Prince Charles the environmentalist: “Follow the Islamic way to save the world”

A reader alerted me to his wacky tale from the Daily Mail.

My emphases and comments:

‘Follow the Islamic way to save the world,’ Prince Charles urges environmentalists

By Rebecca English
Last updated at 5:45 PM on 9th June 2010

Prince Charles yesterday urged the world to follow Islamic ‘spiritual principles’ in order to save the environment. [I am curious to know what those principles are and why they would be superior to true Christian theology of our stewardship of creation.]

In a high-profile speech, the heir to the throne [future head of the Church of England?] argued that man’s destruction of the world was contrary to the scriptures of all religions – but particularly that of the Islamic faith. [How?]

He said the current ‘division’ between Man and Nature had been caused [get this...] not just by industrialisation, technological development and the relentless pursuit of economic growth, but also by our attitude to our relationship with Nature – which goes against the grain of  ‘sacred traditions’.  [Christians track this back to sin... Original Sin in particular.]

Charles, who is a practising Christian, spoke in depth about his own study of the Qu’ran which, he said, tells its followers that there is ‘no separation between Man and Nature’  and says we must always live within Nature’s mean and limits.  [What I sense is at work here is that somewhere along the line he swallowed the error that man is not part of "nature".  He is therefore impressed by a religious assertion that man is in fact part of nature.   This is not new to well-informed Christians, of course.  Catholics especially grasp this.]

‘From what I know of the Qu’ran, again and again it describes the natural world as the handiwork of a unitary benevolent power,’ he said.  [Imagine such an idea!  God created nature!]

‘It very explicitly describes Nature as possessing an “intelligibility” [didn't Augustine have something to say about that?] and that there is no separation between Man and Nature, precisely because there is no separation between the natural world and God. [Oppps!  God entirely transcends the natural world, which entirely depends on God for its existence.] 

‘It offers a completely integrated view of the Universe where religion and science, mind and matter are all part of one living, conscious whole. [I am reminded of a high schooler who has discovered an interesting new idea.]

‘This suggests to me that Nature is a knowing partner, [Sounds like pantheism.... a reflection of a modernist.] never a mindless slave to humanity, and we are Her tenants; God’s guests for all too short a time.’

The prince was speaking to an audience of scholars at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, which attempts to encourage a better understanding of the culture and civilisation of the religion, of which he is patron.

When he accepted the role back in 1993 Charles gave a landmark speech about the need for better understanding between Islam and the West, which still has resonance today.

Yesterday the theme for his lecture, to mark the centre’s 25th anniversary, merged religion with his other favourite subject – the environment.

The hour-long speech saw Charles once again berate Man for the damage he is doing to the planet, saying: ‘Many of Nature’s vital, life-support systems are now struggling to cope under the strain of global industrialization. [He should perhaps save a few comments for British Petroleum.]

[...]‘

Ho hum.  You can read the rest of the stuff over there, if you care about this ramblings.

We probably need a more clearly articulate ecological theology, something in small booklets with simple explanations.

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100 Responses to Prince Charles the environmentalist: “Follow the Islamic way to save the world”

  1. Athanasius says:

    and that there is no separation between Man and Nature, precisely because there is no separation between the natural world and God.

    The problem with this is that transcendence of God and the natural world is a blasphemous concept in Islam. The Qur’an and the tradition are quite clear that the only thing allah does in the world is reveal his will.

    Moreover Islam simply does not have a developed social teaching beyond the carnal desires of its founder. Muslims have cultural understandings in areas that are not developed that puts them in touch with the land and environment, but in developed Muslim nations they are just as worldly and materialistic as the West. If he really wanted a solution to the problems of today, all the Prince need do is look back to Vix Pervenit, Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno.

  2. Geoffrey says:

    Regardless of his rather outlandish ideas, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales seems to be our only hope for abolishing the discriminatory law that bars members of the British Royal Family from marrying Roman Catholic Christians.

  3. doanli says:

    Bring on King William! ;)

    Ban on marrying Roman Catholics, bet they would approve one of them marrying a Muslim for the religion of Political Correctness. (I would not be the least bit surprised.)

  4. marcpuckett says:

    And so is the Hanoverian prince endorsing the Islamic assertion that “describes the natural world as the handiwork of a unitary benevolent power” i.e. is the future Supreme Governor of the Church of England denying the dogma of the Trinity? certainly that isn’t necessarily implied by what he is quoted as saying but nothing would surprise me.

  5. doanli says:

    PC (Prince Charles) needs a dose of Real World Reality.

    I’ll volunteer to take him to Waffle House too! :)

  6. Theodorus says:

    First the Archlayman of Canterbury favored the adoption of Islamic Sharia law in the UK; now the Prince of Wales praises Islamic spiritual principles. I wonder what will happen next.

  7. Glad my Jacobite ancestors left for the colonies when they did in the late 1600s. I have never considered the Hanoverian claimants kings or queens. Evem more proud that my closer ancestors fought to free us of this degenerate plague of bogus upstarts. Long live the king across the water!

  8. Andrew says:

    Yes Donali.

    After Prince William’s successful tour of Australia earlier this year, many of us are hoping that with the demise of Queen Elizabeth (hope she live till 102 like her mother!), her grandson will take the throne.

    The republican movement in Australia has only grown because of the dork (who will remain nameless) that gave that speech’s behaviour; his previous adultery with his current wife playing no small part in this.

    The constiutional monarchy is a good system, but like any system of government it must have good holders to justify it, which unfortunately we won’t have with this guy.

  9. Norah says:

    I remember reading that Prince Charles said that when he becomes king (many years to his mother) he will not be the “defender of the [Anglican] faith” but the “defender of all faiths”.

  10. To think of the possibility that one day I may have Charles III on my Loonie, Twonie and colourful $20 bill fills me with the most incredible angst that I almost wish for Canada to become a Republic (but only if we can have the U.S. Constitution).

    This pathetic and moronic idiot is not worthy to be “defender of faith” let alone, “THE FAITH” which he wants to eliminate from his title.

    Is it any wonder England is in the shape it is in.

    Someone tell his Mother on him!

  11. dominic says:

    The man is regretablly a fool, but at least if or when he becomes monarch he will constitutionally be required to be quiet and not discredit himself and his family so publicly.

    Incidentally I have to say that there is no chance of the Act of Settlement that bars Catholics from potentially becoming Monarch) being lifted thanks to him. And the only politician of anything even approaching hypothetical seniority who has actively promoted such a thing in recent times(Evan Davis of the Liberal Democrats) recently lost his seat in the Commons (but may very well end up being appointed to the Lords soon). But as he is at the forefront of support for so-called “voluntary euthanasia” and further liberalization of abortion, as well as being an active member of the National Secular Society and various “gay rights” groups..let’s just say he is no friend of Catholics and that his intentions are principally anti-Christian and secularist.

    For the law to be changed would also require its approval in numerous other commonwealth countries other than the UK, so frankly I think it is not a going concern.

    Meanwhile one hopes that the crown may pass directly from Her Majesty directly to her most senior grandson, who at least would be less discreditable.

  12. medievalist says:

    Fidei Defensor?

  13. Stu says:

    He’s daft.

    Bring back the House of Stuart. I’m available to serve. :)

  14. Mike says:

    Hold the phone.

    Reference Rodney Stark’s “The Rise of Reason”–Islam, according to Stark, does NOT posit an intelligible natural world, and this is precisely why science and technology in general never got a prolonged grip on Islamic culture.

    Without Western science and technology, they would be building sand castles over there. Christianity is the “womb” of science because it has a rational theology of creation; there is a law-giver, nature has laws, hence we can do science because by and large nature itself is built according to its own rules, given it in creation.

