The Orange Order Personification of Anti-Catholic Bigotry

Posted By: March 29, 2013

By: Father Sean Mc Manus
President, Irish National Caucus

October 29, 2004

Historically, the Orange Order has served as the perfect expression of British policy in Ireland: suppression of Catholics through sectarian privilege and Protestant supremacy.
Jacqueline Dana puts it very well: ” Orangeism — the ideology which promotes and protects Protestant domination over Catholics in Ireland — reaches back many centuries and, for most of the history of Modern Ireland, has been the basis of official state policy. What is rarely acknowledged among its adherents is that Orangeism is not at its heart a Protestant cultural response to Catholicism, but a deliberate sectarian tactic engineered and promoted by the British throughout the centuries to keep the people of Ireland divided and easier to rule. (A Brief History of Orangeism in Ireland by Jacqueline Dana. Irish History on the Web. 1998).

This British” divide and conquer” policy was clearly spelt out in the 1790s by a British General’s Report. He had, he wrote, “Š arranged to increase the animosity between the Orangemen and the United Irish [men]. Upon that animosity depends the safety of the centre counties of the North”. (The Invention of the White Race. p 127 .T.W Allen .Verso. London 1994.

While British interest in Northern Ireland may have changed (because they know their old imperial game is up) the” monster” they created remains: anti-Catholic bigotry. It is important to understand here that we are not talking about a difference in faith and theology, which by definition exist between different religions, (that’s why there are different religions). Rather, anti-Catholicism is a socio-economic -political system for oppressing Catholics 1. (It is also important to understand that not all individual Orangemen are anti-Catholic. I am speaking here of the Orange Order as an INSTITUTION. As a Fermanagh-native, I am well aware there are many decent, fair-minded Protestants in The Orange Order. For these Protestants, the Order is just a fraternal organization, without malicious or anti-Catholic intent 2

For the British Government, anti-Catholic bigotry was mainly a “means” to an end — divide and conquer. For The Orange Order, it seems, anti-Catholic bigotry has become an end in itself — though Unionist politicians still can use it as a “means”, as we shall see.

The BBC, in explaining the origins of the Orange Order, says: ” In.1795 [September 21], a clash between Protestants and Catholics at the “Battle of the Diamond” [Armagh] led to some of those involved to swear a new oath to uphold the Protestant faith and be loyal to the King and his heirs, giving birth to the Orange Order. Since then, the Order’s principles and aims, and those of similar organizations it is related to, have changed little.”(Emphases added)

In 1905, key Orange elements moved to give more political and structural shape to their supremacist ideology by forming the Ulster Unionist Council and the Ulster Unionist Party: “The Ulster Unionist Council was constituted formally at a meeting in the Ulster Hall, Belfast, on March 3, 1905 under the chairmanship of Colonel James McCalmont, M.P. for East Antrim and a Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland”. (Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland Web Site).
But the seeds were actually sown even earlier: “The Orange Order took on a distinctively Unionist flavor when Home Rule threatened in the 1880s. The effective beginning of the Ulster Unionist Party was a meeting of seven Orangemen, elected as M.Ps. at Westminster in 1886”. (From Northern Ireland. A Political Diary by W.D. Flackes and Sydney Elliott).

So it is important to remember this: The Orange Order created the Ulster Unionist Party. This helps to explain why so few Catholics — even the most non-nationalistic — joined the Ulster Unionist Party, and why that Party never really bothered to recruit Catholics. 3 Today, the closest American parallel to the Orange Order is the White Citizens Council — a racist, anti-Black organization. It is the “white-collar” version of the Klu Klux Klan, appealing to the more ” respectable and moderate” people.

Unionist Party, Political Wing of Order

Later on in 1920, similar Orange interests, backed by British power, moved to give governmental and geographical shape to their fading power-base by the artificial and undemocratic creation of the Orange State, the Six Counties of Northern Ireland (reminiscent of how racist Whites in the American Deep South 4 subverted Reconstruction in 1874):” Every Prime Minister of Northern Ireland during the period 1921-72 was an Orangeman. An estimated 35 of the 60 Unionist members returned to the Northern Ireland Assembly in June 1998 were Orange Order members. Most of them are in the Ulster Unionist Party with a significant number in the DUP. Of the [then] present 101-member executive of the Ulster Unionist Party, an estimated 84 members are understood to have direct or indirect links to the Orange Order. On the present Ulster Unionist Council, there is a similar Orange membership percentage.”(Grand Orange Lodge Of Ireland Web Site).

