LETTER:Royal divorce: a monarchist's loyalty betrayed

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Sir: Den Perrin asks (letter, 4 March) why the Prince of Wales is still eligible to become Head of the Church when a mere priest is sacked for adultery.

His question is wrong in one respect. Christ is the Head of the Church. The Queen is, and the Prince will become, merely the Supreme Governor. However the question still calls for an answer. The reason is that a priest is required by his office to "set the Good Shepherd before himself as the example of his calling" whereas the Supreme Governorship is not an office within the Church at all but merely a reminder to the faithful of the duty they owe to their secular rulers.

The Sovereign's sole function is to convene synods, just as it used to be the case that only the Emperor could call general councils. This has the salutary effect of reminding the bishops, the successors of the Apostles, that the ideas that they are servants, not masters, and that the People of God are more than mere pew fodder, are more than pious rhetoric. This is what, it seems to me, they have become within the Vatican.

J A Davis

Bookham, Surrey