Catholic State Funeral for King Richard III

From: Offerimus Tibi Domine (Fr. Simon Henry)

Please sign the petition link below

 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!

About Gertrude

Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium.
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31 Responses to Catholic State Funeral for King Richard III

  1. golden chersonnese says:

    Perhaps after a decent period of mourning, His Holiness will also condescend to crown the next King of England, Simon Plantagenet, direct descendant of Blessed Margaret, Countess of Salisbury and kinsman of Reginald Cardinal Pole, Archbishop of Canterbury (1556-1558).


  2. Giovanni A. Cattaneo says:

    Absolutely I could not agree more with the article above.


  3. John Nolan says:

    In Leicester there is a Dominican priory, Holy Cross, which regularly celebrates Mass in the 13th century Dominican Rite. One assumes that the Franciscans would have sung a Requiem for the king in 1485, but if a Requiem Mass is to be sung now, it should be in a form that was in use at the time, and in England (indeed in Leicester). It would be better than trying to reconstruct the Use of Sarum or York which would smack of artificiality, and if celebrated by the CofE invalid to boot.

    It would be in chant. There is only one extant polyphonic setting of the Requiem from the 15th century (Ockeghem’s). Polyphony was regarded as too frivolous for Requiems.


  4. kathleen says:

    Cristina Odone also has an interesting piece on this same subject in the Daily Telegraph today. Besides pointing out that a proper Catholic funeral is what King Richard III would have expected, she also notes:
    “He wouldn’t recognise the unfamiliar rites of an Anglican state ceremony. He’d regard the established Church as sacrilegious, the work of a hateful Tudor who’d taken the divine right of kings too far.”

    Though I’m not quite sure what she means when she says: “Richard III may not have lived as a Catholic….”
    I believe, through what I’ve heard from other sources, he was a very devout Catholic.


  5. Elizabeth says:

    Unfortunately, only citizens of the U.K. can sign the petition.


  6. David J. Evans says:

    This is impossible. The Church of England went into communion with Rome at the Synod of Whitby. It went out of communion with Rome in Henry v111’s reign. A requiem Mass for Richard 111 should be concelebrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Leicester according to the Anglican Rite as Richard was a member of the Church of England. It has to be an anglican Mass , since in the words of the book of common prayer – “The Bishop of Rome hath no jurisdiction in this realm of England”. Roman Clergy sould be invited to participate in a subsidiary


  7. kathleen says:

    @ David J. Evans

    You seem to be muddled in your dates…. and facts.

    1) Christianity in England (not the ‘Church of England’) was already established by the seventh century. The only difference was that Christians started following the Roman calendar instead of the Iona (Celtic) one, principally to fix the date for Easter, after the Synod of Whitby
    2) King Richard III died in 1485, almost 50 years before the ‘Church of England’ came into existence under King Henry VIII, after his Act of Supremacy in 1534! (Breaking from Rome, the English Parliament declared King Henry VIII “the only supreme head on earth of the Church of England.” The Catholic Church is built on the rock of Peter, the first Pope.)
    Therefore it is quite impossible for Richard to have been “a member of the Church of England” that never even existed when he was alive. Richard III was a Catholic to his dying day.
    3) There is no such thing as an “anglican Mass”! The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass can only be celebrated by validly ordained Catholic priests. Although it was well known beforehand that Anglican orders were invalid, they were definitively declared so – “absolutely null, and utterly void” – by Pope Leo XIII in the encyclical ‘Apostolicae Curae’ in 1896.
    4) The Pope, Christ’s Vicar on Earth, is the name we prefer to give “the Bishop of Rome”!
    Whatever your book of common prayer might say, there are well over 5 million Catholics in England and Wales (just under 9% of the whole population), who would welcome the Holy Father with open arms if he were to attend a State funeral for a Catholic monarch.


  8. toad says:

    Reading this, Toad asks if Richard had a funeral of any sort when he was originally buried.
    If so, what sort? Do we know?
    Wasn’t he buried by monks? Surely they would have done something?
    You can see where this is heading.


  9. King Richard was a Christian, not a Catholic. The term and its meaning (Catholic) did not exist until the Reformation period, when in England, a psychotic serial killer called Henry Tudor, (Henry VIII) invented a form of the Christian church so he cou ld divorce his wife and marry his mistress.
    Richard was the last lawful and legitimate King of England. He should be reburied in a Catholic Cathedral with a Catholic Pope presiding since the Catholic Church is the only true descendent of the CHristian faith that Richard knew and would recognize today. Richard would consider a Church of England (or any other form of Reformation Christian service blasphamey). Let’s end the ignorance and stupidity and give this great King of England the burial service he deserves.


  10. Elizabeth says:

    And if he had been given a Catholic Mass for his burial, the typical Novus Ordo Catholic Mass, poor Richard would never have recognized it; it being so far and away different to the Catholic Mass that had been offered for countless centuries.


