What People Are Commenting
Weaknesses of the Spanish Monarchy
I would like to comment about the recent TIA article, An Earthquake Shaking the Spanish Monarchy, especially since I am Spanish and I follow these events with a traditional Catholic perspective.
Let us not assume that the current monarch of Spain, Juan Carlos I, being of the royal line of the Bourbons and descendant of Catholic Kings of yesteryear, resembles in any way in Catholic faith and fortitude as some of his earlier worthier Catholic monarchs.
The truth is, Juan Carlos I is not much of a Catholic monarch, so we should not be surprised he is reaping what he sows by his misguided non-Catholic beliefs.
Juan Carlos I has always been a proud Liberal (and educated as such in his youth), and the Spanish Monarchy for him, is a combination of family pride (inheritance) and a state institution for the benefit of a now-secular political Spain. Juan Carlos himself does not see the institution of the Spanish Monarchy as a Catholic institution with declared public allegiance to Christ the King, but rather a secular institution paradoxically serving a Republic-type of system.
He personally may shuffle through the motions of attending Catholic Church events, as he is PERSONALLY nominally Catholic (rather than the Monarchy is Catholic), and the Monarchy may sponsor Catholic events, as much as the Monarchy may sponsor any other cultural event.
That is, the King is Catholic but the Kingship is Not Catholic. Note that the monarchy establishment clause in the Spanish Constitution of 1978 does not specify that the King nor Spain need be of any religion, nor especially Catholic.
Juan Carlos exhibits the typical liberal separation of his personal Catholic faith and his duties as King and citizen, which has been condemned by many Popes, similar to what John F. Kennedy did.
For example, Spain elected anti-Catholic Socialist governments that mandate and expand abortion (and now homosexual "marriage", stem cell research etc), and Juan Carlos had no problem signing a royal decree for abortion and these things (although, like a Ted Kennedy Catholic, he might have a personal disagreement with it, but that definitely won't stop him from signing a Royal Decree, not even attempting a cosmetic protest of any sort!).
When a journalist asked him, if he would resign the Monarchy for one day in protest and not put his signature on the Royal Decree for Abortion like the King of Belgium did in 1973, Juan Carlos replied that he was the King of Spain and not Belgium.
What an atrocious example of Bourbon royal cowardice to abandon Natural Law and Catholic beliefs in a country that is still vastly Catholic, at least nominally.
This shows, that Juan Carlos identifies what is the good of Spain to the good of the survival of his royal line. In other words, the survival of the royal line is paramount (not the Catholic faith), so if the political process in Spain generates even atrocious anti-Catholic laws, that becomes the good of Spain and he will sign it into law!
Let me ask, what does Spain really need this King for, if he does not even have the fortitude to stand up to future unborn Spanish citizens / subjects of his? In 1986, abortions were zero in Spain, and now they are approaching 100,000 a year - thanks to the political system of Spain and His Royal Catholic Highness Decree. That blood is on HIS hands for his terrible Day of Judgment.
Not to mention a thousand other battles for Catholicism that he never bothered to risk his royal reputation. What is the purpose of his monarchy besides to perpetuate the line of Bourbons?
His leftwing enemies do not want the Monarchy, and are waiting for the eventual demise of it. Let us not be surprised that his friendships and compromises with the anticlerical fanatic left in Spain, is now leading to his demise. If you swim with crocodiles, then don't be surprised if they eat you.
When the radical Catalonian left attacked the Spanish Monarchy, his answer was to use utilitarian and consequentialist arguments -the weakest type of arguments! Let Spain keep the King because he has been such a fine employee of the state, helping to bring prosperity!
Of course, leftwingers will never be convinced by that, they will always claim that Spain can also prosper quite well under a secular system without having to subsidize "privileged royal parasites."
His tactic of being friendly with the anti-Catholic left for his royal survival just shows how little real power he has, and how very little real do-or-die commitment that the powers-to-be have of him. And he knows that.
Juan Carlos has deliberately kept a distance from "right-wing" forces of Spanish society so he is not seen to be their beholden flag-waver. This means, he has kept a respectable, neutral distance from the forces of pro-Catholic society, such as political parties, the Catholic Church, the remnants of the aristocracy (which are now mostly landless titles but very Catholic in belief and influence), etc.
