King Juan Carlos, Meet Pope Leo XIII
Thomas A. Droleskey
"He has just to do it." "It's his constitutional duty." "There is no other way." "He will doesn't want to do it." "What do you expect him to do, abdicate or something?" "Look, he can make a mental reservation." "This is the principle of the double-fold effect. He doesn't will the evil that is being done, only doing his duty as a consitutional monarch." "This is a necessary evil. Order would fall apart in Spain if the monarchy collapsed."
Well, those are among the lame excuses being made by conciliar "bishops" in Spain as King Juan Carlos, who may sign into law a bill "easing restrictions" on baby-killing that has been passed by the Spanish Parliament, The Cortes:
MADRID, Spain (CNS) -- If King Juan Carlos of Spain signs a new law easing restrictions on abortion, as he is constitutionally required, the country's bishops will not take action against him, the general secretary of the Spanish bishops' conference said.
As the law was being debated, Spain's bishops had said Catholic members of parliament who vote to liberalize abortion would place themselves outside the church and should not receive Communion.
"That his majesty the king must sanction this law with his signature is a unique situation. No other citizen would encounter this," and so "general principles" cannot be applied, said Auxiliary Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez Camino of Madrid, conference general secretary.
Bishop Martinez spoke to the press at the end of a meeting of the permanent commission of the bishops' conference Feb. 25, which also was the day after Spain's Parliament narrowly approved a law easing longstanding restrictions on abortion.
In a vote of 132-126, members of Parliament passed the law removing all restrictions on abortion up to the 14th week of pregnancy and extending legal abortion to 22 weeks of gestation if the life of the mother is at risk or if the fetus shows signs of serious malformations.
Asked repeatedly about church sanctions against the king and against Catholic members of Parliament who voted for the law, Bishop Martinez said the bishops "have excommunicated no one," but those who actively supported the law have seriously separated themselves from the church and should not receive Communion.
The situation of a politician who can vote and the king who must sign the law "are different considerations," he said.
Pro-life Catholics have begun an Internet-based petition drive to convince King Juan Carlos not to sign the law.
"Please, Your Majesty, do not sanction this new holocaust with your signature," the petition said. "Without your signature the law will not go into effect. In this way, the pain and suffering of thousands of women will be avoided and, more importantly, an infinite number of defenseless lives will be saved."
By noon Feb. 26, the Internet site reported receiving almost 57,700 signatures.
The late King Baudouin of Belgium faced a similar dilemma in 1990 when his nation's Parliament passed a bill liberalizing abortion.
Saying his conscience and Catholic faith would not allow him to sign the bill, he worked out an agreement with parliament allowing him to resign for less than 48 hours. During his temporary abdication, the country's council of ministers assumed the king's powers and signed the bill. Parliament then reinstated the king.
Ending their spring meeting Feb. 25, members of the permanent commission of the Spanish bishops' conference said Spain's new law takes "attacks on the life of those about to be born, converting them into a right."
The new law marks "a serious step back in the protection of the right to life" and an abandonment of pregnant women who need assistance and support in bringing their pregnancies to term, the bishops said.
The statement also said the bishops wanted to remind "women tempted to abort or who have already experienced this tragedy that they always will find mercy and comfort in the Catholic community. As a mother, the church understands their problems and will not leave them on their own." (Bishop says king will not be sanctioned for signing abortion law.)
The dictates of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law supersede any provisions of human positive law, including those of a nation's civil constitution. No human being, whether acting individually or collectively with others in the institutions of civil governance, has any authority to contravene the binding precepts of the moral law. Such laws are illicit. It is perhaps a very wise thing for King Juan Carlos of the House of Borbon (as the royal house's name is rendered in the Spanish language) to meet Pope Leo XIII so as to be instructed by the late pontiff's simple reiteration of Catholic truth in this matter contained in Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890:
But, if the laws of the State are manifestly at variance with the divine law, containing enactments hurtful to the Church, or conveying injunctions adverse to the duties imposed by religion, or if they violate in the person of the supreme Pontiff the authority of Jesus Christ, then, truly, to resist becomes a positive duty, to obey, a crime; a crime, moreover, combined with misdemeanor against the State itself, inasmuch as every offense leveled against religion is also a sin against the State. Here anew it becomes evident how unjust is the reproach of sedition; for the obedience due to rulers and legislators is not refused, but there is a deviation from their will in those precepts only which they have no power to enjoin. Commands that are issued adversely to the honor due to God, and hence are beyond the scope of justice, must be looked upon as anything rather than laws. You are fully aware, venerable brothers, that this is the very contention of the Apostle St. Paul, who, in writing to Titus, after reminding Christians that they are "to be subject to princes and powers, and to obey at a word," at once adds: "And to be ready to every good work." Thereby he openly declares that, if laws of men contain injunctions contrary to the eternal law of God, it is right not to obey them. In like manner, the Prince of the Apostles gave this courageous and sublime answer to those who would have deprived him of the liberty of preaching the Gospel: "If it be just in the sight of God to hear you rather than God, judge ye, for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."
Wherefore, to love both countries, that of earth below and that of heaven above, yet in such mode that the love of our heavenly surpass the love of our earthly home, and that human laws be never set above the divine law, is the essential duty of Christians, and the fountainhead, so to say, from which all other duties spring. The Redeemer of mankind of Himself has said: "For this was I born, and for this came I into the world, that I should give testimony to the truth." In like manner: "I am come to cast fire upon earth, and what will I but that it be kindled?" In the knowledge of this truth, which constitutes the highest perfection of the mind; in divine charity which, in like manner, completes the will, all Christian life and liberty abide. This noble patrimony of truth and charity entrusted by Jesus Christ to the Church she defends and maintains ever with untiring endeavor and watchfulness. . . .
