Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Anglican loyalties

Having written something about the issues facing Anglo-Catholics considering accepting Anglicanorum coetibus or making individual moves to cross the Tiber it occurred to me that another factor which weighs heavily with some is the notion that by doing so they are being disloyal to The Queen.

This idea is not uncommon. It ignores the historical facts of life in pre-Reformation England, and the loyal service of Catholics to the crown ever since. Some of the most ardent monarchists I know, both in devotion to the principle and the person of the monarch are Catholics. I venture to suggest that there are few people who could or do exceed me in devotion to the monarchy, and to the monarchical principle. I was much offended by an Anglican ordinand friend who accused me of disloyalty to The Queen by becoming a Catholic - and he is someone who professes, on occasion, to be a Jacobite.

Some of my Catholic friends do claim to be Jacobites, but I do not think they are likely to start an uprising to put King Francis I,II and III on the throne.*

Nonetheless the notion of disloyalty is around. It should be discounted. If the Earl Marshal can be the premier Catholic subject of the Crown, why cannot others also be perceived as loyal subjects?

I recently heard that one person I know who was much concerned as a committee member of an organisation which was considering taking advantage of Anglicanorum coetibus. His prime concern was not to be disloyal to The Queen. Fine - but he is an American citizen, with strong links to the Democratic party in the rebel colonies. Surely if that issue of loyalty concerns him he should take the oath of alliegance and get a British or Canadian passport.

* I of Bavaria, II of England and Ireland, III of Scots. For more details see, for example, here, which also gives some other claimants, notably HRH The Infanta Alicia, Duchess of Calabria, presumably therefore to her supporters Queen Alicia I.

1 comment:

Dominic Mary said...

Oh Dear ! Jacobites who seek to place Francis I, II, & III on the throne are merely being contrary : Her Majesty has perfectly satisfactory legitimist credentials of her own !
(Incidentally, I'd have thought that Catholics were much less likely to support the pernicious principle of Democracy than Anglicans seem to be . . .) ;-)