The symbiotic union between the Orange Order and the Ulster Unionist Party was memorably summed up by
Sir James Craig, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, in 1934.
“I have always said I am an Orangeman first and a politician and Member of Parliament afterwards”. – Sir James Craig, Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, in 1934.

The Orange Order Web Site tells us ” Under the rules of the Ulster Unionist Council from 1905, the Orange Order is entitled to representation on the Council and on the Executive Committee of the Party…”
And today it is estimated that there are about 120 ex officio Orange seats on the, approximate, 860 -Ulster Unionist Council.

In American political terms, that would be like The White Citizens Council (an anti-Black organization, which played a part in the downfall of Senator Trent Lott, former Republican leader of the Senate) having, ex officio, a key set of seats on the governing body of the Democratic or Republican Party. Would African-Americans or any fair -minded American stand for it?

It is generally accepted by informed people that David Trimble 5 owes his leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party to his extreme support of the Orange Order’s ” siege of Drumcree”: “In 1995 David Trimble owed his elevation from junior MP to party leader to his tough stance over the Order’s Drumcree parade”. Mark Devenport. BBC Northern Ireland political editor. “Orange row ‘could lead to divorce'”Saturday, February 14, 2004.

And noted commentator, Tom Mc Gurk says: “It was the image of David Trimble hand-in-hand with Ian Paisley in the early days of the confrontation that was principally responsible for his elevation to the leadership of the Ulster Unionist Party. He even consorted with loyalist paramilitaries, including the killer Billy Wright.” “Drumcree: When no news is the best news” Sunday Business Post (Dublin) July 11, 2004,

Inherently Anti-Catholic

Why then should Irish Catholics be expected to tolerate the ex officio presence of the inherently anti-Catholic Orange Order on the Ulster Unionist Council? And why should David Trimble’s membership — and the membership of so many other Unionist leaders — in The Orange Order not be a legitimate issue of concern? (The Reverend Ian Paisley seems to be more associated with The Independent Orange Order, which is equally anti-Catholic 6).

Today, as always, the members of The Orange Order are pledged to: ” Š strenuously oppose the fatal errors and doctrines of the Church of Rome, and scrupulously avoid countenancing (by his presence or otherwise) any act of ceremony of Popish worship; he should by all lawful means, resist the ascendancy of that Church, its encroachments, and the extension of its powerŠ (Qualifications of an Orangeman).

Notice how the Holy Eucharist and the Blessed Sacrament are offensively referred to as ” popish worship”.
And in their ” Twelfth celebrations” for July 12, 2004 (which, of course, in keeping with the ideology of the Orange State is a public holiday) Orange Orders passed — as they do every year — anti-Catholic Resolutions, and also Resolutions against the Pope’s proposed visit to Northern Ireland. 7 What do you think would happen to the career of a Member of Congress who belonged to an organization that proposed resolutions opposing the Pope’s visit to the United States?

FR PATRICK McCAFFERTY, a Belfast priest very involved in the community, explains:
“The Orange Order makes no secret of its animosity towards the Catholic faith.
In its public speeches and in many of its publications, the Catholic Church and what Catholics believe are subjected to mockery, denunciation, misrepresentation and vilification”. (Letter to the Editor. Irish News. Friday, July 2, 2004).

On July 12, 1996, Robert Saulters — who was later elected Grand Master of the Orange Order on December 11, 1996 in place of the Reverend Martin Smyth who retired after 24 years — told the Orange Order, that British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, ” has already sold his birthright by marrying a Romanist. He would sell his soul to the devil himself. He is not loyal to his religion. He is a turncoat ” 8 (“Romanist” is Orange-speak for a Catholic. Mrs. Blair is a Catholic).

