According to a press report that has just popped up on my Twitter feed, Kate Middleton was confirmed in a private service conducted by the Bishop of London last month as part of the preparations for her wedding service.
Apparently her decision had nothing to do with her wedding, but was part of a private journey of faith. Whilst it is heartening to learn that the couple have been in receipt of formal marriage preparation, which is a pre-requisite before couples may be allowed to marry in the Catholic Church, I can’t help but be slightly disappointed that this seems to have been kept something of a secret.
I can perhaps understand Kate’s reluctance to admit that the future wife of the Head of the Church of England was not in fact a practicing Christian, but it is a shame that she felt unable to make her news public. Confirmation signifies that one has a proper understanding of what it is to live as a disciple of Christ, part of this entails demonstrating faith in the community and bearing witness to the truth of Christ, thus her decision to keep this private, demonstrates a worrying conformity by those nominally in charge of the Church of England, to conform to the secular agenda of keeping faith behind closed doors, instead of actually living it.
Her confirmation should be a cause of celebration, a public bearing of witness, otherwise it risks being seen as a procedural exercise for the sake of form alone , a devaluation of an important sacrament and is yet another step towards undermining the established Church in this country, ironically by the very people who are sworn to defend it.