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PopeWatch: The Queen

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

Pope Francis met with the Queen yesterday:

According to Vatican Radio, Thursday’s audience marked the queen’s seventh encounter with a pontiff and the fifth different pope she has met. Besides trips to Rome, she also welcomed Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI, now Pope Emeritus, on their respective visits to Britain.

Her first papal encounter was with Pope Pius in 1951, the year before she ascended the throne, the broadcaster said.

The Queen’s latest visit to Italy, at the invitation of Napolitano, was initially planned last year but was postponed because of illness.

Britain’s ambassador to the Holy See, Nigel Baker, told Vatican Radio the Queen had decided to take advantage of the rescheduled trip to meet Pope Francis.

“If you look back in terms of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, it is extraordinary how far the relationship between Britain and the Holy See, and between the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church, has developed since 1952 when she became queen,” he said.

A key aspect of that has been her several encounters with different popes over the years, Baker said.

The sainted mother  of PopeWatch would have loved this, she having both the traditional Irish rebelliousness against the Brits, side by side with a deep love for the Queen.

As always when  Popewatch mentions Queen Elizabeth it brings to his mind her reaction to 9-11, when, breaking with royal protocol,  she ordered the playing of The Star Spangled Banner at Buckingham Palace on September 12, 2001:

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

56 Comments

  1. “The sainted mother of PopeWatch would have loved this, she having both the traditional Irish rebelliousness against the Brits, side by side with a deep love for the Queen.”

    I find that HM and the Princess Royal are both very popular with the Irish I encounter – Any friend of the horse is a friend of theirs (and of mine, too)

  2. From the “Whiskey Catholic”:

    “You give seeds when you’re a hippy elementary school teacher trying to help kindergartners understand that great things can come from small people. You give whisky to a man you respect.”

    An encounter as different as chalk and cheese. Even the body language spoke volumes.

  3. Yes, “The Queen”. Perhaps it is worth remembering this is the self-same woman who signed into law the bill allowing unborn children to be slaughtered (presently 7 000 000 and counting). Britain is the abortion capital of Europe.

    She is also the self-same person who signed into law recently the bill allowing persons of the same sex to “marry”.

    Yes, quite a woman, also the leader of the Anglo Catholic Church of England, but I’m not one of those who slobber over her.

  4. Jeremiah, please tell me you are not ignorant enough not to realize that the monarch of England reigns and does not rule? The Queen has to sign anything passed by Parliament up to and including her own death warrant. I assume she could have abdicated and left her country with Charles the Plant Speaker, but I can understand why she did not with him next in line. Blame Elizabeth for any private misdeeds you please, but the actions of “her governments” are neither her fault nor her responsibility.

  5. In fact, the Queen does not even assent to Acts of Parliament. The Royal Assent is given by a body of Commissioners, appointed under the Great Seal at the beginning of each session, before any legislation has been passed.

    In the presence of at least three commissioners, the Clerk of the Parliaments writes “”La Reyne le veult.” [The Queen will it] in the top left-hand corner of the bill and then reads it aloud.

    For money bills, the formula is “”La Reyne remercie ses bons sujets, accepte leur benevolence, et ainsi le veult.” [The Queen thanks her good subjects, accepts their benevolence and thus wills it] and for private bills it is “”Soit fait comme il est désiré.” [Let it be done as he desires]

    The formula of refusal, not used since Queen Anne’s reign for a Scottish Militia Bill, is rather charming – ““La Reyne s’avisera” [The Queen will think about it]

  6. Gentlemen, thanks for the information, but as it happens, I know all about that stuff, believe me. The fascination of republicans with “royalty”, especially what passes for it in GB, is always amusing. It’s the same thing in Germany, Spain, France and Italy. Each airport and rail station bookstall is festooned with cover pictures of these superior people.

    The plain fact is, she – “Her Majesty” – signed these bills, so they became law, an incontrovertible fact. All the rest is irrelevant. Had she refused, some other stratagem would have been devised, but she it was who gave the “Royal Assent” willingly, there was no intimation of resistance. End of story. For this I detest her, the Head of the Church of England who swore various oaths while seated on the Stone of Scone back in 1953.

