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For the first time a Catholic cardinal actively participates in the coronation of an English King

(ZENIT News / London, 05.06.2023).- For the first time in nearly half a century, a Catholic Cardinal took part in a Coronation in Westminster Abbey, when Cardinal Nichols stood alongside the Archbishop of Canterbury and other Christian leaders to invoke God’s blessing on King Charles III.

The Cardinal, Archbishop Mark O’Toole of Cardiff, Wales, Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen, Scotland, and Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland joined the procession into Westminster Abbey. Also in attendance as guests were Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of Sate, representing the Holy Father, and Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendia, Nuncio to Great Britain. It is the first time in nearly 500 years that Catholic prelates were present at a Coronation, in marked contrast to 70 years ago, when Catholics were not permitted to attend any services in a Protestant church.

The blessing on the King’s reign was invoked by a number of Christian leaders, standing together, with the congregation joining them in prayer.

Conferring the blessing, the Cardinal prayed that God may pour upon the King ‘the riches of his grace, keep you in his holy fear, prepare you for a happy eternity, and receive you at the last into immortal glory.’