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#406432 06/16/14 01:35 PM
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There is a legend that George Washington converted to Catholicism "on his deathbed." Can anyone verify this, or has anyone else heard this?

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I have also heard this!!! And I a Canadian.


Garaj

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"Slaves Held Washington Became a Catholic on His Deathbed"

http://catholicism.org/washington-slaves.html

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George Washington also celebrated his namesake, St George on April 23rd (he could have been an Anglican to do that, however).

He actually wanted to keep the Union Jack in the original American flag rather than the stars.

It would certainly not be the first time, if this is true, that a Protestant became a secret Catholic.

King Charles II had strong Catholic sympathies (when asked what he thought of the Protestant service, he replied, "Not a religion for gentlemen . . .") and died a Catholic. King James II followed suit and became a staunch and open Roman Catholic.

After his military losses against William of Orange, James II retired to France where he became a monk and died in the odour of sanctity - so much so that the nuns in the area promoted his veneration and the Cause for his canonization after his death.

His body was discovered incorrupt - as was that of his Anglican father, King Charles I.

To this day, there are arguments in favour of Charles I having become an RC before his beheading (highly unlikely though).

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Very unlikely

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Washington was good at least to his soldiers who were Catholic and allowed them feast days and Mass attendance.

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Originally Posted by Roman refugee
There is a legend that George Washington converted to Catholicism "on his deathbed." Can anyone verify this, or has anyone else heard this?


Others have provided links that deal with this question and I was happy to read them.

I myself read as a teenager about George Washington's death bed conversion to Roman Catholicism in a publication of the Slaves of Mary Immaculate (whom we irreverently referred to as the "Immaculate Slaves of Mary' blush). At the time I thought it fanciful. But Nicholas Chapman has done a lot of research about Othodox Christians in prerevolutionary America. There is a connection with Jacobite sympathies and disillusionment with the Church of England after the "Glorious' Revolution with conversion to Orthodoxy and, perhaps, Catholicism.

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If I recall rightly, there's a story on the Orthodox History website of a 1700s family in Virginia who became Orthodox and remained so for a few generations. I think that's Nicholas Chapman's subject.

Washington was an "Enlightenment" unbeliever. The good side of that was he was fair to Catholics, not trying to push Protestantism on them.

I'm undecided about the American Revolution. I like the original republic but the king was wrongly blamed. Then again, look at how Britain evolved. The mother country and Canada, whose reason to exist was conservative, are more liberal and less religious than the U.S.

I think Washington's deathbed conversion is a myth some Catholics made up that is part wishful thinking and part invention to make Catholic immigrants feel more at home in America and Protestant Americans more comfortable with Catholics.

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I have heard of that deathbed conversion for years, but have not seen any proof of it.

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Originally Posted by The young fogey
If I recall rightly, there's a story on the Orthodox History website of a 1700s family in Virginia who became Orthodox and remained so for a few generations. I think that's Nicholas Chapman's subject.

Washington was an "Enlightenment" unbeliever. The good side of that was he was fair to Catholics, not trying to push Protestantism on them.

I'm undecided about the American Revolution. I like the original republic but the king was wrongly blamed. Then again, look at how Britain evolved. The mother country and Canada, whose reason to exist was conservative, are more liberal and less religious than the U.S.

I think Washington's deathbed conversion is a myth some Catholics made up that is part wishful thinking and part invention to make Catholic immigrants feel more at home in America and Protestant Americans more comfortable with Catholics.


But the question still remains whether constitutional monarchy is a better form of civil society - or not.

Liberalism and worse infects all Western countries today. It is not as a result of any political system, but of a general degrading of religious and moral values - it is the people's choice, in short.

Interestingly, I've yet to meet an American historian at conferences who was against constitutioinal monarchy - some even suggested that if framed properly, a referendum question on the subject put to the American people may surprise many.

I was a parade marshall in Toronto for the Queen's Birthday Parade when a group of American tourists came by to ask what this was all about.

When I told them, I quipped, "You could join us today for this were it not for the American Revolution . . ."

To which several replied, "We'd love to have the Queen/Crown back!"

Remember, it's never too late . . . wink

Alex

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Alex,

I don't think most of us Merickans would mind a King or Queen who was elected; but appointment by divine right? Noooo.. especially in a diverse land such as these. You'd have riots.