    Different story in Belgium, when Baudouin abdicated for one day and the “government of Belgium” signed in his stead when their abortion bill came up.

    Henri of Luxembourg finagled something similar with their euthanasia bill recently. At the time I wondered what his father, a truly devout Catholic thought of it.
    “Blame Elizabeth for any private misdeeds you please, but the actions of “her governments” are neither her fault nor her responsibility.” What on earth are you are talking about ? I said nothing about her “private misdeeds”, whatever those might be. Why do you bring it up ? Maybe you know something I don’t. Please keep it to yourself and beware of Lèse-Majesté 
    Apart from that, enjoy your Sunday and keep up the good work.

  7. “What on earth are you are talking about?”

    To point out that you are a jackass in blaming her for what she has no control over, which certainly includes the actions of “her” governments. Your citing Baudouin’s big one day “abdication” illustrates how meaningless such a gesture of protest by her would have been.

  8. So, when I ask you where you found “Blame Elizabeth for any private misdeeds”, you do not answer but resort to insulting me. A masterly technique but a less than intelligent response to a legitimate question. Resorting to insults by calling me a Jackass is irresponsible and makes me wonder about your judgement, although your manners are obvious.

    Of course Baudouin only made a gesture and it would have had more effect had he abdicated properly, but the royalty of Europe are not renowned for their courage or probity. HM did not utter one word, she is merely the ritual rubber stamp, but the rubber stamp must be on the document.

    To quote from a recent well-known Catholic blog (Thanks to “Aged parent”, probably an English person) :

    “I find it very sad that the Queen felt compelled to put her moral sense as well as her sense of duty aside when she recently signed the homo marriage bill. One always expects, or at least hopes, that the remaining monarchs will take some kind of stand for right order.”

    Very well put, much better than my own puny efforts. The prime duty of “Monarchs” is to safeguard their subjects, not to kill them or legalise their killing. You disagree, but it’s your column and you clearly do not welcome my views, which nevertheless are shared by many.

  9. “So, when I ask you where you found “Blame Elizabeth for any private misdeeds”, you do not answer but resort to insulting me.”

    I answered you, but obviously either your reading skills are quite meager or you are being deliberately obtuse.

    “HM did not utter one word, she is merely the ritual rubber stamp, but the rubber stamp must be on the document.”

    That is purely her constitutional function. She has no role in government.

    “You disagree, but it’s your column and you clearly do not welcome my views,”

    Your views are your views, but on this blog if you put forward a view point it must be defended much better than you have defended yours.

  10. jeremiah-methusela wrote, “The plain fact is, she – “Her Majesty” – signed these bills, so they became law, an incontrovertible fact”

    No, she did not. The last British monarch to sign a bill was, I believe, King Henry VIII; for centuries now, bills are “signed…so they became law” by the Clerk of the Parliaments and not by the Sovereign, in the presence of the Lords Commissioners and not in her’s.

  11. Oh the beauty of blogs!

    The ability to call someone a jackass behind the comfy protection of your screen.

    Calling another person a jackass whilst looking someone in the eye, and you would be guaranteed to end up with a fat fist in your face.

  12. “Calling another person a jackass whilst looking someone in the eye, and you would be guaranteed to end up with a fat fist in your face.”

    Not always since I have occasionally called Jackasses “Jackasses” to their face in “real life” without receiving a fist, fat or otherwise, in return. (Being outspoken is not something I reserve for blogging.) I would note that anyone disturbed by my choice of words is more than welcome to never read this blog again, since doing so is purely voluntary in nature. We will somehow soldier on without their readership or their comments.

  13. Lovely. Was that in a courtroom or just randomly on the street? And were you loosing the argument? (Kidding)

    It’s not Christian to name-call. That’s all.

    But as you stated; your blog, your rules.

