Mormons aren’t the only religion to conduct posthumous conversions

You probably remember a few years (hunch)back when King Richard III of England was discovered in a grave underneath a parking lot in Leicester. After scientists forced him to give up whatever secrets his bones still kept, the saga will soon reach its final act when his remains are encrypted (i.e. placed in a crypt) for the very first time:

[His] remains will be reburied in an elaborate ceremony fit for a king, complete with a procession Sunday taking the lead-lined coffin from the university to Leicester Cathedral.

It will be on public view at the cathedral until March 26, when his remains will be reburied there in a ceremony that will be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

It’s a lovely plan, perhaps even one befitting a King, with just a small catch: Richard III died on August 22, 1485, which means that whatever else you believe about the man — inter alia, the degree to which you believe Shakespeare’s depiction was historically accurate — he was certainly no Anglican. The Church of England — led by the very same Archbishop of Canterbury set to conduct Richard’s funeral/interment — was not founded until 1534, several decades after his death. Adding insult to injury, that Church was founded* by Henry VIII, a member of the Tudor dynasty, and the son of Henry VII, whose forces killed Richard III in battle. The affront should be enough to make Richard III turn over in his grave, were he in it.

*for all practical purposes

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