Sunday, March 7, 2010

How could he do it?

To preserve the monarchy King Juan Carlos has signed the death warrants of untold numbers of innocent babies. The vote in favour of this liberal abortion law was too close (132 to 126) to even grant any kind of 'legitimacy' to such a holocaust.

What was His Majesty thinking of? Afraid of a constitutional crisis? I suspect the Spaniards love the monarchy too much to have supported any government attempts to overthrow him.

This is quite a body-blow to the morale of pro-life Spaniards and pro-life people from throughout Europe and the world.

As for the possiblity of the King having incurred the latae sententiae excommunication that applies to those who actually procure an abortion, this is something that is doubtful and therefore cannot be presumed. Only the Roman Pontiff has the right to judge heads of state on ecclesiastical matters(Canon 1405 #1,1). So it is up to Pope Benedict to rule on this one. (Of course, there is a Higher Court...)

Lifesitenews covers the subject here. See also the Archbishop of Valencia.


  1. It would be nice if the pope said "sorry, buster, no more Communion for you until you repent in public of what you've done."

    That was something ENTIRELY in JC's control. No one was holding a gun to his head. Not that many years ago the Belgian king resigned office because he wouldn't sign anything similar into law in his country.

  2. Father, HM the King is not expressing a point of view: his signature reflects the fact that this law was passed in a constitutional manner by the Parliament elected by the Spanish people.

    There is a case to be made for absolute monarchy, or even for a more interventionist role for the Monarch as Head of State in a constitutional monarchy, but the only one to try it since WWI was King Constantine of Greece and much good it did him and his country.

    King Baudouin's gesture was little more than that: he was able not to sign, but Belgium got its abortion legislation.

  3. Ttony: But was his signature necessary for this law to come into effect or not? If it was, he bears responsibility. If it was not, then he could have simply said: I won't sign.

    'This law was passed in a constitutional manner...' There are laws which are unjust, and such laws are to be resisted for we are subject to a higher law. Pilate accepted the will of the people, but Our Lord said it was Pilate himself who had the power given to him by the Father. The Lord was killed, Pilate was responsible.

  4. My question Fr John is, " how could he NOT do it? ". They just will NOT stick up for what is right..such cowardice is the norm..

  5. Father, you ask two different questions. To the first: if he had not signed, then the constitutional provisions regarding the incapacity of the Monarch would have come into effect. The Bill would then have passed, because it was the will of the elected representatives of the Spanish people that it should pass. This would not have been an empty Baudoinesque gesture: it would likely lead within a very short period to the deposition of the Monarchy. It is unreasonable not to take the wider context into account?

    Your second question raises a point that is directly relevant in the UK: how far does participation in the political process bring with it complicity? It's not just a question of voting for or against an unjust law: isn't it a question of supporting the political system which allows such laws to be passed by participating in it?

  6. To the first: I go back to the question of conscience. His Majesty signed the law. It is absolutely wrong to weigh the lives of innocent unborn children against the possible consequences that might or might not follow from not sanctioning their deaths. These innocent lives have been sacrificed on the altar of preservation of the monarchy.

    To the second: we are in a political system. How can one not participate in it? Only by participating in it can one change it. And it is not the system that makes such laws possible but free and responsible individuals. I think the introductory pages to our Bishops' document Choosing the common good teaches this very clearly.

  7. Wikipedia informs me that the present king has chosen not to use the title of Catholic Majesty and the other titles. He has not, however, relinquished these titles and honours.

    It may well be that His Majesty was shy of professing his Catholicism from the outset of his reign because of the fragility of the restored monarchy, but if the instition is too fragile after so many years to withstand the King making a stand on a matter of Faith, is the Spanish monarchy worth a peseta?

  8. One wonders just what the Spanish people would have said about the legislation if the King had anounced that - as a Catholic - he could not sign the bill, and would therefore abdicate rather than do so.

    If their minds were focussed on the real issues in that way, they might just have decided they'd prefer to keep the status quo.

    Sadly, though, I fear that there are few if any Heads of State left who would take such a step : this world apparently seems so much more attractive than the next.

  9. Simple really - this King ain't got no 'gojones' (pardon my French... er Spanish :-) to stand up for what as a Catholic he must know is right!

    Or has the Zapatero anti-life propaganda got to him.

    He scandalizes Catholic Spain. Pray for him - never too late to change. Better to exit this world in union with God as a pauper, but then we have so many Gospel accounts of rich men.....

  10. Where is the Generalisimo when you need him?!

  11. George: I think the word is 'cojones'. :-)

  12. King Juan Carlos is of this world unlike Charles 1 of Austria who put his faith first before all things and consequently died in poverty. From the beginning, the Emperor Charles conceived of his office as a holy service to his people. His chief concern was to follow the Christian vocation to holiness also in his political actions.
    During the Mass of his Beatification on 3 October 2004, Pope John Paul II stated:

    The decisive task of Christians consists in seeking, recognizing and following God's will in all things. The Christian statesman, Charles of Austria, confronted this challenge every day. To his eyes, war appeared as "something appalling". Amid the tumult of the First World War, he strove to promote the peace initiative of my Predecessor, Benedict XV.

    Blessed Carl help todays monarchs to follow in your footsteps

  13. Is the Holy Father going to refuse communion to Juan Carlos, when he meets him?

    Are the bishops conference going do anything about this travesty?

  14. Hestor: I wouldn't be at all surprised if His Majesty or his ambassador to the Vatican had previously discussed this matter at the highest level in the Vatican.

    The Spanish Episcopal Conference is not competent to deal with this: Heads of State are judged in matters ecclesiastical by the Pope (as mentioned in my post cf. Canon 1405 #1,1).

    But with things as they are in the Vatican I doubt there will be any outcome that will satisfy faithful pro-lifers.

  15. Fr John - thanks for the spelling correction - my French was always terrible! :-)

  16. King Baudoin of the Belgians
    Baudouin was a deeply religious Roman Catholic .

    In 1990, when a law liberalising Belgium's abortion laws, was approved by Parliament, he refused to give Royal Assent,

    However, because of his religious convictions, Baudouin asked the Government to declare him temporarily unable to reign so that he could avoid signing the measure into law.

    The Government under Wilfried Martens complied with his request on 4 April 1990.

    All members of the Government signed the bill, and the next day (5 April 1990) the Government declared that Baudouin was capable of reigning again.

  17. Each day the words of William Butler Yates (from his poem The Second Coming) seem more and more apt...

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

    How sad that Jesus Christ is not followed due to human respect and fear.

    At least we can all respond with acts of reparation for our own failures and those of others. Lent is most welcome...

    God bless
    Alan and Angeline

  18. Just as I thought: traditionalists can be treated with contempt but those who dissent against immemorial teachings or even assent to murder are not even given a slap on the wrist! What hope is there for the church, when it is run by people who refuse to discipline those who run amock and scandalise the faithful?

  19. I wish he had refused to sign. It would have been a powerful message to the people of Spain who apparently think well of him. It might also have been a message to our own Queen who signed away the lives of so many children.


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