US Group Calls for End to UK’s Absurd Catholic Monarchy Ban

Posted By: September 23, 2007

US Group Calls For An End To UK’s ‘Absurd’ Catholic Monarchy Ban

By Conor McMorrow
Sunday Tribune(Dublin) Sunday, September 23, 2007

An Irish-American lobby group has invited each US Presidential
candidates and members of Congress to pledge their support for a
new campaign to repeal the 1701 British Act of Settlement.

Fr Sean McManus, President of the Capitol-hill based Irish
National Caucus group, launched the campaign to repeal the
“archaic” eighteenth century act last week.

The Act of Settlement decrees that only a Protestant can succeed
to the British throne and that if the monarch becomes a Catholic,
or marries a Catholic, they forfeit the throne and “the people
are absolved from their allegiance.”

In a statement issued to the Sunday Tribune, McManus said, “While
this absurdly anachronistic law may mean little to the average
Englishman in the street, it has always been of the utmost
importance to Protestant/Unionist/Orange extremists in Northern

“It provides the ideological and philosophical underpinnings for
their bigotry and sectarianism. If a Catholic by law can’t get
the top job, then Catholics are inferior to Protestants,
therefore it’s okay to discriminate against them.”

McManus claims that if the US Constitution had a provision
forbidding African-Americans from being president that it “would
have stoked the flames of racism and the sick ideology ofg white

The campaign has now issued each member of the US Congress with a
“Roll Call on the Act of Settlement, 1701” where they can call
for the repeal of the Act and support the Irish Peace Process.

Above the space on the Roll Call form where each Senator signs
their support for the campaign a statement reads “God bless
America and God save


The Irish National Caucus was founded by McManus and it is best
known for its work in lobbying for the MacBride Principles, which
are a corporate code of conduct for US companies doing business
in Northern Ireland, in the 1980s and 1990s.

Meanwhile, a 2001 backbench bill proposed in the House of Commons
by Hull MP Kevin McNamara seeking an end to the bar on Roman
Catholics succeeding the British throne came under fire from DUP
leader Ian Paisley.

Speaking of his proposal, McNamara claimed “I am looking, in this
bill, to strike at discrimination and intolerance in our society.
I am looking to assist the process of inclusion.”

However Paisley accused McNamara of trying to “underwrite the
constitution” and said the link between religion and the monarchy
had served the country well.

He argued that several other European countries, such as Sweden
and Spain, kept the constitutional link between religion and

Paisley was unavailable for comment when contacted by the Tribune
this weekend but a DUP spokesman indicated that his position on
the 1701 had not changed.


Father Sean Mc Manus
Irish National Caucus
P.O. Box 15128
Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C. 20003-0849