King Charles wants other religions involved in coronation, palace refutes Muslim ties

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By Mark Ellis –

With only a few weeks to go before the coronation of King Charles III, the newly installed king is at odds with Church of England leaders about the role played by non-Christian religions on the momentous occasion.

According to the Daily Mail, Church sources report the king has expressed wishes for a ‘’diverse’’ ceremony, including non-Christian religions, which would contravene centuries-old canon law, which bars Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and other religious leaders from praying during the service.

Charles has stated previously his desire to be a ‘Defender of Faith’ rather than the Faith. ‘Defender of the Faith’ is a title that all English sovereigns since Henry VIII have held as head of the Church of England.

The new monarch apparently wants to make a statement about his broad views at the coronation, but Church leaders have challenged him, given that it is an Anglican ceremony, as well as a constitutional event.

“In a joint message last month, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who will officiate at the ceremony, and Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell said the Coronation ‘at its centre is a Christian service… rooted in long-standing tradition and Christian symbolism’,” the Daily Mail reported. The Archbishop of Canterbury is said to be giving the King religious guidance on the significance of his oath, the commitments he will make to his subjects, and the Christian symbolism employed.

Religious affairs commentator Catherine Pepinster told The Mail the dispute has delayed the release of the Coronation’s Order of Service with only a few weeks to go until the ceremony.

After Queen Elisabeth passed on to her reward, King Charles delivered an exemplary, heartfelt speech, in which he touched on “the Church in which my own faith is so deeply rooted,’’ giving an apparent nod to his respect for the Anglican Church.

Palace refutes Muslim rumors

While some in the U.S. believe former President Obama is a secret Muslim, there have been similar rumors about Charles.

The Middle East Eye recounts: “In 1996, the grand mufti of Cyprus, shockingly, accused Charles III – the new British king – of secretly being a Muslim.

‘Did you know that Prince Charles has converted to Islam? Yes, yes. He is a Muslim. I can’t say more. But it happened in Turkey. Oh, yes, he converted all right,’ the late Nazim Al-Haqqani said.

‘When you get home check on how often he travels to Turkey. You’ll find that your future king is a Muslim.’”

Buckingham Palace denied the report as ‘nonsense’. But on several occasions Charles has spoken highly of Islam, saying it has “one of the greatest treasuries of accumulated wisdom and spiritual knowledge available to humanity.”

Recently, the Church Times reported that Manchester Cathedral apologized for permitting the Muslim call to prayer to be recited inside the cathedral last month, rather than in a separate room allocated for prayer.

Less than half of the population in the UK described themselves as ‘Christian’ in 2021, according to the Office of National Statistics. That represents a 13.1 percent drop in a decade, while people who described themselves as ‘Muslim’ rose from 4.9% to 6.5%.

Gavin Ashenden, a former Chaplain to the Queen, warned the King against seeking any central changes to the Christian coronation. Dr Ashenden said: ‘This is a crisis long in the making but entirely predictable given the King’s previous declarations.

‘Charles’s desire to reach out to other faiths is commendable and understandable, and it is only right that they are able to attend the Coronation. But any attempt to alter fundamentally the nature of the coronation – a Christian ceremony in a 1,000-year-old abbey – would be entirely wrong and misguided. The King derives his authority and position from being a Christian monarch in keeping with the history of this country.’’’

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