    Allah is mostly arbitrary will, according to Stark, and his world is his whim. No motive for science there…

  15. Gail F says:

    It sounds to me like the speech is an attempt to “convert” Muslims to environmentalism by placing it in what the prince believes to be the context of Islam, not an attempt to convert environmentalists (or the rest of us) to Islam. It reminds me of things that atheists say when they are trying to convince people they assume are radical Christian fundamentalists — their ideas of what Christianity actually says and how that applies to the natural world are pretty ludicrous.

  16. Gail F says:

    Mike: I took an undergraduate class on Islam. Granted, that doesn’t make me an expert — and it was a long time ago. Still, that’s more than what most non-Muslims have studied about Islam. We spent some time on that very subject, which I found perplexing. According to our teacher, Islam does teach that the will of Allah controls everything. Gravity was an example my teacher gave — there is no “law” of gravity because things will fall if Allah wants them to. I remember asking why this should have anything to do with studying science because, while it would be easy enough to admit that things COULD fall if Allah wanted them to, it is obvious that in the general course of things, things DON’T fall, so you might as well study what happens in the general course of things. As a practical-minded Western person, that made perfect sense to me. But our teacher said that Islam doesn’t think that way. In the Islamic view, there is no point studying the physical world because it is not relevant to what is important — God. While that doesn’t make sense to us, it is certainly borne out by what actually happened in the history of Islam. As soon as the people Islam conquered became mostly Muslim, science largely vanished from Islamic countries until it became something generally studied by all educated people in the last hundred and fifty years or so.

  17. TrueLiturgy says:

    “We probably need a more clearly articulate ecological theology, something in small booklets with simple explanations.”

    I was thinking the exact same thing when reading this. However, I think it is all there and fairly articulated, just not in one spot.

  18. Elly says:

    Isn’t part of the Islamic culture to have a lot of children? So if we are to follow the Islamic way to save the world we would have a lot of children?

  19. Bryan says:

    The bonnie prince is living proof that parent’s marriage within enough degrees of consanguinity has a high probability of bringing on serious physical and mental challenges.

  20. becket1 says:

    Quote from the Prince: “Qu’ran which, he said, tells its followers that there is ‘no separation between Man and Nature’ ”

    Quote from Becket1: “But does it tell its followers that there should be ‘ a separation between a Man’s head and his Body if he believes in God!”.

    The Quran is false!!. Stop deluding yourself Prince Charles!.

  21. EXCHIEF says:

    Yep, Islam is the way to go given its protection of the environment, except of course for many of its pracitioners abusing women. Oh and suicide bombing is also good for the environment I suppose. The clown prince needs to get a reality check but then, of course, he is from a continent on which Islam is rapidly moving towards becoming the predominent population. Maybe he’s just being politically correct.

  22. Mike says:

    Gail,

    Interesting. Sounds a little like why they also have problems with secularity in the proper sense of the word (“Give what to Caesar belongs to Caesar…”)

    Stark isn’t Catholic, but he’s read Thomas, for example, and does a good job in my view of this fascinating issue…

  23. TJerome says:

    Yah, those Muslims who flew planes into the World Trade Center were environmentally conscious, weren’t they Charlie? This guy is daft and an embarrassment. I feel for Queen Elizabeth.

  24. AnAmericanMother says:

    [ singing ]

    “Wha’ the de’il hae we got for a king,
    But a wee wee German lairdie?”

    [ /singing ]

    His mother must be SO embarrassed!

  25. Rob Cartusciello says:

    For the love of God, would someone in England please teach Prince Charles Christianity!

    Listening to this man lecture of religion is worse that listening to Dawkins.

  26. irishgirl says:

    TJerome-and don’t forget the guys who did the same into the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, PA!

    Poor Queen Elizabeth-I feel sorry for her. First, the Anglicans voting on bishopesses, and now her heir speaking in such daft tones.

    As Andrew says, I hope that Her Majesty lives to be her mother’s age, and that Prince William succeeds her as King; after reading Charles’ pandering to the Moslems, I’d rather see William V on the throne!

    Stand up for the Christians, Charlie-never mind the Moslems!

  27. shane says:

    I agree with Prince Charles a lot on environmental and architectural matters. On other issues, such as alternative medicine, he is clearly very gullible. Britain is already a de facto Republic, and a prospective King Charles III will provoke a constitutional crisis if he involves the monarchy in his pet political concerns.

  28. irishgirl says:

    Rob Cartusciello-amen to what you said!

  29. Peggy R says:

    Charles and Rowan Williams would get on quite well together. All the more reason for QE to withhold the crown and skip a generation. The suffering of QE!

  30. shane says:

    Norah, that is correct. He also wants a multifaith coronation.

  31. pedantic_prof says:

    There are some particularly disrespectful and uncharitable comments being posted here, such as David in T.O.’s helpful judgement that His Royal Highness is a “pathetic and moronic idiot”. The Prince does indeed hold some outlandish ideas but also has some courageous and far-reaching ones. He has made it very clear that he understands that his role -as well as his capacity to voice his personal opinions- will be transformed once he becomes king. Incidentally, we do not know whether he will opt for Charles III as his regnal name and the Holy See has long recognised the legitimacy of the current dynasty. The majority of dynasties are based on usurpation or conquest and even Suarez admits that a usurping house becomes legimitate after the passage of a century (and we’re now looking at almost three centuries since the House of Stuart).

  32. AJP says:

    What a disgrace! I echo the hope of others that somehow the Queen could exclude Charles from the line of succession and go straight to William. However this doesn’t seem very likely to happen, and it assumes that William somehow would be better than his father when it comes to this PC, syncretistic, anti-traditional nonsense. Why should we think William would be any more sensible? The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, he’s mostly been raised by his father since Diana’s untimely death, and it’s not like she would have been a good influence in this regard either (look who she was dating when she died!).

  33. Supertradmum says:

    This is scary. English intellectuals, a group to which the Prince does not belong, also play footsie with sharia law. The Prince has been making a fool of himself for forty years. Some of his urban planning projects have failed miserably. He wants to defend “faiths” and I think this statement is some sort of overture to the Moslem community who do not want a monarchy but a theocracy on their terms.

    I sincerely believe that no one wants him to succeed to the throne. The Queen and Prince Philip have become more conservative in their older age, and are not part of this relativistic movement to treat all religions as the same. The Queen does honestly uphold her coronation oath to head the Church of England to the best of her ability by her influence, attendance, and rare religious comments.

    Prince Charles has no idea of what it means to be head of any church, or responsible for Christianity. Poor fool.

    I am a monarchist, but bring back the Catholic Monarchy!

  34. ikseret says:

    For Muslims, Allah is Creator but not Redeemer. He hasn’t entered into the world.
    Moreover, there is no sense of Allah’s live for mankind wherein his law leads us to happiness. Instead his law obliges our submission for his own sake. Human beings are merely slaves. We have no destiny as adopted sons of God. Rather we are like pets whom Allah keeps for his pleasure, rewards when we are obedient and punishes severely when we disobey.

  35. pedantic_prof says:

    Supertradmum, I think your appraisal of HRH is completely wrong. Far from making a fool of himself, he has been involved in some very worthy activities – the Prince’s Trust and organic food movement, for example. Recently he intervened to prevent a very ugly development in central London at Chelsea Barracks to much acclaim from local residents and harping from liberal quarters. And as to your belief that no-one wants him to succeed, I think you’re very much mistaken (not that it makes any difference, since by the grace of God, he will acceed to the throne on the death of his mother). Despite his religious confusion, he has long been sympathetic to Catholicism and is patron of the Prayer Book Society which provide some glimmers of hope. He’s obviously not what traditional Catholics would like as a monarch, but then some of this group would find fault with Our Lord enthroned in glory.

