Saturday, 7 August 2010

the protestant succession

Might just have picked up on this because I saw Henry VIII yesterday. Donnie Foot often has things worth noting in his column but usually too long to note. One of the things I like about the Free Press is that they will have columns by Donnie Foot and Brian Wilson taking completely different positions on the same issue, but never just for 'provocative columnist' effect, rather their own well-expressed and sincerely held positions. This week, 16 July, their shared theme was the Protestant Succession. Extract from Footnotes:

There is nothing complicated about the law itself. It simply states that no Roman Catholic, and no one married to a Roman Catholic, can be Queen or King of the United Kingdom. This law was passed at the end of the 17th century after the nation's bitter experience of government by the closet Catholic, Charles II, and the very overt Catholic, James II (James VII of Sotland). The detestation of both men ran deep and strong.
They had ignited a holocaust of terror against Dissenters in England and Pesbyterians in Scotland. Charles had added to this the crime of perjury, signing the National Covenant to secure coronation as King of Scotland in 1651 and then, when he became King of England in 1660, turning ferociously against all it stood for. James for his part had shown a marked inclination to invoke the help of the Catholic powers, especially France, to advance his own interests: a tendency continued by his descendants, the Old Pretender and the Young Pretender.
... The ban against Roman Catholics occupying the Throne was not the work of bigoted Presbyterians. Like the whole so-called Glorious Revolution which brought William of Orange to Britain in 1688, it was the work of those London circles illuminated by the philosopher, John Locke. Locke was firmly convinced that the first loyalty of a Roman Catholic would always be to a foreign power, namely, the Vatican: a power not only spiritual but temporal, heavily and skilfully involved in international diplomacy, and as determined to secure its own political ends as any state on earth.