Anti- Peace Process

This same Orange Order is not only anti-Catholic, but also anti-peace-process and anti-Good Friday Agreement. And in some people’s mind, there has always been a question of the Order links to Unionist terrorist gangs:” The fatal mistake for the order was its open association in the last decade with loyalist terrorist groups like the Ulster Defense Association (UDA) and, worst of all, the Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) in Armagh.
One of the reasons the Parades Commission has been able to ban certain marches is the paramilitary display by bands marching with the Orange lodges. Indeed, some flute bands hired by lodges to play at marches are in reality UDA or UVF units that use band practice in Orange halls as a cover for drilling.” (Brian Feeney “Orangemen marching into obscurity ” Sunday Business Post. (Dublin) July 7, 2004).
And the BBC offers this insight:
“But at the same time, the Orange Order has faced its own fair share of scrutiny with some members displaying an ambiguous relationship towards loyalist paramilitaries and their activities.
Early in the 1992, loyalist gunmen killed five Catholics who were in a betting shop on Ormeau Road in Belfast.
Months later, a parade along the road sparked fury when some of the Orangemen present made “five-nil” hand gestures as they passed the murder scene.
The then Northern Ireland Secretary Sir Patrick Mayhew [not renowned for his Catholic sympathies] accused those responsible for the taunts of behaving like ‘cannibals’ “. Profile: The Orange Order. BBC Northern Ireland. Wednesday, 4 July 2001.

But it is in their attempted forced marches through poor Catholics areas (like the Garvaghy Road) that The Orange Orders most drastically and violently show their true colors. Orange leaders often refuse to condemn the violence associated with these marches:” Harold Gracey, a leading Orange Order figure in Portadown, described why he was refusing to condemn the violence that has swept this area some 30 miles southwest of Belfast. “I’m not going to condemn violence, because (Sinn Fein leader) Gerry Adams never condemns it, does he?”(Security forces brace for Protestant attack in N. Ireland. July 8, 2000)

When I pressed President Bush’s Special Envoy for Northern Ireland, Dr. Mitchell Reiss, on this issue he, to his credit, replied: “Dear Sean, Thanks for your note and the article. I misspoke yesterday [during his Briefing to Irish -Americans at the State Department] when I said ‘I did not understand’ why Orangemen want to march in nationalist areas. Obviously, the idea is to provoke, intimidate and champion their ‘superiority’.
“We’ve seen this behavior down through the ages, with many groups and ethnicities. This is an old story that does not improve with the telling.
“What I meant to say, and what I thought was clearly implied, was how foolish and malicious such actions were. I am sure you agree. Best Mitchell.” (E-mail. July 22, 2004).

Buck Stops With British Crown and Government

But in keeping with the point made at the very beginning of this article, we must not forget where the blame ultimately lies — with the British Government and British Crown.
It is ENGLISH LAW ITSELF that is the root cause of the Orange Order’s historic anti-Catholic bigotry.
The Act of Settlement 1701—- which, according to the British newspaper, The Guardian, ” is the foundation stone of our royal family”, 9 —- provides the moral and political justification for all Orange anti-Catholic bigotry in Northern Ireland. And it is a law to which the Orangemen are fiercely attached, and to which their allegiance belongs. 10 This law forbids a Catholic from being the Monarch and if the Monarch marries a Catholic or converts to Catholicism, he/she forfeits the Crown and the people are” absolved of their allegiance’. Check it out for your self:

Act of Settlement 1701

“… And it was thereby further enacted, that all and every person and persons that then were, or afterwards should be reconciled to, or shall hold communion with the see or Church of Rome, or should profess the popish religion, or marry a papist, should be excluded, and are by that Act made for ever incapable to inherit, possess, or enjoy the Crown and government of this realm, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, or any part of the same, or to have, use, or exercise any regal power, authority, or jurisdiction within the same: and in all and every such case and cases the people of these realms shall be and are thereby absolved of their allegiance… (Act of Settlement 1701, still in force today).

So how can we blame the Orange Order if we do not first demand that the Queen of England and the British Government lead the way in rejecting this inherently anti-Catholic law? It would be like having an American law that states that no Black person can be President of the United States. Yet when British Prime Minister Tony Blair was urged to change this archaic (but in Northern Ireland fully resonant) law he said it would take too much time and too much paper work.
The buck stops with the British Establishment. This stupid Law has deadly and pernicious effect in Northern Ireland. While the average Englishman couldn’t care less about this ridiculous Law, in Northern Ireland it provides deadly ammunition to anti-Catholic bigots. But the British Establishment — Church and State — cannot run and hide from this Law. They must repeal it.

And all elected officials of the Unionist parties must resign from The Orange Orders (independent or otherwise) until those Orders reject all their anti-Catholic rules and policies. — just as we would expect Members of Congress to resign from organizations that were anti-Black or anti-Jewish. What’s so difficult about that?