  11. John says:

    I have enormous empathy with strength of views being expressed on the subject of the appropriate rites concerning Richard III, re internment; however I cannot help but being rather perturbed at the degree of vehemence being expressed.

    As a convert (who many of you now know) I was an Anglican for most of my life, and whilst I agree entirely that the existence of the Church of England emanated through the highly questionable and ungodly desires of (as it been put )“ a psychotic serial killer called Henry Tudor, (Henry VIII) [who] invented a form of the Christian Church” ,I would just like to suggest that though the institution of the Church of England may legitimately be considered in error, have invalid orders, have a highly questionable antecedence, and even be heretical in terms of Roman Catholic understanding, it should be remembered in a spirit of conciliation and love, towards our brothers and sisters of that denomination and other less informed denominations, that those of us who by accident of birth found ourselves coming to Christ through those mediums, should not be considered as being participants in any form of “blasphemy”; which by association, is an inference that could be easily assumed from some of the comments made . Indeed Such a suggestion I find rather insulting and unhelpful to all those devout followers of Christ who just “happen” to be non-Catholic, but nonetheless follow him faithfully.

    I would also like to suggest that this was not a funeral service, and that the funeral had already taken place according to the legitimate rites of the Roman Church at the time and that this was a re internment .

    Might I also suggest that perhaps rather than castigate the present state of affairs for the events of 500 years ago, as Catholics we should rather, adopt more of a teaching role to aid our non Catholic brethren towards greater understanding, rather than an an unhelpful and inflammatory one ?


  12. Brother Burrito says:

    Hear! Hear!


  13. toadspittle says:

    Well put, John.
    “I would also like to suggest that this was not a funeral service, and that the funeral had already taken place according to the legitimate rites of the Roman Church at the time and that this was a re internment.”
    ….So it’s all a lot of pointless hysteria.


  14. GC says:

    So was it the “internment” (pace Toad) of the remains of a Catholic king in an Anglican church or the “interment”? Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

    I see the direct descendants of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence and Richard’s elder brother by three years, are alive and well in rural Australia. Simon Abney-Hastings, 15th Earl of Loudoun, born 1974, comes of a Catholic father, the 14th Earl, Ampleforth-educated Michael Abney-Hastings. Father and son are also the direct descendants of the martyred Blessed Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, the daughter of aforementioned George Plantagenet, Duke of Clarence.


  15. Tom Fisher says:

    Well the recent event certainly wasn’t a funeral (and if you watch the footage, this was made clear to the congregants). The actual funeral must have been a terribly sad affair. I don’t think it is “pointless hysteria”, in fact I’m rather moved by the sense of historical continuity in the British people that episode has brought to light. I was moved by the service, and as you all know, I’m a dastardly republican.


  16. Tom Fisher says:

    I see the direct descendants of George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence and Richard’s elder brother by three years, are alive and well in rural Australia.

    Quite so, Tony Robinson went for a visit in a documentary he made a few years ago. They seemed sanguine about the whole business.

    Fortunately all that controversy is over, and we’re happily ruled over by the Anglican House Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. (Or Windsor if you’re still squeamish about the war before last)


  17. Tom Fisher says:

    * they seemed

    (GC: fixed it for you, Mr Fisher)


  18. GC says:

    Well, if George Plantagenet was the legitimate king, as the project you mention thought he was, his younger brother Richard III wasn’t and so Henry Tudor won the kingdom off someone who wasn’t king in the first place. Even though George was executed in 1478 his heir had already been born in 1475, who would have succeeded as king, not Richard III.

    Henry Tudor would have had to have defeated this heir, Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick, in 1485 to gain the kingdom, not defeat Richard III. Anyway, Henry Tudor had confined the young Edward since he was 10 years old and chopped off his head in 1499 when Edward was only 24.

    If all this is true, Simon Abney-Hastings would be the legitimate king of England now (though very possibly not of Scotland) and all the Tudor, Stuart, Hanover, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Windsor dynasties wouldn’t be relevant. (And Franz, Duke of Bavaria, another Catholic, would be King of Scotland, presumably.)


  19. Tom Fisher says:

    Tudor, Stuart, Hanover, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Windsor, Bonanno, Colombo, Gambino, Genovese and Lucchese.

    It’s a depressing litany, but on the other hand the people always endure. I read recently that modern genetics indicates that most British people (despite all the invasions etc.) are descended from the hunter-gatherers who arrived during the ice-age. That is a beautiful piece of continuity through ‘deep time’, and to my mind it underscores the silliness of pot-Norman dynastic squabbles.


  20. GC says:

    Are you still a hunter-gatherer yourself, Mr Fisher?


  21. Tom Fisher says:

    Are you still a hunter-gatherer yourself, Mr Fisher?

