformation churches are referred to as 'Christian', and very early chapels and churches are described as 'Early Christian'. Whereas, as we know full well, they were Catholic.

Not Anglican Catholic or Celtic Catholic, just plain Catholic, the Faith that has its hub in the panting heart of Rome.

Since the recent discovery of King Alfred's bones, there are already moves afoot to re-inter in an alien Church, one that both kings would have thought of as heretical, and rightly so.

Dr Dominic Selwood has an excellent piece in The Daily Telegraph in which he calls for the remains of Alfred to be given what he calls a "fitting tomb" in Westminster Cathedral. He also has some pithy final comments about the way British history is viewed, well worth reading.

Finally, Dr Selwood suggests that it would only be right to bury King Alfred with a Latin Mass (OK, please let's not go down the Sarum route, I am sure His Majesty would be more than happy with a TLM).

That, in Dr S's words would be "the full old English".


  1. thanks for the link. from Dr Selwood's telegraph article: So, if the Winchester hip bone is Alfred’s, let’s build a fitting tomb in Westminster Roman Catholic Cathedral, and let his remains be reinterred there with a solemn rite in a language he’d understand (having learned Latin fluently in his 30s).'

    that would be Catholic continuity, otherwise known as Christianity.

  2. Your point is an important one, Richard.

    The Catholic Church started with Peter, and came to Britain probably from the 2nd century onwards.

    By the 5th century Catholicism was widespread in Britain. St Patrick for instance, who converted the Irish to the Catholic Faith, (possibly just preceded by Palladius?), came, variously, from either Ystraclud, either Dunbar or Carlisle, or what is now Wales. The important point is that all of these areas were Catholic in the mid 5th Century. The idea that a “Celtic” Church existed north of the Forth is nonsense. Yes it was monastic and a bit cut off after the Anglo Saxon invasions which overran Catholic Gododdyn, what is now Lothian and the Borders, after the Battle of Catreath , (Catterick),600AD, but at the Synod of Whitby in 664AD, the most they had to quarrel about was not doctrine or liturgy, but the date of Easter.

    So, Britain was Catholic and continued so up to the Reformation.

  3. I must admit, when I saw this, I thought "not another ecumenical royal service..."

    Dear me, are the old Kings of England trying to make some sort of stand of late?

  4. On the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice site there is a link to an e-petition for King Richard 111 to have a catholic burial. To date it only has 247 signatures. A few more signatures would be most welcome.

  5. Sad....the Anglicans have to claim everything that belongs to the Catholics and then pretend it is theirs....have been doing this for 500 years.

    1. I think that now it is a case of institutionalised ignorance on their part.

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