Isn’t Nobility passé?
For people who consider titles of Nobility not as decorations, but as obligations and duties, no! Nobility as an example to follow has always had meaning.
On the most Holy Day of the Nativity of the Lord when the King rose from praying at Mass before the tomb of biased Peter the Apostle, Pope Leo placed a crown on his head and all the Roman people cried out, “To Carolus, pious Augustus, crowned by God, great and peace giving Emperor of the Romans, life and victory.” And after the laudation he was honoured by the pope in the manner of the ancient princes and, the title of Patrician being set aside, he was called Emperor and Augustus.
Of all the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire the most renowned, the first to receive the golden Imperial Crown from the hands of the Roman Pontiff, no Emperor has so captured the Catholic imagination as Carolus Magnus, the Emperor Charlemagne. The beginning of the Sacred Ages might truly be dated to his coronation on the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord. Born on the second of April in the year of Our Lord 742 in the realm of Austrasia, Karol (as he was named in old Frankish) was the oldest son of Pippin the Short, King of Francia and Patrician of the Roman Empire. Upon the death of King Pippin in A.D. 768, Karol and his younger brother Karloman jointly ascended to the Frankish throne, in the midst of a rebellion in Aquitania.
Since we believe that there are other will-powers in this universe besides that of God, we have a good right to view all actions and activities critically—to reflect, to speculate, to conform or oppose or resist. Thus it is evident that all power being exercised is subject to critical analysis by investigation of its purpose, its effects, the intentions of its exercisers. An exousia—regardless of whether we translate this Scriptural term as “authority ” or “power”—has to have a positive relationship towards its purpose, the common good. To be theoú diákonos, “a servant of God,” it is necessary that a power be “reasonable,” i.e., ordained towards its natural end.* A ruler in the possession of power, but misusing it by woefully harming the common good, is not a “helpmate of God” (leitourgós theoú) and thus has no claim to authority and to obedience. It can even be argued that power, well established and entrenched, claiming authority but methodically destroying the values of the common good, is diabolic in character. The satanic aspects of such government combining power (a divine attribute) with wickedness and irrationality are usually underscored by a quality of confusion; it rarely opposes the common good on all scores and in every respect, though its positive actions are often means to nefarious ends: for example, even maternity wards, recreational institutions and places of learning established by the state can be designed to build up armies intended for aggressive warfare…
A ruler has the same obligation to the right use of power as the owner of property. Both—power and property—have to be used to foster the common good. Their misuse or abuse should result in confiscation or deposition. But it is also evident that legality (even legality according to international law**) is part and parcel of the common good; and therefore legitimacy, in the political sense, cannot be sneered at. Thus, rebellion against a ” legal ” government (i.e., a government legal in the juridical but not in the moral sense) can be excused only if its continued trespasses against other more important aspects of the common good justify steps which according to the secular (constitutional) law are illegal, but become, under these circumstances, legal according to the natural law.
We have hinted that power acting according to reason, that is, intelligently and virtuously, ordaining its efforts towards the common good and not offending against it through its mere existence (as, for example, an unwarranted military occupation by a foreign power), has authority as a genuine leitourgós theoú, a helpmate of God. It certainly is not diabolic. And this situation is, we think, independent of majority consent. If a vast majority of the citizenry is opposed to good or just government, we do not see why this should obviate authority in the least.
-Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Liberty or Equality
*”Now the rule and measure of human acts is the reason, which is the first principle of human acts”- St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica (II)(I) 4. Treatise on Law
**Ius Gentium, see On the Current Crisis for the proper relation between the Ius Gentium and the State.
One can readily understand what the dread of passing evils can do, and what great eternal evil follows!
-Pius XII, Exsul Familia Nazarethana
The current crisis to which I refer is not what one would expect, the displacement of peoples, the present wars in which neither side is really “the Right side”. Rather it is the crisis of ideals and definitions, of right and proper relations; not so much what is happening as how it is dealt with- and how it ought to be dealt with. What is at stake is the Right Order of the World, of Human Society, the proper and just relations of beings and of states of being, and the solution is to be found, following the example of the ancients, by looking at the Right Order of the Human Person and Soul to which earthly things are ordered.