  36. Supertradmum says:

    pedantic_prof,

    OK, I shall give him credit for those things you have listed, but a Prince should be and do more than stop ugly developments. As I lived in West Kensington, shopped weekly in Chelsea, and was married in Chelsea, I am glad he stepped forward in the Chelsea Barracks problem. But small involvements do not make up the type of religious leader, or symbolic leader for that matter. He is trying to please everyone and by doing that, pleases no one. And, as I recognize that England has had very few intellectual kings and a few holy, saintly kings, I can hardly expect him to be another St. Edward, St. Edmund, St. Oswald, etc. However, I do expect him to be Christian and sensible.

  37. Since Charles’ dad’s family was Greek and Orthodox originally, and hence probably knows quite a bit about the struggle against genocidal forms of Islam and Sharia and the remnants of the Ottoman Empire, this gives him a way to really distress dear ol’ Dad. While priding himself on being a unifier and a progressive thinker, of course.

    No, Charles isn’t a total twit. He’s good in his sphere. But he insists on poking his nose out of that sphere and saying stupid things.

  38. robtbrown says:

    Since Charles’ dad’s family was Greek and Orthodox originally,
    Comment by Suburbanbanshee

    I don’t think he has any Greek blood. His paternal grandfather, chosen King of Greece, was Danish and became Orthodox upon ascending the Greek throne. His paternal grandmother was Russian. His mother’s side is Battenberg.

  39. shane says:

    pedantic, I agree with your point about the House of Stuart. I’ve always found legitimism bizarre and logically incoherent. It’s arbitary to declare only the Stuart successor the legitimate king, (indeed why not just undo the whole Norman Conquest while we’re at it) given that there are innumerable historic usurpations in the royal lineage, both of Scotland and England. The succession rules have changed throughout history, in pre-Norman England it was the Witan who legitimized the king and tanistry was followed in Scotland until Malcolm II. Ironically the Highlanders who fought for James II/VII were treated shamefully by his grandfather (James VI/I), who held them in contempt, and had traditionally associated themselves with the MacDonalds, the lords of the isles, against the power of the Stuarts. The more I read of the Stuarts, the more they sicken me.

  40. JonM says:

    Suffice it for me to say that I have an intensely dim view of the British royal family (that is, the House of Windsor aka Sax-Koberberg Gotha…and yes I badly mangled the spelling I am sure.)

    We Catholics should not fall under the sway of the pomp that comes with world elite. I suspect deeply twisted and dark actions and intentions on their part.

    Prince Charles, who has branded himself an environmentalist, openly enjoys blasting birds for sport.

    I instead look to the example of Cardinal Newman and of course St. Francis and St. Anthony for guidance on care for animals and the environment.

    Further, I’m not sure how the portfolios of the elite correspond with true concern about pollution. BP has a rich record of safety and pollution offenses yet much stock is help by reclusive ‘powerless’ royals.

    I think a check of comments by the consort of the Queen should quickly demonstrate the Holy Spirit is not the thrust behind these people.

  41. AnAmericanMother says:

    Jon,

    I’ll get after PC for a lot of things (mostly saying dumb stuff), but not for hunting.

    Hunters are the best conservators of game anywhere. After Kenya banned hunting, they lost almost all their wildlife, because funds were no longer available to protect the animals (you control the poachers by paying them as guides more than they can get through poaching).

    I’ve never hunted big game, but I do a lot of duck and upland hunting. Hunters and their national clubs spend millions on preserving habitat and improving game stocks. A well trained retriever is the best single conservation tool going, because they can retrieve birds no human could find. Besides, a good Lab or Chessie doing his job is a thing of beauty to behold.

    Unless you’re a vegetarian, buying your birds in little foam trays and plastic wrap at the supermarket is just letting somebody else do your “dirty work”.

  42. Martial Artist says:

    marcpuckett,

    A slight corrective. Victoria was the last Hanoverian monarch of England. Her successors, including the current Prince of Wales, are of the dynasty Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (Windsor being an assumed name to mark their assimilation to Britain, according to some accounts.

    And Fr. Augustine Thompson, O.P.,

    As an honorary member (by marriage) of McDonell of Glengarry, I would be delighted to raise a wee dram with you over a glass of water at your convenience (I will be pleased to provide the drams and glassware). Should you find yourself at Blessed Sacrament parish in Seattle in the relatively near future, it may be a possibility, and if know of your coming, I will make every effort to greet you.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  43. robtbrown says:

    A slight corrective. Victoria was the last Hanoverian monarch of England. Her successors, including the current Prince of Wales, are of the dynasty Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (Windsor being an assumed name to take the heat off the family during WWI).
    Comment by Martial Artist

    fyp

  44. Supertradmum says:

    The British monarchy changed their name because of World War I-Germans on the opposite side and wanting to inspire British patriotism by chosing the name of their house at Windsor.

    Isn’t BP owned by Amoco, the American company,just for the record?

  45. AnAmericanMother says:

    Yeah, the Kaiser quipped that he was going to the theater to see a production of The Merry Wives of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

    And King George V said he might be uninspiring, but he was (*(&$@## if he was alien!

    The name of the dynastic house is not the same as the family name. Around the time of the change of the name of the House to Windsor, nobody was sure what Prince Albert’s surname was. Some thought it might be Wettin, others thought it might be Wipper. Queen Elizabeth II settled it by changing the family AND house names to Windsor. Just as well.

  46. PJ says:

    Given that he was talking to the Oxford centre for Islamic studies surely it is unsurprising that he looked for good things to say about Islam? His views may perhaps show a certain immaturity but at least he is not a militant secularist. I think we have bigger things to worry about in the UK.

  47. Geoffrey says:

    “Queen Elizabeth II settled it by changing the family AND house names to Windsor.”

    It was actually Her Majesty’s grandfather, King George V who changed the house name to Windsor in July 1917. This only applied to the male-line descendants of his grandmother, Queen Victoria.

    The descendants of HM Queen Elizabeth II and the HRH the Duke of Edinburgh have the surname Mountbatten-Windsor, but this does not change the name of the Royal House.

  48. AnAmericanMother says:

    Sorry, I should have said “as well as” rather than “and”. The House name was obviously already Windsor and had been since George V, as I noted.

    The family name was first changed to “Windsor” and then later to “Mountbatten-Windsor” when the kids started getting married. I wish I had the relevant book to hand, but it’s somewhere in the guest room and I have no idea where.

  49. robtbrown says:

    Nothing screams Great Britain like the name of Saxe-Coburg–Gotha.

  50. maynardus says:

    Wait a minute – even the blindest squirrel finds an occasional icon. Consider the ramifications of taking Crazy Prince Charlie’s dream that we “follow Islamic ‘spiritual principles’ in order to save the environment” to their logical conclusion – this inbred nitwit may just be onto something! What’s the life expectancy in countries which follow these ‘spiritual principles’? Between “jihad”, summary executions for relatively trivial offenses, primitive health care, etc. that would certainly reduce their population and thereby their “carbon footprint”! Forbidding women to drive would reduce the number of cars on the road and thereby lower “greenhouse gas” emissions. And just think about the implosion of the global economy we’d have if even half the world embraced such ‘spiritual principles’ – that’d definitely reduce consumption and emissions for years to come.

    Hmm – shrink the population, get half the cars off the road, and minimize production – sounds like Al Gore’s most cherished fantast. Perhaps that’s what this halfwit prince really means…

    “God Save the Queen” indeed!

