Catholics and the Monarchy

The Act of Settlement 1701, prevents a “papist” (Roman Catholic) from inheriting the English throne.
Under that basis the Queen cannot be a Roman Catholic, however, being a catholic is a different matter. (see below)

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Can the King or Queen of England be a Catholic.

The Act of Settlement 1701, prevents a “papist” (Roman Catholic) from inheriting the English throne.


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Under that basis the Queen cannot be a Roman Catholic, however, being a catholic is a different matter. (see below)

Church of England/Anglican

Queen Elizabeth II is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, an Anglican/Episcopalian church.

Roman Catholic Church

The head of the Roman Catholic Church is the Pope.

catholic or Roman Catholic (note Capital letters)

  • Protestants, of course, do not equate “catholic” with “Roman Catholic.” The word catholic simply means “general, universal, concerning the whole.” www.christianitytoday.com
  • The Catholic religion is the religion of the Catholic Church—i.e., that group of churches in communion with the pope. If a group isn’t in communion with the pope, it isn’t part of the Catholic Church. www.catholic.com
  • Firstly it must be emphasised that the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches are not different religions but different denominations of the one religion – Christianity. www.anglican.org.au

1701 Act of Settlement

The Act of Settlement 1701, prevents a “papist” (Roman Catholic) from inheriting the English throne.

Word Definitions: catholic and Catholic

  • Definition of ‘catholic’ (with lowercase c): including a wide variety of things; all-embracing; “her tastes are pretty catholic”. Comes from the Latin ‘catholicus” meaning universal or whole.
  • Definition of ‘Catholic’ (with uppercase c): was first used to describe the Christian Church in the early 2nd century. The one and only Church of God.

More Reading:

This makes interesting reading: When did the term “Roman Catholic Church” first come into being? (www.catholic.com)


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