Tuesday, June 24, 2014
My Thanks to the Duke of Bavaria
The true Carlists of history came into being officially because of a legal dispute but also because they really did not like the wife of King Fernando VII who would be regent on behalf of his young daughter Queen Isabella II. In truth, both sides had some tradition on their side. As a legal matter, the Carlists were completely correct, King Fernando VII had not acted according to the law in the way in which he named his daughter as his successor. What is a bit ironic is that the Carlists were the ones who favored an absolute monarchy while the forces of the Queen Mother Maria Christina favored constitutional monarchy and it was the fact that Fernando VII was the last absolute monarch of Spain that made him think he could just do as he pleased and make his daughter his successor rather than his brother. As far as tradition goes, the Carlists were fighting to uphold the traditional Salic Law which did not allow a woman (or in this case girl) to become monarch under any circumstances. On the other hand, this had only been the tradition since the House of Bourbon replaced the House of Hapsburg in Spain which had died out. The earlier tradition in Spain allowed for female monarchs though males still had preference.
Things really came to pieces during that time with the Carlists being split into a number of factions and that has continued until today with the most prominent faction basically deciding who the “legitimate” heir to the Spanish throne is based on his religious and political opinions, thus it landing on the person of Prince Sixte-Henri who is not even the legitimate heir to the Duchy of Parma to say nothing of the Kingdom of Spain. Infante Alfonso Carlos, the last legitimate heir of the Carlist line, had ordered his adherents to support Generalissimo Francisco Franco in the Spanish Civil War and they played a considerable part in his success and were a significant force in Spanish politics in the aftermath. However, their breakdown in unity, their abandonment of bloodline legitimacy and so on meant that they lost influence rapidly during the Franco years and have never since been a political force worthy of serious consideration. In recent years, or decades at this point, many (of the faction that did not go the Marxist route) attached themselves to the cause of Catholic groups such as the Society of St Pius X or those that refuse to accept the legitimacy of the Pope, saying that there has been no Pope since Pius XII or John XXIII (there is disagreement on that point). Obviously, it is a mess and even if they all came together they would still not have sufficient support to effect their grandest wishes and as it stands now, their own in-fighting would preclude them from even making a genuine effort at effecting change of any sort.
Anyway, having probably wasted my time with that last bit there, I want to point out that not everyone, certainly not all Catholics, share this same ignorance and this can be proven by looking to Russia. First, keep in mind that the place in question here is the Russian Empire that was officially and zealously Russian Orthodox and recall that the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches have not gotten along very well for about a thousand years or so. I have read a number of history books written by Catholic authors which deal with the subject of the Russian Revolution. These were extremely partisan books which were not bashful about recounting the history of Catholic-Orthodox relations as being pretty black and white, with the Catholics in the right and the Orthodox in the wrong, one even going so far as to joke (I think?) that the sacking of Constantinople should be a feast day on the Catholic calendar. Now, keeping all that in mind, not one of these books recounted the Russian Revolution as anything other than the horror it was and while some may have had some criticism for the Emperor and Empress, every single one regarded them as good, God-fearing people who died a heroic death at the hands of the worst criminals imaginable.
That is the bottom line and that is one major reason why I call these neo-Carlists republicans. There is no more chance of the current Spanish monarchy collapsing and everyone in Spain deciding to make Prince Sixte-Henri of Bourbon-Parma the absolute monarch of a new Spain religiously administered entirely by the Society of St Pius X than there was of the French Revolution turning the country into a Protestant constitutional monarchy or the Bolshevik revolutionaries deciding to turn the Russian Empire into a Catholic monarchy. The odds are absolutely as ridiculously infinitesimal as that. Spain will have the monarchy it has or it will have no monarchy at all. For my part, being a monarchist is simple; I support the monarchy, the monarchy which would be reigning over me if things had gone differently in the past (and perhaps if there had been no series of wars over the succession the Spanish Empire could have been maintained) and I have drawn the line in the sand here. I cannot change the past but I can make a stand in the time and place that I am now and I say that I want no more monarchies to fall. In the world where I live, in the time that I live here, I can say, “no farther, not if I can help it”. It is for that reason that I will not abide or tolerate in any way anyone who does not support the precious few monarchies we still have with us today and why I say ‘thank you’ again to the Duke of Bavaria and why I say sincerely ¡Viva Felipe VI!
(Additional Note: The night before posting this I received two or three confirmations that neo-Jacobite republicans do exist and are indeed adding their voices to the republican mob, so I may have spoken too soon with my praise. I will hope otherwise and in any event still appreciate the Duke, and his predecessors, for having more sense.)