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Succession to the Crown Act 2013

  • Christopher Hill (a1) (a2)

Bob Morris' comment on the Succession to the Crown Bill invites the Church of England to ‘fresh, bound-breaking’ thinking about Church of England establishment in light of the role of the Supreme Governor of the Church of England and the statutory obligation for the Sovereign to maintain communion with the Church of England. Along with other writers he argues that, in effect, this leaves us with religious freedom in the UK but not religious equality. I hope that Morris' challenge will stimulate such fresh thought – my response is not yet this but concerns another matter that he raises in relation to Roman Catholic marriages. He repeats concern in both Houses of Parliament that children of ‘mixed marriages’ are obliged to be brought up as Roman Catholics, and he correctly questions the extent of such an absolute obligation contra an article in the Catholic Herald.

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1 Morris, B, ‘Succession to the Crown Bill’, (2013) 15 Ecc LJ 186191.

2 ‘Why shouldn't there be a Catholic “Supreme Governor” of the Church of England?’, Catholic Herald, 31 October 2012.

3 Code of Canon Law 1917 Canons 1060–1064.

4 Code of Canon Law 1983 Canon 1125.

5 Beal, J, Coriden, J and Green, T (eds), New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law (New York, 2000), pp 13411452 for the commentary on Canons 1124–1129.

6 Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms on Ecumenism (Rome, 1993), para 151, available at <>, accessed 5 June 2013.

7 For the whole debate at Report Stage, see HL Deb 13 March 2013, col 267ff.

8 HL Deb 22 April 2013, col 1221.

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Ecclesiastical Law Journal
  • ISSN: 0956-618X
  • EISSN: 1751-8539
  • URL: /core/journals/ecclesiastical-law-journal
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