This year King Charles delivered his first Christmas message since ascending the throne. It was the first time since 1951 that anyone other than the late Queen Elizabeth II had done so.
The address to the nation elicited a response from the former chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II who is worried about the fate of the Royal House and the British monarchy as, in his view at least, the multifaith, multiculturalism of King Charles III threatens to destroy both.
“I think that if this slow movement into multiculturalism and multifaith goes on, we’ll lose the monarchy, because in the end, I don’t think it will be true to itself,” Gavin Ashenden, who served as chaplain to the queen from 2008 to 2017, told British outlet GB News on Sunday.
Ashenden made his comments in response to the king’s first Royal Christmas Message since assuming the throne upon the death of his mother in September.
'You're either a defender of the faith, or you're not.'
Following the King's Speech, Gavin Ashenden, former Chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II, says he is concerned the Royal Family is becoming a 'multi-culturally, multi-faith monarchy.' pic.twitter.com/sR7x4wBOuY
— GB News (@GBNEWS) December 25, 2022
“The problem is that it’s a bit like watching a wonderful ship that’s hulled beneath the waterline slowly sink, and at some point what you want to do is to stop it sinking and make sure that it floats,” Ashenden said. “And I don’t think the monarchy can float if it becomes a multicultural, multifaith monarchy.”
Acknowledging King Charles III did “fantastically well” with his first Christmas address, Ashenden said that British subjects have nevertheless been witnessing “a very slow, gradual shift from being a Christian monarchy to a multifaith one.”
“The problem is that you’re either defender of the faith or you’re not,” he said, referencing the oath the British monarch takes to defend the Protestant religion.
The British monarch, among other duties, serves as the supreme governor of the Church of England. “There’s so much about Christianity that is just directly responsible for our way of life in our culture,” said Ashenden, who went on to warn that Christians in the U.K. are increasingly marginalized.
Ashenden, who quit his chaplaincy position in 2017 after condemning recitations of the Koran during an Epiphany service at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, noted how Christianity is increasingly being pushed out of the public square because of its exclusive claims amid a “serious competition for power.”
“So, the problem that we’re having at the moment is that Christianity is under assault,” Ashenden said. “Now the question is, what does a Christian king do about that? Does a Christian king save Christianity? Does he become defender of the faith, which is what his title really is? Or, as Charles has done with a sleight-of-hand, say, ‘No, I’m … defender of all faiths, which means I don’t have to defend Christianity.'”
“If you don’t defend Christianity today, we’ll lose it from this country,” Ashenden added, noting the case of a Christian woman who was recently arrested for praying silently outside an abortion clinic in Birmingham.
“The problem we face is a serious conflict of values, and there can’t be a solution by just saying, ‘Do you know what? All the values are the same, let’s pretend everything is nice,'” the former chaplain said. “I don’t think nice will cut it.”
Ashenden, who ultimately left the Church of England and became a Roman Catholic, also penned an op-ed in the Catholic Herald warning that Christianity in the U.K. “is buckling under the relentless daily assault that an increasingly hostile secularism is directing towards it.”
If King Charles III refuses to stand up for the historic faith of his nation, Ashenden predicted in his article that he will have “sown the seeds of destruction of the House of Windsor.”
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