A priest today branded Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie the ‘New Tudors’ as she claimed the mechanism that allowed the twice-divorcee to remarry in a Catholic church had effectively ‘made his children “illegitimate”.’
Midlands-based Reverend Eva McIntyre, a retired Anglican priest, hit out at religious heads who okayed the service in one of their places of worship on Saturday.
The Prime Minister was baptised as a Catholic but was confirmed as an Anglican as a teenager when he was at Eton.
But the Diocese of Westminster said, as someone baptised in the faith, it meant his previous failed marriages were not considered valid because they were not Catholic ceremonies.
It prompted a row over how Mr Johnson’s ex wives must feel and what it meant for the children he had with them.
Rev McIntyre said: ‘It’s the using of Canon Law to the benefit of the privileged & at the cost of the Church’s integrity.
‘They used Johnson’s RC baptism as an excuse to count his previous marriages void. They made his children “illegitimate”.
‘And we are all serfs at the ‘mercy’ of these new Tudors.’
On Twitter another user asked: ‘If Boris marrying is Westminster Cathedral is true then, as a Catholic, I would like to know why a twice divorced adulterer was able to and my practising Catholic friend who divorced a husband who battered hell out of her had to re-marry in a registry office. ‘
Twice divorced Boris Johnson and Carrie Symonds on their wedding day following a Catholic ceremony
Reverend McIntyre said the use of Canon Law in this way had made his children ‘illegitimate’
The baptism meant the Prime Minister could marry for the ‘first’ time in a Roman Catholic church.
Despite explanations about how their wedding could have been held in accordance with Vatican doctrine, the subject was being keenly discussed yesterday by Westminster Cathedral worshippers.
Some wondered whether Mr Johnson had needed to convert before the nuptials took place, while one even brought up Henry VIII’s troubled love-life as a potential precursor.
But last night a Diocese of Westminster spokesman confirmed: ‘With regard to divorced persons, a baptised Catholic who has contracted a marriage recognised in civil law but without observing the requirements of Catholic Canon Law is not recognised as validly married in the eyes of the Catholic Church.’
The Prime Minister was married to first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen for six years and Marina Wheeler for 27 years
Austen Ivereigh, a Roman Catholic author, commentator and biographer of Pope Francis, said on Twitter: ‘Many will ask how it is that the Catholic Church, famous for its vigorous commitment to the permanence of marriage, should be witnessing the marriage of a twice-divorced PM who is publicly notorious for the opposite? What kind of message does that send?
‘But Catholics have a right to the sacraments and if they fulfil the requirements in law, and properly enter into them, no one can stop them exercising those rights.’
Mr Johnson was married to first wife Allegra Mostyn-Owen for six years and to second wife Marina Wheeler for 27 years.
A Westminster Cathedral spokesman added: ‘The bride and groom are both parishioners of the Westminster Cathedral parish and baptised Catholics.
‘All necessary steps were taken, in both Church and civil law, and all formalities completed before the wedding. We wish them every happiness.’