Since faith is one, it must be professed in all its purity and integrity". Pope Francis/Pope Benedict

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

God save the Queen: A gold filling in a rotting mouth

The Holy Father, Her Majesty and Prince Philip -
Hollyrood House, Scotland, 2012
Over the past few days, the United Kingdom and various Commonwealth nations - such as Canada, Australia etc., have celebrated the 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II as Monarch.  Her reign has been referenced as a "second Elizabethan age" - yet, I could not help but ask myself, as I watched some of the external celebrations: what has happened over those 60 years? It was indeed interesting to see the Speaker of the House offer "Grace" before meals (the same man who impudently addressed the Holy Father at the Palace of Westminster in 2010), to the Prime Minister reading a Lesson from St. Paul (the same man who now wishes to introduce "same-sex marriage" legislation), to the self-proclaimed atheist Leader of the Lib-Dems singing hymns at the Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul's. A show, optics, weakly - indeed very weakly - masking serious moral and spiritual decline. The Monarchy, as one far-seeing aristocrat wrote in the 1950s, is a gold filling in a rotting mouth. 

Nonetheless, it is worthwhile to read the Holy Father's message to the Queen, reminding her of what a Monarch/head of State should be: 

To Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

I write to offer my warmest congratulations to Your Majesty on the happy occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of your reign. During the past sixty years you have offered to your subjects and to the whole world an inspiring example of dedication to duty and a commitment to maintaining the principles of freedom, justice and democracy, in keeping with a noble vision of the role of a Christian monarch.
I retain warm memories of the gracious welcome accorded to me by Your Majesty at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh at the beginning of my Apostolic Visit to the United Kingdom in September 2010, and I renew my thanks for the hospitality that I received throughout those four days. Your personal commitment to cooperation and mutual respect between the followers of different religious traditions has contributed in no small measure to improving ecumenical and interreligious relations throughout your realms. 
Commending Your Majesty and all the Royal Family to the protection of Almighty God, I renew my heartfelt good wishes on this joyful occasion and I assure you of my prayers for your continuing health and prosperity.

From the Vatican, 23 May 2012

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