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Political implications of Johnson's Catholicisim

(308 Posts)

GNHQ have commented on this thread. Read here.

Kali2 Mon 31-May-21 08:52:41

So it seems it is not 'just about' the wedding, but other implications

''Apparently the catholic church states that if a catholic marries a non catholic in any marriage not conducted by the catholic church, the marriage is not recognised as valid. By accepting those terms in order to proceed with his marriage, Johnson is accepting that having been baptised a catholic, he not only still is a catholic, he has always been a catholic.
This has important constitutional implications which I am sure will not have entered his head. Firstly, he has just "come out" as the first catholic Prime Minister in the UK's history.
Secondly, there are certain functions which are the sole responsibility of the Prime Minister which Johnson, as a catholic, is actually barred by law from performing.
The one which come immediately to mind is that under an act passed in the early 19th century and still in force, no catholic is permitted to advise the Queen on the appointment of any office holder in the Church of England.
Any catholic doing so is immediately rendered ineligible to hold any office under the crown for the rest of their life. This is where it gets interesting. Since Johnson became PM, a new Archbishop of York and at least one other diocesan Bishop have been appointed.
The procedure for such appointments is that a committee of the Church of England select a nominee and forward the details to the Prime Minister for approval. This is not automatic. Margaret Thatcher turned down one nomination for a bishop when she was PM. Assuming the PM is agreeable however, they advise the Queen to make the appointment. It would appear therefore that Johnson, a catholic, has advised the Queen regarding at least two appointments in the Church of England contrary to English law, and is therefore barred from life from holding any office of state, and is consequently no longer Prime Minister. I await developments with interest.
I think we should all speak out in mass, not just the Pope. As he is well over due a comment on the UK's human rights issues alone. As now even Amnesty International have Johnson and his vile Conservative Government on their list.''

as explained by an expert responding to an article in The Telegraph.

25Avalon Mon 31-May-21 09:24:35

The so called expert who obviously is not a Conservative or BJ admirer has seemingly not done his homework. In 2008 Gordon Brown, Labour PM, amended the constitutional link between the Church of England and the government executive. The Prime Minister and other ministers no longer advise the Crown. The Crown Nomination Commision submit the names of their preferred candidate and the second appointable candidate to the PM who is constitutionally responsible for passing that advise to the Queen.

Gordon Brown’s amendment has thus paved the way for a RC to be PM. Interestingly Tony Blair regularly attended mass as PM but was only received into the Catholic Church after he left office. Boris was baptised in the Catholic faith by his mother but when he was at Eton was confirmed as an Anglican. Then he met Carrie Symonds. Their son, Wilfred, was baptised in the Catholic faith. I’m sure Boris checked the position out carefully before getting married especially with 2 divorces behind him.

MaizieD Mon 31-May-21 09:29:04

Impressive, Avalon.

Is that your knowledge or google's? (genuine question. I'm always impressed by the depth of knowledge Gnetters have)

25Avalon Mon 31-May-21 09:51:23

MaizieD confession I looked it up! I remembered doing The Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 in history and was curious as to the position today. Bit surprised about Gordon Brown’s amendment I must admit. I don’t remember hearing much about it in 2008.

So GN educates - either what you look up or that others look up or know about already.

MawBe Mon 31-May-21 10:05:07

That seems to deal with it! Well done!

Callistemon Mon 31-May-21 10:13:20

It's all a load of nonsense and totally outdated anyway.

MerylStreep Mon 31-May-21 10:13:33

so it seems it is just not about the wedding, but other complications
And now, we know that there are no other complications thanks to 25Avalon.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 31-May-21 10:24:32

Another non-story playing into the PM’s favour, the more he is attacked with fake allegations that are subsequently found to be untrue the more popular he will become with the wo/man in the street.

Whitewavemark2 Mon 31-May-21 10:29:49

None whatsoever as he is not a man who lives by his faith - assuming he has one.

Urmstongran Mon 31-May-21 10:34:29

Well researched Avalon. Explains the background. Sort of puts this thread to bed really!

Peasblossom Mon 31-May-21 10:35:57

It’s interesting you say that GrannyGravy. I was only thinking that yesterday about the number of Johnson threads on Gransnet.

Everyday a new one or two or three. The trouble is the important points get lost in the welter of pettiness.

