May 3rd, 2023

Christianity remains “integral” to the UK’s national identity, the Bishop of Portsmouth will say in a message shared across the diocese, this weekend.

In a pastoral reflection on the Coronation of King Charles III, which will be read to all parishioners during Sunday Mass, Bishop Philip Egan gives thanks for the King’s Christian faith, while warning that there are secular forces which seek to eradicate Christianity from public life.

The letter reads: “The King took oaths and made promises not only about his role as Head of State, but also in relation to the Church and to religion in general. Significantly, His Majesty has chosen to inaugurate his reign with the religious ceremony of coronation, in this way reminding us that the Christian faith is integral to our national identity. Let us thank him for doing this, because there are many secular and humanist forces at work in our society that would seek to remove Christianity from the public square, and indeed to eradicate it.

Bishop Egan’s message also highlights the many charitable causes which the King is committed to: “As Catholics, we rejoice that our new King shares the same love for Jesus Christ that his mother Queen Elizabeth did, and that he too strives to put that love into practice in public service, not least through charitable endeavours at home and abroad towards the needy, the young and the environment.

“As we give thanks to God for his strength and conviction, let us pray for him. Indeed, may God give the King and the Queen the graces they need. May He sustain them in all their endeavours, and may He pour out His many blessings on the whole of this United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. God Save the King!”