  51. Traductora says:

    Well, since one of the goals of Islam is to return the world to the 7th century, I’d say maynardus may have a point. The 7th century probably had a way lower carbon footprint.

    Aside from that, however, Charles is a twit. He’s obviously drifted into Sufism, regarded as heretical by mainstream Muslims but a big convert-getter among the Oxford crowd (look up Marabitun), and probably thinks that this Unitarianism with finger cymbals is Islam. Won’t he be surprised…

  52. pedantic_prof says:

    No matter the silly Stuartist sentiments held by those in the former colonies such as Augustine Thompson, Elizabeth II is de facto and de jure Queen of the United Kingdom and her family’s claim has long been recognised by the Holy See. Traditional Catholics are already marginal enough without espousing ridiculous causes such as that of the Wittlebachs. Bear in mind that after every Missa Cantata in the United Kingdom a prayer is sung for Her Majesty (don’t you feel envious, those of you of in dreadful republics?).

    And a word to those unwise posters who accused the Prince of Wales of being inbred: people in glasshouses should not throw stones. The Church has a particularly long pedigree of approving marriages between closely related spouses, included uncles and nieces.

  53. TJerome says:

    shane, if you want to read about a royal house of England that should sicken you, look no further than Henry VIII and the Tudors. Henry was a truly evil, savage, and craven man. A man who had the Duchess of Salisbury executed in her 70s, a lady who had been like a mother to him, simply because she was Reginald Pole’s mother. And then the phoney charges against Anne Boleyn, etc., etc. In my view, Henry VIII was morally in the same camp as Adolph Hitler, Stalin or Mao.

    pedantic_prof: Little Charlie and Camilla. Why not comment on that great moment in this dullard’s life.

  54. pedantic_prof says:

    TJerome: why you may sit in judgement and think you are in possession of all the facts of “Little Charlie and Camilla”, I prefer to give the respect that is due to His Royal Highness as required of me by my religious and civic duty and thank God that the UK has never descended into the cesspool of Clinton and Monica or JFK and his mistresses. Enough said?

  55. shane says:

    TJerome, I agree that the Tudors were the fascists of their day. I don’t like any of them, including (Catholic) Queen Mary. I’m not a fan of any of the post-Conquest monarchs of England. Arguably the British state has been a Republic implicitly since the Revolution of 1688 (while retaining a hereditary but ceremonial head of state) but I think Charles’ accession will prove a fatal blow to the prestige of the institution. Elizabeth was crowned in a country which was still almost totally ethnically homogeneous and which still maintained an Empire (with the associated delusions of power), just in the aftermath of the Second World War. She started work when Stalin still ruled the Soviet Union and has outlasted virtually every other head of state. Charles will have none of the same ‘saintly’ aura and the institution of the monarchy is much less central to peoples’ lives, and much less venerated, now than it ever was (…this will accelerate). The sense of Britishness is declining since devolution, Scottish (and English) independence is looking increasingly inexorable, so it’s possible he may be the last King of the United Kingdom (….I certainly hope so!)

  56. pedantic_prof says:

    shane, you (mis)understand British history as only an American could! The “British state” only came into being with the Act of Union during the eighteenth century. Moreover, the whole concept of nationhood is relatively recent and dates from the early modern period. The curtailing of the monarchy’s power was not so much owing to the so-called Revolution of 1688 but more to the Hanoverian reliance on cabinet government and Queen Victoria’s withdrawal from public life after 1861. In any case, the Prince of Wales, when crowned, will reign as the direct descendant of William the Conqueror (or Bastard) by God’s grace, which is more than might be said of any republic’s head of state. God save the Queen! God save the Prince of Wales!

  57. Jordanes says:

    pedantic_prof groused: No matter the silly Stuartist sentiments held by those in the former colonies such as Augustine Thompson

    That’s Father Augustine Thompson.

    Elizabeth II is de facto and de jure

    De facto undoubtedly, but not de jure, since the law on which her claim to the throne is based violates natural and divine law by excluding Catholics, and thus is no law at all.

    Queen of the United Kingdom and her family’s claim has long been recognised by the Holy See.

    The Holy See respects her as the established sovereign (even the Jacobite Ruvigny did as much), and long ago judged that it was imprudent for the Church to support attempts to restore the legitimate rulers of England, Scotland, and Ireland. That is hardly the same as recognising and agreeing with her family’s claim, which is unquestionably much inferior to many other descendants of King Charles I.

    Traditional Catholics are already marginal enough without espousing ridiculous causes such as that of the Wittlebachs.

    Wittelsbachs, you mean. And, after all, but for an unjustifiable rebellion in 1688 and an invalid law of succession, the Duke of Bavaria would sit upon the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

  58. shane says:

    pedantic I am not an American, I’m afraid. I am well aware that legislative union came only two decades after the Revolution, but it would be true to your name to point out. British ‘subjectship’ goes back to James I/VI. English and Scottish settlers in Ulster were required to label themselves as British, for example.

  59. pedantic_prof says:

    Jordanes, why would I use a vocative when talking of someone in the third person? I would not insist on being addressed as Dr/Professr when someone was referring to me rather than addressing me. Thank you for pointing out my typo with Wittelsbach. I admire your romantic Jacobite sentiments, even if they are based on a fanciful and rose-tinted view of history. Even the Cardinal “Duke of York” made his peace with the House of Hanover before his death.

    shane, forgive my presumption. However, British subjectship does not date to to James VI & I, since the Act of Union was passed over a century after his accession.

  60. VEXILLA REGIS says:

    No wonder Francis Urquhart P.M. (“House of Cards” T.V. Series)got rid of Charles as King shortly after the Royal behind landed on the Throne ! But it is just standard Charles speak no-one is surprised. And everyone knows why one’s Mother will not abdicate ( the dear lady probably recognised the truth in “House of Cards”)

  61. pedantic_prof says:

    I didn’t mean to entice colonial Jacobites out of their quaint closet, but rather was shocked at the lack of respect being shown to a prince of the blood. I think Fr. Z has a very valid point when he comments “We probably need a more clearly articulate ecological theology”. It would be good to have some solid pointers on these issues (global warming, etc.) than the usual dubious sources.

  62. shane says:

    England and Scotland were legislatively united in 1707 but had been in personal union since James I/VI. England and Scottish settlers who partook in the Plantation of Ulster marked themselves as ‘British’ in the surveys.

  63. pedantic_prof says:

    shane: I think you’ll find that a personal union had no legal force. However the settlers in Ulster identified themselves is really of no consequence. To all means and purposes, Britishness was codified under the reign of Queen Anne.

  64. shane says:

    In the Calvin’s Case, the Court of Exchequer Chamber ruled that a Scottish subject of King James VI of Scotland, who was also King of England, was by virtue of his allegiance to the King’s person not an alien, but a natural-born subject under English law. Of course ‘British’ as a formal citizenship was codified later, which is why I put subjectship in inverted commas.

  65. pedantic_prof says:

    God bless the Internet and all the self-styled historians and theologians it has spawned!

  66. AnAmericanMother says:

    Are you a history professor?

  67. catholicmidwest says:

    No one has ever accused Prince Charles of being intelligent. Note well: His son will be king, but he will not. The queen is no dummy.

  68. Athanasius says:

    In any case, the Prince of Wales, when crowned, will reign as the direct descendant of William the Conqueror (or Bastard) by God’s grace, which is more than might be said of any republic’s head of state. God save the Queen! God save the Prince of Wales!

    And may He convert them to the true faith.

