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100 years ago: Rumanian crowned heads

17 May 2024

May 16th, 1924.

THE visit of the King and Queen of Rumania — the former a Roman Catholic and the latter an Anglican — to London is of peculiar interest to all Churchpeople. The nation of Rumania refused to follow the wish of King Carol and the advice of the Vatican during the Great War, and in spite of secret compacts which, as a scion of the House of Hohenzollern, the late King Carol had made with the Kaiser and which had entangled it, decided in 1916 to throw in its lot with the Entente at the moment when worldly wisdom would have gainsaid the decision. We can never forget that Queen Marie’s enthusiasm for everything British was no small factor in that fateful choice. To-day the Church of Rumania, both by its numbers and by its moral influence, is a most important factor in the totality of the Orthodox Communion. As such all Anglicans will desire both to know more of it and to enter into closer relations with it. Lying as it does a Latin enclave between Slav and Greek Orthodoxy, it presents itself both as a witness to primitive Christianity and as a natural ally of Anglicanism. As such it will command the respectful interest of us all; while therefore to the “man-in-the-street ” the visit to London of their Majesties will appear only as a graceful act in cultivation of the secular friendship of the Rumanian nation with the British, to the instructed Churchman it will carry also the significance of another step in the preparation of the terrain for reunion between the Anglican Church and the Orthodox.

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