  14. Michael Paterson-Seymour, your post inspired me to look up the Wikipedia entry on Royal Assent http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Assent Quite a fascinating subject. For Americans an interesting point is the mention in the Declaration of Independence of the withholding of royal assent. Interestingly the article makes no mention of any signatures by anyone in the process. Perhaps the article can be improved? (Stupid question, hehe)

  15. “It’s not Christian to name-call. That’s all.”

    It depends. I recall the Lord having some choice phrases for those who warranted it. Discussions often can become heated in my line of work, usually not in Court.

  16. Christ didnt call people “jackasses”. He called people liars, theives, hypocrites etc etc…infact he was just putting a label to what they actually were.

    I name-call in the heat of debate- so I don’t deem myself blames less. But I am reminded by my calmer husband, of better Christian conduct, in debate.

    I do love your passion on most topics.

  17. “He called people liars, theives, hypocrites etc etc…infact he was just putting a label to what they actually were.”

    Unless you know people who are literally a “brood of vipers”, “whited sepulchers” or “sons of the Devil” that is not accurate.

  18. That went completely over my head.

    It might be a cultural thing, but in my world you don’t go around calling people male asses or donkeys or stupid just because they don’t agree with your point.

    Twist it how you want. Christ didnt insult the dignity of another human being.

  19. “That went completely over my head.”

    That Christ used insults that were not literally applicable to the target people? I think it is as clear as glass.

    “It might be a cultural thing, but in my world you don’t go around calling people male asses or donkeys or stupid just because they don’t agree with your point.”

    You are from Australia correct? I have heard it called Oz, but I doubt if it is that far removed from the rest of reality on this earth. In America Jackass is a fairly mild insult when people are acting in an unreasonable fashion.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/you-can-swear-by-australia-famous-for-foul-mouths-we-take-our-q-from-overseas-20090815-elsb.html

    “Christ didnt insult the dignity of another human being.”

    Nope, Christ always told the Truth, and sometimes His Truth came with an insult or two, no doubt for the benefit of His auditors.

  20. He called liars “liars”, hypocrites “hypocrites”, thieves “thieves”…

    “That Christ used insults that were not literally applicable to the target people? I think it is as clear as glass.” Where did he do that? And what insults did he use?

    “Jackass” is very much an American slang word- mild or not. In fact there is a ridiculous American television show called “jackass”- where grown men light their rear-ends on fire and push carrots up their nostrils etcetera etcetera.

    You always get a defensive reaction when you insult someone.

    Christ’s rebukes were not insulting, because the target of his rebukes accepted them or just couldn’t argue back because, frankly, he was telling them the truth- with the intention for them to change.

    I find myself loosing interest in a discussion when I get personally insulted because I either get defensive, or find myself tempted to insult back- which I don’t like doing because I get sidetracked the process.

    I think the name-calling is a way of covering a weak argument- mine and others.

  21. I read your article from SMH- a Fairfax leftist liberal newspaper, and yes, by golly, Australians do swear! Alot. The term “bloody hell”, which I use more often than I like, is not the same as calling someone a “jackass”. The former is an exclamation- a swear word. The latter is a term used to insult another person.

    Rudd is the last person you would want to use as an example for typical Australian social etiquette in language.

    The years under his leadership, were humiliating, domestically and internationally. Australians cringed when he opened his mouth to speak English. And he even managed to damage relations with the Chinese Government, in fluent Mandarin.

    Praise The Lord he is gone.

  22. “Where did he do that? And what insults did he use?”

    Do try and follow along:

    “Unless you know people who are literally a “brood of vipers”, “whited sepulchers” or “sons of the Devil” that is not accurate.”

    Those were all examples of insults used by Christ.

    ““Jackass” is very much an American slang word- mild or not.”

    Yep, and being an American I tend to sometimes use American slang.

    “You always get a defensive reaction when you insult someone.”

    Frequently, but sometimes it is more than worth it.

    “Christ’s rebukes were not insulting, because the target of his rebukes accepted them”

    Rubbish. Most clearly did not, as indicated by the fact that most Jews in His time did not become Christian and the vote of the Sanhedrin to condemn Christ, and the mobs howling for the blood of Christ on Good Friday. Christ was always, and has remained, a figure of contention, as He predicted.