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I know Catholics of a certain stripe are hung up on monarchy, thinking it is more Mediaeval and whatnot, without realising that republics existed in Mediaeval times in various Italian city-states. Poland was for a long time a commonwealth, or republic, and eventually had elected monarchs, but that did not turn out too well. Both systems, therefore, are potentially "Catholic".
True, the maladies that infect Western civilisation are not there by popular choice, but the people running things all went to universities and I suppose the blame goes there where a lot of bad ideas coexist with very good ones.
That said, I would be all for monarchy, even under HRH Elizabeth, but the US is too far gone culturally and there is too much of this $ in politics to do it with aplomb.

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Originally Posted by Michael_Thoma
Alex,

I don't think most of us Merickans would mind a King or Queen who was elected; but appointment by divine right? Noooo.. especially in a diverse land such as these. You'd have riots.


It would be by birth rather than "Divine Right."

Some would argue that the Clintons and the Bushes feel they have the Divine Right to rule . . .

Also, the whole point about having an unelected sovereign who represents the people's history and/or the entire people is precisely that.

When a person is "elected by the people" - is he or she truly representative of the people? Not by a long shot. In fact, such a head of state obliges the many thousands of people who did not vote for them to submit themselves to their rule.

Elected officials really and truly only represent those who elected them.

This is one of the reasons that led to your Civil War - the South did not vote for Abraham Lincoln and his protectionist economnic policies (that would have been detrimental to their economy that needed the European markets).

A constitutional monarch (where the head of state is elected) represents the country/people precisely because no one voted for him or her. One's ties to the sovereign have to do with the nation's values, history, culture etc.

The monarch therefore becomes a non-political nead of state. Queen Elizabeth II is actually descended from over 30 European Royal Houses/nations.

She is therefore the best possible person to head a multicultural federation like Canada.

Alex

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Originally Posted by Mark R
I know Catholics of a certain stripe are hung up on monarchy, thinking it is more Mediaeval and whatnot, without realising that republics existed in Mediaeval times in various Italian city-states. Poland was for a long time a commonwealth, or republic, and eventually had elected monarchs, but that did not turn out too well. Both systems, therefore, are potentially "Catholic".
True, the maladies that infect Western civilisation are not there by popular choice, but the people running things all went to universities and I suppose the blame goes there where a lot of bad ideas coexist with very good ones.
That said, I would be all for monarchy, even under HRH Elizabeth, but the US is too far gone culturally and there is too much of this $ in politics to do it with aplomb.


Dear Mark,

You raise a number of important points!

I don't believe the U.S. will "return" to a monarchical form of government (at least, not any time soon).

However, as a royalist, I see interesting connections with how your country is headed.

For example, for all the talk about democracy, does it not bother Americans that presidents tend to come from the same families (Bush and Clinton), and have done so for a good quarter of a century?

Name recognition in democratic politics is important, but does it not show a weakness in the politial system when people appear to be too busy to bother with policy and opt for the path of least resistance re: the celebrity status of candidates?

About half of those elgible to vote actually do so in Ontario and Canada. What are your numbers? And if a percentage of those who vote decide who is to run the country for everyone, how does that approximate the democratic ideal (which is an ideal which is itself a hand-me-down from ancient Greece, never mind medieval times).

There are any number of American ceremonial traditions that are descended from royal times, including the buildings of Washington D.C.

It is also, if I might muse, confusing to want to attack a President, as head of government, who is also the head of state (which citizens must never attack as he/she is supposed to represent everyone).

True, other countries separate the roles of president and prime minister. Then why the need to vote in a president if he is the head of state? Why not a constitutional monarch of some sort?

Alex

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Dear Alex,

If the USofA were to select monarch to be Head of State today, I think that our society has become so extreme to both ends that this monarch would have to be bi-polar, multiracial, an American war hero who is antiwar, a male who is lesbian, and an atheist minister. He or she would have to drink beer, smoke a little weed, watch basketball, thump their Bible, while also for abortion and gay marriage.

If it were up to me, I'd prefer a Royal from the line of His Imperial Majesty the King of Kings of Ethiopia, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Elect of God; not any of the European powers.


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