  69. pedantic_prof says:

    Amen, Athanasius. That is to be hoped for. Catholicmidwest: The Queen does not have the legal authority to change the right of succession, so brace yourself for disappointment.

  70. JonM says:

    @An American Mother,

    Hunters for food and skin != Hunters for Sport

    I am a dedicated meat eater for sure. I attempt to buy free-range meat because I believe it is deeply immoral to abuse animals and raise them in a manner to extract the last drop of profit.

    I know hunters and frequently defend them because they make complete use of the animal down to the skins.

    However, to hunt for sport is grotesque. Many hunters are motivated by ‘a thrill’ that I can’t understand as there is nothing impressive about shooting an arrow into an animal while wearing camo in a pill box using white noise machines, decoys, and high powered scopes.

    I have heard horrific stories of hunters celebrating animal torture. I’ll leave it at that.

    So, not all hunters are the same.

    Regarding the topic, I am surprised to find apologists for the British royals. They are deeply opposed to Christ’s lordship over the world. Again, suffice it for me to leave it at that as I don’t want to marginalize Father’s well-respected blog.

  71. pedantic_prof says:

    “I am surprised to find apologists for the British royals. They are deeply opposed to Christ’s lordship over the world.” I’m not so much an apologist as a loyal subject of my Sovereign Lady and the suggestion that she is anti-Christ is as offensive as it bizarre. I do agree that marginalization has crept in, however, so will end by agreeing you with you, JonM.

  72. boko fittleworth says:

    Sadly, any environmental theology done by the English hierarchy is likely to be little better than Prince Charles’s rubbish. Also, I wouldn’t put my hopes in Prince William. He is living in sin with a young woman who seduced him by parading naked in front of him at a school fashion show. Fighting Prince Harry is my horse in this race.

  73. Jordanes says:

    pedantic_prof wondered: why would I use a vocative when talking of someone in the third person?

    Why wouldn’t you? It’s entirely normal to do so. Furthermore, you weren’t talking of “someone,” you were talking of one of Christ’s priests.

    I would not insist on being addressed as Dr/Professr when someone was referring to me rather than addressing me.

    That’s nice, but it’s not about you — and even with your doctorate, you’re still a layman. Father Augustine is not. It’s long been conventional for Catholics to express respect for priests by addressing and referring to them as “Father” or “Reverend” (and way back when, as “Sir”).

    I admire your romantic Jacobite sentiments, even if they are based on a fanciful and rose-tinted view of history.

    You really have that stereotypical “supercilious British academic” thing down pat, don’t you. We don’t need to go into it here, but I assure you there’s nothing fanciful or rose-tinted about my view of history.

    Even the Cardinal “Duke of York” made his peace with the House of Hanover before his death.

    A peace that, however, did not involve a renunciation of the rightful claims of his family in favor of the usurping dynasty that had been unlawfully elected by parliament.

  74. Geoffrey says:

    “Note well: His son will be king, but he will not. The queen is no dummy.”

    Very unlikely. British law is clear on this, unless an Act of Parliament should alter the succession, or HRH the Prince of Wales abdicates shortly after succession. Nevertheless, his reign will be a short one; HRH the Prince of Wales is 61, and his mother and father are 84 and 89, respectfully, and in good health. And of course, his dear grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother lived to the age of 101.

    “…don’t you feel envious, those of you of in dreadful republics?”

    Every day. Every day.

  75. JonM says:

    I’m not so much an apologist as a loyal subject of my Sovereign Lady and the suggestion that she is anti-Christ is as offensive as it bizarre. I do agree that marginalization has crept in, however, so will end by agreeing you with you, JonM.

    As Jordanes has pointed out, you do exude a certain air of superiority and this shows in your none-too-subtle accusation against some of us that we are ‘marginalizing’ the blog.

    No we are not.

    If we made radical, whimsical claims that some commentators do (no I will not name names nor indicate examples) then this would be a fair statement. However, as Jordanes has clearly pointed out, the current British royal family is not legitimate; it is a continuation of an unlawful usurpation of power. As I pointed out, it does not desire to advance Christ’s social kingship, or for that matter, the Gospel at all.

    As Father Z began this post based on Prince Charles advising us to adopt a Muslim approach to environmental care, the Prince of Wales is at once committing a deeply heretical act and patronizing Muslims (I doubt he will be praying towards Mecca five times a day any time soon.)

    With the wealth that the ‘Windsors’ have, they have done nothing to help prevent or correct Britains precipitous debt binge and near-collapse. They do not exercise social responsibility as companies that they in part own (BP for starters) lie, cheat, and bribe their way to the top.

    I’m curious how you can possibly reconcile the Prince’s avid devotion to Freemasonry with Pope after Pope condemning the organization and instituting excommunication for members. The Prince, further more, apparently has no problem rubbing sholders with ‘artists’ like Shakira, who has done her part fo sexualize countless young people (and inject santanic symbols into her acts like many pop icons.)

    Please, spare us the ‘loyal subject’ pomp. Henry VIII and Elizabeth were state terrorists and produced an enormous batch of Saints. I follow Christ, His vicar Pope Benedict, and I obey the laws of my country. Indeed I don’t blindly hug the leg of my government.

  76. Athanasius says:

    pedantic_prof:

    Perhaps you could explain for us yanks (I’m Italian, but whatever) why it is that the Queen is unable to regain power from parliament? Does she not have the power to dissolve?

    Moreover in a real sense, if you had a monarch with great popularity, could they not run the government instead of submitting to an elected body?

  77. Athanasius says:

    Catholicmidwest: The Queen does not have the legal authority to change the right of succession, so brace yourself for disappointment.

    I had one more question, and forgive me because my knowledge of English law and history begins to taper off after Cromwell. What would happen if a sitting monarch converted? I don’t mean the function of the law per se, would the character of his/her majesty’s subjects tolerate the removal of a monarch for their religion? I recall meeting a Welsh agnostic on a train to Paris who thought the law was discriminatory and ought to be eliminated.

  78. pedantic_prof says:

    Jordanes, you note “It’s long been conventional for Catholics to express respect for priests by addressing and referring to them as “Father” or “Reverend” (and way back when, as “Sir”)”. It’s a convention; I meant no respect and would never address a priest by anything other than Father in speech (even when asked not to). However, it is also a convention to refer to people in the third person without necessarily using their titles. Incidentally, it is also a convention in the UK to address priests who hold doctorates as Dr and not Fr.

    Jordanes also comments “I’m curious how you can possibly reconcile the Prince’s avid devotion to Freemasonry with Pope after Pope condemning the organization and instituting excommunication for members. The Prince, further more, apparently has no problem rubbing sholders with ‘artists’ like Shakira, who has done her part fo sexualize countless young people (and inject santanic symbols into her acts like many pop icons.).”
    Well, Jordanes, he is NOT a Catholic. He belongs to the Anglican sect. You’ve obviously spent some time listing his nefarious acts and I hope you put lots of whitenened powder on your face when you fast as well :)

    Catholicmidwest, the problem with the UK is the fact that there is no written constitution. The situation of the monarch having few residual powers did not so much arise as a result of Civil War or the Bill of Rights but more through the accidents of having non-English speaking monarchs (George I) or reclusive ones (Victoria). The monarch would automatically forfeit the throne if she or he converted to Catholicism. What would more than likely happen today is that they would signal their intention to convert to the prime minister who would then rush through legislation repealing the Act of Settlement. Any other solution would be unthinkable. A monarch who lost a throne over religion could have recourse to the European Court of Human Rights…

  79. pedantic_prof says:

    Forgive me: the second comment was said by JonM. So many posters…

    However, Jordanes did opine: “You really have that stereotypical “supercilious British academic” thing down pat, don’t you”. Thank you. I take that as a real compliment from someone of your persuasion.

