Queen Elizabeth’s Christmas Message: family

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II actually mentioned sin in her Message for Christmas.

She focused mainly on the family and its role.

I saw that earlier in the day Her Majesty used a regular commuter train to travel from London to Norfolk en route to Sandringham where she and the family would spend Christmas.

21st century “Progress”?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. skull kid says:

    The Queen ought not to travel on an ordinary commuter train! Such a scandal!

  2. contrarian says:

    Beautiful message. Long Live the Queen.

  3. RichR says:

    Classy lady. I loved the clip.

    One interesting by-product of the British monarchy claiming “Supreme Head of the church in England” is that the secularists can’t decry “separation of Church and State”. The monarch is having to fill both roles as a single individual. You can no more separate Church and State than you can separate the person into Mom but not Wife. While this title was ill-gotten and flawed to the core, it is rewarding to see the person use their prominent role to witness their faith to a pagan society on national TV. You can tell she means it……because she’s not up for re-election.

  4. digdigby says:

    Great shot of the Queen on horseback, “God Save the Queen” and the Royal Marines singing their beloved ‘Sarie Marais’ (also the song of Legion Etrangere)

  5. Fr. Frank says:

    As a former Anglican now a Catholic priest, I confess I’ve always loved Her Majesty and I do pray for her, and especially her conversion to the fullness of the Faith. And how I loved her mother!

  6. Brad says:

    “…through Christ our Lord.”


  7. ceolfrid says:

    So, if the Queen of England dies an unrepentant heretic at the head of a Protestant sect — like she is now — where does the Church teach that her soul goes? [Tasteless, in this context.]

  8. Father.Ted says:


    Your Catechism is past its sell-by date.

  9. Father K says:

    Ceolfrid – she is not a heretic [get with the Church rather than sounding like a protestant who prefers his own opinions over the teaching of the Church] – and while you are about it get with the Christmas spirit of salvation, charity, peace and reconciliation, instead of being a ‘Bah, humbug’ type. Seasons greeting Father Z and Father Ted and the other commentators!

  10. Father K says:

    P.S God save the Queen and God bless us every one!

  11. Clinton says:

    God bless her, this cannot have been an easy Christmas for the Queen. After all, her husband
    of 64 years just had to be rushed to the hospital with what seems to have been a mild heart
    attack. I have a tremendous respect for her devotion to her duty.

    If we compare Her Majesty’s Christmas message with that given by our president– well, there
    really is no comparison.

  12. raitchi2 says:

    @ Father K: Wait! How is she not a heretic? Are you making the distinction between heretics who choose to be so and those who are born so (I think the term is formal and material, but idk for sure)?

  13. APX says:

    If we compare Her Majesty’s Christmas message with that given by our president– well, there really is no comparison

    Did Obama actually make a Christmas message? That wasn’t too exclusive and offensive??

  14. Boanerges says:

    She seems to be the only sane voice in all of Great Britain. God Save the Queen!

  15. From the Catholic Encyclopedia article “Heresy” found at newadvent.org:

    “A man born and nurtured in heretical surroundings may live and die without ever having a doubt as to the truth of his creed. On the other hand a born Catholic may allow himself to drift into whirls of anti-Catholic thought from which no doctrinal authority can rescue him, and where his mind becomes incrusted with convictions, or considerations sufficiently powerful to overlay his Catholic conscience. It is not for man, but for Him who searcheth the mind and heart, to sit in judgment on the guilt which attaches to an heretical conscience.”

    God save the Queen.

  16. Father K says:

    raitchi2: Hold on! These terms are no longer used -go have an investigation into authentic Catholic teaching; no longer do we have such distictions.
    Happy Christmas

  17. Archromanist says:

    Dear Father K,

    How’s this for authentic Catholic teaching?

    “Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same.”

    Could that be from some expired, outdated, outmoded, obsolete, archaic, ossified manual of theology written by an unreconstructed preconciliar Jesuit??? No! It’s from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, first published not even twenty years ago!

    The Queen is a lovely lady, but she is very much a heretic; why, her coronation oath obliges her to be one! It’s all the in the Thirty-Nine Articles. She must deny transubstantiation, papal primacy, purgatory, that there are seven sacraments, etc. Denying even one of these would render her a heretic. Saying that is no insult, nor is it any way evidence of a Protestant mentality. It’s just a fact.

    I hope you’re not really a priest. God, that’s frightening.

  18. Centristian says:

    Watching this speech, a few of things strike me about the Queen:

    1. She is the only queen who is referred to, worldwide, simply as “The Queen”. When one says, “The Queen”, one hardly supposes that one is referring to the Queen of Sweden or the Queen of the Netherlands or the Queen of Spain. If I say, “The Queen”, everyone knows which queen I mean.

