The Queen who opened up to Catholics

Reviewed by John XXIII of Queen Elizabeth II, head of the Church of EnglandAlreadyThe Duke of Edinburgh 5 May 1961 was not the first meeting since the Reformation between a sovereign pontiff and a British sovereign, a sovereign, in this case: the milestone was organized 38 years earlier, also in the Vatican, Pius XI and George V.

Moreover, the United Kingdom was still unable to overcome its anti-Catholic prejudices, despite the emancipation of 1819, and in Rome it was necessary to wait several more decades for the Reformation and subsequently ecumenical winds to die down.

The hearing was held when on Papa Roncalli he had already convened the Second Vatican Council and above all announced his intentions with the creation of a Secretariat for the Promotion of Christian Unity.

The meeting with a strong symbolic charge between the Pope and the Queen was therefore decisive at the heart of the dialogue between Catholics and Anglicans.

He then Archbishop of Canterbury Geoffrey Francis Fisher, had cleared the land by going to the Eternal City a year earlier. It was also preceded by Queen Mother Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, obtained by John XXIII in the spring of 1959.

Conditions had already been created for a lasting and fruitful relationship between the two confessions faithful to Christ, but hostile to each other. The Crown had to contribute in its own way to the process.

However, there were two serious clashes.

The first took place in June 1978 on the occasion of the wedding of Prince Michael of Kentfirst cousin of the Queen, with the Baroness, Catholic and divorced, Marie-Christine von Reibnitz.

Under the strict application of the Royal Marriage Act, Prince Michael was forced to renounce his hereditary rights and marry abroad: members of the royal family could not enter into a civil marriage on English soil.

Paul VI, despite the canonical annulment of the bride’s first union, forbade the celebration of communion after learning that the couple’s children would be baptized in the Anglican faith

It could have been a Catholic wedding. But Paul VI, despite the canonical annulment of the bride’s first union, forbade the celebration of the sacrament after learning that the couple’s children would be baptized in the Anglican faith. Neither the Pope nor the Queen yielded.

John Paul II restored the St Edward’s Crown deal by becoming the first pope to set foot on British soil in five centuries – that was May 1982 – and hosted Elizabeth II in Rome in 1980 and 2000.

papal funerals

The sovereign responded by sending then-Prince Charles to her funeral. An important gesture, considering that at both papal funerals in 1978 he delegated his representation to a lower-ranking man, the Duke of Norfolk, the first Catholic layman in the United Kingdom.

This good communication between the Crown and the Polish Pope was temporarily overshadowed during the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to the Vatican in April 1985.

This good communication between the Crown and the Polish Pope was temporarily clouded during the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to the Vatican in April 1985. The original intention of today’s Charles III was to attend, the day after the mandatory audience, the Pope’s private Mass and even to receive communion as a sign of ecumenical goodwill.

He was allowed the first and denied the second. An interested leak, encouraged by the most recalcitrant advisers of Buckingham Palace, followed by the angry reactions of the most radical Protestantism –Northern Irish Shepherd Ian Paisley– also disappointed the presence of the princely couple at the Eucharist celebrated by John Paul II.

The nineties have arrived: a new decade, important episodes of rapprochement with Catholics by the Queen. In November 1995, he visited Westminster Cathedral for the first time and attended a ceremony that was not a mass.

Three years later, in a complete reorganization of his house after the serious setbacks that occurred as a result of the death of Princess DayanaFor the first time, Elizabeth II appointed a Catholic Lord Chamberlain, that is, the head of the court.

It was luck Ralph Stoner, 7th Baron Camoisdescendant of a line of recusants, Catholics who refused to change their faith during the Reformation.

In May 1999, days before he died of cancer, Cardinal Basil Hume, Archbishop of Westminster and Primate of England and Wales, found the strength to go to Buckingham to be awarded the Order of Merit, a distinction the Queen reserves for 24 representatives of Britain’s political and intellectual elite. Never before had a Catholic prelate been the subject of such an honor.

Neither the Queen nor other members of the royal family usually receive dignitaries at the foot of the stairs. But he made an exception with Benedict XVI

Elizabeth II’s last major gesture towards Catholics was in September 2010 and took place at Edinburgh Airport. Neither the Queen nor other members of the royal family usually receive dignitaries at the foot of the stairs. But he made an exception for Benedict XVI: when he got off his plane, the Duke of Edinburgh was waiting for him.

The 2013 constitutional reform, which allowed the marriages of princes and dynasties of princesses to Catholics, sealed decades of transformations between the crown and the Catholic Church.

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