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RCs reassure on royals

26 April 2013

by Simon Caldwell

Roman Catholics who marry members of the royal family will not be obliged to bring up their children in their faith, RC bishops have assured the Government.

Lord Wallace of Tankerness, speaking on behalf of the Government, said that he had been told by the general secretary of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, Mgr Marcus Stock, that the canonical requirement of Roman Catholics to raise their children in the faith was not always binding.

He said that he could "inform the House that the view taken by the Catholic Church in England and Wales is that, in the instance of mixed marriages, the approach of the Catholic Church is pastoral. . .

"Where it has not been possible for the child of a mixed marriage to be brought up as a Catholic, the Catholic parent does not fall subject to the censure of canon law."

The assurance was given to the Lords during the Third Reading of the Succession to the Crown Bill, on Monday night. The Bill will allow monarchs to marry Roman Catholics, and will end the rule of male primogeniture, permitting female first-borns the right of succession.

Lord Cormack attempted to introduce an amendment to better protect the requirement that the sovereign be a Protestant, and in communion with the Church of England. This was withdrawn after Lord Wallace told the House of the assurances of the RC Church.

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