(1) To quote a leading expert: ” Anti-Catholicism, however, needs to be approached sociologically rather than theologically, for anti-Catholicism was given a scriptural underpinning in the history of Protestant-Catholic relations in Northern Ireland in order to reinforce divisions between the religious communities and to offer a deterministic belief system to justify them. It has been mobilized in this way at particular historical junctures in Protestant-Catholic relations in Ireland and as a result of specific socio-economic and political processes. Anti-Catholicism is thus a powerful resource and can be located sociologically by identifying the socio-economic and political processes that lead to theology being mobilized in protection and justification of social stratification and social closure”(Emphases added). (Anti-Catholicism in Northern Ireland, 1600-1998. John D. Brewer with Gareth I. Higgins. p 1. MacMillan Press, London and St. Martin’s Press, New York 1998
(2) The Irish News of Belfast explains this ” dualism” quite well in an Editorial: The Orange Order celebrations, as is regularly the case, provided a range of contrasting images yesterday. Thousands of Orangemen, immaculately turned out with their bowler hats and white gloves, marched to their demonstrations in a dignified wayŠ. Many others in the parades went out of their way to flaunt the symbols and emblems of illegal groups which have been heavily involved in sectarian murder campaignsŠ at a number of these venues, masked gunmen emerged from the shadows to fire volley of shots into the airŠ This mixture of the sinister and the mundane illustrated the contradictions at the heart of the Orange OrderŠ”(A Rubicon for Orangeism. July 13, 2001
(3) That is why Irish-Americans were amazed by the recent claims of Ronald S. Lauder, of the Esteem Lauder company. On Wednesday, September. September 29, 2004, Mr. Lauder hosted a fundraising dinner in New York City for David Trimble MP. Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party and the most prominent member of The Orange Order. In his Invitation-letter of September 10, 2004, Mr. Lauder egregiously and outrageously says:” the Ulster Unionist Party Š is supported by a large section of the Protestant and Catholic populationsŠ” Here is my statement on that issue:
Father Mc Manus on Ron Lauder, David Trimble, the Orange Order, and Catholic anti-Semitism
CAPITOL HILL. Thursday, October 7, 2004
“Regarding the controversy about Ron Lauder, of the Estee Lauder company, hosting on Wednesday, September 29, 2004 a New York fund-raiser for David Trimble MP, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) and leading member of the Orange Order:
The Ulster Unionist Party can no more evade the issue of the Orange Order than Sinn Fein can evade the issue of de-commissioning. It is not going to go away, you know.
In fairness it must be said that Sinn Fein has gone to extraordinary lengths to resolve the de-commissioning issue, with the IRA having agreed to move appropriately in the context of an overall political agreement.
However, no such movement has been made by the UUP on the symbiotic union that exists between the Ulster Unionist Party and the sectarian, racist and viciously anti-Catholic Orange Order.
The Orange Order — secret and oath-bound — has historically always had a key say on who advances to leadership in the Ulster Unionist Party, with the Order controlling over 100 ex officio votes on the Ulster Unionist Council, which is the governing body of the Ulster Unionist Party.
It is universally accepted by informed people that David Trimble became leader of the UUP because of his hard-line and extreme support of the Orange Order’s ” Siege of Drumcree” — similar to the way Governor George Wallace came to power in Alabama by exploiting White racism against Blacks.
Today, in the United States, no Member of Congress could get away with being a member of a secret oath-bound society that was anti-Black, anti-Jewish or anti-Catholic.
How, then, can David Trimble and so many other Unionist leaders get away with being members of the Orange Order? An Order that is avowedly anti-Catholic, anti-Good Friday Agreement and which has denounced British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, for being married to a Catholic? (The rules of the Orange Order forbid members from becoming Catholics, marrying Catholics, or of attending Catholic Church services under the pain of being expelled. Furthermore, the Order only pledges its allegiance to the British Monarch for as long as the King or Queen remains Protestant. Under the Act of Settlement of 1701 — which is the intrinsically anti-Catholic law that today stills governs succession to the Throne — a Royal who becomes Catholic, or marries a Catholic, cannot become King or Queen).
The closest American parallel to the Orange Order is the White Citizens Council — a racist, anti-Black organization. It is the “white-collar” version of the Klu Klux Klan, appealing the more ” respectable and moderate” people.
Can anyone imagine Ron Lauder hosting a fund-raiser for a prominent member of the White Citizens Council? Yet he appears to feel it is okay to host a prominent member of the anti-Catholic Orange Order — thus, in effect endorsing the pernicious anti-Catholic bigotry of the Orange Order.
I can only imagine that Ron Lauder did not fully understand what he was doing (but he himself must tell us that, as nobody else can). As a former Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Mr. Lauder would obviously be very sensitive to issues of equality, justice and peace as Jewish-Americans have a splendid, unsurpassed record of opposing discrimination and injustice. For example, most of the money given to Martin Luther King’s Civil rights Movement came from the Jewish-American community, to their everlasting credit. And, regarding the Irish issue, no Members of Congress have been better than Jewish-AmericansŠ Think of Ben Gilman, Nita Lowey, Eliot Engel, Gary Ackerman, Senators Chuck Schumer, Frank Lautenberg, etc.
When informed Irish Catholics speaks about Jewish-Americans, they must do so humbly aware of the sad role the Catholic Church has historically played in the spread of anti-Semitism (and for which Pope John Paul II has apologized).
As a Catholic priest, I am deeply ashamed of the Church’s long history of anti-Semitism. And it has always amazed me that, since I came to America on October 2, 1972, no Jewish-American has ever held my Church’s record of anti-Semitism against me. Instead, Jewish-Americans — especially Members of Congress — have always treated me with great respect and affection. And that has touched me to the core of my Irish Catholic soul.
That is why I cannot believe Ron Lauder fully knew what he was doing. But, as I said, only he can make that clear and I plead with him to do so. I also urge him to use his good office — and his influence with Jewish-American organizations — to persuade David Trimble and all Unionist leaders to reject and denounce the deadly bigotry of the Orange Order.