  80. pedantic_prof says:

    JonM, you mention “I follow Christ, His vicar Pope Benedict, and I obey the laws of my country. Indeed I don’t blindly hug the leg of my government”, sentiments I agree with. I hope you don’t follow the Pope blindly though since even that obedience is never blind. For all of his positives, Benedict XVI prays in mosques and synagogues and affirms ecumenism and religious liberty, things which put him into conflict with the his predecessors before John XXIII and the magisterium. I am a devoted son of the Pope but I also am proud to have knelt on the grass of Econe as a teenager when Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated four bishops.

  81. JonM says:

    @ Pedantic,

    Jordanes was not the author of some of the quoted comments; rather I am the culprit.

    You bring up great points that it is not a virtue to cling to every matter of course of a particular Pope. I’ve opined that the ‘ecumenical’ visits to various sects, Jewish temples, and Muslim mosques are wrong and that they were mistakes. For obvious reasons, I have kept my comments short regarding these events.

    I also have, though in a very pithy manner, offered my opinion that ‘neo-Catholics’ have a warped view of papal infallibility; often times they turn it on its head. Again, I am new the the Church and therefore I try very hard to avoid creating conflict within the Body of Christ, so admittedly I will not approach these issues at length (at least not while a guest on blog.) Keeping things light, I use my stock example: If the Pope says I need to eat green eggs and ham every Tuesday because, don’t you know, it is warm and fuzzy to do so and helps me get along nicely with non-Catholics, I can rightly ignore such a command.

    Regarding the whitening powder and my face… I am a public figure. If I were to be seen rubbing elbows with a performer who sings sexual lyrics and injects satanic hommages into the acts, I should rightly be condemned and run out of the business and political scenes in my community. Indeed, I haven’t a thimble of the influence, power, and money that your (posing) Prince possesses.

    By your logic, it seems that it was a bad thing for Father Amorth to disclose that even in the Vatican there is satanic activity afoot, that there are Cardinals who don’t believe in Jesus Christ and Bishops ‘linked to the devil.’

    The highest clergy are not above reproach – and neither is the pretender in your country.

    I’m not sure how you can be an admirer of Archbishop Lefebvre and take a ho-hum approach to a high ranking Freemason. This isn’t conspiracy hour radio, this is historical record: the Freemasons have been locked in a mortal struggle against the Church for the past few centuries. They have been at the root of major revolutions, persecutions of the Church, and control of national politics. It is a terrible organization that has set itself as an enemy to us, the Body of Christ.

    To this end, we will have to agree to disagree on the blog, though I welcome your (and anyone’s) email comments through my linked website.

  82. TJerome says:

    pendactic_prof are you a stand-up comic or just abysmally ignorant of the sexual shennigans that having permeated British Royalty from time immemorial? The following statement of yours, which I quote, is laughable on its face:

    “thank God that the UK has never descended into the cesspool of Clinton and Monica or JFK and his mistresses. Enough said?”

    You’ve never read transcripts published in the British press of the tapes of which caught little Charlie wanting to be Camilla’s t—–? Or you never heard of Edward VII aka the “Caresser” who had legions of mistresses throughout his married life: Lillie Langtry; Lady Randolph Churchill (mother of Winston Churchill);[22] Daisy Greville, Countess of Warwick; actress Sarah Bernhardt; noblewoman Susan Pelham-Clinton; singer Hortense Schneider; prostitute Giulia Barucci; wealthy humanitarian Agnes Keyser; and Alice Keppel. At least fifty-five liaisons are conjectured. Now let’s go to Edward VIII who married his mistress, Wallis Simpson.

    No cesspool there, pedantic old boy.

  83. pedantic_prof says:

    JonM: points all taken. I believe Charles isn’t an active Mason. Moreover, the British lodges are a world away from the Grand Orient et al of continental Europe. What motivated me to post was some of the abusive terms being used about the heir to the throne of which I am a subject. I wish he were a Catholic, less pro-Islamist, and many more things, but he is not and I still owe him the respect that his office merits without using terms of abuse that no right-minded Catholic should be throwing around.

    TJerome: I think you win this set, though you seem to have a suspiciously detailed knowledge of royal indiscretions…! Madame de Maintenon, who was Louis XIV’s last mistress and became his morganatic wife, almost certainly received permission from her confessor (who took advice) to sleep with the King in order to suborn him to the end of saving his soul. It worked. As I’m sure you already know, the lecherous Edward VII may have converted to Catholicism on his deathbed, a happy ending to an undisciplined life. Perhaps we might hope for the same with his great great grandson and I hope everyone will join me in saying a prayer to St Edward the Confessor and St Thomas of Canterbury for the conversion of Prince Charles.

  84. TJerome says:

    pedantic_prof, you’ve restored my belief in British sense of fair play. Cheers!

  85. DHippolito says:

    I seriously wonder if anybody takes Prince Charles seriously any more. Likewise the Archbishop of Canterbury. They have basically made themselves irrelevant with their public inaneties.

    Anyway, none of this will matter once the United States gives England a sound, well-deserved, divinely mandated thrashing in Rustenburg on Saturday. Revenge for David Beckham, dontcha know?

  86. AnAmericanMother says:

    JonM,

    . . . shooting an arrow into an animal while wearing camo in a pill box using white noise machines, decoys, and high powered scopes.

    I have heard horrific stories of hunters celebrating animal torture.

    A high powered scope on a bow? Lord have mercy! A pill box? Are we talking about machine guns here? And why would you need camo if you’re inside a pillbox? Decoys I’ll grant you, if you don’t have them the ducks ignore you and fly on down to the coast, but a hunter would need a very long extension cord for a white noise generator . . . . I’d never heard of such a thing being used, and all the google results I get indicate that it’s used for paranormal investigation, i.e. ‘hunting ghosts’. Don’t know what the bag limit is, or if I need a license for that. And what caliber should I use?

    You must be getting your information from PETA or HSUS, because that statement is just ludicrous to anybody who’s actually hunted anything. And if you “heard stories” about animal torture from the same people, I’d say it’s either ignorance or malice. I’m 55 years old, hunted for the first time at age 7, and I can confidently state that I’ve never met a hunter who enjoyed animal torture. Or “heard stories”, even. In fact, anything but a quick clean kill is looked down upon as unsporting.

    I’m sure there are what we call “slob hunters” out there, trash, redneck deer shiners, etc. But they don’t move in polite circles, and the game wardens get a handle on them pretty quick, because what they do is already completely illegal and frequently results in jail time.

    If you’re ever in Atlanta, buzz me. We’ll take you to a hunting test and you can run my older Lab who is absolutely bombproof and will work her little heart out for you. And the people you meet will be salt of the earth, heart of gold types who’d love to show you what hunting and retriever work is all about.

  87. AnAmericanMother says:

    prof,

    Royal indiscretions are how we Yanks keep the history students entertained. It just is so much more interesting than Warren Harding fathering little Elizabeth Ann in a White House coat closet . . . .

  88. Geoffrey says:

    “I hope you don’t follow the Pope blindly though since even that obedience is never blind… I am a devoted son of the Pope but I also am proud to have knelt on the grass of Econe as a teenager when Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated four bishops.”

    Obedience vs. disobedience… Interesting to note that both King Henry VIII of England and Archbishop Lefebvre committed similar acts: disobedience to the Vicar of Christ and breaking communion with the Bishop of Rome. For different reasons, of course, but interesting nonetheless.