    2. Elizabeth II has, over such a long reign, so come to embody the institution of the monarchy, that her unchanging hairstyle has become something of a trapping of monarchy in itself. So have her outfits. The very image the Queen projects, without the crown and robes, has become iconic. It occurs to me that Charles, when he succeeds his mother, may have to wear uniforms or other symbols of the monarchy in order to impart the aura of monarchy as successfully as his mother; an older man in a grey double-breasted suit won’t do it, I’m afraid. But something tells me that when we see the end of Elizabeth II, we will see the end of the British monarchy as we know it, in any case.

    3. The Queen indicates that Jesus Christ is our Lord serenely and quite matter-of-factly in a way that seems so improbable for a head of state in this day and age. I think she can get away with it because she is that globally venerable institution that is “The Queen”. She has created that institution–it is not exactly the same institution as “the Monarchy”–and she has, by the venerability that she has wrapped her creation within, earned the right, so to speak, to be able to still acclaim Christ as God, and publicly, as Queen, at that. Liberal as society has become and anti-Christ though the world may be, nobody’s going to try and stop her. Because she’s “The Queen”.

    Her son won’t have such an easy time of it, if he even opts to say it.

  19. shane says:

    Centristian, he doesn’t. He wants a multi-faith coronation and is a committed religious pluralist. He wants to be known as the ‘Defender of Faith’ rather than ‘Defender of the Faith’.

  20. frdgss says:

    Having listened to the Queen’s Christmas message, I thought it was one of the most “Christian” messages I have heard fall from the lips of any political leader for ages. Her words about the transforming power forgiveness were inspirational. What a shame she’s not a Catholic!

  21. Centristian says:


    He’ll be lucky if he gets any sort of a coronation. Today, European monarchs are merely “invested” or “inaugurated”. There are no coronations in the Western World any longer, just pared-back, ho-hum investitures. They don’t believe in themselves anymore (and why should they?) and their inaugurals have to reflect their disbelief in themselves. A coronation would be hubris, at this juncture.

    I still can’t believe the King of Tonga had himself crowned the way he did; what chutzpah. Will Charles? He’ll want one, I think, but will Westminster allow it?

    I wonder.

  22. edm says:

    Most Christian message I have heard from a ruler in a long time, including those from Catholic monarchs. She delivered an examplary speech.

  23. gluon says:

    Don’t forget her address last year, that took place in the Hampton Court Chapel, and started as mini catechism on the writing of the King James Bible.


  24. Father K says:

    Of course the Catechism is correct! However the term ‘heretic’ applies to Catholics who obstinately deny etc….not people who were baptised and raised in other Christian denominations [cf. Vatican II]. It is improper to toss around words which have a specific meaning and then label individuals incorrectly. [eg schismatic-Vatican II specifically states that the Eastern Orthodox are not to be considered schismatic]. Perhaps your are confusing Her Majesty with her predecessor of unhappy memory Elizabeth I? As a baptised member of the Anglican communion, the Queen is a Christian, so stop trying to demean her by erroneously applying labels that are inappropriate.

  25. Supertradmum says:

    God bless the Queen. This was one of the most sincere and religious messages I have heard from a leader of a country, outside the Vatican.

    I am grateful, as she is listened to by millions across Britain and the world. Missionary stuff…may she live long and prosper.

  26. irishgirl says:

    I heard a small ‘sound bite’ on the overnight BBC World News Service I listen to on a local NPR station. It was in the context of a story about her husband Prince Philip’s hospitalization.
    I’ve always admired Her Majesty-and I’m an American with Irish ancestors! She has always symbolized Britain to me. I’m sure that this Christmas was not easy for her, with Philip being ‘in hospital’ and all.
    I will always remember how gracious and welcoming she was to the Holy Father last year at the beginning of his visit. I think in last year’s message she recalled it.
    God bless and keep her! May she have a ‘happy and glorious’ Diamond Jubilee in 2012!
    digdigby-great video link on the Royal Marines! I saw the picture of The Queen on her beloved horse ‘Burmese’ (a Canadian present from the Mounties). OORAH to the Royal Marines!

  27. New Sister says:

    Classy, dignified, and Christian — may God save the Queen!

  28. sejoga says:

    Like Fr. Z, I think the comment about the Queen being a heretic was tasteless. But frankly I think it’s just as tasteless that many are so quick to refuse to acknowledge that Her Majesty is, in fact, a heretic. St. Thomas Aquinas taught that there are two ways of deviating from Christianity: infidelity, i.e. refusing to believe in Christ himself, and heresy, i.e. professing faith in Christ but selectively restricting that faith to only certain tenets while rejecting others. And since sinfulness requires a free act of the will, there are two ways of being a heretic: 1) Material heresy, in which what someone believes is objectively heretical but their misguided faith reflects poor understanding, poor learning, ignorance of true doctrines, etc., and 2) Formal heresy, in which someone with sufficient knowledge and understanding of the true faith willfully rejects it in favor of a “Christianity” of their own choice.

