Let British Heirs Marry Catholics, Urges Cardinal

LONDON, JUNE 2, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O´Connor thinks it is time for Britain to lift its historic ban on any heir to the throne marrying a Catholic, BBC reports.

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The archbishop of Westminster called for a repeal of the age-old ruling as he prepared to take part in a multifaith service to mark the 50th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth´s coronation.

«I think with regard to the Act of Settlement, it´s not really and shouldn´t be relevant in today´s world and today´s Britain,» the cardinal said of the 1701 law governing the marriage of an heir.

«After all,» he added, «it´s not so much that it is an act of discrimination against Roman Catholics — which it is — but it seems to me to be discrimination against the royal family.»

Cardinal Murphy-O´Connor said the present law needed changing so that Prince William could marry someone of any faith.

«He can marry by law a Hindu, a Buddhist, anyone, but not a Roman Catholic,» the cardinal said. «That seems to me anomalous and I think it should go.»

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