    When I was 11 or 12 I was taken on a possum hunt (they’re a pest in NZ)*, and, very unhappily, fired the gun as directed. There was a thud, and I was congratulated. Cried all the way home, and have never hurt n animal since.

    (Re Fisher my nom de plume is just a tribute to Fisher and More)

    *Apparently endanger in Australia, heaven knows what the solution could be.


  22. Tom Fisher says:

    (GC: fixed it for you, Mr Fisher)

    Thanks GC. Possibly hidden by my frivolous comments, readers should note that you made two substantive comments about royal legitimacy at 04:34 and 05:19 — Jabba will resolve it all definitively.


  23. toadspittle says:

    “So was it the “internment” (pace Toad) of the remains of a Catholic king in an Anglican church or the “interment”? Six of one, half a dozen of the other.”
    In fact, GC – it was pace the very nice John, but Toad accepts total responsibility for this unforgivably crass selling error – which he attributes to a cocktail of shocking ignorance and laziness on his part for not first pedantically picking over a colleague’s words – combined with his habit, pace Burrito, of consuming half a bottle of 501 for breakfast at 3.30 each morning – which tends to make him lax and careless at the keyboard.
    (If we are going to start scoring snide points off one another, over typos and misspellings, it’s not going to be a particularly Holy Week at all.)


  24. GC says:

    Tom Fisher: Cried all the way home, and have never hurt an animal since.

    Come on, Tom, you can do it!

    At any rate, we logically can’t rule out that you are still possibly a gatherer, though of what shall remain strictly a matter of speculation, but I have my suspicions.

    I knew certain species of possa (plural of possum) can glide, but I had no idea the non-gliding specimens could swim trans-Tasman Sea all the way to infect New Zealand. I’m afraid if you want to be rid off possa and feel less than able to dispatch them summarily as a person, you all will also have to return all those black swans as well, to courtesy of Geoff Kiernan in the Swan River Colony.

    Long ago I heard that man (and women!) is an invasive species in New Zealand and until the Polynesians arrived from hostile French South Pacific territory and nuclear bomb test sites, several hundred years ago, there were no mammals in New Zealand whatever, except perhaps for bats, which no doubt also swam invasively from British (then, or soon enough to be) Australia. If you were a hunter-gatherer at that time you would have enjoyed a very nutritious diet of fowl (krispy kiwi?), vegetation, insects, fish and molluscs, but with no sauce, gravy or bread rolls (Oysters Taumata-whakatangihanga-koauau-o-Tamatea-pokai-whenua-ki-tana-tahu, anyone? Sounds scrumptious).


  25. toadspittle says:

    “I knew certain species of possa (plural of possum)”

    Nope. It’s “possums.” That’s how we British make our plurals. We add the letter “s.”
    Even in Oz, Possum.
    Including Crocuses and Octopuses. Or we’d be Latins. And we ain’t. “Datum” is an oddity.
    And it’s the Latin singular, and only the plural is used.


  26. GC says:

    Er, thank you, Toad.

    Personally I prefer the version in which British public school boys “sit on their ba doing their sa” (Latin 2nd declension, neuter, plural). No offence intended, of course.


  27. toadspittle says:

    The version of what, GC?


  28. GC says:

    Erm, like the version what says about the English plurals of words ending in “um”, dear Toad, of course, such as medium, media (yuck!).

    “sa” – sums
    “ba” – *ums

    Get it?


  29. Tom Fisher says:

    Very good GC 🙂 :


  30. J. M. Joyce says:

    Many of those who comment here seem to assume that a person is the legitimate monarch of England, and Scotland and the rest of the U.K. also, purely because he or she is descended from some person of other who has been monarch in the past. That is not the case at all, the legitimate monarch of the various countries of the U.K. is whomever Parliament wills.

    If Parliament chooses to it can take bloodlines into account, but the extent to which it does so is entirely up to Parliament. Descent from some distant royal, or aristocratic, personage is, however, by no means the most important factor in Parliament acknowledging a monarch or deciding upon who will, or will not, become monarch. Parliament is the final arbiter of monarchy, and has been such since Anglo-Saxon times, despite many monarchs attempting to suppress this, and other, Parliamentary privileges and rights, at various times in the past.

    Parliament is also, and has always been, in principle, sovereign in every matter, every matter including religion. (The crown, has, at various times, exercised aspects of sovereignty independently of Parliament, of course, and that has often led to disputes and power struggles.) In that respect nothing has ever changed. The church is, and legally has always been, subservient to Parliament despite trying, on many occassions, to repudiate that relationship. What Parliament wills is legitimate. The legitimacy of any particular Parliament is, naturally, another matter entirely!


  31. Tom Fisher says:

    Parliament is also, and has always been, in principle, sovereign in every matter, every matter including religion.

    No not at all, it is incorrect that Parliament has always been sovereign in every matter. Learning Medieval and early modern history is very rewarding, I recommend it!


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