Anti-Carlist justifications in Catholic political culture (I)


Charge of the Royal Squadron of Carlos VII, by Augusto Ferrer Dalmau/Carga del Escuadrón Real de Carlos VII, por Augusto Ferrer Dalmau

***La versión original en español del artículo se puede encontrar en este enlace. La traducción al inglés ha sido realizada por uno de los miembros del Círculo Camino Real de Tejas con la supervisión de los traductores del Gremio San Jerónimo***


It is significant that Hispanic traditionalist thought, that is, Carlism, throughout its history has found opponents not only, as is logical, on the openly revolutionary side, but also among members of Catholic political culture, at least nominally Catholic. The justifications for this anti-Carlism deserve to be treated briefly, since they constitute a list of attitudes that conceal notable risks for the establishment of the res publica christiana.

First, the nucleus of opposition to Carlism as the Hispanic realization of the regime of Christendom came from Catholic liberalism. Since the heretical Lammenais initiated the ideological articulation of Catholic apostasy, Catholic liberalism has undergone many rinses and reformulations. Lammenais’ reasoning came, not coincidentally, from his ultramontane anti-political stance. For the Breton, religion could not be linked to political implementation without contamination. This theologically Gnostic attitude led him to confuse the freedom of the Church with a kind of democratic liberation for which the Church was to be the standard-bearer. Liberal Catholics, following the path of their founder, were characterized by proclaiming their impeccable faith and, in its name, expelling Christ from the political community. The political experience of the last centuries has given a generous account of the real temptation of Catholic liberalism, which has essentially turned Catholics into liberals and reduced the faith to a kind of Catholicism – I use the term with the suffix “ism” deliberately – that is, an ideologization of the Christian religion, operative on behalf of the ideologies of the moment.

This Lammenaisian attitude has favored the so-called “accidentalism” of the forms of government. Thus, on the basis of the accidental nature of the forms of government, it was used to justify political irenism. Forgetting, on the other hand, that the accidentalism of the forms of government is a theoretical postulate, not alien to the particular tradition of society, that is, to its practical determination. Therefore, to be anti-monarchist in Spain did not consist in articulating an alternative to the achievement of the common good, but in feeding the ranks of the Revolution, since Christian politics entered into a symbiosis with the monarchy in Hispanic lands that turned anti-monarchists into revolutionaries.

On the other hand, clericalism has proved to be an increasingly fierce enemy of Carlism. And I am not only referring to the schizophrenic attitude of the Holy See, which on the one hand affirms the Christian City, and on the other makes pacts with the revolutionary regimes. In recent years, as the harsh conciliar winter – far from the promised spring – has become apparent, traditionalist Catholics have unfortunately opted for a kind of clericalism that is more charismatic than institutional. The priests, in these coordinates, become gurus who give their opinion and command in every sphere of the laity, justifying themselves in the persecution – unjust on the one hand – that they suffer. Thus, in the name of the “unity of Christians”, ideologies such as communitarianism or accidentalism are favored in order to cover the “unity of parishioners” or, more precisely, the “unity of my parishioners”.   

To this panorama we must add that the dissolution of Christian politics in recent years, which has even disappeared from magisterial texts, or at least has been confused with a kind of reduction to the person and human rights, has favored an empire of political chaos in contemporary Catholic political culture. Unfortunately, identitarianism, fascism, nationalism, etc., and all sorts of ideologies and contemptible mixtures that use Christian politics as an alibi for their dissemination, have flourished.

Finally, it is worth noting the widespread prevalence of Lockean Americanism. Many perplexed Catholics, under the influence of Benedict XVI’s private judgments, have embraced a Gnostic conception of the Faith that reduces it to a flock of the elect instead of the house of sinners that it is. With this concept of personal security, Catholics prefer to withdraw from politics, a symptom of worldly division, and devote themselves to apostolates far removed from their state duties, clamoring for “tolerance” in a society that is increasingly anti-Christian. This, on the other hand, is catalyzed by the apocalyptic readings that constitute a kind of cover for the theologistic – anti-political – conception of the Faith.

Carlism, not by chance, is attacked from all these sides, affirming that grace does not suppress nature, that baptism does not annul our natural duties, that Christ asks us to reign in our hearts and in society. These attitudes show, finally, the entrance of the enemy into the Holy City, the smoke of Satan in the temple of God, ideologies in the place of the Magisterium, in short, man in the place of God, the abomination of desolation.

Miguel Quesada/Círculo Cultural Francisco Elías de Tejada

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