The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Rev Tim Stevens, who leads the 26 bishops who sit in the House of Lords, tells The Sunday Telegraph that David Cameron’s policy to end Britain’s 300-year-old succession laws risks overturning the Church’s constitutional role.
Bishop Stevens also defended the bishops’ recent political opposition to several Government reforms and said that they were watching draft legislation carefully for measures that could disadvantage particularly poor or vulnerable people.
He argued that the Prime Minister’s plans to repeal the ban on the monarch being married to a Catholic posed a serious potential risk. Currently the Queen is required to take on the role of Supreme Governor of the Church of England — making it the established Church. But the bishops said that it would be impossible for a Catholic monarch to have that role.
If Mr Cameron’s reforms were passed it would be possible for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s firstborn child to marry a Catholic and still ascend the throne. If that monarch had a child, he or she would have to be brought up as a Catholic under the rules of the Roman Catholic Church.
Bishop Stevens, convener of the Lords Spiritual, said that they would vote against Mr Cameron’s measure to amend the Act of Settlement if Rome did not relax its rules. There is no sign of Rome doing so. Read more...