    “I think the name-calling is a way of covering a weak argument- mine and others.”

    Not in my case. Mine are usually a reaction to having people make lame arguments and their being unable or unwilling to support their contentions.

  23. I like pretzels, but not when they are human contortionists…

    When Jesus called the pharisees “brood of vipers” in Mathew, it was a truthful visual image regarding their conduct and philosophy. He also called them hypocrites and sons of the devil. Basically, he pointed out the truth.

    Call a person a bigot if their actions actually fit the definition.

    Call a person a fool if they say there is no God.

    Call a person a snake if they con, lie, and deceive.

    Call Jeremiah a “jackass”…? It doesn’t fall under the rule because you clearly can’t prove he is stupid, a donkey or male ass.

    to how you perceive their actions, but there is a time and a place to do

  24. “When Jesus called the pharisees “brood of vipers” in Mathew, it was a truthful visual image”

    Well by that generous standard when I call someone a Jackass it is most definitely a “truthful visual image” , judging from the behavior of literal jackasses I have observed on occasion.

  25. http://protectthepope.com/?p=5310

    “The tragedy for the UK when celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is that during her reign the following grossly immoral statistics are now seen as normal and moral:

    196,082 unborn children were murdered in 2011 through medical abortion
    1 in 3 women under the age of 45 have killed their children
    36 % of women who had abortions in 2011 had previously killed their unborn children.
    4 out of 5 abortions in 2011 were sought by unmarried women.
    1,000 abortions were carried out on children under the age of 15
    76 women who had abortions in 2011 have had 7 or more previous abortions
    1,960 children with special needs were killed through abortion in 2011.

    Elizabeth II’s abdication over the Abortion Act 1967 would have created a constitutional crisis that would have made clear to all future generations that the Labour government of the time, with the connivance of David Steel, had passed an unjust law that transgressed Christian morality and the natural law”

    Yep, Christ would have definitely called these folks sons of Satan. Who do they think they are? Jackasses.

  26. Rubbish. As I indicated to the jackass who originally raised that argument the Queen has absolutely nothing to do with the legislation passed by “her” governments. Regurgitating a bogus argument makes it none the more convincing.

  27. MY two cents.
    .
    In Africa, persons have bush spirits, kind of like familiars but more like Guardian Angels. To call some one a “jackass” is to refer to the main virtues of the jackass as being exemplified by the man’s own actions, and that would be his stubborness. Jesus talked about people who refused to hear, to see, to learn, to know. When I hear the term “jackass” and “stubborn” I hear the word: “Studborn” referring back to the person who chooses to remain ignorant. It is not an insult, but a call to repentance and insight.

  28. Donald, The Queen signing The Abortion Act 1967 and The Equal Marriage Bill violates her Coronation Oath which states:

    “Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England”.

  29. “The Queen is a committed Christian believer who takes very seriously her duty to maintain ‘the true profession of the Gospel’. But what about her similar duty to ‘maintain the Laws of God’?
    The Laws of God about marriage are very clear. Marriage is a lifelong monogamous bond between one man and one woman as established by creation ordinance (Genesis 2:24) and upheld by Jesus Christ (Matthew 19:5 ) and his Apostles (Ephesians 5:31).
    Furthermore it points to the complementarity, permanence and fruitfulness of Christ’s own relationship with his bride, the church (Ephesians 5:31-2).
    The redefinition of marriage which is the basis of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill runs directly contrary to this.
    It is therefore very difficult to see how the Queen can give it her Royal Assent without at the same time violating her Coronation Oath.
    Lord Mackay, at a recent event hosted by the Theos think tank, was asked just this question – whether, in light of the Church of England’s opposition, signing the Bill might put the Queen in breach of her Coronation Oath. Michael Nazir-Ali, former Bishop of Rochester, made the same claim earlier this month.
    Lord Mackay, who opposes same-sex marriage, said that ministers should ensure any legislation was consistent with the Queen’s promise. He said:

    ‘The Queen under our constitutional arrangements is expected to act in accordance with the advice of her ministers, given ultimately through the Prime Minister. The idea of the Coronation Oath was that it would never be in conflict with that advice and therefore it is the responsibility of the ministers of the Crown to see that whatever advice they give is consistent with the proper construction of the Coronation Oath.’