But in this same matter, touching Christian faith, there are other duties whose exact and religious observance, necessary at all times in the interests of eternal salvation, become more especially so in these our days. Amid such reckless and widespread folly of opinion, it is, as We have said, the office of the Church to undertake the defense of truth and uproot errors from the mind, and this charge has to be at all times sacredly observed by her, seeing that the honor of God and the salvation of men are confided to her keeping. But, when necessity compels, not those only who are invested with power of rule are bound to safeguard the integrity of faith, but, as St. Thomas maintains: "Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers." To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. In both cases such mode of behaving is base and is insulting to God, and both are incompatible with the salvation of mankind. This kind of conduct is profitable only to the enemies of the faith, for nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good. Moreover, want of vigor on the part of Christians is so much the more blameworthy, as not seldom little would be needed on their part to bring to naught false charges and refute erroneous opinions, and by always exerting themselves more strenuously they might reckon upon being successful. After all, no one can be prevented from putting forth that strength of soul which is the characteristic of true Christians, and very frequently by such display of courage our enemies lose heart and their designs are thwarted. Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph: "Have confidence; I have overcome the world." Nor is there any ground for alleging that Jesus Christ, the Guardian and Champion of the Church, needs not in any manner the help of men. Power certainly is not wanting to Him, but in His loving kindness He would assign to us a share in obtaining and applying the fruits of salvation procured through His grace.
The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power. For, as is often said, with the greatest truth, there is nothing so hurtful to Christian wisdom as that it should not be known, since it possesses, when loyally received, inherent power to drive away error.
Any questions, Your Majesty?
One of the chief duties of a Catholic monarch is to act in the place of Christ the King as he seeks to foster those conditions in his kingdom that will advance the common temporal good in light of man's Last End, the possession of the glory of the Beatific Vision of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost for all eternity in Heaven. A state organized around true Catholic principles would enable even a constitutional monarch to nullify laws that violate the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law as these have been entrusted to the Catholic Church for their eternal safekeeping and infallible explication. A Catholic monarch, seeking to discharge the mind of Christ the King, would denounce all human positive laws (laws passed by legislatures or decrees issued by judicial bodies) that are contrary to the good of souls. It serves no purpose a Catholic monarch to serve as a symbolic head of state if he is not able to act as a true Catholic monarch in the advancement of the true common good, especially by preventing or--at the very least--refusing to approve--legislation making baby-killing under cover of he civil law more widely available.
A beautiful expression of this recognition can be found in a letter written to his son by Saint Louis IX, the future King Philip III.
1. To his dear first-born son, Philip, greeting, and his father's love.
2. Dear son, since I desire with all my heart that you be well "instructed in all things, it is in my thought to give you some advice this writing. For I have heard you say, several times, that you remember my words better than those of any one else.
3. Therefore, dear son, the first thing I advise is that you fix your whole heart upon God, and love Him with all your strength, for without this no one can be saved or be of any worth.
4. You should, with all your strength, shun everything which you believe to be displeasing to Him. And you ought especially to be resolved not to commit mortal sin, no matter what may happen and should permit all your limbs to be hewn off, and suffer every manner of torment , rather than fall knowingly into mortal sin. (Louis IX: Advice to His Son.)
A true Catholic monarch is a viceroy of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as he exercises His Social Reign over his subjects. The concept of the monarchy in once proudly Catholic Spain at this time, however, has more in common with British monarchy, and that is quite a supreme irony four hundred twelve years after the defeat of the Spanish by the English in the defeat of the Spanish Armada on August 8, 1588. The forces of Catholic Spain were attempting to overthrow the bloodthirsty Protestant, Queen Elizabeth I. Alas, it is the model of the British monarchy as it has evolved over the last nearly five centuries since the Protestant Revolt that has influenced Spain, thereby placing King Juan Carlos of the House of Borbon in a position to choose between abdicating his throne or placing his own name on a law that will "liberalize" the killing of the innocent preborn.
Saint Louis IX told his to root out sins in his kingdom, not to promote them under cover of the civil law:
32. Dear son, freely give power to persons of good character, who know how to use it well, and strive to have wickednesses expelled from your land, that is to say, nasty oaths, and everything said or done against God or our Lady or the saints. In a wise and proper manner put a stop, in your land, to bodily sins, dicing, taverns, and other sins. Put down heresy so far as you can, and hold in especial abhorrence Jews, and all sorts of people who are hostile to the Faith, so that your land may be well purged of them, in such manner as, by the sage counsel of good people, may appear to you advisable. (Louis IX: Advice to His Son.)
Leave it to the conciliar "bishops" in Spain to hold their king harmless for doing something that he can refuse to do, thereby helping to win for himself an eternal crown of glory in Heaven rather than being concerned with keeping his earthly crown of titular rule here and now. The concept of the true purpose of a Catholic monarchy in the exercise of the Social Reign of Christ the King is as lost on conciliar "bishops," starting with Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, as is the Faith itself.
What a time of confusion and disarray in which we live. This time, however, is, of course, the very moment that God has known from all eternity that we would be alive. We must lift high the cross as we give back to Him all of the difficulties of the present moment, entrusting all to Him with joy and gratitude through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.
May we, especially by means of the Rosaries we pray each day, help to plant the seed for the fulfillment of Our Lady's Fatima Message and the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart so that men and their nations will submit at all times to Christ the King in their personal lives and in the larger life of their nations.
Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Louis IX, King of France, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints