Spiritual leaders recall Prince Philip’s non secular curiosity

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LONDON (AP) — Church buildings in Britain held providers Sunday to recollect Prince Philip as folks of many religions mirrored on a person whose gruff exterior hid a robust private religion and deep curiosity about others’ beliefs.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby led a service of remembrance at Canterbury Cathedral in southeast England for the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, who died Friday on the age of 99.

Welby, who is ready to preside at Philip’s funeral on Saturday at Windsor Fort, led prayers for Philip, also called the Duke of Edinburgh, and contemplated “a really lengthy life, remarkably led.”

In London’s Westminster Abbey, the place Philip married the then-Princess Elizabeth in 1947, Dean of Westminster David Hoyle remembered the previous naval officer’s “self-effacing sense of service.”

Most individuals’s glimpses of Philip in a spiritual setting had been of him beside the queen at commemorative providers, or strolling to church with the royal household on Christmas Day. However his non secular background and pursuits had been extra diverse than his typical position may recommend.

Born into the Greek royal household as Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark, he was baptized within the Greek Orthodox Church. His father was exiled and his household left Greece when Philip was very younger. He turned an Anglican when he married Elizabeth, who as queen is supreme governor of the Church of England.

Within the Nineteen Sixties, he helped arrange St. George’s Home, a biblical studies heart on the royal household’s Windsor Fort seat, the place Philip would be a part of clergy, lecturers, businesspeople and politicians to debate the state of the world.

He was a daily customer to Mount Athos, a monastic group and spiritual sanctuary in Greece, and was a long-time patron of the Templeton Prize, a profitable award for contribution to life’s “non secular dimension” whose winners embody Mom Teresa.

Philip’s longstanding environmentalism, which noticed him function patron of the Worldwide Fund for Nature, was related to his religion. He organized a 1986 summit in Assisi, Italy the place representatives of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism pledged to guard the setting. Philip stated on the time that “a brand new and highly effective alliance has been cast between the forces of faith and the forces of conservation.”

Blunt-spoken and quick-witted, Philip additionally was recognized for making remarks that may very well be deeply offensive, a few of them sexist and racist. However former Archbishop of York John Sentamu, who was born in Uganda, stated those that noticed Philip as a bigot had been large of the mark.

“If any individual challenged him, you’d enter into an incredible dialog,” Sentamu informed the BBC. “The difficulty was that as a result of he was the Duke of Edinburgh, the husband of the queen, folks had this deference.

“I’m positive typically he regretted a few of these phrases, however ultimately it’s a pity that individuals noticed him as any individual who makes gaffes,” Sentamu stated. “Behind these gaffes was an expectation of a comeback, however no one got here again, and the gaffe, sadly, stayed.”

Inderjit Singh, a distinguished British Sikh chief, stated Philip had a robust information of Sikhism and “contributed to the understanding and concord between differing religion communities.”

“He acknowledged what we should always all acknowledge….We’re all of 1 frequent humanity,” Singh stated.

Philip’s religion might have been partly a legacy of his mom, Princess Alice of Battenberg, who established an order of nuns, sheltered Jews in Nazi-occupied Greece throughout World Warfare II and is buried under a Russian Orthodox church in east Jerusalem.

“I think that it by no means occurred to her that her motion was in any manner particular,” Philip stated on a 1994 journey to Israel, the place he visited his mom’s grave. “She was an individual with deep non secular religion, and he or she would have thought of it to be a completely human motion to fellow human beings in misery.”

His pursuits in faith and ecology have been handed on to his eldest son, Prince Charles. The inheritor to the throne is a robust environmentalist who has stated he needs to be “defender of faiths” when he takes the throne, quite than the monarch’s official title as defender of the Anglican religion

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