ENGLISH Catholics are probably the most loyal to the Crown of any of Her Majesty's subjects, but they are not in all respects on an equal footing with their nonCatholic peers, One area where discrimination still exists is in relation to the Crown.
Under the Constitution it is a condition of title to the Crown that the sovereign should "join in communion with the Church of England as by law established." Catholics are thus effectively excluded.
In one way this is strange, since no body has done more to promote the English monarchy than the Catholic Church, in the early years of the monarchy Church and Crown were closely linked, and this continued throughout the Middle Ages and despite conflict over such matters as Investitures there was no question of a break with Rome until the marriage problems of Henry VIII.
Indeed, one reason why there was so little resistance on the part of the Catholic hierarchy of' the day was the mistaken view that this was just one more round of a continuing conflict.
It took a saint to see the difference and detect the signs of the times, and St John Fisher saved the good name of the bishops of his day by standing out for truth and the prerogatives of the Holy See. The rest surrendered ignominiously?
Charles I aroused opposition by his Laudian Anglicanism, but Charles Irs Catholic sympathies did not prevent him from regaining his throne, although in a monarch of less political talent they could have caused difficulty.
Among the factors costing James II his throne was his religion, and the loyalty of his son and grandsons to their religion was a major factor preventing their restoration.
The direct Stuart line came to an end with the Cardinal Duke of York, who died in 1807, and who, although he entertained no expectations of a return to the throne, always insisted on his royal titles which were not recognised for political reasons by the papacy. The Stuart claim descended collaterally to the present Bavarian royal house.
The existence of the Stuart