Thursday, September 22, 2022

The Royal Prerogatives and the law: 1Peter 5 by James Bogle

The well-known Catholic barrister James Bogle (also a former President of the FIUV) has written about what the Queen could and could not have done about bad laws being passed, on 1Peter 5. It is well worth a read; the principle is clear enough but the technical details are helpful.

Mr Bogle explains that saying 'The Queen should have refused to sign the Abortion Act' (or any other Act of Parliament) is no different from saying that a Catholic judge should have ignored it, that a Catholic clerk working in the Houses of Parliament should have falsified the official record of the Act, or even that a Catholic soldier guarding Parliament at the time it was being voted on should have stormed in and threatened everyone with his gun. It would have been illegal, as well as totally futile and destructive of the constitution, and of course morally wrong.

In a constitutionally-governed state bad laws must be prevented, or failing that, overturned, by constitutional means. Anything else is a revolution which overturns the state itself. And yes we do want to live in a constitutional state, and not in a state of legal anarchy and permanent civil war.

Elsewhere, Mr Bogle has summarised the question of whether it is possible to hold a Requiem Mass for The Queen, as the LMS has done and will do again. This is worth quoting:

Dear all, canon law makes it quite clear that the baptised of any denomination may be given a public requiem and that the final decision lies with the local Ordinary. Here is what canons 1183 & 1184 say:

 "Can. 1183 §3. In the prudent judgment of the local ordinary, ecclesiastical funerals can be granted to baptized persons who are enrolled in a non-Catholic Church or ecclesial community unless their intention is evidently to the contrary and provided that their own minister is not available.

Can. 1184 §1. Unless they gave some signs of repentance before death, the following must be deprived of ecclesiastical funerals:
1/ notorious apostates, heretics, and schismatics;
2/ those who chose the cremation of their bodies for reasons contrary to Christian faith;
3/ other manifest sinners who cannot be granted ecclesiastical funerals without public scandal of the faithful.
§2. If any doubt occurs, the local ordinary is to be consulted, and his judgment must be followed."

The Queen was not an apostate, heretic or schismatic (one must first be a Catholic to meet those categories) nor was she a manifest sinner.

In addition, the local Ordinary has given permission. 
Now, for goodness sake, find something more sensible to argue about.

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