The monarchy is a flawed symbol of national unity and Catholics should "hesitate" before taking part in the Queen's Diamond jubilee celebrations, a senior priest has said.
Fr Ashley Beck, Dean of Studies of the Diaconate formation programme for nine dioceses in England and Wales, said for many Catholics with an Irish background the monarchy represents "colonialism and oppression" and he criticised its close relationship with the armed forces.
In a letter to The Tablet he said the Church should look critically at "wealth and privilege and the monarchy."
Catholic former MP Ann Widdecombe criticised the priest's remarks saying: "I think Ashley Beck has stepped out of the medieval period. Catholics have died for their country and their Queen and his comments are an insult to them."