Sometimes I’ve wondered if the posters aren’t actually Boris supporters playing a cunning game 😬

Galaxy Mon 31-May-21 10:36:15

I think the role of church and state is really interesting to discuss.

Kamiso Mon 31-May-21 11:08:15

From a distant memory Boris’s family came from whatever orthodox religion was being practiced in Turkey early last century. As a practising catholic, who had Wilfred baptised as a Catholic, probably when he was only weeks old as is customary, Carrie has every right to marry in a Catholic Church.

Excerpt from the Radio Times.
“Boris Johnson learns more about his Turkish great-grandfather, a journalist and politician who was kidnapped and murdered in the early 1920s, and encounters the ongoing effects of the political climate of his ancestor's era in contemporary Turkey. The Mayor of London also finds out whether his half-French grandmother really was descended from blue blood as she claimed.”

I was brought up R.C. but only one family member married a Catholic. The non catholics had a few sessions with the priest which included a glass of whiskey and a few cigarettes. A box ticking exercise!

Times have changed. My cousin’s husband, not Catholic, had his funeral service including a requiem mass, held in the local RC Church. It would never have happened years ago.

Interestingly an in-law from a large CofE family was caught with child pornography and received a 6 month prison sentence. He had been sexually abused by the vicar and choir master as a child, but there didn’t seem to be much of a cry for blood over that. The choir master was dropped and the vicar moved elsewhere.

The hierarchy of many religions have a lot to answer for.

vegansrock Mon 31-May-21 12:03:38

I doubt if Johnson is religiously observant, or maybe he’s has a mid life conversion. Who knows/ cares.

MawBe Mon 31-May-21 12:12:06


Well researched Avalon. Explains the background. Sort of puts this thread to bed really!

No such luck Urmstongran - like London buses, there’ll be more faux outrage along any minute ! grin

maddyone Mon 31-May-21 12:21:27

Thank you for the information Avalon.

nanna8 Mon 31-May-21 12:42:18

It is good if he has a faith. It might help him, can’t hurt.

PippaZ Mon 31-May-21 13:09:23

I have never seen so many anti-researchers praising a piece of research on GN. So we can expect all to back their many declarations of (often unfounded) opinion in the future. Brilliant. Every day's a school day, thankfully.

However, I would guess that it's more likely that Johnson will be ousted by bankruptcy than faith. You can't remain an MP if you are made bankrupt.

PippaZ Mon 31-May-21 13:19:04

It has just occurred to me. Do you think Johnson wrote two articles (and he did for Brexit) one pro-Catholicism and one anti before he chose to flip his religion again for the sake of expediency?

Kali2 Mon 31-May-21 13:23:57


I think the role of church and state is really interesting to discuss.

Indded it is- as the Anglican Church and the British State are still very closely linked, in 100s of ways. How many Catholics have we got in the House of Lords- or other religion which represent our current multicultural identity?

And thanks to Avalon for the information given re Brown in 2008- I certainly was not aware, and it is good to learn everyday. So truly MawBe- your 'next' is extremely rude and narrow minded.

I personally believe Church and State should be totally separate- but this is certainly not the case in the UK - where the influence of the CofE, on education, and in the House of Lords- is still very important.

So we can agree, disagree, debate, discuss, learn- but closing any so called discussion with 'next' - is totally OOO- as well as so rude. And not for the first time recently either.

Kali2 Mon 31-May-21 13:24:52



Well researched Avalon. Explains the background. Sort of puts this thread to bed really!

No such luck Urmstongran - like London buses, there’ll be more faux outrage along any minute ! grin

Even ruder, well done.

Galaxy Mon 31-May-21 13:25:23

Yes I agree state and church completely seperate would be a great step forward.

NotSpaghetti Mon 31-May-21 14:00:15

I wonder if people have overlooked the point that non-catholics can mary a catholic in a catholic church if they are happy to agree to any children being brought up Roman Catholic.

I'm not sure that we know whether BJ has technically reaffirmed his RC faith or has simply agreed to his children to be bought up that way.

Kali2 Mon 31-May-21 14:31:06

What about Godparents at the Christening- who were they, and were they all Catholics (as they would have had to make a promise to bring the child up in the Faith).

NotSpaghetti Mon 31-May-21 14:32:28

Godparents don't all have to be Catholic Kali.