Irish-Americans must continue to reach out to the Protestants and Unionists of Northern Ireland in forgiveness and reconciliation. But we cannot remain silent about the pernicious bigotry of the Orange Order. This bigotry has always been one of the fundamental causes of violence in Northern Ireland.”
(4) One does not, of course, have to go back to 1874 .to discover parallels. When one becomes familiar with both the Black Freedom Struggle and the Irish Freedom Struggle the parallels are amazing. Consider, for example this little nugget from the Irish News, 2004(and also see Footnote number 3): “A Portadown Orangeman who boasted of his ‘white power’ beliefs last night warned that loyalists may need to bring their “war” to Britain. Ivan Hewitt was featured on a Channel 4 documentary showing off tattoos featuring swastikas, white power and other neo-Nazi symbols.
The Drumcree supporter who was seen wearing a sash while praying with fellow lodge members this week said action outside Northern Ireland could be needed to bring the loyalist people to the attention of the British government. “It’s really hard for the loyalist people to fight, to take their war to Britain,” he stated. “But it might have to be that way. “If that’s what’s needed to persuade Tony Blair there are other people in Britain then that’s what’s going to have to happen.”
Anti Fascist Action (AFA) group spokesman Brian O’Reilly last night said the documentary showed a “definite link” between British neo-Nazi organizations and loyalists. “Neo-Nazis in Britain are active. The organization is a Europe-wide one. And they’re well established in Northern Ireland.” The ‘Blood & Honor’ tattoo displayed by Mr. Hewitt was linked to a ‘white power’ skinhead music network – also used for gathering funds for neo-Nazi groups, he said.
Mr. O’Reilly urged unionist politicians to use education to battle neo-Nazism within the region. And Garvaghy Road Residents Coalition (GRRC) spokesman Brendan Mac Cionnaith said his group had already warned of “extreme fascist connections” within the Drumcree protest.
Combat 18, a violent right-wing group, has an annual presence in Portadown “Orangeman linked to ‘white power’ ” Valerie Robinson, Irish News, Belfast, Friday, July 14, 2004