    He added: ‘My hope is that a contradiction between what is advised and what was sworn should never arise.’

    But if the Lords pass this bill this exact situation will actually arise. The Prime Minister will be advising the Queen to do something which almost certainly violates her Coronation Oath in the very year she celebrates the 60th anniversary of that coronation.
    Even if passed by both Houses of Parliament the Marriage Bill cannot become law without receiving royal assent. So the Queen does have the power to block the bill, even if it is a power she has never yet used with any piece of legislation.

    The last time a British Monarch withheld royal assent was over 300 years ago in 1708 – when the last Stuart monarch, Anne, withheld her Assent from a bill ‘for the settling of Militia in Scotland’.”

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/mobile/blog/would-giving-royal-assent-to-the-gay-marriage-bill-place-the-queen-in-breac

  30. None of what you cited is at all relevant EZ; a British monarch cannot withhold assent to laws passed by Parliament. You might as well take to task a rubber stamp for being applied to a bad law, because that is in effect the function of a British monarch to legislation. Of course I have cited this several times on this thread and people who do not have the slightest idea of what they are talking about ignore that very simple fact and make completely irrelevant arguments. Such mulish behavior is what I label as being a jackass.

  31. Perhaps because its difficult to reconcile the fact that the Head of a Nation, whose signature is required to bring laws into effect, cannot exercise any power to oppose those laws. Good or Bad. None at all.

    It doesn’t make someone stupid in seeing the absurdity in that. Or questioning the current dilemma, when refusal of Royal Assent had been exercised in the past.

    Would it then be a sin on her behalf, because she rubber stamped these laws?

  32. “It doesn’t make someone stupid in seeing the absurdity in that.”

    Actually the British mode of operation is quite common around the world with purely ceremonial Presidents taking the place of constitutional monarchs. We have nothing like it in America, but I assume that it serves some function of unity and ceremony for the nations that have adopted it.

    “Would it then be a sin on her behalf, because she rubber stamped these laws?”

    Rather a job requirement. Might as well ask the clerk who transcribes such a law if she commits a sin, because she has much to do with the substance of the law as does the Queen.

  33. Don,
    I agree with you that that in light of the progress she has allowed in restoring friendly relations with Rome, throwing rocks at HM for a feckless act seems a bit much. That said, you say that she cannot withhold assent to passed laws, but what does that mean? Certainly she can, though in doing so she might be derelict in her office. But should such dereliction be admirable, even if *perhaps* not morally required? The healthy moral symbolism would have been obvious. Serious question — what would have been the cost?

  34. It would be the equivalent Mike of a President vetoing an Act of Congress passed over a prior veto, a betrayal of the Constitution. The Queen has a purely ceremonial function. Her only recourse within the British constitution would be abdication and leaving her country with her son the Plant Talker as monarch.

  35. Ez,

    That may be “absurd.” But, it could be seen as a US Constitutional restraint on the tyrant.

    I think that GB does not have a written constitution. The USA has a written constitution. But, no one reads it. Or, they read stuff (abortion, taking some citizens’ stuff and giving it to other people, etc.) into it that ain’t in it.

    The executive power is vested in the POTUS, Art. II. That means he executes the laws passed by Congress. His sole Constitutional power over laws/legislation is the veto, which may be overridden by Congress. It used to be if the POTUS refuses to execute laws, he may be impeached.

    The current rascal running the regime is getting away with murder, e.g.,”Fast and Furious”/IRS “leaning” on political opponents. The imbeciles and thieves, the parliament of prostitutes, won’t stop him.

  36. The equivalency escapes me, Don. Such a feckless veto by the President would be a meaningless gesture, and for that very reason he would not have to abdicate or resign from office but merely endure a little more ridicule than usual. In contrast, the fact that the Queen’s failure to act would require abdication corroborates Ez’s point that her act is not meaningless at all. If the failure of performing an act is meaningful, surely the act itself cannot be meaningless.