Instead, Juan Carlos and his son, Prince Felipe, has rather tried to make friends of the "new right" of business and export associations and groups, which such groups do not harp on morally difficult subjects and do have interesting financial resources available.
As I will mention below, a morality-free type of politics seems to be of personal interest for their personal lifestyles. It is curious that those who live a personally moral-free life (but conducted in private, not publicly for the negative consequences of course), also seem to orient themselves to morality-free politics and politicians.
Therefore, at the end of the day, Juan Carlos has no real deep structural political support in Spain, only that luckily enough thanks to an earlier era, his job is enshrined in the Spanish Constitution (and can just as easily be lost), his personal friendships, and thanks to the modern tabloid world, a mile-wide popularity in Spain that is of tabloid depth.
All of the regional nationalist groups who are agitating for independent regions, they are mostly leftwing or secular and do not appreciate the symbols of centralized sovereignty like the Monarchy of Spain.
The Socialist Party supports the Monarchy, as long as Juan Carlos stays quiet and rubber-stamps all laws, especially pro-abortion and pro-homosexual marriage laws. (Have you heard Juan Carlos speak out against that?) The minute Juan Carlos stands up for the traditional Catholic faith with some backbone, the Socialist Party will be the first ex-friend to abandon him.
And the pro-Catholic forces of Spanish society are lukewarm to this King of lukewarm Catholicism.
It is good to keep a historical perspective of the Spanish Monarchy: after the death of the Spanish King Ferdinand VII in 1833 (a real Catholic monarch), the Spanish monarchy since then has fallen to a line of unworthy successors, starting immediately with his daughter Isabella II, who, similar to Juan Carlos, supported liberal political forces in Spain, and eventually was exiled to France thanks to her very same liberal political friends.
After the death of Ferdinand IV, by Salic law, the royal line should have passed to his brother Don Carlos instead of daughter Isabella II, and thereafter the Carlist wars started in Spain. The Carlist line is still contesting the royal succession even until today (although they have nil influence), but in retrospect, the Carlist line of the Bourbons have proven to be more traditional Catholic.
Franco toyed with the idea in the 1960s to restore the Carlist line of the Bourbons precisely because Juan Carlos seemed to be quite liberal, however, since the Carlist line also represented some narrow local regional political factions in Navarre, Franco decided it was better to restore the line of Alfonso XIII as an expedient measure to have a higher chance of acceptance and success.
Juan Carlos also is known to conduct a private immoral lifestyle as a royal prerogative, similar to his grandfather Alfonso XIII (who had mistresses and fathered illegitimate children). Alfonso XIII might have been a great womanizer, but was a bad King, and he had to abdicate the royal throne in 1930, helping the events leading to the massacres of Catholic clergy in 1932-1939.
I would like to add, that the current Queen, Sofia, is a real Royal figure of outstanding character, reputation, and honest Catholic piety (although she is an Greek Orthodox convert), and therefore she has agonized by the current situation. I am sure that she is the silent force of many good decisions in today's Spanish Monarchy.
Juan Carlos should learn from the history of his predecessors Isabella II and Alfonso XIII: live an unseen privately good moral Catholic life, and stay away from false friendships from wolves not even disguised as sheep.
Unfortunately, the solution is not to abdicate, because his son Felipe is not a better character, and seems to be inexperienced and unwise.
There are questions about Prince Felipe's morality, and not only about the wisdom about marrying a divorced ambitious socialite TV-anchorite. Prince Felipe superficially cuts a dashing tall figure like his father Juan Carlos, however like his father, under the surface you will find few Catholic convictions that he is willing to risk his neck for.
My comments above are not to advocate the abolishment of the current Bourbons on the throne, but rather to highlight, that their potentially serious troubles come from their shortcomings in the faith and practice of Catholic belief.
The solution is not to eject them by right- or left-wing forces, but rather, that they should repent and deeply convert themselves to the traditional Catholic cause, like their worthy rivals of the Carlist Bourbon line in Spain.
If the current line of Bourbons do not improve, but rather quite happily acquiesce and follow the latest trends and fads of the worldwide antichrist wave of political and social movements, then they have created and deserve their own downfall, and the Carlist line of the Bourbons honestly should be given a chance to succeed the Spanish Throne.
Posted November 20, 2007
The opinions expressed in this section - What People Are Commenting -
do not necessarily express those of TIA
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