    Her Majesty is, then, materially heretic. I don’t presume to know the state of her soul, and in fairness to her she is legally obligated to profess a Protestant expression of the Christian faith, meaning that in charity we should acknowledge that her own will isn’t entirely free in her exercise of the Christian faith. She may also be formally heretic, if she does give the full assent of her will to her faith, but I don’t see how that’s really the concern of internet blog commenters. Let’s leave that to Christ the Judge.

    I just have to say that I understand that ceolfrid was expressing concern for the integrity of the Christian message she puts forward, as well as for the ultimate end of her own soul. And a number of people have been unwisely swift to suggest, in essence, that she doesn’t really need the Catholic faith or our concern for the state of her soul.

    Just my thoughts, poor though they may be.

  29. Supertradmum says:

    In this day and age of rampant paganism and secularism, atheistic communism and socialism, I think we can applaud a world leader who stands up for Christ in a very public moment. We cannot judge anyone’s soul, not even our own. I, personally, am very pleased that the Queen was so brave to speak of Christ Our Savior, in the midst of the growing darkness, which is faithless. I think some Catholics may be surprised as to who actually gets to heaven or even purgatory. We are all given different and unequal graces. We have the fullness of Truth in the Catholic Church, and God will judge us more harshly than someone who does not. God bless the Queen and may she live much longer.

  30. RobertK says:

    Very nice Christmas message. God Bless her and let us pray for the healthy recovery of her husband.

  31. Andy Lucy says:

    digdigby: (also the song of Legion Etrangere)

    Pardon moi, mais non…la marche de la Légion étrangère est “La Boudin.”

    La Musique Principale produced an LP during the 1950s and ‘Sarie Marais’ was one of the selections they performed. But they also performed the US Marine Corps Hymn, I believe. I never heard ‘Sarie Marais’ used in the Legion, not even as a company march.

  32. Father K says:

    Sejoga and others, please read the documents of Vatican II and other post-Vatican II documents of the Magisterium regarding ecumenism

  33. Samthe44 says:

    The message was very good. I am a Catholic, a British Citizen, and a monarchist. When people say that Catholics cannot be monarchists, I tell them that Her Majesty is my secular and civil leader, but, on Earth, His Holiness is my religious and overall leader. Being a monarchist is really no different than a citizen of a republic being loyal to their country/constitution/president.

  34. flyfree432 says:

    Father K,

    We can say with certainty that it is tasteless to run around calling the queen a heretic on the occasion of her Christmas message (which is truly inspirational), and at the same time not try to create a discontinuity between the Second Vatican Council and the rest of Christian history and teaching. The Second Vatican Council did not in any way change the teaching of the Church, as should be obvious. Material and formal heresy, mortal sin, hell, and “no salvation outside the Church” are still parts of the vocabulary of the Church – much needed vocabulary if we are to do the authentic work of ecumenism. The Church desires Her Majesty’s conversion to the true faith. (“The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council. UG 1)

    “Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts,(19) which the Apostle strongly condemned.(20) But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church-for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame. The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection.” (UG 3)

    The dissensions today are “much more serious” and the damage done by the loss of the Sacraments of salvation beyond baptism make salvation more difficult for those separated from the fullness of the faith and grace that flows through the Church.

  35. Helena Augusta says:

    “…BTW, isn’t her new grand-daughter-in-law (William’s wife) Catholic?”

    No, Kate isn’t a Catholic. She was raised C of E but was only confirmed just before her marriage. The Prime Minister has proposed changing the rules of succession so that a firstborn child of either sex may succeed to the throne and marriage to Catholics by future heirs to the crown permitted. These changes have been approved by the Commonwealth ministers but not yet enacted into law, I believe.

    The Queen is most devout (as was her late sister Princess Margaret, wayward though the latter was at times). God bless her!

  36. Father K says:

    flyfree432, yes while ‘mortal sin, hell, and “no salvation outside the Church” are still part of the vocabulary of the Church’ they need to be understood properly, in the way the Church uses those terms. ‘Material and formal heresy’ are not terms we find in the documents of Vatican II, the Catechism of the Catholic Church nor in any postconciliar document of the magisterium. [Catechism 817-819]

  37. Trad Catholic Girl says:

    While Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s message for Christmas was extremely good, I believe President and Michelle Obama’s Christmas message was just as good, if not better. Take a look: http://www.whitehouse.gov/holidays

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