Monday 4 February 2013

Catholic State Funeral for King Richard III

 A rather more noble image of Richard III than the one of popular portrayal.

Well, the skeleton in the car park at Leicester is in fact that of the much maligned King Richard III.  I have lately been reading Paul Murray Kendall's biography of him, which paints a very different picture from the ogre of popular imagination.

I must say that I agree with the views of the Reluctant Sinner that the remains should receive a Catholic funeral - preferably in the form he would have known.  I might also add that as he was a king, it should really be a Catholic State funeral in the Traditional Form, perhaps at Westminster Cathedral - perhaps the Holy Father would consent to come and preside.

At the moment, the plan seems to be - bizarrely - to re-inter him with C of E rites in Leicester cathedral. There is a petition you can sign to allay this travesty and encourage him being provided with Catholic Rites here.

It's bad enough that so many Catholic churches and cathedrals were stolen away by Henry VIII - whose father stole Richard's crown - without condoning the theft of actual bodies as well!  Reminiscent of the Mormons re-baptising our deceased relatives into their sect!

This on the day when the new soi-disant Archbishop of Canterbury is legally confirmed in his post at St Paul's; styled as the '105th Archbishop of Canterbury' but in fact only the 35th in the present line of Anglicans claiming that title, as that too was stolen away.  Reginald Cardinal Pole was, in fact, the last duly installed Archbishop of Canterbury. His mother was the glorious martyr Blessed Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury and one of the few surviving members of the Plantagenet dynasty - and niece of King Richard III. Despite Henry VIII once hailing her as the "holiest woman in England" he still had her beheaded on 27th May 1541 for her adherence to the Faith. So we can safely say that the family would want a real Catholic funeral rather than the services of the ecclesial communion whisked up out of nothing by the dynasty that stole his crown from him!


Anonymous said...

Well said Father,

Damask Rose said...


Yes, agree. Well said Father.

Kinga Grzeczynska said...

Now that King Richard III has been found, as we really suspected that it was his remains in the ground, I suggest that this country owes King Richard a state funeral, fit for a King and certainly a Requiem in his religion.
It is the honest and most decent thing to do for any man, woman or child.

We should pray for the repose of his soul. His remains have been disturbed enough. Let the King rest in peace.

Kinga Grzeczynska

The Welkin said...

Well said, but I fear that you may be strung and quartered for stating the obvious!

Anonymous said...

A state funeral in the Sarum Rite would be something to behold!

Unknown said...

As a Scot maybe I should not offer an opinion! however as a Roman Catholic I agree wholeheartedly and have signed the petition . I find your post honest and refreshing let the truth be heard! I hope your hierarchy will be equally honest and as in the gay marriage brave and steadfast

Toxteth said...

The burial of human remains which were recovered from the Mary Rose at Portsmouth's Anglican cathedral in 1984 followed the Sarum Use.

Anonymous said...

Being a perfidious Yank, I know my opinion doesn't count for much, but I am a Roman Catholic, and and a member of an FSSP parish at that.

So...a few years back, remains of a pioneer family near my hometown in upstate New York were accidentally uncovered. After considered historical inspection, they were re-interred according the rites of their religious persuasion - they were Episcopalians, and as such, the 1789 American Book of Common Prayer was used.

If such respect can be provided what amounted to a little group of wilderness farm folk, surely it can be provided a King of England.

Jeremy said...

The easiest solution is a solemn requiem in Leicester in the Dominican rite, which in age pre-dates 1485 and would certainly have been familiar to the King. Under no circumstances should he be buried in C of E 'rites' - the Church had not even been invented in the 15th century. Indeed had the usurper Henry VII not succeeded to the throne, there would have been no Henry VIII and no Protestant Reformation.

Ruthie said...

I would gladly sign the petition but it won't let me as I live in the United States. I wholeheartedly agree that he shouldn't be buried in a C or E service, modern or otherwise, but one in agreement with his religious beliefs, the time in which he lived and fit for the King of England.

Glenn in Madrid said...

Well written Father. However it is rather unlikely the H H Benedict XVI
would have anything to do with a public celebration of the EF of Mass.
King or no.

Anonymous said...

A memorial service is all that is needed. A second Catholic funeral would indicate that Richard III's first funeral was invalid under the corrupt RC church that Henry VIII and his reforms eventually swept away.

Fr Simon Henry said...

Dear "Anonymous" - what a strange name! The point is that whatever takes place should be Catholic. BTW Catholics don't really have "memorials" the purpose of anything to do with the deceased is to pray for them, not just remember them. That is a protestant view, from those who do not accept the doctrine of praying for the souls of the dead - which is rather the point of making sure whatever service is held should be consonant with King Richard's own beliefs.
Far from being swept away, the allegedly "corrupt" Church you speak of is still going strong throughout the world.
Tu es Petrus...

Robert said...

Ideally Richard III's wishes should be respected and he should be re-interred according to Roman Catholic rites in York Minster where an EF Mass has been celebrated in recent times. It should ideally be a Pontifical Requiem according to the Use of York celebrated in the presence of the Catholic Hierarchy of England and Wales the true successors of the bishops of Richard's lifetime. The thought of him being given some wishy washy inter-faith ceremony is just not appropriate for a Catholic Monarch. Requiescat in pace.

pearl said...

Fr. Henry, I would sign the petition but the only thing that deterred was having to state my full address. I don't see the necessity.

Kinga Grzeczynska said...

Good morning Fr Henry.

I thought I would do some investigating with regards to the e-petitions and see the substance of this and other petitions.
I would like to share the results with you and your readers.

The Government e-petions are very varied and the subjests are equally varied. There is some policing in the nature of the e- petition by the Department which oversees the subject of the petition.

I found one e-petition which raises concerns.

H.M. Government e-petition:
To Officially recognise the Roman Catholic Church as a hate group. The applicant being, one: Mr Blake with 18 signatures on it. The responsible department is the Home Office. The petition is open until 9th January 2014.

I fing this disgraceful. In fact where is there any supervision that Laws of England and Wales are not being broken?

Would any other religion put up with this?

Can you imagine the social impact of such a petition, against another religion, in certain parts of England with a high population of that religion?

Disgraceful, disrespectful and disgusting to many people, not just Roman Catholis but people of good will and other religions also.

Kinga Grzeczynska

Anonymous said...

He should have had a proper funeral with friends and family present I doubt that happened. Hes name has been dragged through the mud for the last five hundred odd years. The least this country should give to the last king of England is a decent funeral in a place that he would have wanted