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Web Letters | The Nation

Britain's Atavistic Royalism

Royalty and religion

I noticed in the article that the Act of Settlement has been criticized by Roman Catholics insofar as the British monarch must not be Roman Catholic, and anyone in the the line of succession who marries a Roman Catholic is removed. What I find striking is that the author of the piece does not address how this would square with the monarch being the head of the Church of England. So will the monarch no longer be the head of the Church? Will all that tradition be rejected, the role of the Church of England within the whole Anglican Communion? I can't imagine it, and I'm a former Roman Catholic who is now Episcopalian and proud to be part of the Anglican Communion. I enjoyed seeing the ceremony and learning how the Anglicans in England do wedding services, the language of the ceremony, the prayerbook they use. And I noticed something else; the author explained that prior to the marriage, "Kate Middleton had been received into the Anglican Church." Nothing I have seen in the news reports indicate that she was ever anything else but Anglican. The news reports I have seen explain that she was confirmed. The two ceremonies are uniquely different. Confirmation, as in the Roman Catholic church, recognizes that one is an adult in the eyes of the church, a fully committed member, confirmed. Reception is the ceremony that takes place when a member of another Christian sect decides to become Anglican. This was the ceremony I took part in when I became Episcopalian in 2002; the bishop confirmed a number of youngsters and received a number of adults.

Barbara James

Boston, MA

Apr 30 2011 - 3:32pm