Details from The Tablet: 

Cardinal Vincent Nichols is to become the first Catholic bishop to play a formal role in the coronation of a British monarch since the Reformation, when he blesses King Charles III during the ceremony in Westminster Abbey on 6 May.

It will be witnessed by a papal delegation led by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See Secretary of State, the first papal representative to participate in a British Coronation for almost 500 years.

Cardinal Nichols told The Tablet that the coronation is a “remarkable moment” for ecumenical relations, pointing out that as a young boy in 1953 he “would never have dreamt of stepping inside” a non-Catholic church.

This Saturday, the Archbishop of Westminster won’t only be inside the Abbey but will impart a blessing on the newly-crowned King. It makes him the first Catholic bishop to take an active part in the coronation of a British monarch since Bishop Stephen Gardiner placed the crown on Queen Mary’s head in 1553.

Other Catholic prelates attending the coronation include Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Primate of All-Ireland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert of Aberdeen, president of Scotland’s bishops’ conference, and Archbishop Mark O’Toole of Cardiff.

History will also be made when Cardinal Parolin takes his seat in the Abbey for the coronation along with the newly-appointed apostolic nuncio to Great Britain, Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendí. Both are representing Francis for the occasion.

… Chris Trott, the UK ambassador to the Holy See, said the last papal representation to participate at a coronation was that of Mary I, who unsuccessfully tried to reverse the Reformation and return to England to Catholicism.

The presence of papal representatives in the Abbey will be a change to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953, when representatives witnessed the procession to and from the Abbey but did not enter the church building.

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