The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey's recent complimentary remarks on Prince Charles's "deep prayer basis" to his life and describing the Prince as a "committed Anglican who takes faith seriously" is seen as an indication of Prince Charles's views and beliefs on multi-faith springing up to the forefront once again, along with dormant fears of the Christian Church leaders in Britain.
Prince Charles has earned a reputation of being a very strong & outspoken individual who has the courage to call spade a spade - be it British architecture, his religious faith, his committing adultery, his broken marriage or even at times his desire to speak to the plants!
Prince Charles will be the King of England one day in the near future, in a country predominantly Christian. This means that he is also going to be the 'Supreme Governor' of the Church of England. Therefore, it is reasonable for some Christian hierarchy, such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, to harbour some doubts, if not fears, about Prince Charles's future role as the Head of the Church, especially after his admission of committing adultery in front of millions of TV viewers, followed by his divorce.
Prince Charles is quite well known for keeping an 'open mind' on different religious faiths. Time and again he has been quite eloquent on the theological subject publicly. His outspokenness was defined clearly once on a TV interview when he unhesitatingly announced his wish to become " The defender of Faith" as opposed to 'Defender of The Faith', which naturally made some Christian holy men and even parliamentarians to pounce on his ' confession of faith'.
Such statements have been later analysed by many as his willingness to broaden his outlook and advocate tolerance in Britain, a country that has had an established Church for many centuries. Understandably, within the Christian circles, there has been a certain amount of uneasiness about the Prince's utterances about his religious faith over the years. To Prince Charles however, it seems simple logic - just one particular interpretation of the Faith causing a great deal of a problem - how people fight each other to death over such issues. For him, it is 'a peculiar waste of peoples' energy when all are actually aiming for the same ultimate goal'. At least one Catholic priest, Father Cormac Murphy O'Conner once questioned publicly on the question of faith: " Why quibble about a title which has not served it purpose for 450 years when in the original Latin there is no difference between Defender of Faith and Defender of The Faith. Driving the Christian clergy into more & confusion Prince Charles recently was particularly talking about Islam!
He is known to be vegetarian, whenever he is free from official engagements. With celestial fires burning within him he has gone on record pronouncing his ambition to go to Himalayas for meditation! Whether such utterances by Prince Charles at times are just eloquent phrases to denote his restricted, 'prison-like' life style or through an inner spiritual revolution is hard to assess. However, he is known to be a deeply caring human being who frets and worries about other people. He has on many occasions gone on record arguing for the individual over institution, the natural over the homogenised and the spiritual over the material.
Prince Charles and the Archbishop of Canterbury seem to have different views on sacrament where the Archbishop being evangelical and the Prince a traditionalist.
Church of England's teachings are strong. In clear terms it does not recognise two life styles - marriage and celibacy. It maintains that there cannot be anything in between. The problem facing the modern Church is whether they are modern enough to tackle current issues such as human sexuality. Archbishop, for instance, is quite adamant about homosexual marriages and says it is not recognised by the Church even when the British government is thinking of lowering the age of consent for gays to 16.
But according to modern thinking in some quarters of the Western society, religiousness should be like a flowing river, continuously changing its course and ultimately reaching the ocean. If religions are simply solid rocks, they may be ancient & far more experienced, it is said, but a rock is a rock and understandably it is dead - they don't flow, they don't change, they don't move with the times and anything that is dead is not going to help people!
Fears of the Church of England appear to be that Prince Charles being an Anglican whether he will alter the constitutional changes of the Church, as King in the future! The Church of England believes that it will not be in the interest of the British nation for the Church to be disestablished if things were to be changed and is, therefore, adamant to execute its work whether the Church will be established or disestablished in the future.
Charles is the 21st Prince of Wales. He is recognised as the most intelligent of the more recent holders of the title, which has been conferred on the Sovereign's eldest son, since the 13th Century. From his youth, Prince Charles has demonstrated as a man with a liking for action and potentially dangerous pastimes such as parachuting, playing polo, wind surfing, skiing which earned him a nickname as the 'Royal Action Man".
Will Prince Charles, as an educated man with a Degree in History and
Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and forty nine years of
overwhelming sense of duty that has been instilled in him, break the
monarchy's traditional alliance to the Church of England and embrace all
religions in the future is a question that seems to disturb the
Christian Church today, but will only be known in the future. Could
such a situation trigger a Constitutional crisis in Britain, and open up
a can of worms? Gurus on Constitutional affairs in Britain would say
that it would be necessary to change the Oath in such circumstances,
which would require an Act of Parliament.