Friday, December 19, 2008

More on Luxembourg

Gerald Warner weighs in on Grand Duke Henri and euthanasia. A petition in support of the Grand Duke is here.

(H/T: Jørn K. Baltzersen)

As I pointed out at my friend Mr. Baltzersen's blog, Mr. Warner, whose blog I've often admired, does not seem to be defending Grand Duke Henri so much as reproaching him and other Catholic monarchs for not being even more intransigent on issues such as euthanasia, even if it led to their abdication. This is not a position I'm willing to take; in fact I would probably not take it even if I shared Mr. Warner's Roman Catholic faith.

Like it or not (and I don't!), "Democracy" is held sacrosanct in modern Europe (except of course when popular referendums might hinder the agenda of the EU...), and it is not within the ability of the continent's remaining constitutional sovereigns to change that. Catholics opposed to euthanasia, abortion, etc., are obliged to work within the democratic process like everyone else, not rely on monarchs whose constitutional limitations in most cases were set before they were born to "save the day" or risk the fall of the monarchy with grand gestures of defiance. As I've said many times in arguments with those who while not unsympathetic to monarchy in principle don't see the point in today's "emasculated" versions, symbolism matters, and I would much rather Europe's monarchies survive by making compromises with modernity than allow themselves to be replaced by republics whose very existence would be repulsive and repugnant and would certainly not do Catholics any good.


Aaron Traas said...

My view is somewhere in the middle. I agree with you that the symbolism of the monarch is important, but I honestly believe that there is more they can do. A popular monarch, like the Grand Duke, could attempt to inspire and rally his loyal subjects to his side, so that his loyal subjects could put the republicans in their place.

I agree that it is good for a monarch to be prudent so as not to abdicate. I think the Grand Duke did, indeed, do a great thing by refusing to compromise in his Catholic faith. I do think there is room for more. Then again, what do I know... I'm no expert in the political sphere.

May God bless and protect Grand Duke Henri, and Luxembourg!

BelgieRoyalist said...

I am of two minds on this issue (I know, typical for those of my blood right?) in that I admire those royals who make a stand and do not treat their royal powers lightly or ignore them, but at the same time I see that too much of this could endanger the monarchy itself.

Naturally I look back at what happened in Belgium. I greatly admire what King Baudouin did in refusing to sign the bill. That, combined with other things, makes me consider him one of the truly greatest monarchs of the century. However, I have to also say that if King Albert II had taken such a stand on the numerous such moral issues that have come up it might mean that there would be no Belgian monarchy today and thus - no Belgium either!

Therefore I admire King Baudouin and Grand Duke Henri for their stand but am also a little relieved that there are those like Albert II who know that sometimes you have to pick the battles you know you can win and not sacrifice the monarchy for something that is bound to happen one way or the other.