This year Prince Charles visited the Armenian Orthodox, Chaldean Catholic, Coptic Orthodox and Syrian Orthodox Churches during the course of 2014. In the case of the Syriac Church, he visited them twice in one short year. Ekklesia associate and Middle East analyst Dr Harry Hagopian assesses the significance of these acts of concern and solidarity.
Catholics and leaders of the 16 Commonwealth countries where Queen Elizabeth II serves as head of state have welcomed an announcement by British Prime Minister David Cameron about changes to the royal succession that include allowing the monarch to marry a Roman Catholic.
The ornate rituals in Westminster Abbey, and Donald Trump’s investigation of President Obama’s birth certificate have something in common, says Heather McRobie: a very pre-modern fixation on blood as a marker of belonging, and heritage as a prerequisite for legitimacy to rule.
The incongruity appeared to raise little comment. At a wedding - perhaps one of the most tender of human ceremonies in its manifestation of love and hope - all the principal male figures wore the uniforms of forces whose business is armed conflict.
The pomp, circumstance and military trappings of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton was light years away from the teachings of the vulnerable man Jesus who was executed by the Romans, says Sande Ramage. Despite that 'The Royals at the Abbey', with the full co-operation of the church, keep trying to blend two irreconcilable concepts.
Reading the church media over the past week, and probably for the succeeding one, would leave many people with the impression that the boundary between church and monarchy is virtually indecipherable. I find this elision of faith in God with a longing for worldly pomp and circumstance deeply disturbing.
Monarchy as an institution rooted in inherited wealth and pure eugenic privilege stands in contrast with, and contradiction to, the levelling Gospel of Jesus Christ, argues Simon Barrow. But a kind of mythology and ritualising in the popular imagination prevents both Christians and others from seeing what is really going on, and what is wrong with it.