King Charles III of UK Should Promote Religious Diversity: Catholic Archbishop in Nigeria

New King Charles III makes his first address to UK parliament. Credit: Courtesy Photo

The Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja in Nigeria has hailed Queen Elizabeth II for her exemplary rootedness in faith, and called upon King Charles III, who acceded to the throne following the demise of the Queen on September 8, to uphold the spirit of the late Monarch and to promote religious diversity in all the Commonwealth countries.

In his tribute published September 9, Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama says that Queen Elizabeth II’s faith gave the world stability.

“What made Queen Elizabeth so special was that she grasped the full spiritual weight and responsibility of her office, and sought to execute it with that in mind. Her Christian faith was central to all that she was and all that she did and this made her a pillar of stability in an ever-changing world,” Archbishop Kaigama says.

Lauding King Charles III for being outspoken on various issues “in recent times”, the Nigerian Catholic Archbishop says the Monarch “is expected to further promote religious diversity and the multicultural nature of modern England and the Commonwealth.”

“Charles has been outspoken on issues close to his heart, notably architecture, the environment, farming, faith and alternative medicine. The monarch has to be scrupulously neutral on all political issues, as the queen had been,” Archbishop Kaigama says.


He adds that the King is also expected to promote issues of social justice and accountability, especially in the former British colonies of West Africa.

“King Charles has become head of the Commonwealth, an association of 56 independent countries and 2.4 billion people,” Archbishop Kaigama says, and adds, “Being a royal demands a fair amount of resilience, a tough skin and patience in spades. For the king-in-waiting, the latter has been especially true. Prince Charles was the longest-waiting heir apparent, having spent 63 years as the Prince of Wales.”

The Local Ordinary of Abuja says that Nigerians had received the death of the longest-serving British Monarch “with great sorrow”.

“It was with great sorrow and sadness that we learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The news of the demise of the longest-reigning monarch in British history, and the oldest and longest-serving head of state in the world, came as a shock,” he says.

In his tribute published September 9, the Nigerian Archbishop eulogizes the Queen who he says reigned with grace, elegance, and “a tireless work ethic to fulfill this declaration”.

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Queen Elizabeth II, Archbishop Kaigama says, was the only British monarch the vast majority of Nigerians have ever known.

“Most of us grew up with great admiration and filial affection for her,” he says, and adds, “Her Christmas radio messages were sometimes deeply personal and revealed a life of prayer and faith.”

“Her Majesty was, indeed, the epitome of duty, stability, wisdom and grace. The axiom, ‘Service Untiringly done. Duty faithfully fulfilled’, encapsulates her reign,” Archbishop Kaigama says.

He notes that the Queen touched the hearts of many with her dedicated service especially to the Commonwealth, which he says “remains an important trade partner, investor and development partner in many African countries, the biggest being South Africa and Nigeria.”

“It is our hope that the Commonwealth could continue to offer stability and continuity in years to come, especially, during the reign of King Charles III,” the Nigerian Catholic Archbishop says in his tribute published September 9.


Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.