For many Britons, the Queen of England's Christmas speech was a highlight of the end-of-year festivities. This year, it was the turn of the new king, Charles, to take part in the exercise. Christian media in England were challenged by this first speech, which according to them " ushers in a new era " and reveals that " the head of the Church of England does not know what his own church teaches, who is Christ or what the Bible says.
"This king's speech indeed heralded a new era for the monarchy and for the UK - a dark era. But Christians should not despair, not least because in the end it is Christ who is on the throne. It is Christ who is the King of kings. And it is before Christ that all knees will bend, whether kings or poor,” writes the journalist. David Robertson in the columns of Christian today.
On December 25, 2022, King Charles III followed tradition by delivering his first Christmas speech from St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.
Rather than doing it from an office, he chose to stand in front of the camera and stuck to a short speech of just 617 words, transcribed into The Guardian. However, these few words have revealed many things about the new king, especially with regard to his relationship to faith and the Christian religion.
“And what he revealed should be deeply disturbing to any Christian, because the head of the Church of England does not know what his own church teaches, who Christ is or what the Bible says,” David points out. Robertson who nevertheless describes a successful speech in terms of "quality of production, tone and empathy".
Elizabeth II's Christmas Messages
In the United Kingdom, the monarch is indeed at the head of the Church, although the spiritual leader is the Archbishop of Canterbury, a position currently held by Justin Welby.
The Queen's Christmas shows were each year a bit more marked by her personal Christian beliefs. During her first Christmas message in 1952, a few months before her coronation, Elizabeth had notably encouraged the people to pray for her:
“I want to ask all of you, regardless of your religion, to pray for me on this day – to pray that God will give me wisdom and strength to fulfill the solemn promises that I will make, and to be able to serve him faithfully, as well as you, all the days of my life. »
But it was at Christmas 2000 that we saw a turning point. While addressing the nation, the Queen recalled that this celebration celebrates the birthday of "Jesus Christ", stressing that this was "the true anniversary of the millennium".
She went on to speak openly about her own faith, talking about the teachings of Christ and the impact they had in her life.
“For me, the teachings of Christ and my own personal responsibility before God provide a framework within which I try to live my life. Like many of you, I have drawn great comfort in difficult times from the words and example of Christ. »
Since that day, the Queen's traditional Christmas message has "been marked by a desire to express her Christian convictions", as underlined by Catherine Pepinster in Premier Christianity.
Abandonment of faith?
A tradition from which King Charles III seems to want to move away. While the overall theme was faith, the king dwelt on the "power of light" which he describes as "a belief in the extraordinary capacity of each person to touch, with kindness and compassion, life others and to shine a light in the world around him". “It is the essence of our community and the very foundation of our society,” he added.
“It's such a naive view of the world – a view that's much easier to tell from the comfort of privilege than it is from the suffering of the poor. If this is the foundation of our society, then it is a weak foundation that will crumble at the first sign of harm and suffering,” the Christian Today reporter ironically.
The new king seems, in fact, to draw the contours of a humanistic religion by continuing: "So whatever faith you have, or whether you have none, it is in this life-giving light, and with the true humility that lies in our service to others, that I believe we can find hope for the future”.
“The truth is, you cannot have the light that enlightens every person without Christ. The religion of the head of the Church of England is not the faith of the Bible. Neither is it the faith of Christ. Instead, it's the faith of Hallmark humanism,” David Robertson recalls.
The journalist Gavin Ashenden considers for his part, in the columns of the Catholic Herald, that if “Charles is really going to go from being a Christian Protestant monarch, rescuing the schismatic Protestant establishment from the dangers of Catholicism, spiritual and political, to a religious relativism of the 21st century, it is not an easy task”.
“It's not even a change of gears or a change of identity within a faith. It is the abandonment of this faith. »
“Perennialism is not Christianity. Multi-denominational observance is not Christianity,” the journalist continues.
He adds that by “abandoning the faith which conceived, defined and sustained the concept of monarchy, King Charles may have just sown the seeds for the destruction of the House of Windsor”.
For its part, Christian Today, which calls on Christians not to "despair" in the face of the king's speech, recalls in conclusion who Jesus really is.
“Jesus is not 'a' truth. He is not 'a' light. It is not 'one' way. He is the way, the truth and the life. He is the Light of the World. May you enter this new year by accepting it and following it. »
Camille Westphal Perrier