    “Do all within the Church, act only within the Church! We must beware of putting ourselves against our Mother… Sweet is the hand of the Church, even when it batters us” (St. “Padre” Pio of Pietrelcina)!

  89. Gladiatrix says:

    1. The company name is BP plc and has been for 12 years; BP is 40% American owned and staffed and consists of 3 former American companies.

    2. Many people agree with Prince Charles’s views on architecture where he undoubtedly has public sympathy on his side, see the proposed development in Chelsea which he managed to put a stop to. Whilst he may not always be right on environmental matters Highgrove is one of the most successful organic farms in the country and uses methods in some places that date back to the Middle Ages.

    3. Henry VIII only started to lose his marbles after he suffered a chronic injury to his leg in a jousting accident. Mary was widely regarded as odd even as a child and Elizabeth largely introduced laws detrimental to Catholics only after repeated and severe provocation, not least from the Vatican. The Stuarts on the other hand bankrupted the United Kingdom as a whole, having already ruined Scotland, caused 4 civil wars and created the appalling divisions in Ireland which we are still paying for. The Tudors left the country in a good financial state and whilst not beyond criticism for their actions in Ireland were nowhere near as bad as their successors. If Elizabeth I had known what would follow one would hope she would have chosen another branch of the family to inherit.

    4. Elizabeth II is recognised as the de jure sovereign by the Vatican; if this were not the case there would be no ambassadors to the Holy See and no Papal Nuncios. She is also a committed and devout Anglican so the idea that the Royal Family does not accept Christ’s lordship is both laughable and stunningly ignorant.

    5. Rearranging the succession either by statute, assassination or main force has been part of British history since the Year Dot, the Act of Succession was but the latest manifestation of this. If James II and his grandson hadn’t been such idiots it would never have been passed. The Glorious Revolution was far from unjustified; James II tried to introduce a Militia Bill which would in effect have allowed him to force the population to billet his soldiers in their homes and made those soldiers immune to any kind of law. What might have happened to those citizens and in particular their daughters can only too easily be imagined. As far as the population at large was concerned that was the final straw, James had gone from being an anointed lawful sovereign to a tyrant and he had to go. His daughter Anne subsequently refused to sign a similar Bill into law when Parliament asked her to do so, for precisely the reason that it was that Bill that had brought down her father.

    6. Prince Charles is not a Freemason, on the contrary it was widely reported at the time that he declined to join at all.

    7. A British Monarch who was deposed for converting from Anglicanism would not have recourse to the ECHR, it has no jurisdiction in such matters. The constitutional approach would be to hold a referendum or plebiscite and if the monarch in question ‘lost’ he or she would be expected to retire gracefully.

    8. The lack of a written constitution is far from being a problem, unwritten constitutions have the benefit of infinite flexibility.

    9. Henry IX/Cardinal Stuart did renounce his family’s claim because as far as he was aware there were no sensible claimants left. He also returned part of the Regalia and was granted a pension as a quid pro quo. The documentation is in the National Archives.

    10. There is no such thing as British law, English or Scottish law – yes, British law – no.

    11. The Royal Family has no influence over British or any companies because it does not own majority shareholdings in any of them; in fact the Queen has been repeatedly let down by her financial advisers and sacked the last lot a few months ago. The price of constitutional monarchy is that the sovereign must allow the Chancellor of the Exchequer to oversee the national economy. A sovereign who was perceived to be ‘talking down’ parts of the economy would soon find themself in very serious trouble. They can only get away with something like that if the public agrees with them, see the Queen’s question ‘why did no-one see it coming?’ about the sub-prime crisis which led to a group of senior economists writing her a very long letter, followed by a meeting. It has been suggested that such meetings should be held annually; cue deafening silence from No. 11 Downing Street.

    12. If Parliament is sovereign, which it is in a constitutional monarchy, and expresses the will of the people how can it act unlawfully? A government might be held to have acted illegally or unlawfully but Parliament is the highest court in the land.

  90. DHippolito says:

    …religious liberty, things which put (Benedict) into conflict with the his predecessors before John XXIII and the magisterium.

    Pedantic prof, where do you live? Do you live in the United States? If you do, do you realize that the First Amendment, which declares that no state church be “established,” guarantees your right to worship as a Catholic, free from government persecution? Do you know that Maryland was settled as a colony precisely to give Catholics freedom to worship as Catholics? Do you have any idea how the link between church and state in Europe (not just in countries with mostly Catholic populations but also in countries with Protestant and Orthodox ones, as well) has eviserated Christianity, perhaps irrevocably, in that continent?

  91. pedantic_prof says:

    Gladiatrix, you make some interesting comments and I’m pleased that you’re dispelling the romanticised notions some seem to hold about the Stuarts, which is somewhat of a hot topic in historical biography at the moment. I’ve always found Kenyon had the right balance. You’re right about British law though some area of legislation apply throughout the UK such as employment and commercial law so I suppose one could speak of British law loosely in those cases.

    DHippolito, I am a Briton who works in the US and France. The doctrine of religious liberty is not simply about people being able to practise their religion freely but rather the Church enjoying her rightful place in society and not categorised as one among many religions. Since error has no rights, we may and should extend toleration to those who belong to different creeds but this is not to be confused with the preeminent place that the Church must enjoy. Vatican II apparently marked a rupture from traditional teaching on this question though there are those who argue that the two positions are conciliable. It is to be hoped this is indeed possible and we will see what transpires between the SSPX and Rome in their ongoing talks since this issue is a central debating point.

  92. AnAmericanMother says:

    Gladiatrix, the lack of a written constitution is a very serious problem. “Flexibility” is just another word for “we will trample on whatever supposed ‘rights of freeborn Englishmen’ are unpopular this year”.

    A written constitution (despite the idiots who insist it is “living and breathing”) amendable only by 2/3 of the states is the only reason Americans still have freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, freedom of religion, etc. The lot that are in now would do away with all of those if they could.

  93. AnAmericanMother says:

    prof,

    Bonnie Prince Charlie is the best argument against the Stuarts that anybody can muster. His boneheaded conduct (particularly his refusal to listen to Lord George Murray) got a considerable number of my relatives killed. Plus I can’t respect a man who can’t hold his liquor.

  94. shane says:

    “created the appalling divisions in Ireland which we are still paying for”

    Not to mention James I’s Plantation of Ulster, in which extensive Catholic lands were confiscated and given over to Protestant ‘planters’ from northern England/Ayrshire/Borders. This policy was also pursued by his son in other provinces, and Charles II also legimitized most of the Cromwellian land settlement. Even to this day Protestants in Ulster are settled typically on the most fertile land and constitutional preferances are divided (at least to some extent) on Jacobean settlement patterns. Likewise, although people romantacize about the Highlanders’ support for James II/VII in 1745, all Stuarts since James IV absolutely hated Highlanders and wanted to destroy their distinct culture. The Highlanders before that had associated themseles with the MacDonalds, the lords of the isles, against the House of Stuart. James I/VI passed the Statutes of Iona in the hope of wiping out Highland culture and smashing the Clan system. He also planted Lowland settlers in the Highlands with the same aim….the Highlanders, being much wiser than we their Ulster compatriots, rounded them up and sent back their heads in boxes of vinegar.

  95. AnAmericanMother says:

    shane,

    What else can you do with a lot of aboriginal warring tribesmen who dress funny and speak some sort of heathen gibberish? ;-p

    (Chan’ann annam ach Ameiricanach . . . ach tha beagan Ghaidlic agam.)

  96. Jordanes says:

    Gladiatrix said: Elizabeth largely introduced laws detrimental to Catholics only after repeated and severe provocation, not least from the Vatican.

