2006-06-06 13:10:56 UTC
clerics by calling for a "multi-faith" coronation when the Prince
of Wales succeeds to the throne.
Carey is to argue for a revision of the Christian oath taken by the
monarch and for changes to the exclusively Anglican coronation service.
He makes his appeal in a television documentary to be broadcast on Five
later this month. It puts him at odds with Rowan Williams, his
successor, - and with most Anglican bishops.
In Carey's broadcast, he will say: "When the time comes for the
next coronation, there will have to be very significant changes. The
Queen came to the throne at a time when there were no Muslims, Sikhs
and Hindus . . . in the life of the country and now it's a completely
different world so the coronation oath will have to be looked at more
A number of Carey's former bishops disagree. Last week, Michael
Nazir-Ali, Bishop of Rochester, maintained such a proposal was
untenable. "You can't defend every faith, because there are very
serious differences among them," he said.
The present Archbishop of Canterbury, who succeeded Carey in 2002, made
it clear the following year that if a coronation happened during his
tenure its character would remain unchanged. He said: "As long as the
constitutional relationship between monarch and church is there, the
coronation needs to be within a Christian framework."
At her coronation in 1953, the Queen swore to uphold "the laws of God
and the true profession of the Gospel, maintain the Protestant reformed
religion established by law and maintain and reserve inviolably the
settlement of the Church of England".
The debate over the wording of the coronation oath began in 1994 when
Prince Charles expressed a wish to be seen as a defender "of faith"
rather than of "the faith".
While Charles clearly wishes to support other religions and has done so
particularly in the case of Islam, he also takes seriously his future
role as supreme governor of the Church of England and has never
indicated that he would want to see the oath changed.
The majority position of the House of Bishops of the Church of England
is that the next coronation ceremony should remain essentially
Christian in content but attended by the leaders of Britain's main