The republican line that Catholics are so upset by the provisions of the Act of Settlement that they want the monarchy abolished is untrue. There is very substantial support in the Catholic community for the Crown.
Now the leading British Catholic prelate, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, has dismissed any need to rush through a change in the Act of Settlement which prevents Catholics or anyone married to a Catholic from ascending the throne.
His Grace is obviously a more reliable source of Catholic opinion than a declining republican movement desperate to find some justification for throwing out our constitutional system and shredding our flag.
In an interview published in The Times (24/5) the recently enthroned Archbishop told Dominic Lawson “I wouldn’t rush to support such a change in the law. I think the position of the Queen and of the monarchy is to be handled with great sensitivity.”
Asked whether The Queen would object, he said “I don’t know, because I’ve never met the Queen, but you are talking about one of the key components of the English identity. And in any case this is not a grievance we Catholics carry heavily.”
All indications are that The Queen has no objection either to a change in male primogeniture, or to the Catholic proscription. It is expected that this will be discussed at the next Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in November in Trinidad and Tobago.