Blessed Karl symposium Chronicle

Mr. Ordonez highlighted the frequent translations to English of relevant content on the Spanish monarchy, Spanish history and the Carlist struggle for legitimacy published on the digital platform "LA ESPERANZA"

From left to right: Mr. David Ross, Charles Coulombe, Paul Von Habsburg and Eduardo Von Habsburg

Last Saturday April 13, the always successful symposium on Blessed Karl took place in Dallas, as in past years it was sponsored by the splendid Ross family. Many attendants from Texas, other parts of the country, and the world, attended the event at the Robinson Fine Arts Center during a beautiful and sunny morning. The symposium included exciting presentations highlighting the inspiring example of the last emperor and King of Hungary, a righteous leader, devoted and faithful husband, tender father, and loyal friend.

For those that are not acquainted with Blessed Karl, Mr. David Ross graciously provided a summary that circulated through the e-mail marketing of the event: “In 1916, halfway through World War I, he ascended the throne of a vast empire at the age of 29. Because he offered peace as an end to the war, he was ridiculed by war mongers who sought the dismantling of his empire. Betrayed. Beloved. Rejected. Praised. Calumniated…and yet faithful every step of the way. Because he refused to abdicate his throne-which he viewed as his vocation from God even in the face of violence, he was arrested and, with his whole family, exiled to the Portuguese island of Madeira off the coast of western Africa. He died-some say of a broken heart- in 1922, in penury, at the age of 34, leaving behind 7 born children and a pregnant wife, the Servant of God Empress Zita. He was beatified by the church of God in 2004.”

The audience at the symposium had the opportunity to listen again a very illustrious line out of speakers:

HIRH Archduke Eduard von Habsburg, Hungary’s Ambassador to The Holy See and great-great-great grandson of Bl. Karl’s predecessor Emperor Franz Josef. The ambassador returned to the Symposium to give us the other half of his fascinating testimony centered on family, courtship, and engagement best practices for faithful Catholics. In addition, HIRH Archduke Paul von Habsburg, son of the speaker and current American university student, spoke about his experience as a young, faithful, Catholic royal in this age in context of young Bl. Karl.

After a dynamic Q&A between our MC Mr. David Ross and the Archduke and his son, a break for a few minutes to grab a bite was announced. After resuming it, Mr. Ross announced Eduardo Ordonez, member of the Traditionalist Carlist Circle “Camino Real de Tejas” as the next speaker. His topic was a novelty for the majority of the audience: the establishing of the relationship between Blessed Karl and the Carlist cause. After the initial applause, the expectation of the audience followed an increased interest on the topic of the Carlist Cause and the legitimate monarchs of the Catholic kingdom of the Spains.

First of all, Mr. Ordonez recalled one of the meditations of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s (Patron saint of this circle) famous spiritual exercises: The Three Degrees of Humility. It served to point out that Blessed Karl certainly passed away with a short life (34 years old), sick, without honors, and in spiritual and material poverty. These were conditions Blessed Karl understood to come from the divine will of God Almighty and therefore not only to be accepted but appreciated for the sake of better imitating the God-Man, Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior and attain Salvation.  

From left to right: Mr. David Ross, Charles Coulombe, Paul Von Habsburg and Eduardo Von Habsburg

The simple and modest exposition on the topic of Carlism began with the introduction to the activities developed by the constant effort of committed fellow members of the Circle. Among all the activities, Mr. Ordonez highlighted the frequent translations to English of relevant content on the Spanish monarchy, Spanish history and the Carlist struggle for legitimacy published on the digital platform “LA ESPERANZA”, the promotion of the Carlist motto (God-Fatherland-Fueros-King) though social media, conferences, and finally the initiative of consecrating Texas to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through public rosary marches last year. A brief explanation of each of the key concepts of the Carlist motto followed suit along with an approximation to the figure of Blessed Karl by three Carlist monarchs closed to him: HRH King James III Bourbon, uncle of Blessed Karl, HRH King Xavier I Bourbon Parma, Empress Zita’s brother who was sentenced to death by the Nazis during the French occupation and imprisoned in Dachau during WWII. Finally, the third approximation to Blessed Karl centered around HRH Henry V (Prince Sixtus Henry Bourbon Parma) current legitimate King of the Spains, nephew of blessed Karl, and royal attendee at the 2004 beatification of the emperor at the Vatican. In addition, an emphasis was put on describing the persecution of Franco’s regime of the legitimate monarch (Xavier I) and the frequent expulsion of the royal family from Spain by the conservative dictator who unfortunately favored the reestablishing of the liberal and usurper branch of the Bourbons into power. Mr. Ordonez concluded with an ardent appeal to believe, promote, and defend the social kingship of Christ the King, laid out by the teachings of the Popes, as sounded foundation for Catholic and anti-liberal political action. Members of the circle attending the event celebrated these words, shouting “Viva Cristo-Rey”, “Vivan las Espanas”, and “Viva Don Sixto” in the midst of an excited audience.

Right Reverend Dom Philip Anderson O.S.B., Abbot, Benedictine Abbey of Our Lady of Clear Creek, Oklahoma spoke on Bl. Karl, his wife, Servant of God Zita, and “The Benedictine-Habsburg Connection”. The abbot made several positive references to the speech given by Eduardo Ordonez in regards to the Carlist motto, the re-building of Christendom, and the social kingship of Christ the King in connection with the legacy of Blessed Karl and Empress Zita.

From right to left: Eduardo Ordoñez, Ms. Suzanne Pearson, Reverend Dom Philip Anderson O.S.B and Princess Ann Marie Galiztine

HIRH Princess Maria-Anna von Habsburg Galitzine, granddaughter of Blessed Karl and Servant of God Zita, participated in a second Q&A interview and shared personal stories about Empress Zita from her childhood along with Suzanne Pearson of the Emperor Karl Gebetsliga [Prayer League], North America.

Finally, Mr. Charles Coulombe, prolific American author, historian and speaker, biographer of Blessed Karl von Habsburg, and, servant of God Zita put an end to the symposium. He currently resides in Vienna, Austria. He spoke about his upcoming book on the good emperor’s beloved wife, Queen and Empress Zita of the House of Bourbon-Parma and the importance of family heritage.

The event also included a number of vendors who elegantly displayed their items and services in the hall. Among these we wanted to highlighted three: The stand of the Papal Zouave International League, Galatas 6, a newly successful network platform to promote professional businesses, products, and services among Catholics, and the stand of the American Foundation for the beatification of Empress Zita run by her president Mrs. Diane Schwind, all friends of the Carlist cause and this Carlist circle.

A dinner at an upscale Texas style steak house in Dallas put an end to the evening. The attendees congregated at the upper floor of the restaurant fully reserved for the event, which was named in honor of the Catholic Queen of the Spains, Isabel. The speakers, the Ross family, clergy taught by the late fellow Carlist Professor Mr. Frederick Wilhelmsen, and all those invited enjoyed a delicious menu of salads, salmon, steak, and cake/ice-cream sprinkled with the traditional beverages of red wine, beer, and cocktails. After dinner, a patio was made available for the enjoyment of extended conversations over drinks, cigars, and pipes. The Carlist presence of several members was noted and contributed to promote the figure Don Sixto, the Carlist cause, the longing for the establishment of the kingship of Christ in the southern states and Mexico with attendees from these regions, and finally the need for Catholics to detach themselves from any modern ideology in order to serve better the Kingdom of God.

Tomasino de Larrasoaña

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