Sunday, 14 April 2013

Charles II And Religion

P I do not know why I am writing of this now. It popped into my mind and I thought that I should.
P It is often mentioned, as if it were a telling thing, when speaking of the question of anglicans and roman catholics, that Charles II of England converted to catholicism on his deathbed. What those who mention this wish to convey, and what they likely believe, is that his religious life was a lie which he maintained in order for to become (and remain) king, and that, at the ultimate hour, he showed his true colours.
P This is not true. During the cromwellian mess, when he was forced into exile, Charles was helped by, among others, his cousin Louis XIV of France, the Defender of the Faith, who, as a condition for his assistance, demanded that Charles convert to catholicism at an unspecified later date; so what this tells me is not that Charles was a secret catholic, but rather that he posponed something that he very much did not want to the last possible moment - but eventually did it, because he was a man of his word.
P So that was that.