Friday, January 3, 2020

Happy New Year!

Sorry for the lack of recent activity on this blog. It was good to see one of its few regular interactive readers again in person last month in New Jersey. Here is something I started typing on Facebook but decided I'd rather put here instead. (There's a lot I could post about here, including my recent monarchist-themed trip to NY and NJ, but generally by the time I get done documenting everything on Facebook I tend not to feel like also making a blog post. Any remaining blog readers who want to see my monarchist posts are welcome to "Friend" me at ; please include a message indicating that you've been a reader of my blog.)

I love my Catholic monarchist friends, but it saddens me that Catholic monarchism appears to be almost exclusively a lay thing. Are there ANY Roman Catholic priests or bishops who publicly advocate the restoration of defunct Catholic monarchies? (Note: devotion to Emperor Bl. Karl, while encouraging and praiseworthy, is not exactly the same thing as promoting the restoration of the Habsburg monarchy--as some non-political devotees of Bl. Karl would probably be quick to point out!)

As an Episcopalian, I have several Anglican clergy Facebook Friends who are more or less sympathetic to my views, though I can't help suspecting that some of them must raise their eyebrows at my stridency occasionally. I wonder what Roman Catholic priests would think of a Catholic version of me. (Even if I were RC I would still chafe at the non-infallible, republic-appeasing political judgments of Leo XIII and Pius XI, before we even got to Vatican II.) Anglican monarchism is of course fundamentally different anyway as the only Monarchy of our particular tradition is still intact, allowing Anglican monarchists to be more "conservative" (in the sense of defending something that currently exists) than Roman Catholic monarchists whose greatest examples (apart from Spain, which presents its own problems) are long gone. That's why Anglican monarchism (though mine isn't always) can be modernity-accommodating, moderate, and pragmatic but Roman Catholic monarchism (even if its proponents are more prudent and polite than I am, which many of them are) will inevitably be accused of "LARPing" (I hate that expression!) and of being "unrealistic" and inherently reactionary, despite the survival of five (six or seven if the Vatican itself and Andorra are counted) nominally Roman Catholic monarchies in modern Europe.


Aaron Traas said...


It was good to see you in NJ. I'm sad I couldn't make it to NYC for the other festivities.

Virtually every priest that's been assigned to my parish has been a monarchist. None of them talked about it much, but at least three of them in memory have occasionally proclaimed monarchy as the best form of government from the pulpit. One of those three is a diocesan priest, the other two ICRSP. And all of the Institute's priests I've talked to privately about the topic are monarchist, if a bit closeted.

As to why they're not so public about it? Because what good would it do most of the time to talk about it? First, we're in the US. Second, there's little chance that it would persuade most people. Finally, their first goal is the salvation of souls, and though monarchy is a superior form of government, compared to many issues of the day, it's not that important. If they sense someone would take their other efforts less seriously if they pushed monarchy, they're not going to do so unless they think the subject is receptive.

At my childrens' school, there are a couple of teachers that are monarchist, but they don't talk about it directly. They merely don't give negative spins every time a historical royal in Europe comes up. It's subtle, but I think it makes a difference. I think a lot of otherwise good parents would consider taking their kids out of the school if it explicitly preached that monarchy was superior to Americanism.

I think traditional-leaning Catholics tend to make a bit of a tradeoff, because of our economy of salvation, and the necessity to get into heaven. Monarchy is the best form of government, but republicans can maintain sanctifying grace and thus avoid hell. This is to say that though monarchy is beautiful and right and good and can help point to heaven, in a world where the various forces declare war on those who hold fast on some fundamental and observable facts, the form of temporal government is relatively unimportant on an eternal scale.

Theodore Harvey said...

All good points. I guess I was thinking more of countries like Poland, France, Brazil, Portugal, Bavaria, the Habsburg lands, and Italy, where Catholic Monarchies actually existed. That's where I wish clergy would dare to take more of an explicitly monarchist stand. Even I don't really expect it in the USA, though it's wonderful when Americans embrace it.

Aaron Traas said...

I could see that. The only Catholic country I've ever spent time is in Italy, and frankly, I didn't meet anyone there that had any positive feelings toward monarchy or negative feelings about the forced unification. Maybe I was running in the wrong circles, but the members of my family sadly revere that bastard Garibaldi.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

The Society of St. Pius X was heavily monarchist at one time. This was especially so in France.