The second attack against integral Christendom, gaining momentum right now, comes from the nonuniversal herdists. They put the human beings into watertight hierarchic categories frequently of a racial nature. This new racial determinism, creating racial aristocracies, responsible to a collective “race” but not to a personal God, and racial proletariats with no hope of an earthly salvation, is not less a danger than the classic panherdism. The desire for racial purity in order to achieve the perfectly uniform herd leads to brutal persecution and finally to the strictest imaginable uniformism… The emphasis on race was so strong, because it is the only factor that cannot be altered by mere education, coercion, persuasion, or propaganda. A Catholic might become a Protestant, a painter turn into a dictator, a New Dealer into a Republican, but a Negro cannot become a “Caucasian,” a Semite, or a Mongol.
-Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, The Menace of the Herd
In rejecting the internationalism of Socialists and Communists they [reactionaries] accept the identitarian nationalism of the left.
“Internationalism” -conservatives must remember-is leftish only if it wants to establish an identitarian global brew, an odious uniformity encompassing the whole world. In this sense internationalism is only a global nationalism.- Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism
One often hears of the “Far Right”, Fascism, Nazism, White Supremacy, and all that sordid lot. Any sufficient research into the histories and philosophies disproves this label- in fact, it proves the opposite. The so called “Far Right” is really the logical outcome of Leftist Ideologies, and the war against Civilization. The danger of their Identitarian philosophies is that the individual with a God given purpose is cast aside and destroyed to further the purpose of the State.
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.
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. For this reason, his thoughts turned to social assistance. May he be an example for all of us, especially for those who have political responsibilities in Europe today!- Pope St. John Paul II
These few sentences eloquently express the heroic life of Blessed Karl, the Last Emperor and King. Pope Saint Pius X said of him that he was “Heaven’s reward to Austria for all her faithfulness to Pope and Church.” He took his sacred duty as King-Emperor as it was meant to be taken. He magnificently conveyed the principle of Catholic Kingship: “I have done my duty, as I came here to do. As crowned King, I not only have a right, I also have a duty. I must uphold the right, the dignity and honor of the Crown…. For me, this is not something light. With the last breath of my life I must take the path of duty. Whatever I regret, Our Lord and Savior has led me.”
Many traditional Catholics look to the Kingdom of France in the High Sacred Ages as the ideal for Catholic Monarchy, and rightly so. Many also believe that when restored as a Kingdom, France will lead the restoration of Christendom. Yet ever since the days of Richelieu and the end of the last hope of unity in the Holy Roman Empire, there has been a fatal antagonism across the shores of the Rhine.
Since the downfall of Christendom, the UN, the EU, and the United States have attempted fill the void. America in particular has stepped into the role of protector of the common order against the growing threats of terrorism. This has drawn much criticism from those who believe the American government is acting out of less altruistic motives, and has prompted the question: Does the World really need a nation acting as the “Global Policeman”?
It is essential to the International Common Good that order be maintained, and that lawful authority maintain it. So in a limited sense the answer is yes. The US, however is not a legitimate authority in this sense- even less so as the country roles down the slippery slope of immorality at breakneck speed. And really, this shouldn’t be surprising. As a nation attempts to wrestle with responsibilities that were not its own, it becomes unable to fulfill the responsibilities which it is truly bound to.
While the US tries (or had tried in the past) to protect the common order in the face of the vast collapse, this is still a pale (and unsuccessful) substitute for the tradition of Christendom. The threat which we struggle to face was very successfully countered; countered by the legitimate authority. The Holy Roman Emperor, the Defender of the Nations of Christendom, did know that his mission was to protect the Common Good, and true Morality was integral to his office. The Emperor, the Commander of the Armies of Christendom, could and did lead the West to victory, and certainly did this better than any “Global Policeman”.
A Quotable Collection
Part I: G.K. Chesterton
The double eagle is the ancient emblem of the double empire of Rome and of Byzantium; the one head looking to the west and the other to the east, as if it spread its wings from the sunrise to the sunset.it had been the badge of Austria as the representative of the Holy Roman Empire.- The New Jerusalem
Very few authors have written on as many subjects as the great Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), a journalist converted to the faith as well as a poet and fiction writer, and he had very much to say on the subject of the Holy Roman Empire.