  37. She could skip Charles and hand the reigns over to her grandson William. Bets are on that Williams very active public life, is a sign she may be grooming him to be King. The Royals have not been this popular in a very long time.

    And given her age, she could have left with her head held high, opposing an immoral Bill and showing her support for her Christian convictions, which I believe she personally maintains.

    TShaw, from my understanding restraining a tyrant or immoral laws isn’t a bad thing.

  38. I completely disagree with you Mike. Such an act by a President would unleash a constitutional crisis the like of which has not been seen in this country since the Civil War. It would be a President attempting to step beyond the Constitutional framework of his office. A Queen of England attempting to withhold her assent to an Act of Parliament would be precisely the same. People who occupy offices in constitutional polities simply cannot remake the powers of their offices to suit them.

  39. Fair enough, Don — we disagree. The kind of veto you discuss would hardly cause a constitutional crisis, except to the extent Americans wondered whether the president had lost his factulties such that section 4 of the 25th Amendment is implicated. No one would take it seriously. Well, maybe MSNBC.

    Don, I think that your point is that by refusing assent and thereby refusing to perform her duty, the Queen would be required to abdicate and her successor would then perform the duty, and so on in the event a successor behaved similarly, in which case there is no way that the Queen could prevent the legislation from enactment. Thus, her refusal would have been symbolic only, whereas the practical consequences to her quite real. If so, I do think that it is fair to criticize her for being unwilling to sacrifice her station for the purpose of making a potentially important symbolic gesture. I’m not inclined to participate in such criticism, since I think such a witness would have been heroic in nature and I don’t criticize people for failing to be heros.

  40. Ez wrote “whose signature is required to bring laws into effect”

    No, the only thing required to bring a law into effect is for the Clerk of the parliaments to write “La Reyne le veult.” in the top left-hand corner. He does so in the presence of the Lords Commissioners, but no court would go beyond the Parliament Roll to enquire whether they were present or not.
    The only way the Queen could register her dissent would be to dismiss her ministers, appoint a Lord Chancellor pro tem willing to seal the proclamation and then to dissolve parliament, leading to a General Election. That, I suppose, is within the bounds of possibility, but it would mean throwing an awfully big spanner into the machinery of government.

  41. MPS – interesting details.

    “The Queen Wills It” (even if she would personally, rather not).

    “La Reyne le veult l’obligation” would be a more fitting declaration, I would think.

  42. Ez

    Yes, and Royal Assent was never actually refused; the formula was “La Reyne s’avisera” [The Queen will think about it]

  43. “Yes, and Royal Assent was never actually refused; the formula was “La Reyne s’avisera” [The Queen will think about it] ”
    .
    “The Queen will think about it” is absolutely necessary as silence gives consent.

  44. “The Queen will think about it” is absolutely necessary as silence gives consent. ”

    It wouldn’t matter if it was given or not given. The law will pass because she gives it under obligation, not because she actually consents. Silence breeding consent only happens when free will is applied. The Queen does not exercise free will in matters of Royal Assent.

  45. Mary, its very very new to me too. I think it’s absurd.

    The Queen is but a rubber stamp. She cannot express political preferences or opinions when it comes to legislation in UK. Her opinion does not count. Only her signature. And exercising her free will to choose to not sign a legislation is unheard of- she would need to abdicate. And in doing so would be a futile demonstration against a law she opposes because the Parliament will just pass it anyway, under a new monarch who would just sign the law under obligation.

    Ask Donald, he knows more about it.

  46. Ez wrote, “Her opinion does not count. Only her signature”
    Even her signature is not required. The Royal Assent, written on the bill by the Clerk of the Parliaments, is unsigned.

  47. It’s so easy for me to look from the outside and see the people we should pray for: the poor, the marginalized, the sick… but sometimes we are not aware of the souls that are in social situations where there seems no good alternatives, or where life seems fine or even good, but it is not. Confusion. Maybe we should add ” the trapped” to our prayer lists.

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