Welcome for plans to allow women to succeed
THE BISHOP of Worcester has welcomed the Gover nment’s move to give women the same right to succeed to the throne as men.
Bishop John Inge also welcomed the r emoval of the restriction on a future monarch marr ying a Catholic.
“The vast majority of people would surely agree that male primogeniture i s not appr opriate and it is right that this should be changed,” he said during second reading of the Succession to the Crown Bill in the House of Lords.
“The Bill marks a necessar y stage in the evolution of the relationship between the monarchy and the people of this countr y.
“Such evolution has helped to ensure that the monarchy has been sustained in the affections of the people of this nation. We are all delighted about the impending birth of a child to the Duchess of Cambridge, and it is timely that this change should take place now.”
Bishop Inge said the r emoval of the prohibition on marr ying a Roman Catholic and r emaining in the line of succession to the throne would not “undermine or r eplace the requirement that the sovereign join in communion with the Church of England or threaten the establishment of the Church of England”.
He said the Ar chbishop of Westminster, V incent Nichols, had stated publicly that he valued and recognised “the importance of the position of the established church in protecting and fostering faith in our society today”.
Bishop Inge added: “The r elationship between the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Chur ch, as has been pointed out in your Lor dships’ Chamber, has changed drastically, I am pleased to say, since the 15th and 16th centuries, but it is worth noting that there has been a sea change in ecumenical relations between the two Chur ches in recent years, as evidenced by the warmth of the r elationship between Pope Benedict and the former most r everend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbur y, Rowan Wi lliams, a warmth that I would say extends over the r ealm.”
However some peers, including for mer Lor d Chamberlain Lord Luce, who led the commission that chose the new Ar chbishop of Canterbur y, called for a written assurance fr om the Catholic Church that in cases of a “mixed” mar riage they would accept an heir to the thr one being br ought up as an Anglican.