It is a favourite mantra of Australian republicans that the monarchy is English, and Anglican and thus irrelevant to Australians from other religions. Of course the Australian monarchy is neither English nor Anglican.
Not so long ago, we were delighted to record in this column the recent and most commendable pledge of loyalty to The Queen from the Russian Orthodox Church in Australia : Now Father Neil Wall has drawn our attention to a comment on the monarchy’s links with the Orthodox by Dr. Alexander Roman, writing in Canada.
The following is an edited version:
“As the Queen continues her progress through her Dominion of Canada, we might wish to consider the ways in which the Monarchy is relevant to our country and our lives. Is it relevant and, if so, how? On the face of it, what can a monarch who is British and an Anglican symbolize for the cultural and religious diversity of the people of Canada? And is it a foregone conclusion that the Crown has no meaning whatever for the nation and people of Quebec?
“It was my privilege to be part of the welcoming crowds in Toronto when the Queen arrived here, to meet her and speak briefly with her. If the monarchy was irrelevant for the many Canadians of different backgrounds who turned out to greet her, one would never know it.
“ “But detractors of the Monarchy in Canada have tended to juxtapose the Queen’s background to that of the culturally diverse background of Canadians as one argument for its abolition. And they couldn’t be more wrong!
“As an example, let us take the Crown’s historic relationship to Orthodoxy."
We shall continue Dr Roman’s article in future columns