As we all know, Henry VIII declared himself the head of the Anglican church, and his successor on the throne is by default the head of it too.
If Episcopalianism is simply Anglicanism by another name, why is the monarch not head of the Episcopalians?
Furthermore, the monarch is also by default a Presbyterian in his or her role as the monarch of Scotland.
As I understand it, the Presbyterians and Anglicans form a sort of union in some places. Yet, there still must be some doctrinal disagreements, right? So if the monarch is the head of one and a member of the other, doesn’t that mean he or she has to believe different and possibly conflicting things?
And what are the implications on the Catholic Church with regard to this? The Catholic Church makes certain allowances for Anglicans (for example, they can celebrate their liturgy in a Catholic Church if the local bishop consents). Yet, if the Presbyterians and Anglicans are in a sort of communion with each other, why is there no allowance of the same given to the Presbyterians?
What if the monarch is in actuality an atheist? As the UK increasingly goes secular, it doesn’t seem outside of the real of possibility. Doesn’t it create a bizarre conflict of interest for the head of the church of England to have no faith, or to have faith contrary the church he or she heads? Even Catholic Clerics lose their post if they become apostate. Seems even more necessary for a Monarch.
Lastly, why did the Anglicans change their stance on marriage? Henry VIII demanded the right to divorce and remarry, yet when Edward VIII wanted to marry Wallis Simpson the C of E wouldn’t stand for it. Same with Princess Margaret wanting to marry a divorcée. Yet it didn’t matter in the case of Princess Anne, just a few decades later. And Prince Charles’ marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles puts him in essentially the same scenario that Edward VIII was in, the only differences is that he isn’t yet king and the government didn’t have a problem with it; yet insofar as the C of E is concerned, shouldn’t their standards have remain unchanged? Why were Edward VIII and Prince Charles held to different rules? From my Catholic eyes, to have these things changed – and only within seventy years – seems bizarre.