Vatican spokesperson Cardinal Aircraftcarria praised the move. "We are pleased that perfidious Albion has at last dragged itself into the 21st century", he was quoted as commenting. "Restricting the office of Head of State to a particular religion is as unacceptable as restricting it on the grounds of gender. Neither should be tolerated in the laws of any sovereign state."
- 'Britain may allow the monarch to marry a Catholic and give female heirs an equal claim to the throne, the Government said, in what would be a reversal of discriminatory laws going back 300 years.... Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Queen Elizabeth have held talks on changing the 1701 law on succession to the throne that was drawn up at a time of widespread hostility to Roman Catholics.... The Act of Settlement bars royals from becoming king or queen if they "profess the popish religion or shall marry a papist"....'
- - Reuters, "UK flags reversal of discriminatory monarch laws," ABC News (28 March 2009)
At least that'll push the Herbert W Armstrongites off the first page of hits next time someone Googles "Catholicism + Beast".
- "The much-married Newt Gingrich converts to Catholicism this weekend - and I'd pay a year's salary to have been a bug on the wall during his religious instruction....'
- - Christopher Buckley, "The Audacity of Poping," The Daily Beast (26 March 2009)
Article #1 above will be good news to Catholics everywhere. It raises the intriguing possibility that, when the Airstrip One Regional Consultative Council (formerly the "UK Parliament") proscribes Love and Responsibility as "hate speech" in a couple of decades' time, the Royal Assent to the Bill could be given by a Catholic King or Queen.
On the other hand, as Article #2 shows, it also creates a risk of Noot the Grinch eventually taking the Throne at Westminster in a "King Ralph"-style comedy of errors.