    The repeated and severe “provocation” to which you refer was the normal and inevitable reaction of Catholics to the repeated and severe provocations instigated by Henry VIII and carried on by his ministers. Catholics would only be expected to attempt to restore the Faith.

    The Stuarts on the other hand bankrupted the United Kingdom as a whole

    There was no such entity called “the United Kingdom” until well after the unlawful expulsion the king. Whatever the Stewarts bankrupted was not “the United Kingdom.”

    having already ruined Scotland, caused 4 civil wars and created the appalling divisions in Ireland which we are still paying for.

    Clearly you haven’t given these matters any serious study. History tells a much more complicated and interesting story than this string of half-truths you present.

    The Tudors left the country in a good financial state

    That, of course, must be attributed in part to the piracy that Elizabeth Boleyn sponsored.

    and whilst not beyond criticism for their actions in Ireland were nowhere near as bad as their successors.

    Praising with faint damns . . . .

    Elizabeth II is recognised as the de jure sovereign by the Vatican; if this were not the case there would be no ambassadors to the Holy See and no Papal Nuncios.

    That does not follow, but anyway the policy of the Vatican does not retroactively turn the illegalities that began in 1688 into legal acts.

    She is also a committed and devout Anglican so the idea that the Royal Family does not accept Christ’s lordship is both laughable and stunningly ignorant.

    True, she’s a devout Anglican — but of course if she truly accepted Christ’s lordship she would convert to the Apostolic Faith and would not pretend to be the head of the Church of England.

    Rearranging the succession either by statute, assassination or main force has been part of British history since the Year Dot, the Act of Succession was but the latest manifestation of this.

    And yet the fact remains that any law that deliberately, explicitly excludes Catholics from their rights is contrary both to natural and divine law, and therefore is no law at all. Consequently there is no valid statutory basis for Elizabeth’s claim to the throne (not that this matters much anyway, since her role is almost entirely ceremonial and romantic).

    If James II and his grandson hadn’t been such idiots it would never have been passed.

    And also if they hadn’t been Catholics, and if England hadn’t grown so intolerant of Catholicism and non-Anglican religions. Ignoring the important role that religion played in these matters will result in incomprehension. It would be like trying to understand Scottish Covenanters while dismissing all consideration of their Presbyterianism.

    The Glorious Revolution was far from unjustified; James II tried to introduce a Militia Bill which would in effect have allowed him to force the population to billet his soldiers in their homes and made those soldiers immune to any kind of law.

    Even worse than that, he intended to grant all of his subjects religious toleration — not just Non-Conformist Protestant sectaries, but even Catholics and Jews. He also had the audacity to be married to a Catholic and to have begotten a male heir.

    Henry IX/Cardinal Stuart did renounce his family’s claim because as far as he was aware there were no sensible claimants left.

    When and where did he formally renounce his family’s claim? Name the instrument of renunciation, and tell us when and where he signed and promulgated it. Then, after you’ve done that, explain why his will (which he signed “Henry R,” i.e. King Henry) directed that his successor in all his royal rights was his nearest blood-relative, Charles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia. That doesn’t sound like much of a renunciation, nor like an awareness that there were no sensible claimants left.

    He also returned part of the Regalia and was granted a pension as a quid pro quo. The documentation is in the National Archives.

    You’re mixing things up, but this is not surprising as your error is a longstanding and widespread one. He was granted the pension before his death, but he never returned any part of the Regalia. Only after the de jure king’s death did Msgr. Angelo Cesarini, to whom his property had been entrusted, send the de facto Prince of Wales some jewels from the late king’s collection. One of them was a “Lesser George” believed to have been worn by King Charles I at the time of his judicial murder at the hands of a Calvinist military junta.

    There is no such thing as British law, English or Scottish law – yes, British law – no.

    If there is not such thing as British law, what sort of law is the basis for the Peerage of the Great Britain? Those peers are not English or Scottish peers — they’re British peers. Parliament is not the “English” Parliament (not solely, that is) — it’s the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

    If Parliament is sovereign, which it is in a constitutional monarchy, and expresses the will of the people how can it act unlawfully?

    By purporting to pass laws that violate the natural or divine laws, obviously. Parliament’s sovereignty, of course, did not exist until the 1600s. That was something that Parliament granted itself, apart from the consent of the sovereign or the popular will.

  97. pedantic_prof says:

    Jordanes, you mentioned “He was granted the pension before his death, but he never returned any part of the Regalia”. This is what Wikipedia states but is contradicted by the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article (by Rosalind K. Marshall) which observes: “Most of his resources gone, his pensions spent, and his Mexican properties lost in South American revolutions, he left the remaining royal jewels in his possession to George III, in a gesture of gratitude, and the Stuart archives eventually passed to the Royal Library at Windsor. When in 1819 Pope Pius VII commissioned the white marble monument by Canova which stands above the Stuart tomb, the future George IV contributed £50 towards the cost.” The article is impressively researched and the ODNB is an impeccable source (certainly outweighing the authority of Wikipedia). Do you have any solid authority to back up your claim that the Cardinal did not bequeath some jewels to George III?

  98. DHippolito says:

    Since error has no rights, we may and should extend toleration to those who belong to different creeds but this is not to be confused with the preeminent place that the Church must enjoy.

    Essentially you’re applying the European model to the problem, pedantic prof. The problem is that the faith — and, along with it, the ecclesiastical insitutions — have withered in Europe to starvation dimentions as a result.

    Let me explain: For centuries, European nations have had established churches that received a pre-eminient social place. As a result, leaders in those churches identified more with the governing class than with Christ, let alone the laity, because ecclesiastical leaders depended on the governing class for financial and logistical support, if not their very survival. By the same token, the governing class relied on the “socially pre-eminent” church to maintain its credibility. With such a symbiotic, co-dependent relationship, why should the church preach the Gospel? What do you think happened with the Anglican Communion in England, the Orthodox Church in Russia, the Catholic Church in Spain and Italy and other European nations in which churches had a “pre-eminent social place”?

    The reason Christianity in the United States has not suffered the same fate (though it might) is the fact that the Constitution forbids the establishment of a state church. As a result, all religions must “fight” (for lack of a better term) for adherents. Christian churches can (in theory) feel free to preach the Gospel, even if it offends the authorities. Those Christian churches that have linked themselves to the elite classes, such as most mainline Protestant churches, are dying.

    The Catholic Church risks the same fate because it has so relied on state patronage for so long — indeed, the Vatican throughout history has confused political power for spiritual influence — that enthusiasm for the Gospel has diminished dramatically. And since the Holy See is based in Europe, and since the Church has a unitary, hierarchical structure, what affects the Church in Europe will inevitably affect the Church Universal, to one degree or another.

  99. pedantic_prof says:

    DHippolito, rather than applying a European model, I was referring to the Church’s constant teaching until Vatican II.

    I’m also afraid that your comment “With such a symbiotic, co-dependent relationship, why should the church preach the Gospel?” holds no water. Take Ancien Regime France as an example. During the seventeenth century, the French Church produced many saints and religious orders whose primary focus was evangelisation (SS Vincent de Paul, Louise de Marillac, Francois de Sales, etc.) and moreover sent missionaries across the world, notably North America. The close relationship of Church and State did not lead to apathy and subserviance but rather resulted in a vibrant Church which was not afraid to come into conflict with the monarchy on occasion (such as the Assembly of the Clergy of 1654 which successfully resisted the state’s attempts to remove the Coadjutor Archbishop of Paris).

    I think you’d do better to look at the Protestant revolt and the French Revolution as the root of the present decline in European Catholicism rather than putting the blame -unfairly and without justification- on the concept of religion liberty.