(5) Trimble Does” The George Wallace”, Again
Washington, DC. March 11, 2002 — Just when it was finally possible for David Trimble to appear statesmanlike on Capitol Hill and in The White House, he ” does the George Wallace” again.
That is how Father Sean Mc Manus, President of the Capitol Hill-based Irish National Caucus, reacted to Trimble’s extraordinary outburst against the Irish Republic. (On Saturday, March 9, 2002 Trimble– in an address to a meeting of his Unionist Party– described the Irish Republic as ” a pathetic, sectarian, mono-ethnic, mono- cultural State”).
” When George Wallace”, Father Mc Manus explained, “lost his first race for Governor in Alabama in 1958(because he was not sufficiently anti-Black) he made the now infamous vow ‘ never to be out-N….. ed again’. In other words, nobody would ever again be more outrageously anti-Black than he.”
“David Trimble learned well from Wallace. Trimble used anti-Catholic bigotry at Drumcree to first get elected leader of the Unionist Party. Now he is using similar tactics to shore up his position as Leader and not be ‘out-Taiged’ by Paisley in the next election. It’s as simple as that. No Catholic in Northern Ireland will be particularly surprised.”
Father Mc Manus, however, believes Capitol Hill and The White House will be surprised.”It is really ironic”, he said. “Trimble was actually beginning to gain a little respect, even admiration. But he has blown it big time. His demeaning comments can only be seen as racist and anti-Catholic. Americans will simply be unable to see it in any other light”, he concluded.

(6) ” On July 12, 1997 Š [Reverend] Paisley addressed the Independent Orange OrderŠ[He] made smutty jokes about the ability of good Protestant ladies to breed just as well as Catholics. He told them ‘ the entire pan-nationalist front ‘ was ‘seeking the reincarnation of the beast of fascism’ the IRA Š that 80 per cent of the Protestant population of the Republic had been ‘ eliminated’ and that the attempt to stop Orange parades was ‘ the prelude to the elimination of Protestants’ in the North. Rome was the ecclesiastical front; the IRA the political front. Their shared dogma was ‘submit or perish’. Susan Mc Kay, Northern Protestants: An Unsettled People. p. 283. The Blackstaff Press. Belfast. 2000.
(7) ” We further deplore the way in which the teachings of our Protestant Reformed Faith are being denied, eroded and undermined by those Protestant Ministers who have aligned themselves with the Church of Rome”. Twelfth Resolutions. Belfast Telegraph. Saturday, July 10, 2004.
THE Grand Master of the independent Orange Order today urged Š the formation of a Protestant coalition to oppose the anticipated forthcoming visit of the Pope.
DUP Assembly member George DawsonŠ said important challenges still remained ahead. “One of those challenges is the proposed visit of the Pope to Northern Ireland which has been flagged in the media and backed by ecumenical clergy
and churches. It will not surprise anyone here, or further a field, to learn that this Institution is against any papal visit,” he said
Mr. Dawson said he called for the formation of a coalition of Protestants to oppose any Papal visit “a coalition which will oppose every false papal claim, which will make every route contentious and which will assert the liberty of the Protestant conscience”. “Independent Grand Master issues call” Noel McAdam, Political Correspondent. Belfast Telegraph. Monday, July 12, 2004
(8) “Orange Order leader denies bigotry despite ” Blair” speech”. Irish Times. December 12, 1996. Also, “In 1997, Robert Saulters, the newly elected Grand Master of the Orange Order, accused Tony Blair of disloyalty because he married a “Romanist” “(Elliott and Flackes 1999) Lee Smithey
(9)” A moment to modernize, MPs must amend the Act of Settlement ”
Editorial. Wednesday, December 19, 2001. The Guardian.

(10) In 1980. before Prince Charles married Princess Diana, there was speculation that he might marry a Catholic. This caused great wailing and gnashing of teeth on Planet Orange. So an Orange delegation was dispatched to lobby Maggie Thatcher’s government:
” The row broke out over the week-end, when militant Š Protestants demanded Prince Charles be barred from succeeding Queen Elizabeth as sovereign if he marries a Roman Catholic, The Protestants said they had raised the matter with the government and insisted that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher promised them that Charles will have to renounce his right to the throne if he marries Marie-Astrid or any other Roman CatholicŠ”We pointed out that we were most anxious that only a Protestant would succeed and Mr. Atkins [Secretary of State for Northern Ireland] gave us a guarantee that the present government would never revoke the Act of Settlement — which would mean a constitutional change in parliament to allow a Catholic to become either Queen or King”. (Protestants Object to Charles Ruling With Catholic Wife”. Washington Star. Monday, July 7, 1980. United Press International).


Father Sean Mc Manus, President, Irish National Caucus
P.O. Box 15128, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C. 20003-0849
202-544-0568(tel.). 202-488-7537. (FAX) E-mail